Sunday, 30 June 2013

3 x 3 x 3

Monday, May 6th 2013

This week has been a great week for Sam, he had a great experience when he was out knocking doors. He does this thing called 3 x 3 x 3, where he tries to visit a less active family, if they aren't home then he will knock on the 3 doors to the left, 3 doors to the right and 3 doors on the opposite side of the street.

Him and his companion started knocking on the doors and on house that Sam knocked on a lady called Annie answered the doors, she told him that she was Catholic and went to a different church, she said she couldn't speak with them because her daughter was crying, but they could come back the next day to talk more with her. They finished off the 3 x 3 x 3 and as they were unlocking their bikes a car pulled up near them. Sam said to Elder Blanco that they should go and talk to them but it turned out to be Annie! She said she had been looking all over for them, then she started crying and told them that 10 minutes before they knocked on her door, she found out her mother had died (which is why her daughter was crying) her daughter then asked her why she didn't invite them in, because what they had to say would probably make her feel better.  She realised her daughter was right, so she got into her car and started looking for Sam and his companion. She gave them apples and water which was nice and they explained to her that their message would make her feel batter and comfort her, and they confirmed the appointment for the next day!
Sam said it was an amazing experience, and it goes to show that Heavenly Father really does prepare people to receive the message of the restored gospel. They haven't been able to contact her yet, since she had a family emergency (which is to be expected) but they are definitely going to follow up ASAP!
He also had another good experience last night, him and Elder Blanco were riding home and Sam hit something on the road, he had no idea what it was, but he got pinch flat (flat tyre) LIterally 20 seconds later some members from another ward pulled up and asked if they would like some brownies. Elder Blanco told them Sam had just punctured his tyre, luckily the family lived 2 minutes away, so the husband dropped his wife off at home and came back to pick them up. They both had to share one seat which was funny, but the timing was so perfect it was like something from a movie!

This week Sam also had the baptism of Hunter and Connery Hardcastle! Sam was asked to give the opening prayer and Elder Blanco was asked to talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost. Sam said it was a great baptismal service, and a lot of people were crying. The chapel they were in looked like it had no money spent on it, there was no hot water for the font, so they had to boil pans of water and tip them into the font. (In this photo Sam is obviously much taller than Hunter so he was trying to squat so he didn't have to lift his arm so high but he was too tall!)

After the baptism they helped one of their investigators Adrian move in with his room-mate. Her stuff was made out of granite, and it was really heavy, but luckily they had lifting belts which made everything a lot easier. It was still really hard work for them though, it would have been impossible to move the stuff without it! Adrian bought them a Hawaiian BBQ which was really nice of him, it took them from 2:30pm-7:30pm to move all of the stuff, then immediately afterwards they had to go to another house and pull weeds for another 90 minutes! It was a great day of service for them and Sam felt like they had really bonded with Adrian and got to know him much better!

On Friday Sam and his companion got to help out at the Nevada Special Olympics, they were there from 7am until 1pm. Sam was in charge of gathering together the people who were competing, guiding them to the check-in, then to their sears, then to the track. It was another great experience for Sam, it was a really hot day as well which he loved!


Sam was teaching Hunter at a members house called Brother Law, he brought down a lizard and a snake! Sam said it was one of the easiest snakes to handle, it pretty much just sat in his hand. Also in the background of this photo you can see a wooden Facsimile from the book of Abraham!

Even though all week was a great week for Sam and Elder Blanco, they did have some bad news! One of their investigators Devonte, told them he didn't want them to visit him anymore and another investigator Pedro, decided he was more comfortable at his own church. Overall the experiences he had this week had more than made up for that!

 Sam wants to let everyone know that he loves his mission more and more, he actually sometimes forgets he is on a mission as its just what he does now!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Guns and Gifts

Monday, April 29th 2013

Sam has a target of 20 lessons per week, this includes investigators, less actives part member families and member families. This week he taught 5 lessons to investigators with a member present, 3 other lessons with investigators, 4 lessons to less actives and 4 member lessons for a total of 16 lessons, that is the most he has taught so far! The attendance for his ward is 250 members a week and the support from the members is amazing! They help him out so much with meals and member missionary work, Sam loves getting to know the members in the area.

Sam loves the view from his apartment because you can see for miles, at a night time it looks amazing because there is a hotel/casino which fires a beam of light up into the sky which you can see from miles around.

He was excited to hear that his sister was on a big TV screen in London at Charing Cross for the Mormon video, he had met a girl who was in one of the Mormon Message videos that will be coming out soon! He also met Elder Christianson from 'The District 2'.

Also, some of his British terminology is rubbing off on his companion Elder Blanco, he called the vacuum cleaner a hoover the other day, so he was happy about that! Sam confirmed to us that he is NOT becoming American, he is still using a knife when he eats!

The temperature is in the 90's now so its really hot but he has found that if he wears long sleeve shirts it works better than short sleeves since he doesn't burn. It doesn't matter how much sun block he uses, the sun still burns him!

Sam has a short meeting every week with his companion, Elder Weekes and Elder Harper (the other 2 missionaries who stay with them) and the meeting is called 'Gratitude and Compliments' this is where each person says something they are grateful for and give each person a compliment, Sam finds it pretty funny but Elder Harper is the only person who gets his sense of humour.

Elder Blanco said its great to see how happy Sam is on his mission and that it rubs off on him and keeps him going as well, because he said he really struggled for the first week of his mission and he was depressed but he is happy to see how Sam has adjusted really well to mission life. Sam is really loving it out there and it already in his 4th week, he will be in the same area for 12 weeks in total but probably 18 weeks before he is transferred.

Sam was teaching a recently reactivated person called Austin, he is a prison guard and was telling Sam that there was a fight in the prison, people had razor blades, mops, dust pans, whatever they could get their hands on. He told him that is not part of his job to risk his life, so if somebody is going to get killed there is nothing he can do, that is part of the price they pay for being an inmate! He then asked Sam if he wanted to see the guns he had, Sam told him he had never held a real gun before, so he handed him a revolver and showed him how you get the barrel to come out. He then handed him two 9mm pistols so he could have a photo taken, its funny how casual people are about guns!

They also visited the Kalina family, their daughter who is about 6 or 7 gave Sam and Elder Blanco a copy of the Book of Mormon as a gift, Sam didn't realise until he got home that she had written inside an experience she had. Sam said he will give it to her Dad to keep since its something he probably wants to keep a hold of!

Overall, it was a fantastic week!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Whats that?!?

Monday, April 22nd 2013

Sam has had a lot more success this week than last. He has taught 12 lessons and even got a new investigator! It was the guy named Devonte who they tracted into last week. He told them he used to be Pentecostal, but he has since stopped going to church and is looking for something new, but he isn't sure what. The good news is that he is really receptive to the message about the restoration and he even accepted a Book of Mormon. They will be visiting him again in two weeks time!

Sam is also teaching two boys called Hunter and Connery, Hunter is 11 and Connery is a bit older. Sam gets on really well with Hunter, he likes Sam's accent and he plays Minecraft all the time so they have a lot to talk about. It seems as though he doesn't pay attention during the lessons but then suddenly he says things which show he actually is!

Sam and his companion were walking with Hunter to a members house to teach him, since it helps him concentrate better, and on the way they saw something hanging from the was a HUGE beehive!

Sam also visited a guy called Jim Davenport, he is a veteran from the Korean war, he lost both his legs and was in the marines, he said he was in G3. Sam said he was the most interesting person he had ever talked to, in fact, he could have talked to him all day! He just has had so many experiences he could write a book (which Sam thinks he might have already) He is also an amazing artist, he showed Sam one of his drawings of a pub he visited in Ireland, he did it in pen as well which made it even more impressive. 

Sam visited a family who had him and his companion over for dinner, Brother Russell, he has a degree in Physics and Astrophysics, he is from Birmingham so it was nice for Sam to hear a British accent! Of course they talked a lot but about science and religion, Sam thought it was great that he was able to discuss the Schrodinger equation and the n-body problem over dinner!!!

Sam found something interesting that he noticed in his scripture study, in the Book of Moses, when Moses tries to cast out Satan, on the first two attempts it didn't work, but on the third he did it in the name of Jesus Christ and then Satan was forced to depart, Sam thought that it was pretty interesting.

Since the area Sam is in is a cycling area, this means he has to cycle in his suit in the hot weather, but the area is pretty small so not too much cycling to do! This is the area he has to cycle.