Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lunchtime in Vegas

Letter from September 10, 2012

This past week ended up going great as we hoped it would. My companion and I continued to lead the zone and finished the week with 20 lessons,received some great referrals and found some more investigators! We also found out from Keanu's 18yr old sister that she wants to start taking the lessons as well which is so awesome! This week did however have a downside as result of me getting a little carried away during companionship study. We were reading over the missionary handbook in which we came across the section about personal health and using the missionary health guide to assist you in maintaining a healthy life style. My companion stated that he didn't even think he had the book so I grabbed mine and out fell a rubber resistance band for working out and also happens to make a wonderful slingshot..... Long story short I wound up behind the sling shot that was set in the hall way between two doors (BAD IDEA). I grabbed the closest thing to me which was a battery (REALLY BAD IDEA) and lightly launched it across the room which deflected off our night stand and went through our window! I then had to go to the office and inform them that I broke our window. All in all it was not a very fun day and I was given an estimate of $310 to fix the window. Now believe it or not this story does get a little bit better....But not very much. That night after coming home my roommates informed me as I walked in the door that they had found me a new window and I ran to the room to find two windows that were no where near the size or style of window that I needed. So the next morning I went through the phone book and found an ad for a window replacement company that looked promising and I called them up to come over and give us their estimate for the damages. I was so relieved when they came and said they could do it for $180. We then asked them if they could use the other windows we had been given and as result were able to get another $20 off which now means I'm down to about half the price of the original estimate!!! The company is supposed to come today to replace the window and hopefully all goes well. Who would have ever guessed that I could burn through all my money that fast in the mission. Haha well I should be able to make it through but I will be living off my Ramen Noodles for quite a while.
My companion and I were able to do some real service this week and went over to the Warburtons to help them with their garden. It was a great experience and brought me back memories from the farm work this last summer. I'm still so happy I got to meet the Warburtons and be a part of their conversion the big news for them now is that we are trying to get their 18yr daughter more involved with the lessons and with coming to church. She's been extremely busy with school and hasn't had the time for or the interest in the church. We really hope that she'll change her mind and at least let us begin to teach her the lessons.
We also picked up a new golden investigator this last week who I'm sure will get baptized but we sadly handed him over to our roommates who are over the singles ward seeing as how they are more likely a better fit for the young man. I'll continue to let you know how our other new investigators progress and can't wait to share how things pan out for the other half of Keanu's family. Our 3 other investigators we had set to get baptized this month are still solid but because of scheduling issues we had to push their baptisms back a week.
In regards to the movie the 'Best Two Years' I would love to watch it again now that I'm on my mission and see how accurate it really is. Also the Warburton's are beginning to look into the "Cheesy Mormon Films" that our family so loves and I provided them with some suggestions to look into.
I love the stories you guys share with me and would love to hear even more. Oh and what's this thing about Dave's public bathroom experience!?!?
Well I love you and wish you the best,
Elder Keller Reeves

Letter from September 5, 2012

Well it would seem I have lots of questions to answer (which I guess comes with the territory of being a missionary) but I'll start by saying that this has been the best start of a week I could ask for! This last week was stressful and sluggish. Our week was filled with meetings and slowed due to the lack of access to a car then to make matters worse our two golden investigators gave us a scare going into the baptism! After finding out they would have to be interviewed by our mission president I had an extremely hard time sleeping at night. I woke up three to four times throughout the night thinking about them and whether or not we would still be able to baptize them. I'm very happy to say that all went well and we baptized the couple into the church on Saturady as planned!!! The mission preident then came to the confirmation on Sunday which I perfromed and was terrified about. As if confirming and blessing a family in front of an entire ward isn't nerve racking enough, having the mission president next to you as you do your first is beyond terrifying! I'm so thankful that I was able to confirm them though and feel much more confident moving forward.
Now to this amazing week!!! Monday we weren't able to write home since the library was closed for Labor day so we recieved permission to write home on Tuesday which ended up being such a busy day I couldn't write until today. Monday was a good day for us in which we set some more lessons and found new investigaors. Then the reason why Tuesday was so busy that I didn't have time to write home was because every second of the day was so packed with blessings we forgot ourselves and really got lost in the work. We began the day with a great district meeting where we made new goals for the following weeks and month. After the meeting we went home, had lunch, and began to unload the bikes we had been borrowing from our car. As we unloaded my companion overheard a lady nearby us speaking on the phone in a foreign lanuage. As he listened he soon realized that she was speaking Romanian which happens to be where my comanion was born and a language which he knows well. She began to walk away and as she did soon found my companion chasing her down to have an entire conversation in Romanian and invited her out to church on Sunday. We then continued to have a good day as we finally got a hold of Alex Mark who let us into his home to teach the first lesson to him and answer any questions he had. Following our visit with Alex we meet with Keanu's family in which we recieved even more exciting news. Keanu's older sister informed us that she has been thinking about being baptized finally and so we set her with a date as well as with appointments in which we hope she will also bring her boyfriend to. She then told us that her dad has also been thinking about baptism and wants to be able to baptize his youngest daughter when she turns 8 in November! What an amazing blessing it'll be to have their entire family baptized and active in the gospel of Christ. Finally to end the day we had dinner with the Hawker family in which it turns out Brother Hawker was raised in Burley Idaho and knows the Beck family! It was a great day and great start of the week and I can't wait to see how the rest of the week unfolds. Now to answer some of your questions, yes we do have another set of missionaies in our apartment and the four of us actually all sleep in the same room with our mattresses lining the walls going in a circle around the room. It's a tight fit but i'm so thankful to have other people with whom I can talk to and keep us all on the same page. Also no worries I have been using my personal time each night to write in my journal and have yet to miss a day we just use the last couple of minutes to play a quick game before we hit the sack. Thank you for the package you sent I just got it yesterday! As for that picture that's one of my friends from Idaho and as we had dinner with her family I also found out that one of my other college friends is in the same ward that my roommates are over. It really is crazy how many connections you make with people in the Mormon community.
 I'm so happy to hear that you guys are keeping busy and really wish I could have been there for one of dad's rocket launches (which I have yet to see). Tell Daniel happy birthday for me and if you could get me a list of everyones age's, and birthdays that'll really help me out! haha Sounds like football is going well and I can't wait to hear some more stories about it and about school. Have Harris write me more about his Eagle project and send me some pictures! I'm so proud of him and still think it's crazy that he'll be in my shoes before he knows it. I was telling Anna the other day that it's crazy how fast the mission is already going by. I hit my one month mark in the field tomorrow, and my two month mark for the mission in just two weeks! Oh and tell dad that the Warburton family who we just baptized are life members at front sight and think that we should all go together after my mission and get to know you guys. Well I can't wait to tell you guys how this week wraps up and the progress that we make. I love hearing your stories and wish I had more time to write.
Love you,
Elder Reeves

Picture at the mission office

Letter from August 27, 2012

  Well I'm glad to hear that you guys are keeping it busy at the home front! Out here my companion and I are sweating it out in the Vegas heat. We ran out of miles on our car for the month and are borrowing bikes to get us around town. Not only is this a far slower means of transportation but a far hotter choice as well. We have to be extra careful to keep hydrated going forward.
  As for our investigators we were able to hear back briefly from John Baker who was happy to inform us that Hollywood bought his story and plan to make it into a TV series that'll air in January!!!  He doesn't know how much their paying him yet but we get to meet with him later this week.  The Warburton family is scheduled to get baptized this Saturday at 5 and so we'll be teaching them the final lesson on Tuesday. We’re also teaching the first lessons to Gina and her son this week who are scheduled to be baptized on the 15th.
  We haven't had to much happen this last week due to zone conference, meetings, and other items so I'm hoping that this week is much better. Also we get to go to the temple on Wednesday which is of course really exciting for us! The Las Vegas temple looks beautiful from the pictures and from stories and I can't wait to see it for myself.
  My old MTC district set up an email group this last week and we are able to keep in touch with each other now. This is great because it lets me hear from other missionaries who are in the same situations as me being new to the mission field and lets me keep in touch with all my good friends. I still look to my MTC district leader as an excellent example and leader and someone I can still go to for advice.
  While we were over at Jordan Hoffman's this last week (whose scheduled to be baptized on the 8th) his younger brother walked in wearing a neon John Deer sweater that I just absolutely have to have, so I'm currently working on the situation. :) We still haven't been able to get a hold of Alex Mark who expressed a lot of interested in learning more about the church to us the other week. I left a note last week and when we drove by later the note was still there so we're hoping that he is just out of town for now.
  My roommates and I are getting along great and I've been learning a lot of new card games to play during personal time at night. I still haven't had any problem with getting plenty to eat and of course plenty to drink as well. I also found out this last week that one of my friends from college is in a ward that I'm over and I was able to have a short conversation with her mother on Sunday. It's crazy to think how small the world is... especially the Mormon one!
  I promise I will send the pictures but it'll be a bit. Maybe I'll get around to it once I start to get some mail from you guys as well.(Just kidding - I still need to get a flash drive to mail them) Well I love all of you and want you to know that I'm really happy to be here on a mission and especially to be in the mission to which I was called to. Best Wishes,
Elder Reeves