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Monday, July 1, 2013

I'm melting in Vegas, baby.

It's pretty hot here. Like... really hot. It's been 115ish this last weekend around where I've been. It’s kind of crazy. I've never felt anything like this. Plus the other day we had to bike and that was craziness.
Plus. I hit my year mark. That's weird. And sad. Some people say it’s the downhill slope from here on out, but that's not it for me. I've still got a year to become the missionary the Lord wants me to be. Hitting a year is just kinda of like the wakeup call that I've got to get the truck in a higher gear. It feels like I've been a missionary all my life but it also feels like I just started. 
Anyway. This has been a good, good week. We set high goals and worked hard to reach them and we even passed some of them. It was sick.
The Desert Bloom district has been tearing it up these last 3 weeks. It's not a numbers game but the ZLs let me know that we have been leading the zone (and we are the smallest and youngest district.) Woot woot! Anyway. We have a lot of room for improvement but we are working hard.
I took a little time on the evening of the 27th to reflect on the last 12 months. It’s crazy how much I've grown and improved and matured. I think of who I was when they put my ELDER ANDERSON tag on me in the MTC gym and I think of me now. It’s embarrassing. The kind of missionary I was when I got in the field is completely different that the one I am  now. I can actually say now that I'm proud of myself. I don't feel like I have to make excuses. Not that I was bad, but I just didn't even realize that I could be so much more. And I still can be.
So enough of my bragging. 

DA WEEK!
MONDAY! I got a sick package with a bunch of candy and some sick talks! That was cool. I love sharing candy with other people. We had a cool lesson with a new family, 3 little kids and a grandmother. It was interesting because 2 said they would be baptized and 2 others said no. We asked a little more about why and stuff and they said, “We know the Book of Mormon is true, we can feel it. But we can’t leave the Catholic Church. It’s where our family is.” We hear that a lot, people who just won’t leave the Catholic Church. Even some who say that they know it's not true and that it's not Christ's church but they just won’t leave. It kinda gets on my nerves. Oh well. I'm here for the elect. 

TUESDAY! We did some service in the morning which was cool. We carried a giant sewing machine for an older woman. Then we sang some hymns for her. It was sweet. Later we went to the baptism of Jennifer, the one I got to interview on Sunday. That evening we were walking around an apartment complex street contacting and I ran into a guy who I had talked to a few weeks ago. He was super interested back then and I sent the referral off, and kinda forgot (I talk to a lot of people on the street). But I saw him and remembered and started talking to him and he said that no one had gone by his house and no one had called him! It made me kinda sad because he was so cool and interested. I talked to the missionaries in his area but I guess they just forgot. But it was cool that he was still interested and still wanted the missionaries to go to his house. Hopefully they get over there soon. It made me stop and think about the hundreds of people I've referred in my time here in Vegas and how many of them are still waiting for the missionaries to go over. I hope I don’t sound bitter bc I’m not. It just taught me how important that referrals are. I don't remember why I wrote this but in my journal I wrote – “Life without the gospel can be tough because Satan is trying too hard to destroy families.” I don’t remember why, but it’s true. 

WEDNESDAY! We had 2 good lessons. One was with Martha who brought up a concern about the temple. She was upset bc one of her brother- in- law’s sister couldn't go into the temple to see her two sons get sealed. Martha said that's cruel and she didn't like it. We helped her to understand better why the temple is like that and then left a little later. When we got out, the priest that was with us said this - (and he's a super, humble, quiet guy) "I wanted to say to her the whole time 'My Sister and Mother won't be able to go see me get married in the temple, but you don't see me crying about it! It's not about anyone else but you and your wife and the Lord. That's all that matters. Get over it." It was so unexpected and we laughed so hard. I've never heard him be so bold ever. Luckily he didn't say that because Martha probably would have gotten offended. We did some street contacting later and then had a meeting with Presidente Rincon about how to improve missionary work in the branch. He gave us some suggestions and we've been trying to implement them. 

THURSDAY! 1year. Weird. District Meeting was good. It was a good one about the importance of prayer with missionaries and investigators. We had to bike Thursday because we were low on miles and it was soooooooo hot.  But we went out and worked hard. Then when we were walking and trying to talk with everyone a woman ran out at us screaming 'hermanos, hermanos!' She was only half dressed and it was kinda weird but then she said - I want to get baptized! It was super cool. She told us her story and everything how she lost contact with the missionaries and everything. SICK! So we set up a time to come back and teach her right then. We had some really good street contacts and then we visited two less active families who both love us. One of them really likes me in particular a lot. I don't even know why but he thinks I’m the cat’s pajamas - o los payamas del gato. From the journal - "it's been a good year :)"

FRIDAY! Temple tripppp!!! We got to go the temple with all the new missionaries which was cool. I got to see President and Sister Rogers which was cool bc they were in the Morning Sun ward and they were super awesome. They gave us so much food when I was serving there. They are super nice. So we got back from the temple all spiritually pumped and went to that lesson with that woman and we set her and her husband for baptism for July! Well actually they set themselves which was cool. I love sincere investigators. Those who want to learn and grow closer to God, will. Those who want to be skeptical and try to bash, won’t. Simple. Desire, real intent, and faith, that’s all you need - see Moroni 10:3-5. Then we did some service for a family that was moving in. We also talked to a few people on the street including an inactive member who got offended by a missionary who swore at her. Sigh... Teenagers.

SATURDAY! Martha made us lunch. It was soooo good. It was flautas. Flautas and carne asada fries are my new favorite foods, so bad for you but so good. We did our planning today bc Friday we were in the temple. We went back to that new couple we started teaching and had another super powerful lesson. Twas sick. They committed themselves to coming to church. That was the highlight of the day.

SUNDAY! Good day. 5th Sunday about missionary work. Had a few lessons, one was sick. We brought a young men’s leader to a 16 year old investigator we have and we talked about the priesthood. His mom sat in and got super pumped. Highlight of the lesson, "with your righteousness you will be able to use the power of God to lead your family into happiness." It was pretty sick. 

That's all the time I've got. 
It was, like all weeks, a week of growth and learning.
A happy week. I miss you peeps.
I love you all so much
Sam

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