It was a pretty good week. On new years we had to return to our apartment at 6 pm. I decided to use the time to fulfill my dream of creating the largest ward map in the mission. It takes up 9 posterboards and I am very proud of it. I have now earned the title of "Map Master" (although it was self-appointed, my companions will now remember me as the map making missionary - I also made some other maps for our planners and area book earlier in the transfer). Someday when I get to use a good computer, I'll have to send you a picture (along with a few other pictures). The good news is that I discovered that Walmart lets you print pictures instantly, so perhaps I will attempt to send hard pictures sometime.
Transfers are tomorrow, and Elder Phipps is going to be transferred to the Mountain Shadows Ward (my first ward up in North Las Vegas), while Elder Butler is going to the East Stake (where Elder Hearne -my trainer- started his mission). I am surprised that Elder Phipps is being transferred since his VISA could be here any day (and his new companion is another missionary waiting to get his Visa so they could both be transferred and then the ward will be left without any missionaries at all), but I am excited for him to go to my old area. Elder Butler is going to the ghetto after spending all 6 months of his mission in one of the wealthier parts of the mission (He's in for a BIG surprise).
My new companion will be Elder Farr from Dubois, Idaho. He's been out for 6 months just like Elder Butler - and he will be the senior companion (like Elder Butler). I just hope that he's not as bossy as Elder Butler.
I am really hoping that the work will pick up this transfer. It is hard to stay focused (and sane for that matter) with 2 companions. But now I think that I will be able to get a better grasp on things, and we can be more actively working now that both of us will be fairly new to the area (the longer missionaries are in one place, the less motivated to work they become). I also intend to write more (as far as journals and letters go) this transfer now that I will hopefully have more opportunities to concentrate)
The Book of Mormon Challenge is the best.
(Mom insert: I shared with him that we have started the Book of Mormon reading challenge in the Young Men and Young women Group this year)
I have seen it bless many people (including myself). I have been able to read The Book of Mormon twice this last year. I am a slow reader so that was quite an accomplishment for me. I usually spend about an hour on every 1-2 chapters (I write a lot of margin notes and study the footnotes). But I want to try skimming through the book as quickly as I can sometime just to see if I can gain any insights from looking at the bigger picture. One of the blessings of being a missionary is that it is so easy to consistently study the scriptures everyday (because that mostly all we can do everyday).
One thing I thought I would mention is that yesterday President Neider attended our ward's fast and testimony meeting. It was incredible - I've never had a sacrament meeting quite like it. The entire meeting was focused on missionary work. He got up at the beginning and shared his testimony, then he called my companions and I up to the stand to sing"called to serve". Throughout the meeting, nearly everyone who shared their testimony focused their message on their favorite hymn. Following each testimony (that mentioned a hymn) we sang the hymn as a whole congregation (it kept the organist on her toes). Overall we probably spent half of the meeting singing. The Spirit was very strong and the testimonies were so valuable - there were no lengthy and distracting stories or random comments - but rather everything that was said was consistent with plain and simple doctrine. It was the ideal meeting to bring investigators to (unfortunately only one of our investigators showed up -while 6 others did not).
The last thing I wanted to mention is that an investigator named Brandon, who I taught in the Shadow Creek ward, was baptized last Saturday. I got to go and it was a great experience. I was beginning to worry that it wasn't going to happen (his girlfriend and parents hate the church). Also, the Olavincia family in the Las Palmas ward was unable to get baptized this last week because of a family emergency. However, they should be baptized soon, and there are also a couple other baptisms that I hope to see in the near future (with other investigators). I'll have to write about them another time (feel free to remind me).
Elder Kyle Jensen