This was another full and busy week! We had a meeting with all the mission leadership and then zone conference the following day. There were a lot of good things discussed there about our culture and obedience and what we can do as leaders to help others change.
El Rancho ward is going well!! Irene is progressing so fast! I was sad to leave my last YSA ward but it is really cool because our ward now has a lot of YSA in it. Most of the Hispanic kids like to stay in the Spanish ward and don't go to the YSA ward. And so we have good group of YSA and most of them are ward missionaries and our ward mission leader is young and so it’s a lot of fun. Irene went to high school with a lot of them and so it has just been perfect fellowship. We have been working a lot with Irene about faith and courage and following the Holy Ghost. She told her mom this last week that she went to a Mormon church and now she is going to tell her next that she is getting baptized. She also has to tell her other church as well that she is leaving and becoming a Mormon. So there are a lot of hard things she has to do, but she is so strong! She worked graveyard Saturday night and still came for all three hours of church. We went on a hike with her and the sister missionaries and people from our ward last week on p-day and we are planning a bike trip to Lake Las Vegas for next week! So it's a lot of fun stuff and great fellowship for her. She also is a photographer and so she takes good pictures and we even recruited her for our ward activity to take pictures.
The activity we had was a plan of salvation night. I did this a year ago in my last Spanish ward. We had everyone get on a "plane" and then we all died and they got to go through the different kingdoms of glory and learn about where they wanted to go. Outer darkness was crazy! Nancy, a member of our ward, went all out for it. We had strobe lights and fog and scary music haha! And the other two kingdoms were desanimado as well. And so when everyone got to the celestial kingdom they were very excited! And it showed the stark contrast that is between where God dwells and the other kingdoms. We had around 50 people there and 5-7 of them were investigators! So that was a neat activity.
This last week, as well, I went back to my old area on exchanges with the assistants. It was great to be back in that ward. They threw a "surprise" birthday party for me and at the party there were 4 of my recent converts and 1 investigator! That was just so cool to see them still going strong! I was able to go out with Ross, one of my recent converts, to some lessons afterwards! He is not scared at all to share the gospel its great!
This week we saw some miracles in finding and teaching some people that have real intent. One lady was a member referral and she came to church on Sunday and we were a little worried what she would think because the power had gone out and so the chapel was dark and there was no AC. Ha but she didn't mind and the power came on later and she stayed all three hours and even signed up on our dinner calendar to feed us! Also at church a former investigator came and we were able to teach her afterwards. And it was so cool because now she is ready and we set her with a baptismal date for August! So the Lord is always ready to bless us.
The Spanish is coming little by little. Sadly I won't have as much time as I really want to get fluent. But I can understand most of it (depending on who is speaking) and can express myself to some degree and so I will try to hold onto that throughout my life.
In the zone this week we are going to talk about change and how important it is to always be progressing and changing. We are going to talk about our founding fathers and the last change and effect they had in this country. And then in a zone meeting tomorrow we are making our own zone constitution with a bill of rights about how we will proselyte, be obedient, and be sustainable. And then everyone will write their own personal Declaration of Independence from all things carnal that hold us back and sign it and we are going to put it on a huge flag! Here is our preamble:
"We the missionaries of the Nevada Las Vegas North Zone, in order to be more perfect disciples of Jesus Christ, establish exact obedience, insure long term sustainable growth, preach repentance and baptize convert, promote the spiritual welfare, secure the blessing of God to ourselves and our posterity, do sustain and establish this constitution for the North Zone.”
I can't believe my mission is almost to a close. I am so excited to apply all the things I have learned on my mission for the rest of my life. To be a covenant keeper in a world that makes it hard. I am excited to see all of you and share with you my testimony face to face. I can boldly say that you won't even recognize me because of the person God has helped me to become through the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have two weeks left and it's time to make them the best two weeks of my mission! We always have to keep growing! I love you all.