Good Morning! And what a beautiful day it is here in Las Vegas.... well at least looking beyond the desert it is. The work is going great and I've enjoyed getting to know the new greenies in our zone. It was a pretty special day the other week when I was able to lose the title of greenie and become a normal missionary!!! Speaking of which I think I've about figured out the hierarchy of missionaries since arriving in the mission field. There are three main levels to the hierarchy of missionaries and with each level your gain more favor with the other missionaries. From 0-6 months you are considered a greenie and are at the bottom of the pyramid. While you are on this level you will be told numerous times from missionaries on higher levels that "you don't know what your talking about", "the MTC is different from the field", and that "you'll understand when you've been out as long as I have". Once you have been out for 6-12 months you go up a level from greenie to normal missionary who now has ranking status over the greenies. While at this level you have gained favor among fellow missionaries and have more power to use at your own discretion. You officially have the power to play practical jokes on the new missionaries and ask for favors from the elite missionaries. You are allowed to choose where you want to eat for lunch and how to spend your free time on P-Day's. Finally is the level of elite missionary for those who have been out for 12-24 months. Once you have past the year mark on your mission you are of equal status with all the other elite missionaries even the ones who are about to go home. While at this level you have the power to ask for favors from the mission office, zone leaders, and even the assistants if you know them well. You have the right to point out air planes in the sky to new missionaries and ask them "how far away do you think that plane is?" to which they say "I don't know a mile or so" and you respond "Well it's about 10 months for me and about 24 for you" (works best when you only have a few weeks left). You also have the experience card to pull on all lower level missionaries and you remain at elite status for the entire last year of your mission. Leadership and training callings do factor in at times but have little effect over all. So ya that is the Elder Reeves hierarchy of missionaries as I have observed in the mission thus far.
Anyways... back to the week. It was a good week besides the number of lessons that canceled due to people being sick. On Friday I was able to meet our new investigator Brittani for the first time and teach about the Plan of Salvation. When we went over she had a friend there who sat in on the lesson and agreed to go to church with Brittani on Sunday. When Sunday came something came up and neither one was able to come, but we have a lesson set up for this Friday and hope they're able to make it this week. Our lesson on Sunday with Jamie was good and we went over the importance of prophets, and the commandments. We committed her to keep reading and to pray about prophets and baptism. Unfortunately she will be out of town for the next two week so we have to wait till the 17th to teach her again.
On Wednesday we were able to get our bishop to come to a lesson with Joseph which I think went really well. Joseph was shot 3 times at a friends BBQ less than a year ago and is paralyzed from the waste down. Joseph looks up to our bishop who is also in a wheel chair but hasn't let that keep him from his family and his life. Joseph is in a pretty bad situation right now and is hoping to start living a more normal life in the near future. On Sunday we brought him a mini fridge from my last apartment that missionaries don't use anymore and he seemed to be in a good mood and was very appreciative. He had been eating less since it was such a struggle to get up and go to the kitchen each day and we figured he could use the fridge to store drinks and snacks by his bed so he wouldn't have to move.
Beyond that we had some other good lessons and my companion and I are still getting along great. We also both tried sushi for the first time on Friday when a member of the singles ward took us out. It was an interesting experience but I didn't think it was to bad some of it was really good, but still probably nothing that I would go out to eat after the mission at least not very often. I like my food cooked for the most part. Well I hope your all doing well and wish you the best!
- Elder Keller Reeves