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Monday, April 8, 2013

HERRRRO!! Idk what to put as subjects. I'm not very creative

Life is so good out here in Vegas. So good for me, and so good for some, it's a hard life for others. I typed out a story about one of the investigators of the other Elders but I deleted it. The gist of it is that gambling ruins lives for so, so many. It’s a story I've heard far too many times. One or two parents are addicted to gambling and use all the money they make to gamble. Slowly, kids and food and clothing and everything else is forgotten. All sense and cents are sunk into it. It's crazy. I can't even describe it. It’s depressing and despicable. It reminds me of the scripture in which the Savior says that mothers will forget their suckling babes. And I never understood how that was possible until recently. It’s incredible the things I've seen and I haven't even seen that much. What makes me the most sad is that the children suffer. Whateve. Idk I can’t explain it very well. Basically, drugs, immorality, gambling, it messes people up and it messes their families up. It’s often so bad that people won’t let themselves change. Ugh. Sorry for the sad stuff. I'll be able to explain it better another time. FOLLOW THE PROPHET! WHEN HE SAYS JUMP, DO IT! It's to bless us. I wish I could have Elder Perry yell this to the whole world... oh wait, he did! We don’t have commandments because we are masochists. We have them because we love the Lord and want to be happy. 

OKay! So the week! Monday we went hiking again which was pretty fun! I like spending time with other missionaries. Then we ate at the Schwenke's but after we had another FHE with our whole ward. It was really cool. EG and I taught a cool lesson about Lehi’s dream of the tree of life. We connected it all to following the prophet. We had an object lesson with blindfolds and an iron rod and a group of teenagers (aptly dressed) representing the great and spacious building. A lot of people liked it and we got the point across pretty well. It's hard to explain... sorry. I'm so bad at this.

Tuesday we went to the Temple which was nice. It was very peaceful. Afterwards a member bought us giant cinnamon rolls from the cafeteria in the basement. 

Sam's Zone at the Temple
Members here are so nice. That afternoon we tried to contact a referral but it turns out she was already a member and going to the English ward. It was kinda cool actually. I thought it was going to be awkward but we sat and talked with the family and even left them a Book of Mormon in Spanish to give to one of their friends. One of the daughters had her mission call to Colorado but her boyfriend proposed so she’s not going anymore. No comment. We had our ward coordination on Tuesday instead so then right after we did that. We watched some of the District DVDs and talked about how we can improve our coordination with the ward council and the ward missionaries. It was kinda cool and connected well with conference. I am the biggest fan of evaluation, self and otherwise. I didn't used to be, that's for sure. 

Wednesday we had to get the oil changed in the car so I got to again see how the church works in the financial world. They are super on top of everything. Tithing is serious business. We walked around a lot trying to find people to talk to. It's so hot and no one’s out. Before I thought  it was because it was cold, and now that it's switched over, I guess it’s just cause ... well I don’t know. Then later we helped a member move out and down the street. It takes like 1/3 the time to unload as it does to load. After moving we talked to one guy in the street who wanted to know why his LDS daughter wouldn't talk to him. He was implying that bc she was a member she was being stubborn and not wanting to talk to him. He then proceeded to classify all members as judgmental and stubborn. We tried to explain that just because one person was like that doesn’t mean that we as a church condone or encourage it or anything like that. But he was being stubborn. It made me think of the chapter in Isaiah where it’s like 'judge between me and my vineyard.' Ahhh no time moving on. We taught English class which I love. One person always requests to have me be their 'tutor' during a one-on-one time at the end of class which makes me feel good. 

Thursday was Zone conference. Bomb. I learned a lot and as usual have a renewed fire to be even better. Sister Neider talked about the atonement and the guilt and shame that everyone carries and the beautiful message of forgiveness that we bring. Cool stuff. It was like 8 hours of training. After that we presented our ward mission plan to some members which went well. It’s really about helping them just as much as it is about helping us. But in the end it’s all about helping the Lord. It’s surprisingly hard to get people to understand that. Hopefully all of you who read this do. Do missionary work. Do it because you love the Lord. Do it because you love others. Do it because you love your family. Do it because you love the Lord. It’s a commandment and the blessings are innumerable. Ahhh! It will make you happier if you do! Then we tried to street contact, but no one was interested.

Friday! We did our weekly planning and then taught a lesson to Aliaha about the Book of Mormon. Man that family struggles. They don’t have enough money to buy new clothes when the ones they wear, wear out. And they are scarred and scared too. But we talked about the stories in the Book of Mormon and the 3 little girls love them. That night we taught a first lesson. The first one I've taught in forever. I loved it. It is such a blessing to be able to teach and testify. There is no greater feeling in the world than feeling the Spirit work through you to touch another person. It's the best. I hope all of you have had or will have that opportunity. It’s ... life changing. 

Saturday was General Conference. It was dope. After the second session we had lunch with our district and it was a fun time to talk about the talks and eat some good sandwiches. After priesthood we went to see how Marlon was doing bc he didn’t come to conference. He was too tired from work. But he showed us his new mouse. It was pretty cute, but not nearly as cute as conference. 

Sunday was GC as well. Man I love conference. Although I must admit conference bingo is not conducive to revelation. I didn’t play and I was blessed for it. Between the 2 sessions we ate waffles at an English member’s house and took that picture that you guys got.
General Conference Brunch at the Peterson's

It’s fun to be so loved. I've expressed it before but I feel like I don't deserve the love; maybe some, but not as much as we get from the members. NOT COMPLAINING THO! We had a really good visit with members which I liked a lot. We got to know them really well and laughed and had a great time. We shared a spiritual thought and then he shared one with us too. It was great. Then that night we talked to a few people but no one was too interested. 

This week was awesome. Sorry the email hasn't been.
I love you all so much!
Sam

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