Monday, October 16, 2017

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


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


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 Paraíso 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 Paraíso 1 is starting to progress and everything is going well.

Until Next Week,
Elder Lawson

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


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 Paraíso 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

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


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 see🤔

Until Next Week,
Elder Lawson

Monday, September 4, 2017

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


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

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 26 - Six Months, Primary, and Not Much Else


So I totally didn't write an email last week because nothing cool happened that week!

Paraíso has been super slow lately. We have been finding a ton, but sadly after the first lesson most people tell us not to come back...

But in better news! I reached my sixth month mark this past Tuesday. It definitely has felt like no time since I left the small town of Willard, Mo. But at the same time it has felt like years.

We had Zone Conference this week and it was super lit. We used to have them with multiple zones, but President Youngblood has changed that so now it is just individual zone conferences! It is so much better than the huge gatherings that they used to be.

Also this past Sunday we had an investigator at church who is ten and so we got to go to primary with him! It was probably the best Sunday I have had in a while. We got to sing all the primary songs in Spanish with the kids and it was so much fun!

So yeah not much has been happening, but let's hope something changes soon!

Until Next Week,
Elder Lawson

1. Us in primary

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 24 - Eviction, Birthdays, and Being Threatened With Knives

Hello people,

Firstly we found out transfers this past week and I'll be staying with Elder Lewis for these next six weeks. This sadly signifies that my streak of having a new companion for every transfer has come to an end, but at least we both know the area! So we should get a lot more work done this next transfer.

So Tuesday we were finding all day. Later that night, while Elder Lewis and I were finding in an apartment complex, we were going through our area book and this group of about five people were a ways off in the distance and started yelling at us and asking in a variety of ways if we wanted to fight.

Now, I'm not one for unfairly matched street-fights and especially while in dress clothes and neither is my companion. So we promptly decided to start walking towards the opposite direction from them and they started running at us! Luckily a member lived within like twenty feet of where we were so we went to their house and banged on the door until they let us in. They were pretty confused as to why we were banging on their door late at night until we explained our reasoning for not wanting to go to the hospital that night.

And that ladies and gentlemen is how we avoid fights as missionaries.

 So Thursday! We started with helping this dude move his stuff out of his house because he had a twenty-four hour limit before the apartment complex threw it all out. The house had been boarded up for the previous month because the guy was evicted. When the boards were taken off we found out that a group of home-less people had been living there at one point and had completely trashed everything that was possible to trash.

The guy was soooo furious when he found out what happened. So that was pretty interesting.

Then later we went on exchanges and Elder Rivero and I were in their area. We went to talk to this investigator they had. We met her outside of her apartment with her Mexican neighbor and her "Boyfriend". Her Baby-Daddy/Boyfriend ended up yelling at her and us for talking. About thirty seconds later the Mexican man, who had previously been showing the boyfriend a certain pancake mix and syrup, came up to us and told us to look at the knives he had as he pulled each individual one from it's sheath and flashed them around in front of us.

He then proceeded to ask which one we wanted. We said that we didn't want any of them and we especially didn't want any of them in our stomachs. We went back to talking to the lady and the man pretended to "trip" and bring the knives very close to Elder Rivero and I. We told him we didn't want any issues and left.

And that ladies and gentlemen is how we were threatened with being stabbed this week.

Friday was Elder Rivero's cumpleaños and so we had dinner at a members house and they even bought him a cake! It was super cool of them and we all had an awesome time. Later that night we went to Sonic as well because half-price shakes and such.

All in all this week was pretty dangerous, but we also had tons of awesome lessons! We also found a ton of people to teach and it was super lit. So yeah.

Until Next Week
Elder Lawson

1. Elder Lewis falls asleep each Sunday in church so I took a picture!
2. Also a video from the party we had for Elder Rivero