Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 15, 2011

Yes, I am now a District Leader. District Leaders basically have 2 responsibilities: 1. Collect stats Sunday night and add them up. 2. Give District meetings a couple times a month. Then you have to do a couple more things that nobody else has to/wants to do. I also have to go to leadership training meetings. You can see me at one on Sister Black’s blog. My district is me and Elder Kakau, the English elders we live with (Peters and Altamirano), and the other two missionaries in our ward (Andrews and Sandoval). There are 4 districts in the zone. This district is kind of complicated for how much area it covers because 2 of the companionships are spanMs. So if you count that then we cover our whole zone, and about half of red rock. My district is bigger than my zone, hahaha.

We did make it bowling last week. Actually I didn’t do too bad. I got a 136 and a 139. The 139 was a total choke though. I bowled a 3 on the last frame, hahaha. That’s ok. I think we might go again today. It’s pretty cheap and super fun. $3 for shoe rental but only $1.50 a game. Pretty legit.

Teaching, we had a pretty solid week. We made some good progress with some those we’re teaching. We figured out that Celia hasn't gotten an answer yet because she hasn't asked if the things we are teaching are true or not. We told her you can’t get an answer to a question that you don’t ask, but then she told us that God would tell her when it was the right time to ask. I thought that was pretty unlikely, so I asked her what she normally does when she has a question to ask her father in heaven....she said she asks him....so I asked her, is this really any different? She’s planning on asking now (we think, haha) and is committed to follow the answer she gets, so we're excited for her. We talked to her about how faith is not passive waiting, its active waiting, or it requires action. Its not really faith to sit there and believe that my Father in Heaven will help me get a good grade on a test if I didn't study for it, that’s just hopeful wishing, which isn't going to get you anywhere. Now if I studied hard, I'm entitled to a little help when I ask for it. At least to cut the nerves. So we talked about some of that stuff. It was fun as it always is over there. We also taught Fabi and Humberto for the first time, which was good. Elder Kakau just killed it. He was prompted by the spirit to say some things that I never would have thought of that were fantastic and out of nowhere. Afterward I was like, “Dude, you just take a lesson any time you are going like that cuz that was sick!”

This week Maria called us out of the blue (haven't heard from or been able to contact her for a while now). She called to see if we could come by and to see how we were doing. Turns out she was pretty sick with the flu for a while, which is still a little dangerous for her because she isnt super far off from being cleared of cancer. She still has a hard time when she gets sick, but she is doing great now. She came to church on Sunday with her two little grandkids which was awesome. They got to stay all 3 hours and she really like it. Hopefully we will be setting her with a date very soon now that she’s back on track! Exciting time. I learned that sometimes you just need to keep trying with people even when you can’t get ahold of them. You never know what’s going on or how important showing them that you really do care can be.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Still catching up: August 8, 2011

This week was pretty solid overall. We had a pretty solid amount more lessons this week than we have been having over the last couple. Our district is doing pretty well right now. The English elders we live with (Altamirano and Peters) have 6 baptisms set for this month so far. We are hoping to pull off a couple, but it’s going to be tough. We had a lesson with one of the Marias last night and committed her to pray about being baptized this month specifically, so we are hoping that she will finally be baptized on the 27th after 2 years of investigating, but we'll see. Hopefully she gets her answer and listens to it. We also had a great lesson with Celia this week. We taught her about the plan of salvation because she had a lot of questions about it. It’s cool because the plan of salvation answers most questions anybody has. Everything else in reality is contained inside it.

We also got a couple of new investigators this week. A couple named Blanca and Jose Luis, who were an MTC referral, and Mari, who is a member referral. Blanca and Jose Luis are very active in their church but also very interested in learning more about ours. We are going to take a member couple around their age over to the lesson we have with them on Tuesday night. Mari used to take the lessons back in Colorado and her sister got baptized back there, but then she and her family moved here and lost touch with the missionaries. Fortunately one of her best friends has got to be one of the best member missionaries in all of Las Vegas, so we are now teaching her in her friend’s house, which is fantastic. Oh, and the house is also waaay nice. It’s in the Red Rock Country Club neighborhood, which is like a super, super nice neighborhood. There are gates inside of gates. Some of the houses are unbelievable. Hers isn’t massive, but it’s a pretty good size and its super, super nice. Plus it’s just her. Pretty weird for us. Not used to being in a place that nice. Mari is excited to be starting to take the lessons again, so we are pumped for her too. We also picked up a couple more potential investigators just by going to church Wednesday night and hanging out with the youth playing soccer a little bit. A lot of the guys have chick friends and girl friends who aren't members of our church who come and watch and hang out with some of the members, so we just went and hung and talked to a couple of them. Two are super interested and would like us to teach them. That is how youth activities can work. We just talked to them and chilled a little bit and then we started in about what we do as missionaries and then talked about the church. It was sweet. Our youth are the key to so much missionary work because they have such good programs. We already have 4 recent convert young women in the 4 months. Their all super strong too, which means they help with more missionary work. It’s legit. The girls actually want to go out and teach with the missionaries. Pretty cool. It’s good to see youth getting involved. We have a lot of guys who are around missionary age too, so the ward is starting to work on them a little harder. It’s a good time to be in this ward overall. That’s about the week overall.

We are going to go bowling today, which should be pretty dang fun. More next week!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Catching up: Message from August 2

So here's a fairly typical Sunday in Elder Layton's life -- the story of August 1:

Wake up at 6:30 and head to the living room to read Jesus the Christ a little bit (probably fell asleep for a few minutes doing that) then got some breakfast and hopped in the shower. At 8:00 I start studies (though today these involved a little falling asleep too cuz it was rainy and really hard to stay awake). I prepped a bit for a lesson we were going to have later that day. At 9:00 we were heading out the door to go over to the church for leadership meeting in the ward. We go in this ward cuz our ward mission leader works nights and has a really hard time sleeping from 6:00 am when he gets off and getting up at 9:00am when the meeting starts...understandable, obviously. After the meeting we ran home to grab some stuff quickly and got back a little while before church started at 11:00. In sacrament meeting a couple of our recent converts got to bear their testimonies (give little impromptu talks) before the final speaker, who was a missionary who just got home. It was a good meeting and hopefully was inspiring for people to do missionary work. After that we went to our gospel principals class with our investigators and our amazing teacher Hermano Quintana. The man just has a way of captivating his audience and teaching simply while actually still reading from the book. He does an incredible job. From there we had combined men and women for 5th sunday. We learned about the addiction recovery program from addiction recovery missionaries. It was interesting and really good. The program is incredible and if you put in the effort and have a desire to change, you will change. After that we grabben some lunch. I had some rice and Naan. It was pretty dang good. From lunch we rushed over to the Quintana's house to teach their granddaughter Celia. She is 19 and has been here for about 2 months from Nicaragua. Her little sister is Karen who got baptized a couple months ago now. Celia studied with the Jehovah's Witnesses for about 3 years before coming here and had some questions for us. We had a really good lesson with her (her g-pa helped a lot) and she is now very willing to pray and read the book of Mormon to know if its true. She believes that there is a true church, but just is looking for an answer to which one it is because they all say that they are. She committed to read the Book of Mormon and Pray every day this week. We will be texting and visiting to make sure she keeps up on it. That was actually a really long lesson so we ran straight to dinner (pretty late). It was really good. A chicken curry (served with pinnaple and banana) with rice, salad, and vegetables; it was way good. We rushed from there back to the church to help set up for the baptism of our Elders quorum president's little boy (the bishop had asked us if we could). We helped set everything up and then stayed for the baptism because a few people we needed to talk to (including a potential investigator) had shown up. Afterwards we set up some appointments and talked to our WML for a bit, and then it was time to go pick up the english missionaries and call it a day. Solid day overall. Pretty typical Sunday.