Thursday, August 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Every Monday is basically Christmas to me. It's like coming downstairs and seeing all of your presents surrounding the tree, only my presents are emails from loved ones. This is only an analogy, by the way; I don't want emails for Christmas.
Hearing from your family really is the best present ever, honestly. It's so nice to sit down on Monday mornings and find out everything is alright; the world just keeps moving on. This past week has absolutely flown by, and I can barely believe I've been out over a month. It's insane.
As far as investigators go, Elder Millar and I got to attend Jasons wedding this past Saturday in one of the local chapels. It was really small but very endearing, and he thanked us for being there. Afterwards, he looked at us, smiled, and said "Next stop, baptism". It's awesome that he's starting to talk about baptism unprompted; we meet with him tomorrow night and hopefully we can nail down a date and start working towards it all. He's a good man who understands the gospel and has gained his own testimony. He just really needs to understand how his faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can help him overcome his addictions; we pray for him daily.
As a mission we fasted on Sunday for finding new investigators, and hopefully something will arise this week. While we were on exchanges a new referral came in, so we're going to check on that come tonight or tomorrow. Our numbers weren't very good for last week (everyone and their mom is out of town) but this next coming week school starts, which means everyone who's here for the long haul will be staying here. A girl that was taught last year is moving back from Wyoming, and she wants to be baptized; her name is Cassidy Jones, so we'll keep you updated on that. I'm in the habit of saying "we" now, so excuse me if that constantly slips out.
I sent the flashdrive today with all the photos. I won't be needing my bike for, at the least, another four weeks. A transfer is every six weeks and I bet I'll be in Logantucky for about another transfer, so I'll be sure to holler if I need a bike. To answer your question Mom, it (the mail) goes to the mission office and then they immediately forward it, so perishables should be fine.
Everything is starting to gel lately, and it's kind of rockin'. I feel comfortable with the area now, can get around pretty well, and have met a large portion of the member base, including all Bishops, the Stake Pres, etc. I'm getting used to life in the field pretty well, too; this past week flew and the MTC craaawwwwlllled along. The district here in Moapa Valley isn't NEARLY as close as my district in the MTC (we're all awesome friends) but we're still really close; one of the Spanish Elders, Elder Perea, calls me hermanito, making him my hermonote. He says I sound like a mexican and asked if I have any hispanic blood; thought that was pretty funny.

Honestly, I had a difficult time at the MTC with every person I passed having a different language on their nametag. It took me about a week to realize that we're all striving for the same purpose, regardless of language. I can come home and learn a language; for these two years, I have to learn and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What an awesome and incredible responsibility. I'm so incredibly grateful and sometimes intimidated with the amount of responsibility I feel, knowing the truth and the goodness of this wonderful Gospel, and having to share it. I pray for the strength to do so every single day.

On Sunday, I walked in to Logandale 3rd ward and a member of the bishopric came up and asked me to be the first speaker. For the first time in my life, I've been 0% prepared; a lot of times I play off like I'm not prepared at all for things like that, but really I map out a plan in my head and I'm ready. This wasn't like that at all. I walked up to the podium with my Book of Mormon and no idea what I was going to say. After getting the congregation laughing with a jab at the plethora of common last names (Leavitts, Waites, Johnsons - the valley is inbred like you cannot beLIEVE), I felt impressed to share a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants, section 100. Ironically enough, it was about opening your mouth to share the Gospel and the Holy Ghost filling your mouth and inspiring your utterances. I challenged the congregation to take that approach to sharing the Gospel with their friends and family, and testified of the truety of those words. Little did they all know, I was gaining that testimony that very moment. Way cool.
I love you guys with everything that I am. Thank you for your messages and testimonies. Don't quit being awesome missionaries just because I'm set apart and full time! The members are the real missionaries.

So much crazy love,

p.s. no one here appreciates great cinema. You know how hard it is for me to communicate when no one has seen The Princess Bride, The Blues Brothers, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?
Sunsets here are awesome
My castle and trusty steed
MTC district on temple day
Tasty rainbow
Studying at the MTC

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