Monday, January 11, 2016

I Love the People Here!

Learning to love the desert
Well, it looks like my email for last week didn't send! I'll try to include some of the stuff from last week and hopefully this one will be a little longer.

I'm having problems loading the
video here but this shows a little
of the rain and snow he refers to.
Last week started off very interesting because of a new mission policy. They've been really clamping down on mileage limits for mission cars. Anyone who was over on miles last month had to park their cars for a certain number of days. Now that's all well and good in Las Vegas where you can bike from one end of your area to the other without too much difficulty, but when your area starts at the Hoover dam and goes 90 miles to the south, it's a little interesting, haha. We got off pretty easy though, we only had to park our car for 1 day. Some other companionship’s had to park their car for a week!  Which brings me to another part of this last week; it's been raining and snowing buckets! I'll send some videos of some of the roads and storms. Like I say, we were lucky we only had to park for a day. Some other elders were walking home in the rain after dark, carrying around a piece of rebar in case they came across coyotes!

Last Sunday we had an amazing fast and testimony meeting! I don’t know what it is about this branch, but everyone in it just seems to be amazing! I was close to tears multiple times. Speaking of being close to tears in church, that brings me to this week. Elder Andersen and I were asked to speak, and for anyone who knows me, they know that that means I shed a few tears over the pulpit. I spoke on the Book of Mormon, and Elder Andersen spoke on the atonement of Christ. We got a lot of really nice compliments from everyone, and I think it went really well!

Last week we met a few people who have E.I. (Environmental Illness) - Essentially it means that they have serious allergic reactions to very common everyday chemicals, and in some serious cases can even be adversely affected by large amounts of electricity in the surrounding area. I had heard of it before, but wasn't sure whether it was real or not until I came down here. We met 2 or 3 of them last week, and it's sad to see how hard everyday life is for them. Apparently, Dolan is a popular place for them to live because it's so far off the grid and also has a good climate for them.  One of the people we met was outside and wasn't interested but we asked him if he needed help with anything and that totally changed his mindset! He couldn't believe that two strangers would be so willing to help him. He seemed like he hadn't had any offers for help in a long time, and it was nice to see his gratitude for our offer. It's always cool to have experiences where even if you're not sharing the gospel, you're given a chance to show kindness to one of God's children.

One of my favorite people that we've been teaching is a couple by the name of Ray and Sandy. They're really interesting people. I guess the best way that I could describe it is they're like desert nomads. They live in a camper, and they've been traveling the country for years.  Wherever they go, they pay their way by painting addresses on curbsides. They're both really eager to learn, and are just all-around amazing people!

Also, this Saturday I got the chance to drive up to Vegas and see one of the people I had been teaching in Haven, Pam, be baptized! It was really cool to see her make that step! Her husband, Keith, who was inactive when we started meeting with them, has since become extremely active! He bore his testimony at the baptism, and could barely speak he was so overcome with emotion. He talked about how grateful he was for the chance that they'd been given to grow closer through the gospel. They're such an amazing couple, and I’ve been so lucky to get to be a part of their conversion.

I've been ponderizing a verse of scripture that's really kind of cool. Mosiah 12:27 says something along the lines of "Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise." It's a really cool thought that it's so important to the Lord that we rely on our hearts and the spirit just as much to make decisions as we do on logic.

I've been trying really hard to pay a lot of attention to what the Lord wants me to say at any given time, and it's given me a lot of cool opportunities to share my testimony and be an instrument in the Lords hands.
That's all for this week! I love you all!
Elder Excell

Q&A - 1/11/2016
1.)  What is on the schedule for P-Day today? -- We went shopping, got the car washed (it really needed it this week) and are now emailing at he stake center! We'll probably play some basketball later today! 

 2.)  Do you have lots of people that you are teaching right now?  -- Quite a few! I'll talk about some of them in my letter. 

 3.)  What was the best part of your week?  -- I'll put that in the letter too!

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