Sunday, 29 September 2013

Prayer & Prison

Monday, 1st of July 2013

This week Sam had another great week, Sean and Amy Thomason were baptised and confirmed, Sam did the confirmation for Amy. He was a bit nervous before the confirmation, but while he was doing it he felt fine. The Spirit was really strong at the baptism, after church yesterday Sean thanked him and Elder Blanco for knocking on their door. They are going to work with Sean so that he can get the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood as he is ready! Sam finds it amazing how fast they have both progressed, you couldn't tell that they were just baptised as it seems like they have been members for years! 

They had an interesting experience the other day, they were walking in the street and there was someone talking on their phone, as they were walking towards their bikes, he walked up to Sam and Elder Blanco and asked them what religion they were, they told him LDS, he said that he was supposed to go to prison that day for 2 years, but he prayed and somehow he got let off. He wanted to meet with them but unfortunately haven't been able to get back in contact with him. Sam loves how there are all kinds of people in Las Vegas, he thinks its great!

Sam and his family rescued a cat from the RSPCA 2 months before he left for his mission. Hunter, one of the boys who Sam is teaching, his cat had kittens so Sam was excited to see them. You can see how small they really are!

So far Elder Blanco and Sam have taught 13 lessons this week which brings them up to 64 total this transfer, that is more lessons than last! They have set a goal of 1000 doors this transfer, they don't normally do too much tracting so they are going to try and do it more and see if they get any results. They are staying together for another transfer which means Sam will probably hit his 6 months mark in this area. They finally met the NEW Mission President, Brother Ahlander, who is a really funny person who should make a great president! For P-Day they are staying in the apartment, grilling burgers and playing monopoly as it is transfer day there are no one activities.
Sam saw more bees as they had built a hive into the roof of the church, he was talking to the person who was removing them who said that they sometimes get Africanised bees there, but he has never seen them. He showed him his shirt where the bees were trying to sting him, he said the ones in the church were pretty tame, definitely not killer bees which Sam was very pleased to hear!


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A New Direction

Wednesday, 24th of June

This week Sam found out the good news that his sister is expecting a baby! He was so excited and happy. He said when he comes home there will be a 1 year old that he has never met before! He made a joke that runs in the family - he wanted to know if it was a boy or girl so he knows if he will be an aunt or an uncle!
This week has been a great week for Sam, Sean and Amy had their baptismal interviews, all went well and Amy wants him to confirm her. He has never done a confirmation before so he is a little bit nervous.

Another investigator Linda is doing well, she is coming out to church every week and her husband comes quite often too. The only problem they are having is that they can rarely meet with them during the week, they either don't have time or they aren't at home.

Elder Blanco and Sam have got a new investigator called Latonia, she lost her 17 year old son 2 years ago, and it's coming up to his birthday so she's having a hard time. They taught her the plan of salvation which seemed to comfort her, and they had another appointment set up, but she wasn't at home. They have taught 11 lessons this week, 4 investigators and 3 less actives attended sacrament meeting. So far they have taught 51 lessons, it looks like they might be able to beat the number of lessons taught last transfer. This week the mission presidents switch. They will have a 'meet the president meeting' on Friday, then their first interviews with the new president next week.

Elder Harper and Sam had a disagreement about tracting, Elder Harper said it was 'the bread and butter of missionary work', but Sam said it wasn't an effective use of time and that they could focus their efforts elsewhere. There was a special missionary broadcast and they were telling the missionaries that they are going to start using computers now instead of tracting, they will use Facebook and other websites to spread the gospel. Instead of going out to knock on doors, they will use stake centres and use the computers. The whole broadcast was pretty much saying that they shouldn't spend time knocking on doors as times have changed. Everyone uses computers, smart phones and ipads, so missionary work has to change as well. Sam doesn't know exactly how its going to work, but its an exciting change ahead which he is looking forward to.

A couple of nights ago, the missionaries made pancakes. Sam added two types of syrup and a ton of condensed milk to pour over the top of the pancakes. He said it was really nice but felt sick immediately after eating them. 

Sam has realised he needs to take more photos as he saw someone doing sky writing in a plane but he didnt have his camera on him so he missed the opportunity! A photo he did take at home was his a challenge photo, he managed to fit 21 grapes in his mouth! 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Ways of Finding People

Monday, 10th & 17th of June

Sam went on exchanges on Wednesday with another missionary, Elder Chapman. They get on really well together. They taught Shawn & Amy and Sam extended a baptismal commitment to them for June 29th which they happily accepted and they are really excited about being baptised! They are great people and they are progressing really fast. He helped them paint on Saturday and Amy bought them foot long subs for lunch! Sam loved the time he spent and it also kept him out the heat since its starting to hit 110-115°F. He enjoys being outside but only for a few minutes, then it starts to get uncomfortable so he is trying to schedule as many teaching appointments as he can!
Sam has been playing chess a lot lately and he finally beat Elder Harper who is really good and has a lot of experience playing chess. He also bought a Russian Book of Mormon which he is studying, he is in Las Vegas for 2 years so he might as well try and pick up another language while he is out there!

In 16 days Sam will have hit his 3 month mark and then in only 2 transfers time he will be at his 6 months mark! He feels like time is going really quickly over there and he is still enjoying it, even though its really hot!

They have found a new potential investigator in a really unlikely way! On exchanges Elder Blanco gave some rappers a pass along card, they threw it on the ground after he left, but someone else saw the card on the floor, picked it up and called them! She needed some inspiration so she wants them to visit her. Hopefully something will come of it!

For the first time since Sam has been over in Vegas he bought some fruit! It cost him $5 for some grapes so he probably wont be doing that again. For lunch he normally has a bagel with pepper-jack cheese, or a poached egg and chicken noodles. They have a lot of food in the apartment since the members feed them a lot.

With all the heat recently, the worst situation happened in the apartment.... the Air Conditioning broke so it got to nearly 90°F in the apartment! Sam was quick thinking and decided to freeze a bottle of water, wrapped it in a towel and used it as a 'cold water bottle' while he slept.