Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Opening the Gates in Sin City

4455 Allen Ln. #140 North Las Vegas, NV 89031
That's my new address, I think, I hope the Elder sitting next to me is telling the truth. It's the mission home, all mail goes through it and they will see that I get it.
Whew, what a week! I hope I get more mail and less email because I love all the emails I'm getting, but have very little time to read them and would like a hard copy.
Things are going great here. Different than what I thought, but I thought I'd be in a third world country by now. I'm loving it. I have two awesome companions, Elder Titus and Elder Findlay. They have us in a 3 some because I'm a "VISA-waiter" and no one has any idea when I could take off. I'll call you at the airport when I do. Elder Titus is a 6 foot 5 large Elder from Washington State that is just as large is Spirit. He is very kind and loves people and making them laugh, so naturally we are rather joyous together. Elder Findlay is his trainer and my temp trainer I guess, he's from Canada where he was playing college basketball before, and he's been out for about 20 months. He is obedient and knows how teach people, instead of lessons, with the spirit. I have probably the best companions here and I've grown to love them already.
We are in an area of Las Vegas that's only about 6 blocks, but jammed with people. 95% of it is Gated, meaning we aren't allowed to tract or knock on doors. We have one ward we cover, that should have about 500 members, only about 150-200 are active or even consider themselves "Mormon." My companions had been working here for about 6 weeks before I came, and they had practically no investigators or lessons to teach. But I have seen a miracle start to happen since I got here. I am thrilled to be out teaching and finding, and the Lord has been granting us success.
Now, we have many lessons with non members set up and with those inactive. We are seeing a large number of people come back to church after many years, and as we teach them lessons they are willing to give referrals of their neighbors and friends who are inactive or aren't members that we can go visit. I have felt the Spirit strongly, reassuring me, feeling me with comfort, peace, joy, and a love I've never felt so powerfully before. He has made it clear to me that this is where He wants me right now and as I be obedient with exactness, He enables me to make a large difference in these people's lives.
We seek people out and serve them. We have done yard work, move people to knew homes, and help people find jobs. We visited a man who was inactive for many years, and he said he wasn't interested in anything we could say, and we were wasting our time, and he would not come to church their was too much in his life right now, all before we had uttered a word. But we asked what he was struggling with, and he had been unemployed for some time and was losing all he had. We worked with him and contacted programs in the Church for him to help him gain a job. We addressed all his physical needs and did everything we could to help. We assured him of why we are here, our purpose isn't to gain members in the church. Our purpose to bring people closer to Christ by helping them receive the necessary ordinances. We are here as representatives of Jesus Christ, and will act like such. We are filled with a love for the people and will serve them and let them feel the love the Savior has for them.
I've found though, before you can take someone to where you want them to go spiritually, before you can talk about the Garden of Gethsemane and eventually the sacred grove, you must go to where they are spiritually. Learn their needs and adjust the lesson of the restored Gospel, that helps in all aspects of life, to their needs. I feel a love for the people here. The members are great, and very strong, and their wouldn't be missionary work without their help. I smile and talk to every person I can everyday. I open my mouth and the Lord feels it with what needs to be said to that individual.
I'm so grateful for my parents, I've realized everything in my life has prepared me for this time. I tell stories of past experiences everyday to teach doctrine and relate it to people. I am so grateful for all the past blessings and trials before my mission. I'm out of time. I'll have to write some letters. I will keep Robert in my prayers each day as with my other loved ones.
Love Elder Pollard

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