Monday, March 31, 2014

Transfer 16, Week 3, Lakes Zone, Desert Breeze Ward‏

Dear Family, 
So first off, Monday we met with Savannah and we asked her how her reading went. She said that last Saturday she felt the Holy Ghost and she feels like its true. We told her to ask her parents when we could schedule the baptism and she said she would. She seems super excited to get baptized! However... this last Friday we found out that they are getting evicted and they will be moving to a different Zone that the one we cover. So that was pretty depressing. The 2nd person that we have so close to baptism and then moves, in the last 2 weeks! So we were pretty sad about that and this morning (Monday the 31st) we helped Kevin, her dad, and Savannah move out. They will be coming to our ward for a while until they can settle in. We really hope that she continues to progress and that Kevin will want to take the lessons. 

On Tuesday we had a pretty slow day. We had District Meeting in the morning and then we had a good lesson with Armour right after our meeting. We taught him part of the 1st lesson and right after we talked about Joseph Smith he said that he was really tired and hungry since he had not eaten breakfast yet. So we said we will teach the rest of the lesson next time we meet. Teaching him is such a different experience than everyone else I've ever taught. We go over the basic points of the principle that we are teaching, he asks questions that he has, and then when he is ready (done learning about that subject) he turns the page and we move on. I really feel like we are going at his pace and he is really understanding what we are teaching. He came to church on Sunday and he seemed to enjoy it. He darted out at the end of the meeting but Sister Bryan sprinted to go and talk to him (awesome members!). Elder Campbell was able to talk to him and he said he would be back next week. 

So after our lesson with Armour we had to go to the mission office, as we do every week, and by the time that was over it was almost time for dinner. We decided to try to meet one of our potential investigators, Kim and Reese. Before we got to their house we saw this guy walking to his truck. We started talking to him and he said that he goes to another church. He kept talking to us, however, because he said that if he ignored us then we might dust our feet off at him haha. So we continued to talk and he said that he and his wife are separated because he has some things he needs to take care of. I smelt alcohol on his breath when we first talked to him so I just assumed that it was that. I had a prompting to tell him about the addiction recovery program and when they met but I thought it would be too awkward so I didn't. He asked us what our names were and we told him Elder was a title. So he said, "Oh well I guess I'm Elder Gomez!". so we finished talking and started to walk to our potentials house. Then I told Elder Campbell that I had a prompting to tell him about the addiction recovery program. Then I said, 'oh I have to do it now'. So we turned around and walked toward his truck (in which he was sitting at this point) and I told him that I felt that I needed to give him this info about the program. He was appreciative and we headed over to our potentials home. 
They were not home but as we walked out we saw a guy standing outside on his lawn. We waved and started to walk toward him but he went inside his house. As we were walking away we saw him come out and say, 'are you selling anything?'. We walked up and talked to him. He was joking about selling something and he was very familiar with missionaries. He said that his son goes to Spring Valley High school and that he knows a lot of mormons there. He asked for 'Literature' and we gave it to him. He said, 'So is this how I become a member of your church?'. I told him,, pretty much yes, without saying yes. I said that we like to meet with people and teach them, then they can pray and choose for themselves. He agreed and hopefully we can meet with him this week! His name is Dave and he seems very interested! 

Wednesday we did exchanges with one of the District leaders in the Zone. I had the District Leaders 'new missionary' in our area. It was a great day! We taught the Worku family and invited them out to a baptism on Saturday! They came and seemed to have a good time. the person that was getting baptized is from Africa as well so they were able to talk to each other in their native language. The Worku's didn't come to church this week so we will have to get on them about that :) 
We taught Reese and his friend Mario on Wednesday and they were very drunk... so we decided to leave. We invited them to church and they didn't make it. We will keep trying with them though. We think that the mom, Kim, has some good potential to change. 

We had a pretty good exchange but it was a little stressful and not that great of a day. When Elder Campbell and I got together we were talking about our day and just trying to find something to make it better, because our dinner cancelled and they were scheduled to feed us at 8. We 'walk the streets' and talk to people that are outside, which I think is more effective than knocking on someones door. It was getting pretty late and we didn't have any success. It was about 9:00pm and we were heading back to our house. I looked over at one of the houses and saw that the door was open with the screen door shut. I thought that we needed to knock on it but I was like, "Its 9:00, Im not knocking on a door at 9:00 just because its open". Then I looked back and saw that Elder Campbell was starting to stop and look at the door. So I said, "Fine we will knock on it" haha. We knocked and knocked again. Knocked harder and harder because we were determined to talk to this person. She came to the door and we told her who we were and what we do. She said she was not interested but invited us in and gave us water. We left her with our number and she was super nice! I'm glad we knocked on the door! "No effort is wasted!" (PMG chapter 9, I think)

Thursday we had a really good day. We weekly planned and went out to 'walk the streets' before our lesson at 2. We met this really nice lady named Shirley and she was not interested. But we decided to talk to her for a while and then she opened up. she said, "let me tell you a story...". She told us of how she lived in a small town outside of provo, inside a trailer while her husband hunted. She loved the lds people and they were always over giving her fresh fruit and produce. She told her husband that she was going to be a mormon and he said that she needed to read up on it. Well she didn't meet with missionaries and she just read on her own. She found things that she didn't agree with that were pretty deep in our doctrine. So she said that now she doesn't want to get baptized. We invited her to meet with us, she was reluctant. but we gave her our number and she said that she would see us around. 

We met with the Faircloth family, a less active family in the ward, on Thursday evening. We say the daughter Natalia, who is 9, dancing outside on their porch. She does a Michael Jackson impersonation on the Strip on the weekends. She is super good and is getting hired to do some other shows. Hopefully they can start coming to church more. The mom is closing down one of her businesses so hopefully they will have more time now. 

Friday was a terrible day, at first. So there was a sketchy guy driving by our house so we decided to park the car at the house and just walk that day. So we walked a long way on Friday! Talked to a few people but overall not the best day. Friday is when we found out that Savannah, our closest person to baptism is moving. So we were pretty mad and depressed. We decided to keep on walking and up ahead a few blocks we saw this older lady sitting outside and her middle aged son watering the grass. As we were approaching I just thought, "this is not a good day. I'm not in the mood to have to argue with someone or to have to try now. If he gives us any flack I'm just going to say, have a good day, and move on". As we approached and started to talk to him, we realized that he didn't speak very good English but just spoke Spanish. We kept on talking with him and told him that we can have Spanish speaking missionaries come by. He said that would be good because his sister is in the hospital in California. He then came up closer and whispered to us that his sister died at 3:00pm (right now it was about 6) and that he didn't want to tell his mom yet. I pulled out a 'Plan of Salvation' pamphlet and told him that it answers the questions, 'where did I come from, why am I here, and where am I going after this life'. I gave it to him and I said, 'I dont know if this will help because its in English'. to which he said, almost choked up, 'No, It will help a lot."

Saturday was amazing! We had exchanges with the Assistants and as we started the exchange we set a goal to follow all the spiritual promptings that we received. It was Elder Crapo and I.  So we went to the baptism that the Worku family was coming to and did some visits. We received a referral on Friday from the referral system. We went to our appointment that we set up. We parked in front of a random house, a few houses away from the referral. As soon as we parked an Asian woman came out of the house and looked at us. It was super awkward so we decided to just contact the referral. We met him, his name is Jamarius. We sad on one of his cars in his  drive way and we stood and talked. He has a strong belief in God and he really wants to change his life. Its funny because I talked to him in December while we were knocking doors on his street! He said, then, that he had a belief in God but things were going well. However, on Saturday he was totally different. He told us that he is a rapper and recently he has seen that he doesn't want to be involved in that anymore, its a bad environment, and he now see's who his really friends are. We taught him the first lesson and committed him to be baptized in April. He was excited and said he would come to church! 
So as we left we got in the car and I felt like we should knock on the Asian lady's door. I saw Elder Crapo looking at the door and he said, 'Should we knock on it?'. Then I said yep!!! 
We knocked and she speaks no English at all! We used hand motions to communicate and I just happened to have a Chinese Book of Mormon in the car. We gave it to her and she was super excited. She motioned that her grandson would be here later at 6. We told her we would be back at six. So we came back and he interpreted for us and we said we would be back on Sunday at 3. So we came back and sat down with them. We told her, through her grandson, about the book of mormon and asked her how she felt when she read the first page. She said she felt happy when she read it. We committed her to read the first chapter and told her that we will be back with Chinese pamphlets. We will be going over on Tuesday. 
We were also able to find someone else and set up a time to meet with them on Tuesday. Her name is Theresa and we were glad that we talked to her!
We had dinner at 5 Guys burgers and this lady that worked there asked us why her daughter cant date this lds kid at school. Her daughter asked her, 'Whats the difference between me and a mormon?"  So we got her information and told her that our message should clear that up. we will be sending missionaries to her. She lives in one of my previous areas in the Red Rock Zone.

So Sunday! Jamarius was 20 minutes early to church! Armour came! Savannah and her dad came! It was great! Oh and also Ali, the girl that we taught the first discussion to last week. We will be passing her off to some other Elders in the Zone. 
Jamarius, in Gospel Principles, was so great! He says so much and he is just looking for truth and absorbing it all! Brother Jolley, the teacher, asked him what the difference was if you had the priesthood or not and Jamarius said, "Well If I as a regular person try to share the gospel with my friends then I wont be as effective. But if I had the priesthood the message will get across to them." (paraphrased) He asked us, "Am I still scheduled to be baptized in April?" he is so excited to be baptized! 
So we were walking in an apartment complex and we met with one girl who said we could come back sometime... and then Natalia Faircloth was randomly there and said hey elders! She was over at her friends house and we were able to talk to the mom. We are going back on Thursday and the Mom, Gina, Said they would come to church. 
We are so excited! As we talk with everyone the Lord trusts us to meet the people we need to! 

Former Elder Ben Manning came to town and it was great to see him! 

Well.. I think Thats about it for this week! I look forward to a great next few weeks!!!
Elder John 
"Yes there are real costs associated with meekness. A significant down payment must be made. But it can come from our sufficient supply of pride." -Elder Neal A. Maxwell
"I find that when I get casual in my relationship with Divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no Divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and spirituality returns" -Spencer W. Kimball 

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