Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Week 40 - The Worst Transfer Ever (Also The Best!)

Hola Mis Amigos,

So first off, let's just insert the "Haven't written email, very sorry" paragraph right here.

And on to the more important things!

So this transfer was literally the worst transfer I have ever been through and that's not because we were biking! The first week of the transfer was us dying from riding around the entire stake each day and trying to learn how to not get hit by cars and also me being sick. The second week my bike broke and we then walked around the entire stake for a week and saw a few guns pulled out when we were nearby. The third week I got super sick and Elder Manrique's bike broke and he then ripped two pairs of pants in one day. The fourth week Elder Manrique was sick and dying and I almost got hit by a car daily. Except for the time that the car actually did hit me! The fifth week we got sick again and Elder Manrique absolutely wrecked his knee when he crashed for the fourth time that week. The sixth and final week we only encounted two creepy guys that made us want to run.

And that doesn't even begin to include all the other accidents and things that happened to us.

But I have never had so much fun in a transfer though.

This past transfer was absolutely insane, but we laughed way harder than ever at everything that happened. We have never been closer to the members or our investigators here. It was so lit.

We also had Elder Clark of the Seventy come and see us and the great part is that one suit (My favorite onešŸ˜”) got mixed up in a dry cleaning accident and sent to the Strip. I think it is at the Bellagio? Maybe Ceasers Palace? And my other suit pants were still being cleaned. So we went to the meeting in sweaters! It was great because everyone else had their suits on except for Elder Manrique and I. Manrique wore a sweater in support of his companion (me), so talk about companion unity right there. Our President was very impressed by that. Hopefully the Seventy was too.

Our fourth week we also painted a members house for two days and got the most service hours in the mission.

But the members were so amazing to us this transfer! They helped out so much when we were sick and had broken our bikes, or in the case of Manrique, wrecked his knee. They gave us a ton of medicine and help and love and now we have our Cuatro Madres of the ParaĆ­so ward.

It was an amazing transfer here in ParaĆ­so, but sadly we recieved transfer calls last night...

So they are shutting down ParaĆ­so 1 and Elder Manrique and I are being double transferred tomorrow. He will go to the Montebello ward where I was and I'll be going to Anthem to an English ward...

I'm very very sad about that because I absolutely love Latino wards. So no more Spanish food every night or even speaking Spanish at all.

But I am going to Anthem with one of my best friends from the mission Elder Rivero! He has been in ParaĆ­so as long as I have and we are now going to be comps! We were so surprised when they told us that!

So yeah it's been a good run here in ParaĆ­so and Spanish altogether, but now it is time to go baptize some white people!

Until Next Time!
Elder Lawson

Inline image 1 Inline image 2 Inline image 3 Inline image 5

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 35 - Three-Packing It, El Face, and Crazy Stuff

Ayeee!

So a TON has happened since my last email!

First, Elder Manrique had his birthday the 19th of October and mine was the 21st, so we were so super trunky that week. It was pretty difficult, but our investigators and the members gave us like two different cakes and it was amazing!

We later had a baptism on the 28th of Leo. He is a part-member family that we tracted into a while back and we are working on his dad! His parents aren't married, so we are going to have a wedding soon (we are super excited for that) and hopefully a baptism right afterwards.

The other Elders (Rivero and Tolman) received a trainee straight from the MTC. His name is Elder Ramirez. He came in the middle of the transfer and was supposed to go to the Michigan Lansing Mission Spanish speaking, but he can't fly until his DACA gets put through, so they sent him to a better mission for now! We were surprised when they pulled up in their car with a third person in the back and they had a missionary nametag on. So then they three-packed it for half of a transfer. It was a lit three-pack.

We had transfers at the beginning of the month and everyone stayed in ParaĆ­so, except for Elder Tolman. He went to an English ward as a Zone Leader. We also had our cars taken away (because good ideas, right?) and so we have been biking all this past week. The AP's decided that our areas are bike-able. Let me tell you that the United States is also bike-able if we are going to put it into that perspective. We spend more than half our day biking from place to place now instead of knocking doors and finding new people. Rest in peace the effectiveness of the ParaĆ­so missionaries.

¡CRAZIEST THING HAPPENED WEDNESDAY!

So one of Elder Manrique's recent converts from his old area, El Rancho, took us to dinner that night at Olive Garden. We had to bike there, so we arrived early and went to sit down inside. While waiting at the booth for the members to show up, this random SINGLE misionary in a suit and a Spanish nametag and everything slides in across from us and starts asking us what ward we are from and just talking normally like we know each other!

I was super confused because we don't have an Elder Lambert in our mission and let alone a Spanish missionary with that name. We started our investigation of this mysterious new person and found out that he had literally just come from the airport two hours earlier. That morning he had finished his mission in YucatƔn, MƩxico and had gone straight with his family to dinner before going back to Kingman, AZ to be released.

He told us that he felt super uncomfortable being back home and with his family and (literally almost crying telling us) that we had answered his prayer by being there. We started exchanging info about our missions. He told us how he had been walking everywhere for the past two years and the idea of having a bike was unimaginable in his mission. We were pretty freaking humbled to hear that because literally right before we were complaing about having to bike 30+ miles each day.

The members eventually showed up and Elder Lambert had to go with his family back to Kingman to get released. It was one of the craziest things that I have experienced so far. So yeah it was pretty intense.

Also Oliver Garden was fantastic.

Also last week an Elder in our Stake gave me a really bad haircut (Worse than the MTC).

Also we were sick these past few days.

Also got stopped while biking by this homie who was drunk.

Also everyone in the mission will get Facebook on our tablets on Tuesday.

Also we taught repentance and baptized converts

That's All Folks!
Elder Lawson

Pics:
1. Found a Less-Actives baptismal certificate that we needed to recreate their membership
2. Birthday french fries on my birthday
3. Leo's Baptism!
4. District Photo!












Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 32 - A Dunk, A Witch, And A Birthday

Hey,

This past week was pretty good.

We had some days of straight lessons and those went super well. Tuesday the other companionship had a baptism of a guy named Juan. His work schedule is odd and so we had the baptism at one that afternoon. Including all the members and missionaries, the total attendance was a strong seven of us.

Although the attendance was small it was still a really awesome time.

Then on Wednesday we got to have dinner with the Murrillo family! We met together at some hole-in-the-wall pizza place in our area. It was super awesome and they are doing so well!

We were tracting this week in an apartment complex that has never been touched by the previous missionaries and we knocked on this door of a lady who seemed slightly irritated (Like most people) that we were there. She told us that she was Wiccan and that she practices witchcraft. She was very proud in telling us that she does rituals and sorcery. I don't think that she would be very proud about what she does if she was living in Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1692.

The really disappointing part of the encounter was that her Halloween decorations were really lame. Kinda expect more from a witch...

Also fun fact! Since marijuana is practically legal in Nevada now the amount of people who hold a current medical marijuana card has drastically decreased. It's really comforting to know that after July 1st the amount of people with glaucoma and insomnia somehow got healed.

Friday we went over to our investigators house and she was super busy preparing for her sons birthday party the next day so we helped her prepare and I got to make a cake and cupcakes! We went back the next day witha present and some ice cream that we told her we would bring. 10/10 birthday party preparations.

So it was a pretty productive week.

Until Next Week,
Elder Lawson

   

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 31 - Dunks, Comps, And The Las Vegas Massacre

Hey,

So it has been a solid three weeks since I have sent an email (feelsbadman), but that just means I can tell you all that has gone on!

So first of all we had transfers a few weeks back and I got Elder Manrique as my new companion. He was born in Peru and has lived in the US (Orem, Utah) for most of his life; so he is pretty Americanized. We immediately started that grind and since then have had three baptisms! So the area of ParaĆ­so 1 has been straight fuego for the past little while. That is also my excuse for not writing anything.

We knocked on this white-guy's door about two weeks ago and he proceeded to tell us that God doesn't exist because there are six million starving kids in the world and how could a God put children through something like that, especially because it was the worst way to die. My first reaction was in thinking that some of the stuff that the Aztecs did to their enemies or things that happened during the Holy Wars were some of the worst ways to die, but that is sorely opinionated I guess. Also we tried to explainour purpose here, but he told us to come back when we had proof of anything. So a few days later we dropped a Book of Mormon on his doorstep as proof and left (He wasn't home) to continue the search for new people.

Also like last week the Las Vegas Massacre happened in our stake boundaries. We actually went over by the Luxor, about four days before, while on exchanges to take pictures in front of it. We drove past the set-up for the concert and everything.

A few days later we had Zone Conference and before we went to the hospital to give a lady a blessing. She had been at the concert and was shot in three different places. A man in another ward in our stake was also shot. The doctors took him off of life support a few days prior...

We talked to some of the doctors and they said that the hallways and walls had been covered in blood the Monday morning off the shooting. So that was sorta intense.

On a better note we had three baptisms on Saturday. The Melo family had been in-active for seventeen years and we re-activated them, but couldn't find their records so we had to baptize them again.

So the area of ParaĆ­so 1 is starting to progress and everything is going well.

Until Next Week,
Elder Lawson

Photos:
1. Me by The Luxor. You can see the fence and lights in front of The Luxor
2. Us at our baptism
3. Baptisms again
4. The shirts we got for P-day














Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Week 29 - Transfers, Fiestas, and Not Knowing Spanish

Helloo,

It was a pretty solid week. We had some super lit lessons with people and some not so lit lessons with other people. So I guess you could say that it was another week in the mission.

So this past week I have been trying to help Elder Lewis improve his Spanish and Tuesday night we were tracting through a neighborhood and Elder Lewis started talking to a lady who opened the door for us. I had the wonderful idea of pretending to not know Spanish and being super timid about speaking (without warning my companion that I was going to do so) and had a great time trying to speak super terrible Spanish. Well my companion totally managed his way through teaching most of the lesson on his own and the people loved it! He set up a return appointment with them and did practically everything by himself!

We biked on Friday which was pretty good. We had some people yell some "adult" words at us, but hey if that is how they feel better about themselves then I guess so be it. We also had a ward party and the members did some really cool dance stuff. I have no idea what they are called, but one of them did involve pineapples so that was kinda strange.

Today we found out transfers and I'll be staying in ParaĆ­so for a third transfer and I'll be getting Elder Manrique. He came in the next transfer after I came to Vegas, so I'm super excited to see what will happen this next transfer.

And that's pretty much all I have to say.

Until Next Week,
Elder Lawson

Pictures:
1. Members gave us money for dinner and they wrote on the envelope the most amazing thing
2. RIP Elder Lewis

 




Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 28 - Racists, Rain, and Facebook

Hey,

So this week was pretty decent.

We had some people yell at us on the street and then on Saturday this one dude literally backed up his car to tell us we were racist. When explained to him that no we in fact are not and that the church is actually pretty big over in Africa. He replied with, "Well they just confused and ain't know what they doin'.", but with much more vulgarity. He then continued to get into an argument with a lady, who accused him of breaking into her car earlier that week, and in turn used a lot more "adult" words. That is when we made our exit.

Later as we were walking back to our car it started to rain. Luckily our car was a twenty minute walk from where we were...

We ended up being super soaked by the time we got to our car and our investigator David was very surprised to see our condition when we knocked on his door. Being drenched definitely made it a lot easier to get into our investigators house. That totally didn't make it less uncomfortable though.

Yesterday we also got to hangout in Primary again because we had some more investigators who brought their kids. I used to think that Primary was super boring as a kid (which it was), but now as a missionary who can't go anymore, except for special occasions, I have realized just how much fun it is. I'm still learning a ton of children's songs in Spanish, but hopefullyI'll have some down soon enough.

Also a few days ago we learned that President Youngblood has authorized Facebook for our mission so within the next few weeks we should start being able to use it. I still haven't decided whether or not to use it, but we will seešŸ¤”

Until Next Week,
Elder Lawson

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 27 - A Miracle, A Stripper, and Chapel Issues

Hey,

So it's been a moment since I have given an update on the condition of Las Vegas, but as of the time of writing this Vegas is still very hot, dusty, and of course sinful as always!

The most eventful stuff that has been going on recently deals a lot with the church buildings. The buildings are wonderful spots for high schoolers to hang out by and smoke weed or for home-less people to set up a camp site for a few days. The only issues with those are that sometimes a door might be left unlocked or someone might find a lost key to the building and use it to get inside. That is why we had a problem with the chapel part of the building smelling like weed for a few months and also finding teenagers making out in one of the side rooms. The part with the homeless people is the fact that they leave all of their trash around the outsides of the buildings. We tend to find lots of pillows and blankets and the occasional pornographic magazine littered about the sidewalks and flower beds.

Now I'm not saying that Playboy magazines and marijuana do not invite a nice environment filled with the idea of families and other gospel related things, but at the same time I'm not saying that they do invite those things either.

So because of this we have been making regular checks to our building to make sure the doors are all locked and that no one has figured out a way to sneak in and trash the place. We have also gotten key-card scanners installed on the doors so that no one can get in without one.

This past Thursday we were tracting in a neighborhood and we met a girl who was sitting in her garage about to smoke a blunt. It turned out that her name was Angel and that she was a dancer at "Cheetahs". Well we ended up talking to her about the church and she said that she wanted to go. Hence we got a new investigator who is a stripper! And then referred her to the YSA ward.

Also miracle time.

So Saturday we only had four new investigators and our goal was to have nine. So Sunday never is too good of a day for finding because we have church until super late and then dinner and we end up with three hours to proselyte. So everything was kinda depending on Saturday. Well after tracting for a long time and having no success, we decided to go to an investigators house to see if they were home. Sadly they were at work, BUT! Her three kids that we didn't know about were at home and let us in to teach them! Then later we found two other people and we ended up reaching our goal for nine news!

So yeah that was pretty much the week I had.

Until Next Week,
Elder Lawson