|Elders Ete, Driggs, Dowdle, and Millar|
|Random Elder, Elder Millar, Elder Dowdle|
I guess I'll start off by saying I'm writing this from the family history center in Logandale, Nevada, my first area. I'm in the Mesquite Zone, which is the furthest east the mission goes, as well as the most out in the country; Elder Jesse Millar (my trainer) and I are over the Logandale area, which covers FIVE WARDS, so we're kept pretty busy. Elder Millar has been here for a transfer already, so he knows the area pretty well as well as some members. It's about 45% LDS here, 35% less active and the rest of the nonmember population has been tracted so often in the past 20 years they're very hard to approach, so the work is difficult. We do little to no contacting and work almost completely off of referrals, which are slim. We have three investigators right now, one progressing, and I'll talk more about him in a little bit.
On the hour drive from Vegas, I talked to Elder Millar a lot about the area. Elder Millar and I have been trying a new approach that has led to two more investigators this week. Gaining member trust is extremely important here, and without it we can do virtually nothing. We report to five different Ward Mission Leaders. There are a bunch of quality members here, but it's almost sort of eerie too; the small-town-everybody-knows-everything-about-everyone feel is odd to me. We pulled up to our wonderful homestead: a single-wide trailer on a dirt road haha. I actually love it, though; it's lived in with nice AC and we just installed the shower ourselves, so that's pretty cool, huh? To give you kind of an idea of the lifestyle down here: the Elders Quorum activity in Logandale First ward was Pancakes and Shotguns. We went out to the desert, cooked breakfast and about ten guys shot skeet for a couple hours. Honestly, it was way fun and I was really wishing I could participate.
The one investigator we have that is progressing is a man named Jason VanMiddendorp. He's kind of a hick and in his 40's, and his long time girlfriend is a less active. On our second visit with him, he let us in and started speaking really seriously about what he's been reading. We looked around and he had a Book of Mormon, Gospel Principles, and Restoration packet open and all marked up with highlighters. He was shooting so many questions at us we were struggling to answer them consecutively. He's been praying and reading and feels that it's true and has said he knows he'll go "swimmin'" (be baptized) eventually, but it's the Word of Wisdom that's kicking his butt. He bailed on the 12 step program once before, so we're praying and hoping that he'll find the strength to over come that.
Not much else needs to be reported; I'm loving actually being out in the field and getting things done. I can't believe it's been a week in Logantucky already...it's incredible. I finally downloaded all the pictures to a flashdrive so I'll send that out today or tomorrow. As far as needing things go, I don't think I need these things as bad as I want them: a couple pairs of shorts that aren't basketball shorts, all of dads Peru ties, and (if you feel comfortable) a journal from your mission, dad. I've never gotten to read all through those so I feel like it'd be a testimony booster/really cool to see how you were feeling at my age. 'Tis up to you guys, though.
I love you all so much and I can't wait to hear from you!
Elder Jesse Dowdle
Nevada Las Vegas West Mission
4455 Allen Ln #140
North Las Vegas, Nevada