Monday, June 24, 2013

New Mission President and new approach to Missionary work

Hey there!

First off, how about that missionary broadcast? If you didn't get to watch it, here's a summary of what went down -
I'm pretty amazed at some of the changes already that are going to be phased in within the next year- iPads, Facebook, guided meetinghouse tours. Elder Holland said it himself, "there will continually be improvements in the way we perform missionary work". It's going to be really interesting to see how it continues to change as the world changes. Blows my mind. 

President and Sister Black came to our District Meeting this past Tuesday, and that's probably the last time we're going to see them before they head back to Sandy, UT. I'm amazed at how quietly they're going to make their exit; no fanfare, no banquet. He just hands over the phone and keys to President Ahlander and off they go. I'm incredibly grateful for the past year I've had to serve under President Black, and it's going to be odd to see him go. He leaves the 27th and then we have a "Meet the President" meeting on the 28th. That'll be the first time the entire mission has been together since Christmas, so that'll be fun. All of these changes are odd, but exciting; this next year should be a lot of fun. One year with Black, another with Ahlander...a pretty even spread. 

We've been helping the rest of our zone get ready for this next transfer, as almost everyone is moving. We'll be moving out of the Bryan's :( and into our stake presidents house, President Teshima. A lot of changes, and all of them good. By the next time we talk, I'll have met and interviewed with the new mission president and it'll be July. Time is FLYING.

Love you all so much!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A very busy week!!

Hey, everyone!

So, every missionary (every good missionary) carries and uses their daily planner. In the back of the planner, there are pages for notes, stats for the transfer, and phone numbers. There's also a couple pages titled "Potential Investigators", where we write down the names, numbers, addresses, and some notes for people we find that are interested and want to hear more. I've NEVER had my potential investigator section as full as it is right now! We've been so blessed with a lot of finding success this week, and it's made for a very fun and busy week. I mentioned our running tracting technique last week, but now I get to tell you how effective it's been. We've met some of the most interesting people (Bugs Bunny reference) as of late; because you're running, you don't have time to think "that guy looks scary, let's not talk to him". This being said, we ran up and talked to a guy that we wouldn't have otherwise. His name is Tony, and is just about the spitting image of Joey from "Friends". When we ran up to him, he was wearing a wifebeater, had a cigarette in one hand, a screwdriver (?) in the other, one foot on the tire of his car, hair slicked back, actually from the Bronx haha. This being said, it surprised us when he told us he was very interested, wanted to come to church, and took every bit of proselyting material we had. We're visiting him again this week. That's just one example of the fun and success we've been having this week.
We've also started teaching a woman who lives across the street from one of our members. The whole reason she became interested was because she noticed how loving and happy the family across the street always seemed, and she wanted to know their secret. That's how easy missionary work can be. We should always be striving to share the gospel with our friends, but sometimes the loudest message can be the way we act and the way people feel around us. Someone is always watching, especially when they know you're LDS; set the best example and show the "fruits" of living and knowing the true, restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Next week ought to be a good one...can't believe it'll be 11 months tomorrow! I also can't believe I've been in this part of Vegas for a month now, time flies. I love you all and hope you had a happy fathers day!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Speed the heat

Holy cow, what a long week!

Seriously, it feels like years since I've last sat down at a computer and read your emails. I'm really not sure what it is about certain weeks that make them feel like decades or like minutes. I'm sure by the time I figure that out, I'll be on a Delta flight back to George Bush Intercontinental. Such is life.

This past P-day was a lot of fun; we spent the day at a members house in one of the wards in our stake. All my life, I thought the houses on Lake Woodlands were the biggest I'd ever see...until we went to Bro. Yamagata's place. Absolutely insane. One story of his house was a garage filled with Bentley's, Ferrari's, etc. The basement had a basketball court, racquetball court, pool table, etc, etc. He had his personal chef (I know, right?) cook our fourteen-member zone a lunch. I've never been one to dream about having mass amounts of money (especially with music as my future career), but p-day made me rethink a lot of things...anywho. Had a great district meeting on Tuesday; it's getting a bit easier to stand up in front of the zone every week. 

Wednesday was a trip. It was our Mission Leadership Council, where all of the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders (new thing) meet with President and Sister Black and the assistants and discuss policy/concerns, and have a training. I was really, really nervous, especially since we had been assigned to do a roleplay on "Teaching for Understanding" in front of all of these older and more experienced missionaries (AND President Black). We ended up doing pretty well, though; we made it fun and did a roleplay instead on what NOT to do. Laughter always settles the nerves. Seeing as it was President and Sister Blacks last MLC, they bore their testimonies and it was a pretty emotional meeting. Just glad that's not coming up for a while, now.

As far as the work goes, this was kind of a bummer week. We were cancelled on with just about every lesson we had planned. People were busy, Leo was out of town, everyone was gone. So, instead, we went tracting for hours and hours in the 110 degree heat. I LOVE knocking doors, I really do. We've been running in between houses to 1) speed up the process, 2) make ourselves look pitiful at the door and 3) pique some interest. It's been working! We got some return appointments and are excited to check on them this upcoming week. Today for P-day we organized some laser tag, so that ought to be fun. Thanks for your letters and your love! Stay cool!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Some cheesy DVD's

Hey guys!

So, I was about halfway through this letter to you before I realized I had been typing in all caps. I almost left it like that, but when I read it back it sounded too much like I was yelling at you through email, so I fixed it.

It's only been a couple of days since I've emailed last, yet it still feels like a full week has passed. Time seems to both fly AND slow down when you're busy...I know, I wish it made more sense, too. We've been busy trying to fill our planners to the best of our ability and really making sure our zone is doing well. We started a DVD challenge in our zone, something Elder Torgersen had done in his last area. What we're doing is we're taking all of the DVD's that nobody uses from the mission office and handing them out to all of the companionships in the zone. They get points for each DVD they hand out to someone, and the companionship with the most DVD points at the end of the month gets taken out to us :(. It's a great way to encourage everybody to go out and talk with everyone; people they pass on the street, sit next to on buses, their servers at restaraunts. The catch? All of the DVD's that aren't used at the mission office aren't used because they're super, reeeallly cheesy. We're talkin' 1985 cheesy. But still, we're helping them out by getting rid of them and it's helping us out by getting us to talk to everyone we see. Even if it is going to cost Elder Torgersen and I an extra lunch :(

We started teaching this 10 year old boy who, basically, referred himself. He's an awesome kid who went to the St.George visitors center and wanted to learn more. His parents are totally okay with him having us over and are starting to get a little curious themselves. I've never met such a mature, intelligent kid; it gives me hope for our country's future, as weird as that sounds. We need more kids like him out there. Anyways, getting a lot of teaching opportunities and staying busy out here! Starting to get a little hot, but it's summer; what can you expect? I love you guys and hope everything is going alright down there!