So let’s start right when I got here. So I got lost in the airport. Haha pretty embarrassing. I actually had the two other Spanish speakers with me and we had to catch a shuttle all the way back to the baggage claim we actually wanted to be at. I felt slightly bad that everyone had to wait for us, but tender mercy: we actually met a really cool member of the church on the shuttle – he spoke Spanish and he was super nice. I thought it was pretty cool that the very first person that we met was a member. Sadly he lives in the Las Vegas West Mission boundaries, but it was still a fun experience! I practiced my Spanish with him a bit.
And then I met President Neider! I’m really excited to serve with him as my Mission President. We spent pretty much all of the first day at his house. We got introduced to what the mission is all about and what not, and just got all of the info that we’ll need to do good work out here. We got to get to know a little the other missionaries who were entering the mission, and something fun: one of the Sisters waiting for a visa to Brazil was in my freshman ward at BYU! And then we took a nap – which was pretty funny, since we had 27 missionaries scattered around a house sprawled out wherever was available.
And then at 4pm we learned who our trainers would be! Mine is Hermana Nieto, and we serve in the Central Zone: Montebello East! I love it. Something fun: we live just a block away from the Las Vegas Temple! You can see it in all it’s glory from our driveway. I should have taken a picture, but maybe I will send one next week! One of these days me and my companion are going to go around the neighborhood and look at all the really cool expensive houses that we live by.
That night we went straight to dinner at 5, and in the Spanish wards you do everything with your District (you share the same ward).
Teaching people is so awesome. I just love it. On Saturday we actually had a baptism!! I only actually taught her twice (just preparing her for baptismal interview and whatnot), but it was such a cool experience to see this sister accept Christ into her life, and to really see how important this work is. Her story is that she actually came looking for the church (her sister and daughter are members) – she just showed up at the chapel one day and asked if she could join type of thing! Then they referred her to the missionaries, and the rest is history. We are actually teaching her other daughter right now.
All of the people we are teaching are at varying stages in their journeys, which is exciting to see how everyone has their different paths and time frames. We actually recently started teaching a brother who really struggles with smoking. His wife has already been baptized and her faith is just so strong. We are trying to work with him so that they can eventually be sealed in the temple.
Someone else we are teaching is actually a less active, but I think that it’s just as exciting to teach her as it is to teach an investigator. This sister hasn’t gone to church for years, but her sister invited her to see her give a talk, and now she comes to church regularly and wants to relearn the lessons. We’ve only taught her one lesson so far, and she lives with a nonmember, so we are going to see where that leads as well! They are both really awesome.
I think one of the coolest experiences I have had here is that there was one investigator who has been taught for 9 months and has never really committed. We went to go let her know that we wouldn’t be visiting for a while, and you could just tell that she was really disappointed to hear that. We testified to her that the peace that she feels when the missionaries come is the Holy Spirit, and that she can have that Spirit bless her family if she keeps the commandments. You could just feel the Spirit so strong in that room. I am so excited to keep teaching her! I felt really good about her and that she is ready to progress.
We don’t have many progressing investigators, just two more, but we are really working right now to get some more investigators. Our boundaries got entirely changed for our area, so we have been looking at the Area Book a lot, and getting to know people. I’ve knocked on a lot of doors! Everyone has been super nice to us, and I’m excited to get to know them all a lot more.
I hope everything is going well at home! I miss everyone, but I’m excited to make the Montebello Ward my family for the next 12 or so weeks!