Monday, April 10, 2017

I Love This New Area!!!

I LOVE THIS NEW AREA!!!  This place is amazing! I've always liked serving in the ghetto, and this is the ghetto of ghettos. I'll start with a few interesting observations we've made:
--Were straight up serving on Fremont Street! We have an investigator who's getting baptized next week who lives almost right under the Stratosphere, and yesterday, we were proselyting right next to the Golden Nugget, haha.
--Our area is MASSIVE!!
--On our first night, we were informed by our Elders Quorum President who came out with us to never sit down in someone's apartment unless it was on wood or plastic, because there are bedbugs everywhere.
--All of the strip malls here have some kind of a liquor store in them, haha. It's super funny to see the combinations of the strip malls. I'll try to find a funny combo to send a picture of haha.

All funny things aside, this area really is amazing. For one thing, the members in this area are probably the closest I've ever seen to living the law of consecration. They all have so little to give, but they give all of what they have. There are almost no active members of our ward that don't give a ride to at least someone else who has less than they do to get them to church.

And this is a blessed place for missionary work! We've found so many people this week who are practically begging to be baptized! We had 14 investigators at church yesterday, and we already have baptisms lined up almost every week of the transfer, many of which were set this last week! We even found a family of African refugees that we started teaching! It's a family of 6, and most of the family only speaks Swahili. The kids have picked up English pretty well in their first few months, but the parents haven't been as quick. The dad speaks French in addition to Swahili, so I've been trying to muddle through and translate as much as I can, haha. But even with limited understanding, the whole family came to church after their first two visits! 

We also had kind of a crazy lady come to church and hijack our gospel principles lesson that we found out we would be teaching just before church. She was a less active member, and interrupted our class to rant for 10 minutes about how the church's welfare program wasn't doing enough for her and how wronged she had been by the church. It was exciting, but I think we managed to get back to teaching about the priesthood ok, haha.

Anyways, suffice it to say, I definitely was heartbroken to leave my old area and assignment, but I love my new one so much and know this is where I am supposed to be!

I love all of you!
Elder Excell
We've decided that when people think of getting a mission call
to Las Vegas and proselyting in casinos and on the strip,
that's actually basically what our area is, haha!

Q&A – 04/10/17
1.)  We want to hear more about your new companion.  -- His name is Elder Holmes! He's a really good missionary! He actually served as a zone leader for several transfers. We've already seen a ton of success together! He's from Spokane Washington.

2.)  Was there any special reason for the double transfer into your new area? -- Well, part of the reason was I suggested it, haha. This ward is one that I've really wanted to serve in, because they recently took two of the biggest, most ghetto, wards in the mission, and combined them into one ward. We cover a big chunk of Las Vegas Blvd, and all of Fremont Street! There was a district leader there that we were thinking of pulling up as a ZL, and so I suggested that if President double transferred me in, he could put me there with anyone he needed to.

3.)  Have you found new people to work with this week? -- So many! This area is blessed beyond belief! I’ll tell you more in the main letter.

4.)  Do you have a car in your new area or are you getting some use out of your bike again? --  We've got a car, but a huge area and not a ton of miles, so we'll be doing a little of both.

5.)  How are you feeling about your new assignment? -- I really love it! I get time to study more, to focus on my investigators more, and to just relax every once in a while. But still work crazy hard!! 
We've decided to make a goal not to eat at a chain restaurant
all transfer, because there are so many amazing "hole in the wall"
restaurants around here. The bottom left dish is Tacos de Lengua
or cow tongue tacos!

I'll try to send more pictures of our apartment next week,
but this one pretty much describes it.  Our dryer's ON knob
is broken, so we use this monkey wrench to start it.
I love staying in ghetto apartments!

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