An account of Elder Sam Anderson's Missionary service in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission
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Monday, January 6, 2014
Well. The Dream Team is coming to a
close. We got the transfer information on Saturday and Elder Slik will be going
off to the Green Valley stake to be with Elder Pauni. He is getting double
transferred in. We were both pretty bummed when we found out.
an amazing 18 weeks with Elder Slik. I am so grateful that I've been able to
serve with him and learn from him for so long. Except for 6 weeks, he's been my
leader since February. I've learned so much from his example and his dedication
and maturity. I could rant about how awesome Elder Slik is all day. I love him.
He has had an eternal influence on my life. I owe much of my missionary success
to his guidance and leadership.
All the matching ties! How many matches can you spot?
new era has begun!
companion will be ELDER drumrolllllllllllllllllllllll
Smith from Warm Springs :). He's getting transferred up here tomorrow to be
with me in Bonanza View and Frenchmen Hills! I was sooo excited and happy. It
was a bittersweet moment to find that I wouldn't be with Elder Slik but I would
be with Elder Smith.
Elder Smith. We grew to be really close in WS and I look up to him a lot. He's
funny, clever, kind and a well rounded missionary. I'm very excited for the
miracles that await us.
was a balm of Gilead definitely.
emotions are all over the place. Happy and Sad. But I'm excited. Well, excited
and scared. The last four and a half months have flown by. It seems like just
yesterday that I was companions with Elder Ledezma in the holy land of desert
We had 12
lessons cancel this week and most of our investigators dropped us. It's been
We started an exchange with the assistants. I've really come to love assistant
exchanges. They are always very clear about what I can do better and they are
helpful as well. I get to watch and learn from their examples, ask questions
and receive their counsel. They aren't perfect, but they are good at what they
do. This time I was with Elder Fuller again (he's from Michigan) but in their
ward. It's the first time I've been to one of my leader’s areas since I went on
an exchange with Elder Slik in Los Feliz. Ages ago. So it was nice to see how
another person's area operates and what things I can apply into my own mission
and my areas. But anyway. Their area is quite the opposite of ours.
Demo/econom/geographically. It is a much more upscale area and it is in the
middle of the desert and it is a lot of old people and young couples. It is
just like way different. But because of New Years Eve we started the exchange
right at 6pm. So we had some time to work that night. We taught a lesson to
this young family. It was very interesting. One of the girls was wanting to get
baptized but she was really struggling with her faith. She had been praying and
fasting that her mom would quit doing drugs but her addictions just keep
getting worse and worse. It was interesting to talk to her and try to help her
to stay strong and positive. While out here I've really been exposed to so many
hard family situations like that. I just feel like no young teenager should
have to pray that her mother stops doing drugs. This young girl is a freshman
in high school and is practically raising her two younger brothers. Then later
we met with a family where the husband and the son got baptized but the mother
was waiting because she didn't feel worthy; another interesting life. The
family was so cool. You could tell that they all loved each other a lot which
was the most important. I really loved being able to teach families. It's hard
to find them.
It was a great day. Elder Fuller is so good at talking with everyone. He is a
finding missionary. That's what he lives to do, find interested people
and new investigators. He plans his whole day around that as soon as he leaves
the apartment he is on the lookout for anyone that he can bless. I was so
impressed. And if any missionary 'labors in the spirit' it is Elder Fuller. He
prays with such intensity. He just wants to invite others to Christ and he begs
the Lord to place people in his path to be invited. I loved being with him. I
want to be more like him. It was interesting. We get denied in Central a lot
and people are rude to us but we dealt with a lot of mean, mean people. Who
actively tried to bring us down. That hasn’t happened in a while. Some people
on the street mocked us and stuff like that. But one guy invited us in and sat
us down on his couch and gave us water and talked to us about our missions.
Then he just started saying horrible things to destroy our faith. He served a
mission long ago but is now an atheist and he tried to convince us that God
doesn't exist and that the church is ruining people's lives. It was a trap. He
was so nice and inviting at first and then he just got hostile. His phrase was,
"That's your opinion. I used to believe that too." Every time we
spoke he said that to us. It was pretty messed up. But good things happened
too! We talked to a ton of people. We taught a lesson to a part member family.
The mom was so, so happy to have the missionaries in her home. You could just tell
that she wanted us to stay there with her family and teach them everything. It
was nice to feel so wanted. We had a good day. I look up to Elder Fuller a lot.
But when the day was done, I was happy to be with Elder Slik again. That night
we talked a lot and both of us reflected on the past year. I set some goals and
wrote down a few of the lessons I've learned since 2012. It was incredible to
think about who I was a year ago and who I am now.
1st 2014! We were going to see Gloria in the morning but she cancelled. We
helped some other missionaries with their bikes. We had lunch with Severina
which was nice. We had a neat experience there. As we pulled up we saw a man
outside the house talking to Severina's son in law. We got the distinct
impression that he was a prepared soul. We said to each other that we were
going to invite him to take the lessons. We walk up to the guy and start
talking and the first thing he tells us is that he is preparing to be baptized!
We were both taken back. He was stopping by just then to invite their family to
the service. His name was Tony and he was an awesome guy. He was so happy to
see Elder Slik and me. He talked to us for the whole lunch about us and our
missions and everything. I love that fire of new converts and investigators who
are progressing to a baptismal date. It's contagious. He was referred by his
boss at work. His boss has been inviting him for six years to investigate. Each
time he said that he wasn't ready. Until; this last time when he was! After
that we walked around trying to find new people because our other lessons fell
through. We sent a lot of referrals to the Spanish sisters. We played
basketball with some kids and then they invited us to come back and pray with
their family. We went back that night and prayed with them and the Spirit was
really strong. They were asking us questions and then they fed us Mexican food
(even though we had just eaten) and invited us to come back the next day. We
had to give the referral to the sisters but we talked them up a lot. It was a
cool experience to touch the life of a whole family. There were like eight
We had MLC which was awesome. It was exactly what I needed. I received answers
to my prayers and have a better idea of what I need to do to find more success
here. We drove up with the Sunrise Zone leaders. It's interesting. I don't have
a lot of zone leader friends. It’s very cliquey at MLC. There are like groups
of missionaries that hang out together. It’s hard to explain. But basically its’
like the clique high school lunch room experience that I never had, very
distinct groups and you know if you're not a part. But it’s okay because Elder
Slik and I are tight and then we are close with the Sunrise ZLs too. It’s
funny. I’ll be able to better explain it in two years. After we taught a lesson
to a member’s boyfriend. It was an interesting lesson, all about the Plan of Salvation.
Then we taught a random dude in the street. He kept telling us that God is love
and that because he has love he is like God. It was interesting and we tried to
set up a return appointment but he wanted us to teach him and pray with him
right then. Then we got a flat tire. Our luck ran quite short hahaha And we had
to do a baptismal interview in my old area. So we walked. The other
missionaries couldn’t give us a ride for whatever reason. So we walked like two
miles in the cold. I'm spoiled okay??? But it was a good one. The woman was
very prepared and I was grateful for the opportunity to feel her spirit and
talk with her about her conversion. I left her with an interesting promise.
That if she read the Book of Mormon every day with her family they would get
baptized and her sons would serve missions. I pray that she reads with
We spent a lot of time planning for our ZTM. We visited a ton of people trying
our hardest to find new people but no one was home. We stopped in to see
Melissa and the Egans were already there. So we taught a lesson with them which
went really well. I like the Egans a lot. It's tough sharing a small, small
ward, but they're awesome. We talked to an interesting man in the afternoon. We
were walking through an apartment complex and this giant fat creature ran at
me. It looked like an ROUS but white and spotted. It made the same sounds and
had the same uneven gait. Ugly. And it’s coming towards me and I'm all
petrified (Buttercup status) because I have no idea what is happening and then
this really tall one armed black man walks out from behind a wall and starts
yelling at the dog monster creature. It stopped and then ran away. I thanked
the guy and noticed that he didn’t have an arm, nor a shoulder, from his neck
down it was just straight. On his other hip he had this enormous (like comically
big) matte black revolver. We started talking to him and he has a really gruff
voice. We talk a little bit about the hard times and then he asks us where our
church was and how he could pay his tithes. I was so surprised. Call me a Pharisee.
I deserve it. But that was cool. A gentle rebuke of judging a book by its cover.
We took out a priest named Spencer who is super cool. He is so prepared, like
so solid and mature and well versed in the scriptures. We took out Brother Martinez
who is awesome as well. So many members that I look up to so much. We met some
So to this point so many things had fallen through. But we were excited because
we had like five appointments set up for Saturday. We started our ZTM which
went really well. We talked about effective planning and preparing our investigators
to have spiritual experiences at church. Then after we got out of the meeting
everyone had cancelled their appointments. Sigh. That was tough. But it was
okay because we got to talk to a lot of cool people that we wouldn't have been
able to if we'd have been inside. We got the transfer doctrine and delivered it
to the other missionaries. We visited some members. I love the members here. I
wish I could just instantly adopt so many of the great qualities of the members
here. I'd get translated in no time!
It was a powerful Sunday in both wards. Elder Slik bore his testimony and so
many members bore theirs after his thanking the both of us for all the work
we've done. It feels like we're both leaving! It's odd. But it was sweet to
hear and feel the love from so many great people. Our appointments on Sunday
fell through too. So we ended the transfer with no one at church and no one
with a baptismal date. It'll be ground zero for when Elder Smith gets here. But
it'll be good. I'm excited to build up this area with him. We burned a shirt
and pants with the Iverson’s. That was weird for so many reasons: one, because
it was a shirt and pants (the symbols of 12 and 18 months) and because Elder Slik
Some shirts and pants we burned at the Iverson's to remember our year and 18 month mark which we hit together.
I love that family and so many others so, so much. I'm grateful for
people loving me and bringing me into their families. Then we visited the Banks.
Then we had a great lesson with Suzie. She's so, so cool. We talked about the Sabbath
day. We might have to pass her to the YSA [Young Single Adult] ward though so
she can make more friends and be better fellowshipped. It's hard to get close
because she a single girl, our age. Sister missionaries might have a better
time helping her.
the spark notes of the week. It's been good, the grind, but good. I love
will be very different without Elder Slik being here. I've grown to feel like
we are a package deal. I hope the members will accept the dream team 2.0!!!!!!
I know they will. Things can only go up from here.
excited to tell you all about the new miracles of this coming week!