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Monday, May 6, 2013

Life: it’s just too darn good

My brain and heart are very full this afternoon so if my thoughts are jumbled, don't judge me. 
I'm emailing right now from the mission office. Weird. This is my chapel. Sitting next to me is my new companion and old friend Elder Johnson, the rapper from Cleveland Ohio, and no, not Chip or Cudi. He stands 6'4" and 195lbs and is cut as freshly mowed grass. He has a smile like the Cheshire cat and not half as creepy. He's probably one of the goofiest people I've ever met, but in the best way. He always has a joke to tell and a smile. I butchered that district quote. Oh well. District 2. Episode 1. I love him so much. He works hard and has taken Elder Wirthlin's mom's quote of "Come What May and Love It" (see the awesome conference talk by the same name) to heart. It’s such a pleasure to be serving with him. 

I am in the Desert Bloom branch. It covers 3 stakes: Warm Springs, Green Valley, and Anthem. It's pretty cool and crazy big. My area is enormous. We go all the way down to California. There are not too many Hispanics in this part so we have to search extra hard, but so far I love it. The members here have a special spirit. They are few but they stick together and they are awesome missionaries. They invite friends and talk to neighbors without being asked and have a fire for the work. They've caught the wave and it's so cool to be here. My district is probably the best one in the mission if not the best one since Elder Holland and Elder Cook were companions. Elder Johnson and I are in Desert Bloom and there is a companionship of awesome Sisters too, Sisters Veazey and Parkinson. Both are great hard workers and young in the mission. The other companionship is in an English ward and its Elder Smith and Elder Sullivan. They are both super upbeat and friendly so it’s a pleasure to have them around. I really don't know why I'm so lucky!  I am the senior member of the district which is pretty weird. I guess somebody trusts me or something. 

It's so different down here in the Henderson area. Random members come up and talk to us and try to give us money and food all the time. There are also just more people and more stores and stuff. It's like a city, but in a different way. Up north it’s a city but it has a different coughghettocough feel to it. I like them both for a lot of reasons. 

It's weird here in the office. I get to listen to the office staff and see baptismal records and all the workstations of the amazing senior couples who are giving up all this time to help us missionaries to do the work of the Lord. They are all so amazing. Being a little more behind the scenes gives me a better idea of just how much work they do so we don't have to. It’s all set up so we can find, teach, and baptize and don’t have to worry about all that other stuff. What a blessing. 

So you all probably want to hear about my week.  It was "dope money fresh" as Elder Johnson says.
Monday was great. It feels like forever ago though. We did the p-day stuff. Then the Schwenke's brought us lunch at the stake park which was so nice. They are so great. Then the other members of the zone did a water balloon fight so I left. It felt odd. That night at the Schewenke's was awesome. We took pictures and told stories and ate and had a sweet, sweet time. I'll miss seeing them every week. Later we went to see Marlon and his family. I'll miss them too. He's a great guy.

Tuesday. I went to Warm Springs!!! Whattttt???? So our zone is 10 companionships and only 2 elders with cars (minus the APs). So we have had to drive people around a lot. I went to a training meeting Tuesday afternoon that was super awesome. I learned a lot and it really helped me feel more ready for my new assignment. Then we drove around to meet the awesome members. It was a good first night. 

Wednesday we did service helping a less active family move which was cool. A member bought us lunch. Then as we were making up our studies somebody knocked on our door and asked if we were the Mormon missionaries. We said we were and he asked if we could teach him. He was our neighbor so we went over to teach him and we started teaching him the Restoration and he just said over and over, “I know that, but how do I be baptized?” So we'd teach a tiny bit and he'd say, “I know that but how do I be baptized?” so we'd explain a little more and he again say, “So what do I have to do to be baptized?” It was actually pretty awesome. He bore his testimony of everything, it was cool. So we passed him on to the English elders. I’ll keep y’all posted. We also 4 packed with Elder Payne and Elder Bradley so that was cool. EP doesn’t speak English so that was tough for him. We had a bunch of lessons set up for EB's 1st day but they all flaked but we still had a good day. 

Thursday we met all the ward leadership which was cool. They're all awesome. Then we taught a sickkk lesson to an investigator that we later sent off to the English elders as well. It was about the Book of Mormon. Man, I love that book. Then later we had a great lesson about prayer with another investigator family.

Friday was good. Planning was tough because I don’t really know the area too well. It’ll get there though soon. We had a dinner with an English family. She’s a fellowshipper for one of our investigators. It was fun. Then we helped the branch set up for an activity. 

Saturday was good too. We did service in the morning to help a family move. We had to run a lot of errands. Then we had some great member visits and recent convert visits. We just taught a few different people about revelation using the scriptures. Then we went to a crazy Cinco de Mayo party at the branch. It was super fun. We helped out and our investigators came. It was incred. 

Sunday was great. We went to an amazing dinner and talked to a super prepared guy who lives in the west mission. It was so cool to talk to him and teach him. Then we visited an investigator and then some members.

That’s all. Sorry. It’s bad. No time.
I love you all so much. 

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