Her first email from Vegas!
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, DAD! I gave mom your gift and card before i left so i really hope you like it and know how much i love and admire you. Thank you for your wisdom and support. My mission president said he would pray for you and your health as well :) specific prayers bring specific blessings!
Thank you Mom, Dad, Janae, Jon, and Nicole for the emails. It's amazing how much i love reading what you have to say. I included my letter to the mission president.... honestly, i don't really know exactly what i should include or say because they didn't tell us very much. Just know that i'll get better at things as i go. Hopefully that will be true of much more than letters to the president. so, it has been a great first couple of days. Wednesday night we did some street contacting and the second person we talked to, mark, gave us his address and number. Then Thursday night we did some street contacts and the 3rd person we talked to gave us her address and number. So, my own little joke is that 1 in every 2-3 people in Las Vegas will let us teach them. That might be a slight exaggeration. We've already had people run away from us, shut their blinds, make commitments while their drunk, change their names, pretend like they've never met us, and one guy, totally cholo, wanted to talk to us about all his tattoos. Las vegas is quite the place! :) i'm the driver and our area is absolutely huge. Because we are the spanish sisters we cover 3 stakes and who knows how many English areas. At least 6 English areas. Anyway, we have a gps because the area is huge and we get lost. So, i just follow the gps. we'll just say that the strip is absolutely absolutely off limits and we almost accidentally went there twice on the Sabbath trying to find David's house. It was funny but we were so close to the strip that sister cedillo and i were a bit panicked. Basically, the majority of main streets will all take you to the strip so we have to be careful. it was pretty funny though. The scriptures really are telling the truth when they say that the devil will carefully lead us all to hell....that is the strip in case your wondering :) and Janae i'm not in "nowhere land" there are plenty of people waiting for some Spanish speaking sisters to come knock on their doors. I'm actually in the mission office right now so my address is the same one.
to answer some questions, it's really not that hot here. it's warm but not too bad quite yet. our apartment is great. We have lots of cockroaches but oh well. the branch is small but great and incredibly welcoming. They all couldn't believe that i spoke spanish. The last blonde sister that served in the branch apparently had a lot of trouble with the spanish. my bike is still in the box. We are taking it to the ward mission leader later this week. President and Sister neider are the most optomistic people! they are excited for each of us personally. They told us that they prayed us to this mission and are thrilled to have us. i already love them both! Sister Cedillo kind of has a high pitch voice. She is the queen of spanglish and willing to work hard with me! the only thing that i questioned her about is that fact that we get to do zumba on thursdays because the members bring their friends. i was bad at zumba before and i assure you i'm worse as a missionary because i'm trying not to listen to the music. I talked to sister cedillo about it and we have special permission from president for zumba. kind of funny though.
Anyway, it's been really busy here but i'm loving it. we do work with the members a lot and they help us a lot too! Almost every neighborhood is gated to we can't get in without the members. almost always, we are told to leave if we try to knock doors. it's kind of hard because some say we can't be there and others don't. i'm making mistakes but i'm learning a lot too. we met a family of 9 at a bus stop. Raven and Isaac. We talked to them for almost 20 minutes and by the end when we bore our testimonies, i felt like they could feel the spirit and they wanted to know more. I'm excited for them! unfortunately, they speak english so they are a referral. It's kind of a bummer that all english investigators that we find are not ours to teach but it's a great advantage that we can talk to almost anyone because we know both languages. We are teaching a recent conver Martin and preparing him to serve a mission. Martin is kind of my motivation right now because he gave up a lot to join the church and he has incredible faith! There are a lot of people like martin that simply need help finding the truth. Missionary work really is incredibly important! working with the ward this last weekend i learned a lot. President bednar said that the release as a full time missionary is only a call to a lifetime of missionary service. how neat is that!? I love it! I'm so glad i have another 17 months of the best work on earth! I love you all!
Hoorah for Israel,
ps - jon and nicole, i'm way jealous of your chacos. Wear them out and tell me about your adventures. Nate, no more tantrums. Christian own your finals! you are almost done!
She included her letter to her President. Here it is:
Dear President Neider,
You told me the truth! The Nevada Las Vegas mission is the BEST! It has been a great first 5 days. Saturday we had our ward activity to promote member missionary work. It went very very well! i think they felt the spirit, had fun talking about their missions and went away from it excited to be more involved. Sister Neider's comments were perfect as well. yesterday in sacrament meeting one of the speakers told the whole branch about her comments. Yesterday i met the ward. We gave talks in Sacrament meeting and gave the lessons in gospel principles and young mens. it was a great opportunity to get to know the ward better and to let them know that i am ready to work and excited to be here. One thing that really impressed me as i prepared my talk was the importance of missionary work. If i don't want to do missionary work than i truly don't understand how vital it is nor the absolute love that God has for each of His children. Right now i feel very optimistic and enthusiastic but i've been told that the rough days will come. I think feeling the spirit testify of missionary work as i read my scriptures and as i boldy bear my testimony has already greatly blessed me. Sister Cedillo is a great trainer. I'm learning a lot from her and the way she teaches and the way she interacts with people. thank you president for being inspired to give her to me! Our recent convert, Martin is doing very well. we are doing a family home evening with his parents this friday. This will be our first time meeting with them. Sister Cedillo and i are excited to meet with them. I'm praying right now for a family to teach and i have faith that my prayers will be answered. maybe Martin's family will be the answer. We have several potential investigators but i have not met any of our progressing investigators yet. I'm excited to meet them and i'm excited to get going with the potentials we do have. One potential is Alma. She is married and she has one daughter. She seemed excited to meet with us again and very open minded. I am confident that if she, or any other person, truly understands the gospel she will have the faith and desire to change her life through faith, repentance, baptism, and confirmation. President Neider, I am so blessed to be on a mission here with Sister Cedillo under your direction. I'm not sure if i'm doing everything perfectly but i have a great desire to share my testimony with power and conviction because i do have a testimony of the restoration of Jesus Christ's church! God be thanked for the people here and the opportunity to share with them the greatest message on earth! Thank you President Neider! Hoorah for Israel!
Hermana Laurel Burrup