Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Almost Easter!


Well, Easter is coming up and it's weird to think that I've also spent Christmas in this area. I'm going to be here for 6 months solid, which is even weirder to think about; a half of a year spent in this area of Northwest Vegas. The weather is incredibly nice right now, and we've definitely been taking advantage of it. We've been doing a lot of bike riding and walking, which helps us get a little bit of much-needed exercise and allows us to talk to as many people as possible. I really enjoy street contacting; it's fun, you meet all sorts of people, and there's no door for them to slam in your face. You do get some people who actually run away, which is always a little amusing. It makes me wonder if they think we're with the police or something...either way. A couple days ago we were walking across the street to talk to some guy in his garage and he saw us coming, stood up and closed the garage door. Stuff like that keeps it all interesting.

Church was really good yesterday; a lot of good testimonies were borne and two people who have been meeting with us showed up, which is always awesome. Elder Biggs and I were able to teach the Gospel Principles class and the lesson was on The Life of Christ. It's fitting that we were to teach that, as that's what I've been studying and focusing on for the past couple weeks. The more and more you read about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the more you understand what a perfect road-map He laid out for us. He is THE example; in how to treat others, how to teach, how to live. Studying the life of the only perfect being to walk the earth has helped me take a look back on how I act and look for areas to improve in. I love progress, and being able to witness my own progression has helped me immensely since being out here. I'm so grateful for these two years of service; I'm loving every day.

Until next week,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dallin, Nick, and Kyler

8 months today.

I'm freakin' out just a little bit as I look back at the last 8 months, the first third of my mission. Last night I was lying awake in bed staring at the ceiling, thinking about how I spent that first third and if I was happy with it. After close review, I'm really happy with how it's been spent. I can't believe that it's been that long already, and it's even harder to believe that when I'm done training Elder Biggs I'll be out for ten months. It's scaring me how fast time is flying by; every second-hand tick from my watch is another second of my mission down the drain. Lately I've been focusing on making every second count. It's either that or buy a new watch.

So I'm sure those of you on Facebook saw, but Dallin, Nick, and Kyler from the U surprised me at dinner! Turns out Dallins grandparents live in Shadow Ridge ward and when we pulled up to dinner, the three of them passed by in Nicks car. My stomach flipped; it was so surreal seeing the three of them walk up to the car, smiling and laughing. It was like two worlds colliding, but it was so incredibly awesome being able to see them. We reminisced on good times and crazy times and made some plans for summer of 2014. I'm so grateful for friends like them; I love you guys, and I'm grateful I was able to share a little bit of my testimony with you. You'll never know how much your friendships and our memories together mean to me.

Teaching and finding has been going pretty well this week; it's strange how our boundaries have been cut down but the teaching pool has grown. I guess it makes total sense; with a smaller region to proselyte in, we're able to pay more attention and devote more time to teaching those within our area. Hopefully some of these potential investigators will feel the Holy Ghost bear witness to them the truth of the message we share and we'll be able to lead them farther down the path to eternal salvation. I love what I'm doing, and I hope you guys are having as much fun as I am.


Kyler, Jesse, Nick, and Dallin in Las Vegas

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Return to Logandale! - for a day

Hey guys!

This week absolutely flew by; I feel like I was in here emailing yesterday. Weeks where we work really hard always seem to pass quickly, and man, did we work hard this week. We had some great experiences contacting earlier this week; found three seperate families that are interested in our message (two from tracting, one from talking on the street) and we're meeting with one at 4:00 today. That's been the kicker, actually; every single person we've found that wants to learn more about our Church can ONLY meet on P-day. I mean, I'm way super grateful to have people to teach (honestly) but we have six other days....I'll stop complaining.

I was able to go back up to Logandale with Elder Steenstra on Saturday to go to a baptism! A kid we had taught named Wyatt was baptised, and it was an awesome service. We got up there a little bit earlier than expected, so we went around and said hi to a lot of the people we missed (unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to get to all of them :(). One of the first stops was at the Guesmans, the family that was baptised up in January that I wasn't able to go see. Visiting with them was the highlight of my week (year). When they told me that they're planning on being sealed together as a family in the Manti, Utah temple, I just about lost it. It's amazing to see a family like this make so much progress and be so happy, and I'm so honored to be used as a vessel for the message and Gospel that's changed their lives, as well as mine.

Our lessons went really well this week; Elder Biggs is a great teacher and surprises me with how much he's learning and how much he already knows. The work is moving forward in our tiny little area of Shadow Ridge ward (3 mile perimeter) and I know it's because of the prayers that we've offered up and the prayers offered in our behalf- thank you.

I hope everything is going just as well down there! I hope the weather is just as nice, too!



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Companion - Elder Biggs


So, this has been a pretty full week! My new companion is Elder Biggs, an 18 year old from Huntsville, Alabama. He spent eleven days (11 DAYS!) in the MTC and now he's out in the field. I'm pretty impressed, especially after looking back in my journal and thinking about where I was eleven days on my mission. He wants to work, which is all I really asked for, so this has been a really great and productive week in this area. This is my first round as senior companion and it's really weird to have to initiate planning and finding situations, especially with the calling of trainer. There's some pretty heavy responsibility on my shoulders now, as it's up to me to demonstrate how a fully functioning missionary should act and perform. I find myself often second-guessing and over-analyzing all of my methods and actions, just in case I'm doing something incorrectly. When I'm not stressing over my example, I'm doing missionary work.

On Saturday a member invited us to breakfast with a friend of his that's interested in learning more about our church (THAT is how it's done). His name is Sammie, and he's an awesome guy; we had a great discussion and an even better breakfast. We actually just came from teaching him the Restoration and it was a really awesome lesson. He feels the Spirit and wants to read from the Book of Mormon and learn how he can have a better relationship with God and Jesus Christ. We're going to go over to his place on Thursday and work out with him, so that ought to be pretty fun. The Hills are progressing really well, and they're great people as well. It's such a blessing to be able to share our message with such a wonderful family.

Everything is going well here in Vegas, the weather is amazing and the work is good. Just a couple weeks and it's going to start getting hot, which is a bummer for a lot of people, but I'm actually looking forward to sweating my face off. This is going to be my only full summer in the mission, so I really hope I'm on bike so I can earn the sweat rings in my white shirts.

I hope everything is going well everywhere else!


Elder Dowdle & Elder Biggs