Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another AMAZING week in Las Vegas


Familia!
I love hearing from you every week.  It's neat too to get Bryce's emails - they are always packed with awesome experiences.  & nice job Braxton!!  Holey moley!  You're going to Paris?  If they had an Eiffel tower in Arkansas I bet you could kick a football over. :D  I used to love doing punt, pass, and kick.  Austin Allen would always beat me, but I usually had a chance against him in pacer. :)  That's awesome too about Brooks Ellis.  Brooks, that's going to be you in a couple years!  & good luck this Thursday Ben.  Watching film the Friday after your last game (if you win!) was always fun at Woodland.  Thanks for forwarding the pictures too of Bryce at the baptism.  Now that I realize the good work that goes into preparing others for baptism, it makes me so happy to hear about the elder Elder Young's successes. 
This week has been AMAZING.  I know I say that every week, but it really has.  I wish there was a way to share everything, but because of time, I'll share a couple experiences.  (I am working on writing letters too, sorry it has taken so long!)  A couple cool things I discovered this week are:

-We are related to my mission president's wife! Sister Neider - she is related to Brigham Young.
-I met a missionary from Rogers, Arkansas at the mission Halloween party!  His name is Elder Dunn and has been out for a little over a year.
- & There is also a Sister Cummings in my mission who is related to a Hal Cummings.  Are we related to Hal?
Every Monday, W, & F, Elder Payne, Latu, and Jensen, and I go work out at a member, Craig's, house & it's always really fun.  A lot of the members here in Las Vegas are in either ex-marine or in the air force, so the workouts are super intense.  Elder Latu used to play football in Hawaii (DT) and I think Craig was in the military.  Craig taught Elder Latu and I hand to hand combat moves that we can use if we decide to play football when we get back, haha.  The mornings we don't go to Craig's house we play sports at the stake center, so we get plenty of good exercise.  & yes :) the members here feed us very well - I'm glad you got the picture from the Corcrans!  They are an awesome family.  I felt like I was at home feeding the missionaries - they have roast every Sunday & always have delicious dessert.   

On Halloween night we had a big mission get together.  We watched Ephraim's Rescue and then had a brief testimony meeting.  It was fun to see Elder Gwilliam and Phipps there and talk with lots of missionaries.  After the testimony meeting, a quartet sang "Come Thou Fount" & I felt like I was in Heaven. :) Elder Dean and I are planning to sing a Christmas song for the talent show coming up next month.  Tomorrow is a big Gladys Knight event that a lot of investigators will be going to.  (suvchoir.org has more info about Gladys' events).  She'll share her testimony and how she came to know Jesus Christ.  Excited doesn't adequately describe como muito animado I am for tomorrow!
Each day is filled with "coincidences" - so many that it's hard to write them all in my journal.  One experience that is fresh on my mind happened last night.  Elder Payne and I just finished a lesson with one of our investigators, Beverly, and saw a man bringing in groceries.  We offered to help and he gladly accepted.  We got talking to him and it turned out he had a bad back and was praying for someone to help him out.  He had just recently been divorced and was moving into a new apartment.  He said, "Thank you so much, ... I was in your shoes once - I served a mission in Tallahassee, Florida!"  We talked with him about his mission.  He was super excited to tell us about it and shared his testimony with us about how merciful God has been in his life.  He hadn't been to church in a long time and it asked us if we would give him a blessing for his back and for comfort through a difficult divorce.  We offered him a blessing.   Earlier that day in church, Brother Boston, the man in our ward in charge of helping people find jobs, made an announcement in priesthood about how those who are out of work can call him for help.  Lots of jobs recently opened up and he said he is more than willing to help those in need.  As it turned out, Lohman, the man who we helped with groceries was searching desperately for a job, so we gave him Brother Boston's number.
I am humbled by how many people Heavenly Father puts in our way to help.  That's true for all of us.  God answers prayers through us, so it is so important that we are ready to serve at any moment.  That's something that President Monson's life exemplifies.  "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." - Mosiah 2:17
All of our investigators are progressing well.  Watching how the Atonement of Jesus Christ works in others' lives is one of the neatest blessings of missionary work.  A couple weeks ago at the end of one of our lessons, Elder Payne felt really strongly that we should sing a hymn.  Beverly was having a hard time understanding why she is here on earth, and how to find purpose in her life, so we taught her about the plan of salvation.  Then asked her if we could sing "I Am a Child of God."  Elder Payne is a really good singer (tenor) so a lot of times we just walk around singing hymns and get funny looks. :D  But the hymn I feel was exactly what she needed to hear.

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

 I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late. I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will,
I'll live with him once more.
I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.
When we sang the line "Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way..." the biggest smile went across Beverly's face. :) She doesn't smile very often, so that meant the world to us.  Now three weeks later, she's come from never smiling to always smiling. She has a baptism planned in a couple of weeks! with another one of our investigators, Sister English.  We are about to head off to teach Emma and Gary, (7 & 10) who are getting baptized in two weeks!  It's exciting to see how God works in the lives of people you love.  Emma and Gary are really fun to teach.  Elder Payne knows lots of object lessons, so we try to keep it interesting.  I don't know how I am going to leave Las Vegas to go to Brazil.  I already love the people here so much. 
I love you all so much too.  And am grateful for the perspective to know that we are all children of God - God is literally our Father.  I'm grateful to be able to talk with him whenever and wherever.  And I'm grateful to be able to email you all once a week.
Have a good November & happy early birthday Ben!! O~ O~ O~
Amor,
Elder Young (the younger)

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