Friday, August 24, 2012

Letter from August 20, 2012

Well it's been another really eventful week in the Las Vegas West mission for Elder Reeves. Well to start the baptism went great!!! The young man Keanu actually asked me to do the baptism which was a really exciting feeling to perform my first baptism of the mission. I did however have to learn his full name (Ethan Guy Keanu Ha-o' Ka Avoloa) which as you can imagine was a bit of a challenge! I'm excited for the rest of his family and really hope they make the choice to be baptized as well. Our 15 year old investigator made it to the baptism and expressed to us how excited he is for his own baptism that is scheduled for the 8th of September. Our golden couple finally got back in town on Saturday and I was finally able to meet them at church on Sunday. They're super sweet and still seem as excited as ever to join the church! More exciting news is that we came across two more investigators this past week who want to get baptized. It's a single mom and her 13 yr old kid who had friends in the church. We currently have them scheduled to be baptised in September and look forward to teaching them the lessons. So all is well with one baptism done and 5 set for next month! We have yet to get a hold of Alex's schedule so we can meet with him but still have high hopes for him and his family.
   On the celebrity side of things we met this week with a retired cop named John Baker. He's the most decorated cop of America's most dangerous city Compton New York. It was neat to hear some of his stories as a cop and the spiritual struggles he had to face. He lived a pretty sinful life and now that he's retired is looking into our church for guideance. He just recently hade a book written about him called Vice and recieved a call from Hollywood who's flying him out to California to talk with him about making his book into a tv series. So He'll be in California this week and we can't wait to meet with him afterwards to see how things go. Who knows this could be the next CSI/NCIS!! Ha pretty neat stuff.
   For our P-Day activity last week we got to go to the Yamagata Residence in Spanish Hills. He's a member of the church who lets just say is a very very very successful business man worth hundreds of millions. His house had an indoor racket ball court on the bottom two floors, an indoor elevator, waterfalls, a gorgeous view of the strip, and a huge garage with all his very nice cars. The newest edition to his collection was a 2012 258 Italia Ferrari that was less than a week old. We of course all took turns taking pictures of us in and around the car. Brother Yamagata is honestly one of the nicest people i have ever met and has donated millions to the church and BYU Hawaii. 
   Well I'm so happy to hear that the Eagle Scout project went well and the boys are staying busy. You'll have to let me know more about the project and send some pictures. What do the care pakages have? And let me know how the hospital reacts to your very successful donations drive. Well wish you the best and hope to hear from you soon. Love
Elder Reeves

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Letter from August 15, 2012

Well for the past week since I've been here it's been averaging 110. So it's pretty darn hot! I'm definitely thankful that we have a car to drive and are not on bikes. The culture here in Vegas is really strange and interesting. Every house you stop at, whether they're members or not, generally offer you water so it's nice cause I'm staying really hydrated. In fact it's the law here to give water to someone if they ask for it! Crazy Right? But definitely needed! The short sleeve shirts are great! I honestly don't know what I'd do if I didn't have them.
As for the investigators and baptisms I was telling you about we have a 12 year old who is getting baptized this Friday! His name is Keanu and he's got an awesome family. I've been spending lots of time at his house since we give him reading assignments every day and then go and check up on how he's been doing. He has a younger sister and two older sisters. His 14 year old sister was baptized not too long ago as was his mom. His 16 yr old sister and his dad aren't though. His younger sister usually comes and listens when we visit and we were excited to see the whole family at church on Sunday. The family is from Hawaii and are super sweet I just hope we can baptize the whole family before I leave the area.
Another  two of our baptisms are these investigators who just randomly showed up at church a couple weeks ago. The husband came and took notes during the sacrament meeting and then went up to the missionaries after the meeting to ask how he and his wife could become converts!!!! Ha what an amazing story!  Right now they are out of town so I haven't met them but I look forward to meeting them and they are set to be baptized in two weeks!. The last set baptism we have is for a 15 yr old named Jordan. He self referred to the missionaries a couple weeks back and we've been teaching him the lessons. So far the only problems we've been having with him is getting him to come to church each week. His parents’ aren't interested in the church and no one in his family is a member so each Sunday he's either sleeping or hanging with friends. Hopefully all goes well and we can get him to start coming again!
Since I have been here we found a couple more awesome investigators that we're going to start working with this week. One is the Mark family. The father of the family's name is Alex who ordered some church dvd's and we've been trying to get a hold of him since. We finally got a hold of him on Saturday and he wanted to send us his schedule so we could come and meet with him. He was very clear in that he really wanted to meet with us and it was something that was very serious to him. It's just been hard to get a hold of him because of how much he works....which according to his wife is in the Wine and Spirits business haha but it should be a good meeting.
We received some more leads at church and a few more investigators that showed up! I really do love the area! We are over two wards here, the Hillpoint ward and the Palo Verde ward. The members are super sweet and really take care of the missionaries!  We had a delicious dinner last night with Brother Palmer of the Palo Verde ward and had some amazing steak, chicken, potatoes, and salad. As if that weren't enough as we were leaving he told us that he was going to be out of town for a bit and unloaded his fridge and cabinets to us. We literally went home with three large trash bags completely filled with food!! Yeah!  We don't have to go grocery shopping for another month or two.
Well here is a little bit more that I've learned about the Las Vegas area since I've been here.
 1. Cash is king. People will do anything to get money here which is often stealing and pawning for cash. The crime is horrible and since I live in a nicer area, there is security everywhere! A lot of the parking lots here have security guards walking around and almost every neighborhood is gated and has security. This makes it especially hard to visit members and to go tracking which luckily we don't even have much time to do since we're so busy with work.
 2. Looks are everything. People in my area are extremely worried about their looks. The rule of thumb here is that any one under 20 is generally three yrs younger than they look and any one older is older than they look. I was shocked by our sacrament meeting when the bishop called up girls that were only 12 but looked  like they were at least 15.  Ha it's really confusing.
The 3rd thing I have learned here is that Vegas is really the melting pot of the U.S. There are all sorts of people that live here from really really weird to some amazing individuals. We've been working with a couple in our area that's super involved in the shows that go on in Vegas and with the celebrities. Mike is in charge of building the stages and everything else apperance wise for huge car displays, shows, and whatever else comes his way. His wife Yo sews costumes and outfits for celebrities and theatre performances. She's currently working for the Phantom of the opera show that's in town but has worked with Justin Timberlake, Justin Beiber, N sync, and many other big names! Ha there such a crazy fun couple to talk with! Well my time is running out but it was great hearing from you as always and I wish you the best!
Elder Keller Reeves

P.S. I'll try and mail you the pictures I've been taking about as soon as I get a chance.

Here's my apartment address, Also I can always receive mail from the MTC offices which address you should have.

1350 N Town Center Dr Apt 1007
Las Vegas NV 89144

Love you!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Letter from August 7, 2012

Wow I've been in Vegas for a day and I already have so much to talk about and share. Well we left the MTC (Missionary training Center) at 5 in the morning yesterday to drive to Salt Lake. Our plane got to Vegas at 9 in the morning here and we went straight to the mission home and then stake center were we would hold our introduction meetings. The mission president greeted us with his counslers at the airport and claimed a historic day for the Las Vegas West mission in that our group of 28 was the largerst group of missionaries they have ever recieved. We had a delicious breakfast at his house and as I said began our classes at the stake center. At 5 that afternoon we finally recieved our assignments with our areas and new compainions. All but one of our zones here are actually in the Las Vegas Area so we're really living right here in Vegas! it was sad to finally say goodbye to all my friends I had made from our district in the MTC but I know that we all will do great work. I was called to Red Rock zone here in Vegas with Elder Guist as my companion. After meeting him I found out he's from Huston Texas and is actually dating a girl from our Stake back in Texas - Kacnyca Kim I believe she was in Weatherford ward. Anyways he seems like a great guy and from what I understand has really helped turn our area around, although he does seem to have a problem with following all the rules. The area we are in is great! It's supposedly one of the wealthiest areas of Vegas and the church is really strong here with lots of work to do. I've also been blessed with the supposedly nicest appartments in the mission. Things seem to be looking up for me. Well last night we went out to dinner with a member and I was then able to meet with our Elder's Quorm president who has practically filled in the role of ward mission president. He left me with some great advice and challenge to set high goals and become the first missionaries to baptize an entire family here in over 12 years. After meeting with him we finished the night by meeting with a 12 year old investigator who has been reading the Book oof Mormon and reporting his progress and understanding with the missionaries. He's in a part member family whose extremely sweet to us and I look forward to working with more. As for the line up we have 4 baptisms lined up in the area and i can't wait to see those through. My excitment and desire to work hard has really been boosted by my call to this area. Well I love to here from all of you and wish the best! I enjoyed being able to talk with you before we left and I'm excited to keep you updated about my ward and area. Love you! Elder, Keller Reeves

Monday, August 6, 2012

E-mail from August 2, 2012

Greetings from the MTC! The count down until I arrive in Las Vegas is now down to less than a week! Well just so you know I am allowed to print my emails out here at the MTC but my next P-Day I'll be in Vegas already and we will luckily have more time to email our families! I thank all of you guys for your prays and support. I have continued to grow spiritually here at the MTC and I feel very prepared to go and serve the people of the Las Vegas West mission. It sounds like the Olympics are exciting and while I wish I could be home watching them with you guys their is plenty of work here to keep me preoccupied. I'm sorry if I'm slow with getting back to some people but just about every second of my day here is packed so I make the best of the few minutes I have on Prep Day to write my letters and emails. Well today was the first day that we were able to go to the Provo temple since they reopened it and it was a great way to start the day! I love the spirit that the temple can bring even on our so called "free day" even tho we all know it's not really a free day since we have agreed to give everyday of the next two years to serving the Lord. We had a great devotional in the evening by Rex Pinegar who used to be the president of the 70. In it he shared many stories from his time as a mission president and left us all with new energy to go and serve the best missions we can! My district all got front row seats to the devotional and were very happy that we had waited the hour and a half to do so! The MTC really has been a great experience but I can't wait till monday morning when we get to step foot in the airport and begin to teach the gospel. Here we tend to be pretty sheltered from what's happening on the other side of the gates, but once we step foot in the airport I want to really hit the ground running. I can't wait to meet my new senior companion in the field who will train me. All my teachers so far here in the MTC have been awesome and I really couldn't have asked for much more. Just the other week one of them shared with us some pretty neat information about the english missions. He was telling us how blessed the English speaking missionaries are to have the newest remodeled building on campus since originally they were building it for the spanish speaking missionaries. After they finished the building the brethren of the church switched it to being for the English missionaries because of events that are going to happen over the next few years. He said that the brethren of the church see a huge increase in the need for English missionaries in the near future and the work that they will be doing and as a result they are giving us access to all of the best equipment here.....which means new classrooms, desks, computers, and HUGE FLATSCREEN TV's! Ah YEAH!!! haha well I can't wait to see what my mission holds in store for me, and I'm so grateful to be able to serve at this time in history! I love all you guys and wish the best!
Elder Keller Reeves

E-mail from July 25, 2012

Hello from the MTC! Well as you can prob figure today was our first P-Day. Man things have been happening at such a fast pace over this past week. This is one of the first moments I've really had to sit down and process all that has happened since entering into my mission. The spirit here is so strong and my ability to read and understand scriptures has begun to amaze me. Never before have I taken so much out of my reading and begun to get excited about reading the stories of the book of mormon. Unfortunately we only have 30 minutes to write our emails each week so I'll have to write my thoughts fast before it kicks me off. Well we've all ready begun to teach lessons and have mostly taught about the restoration and prepared to teach our next lesson on the restoration tomorrow. My companion and I have luckly improved countless amounts tho since our first lesson and are excited to begin to teach our "investigators" about heavenly fathers plan for them. Speaking of companion I have been blessed with a very knowledgeable companion who definately has a strong.... personality. I love my district so much and we all get along great! I'm so excited to be able to go to Las Vegas with these guys on the 6th!! We also found two other disticts here of missionaries who are heading to the same mission at the same time as us bringing it to over 16 of us who are going to the Las Vegas West mission together. I've only heard good things about the mission we have been called to labor in and I so incredibly excited. I just recently heard about the Colorado shooting and it really saddened me but brought a reality of the work that we need to be doing. I've been able to have a couple moments since being here that I have been hit by the spirit as only a few other times in my life. In our introduction ceremony we began to sing army of helamen and changed the words "we are as the lords missionaries" to 'we are now the lords missionaries". Man what a powerful song and realization of the great blessing to be serving a mission. Later on on sunday we had a fantastic devotional in which we were blessed to here from a member of the 70 who taught us that no matter how hard the mission gets if we but push forward we will be blessed greatly, or more importantely the people who we teach will be. We related his teaching to the song come come ye saints. I'm still amazed by the power of the spirit that song can bring into a room.
      Well I was able to find all the things you left me mom thanks so much I'll write you a letter when I have the time. Also I haven't recieved any of the mail that people have been sending so I'm not sure if ya'll have the wrong address or if they just haven't gotten here yet so hopefully it's the latter. Well my time is running out so I'd just like to thank again all the people who have halped prepare me for this moment in my life. For my familys(Reeves, and Becks), and my brother Cary for serving a mission himself and setting an example of endurance. I thank my leaders and teachers through out the years, and all of my great friends. This really will be the hardest and best two years of my life and I'm so excited that the mission has begun!! Love you guys!!!!

Elder Keller Reeves