So good to hear how you all are doing. Good luck Brooks and Braxton on your last game this Saturday!! That's exciting about getting to go to the temple Thursday. We will get to go to the Las Vegas temple next week. Good luck this weekend too to Blake at debate!
Las Vegas has been great. (rhymes for Blake) I love my companion & the ward is super strong. haha yep the members feed us well & the food is delicious. The family's house that we ate at last night - the mom is the closest thing to a professional chef. She had us suggest what we want to eat next time, so I told her about heaven in a bowl. :) They have roast every Sunday as well.
Our district is great too - I know our zone leader from Denton EFY! I'm learning a ton. I definitely rely on Elder Payne a lot. He is an awesome missionary & super dependent.
There are a lot of Waites here in Las Vegas, but I haven't found the Waites that we know yet. I'm in the Las Vegas Northwest Area in the Mountain Shadows Ward. We are near an air force base, so a lot of members serve in the military and have traveled all around the world. Quite a few are from Brazil, so it's been fun to speak with them in Portuguese to keep it up. Elder Palmer, who we carpool with a lot, speaks Portuguese as well.
There are so many amazing things that happened this past week! I don't know if I'm going to be able to come home after two years - missionary work is awesome. There is a Gladys Knight event in a couple weeks we are all super excited about that we've been telling our contacts. She came to Little Rock not too long ago to do a devotional. She'll share her testimony and sing with a choir from Las Vegas - she lives not too far from here. There are lots of church orchestras and choirs here because of all the talent that comes from the Las Vegas valley. There is so much missionary work to do here that we don't normally knock on doors - just contacting and referrals.
Some of the neatest experiences so far have been in lessons with investigators. I know what you mean now, Dad, when you told me there is nothing like teaching someone how to pray for the first time. I never realized how much I would love those that we teach. Every lesson I can feel God's love for the people we are blessed to help. It's almost brought me to tears a couple times teaching others how to talk to Heavenly Father. There are so many people in need, and it's humbling to act for Christ in helping them. I know that Jesus Christ is leading this work; it's amazing how many miracles happen every day.
You all should watch the Mormon Message "Bloom Where You Are Planted" about a youth orchestra here in Las Vegas! Most of our missionary efforts here focus on inviting people to these events. Each is centered on Christ. It's been fun to connect with so many people - with it being football season and so much musical influence in my area, it's perfect. Yesterday I found out one of our investigators is from Fort Smith! He played on Northside (the team the broke my femur haha) and it was fun to talk to him. Also a member in our ward's dad played with Steve Young on the 49ers.
It doesn't get too cold here, but yes, that would be awesome if you could send a jacket (maybe my black dress jacket that I could wear with a tie and white shirt) with the package. My new mailing address is
Elder Brandyn Michael Young
9270 S Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89123
For the spiritual thought this week I want to share a scripture I used in my talk - Isaiah 32:20. It says "Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters."
It's a verse that could have a lot of good interpretations. The interpretation I thought was interesting was in relating it to Alma 32, which talks about how faith is a seed. In order for a seed to grow into a plant it needs water and light. D&C 88:7 talks about how light is truth. Water reflects light. In the same way, we can reflect truth. So in the analogy, light is truth and water is the example of others. Jesus Christ, our perfect example, is the "water of life" and "whosoever drinketh of this water, will never thirst." Later in Doctrine and Covenants 88, verse 74, it talks about how we need to "Sanctify ourselves, Organize every needful thing, and Work."
With that said, the interpretation I got of the verse is "Blessed are ye that [Sanctify ourselves, Organize every needful thing, and Work] beside [Christ]." Without Jesus Christ in this work, we are nothing. Yet with Christ, and the Holy Ghost, we can teach and serve with power. I know that Christ is the center of this work and I am so grateful for Him in my life.
Tinha uma sema otima!