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

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 23 - Hoarders, Possession, and Primary


So this week turned out great!

Firstly, we met a lady named Marie on the street a week ago and she needed help in her backyard because she is 89 year-old and can't do it by herself. So we head over on Tuesday and we found out then two things:

1. She is a hardcore hoarder (like television show bad)
2. She is absolutely crazy

So yeah we ended up being shown her house, which had mounds of stuff everywhere and walkways to get through it all. We then tried to help her with her yard, but she wanted to keep half of the branches and stuff on the ground so that it could be used to sue her neighbors....

After helping as much as we could we left and have been getting phone calls from her every few days with crazy long voicemails. So yeah that was weird...

Friday, we got to go to the Northside of Las Vegas for a doctor's appointment and the entire day we haf one of the priest from our ward with us. We then had exchanges and Elder Tolman and I were in his area. We were tracting and met a possessed lady which was super crazy. She was throwing herself everywhere and had super creepy eyes and all of it was freaky. She kept walking weirdly and wouldn't calm down until we gave her a Jesus card #JesusPower

We promptly went home and said a pray to help get rid of any dark stuff that may or may not have followed us home.

And Sunday! We had our investigators come to church finally! They brought their grandkids too! Their grandchildren don't speak Spanish, so we ended up hanging out with them in Primary all day translating for them. So yeah Primary was super lit and I would definitely do that again. Later that day we found a lady who is in-active, but loves the missionaries! So we are definitely going to work with her and her husband a ton!

Until Next Week!
Elder Lawson

1. Me in front of the MGM and if you zoom in you can see that Tiësto and Calvin Harris are at Hakkansan right now
2. The four missionaries of the Paraíso ward looking tough
3. Also we found a trampoline

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 22 - News, Tracting, and My Opinion of Flan

Cómo están?

So this week started out pretty bad, but it got a ton better as the week went on!

Tuesday we literally tracted all day. All of our lessons dropped us and I wanted to just die...

And that was how Tuesday became the worst day of the week, but Wednesday was better! We had dinner with the Bishop's family and they gave us some really good food (totally forgot what it was though). We also found this super awesome family this week. The mom is a Less-Active because her husband hates the church, but she wants us to teach her kids, so that's what we started doing! They are super solid and its such a blessing because we haven't found any really solid people in a super long time.

And Friday we had a really amazing lesson with a Less-Active family and some members about the importance of the temple and being sealed together. The mom gave us flan afterwards, so that was nice. For those of you who don't know what flan is, imagine this:

You are eating cheesecake, right? But wait this cheesecake is like super soggy? How can that be? That's because it's flan. Super soggy cheesecake....

So yeah besides chimoy, flan is also disgusting, but I haven't seen much chimoy lately for some reason, maybe that's a good sign?

But that was pretty much my week so yeah. I hope everyone else had a good week!

Until next time!
Elder Lawson

1. A nice picture of the Stratosphere
2. When you don't try to be original in your logo


Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 21 - Surgery, The Luxor, and Mexican Food?

This week was amazing! (Sorta)

So primero, lo siento por la semana pasada. No me sentí como escribiendo nada, pero estoy aquí y listo!

So Tuesday was pretty dank. We had tons of lessons with people and only one of them actually bailed on us! I have not had a day of straight lessons like that in a while. The area of paraíso here is super difficult compared to Montebello. Not too many people are ready to listen to our message; so the ones that are we very so much love.

Wednesday we had our first zone conference with President Youngblood. It was super lit and we had a ton of fun there. Afterwards the stake Relief Society Presidency gave us Mexican food which they made. I am in no way complaining about this, it is only a comparison, but there is a very big difference in Mexican food by white people and Mexican food made Mexicans.

Did it taste good? Yes.

Did it make the Spanish Elders feel uncomfortable  not having tortillas they could roll to eat their beans with and actually having proper utensils to use? Yes it made us feel very uncomfortable.

Later, we went to a Less-Actives house, Noé, to cast out spirits and tell him that we did not think he was possessed. He had called us the night before at 11:30 PM seeing if we could come over the next day. He continued to tell us creepy stories about things that happened in his house as a kid though.

Thursday we had exchanges and I was with Elder Tolman for the day. He is from the same town of 300 people that Elder Wardell is from and they both got their mission calls to the same place at the same time speaking the same language. We talked a ton about comic books and superheroes and the difference between being able to easily use Premiere Pro without knowing anything about it and using AfterEffects without knowing anything and completely messing up anything that was possible.

Recently, I have been having some issue with my foot, specifically with my toe and what I thought could be an in-grown toenail.  Well Friday morning I called the mission nurse to ask if it was what I thought it was. As it turns out I did have an in-grown toenail and everything that I thought I was doing to help stop it and any infection was very wrong.

So later that day we went to the doctor and had that surgically removed. The doctor was super cool and everyone in the office including him were Mormon, so they knew the struggle that we faced trying to figure out how to adult in a doctors office. After some numbing shots in my foot and some weird orange wet stuff were applied, the doctor successfully removed the nail.

Was it disgusting? Yes.
Did the doctor use big weird pliers? Yes.
Did the doctor ask if I wanted to keep the nail? Yes.
Did I keep the nail? Of course!

So now I have that bad boy in a nice text tube thing that I will be able to keep for a very long time!

Saturday I reached my five month mark and Elder Tolman and I had another exchange while the other Elders went to a baptism in Henderson. We got to go super close to the strip and even got pictures in front of The Luxor. I found out that Kaskade was at Hakkansan the night before. Hakkansan is a club inside the MGM Grand where pretty much every single electronic musician plays. I was very trunky to find out about this because seeing Kaskade has been a huge thing on my bucket list. Also Calvin Harris and Tiësto are there right now on residency, so like double trunky-ness to the max😭

Yesterday we had Por Qué Creo. This is where the recent converts tell about their meeting with the missionaries and how they came to find out this stuff is true. It's an awesome opportunity to take our investigators to so that they can feel the Spirit. And I got to see the Murrillo's there! They are progressing amazingly and I was super excited to see them!

All in all this week was pretty lit compared to the last few weeks here. The work in Paraíso is super slow and super rough. We have been working really hard to find people who are ready, but that's the missionary life so oh well.

I hope everyone is doing well!

Hasta la proxima semana!
Elder Lawson

1. Me with a members bird
2. A terrible photo of me in front of The Luxor
3. Our zone picture with President Youngblood and his wife
4. How I feel whenever I see Missouri Ave.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 20 - *Insert Word Here*, *Insert Word Here*, *Insert Phrase Here*


I don't really feel like writing anything right now, but I know the pictures are what you all came here for (Yes, I am on to you and your sneaky ways).

Also just to let you know how I am, "All is good in the hood".

Until Next Week!
Elder Lawson

1. I fell asleep on my nametag while my comp said a twenty minute prayer
2. Posing next to the filthy water that runs through the flood channels that we walk in
3. The best license plate in the world


Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 19 - Norma, July 4th, y nuestro nuevo presidente sangre joven

Qué pasó people?

So Martes (July 4th) we met President Youngblood! He is a super humble, but also really witty. I think I am going to like him a lot as our mission president here in Vegas. We had a meeting at a chapel where he and his wife introduced themselves and then we just asked them tons of questions. Elder Lewis and I also walked in late to the meeting, so that made a wonderful first impression...

Just kidding he didn't care at all, but the Zone Leaders did. It's all good though because we were picking up other missionaries, so we were late in the name of service!

Later that night we actually went with the other missionaries to a park to try and find people while they were out and about. We just talked to a lot of drunk and high people and tried to avoid the fireworks that were being shot off in random directions. One man actually walked up to us out of curiosity. The story goes like this...

Man: "Hey, how you guys doing?"

Us: "Great sir! How about you?"

Man: "Good. You guys smoke cigarettes?"

Us: "Ugh....No we don't"

Man: "Alright you guys have a good night."

Needless to say no mucho happened at the park...

But we did find a lady named Norma this week! At first we thought that she might have been a member because she let us in so easily, but nope! She was super excited about the fact that we believe in working hard for what you want like blessings and, you know, eternal salvation and such. So we set her with a date and she is super interested and excited about the church!

We have also started working with a less active, Noé, he went inactive like two weeks after he got baptized. We got him to church this week and are going to go see him later tonight! He just has a lot of questions, but sadly not the faith to get them answered. He will get there though.

Not too many insanely crazy events happened this week, but we did find a ton of new solid investigators, which is super awesome! So yeah that was my week.

Until next week!
Elder Lawson

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 18 - Cubans, Legal Weed, and a New Mission President

Qué tal?

Gracias al Señor, esta semana estaba muy bueno! And we didn't bike! We figured out that if we plan amazingly then we don't have to bike! I'm so very happy about this.

Also fun fact! Most of the people we are teaching right now are Cuban, which means they are extremely difficult to Understand! They talk super loud and fast with a Caribbean accent, so a veces it is pretty much impossible to know what they are saying. So because of this my understanding of everyone else has improved immensely!

So yeah we taught a really sick lesson to our investigator Elizabeth and her grandkids, which she seemed to really enjoy! Our first day here she didn't seem to like us too much (Especially me), but after this lesson she was super open and asking tons of questions and really loved what we had to say about temples and how I taught her grandkids! At times the stuff I picked up in while being a camp counselor really becomes useful out here. Afterwards she hugged us both and was super grateful for us coming over!

We also talked to some dude who was crying on the side of the street. He was upset with people not giving him water and life being really difficult. We helped him get some water and tried to help him, but he was super skeptical about everything so that was kinda useless.

Saturday a huge thing happened! Firstly weed became legal so everyone has been blazing it so hard. Not like they weren't doing that at their houses, but now it is just everywhere. So yeah everyone is just walking around smoking blunts all day. So this 4th of July will indeed be "Lit".

Also guess who got a new mission president! President Youngblood came here Saturday and we get to meet him tomorrow! He served his mission in Japan; so it's kinda cool that he learned Japanese, but it is not the celestial language of Spanish so that must be a bummer.

But that was my week! Have fun blowing stuff up tomorrow! We have to be in our apartments by 6pm....

Until next week!
Elder Lawson

1. We were shopping today and I found these great avocados
2. A cool mini van we saw the other day


Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 17 - Biking, Biking, and More Biking

*Clears throat*....Bueno,

So first off I will keep this e-mail pretty short because literally nothing happened this week.

First! Elder Lewis (My new companion) and I were double transferred into la área de paraíso 1. So basically Tuesday we met up at transfers and everyone had a good time and we moved stuff around from car to car and got our necessary materials and went on our way. We arrived at our new apartment and looked around at everything and unpacked. Once all that was done we sat down at the table and had a moment where we realized that yeah...we knew nothing...


That's sarcasm by the way

Luckily the previous Elders left us a nice letter about our investigators and a few other important things. So we used some of this to get a tiny idea of how to work. The good thing is that our area here is about twice the size of my area in Montebello. The bad thing is that we have a lot less miles for the month here than in Montebello.

Guess who started biking...

In 120+ degree weather...

I hate biking.

We pretty much tracted the entire week and tried to get to know whatever investigators we could. We have some really good solid investigators though. We have Hector who is this big, loveable, Cuban guy. It is fun teaching him because we can't understand a thing he says. So we always pray for the gift of interpretation before we start. He has a baptismal date and loves to learn about the gospel. Hector is a cool guy.

We have a really lit apartment though which is awesome. It has a really cool bike rack in it that goes from the floor to the ceiling. Also it doesn't have bed bugs crawling around everywhere which is a nice change from my apartment in Montebello.

That ladies and gentlemen was week one of this transfer (which is actually a seven transfer). It was an alright week. Let's see what happens this week!

Elder Lawson

P.s. here are some pictures that I got with one of my favorite families and the bishops family from Montebello last week before Elder Martinez and I got transfered


Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 16 - Hiking, Transfers, and EDC


First of all last Lunes, our entire district went hiking with a couple in our ward up a giant mountain behind the temple. The name is Frenchman's Mountain and it is pretty dang huge. There were eight of us total who started the climb/hike and eventually groups broke off because they were tired, so in the end only four of us made it up to the top.  It was so super cool up there. You could see all of the Las Vegas Valley and out to Henderson and even Boulder City. We took tons of pictures too. Definitely worth all the cuts and sunburns that I got on myself.

Tuesday we had the most lit district council ever. The Elders from Charleston Blvd. gave a training about missionary work that was based off of a motivational video about Steph Curry. It was so good.

Thursday our favorite family that Elder Diaz and I are teaching, the Murrillo's, took us out to dinner. We talked to them more about missionary work and what it is like and about the Book of Mormon. They are such a cool family and are so interested in learning all they can about the church!

Friday we had a Father's Day fiesta at the church. Before that we went to the Murrillo's house to invite them, but sadly the father had work that night. Like usual they had some more questions from the night before and they asked about what it was like for our parents while we are gone. We both said we didn't know, but I said they should message my parents on Facebook and find out if they wanted too. We left to the fiesta and had a super good time. We were taking the other missionaries back to their car and we received a text from the Murrillos. It read something like this, "So my mom just recieved news that Abby is in the hospital about to have her baby!". I CAN'T BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW PUMPED I WAS TO HEAR THIS. NOT ONLY WERE INVESTIGATORS TALKING TO MY FAMILY, BUT THEY TOLD ME I AM AN UNCLE AGAIN!!!! For anyone who doesn't know up until this past weekend I have been an expectant uncle for nine months! No más! So that was freaking amazing to hear! Like what a way to end a night.

Then Saturday we had Transfer Doctrine. *Drum Rollllllll* I am leaving Montebello! I'm going to a ward over by The Luxor (Giant pyramid thing in Vegas) called Paraíso! I'll be with Elder Lewis for this next transfer or possibly two. We are being double transferred, which means that the two Elders there right now are both leaving and two new Elders (Us) are being put in. We won't know anything or anyone!! I'm so pumped!

Sunday we had church and I said goodbye to all my favorite people in the ward here and got pictures with them. It's been a sick 11 weeks here in Montebello, I don't want to leave our investigators, but it's the life of a missionaries.

Also fun fact, EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) was this weekend and EDC is the biggest Electric Music Festival at the beginning of the summer each year and it happens in Vegas. It's been on my bucket list of things to go do for a while now. The great part is that it happened three miles from our house. The sad part is that I'm a missionary so sadly I can't go to it...

So all this weekend whenever we returned to our house that night we saw hundreds of tour busses with "Official EDC shuttle bus" written on the front. We have also seen lots of people in their rave outfits, which means a tank top and shorts for guys with random neon bandanas and paint and such, and for the girls a mix of neon paint and almost nothing on.

We have seen some very "interesting" people this weekend...

But next week I will be in a new area with a new companion and most probably a new mission president!

Until then,
Elder Lawson

1. Our entire district about halfway up the mountain
2. The three missionaries who reached the top (Brother Montez took the picture)
3. Something we found while tracting

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 15 - Upset Converts, Another Temple Tour, and Tracting

Ayee what's good gente,

So this week was sorta decent. We had to drop a ton of baptismal dates because the people weren't ready and we had to figure out how to make our door approach work a ton better, but hey we got that done!

Tuesday we had a nice lesson with Judith. She is our recent convert, who was baptized two weeks ago. She explained to us how she had been really unhappy recently with church because no one had given her a calling and she wanted to help with something. I'm very happy that she was not unhappy about something else.

Wednesday we had this lesson with a kid named Jose. He is fifteen and just likes to play soccer. We brought Alondra with us. She just got her mission call to Mexico, so we figured it would be a good experience for her. Jose really liked our message...or maybe he just liked Alondra? Either way we got another appointment with him!

Thursday we played soccer with Jose and his cousin Jorge. They walked to the church and a ton of people showed up. Jose liked that a ton!

Friday we had a temple tour with the Murrillo family! We have been teaching them for a super long time now and it was amazing! We sat in the garden in the middle of the temple for almost an hour while they asked tons of questions. They really really like how different we are from generic churches and how everything works. Sadly they won't accept a baptismal date because they want to know more before they accept one. We just have to be diligent with them.

Saturday we had service at 6:00AM with an English companionship in our district. That was pretty terrible having to get up so early, but hey we were blessed later that day with six new investigator! Two of them are sooo solid and it's awesome. We had a really good time tracting that day.

Sunday we literally went to church and then tracted all day. That got boring towards the end of the day.

It's been pretty sweet here. We've been dealing with some marital problems between two of our investigators, so that kinda set them back a bit, but we are persevering! Also transfers are this week so I'll find out if I leave or not. Sadly I'm most likely up to leave Montebello. It's all good though. Estas cosas pasan.

I'll let you know next week!
Elder Lawson

P.s. Oh yeah the photos are kinda trash this week, but here is one of all the guys in our Zone from last week!

From dad: This is the mountain Elder Lawson is hiking today (Frenchman Mountain).

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 14 - Bugs, Carrot Juice, and a hint of Lord of the Rings

Hola Hermanos y Hermanas,

So I don't know if I wrote about this or not, but about my 3rd day in the mission field Elder Hodge and I helped a member wrap up a couch because it was infested with bed bugs. To make a long story short, Elder Diaz and I finally figured out what the red marks on our bodies were!

So yeah Tuesday and Wednesday we spent all day cleaning our house to get rid of the bed bugs that we dragged back almost 2 months ago. Now I won't go into how disgusting it was or how bad, but we might have had 8 Elders at our apartment cleaning with us. We got literally no missionary work done those 2 days, but hey cleanliness is next to godliness!

And Mom don't worry I'm fine and all is well. The bed bugs are all gone......most of them.

We just have to vacuum and spray our apartment down with some poison everyday before we leave! The adventures of a missionary are awesome!

Thursday was our last Zone Conference with President Snow. That was pretty sad.

Friday! We went to the Las Vegas West Mission! So like Frodo we went into the west! Elder Diaz had a doctors appointment there. We met some missionaries from the West Mission. They seemed super cool. Not as cool as regular Vegas missionaries though ;)

We also got free donuts at Krispy Kreme!

Saturday and we had a baptism! One of the English Elders was there and he gave his testimony in English and Elder Diaz translated for him. It was so legit!

Also some guy gave us carrot juice and it was the nastiest thing I have ever had to do on my mission. He sat there and made sure we drank all of it before  I then accidentally spilt some on my favorite tie. That was just a bit of something more to add to the disappointment of having to drink carrot juice.

And that was pretty much our week. Bed bugs, carrot juice, and going into the west!

See you guys next week!
Elder Lawson

Also the picture is of the giant baseball we found last Monday while looking for people in a park.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 13 - Baptisms, Interventions, and Scorpions

¿Qué pasó?

Tenemos dos bautismos esta semana pasada!

So yeah our investigators, Judith and Alexandra were baptized this past week! Elder Hodge and I found Judith while knocking doors my third week here and I baptized her on Saturday! Alexandra is 8 years old and she lives with her aunt who is a member. It was super awesome and everyone had a great time!

Tuesday and Wednesday we had exchanges, so I was with Elder Martinez for a bit and we had a lesson with a member about how she needs to baptize her kid because all her other kids are  and she is putting it off for no reason. The bishop even told us to sit her down and pretty much have an intervention with her. So that's what we did and now she really isn't to happy with us, but hey it's her choice to postpone the salvation of her kid.

Thursday we had service with a member and prosd (proselyted) for a bit. Nothing super exciting happened Thursday

Friday we went to the mission office and the mission home! They told us on our first day that we wouldn't be back  to the mission home until our last day in the mission field for our "Last Supper", which is the final meal we will have in the mission, but being the person I am, I totally went back before the end of these two years. So you know #SavageElderLawson

We then had service at the bishops house and tore down drywall and patched some holes. Also! I ate a lollipop this week that had a scorpion inside it. It was so nasty, but hey I ate a scorpion!

Saturday we had our baptisms! Tons of people came and I was super nervous to baptize Judith, but everything worked out perfectly! And I didn't fall in with her or anything super embarrassing like that. Looking at you dad.

Sunday the ward had another baptism and a girl opened her mission call afterwards and dang the memories were intense. She is going to a visitor center mission in Mexico City at the temple, so it was super cool! All of us missionaries were super pumped and reminiscing super hardcore.

Then today a guy in Wal-Mart walked up to us and tried to speak in tongues to us. That was awkward for everyone involved. Especially because no one had any idea what he was doing.

This week was pretty fuego all-around.

Hasta proxima semana!
Elder Lawson

1. We had four total baptisms on Saturday!
2. Also Elder Hodge showed up from Kingman, AZ.
3. Alexandra and ya boy. Also if you look closely at my arm you can see the effect of trying to skate after not skateboarding for a year.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 12 - Seventies, Judith, And A New Companion

Fun Fact Everybody!

So today is May 22nd, which means I have officially been out for 3 months as of today!

So yeah that's pretty cool.

This week has been legit. First off guess who has two baptisms this Saturday! But first we start with Tuesday...

So Tuesday morning we go to the chapel on Viking St. and all the missionaries are there. So I say bye to Hodge and all of them leave in a van to go out-of-valley and I meet Elder Diaz my new companion. He is from Idaho, but also knows Spanish because he was born in Mexico. We went home and he unpacked and we went on our way to teach and preach and work as missionaries do.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty slow with just tracting all day, except for lessons every now and then, but Friday!

Friday we helped the Bishop's wife clean up some stuff around their house in preparation for one of the Seventy, who came this week and stayed in their house for Stake Conference and a special meeting with the Montebello Ward! It was Elder Cordon who came and he spoke in General Conference this past April.

Afterwards we went to Judith's house to have a lesson with her. We have been teaching her for about a month and we set up a time for her baptismal interview and she was super excited for that.

Saturday we had a baptismal interview for another investigator! Her name is Alexandra and she is 8 years old. Her Great-aunt is a member and she lives with her. So we taught her everything in like a week and a half and now she is getting baptized Saturday as well!

And yeah that was week 12...

Until next week!
Elder Lawson

1. We found the actual street of Montebello!
2. What did you say my father smelled of?
3. The thermostat of our car the other day!


Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 11 #2 - Transfers, Scammers, and Mother's Day

Ayee what's good!

So fun fact! Last week was actually week 10 and not week 11. Clearly public school did not teach me how to count properly, but oh well. So welcome to week 11 #2!

So Tuesday right? We are tracting and this house down the street is absolutely bumping it (playing music really loud). Of course we decide to go see what's up. I knew it was going to be insane when we walked up and a guy runs out to us and immediately gives both of us a hug and asks us if we were blazing it...

I had the wonderful opportunity to explain that as missionaries we in fact were not into smoking "that good stuff" and were there to talk about Jesus. He was very excited by this and started a 20 minute rant about being saved, smoking a blunt on the daily, the illuminati and a few other conspiracy theories. We ended up leaving after telling him we would be back on Thursday to hear more and to further be enlightened. We didn't go back.

Wednesday was even more interesting when halfway through our lesson with Guadalupe, these two 23 year-old looking guys in reflector vests came and stole her away saying that they were from the county. After realizing midway through our conversation with them that they were scammers, we then did everything to interrupt the ensuing meeting they tried to have with Guadalupe. They left after 5 minutes, but only after trying to undermine us first and talk to us like we were 6. It was nice.

Thursday we had a meeting with the mission president and all the trainers and trainees who came out of the MTC with me. It was just for some trainings and to see how we liked everything. Afterwards we got In-n-Out, so I was pretty excited about that.

Friday was normal missionary work.

But Saturday! We found out about transfers for tomorrow! Elder Hodge is going out-of-valley to Kingman, AZ. to his first English ward and I am staying in Montebello East and getting Elder Diaz as my companion. He is from Mexico, so I'm hoping to hardcore improve the Spanish this transfer.

Later we had a drunk guy angrily yell at Elder Hodge, "I AM JESUS CHRIST!". That was pretty lit. Also his friend had just gotten out of 10 years of prison for killing someone, so that was nice.

Later we had a ward fiesta and one of our investigators came with us!

And yesterday was Mother's Day! Which means I got to talk to my family! That was probably one of the best hours of my life because my family is pretty freaking cool, so it's pretty great to meet with them for a bit. Especially after not seeing them. Also I saw my dog! She is pretty cool as well.

Also I learned that my high school graduation was on Saturday night! I am officially a high school graduate! I'll get a picture of me holding my diploma for everyone in about 21 months, so definitely be listo for that😉

Until la proxima semana!
Elder Lawson

P.s. The pictures are of Elder Hodge and I eating our corn and Mexican snow cone from the Elote guys on the streets and then a picture from the meeting on Thursday

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 11 - Acid, Interviews, and Steven from Ross


*That's how some Hispanics answer the phone*

Esta semana, no mucho pasado. Thats actually a lie, quite a bit happened; but now it all is so normal that I need something outrageous to phase me. At least that's what I think now at week 10. It will probably change.

Anyways Monday finished with the 4 Elders in our Barrio(Ward) making Carneasada. It was so very bien and then we went to a doctors appointment for Elder Hodge. Tuesday  was then the next day(No surprise?) and our dinner dropped us. So we used our Fun Fund, which is a stash of left-over money in our car that we slowly build up, to buy pizza for dinner. We ate it in the car like pro's. Afterwards we taught an enfermo Restoration lesson to our investigator Zyra. She is about to graduate and her mom hates Mormons, so that is pretty fun! We then painted a room of a member's house! That ended up being super messy...

Wednesday ! We had interviews with our Mission President and his wife! That was awesome getting to talk to both of them. I later gave a district training over using scriptures in lessons and the Zone Leaders sat in on that. They said they really liked it, so I guess the current Assistants to the President better watch out! Jk, I like the sleep I get each night and lack of 10 million responsibilities that I have as District Monkey. Later we talked to a guy who admitted that he was tripping on acid at that current moment. He is now a new investigator! We will see where that eventually goes.

Thursday we had exchanges and I got paired with Elder Martinez. He is Elder Dillenders current companion. He is from México, so fluent Spanish definitely helped out with my accent problems. We taught a few lessons and had a good time together.

Friday exchanges ended and Elder Hodge and I went on splits. I went with Hermano Corona and ended up teaching the restoration all by myself in terrible Spanish! Our investigators, the Lemus family, seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

Saturday was pretty good. We cleaned our house pretty hardcore because the condo owners came by later to fix a broken lock. They were really cool and said absolutely nothing about the house. They were very proud of us for changing the air filters though. Apparently other missionaries cannot?

Sunday we had 6 investigators at church! I had to teach gospel principles class on the spot and all in Español. I think I actually did a decent job! Then we tracted and taught a guy who was super high. He pulled out an Aloe plant during the lesson and started putting it on the burn he got from trying to light is Marijuana device...yeah his bong...Anyways we are going back there sometime this week!

Today Elder Hodge cut mi pelo and then we went to many thrift shops and stores. We go to Ross each Monday to say hi to Steven. He is the socially awkward security guard who welcomes everyone to Ross. Sadly he was not there this week, so that was a bit disappointing. We like Steven a lot.

Fun fact about our ward! The 1st Counselor is a white guy with blonde hair and blue eyes, who learned Spanish on his mission and ended up marrying a Mexican lady afterwards! She doesn't know any English and  they and their kids only speak Spanish in their home. His name is Hermano Pace. He is a wonderful example of Returned Spanish-language Missionary goals here in Vegas. We like him a lot too.

So like last week, this week was pretty awesome too! Our first transfer is almost over which means I have been here six weeks! It's been pretty lit here in Vegas and it just keeps getting better and better. I'll talk to you guys again next week!

Stay thirsty my friends(for the gospel),
Elder Lawson

P.s. the pictures are pretty weak this semana porque no usé my camera at all. Lo siento pero aqui es un fotografía that shows the temperature in our car one day and un otra from last week

Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 10 - Fish Soup, Fútbol, and Baptisms!!

Hey youuu guyssss!

^^Goonies Reference^^

So it's Monday right? We get done with our weekly emails and fun adventures to the Goodwill and Mexican Bakery, then it's back to Proselyting. So a few days before we promised Hermano Solis (Our favorite 64 year-old single Mexican amigo) that we would stop by and eat his famous (not for a good reason) fish soup. Being the awesome missionaries we are, we invited Elder Martinez and Elder Dillender to join us in this crusade. We all met at his house and Solis presented us all with a huge bowl of fish soup. Here is what the soup was comprised of: a whole crab, assorted fish, shrimp, potatoes?, clams, more assorted fish, and lastly the fish bones.

We had a wonderful time chewing through the soup and making sure that we didn't swallow any bones or shells to anything. When asked if we wanted seconds we quickly explained how full we were and would totally have more if we had room enough.

Tuesday we met with Arturo again. He is the guy supposedly being hunted by Communist from Honduras. We taught him the restoration and he puffed smoke in our face the entire tIme from his cigarette. It was so great! Also pretty nasty...

Then we reprimanded a member of the church for not taking her kids to church and not letting her son, Diego, be baptized. She said she had to talk to the kids step-dad about letting the kids be baptized. The step-father does a ton of hard drugs and terrible things. It sucks a lot seeing those kids because their parents just expose them to so much stuff so young. It really makes me grateful for my parents and how good they are to me. Shout out to the padres for being awesome!

Wednesday we had exchanges and I got paired with Elder Bala. He is from the Philippines. Their area doesn't have a car so we biked around all day. We volunteered at The Salvation Army too. We made lunch for homeless people and gave it out to them. Some were really humble about their situation and others....still super prideful.

Thursday exchanges ended and we met a man named Ernesto who has a giant sign about Jesus in his front yard. He is a nice man and gave us soda. He said we could come back whenever we wanted. Later I got paired with Elder Martinez for an hour. We played soccer with the kids in the ward. And I scored a goal! So I guess I might just be better than Mexicans at soccer😉.

Friday we helped our downstairs neighbors move out. They fed us lunch and gave us a practically all their food in their refrigerator. Guess who doesn't have to shop this week! Also they gave us this sick giant felt picture of a Leopard. It's so ugly but so good. We have it hanging in our room now.

Later we returned to Diego's house and to our surprise his mom said he could be baptized! So Saturday started out with us interviewing Diego. Then we had lessons and prepared for the baptism! So Diego joined another investigator, Kevin, that night. Kevin is the other Elders investigator. He is from Honduras and grew up practically on the streets without parents. Three months ago he got tired of living there and with no money or anything, he walked and hitched rides from Honduras to the United States. He hoped the fence from Mexico to the U.S. and got caught by Border Patrol. They sent him to live with his aunt and uncle here in Vegas because it is safer for him here. After his and Diego's baptism, Kevin's aunt and uncle invited all the missionaries over for Carneasada! Kevin had an emotional time because all of it was the first thing that anyone had ever done for him. That was pretty humbling to hear.

Sunday we had 10 investigators at church! Last Sunday we had 2, so we have improved! Kevin and Diego we confirmed and we had a super awesome day seeing everyone there!

Today we cleaned our apartment and went to a part of the city where they paint murals on the walls of buildings! The murals change every few months so there is always something cool to see. That part of town is pretty nasty though so we don't go there often. There is trash everywhere and homeless people sleeping under bushes and places. It was pretty nasty.

I got a sick Las Vegas shirt at Deseret Industries! I have been wanting a Las Vegas shirt very so much and hopefully I can aquire about 7 more over these next two years. Elder Dillender and I had a lovely lunch date at Del Taco, while the other Elders went to Goodwill for whatever reason.

We have been teaching the Murrillo family and they are all super solid. We have dates for all of them in June and I really hope they continue to read and pray. They love when we come over and actually invited us over for dinner yesterday for their dog's birthday. Sadly we already had a dinner scheduled...

We have been getting really close with the members and investigators here recently and they all seem to love us which is super good!

Anyways that's all that really happened this last week, but maybe this next week va traer más interesantes cosas

Until next week!
Elder Lawson

More Pictures!!


Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 9 - Communists, Preachers, and Greenies!

Bienvenidos mis Amigos!

So this week didn't consist of too many crazy experiences, but that's alright we had some good stuff happen!

So Tuesday we had Zone Conference! Basically all the zones in the Las Vegas Valley gathered at a Stake Center and we had trainings and pictures and more trainings and most importantly food! It was good enough that I didn't fall asleep!

Later we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders and I got paired with Elder Miller for the day. All of the lessons we had didn't show up so we ended up tracting. As we were walking along the road we met a man named Steve. He was waiting for his brother Lewis to come get him. So we waited with him. When Lewis showed up his brother explained how Lewis is a pastor. We then said hi to Lewis and he responded with, "I have a scripture for ya'll..."

We then started preparing to bible bash.

But that didn't happen! Lewis then quoted a scripture about doing good in the world and started a 20 minute preacher rant about how much he respected the missionaries for what we do! He ended with a 10 minute motivational speech for us. It was so great. 10/10 way to end the night of tracting.

Wednesday exchanges ended and Elder Hodge and I got back to work. We met a man named Arturo, who had met with the missionaries before. He said his brain was messed up from living in a communist country in South America and he was being hunted by communist spies. Arturo is an odd man.

Thursday we had even more exchanges! Elder Hodge sent me to the Montebello West area (We are in the Montebello East area) with Elder Dillender. As you know Elder Dillender was in the MTC with me and we came out at the same time. So we were two greenies trying to missionary like we knew what to do! We had a few lessons and taught a woman about how we all chose to be here on this world and everyone is here by choice. We actually did a pretty decent job with our Spanish! The spirit really helped out with that day of missionary work.

Friday we ended exchanges and Elder Hodge and I had a meeting with the Mora family. They were baptized a month ago and they haven't come to church since. The father started with drugs, smoking, gambling, and pretty much everything that the commandments tell us not to do. We had our Ward Missionary Leader, Hermano Villalobos, there with us. Basically we had to reprimand the dad for completely pushing off his family and leaving work and not being a good father. I pulled out a scripture in Nephi about living after a manner of happiness and asked if he was happy with his life. It was pretty hardcore.

After we went to Hermano Solis's house and he gave us Chiles. Él dijo que los chiles fueron un pocito picante. They completely tore my mouth apart. It hurt a lot.

Saturday we helped a member move some random stuff onto a trailer. I got my finger poked by a rusty screw. Hopefully I don't get tetanus! We met a man named Miguel afterwards. Miguel is a sad little man who said he doesn't believe in anything and when we die we will just cease to exist. So we set up a return appointment for later today! I'm set on baptizing that man. He needs something in his life so he won't just be depressing 24/7.

The night ended with a temple tour with the Mora family. It was so cool. We had a really bien time and they really felt the spirit. I really really like the Las Vegas temple. It's most probably my favorite one ever.

Yesterday was Sunday!

So for sacrament meeting they had all the missionaries speak and also Villalobos. Elder Dillender and I each just had a scripture to talk about and give our testimonies. I talked about Alma 7: 14-15 and explained that it was the reason I was here on a mission and is my purpose here. Elder Hodge, Elder Martinez,and Hermano Villalobos gave actual talks. I was told afterwards by the members that maybe one day I would get there!

Elder Hodge had to give a baptismal interview later that night, so I got to teach the investigator's family about the restoration! All by myself! And it wasn't too terrible!

It was a great week! We got a ton more investigators and had the best tacos ever from this lady cooking outside her house!

Until next week!
Elder Lawson
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Also here is a video of me eating a chili! You don't get to see the full extent of me chugging bottles of water and crying, but that's okay!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 8 - Lamborghini's and a Crazy German Lady - April 17, 2017

Buenas tardes mis amigos,

So the week started off way good! We got five new investigators on Monday night! It was these two individuals and a family. They all seemed like solid investigators, so we made a plan to see them on Wednesday. Well Wednesday came and we went to their houses they were all at their homes...and nobody would open the door for us. So we ended up dropping those five new investigators, which blows for them because we had some cool stuff to tell them that would make their lives better.

Wednesday we had exchanges, which will happen a lot because I'm the district monkey (The district leaders companion), and I got put with Elder Gonzalez for a day. We went to a possible investigators house to talk to this guy named Oscar but ended up talking to the kid's dad, his name is Oscar as well! We said that we would come back on  Saturday to talk to Oscar and his son Oscar. Then we tracted and did our other Missionary stuff.

Thursday exchanges ended and Elder Hodge and I were tracting and met this old and crazy German lady! It was a pretty terrifying experience because she looked pretty freaky herself and she had us come into her apartment where she told us about how she regretted everything in life and wanted to kill herself because both her kids were dead and how God hated her and all her "friends" took all her stuff. She ended up saying something about ending her life at least 24 times in the 30 minutes that we were there. It started to really make me mad because at that point it's obvious she was just lonely and wanted attention or something. We kept telling her about the Plan of Happiness for us and how we make our own joy in this life. And she just didn't listen. We tried tons to help her but she just wanted to be miserable in her house, so we said we would have other missionaries come by and see her. We then left.

Friday all the new missionaries and their companions went with the mission president and his wife to the temple so that was fun! The temple here in Vegas is soooo freaking amazing. Definitely the best one I have ever been to!

Saturday we went to see an investigator who lived near the crazy German lady. So naturally we went back to see her. She was a lot happier and said she had a gift for us. We were very scared of what it could be. She then brought out a book called "Drifters Freed". Her daughter wrote's really poorly written. So for fun I read Elder Hodge passages of it while we are driving! It's just so cringe worthy.

Yesterday I met Elder Wilkins! For those of you who don't know, Elder Wilkins has tons of cousins and relatives that live in Willard and I know quite a few of them. He goes home in like 8 months so he is almost done here. He is from Clinton, MO. So that was pretty sick because I was hoping to run into him!

Also we found a centipede in our apartment last night....We used "Drifters Freed" to smash it.

Also we went to the Lamborghini dealer on Thursday! They had four there and I got a sick picture next to one. It's so good.

Everything is all good here on Eastside Vegas! They progressing investigadores are progressing and the people that don't want to hear our message are just telling us that they are catholic and to go away!

Until la próxima semana,
Elder Lawson

P.s. The pictures are of our view of The Strip from our apartment on the mountain, me flexing on some little Mexican man painting, some super cool missionary next to a Lamborghini, and Elder Wilkins and I.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 7 - Mexican Funerals, Weddings, Food, and Exorcisms - April 10, 2017

Viva Las Vegas mis amigos!

So Wednesday after a mess of train rides and an airplane trip, I plus the rest of my travel group walked off the airplane to see the wonderful sight of slot machines everywhere. We had made it! Eventually we met out mission president and ate lunch and hung out at the mission home for the day until we went to meet our companions! I was insanely nervous because what if my new companion and I just didn't get along? But good news! We do get along! His name is Elder Hodge and he is from Virginia. We both like ODESZA and not biking so we get along wonderfully!

Basically the week started with saying goodbye to our district one by one until it was our time to leave on Wednesday. It was super sad, but also really exciting because it meant we were leaving soon!

Then Wednesday after the trip and meeting our new companions, I got into our car and went straight to a dinner appointment where we had real Mexican food. Also the head of the house was drunk and cried telling us about Jesus and how great the commandments are. It was amazing! Then we went home and I unpacked. Our apartment is on the east side of Vegas on a mountain and I can see all of Vegas and the strip. It looks lit at night (pun very so much intended).

Thursday we had some new missionary training and taught some of our first lessons and had even more Mexican food! We had dinner at the Ward Mission Leader's house. His name is Hermano Villalobo I think? Names are hard to remember...Anyways! We had more lessons and continued missionarying after with a new convert named Chris. He has full sleeves and tons of other Tattoos, it's so great!

Friday we attended a funeral for some guy who was in our ward. Then we had more lessons and had our weekly planning!

Saturday started with some people randomly bible bashing with us after they drug us into their home. Then I got to drink some flower juice stuff and it was sooooo good. I chugged two glasses and the Peruvian family who gave it to us thought it was absolutely hilarious. They now love me a lot. Then we attended an awkward Mexican Wedding and went on splits afterwards.

Sunday started with a super long church meeting that I almost fell asleep in and then actual church and afterwards a recent convert told us her grandmother was a witch and did black magic and it affected her kids and her house was all weird. So naturally it ended up with us walking 3 miles with a teenager from the ward (Memo is his name) to her house. Once there I got to perform an exorcism! We are still wondering if maybe we will have a door to the underworld open up in our fridge or something now....So that was quite the experience!

Entonces, it's pretty awesome being here in Las Vegas! I've had tonsss of awkward and uncomfortable experiences with random people and it couldn't be any better! I love it so much here. Basically it's like walking around the trailer parks of a Grand Theft Auto game teaching people about Jesus and the gospel. It is definitely sad seeing all the poverty and the things that some of these kids are exposed to at such a young age, that's a bit of a downer, but we have something to tell them that can let them know that there is hope!

Also all our lessons are in Spanish and I understand a good 5% of what is said. It's wonderful, but the people and other Elders say my Spanish is actually pretty great for being here only 5 days!

It's such an insane experience being here in Vegas, but I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now!

Until next week!
Elder Lawson

P.s. Here are some pictures of us at the wedding, walking to go do an exorcism and my companion and I!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Conference in the MTC - April 1, 2017

We are alll sitting in the gym that has been converted to a stadium style event for watching conference. We have the lovely opportunity to sit on nice and hard plastic chairs for a good ten hours over these next two days. I miss my red couch a lot.

Week 6 (My Final Full Week at the MTC!) - April 1, 2017

Hey Guys!

So this week we did a ton of stuff! Well as much as you can do sitting in a compound 24/7, but hey we are figuring out things to do! Also as the title suggests, I leave next Wednesday morning for Las Vegas! I'm ecstatic. It's going to be so cool actually being there and teaching real people and not understanding a word that they say. Also it will be super hot, but that's okay!

Anyways Sunday we sang our goodbye song like every district does the Sunday before they leave (Ours was a Sunday earlier because General Conference is this weekend) and I totally forgot the song we sang, but part of it was in Spanish and that was the most important part. After we had our temple walk and I got a sick selfie with our Branch President (The sorta leader guy over our zone), President Jeffs. He is a lawyer, but he is a cool lawyer, so it's all cool if you talk to him and you don't have to worry about getting sued by him. At least that's the conclusion so far. More test are needed.

A few weeks ago we got our travel plans for Las Vegas and there are 8 people total in our group that are going to Las Vegas. Three of us are in the same district, so we were very curious who the other five were.

On Monday while heading back to our residence we met a few guys who are going to the Reno Nevada Mission. We told them that we are going to the Las Vegas mission. We were then quite surprised when they told us that they have five sisters in their district who are going to Las Vegas Nevada the next week! We had found the other five! Well sort of...But not really. The Elders told us that the other five had been looking for us because they wanted to meet up and see who the other people going to Las Vegas with them were. We exchanged classroom numbers and said that we would stop by later to meet them. No one was there when we stopped by after gym time. Nor were they there a few days later. We quickly lost hope.

On Tuesday we had our devotional and a member of the Seventy talked to us. He is giving a talk in General Conference on Sunday. His name is Elder Palmer, so definitely watch out for him. He gave a really good talk. I enjoyed that a lot.

On Wednesday we got a new district of five people. 3 Elders and 2 Sisters. We later introduced the Elders to the wonderful game of Pencils (or Spoons, whichever you prefer) and explained our ways of life and the monarchy system which we would like to establish in our zone with Kings, Lords, and lowly peasants. They were very disappointed to find out they they would start at the bottom as farmers and with time they might be able to work their way up to baker or even a blacksmith. We have yet to instate this new system.

Thursday we had our last class with Hermano Hunsaker. He is the mysterious teacher who started out as Michael and turned into Adriano. We have yet to find out his real identity. We got a sick picture afterwards.

Friday we had In-Field orientation. It is a last minute event to teacher all the departing missions some stuff that they should know before they leave. I have forgotten everything they said.

During the orientation Elders Gerber and West were meeting a lot of people who are going with them to Ohio next week. I quickly realized that maybe those five Sisters were in that same room with us. I announced a bit loudly to my companion, Elder Wardell, "Maybe those five Sisters that are going to Las Vegas with us are her.". Then we watched as a girl sitting in front of us turned to her companion and asked, "Did you here what that guy just said?". Five girls sitting in front of us all turned around in unison. We had found them!! We quickly introduced ourselves and started talking about the mad search that had taken place that week between all of eight of us in hopes of finding the missing half. We were then separated into rooms and decided to eat dinner together. So after orientation that is what we did. They all were super cool and it was sick getting to know other people that we will be with for the next two years. Also definitely a 10/10 story.

Later that night we had our last class as an entire district with Hermana Peacock. Also another sad class, but we did get a picture with her as well!

It was a super fun week and I'm really sad to have to say goodbye to half my district on Monday and then the rest on Tuesday and sometime Wednesday. They have all quickly become some of my best friends. It's going to suck, but they will do great in the places that they go too.

I'm really excited for this next week and all that will happen. Also my P-day will change when I arrive in Las Vegas, so my emails will most likely be on Monday. Which is great because by my next email I'll be in Sin City!!!!!!

I hope everyone is doing great!

Elder Lawson