Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 29

This week we went to the Las Vegas Temple on Monday, so I am writing on Wednesday. The temple was great! We had a special chapel session with President Black and the temple president which was pretty cool. They talked a little about working with the living in place of working with the dead and that being part of the reason that we only go to the temple once every quarter. It was very nice. Hopefully many of my friends will visit the new Kansas City Temple when it opens for public tours in April!

Afterwards, the member who drove us to the temple took us to 5 Guys before going back to the mission (the temple is on the East side of the valley; our mission covers the West side) so that some of the missionaries could try it. It was funny because the English-speaking elders who share our apartment just so happened to have the same thing happen to them. And we also ran into some missionaries from the East mission. Pretty funny experience. The missionaries from the East mission asked if we were new and we kind of just laughed and said nooo, it’s temple day! We thought it was funny cuz there were several of us and we were in their area, so of course we weren’t just new, haha. Good times.

A bit about the zone. We have the most missionaries in the mission at 25, and things are going well. We have 3 districts and all of our district leaders right now are ex-zone leaders, hahaha, so that’s pretty funny. One of them is Elder Ryan Matekal, so for the first time in my mission I see him a lot! haha, crazy how things work out like that. At the moment we have a lot of people set with a baptism date in the zone. Our district has 5-6 (3 ours) another district has around 3 and Matekals district has 18!

Our ward, the 4th Ward is the oldest of the Spanish wards in the valley. The new bishop is doing a great job. Our ward mission leader fortunately is one of the better leaders we have, so that’s helpful. He just came to a great lesson we had last night with a guy named G. who is the only one who is not a member in his family. He is set with a date for the 10th, so tonight we are teaching him again to prepare him for the baptism and everything. His wife is unbelievably happy he is getting baptized! She is super excited to get married in the temple. Our Elders quorum is also pretty good. We have one guy who just got back from his mission in the presidency and he is ready to work and is pushing to get to know all the less actives. There are 3 companionships in the ward because it covers a lot of area and a lot of Hispanics – us, Elders Cedeno and Buchovich, and Elders Farmer and Rodriguez. It’s pretty fun. One great thing the ward does is family home evenings in the church twice a month for whoever wants to come. Great opportunity for recent converts and investigators to get involved. It’s pretty nice. We are also trying to work through the basketball that they play at church too, but we'll see if that goes anywhere.

In addition to G., we are teaching around 5 investigators/households and then about another 4 less active families. We have 3 people with baptism dates right now, but one is going to be a different day because she wants to move it up! That’s always exciting. So we'll see when we set her for. Probably the last weekend in March. We will probably also pick up one more with a date this week, maybe more. We are going to need new investigators quick though because everyone is about to be baptized! hahaa, good reason to need new ones. We'll be pushing for referrals. I think we are going to do a church tour and some other activities to see what we can do to get more people involved.

As zone leaders, we spend about 80% of our time as Spanish missionaries and 20% taking care of stuff. For example, we go the mission each week to enter stats and miles and deal with miles if anybody is over, but fortunately our zone is doing incredibly well on miles and we are going to finish out the month with a bank of around 600 unused miles which is great cuz the mission goes over miles as a whole a lot, haha. And we stop by to pick up supplies or stuff for other missionaries.

So there are signs in all of the ward buildings here for something called the formal for priests and laurels (ages 16-18) and I kept wondering what it was. Just found out that they have a 10-stake priest/laurel dance on the roof of the world convention center next to the strip....the giant building right next to the outlets. That was when I realized how far from church life at home it is here, hahahaha. Oh, and speaking of the outlets, we went there today for P-day. It was pretty fun. We just found out that the other side of the outlets is the mission line there, so it’s in ours and not theirs, haha. We had a pretty good time checking things out. I almost bought a couple things but held back. I’m looking for a white pair of shoes because I’m going to have a missionary tag them for me with sharpies. We have a couple missionaries in the mission right now who are super good and make them custom to whoever wants them. Both are friends, so I’ll have to get it done before I leave!