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Monday, August 25, 2014

BLESSINGS!

Hola mi familia!

Question:  So how are they pronouncing Leete?

They pronounce it like: lay eh tay. Or just leetey. I just accept whatever. One sister called me Hermana Little. I just went with it. The members call us hermanita. 

So last P day we were in the mission office, picking up mail, chatting with Sister E when President Snow asked us if we wanted to go to lunch with them. So he and his wife took us out for lunch. Great meal. We went to Zupas. But kind of weird at the same time. Like, what did we do to deserve this? They're really cool. I love them!

I got to go to the temple on Friday! It's super weird because it's almost the same layout as our temple. (I think the outside of ours is prettier, but whateves.) This temple is rounder, and has more brown inside and outside. The whole inside is like a really light pink! It's super pretty. It's really funny because some things are just like a bit off, like a desk is in a different spot, or a door, or the ceiling is higher, or something like that and it throws me. But it's super pretty. I think I like our celestial room better though. This one is super pretty, but it's all white, silver, and glass. I love how ours has the gold in it, I think it's more inviting and warm. However, the stain glass windows are gorgeous! I got to see a new movie. That was cool. We had like 52 missionaries in our session (all the new missionaries and their companions). It was super full, and super cool. I felt the spirit so strongly and got confirmation of some questions that I had. Ya. I love the temple. I wish I could go all the time.

On Sunday we got a ride to night church and brought a less active with us. Night church is only sacrament meeting and is in North Las Vegas, like a 30 minute drive away. But it's in Spanish. Since we were close by the temple we stopped by also. You could feel the Spirit so strongly, (the less active) was almost crying. It was a really cool experience.

Another thing about the temple. Kevin might like this. There are all sorts of places, like in the foyer, right outside the front door, and in this weird circle place outside, that if you stand there and talk, you can hear yourself really loudly, but you have to be in just the right spot to hear it. Like in the foyer, you can sit on one couch, and someone else can sit on the other, and you can whisper, super softly, and the person on the other couch can hear you like they were sitting next to you! Awesome!

Wanna hear a story about how we were called fools? So, we're just walking around an apartment complex because our appointment fell through and we start to talk to this guy. It started off pretty nice, "when did they start having girl missionaries?" ya know, the usual. Then he started to tell us that he was a preacher/pastor person but realized it was incorrect and then left to be a porn star in LA. He then proceeded to tell us that he knows about all religions (including ours) are wrong, and stupid and don't make sense and have holes in them. (Oh, and being a porn star was a lot more fun than being a pastor.) Even Christianity has holes in it! I tried to testify of the Restoration, but he didn't let me speak. He said he knew all about our religion, and that Joseph Smith and the hat and the twelve plates (k, what? Where did you get this information?) was the stupidest thing he had ever heard and that ours was the stupidest religion ever, and we're fools and he hopes that one day we wake up and realize that we are fools. But, as he says, it's easier to fool than to realize you have been fooled. So that took up like ten minutes of our time, and we didn't get to talk at all but . . .

BLESSINGS!

So I noticed this guy sitting in his balcony above us, but we started to talk to the porn star (but like seriously, I was like, who would watch that porn, you are old and not good-looking). Once he left us (don't worry, we were super polite) the balcony dude said hi to us! He had talked to missionaries in the streets before and they gave him a Restoration pamphlet. We asked if he wanted another one, he said sure and came down. That's when we realized that we only had it in Spanish. But he said he spoke a bit of Spanish so it was ok. But we got to testify of the Restoration and tell him what makes our church different from the other churches. He was really nice, even if he only talked to us out of pity. Maybe he'll want to know more one day.

But ya, that was pretty much my week.

Love ya!


Hermana Leete 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Companions, Awesome Stuff, & The Lie about Tacos

Hola.

My companion is awesome. She's never trained or been senior companion before, so she's kind of nervous about it. But she's great, even if she doesn't think she is. She is from Virginia. She's a dancer, french horn, marcher, awesome person. She's been here for eight months and so she understands pretty much all of what people say. She can express herself in Spanish, even though it's not perfect (but who am I to judge, especially since she took three years of French before the mission). She's kinda spunky and spastic, but I like it. We kind of balance each other out. She is also blonde and short, so some people think we are related. However, when you say Leete in Spanish it sounds Polynesian (people have asked if I'm Polynesian because of my name) and since I went to BYUH she likes to tell people I'm her Polynesian companion.

My CCM companion went home this week because she was feeling worse. And the doctor here didn't know what was wrong with her. Hopefully she'll get the care she needs for back home.

Awesome stuff happened this week. We were just doing companion study one day when we got a call from someone. A dermatologist who is a Bishop in an English ward called us with a referral. One of his patients is from Guatemala, and he served his mission in Guatemala, so he talks to him in Spanish. Anyway, they got on the subject of religion and basically the guy asked for missionaries to come! So, the doctor  bishop went looking for the Spanish missionaries for his area, which are us! He even wants to come teach with us and stuff. Awesome, right?

We found two new people this week! We were trying potentials and the person we were looking for had moved, but we asked them if we could say a prayer with them instead.  That turned into talking about the restoration and the Book of Mormon.  The husband came home part way through and started to go off on us about only sharing the word of God.  He said we could come by, but only if we share the word of God.  He also said something about teaching people who don’t have the word, or something; neither of us really caught it.  But, as we bore our testimony, his heart softened.  We gave him a Book of Mormon, Restoration pamphlet, and Restoration DVD.  He said that they would read the Book of Mormon!  I’m pretty excited.  However, the wife is about to have twins (she’s like about to pop!) so we don’t know when we can teach then—if they’ll have time.

The lie about tacos. It's an American thing to fry tortillas. Don't get me wrong, I love your tacos, but Taco Bell has it wrong. Soft tacos, basically rolled up, is the way to go. And homemade tortillas--heavenly. Love them! The members feed us dinner every night, they won't let us feed ourselves. Even if we have meetings or whatever so we have to eat at like 3:30. And we are not allowed to eat with the Elders, so they have to feed one of us at 4 and the others at 5. It's gotta be super annoying for them.

Don't eat chili. I can't take it. I'm soooooo wimpy. Dad, you might like it. However, it's been nice to eat guacamole. I haven't had so much guacamole in my life, especially in recent years.  (Note from Ann:  a few years back I was diagnosed with an allergy to avocados, so there have been none in our house since then.)

We met E this week. He was a potential, so we knocked on his door. He didn't remember the missionaries, but he asked us all sorts of questions about what we believed in. God? Christ? Saints, the Virgin Mary? Do we have Mass? Communion? All sorts of this. Hermana D was really great at answering all of them. He took a Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet and said he would read them. Yay! So hopefully we'll get to see him again. 

V is one of our investigators. I just met him on Sunday. He's usually really great about going to church, but is super flaky on lessons. So he's been to church like eight times, but only has been taught the Restoration. But he hadn't gone in two weeks. But he came! Apparently, he's been feeling really sad, and he told us that he needs to come to church again and that he can't miss it, ever. He also came to the Why I Believe fireside and said he felt like they were talking about him. He keeps on dropping hints about being baptized, he had a date, but he missed it. So it seems like he is going to take the lessons more seriously and get ready for baptism. Cool!

There was a baptism on Saturday for the Desert Bloom Elders, so we went. All four of us sang. But I suddenly got sick, well, more of just a mucusy throat and such, so I sounded pretty bad and I couldn't sing high, like at all. So I sang alto. Hermana D and I also sang with some other missionaries at the Why I Believe fireside. We sang, Abide with me Tis Eventide. It went well, I could actually sing by that point. The fireside was just musical numbers and three testimonies of converts. They have Spanish translation for those that need it. It was pretty cool.

I'm not sure what else to say. We're focusing a lot on finding right now because a lot of our investigators like fell of the face of the earth. We're trying to find them again. And new people. But ya, that's life.

Love ya!


Hermana Leete

Monday, August 11, 2014

Desert Bloom 1 Area

 Hey guys!

Obviously, I didn't call in the airport. We didn't have much time. 

So, I spent some money. They should reimburse me for the luggage, but I don't know how/when that is happening. I bought some food at the airport, so you should see that on my card. I have heard a rumor that we will eventually get iPads. We pay for them ourselves, but we get to keep them. I don't know when this is happening, so I don't know what you should do money wise. I am going to use my card today to buy a blanket and a pillow. Maybe some other stuff too. I'm not so sure yet. I've been using an extra one that Sister D (my new companion) had.

My bike was waiting for me when I got here. I haven't used it yet. We have a car and our area is the second largest area so we can't really bike. We would only be able to visit like two people if we biked. But, this next week we are going to try and bike more. When would just only be able to bike close by and not for very long. We were thinking of breaking up our studies so we can bike when it's still cool in the morning, come back, study more, and then drive around. But, we'll see how it all works out. I think it's a good bike, like I've said, I haven't tried it yet. All of the missionary cars have bike racks, so it wasn't hard to get it to our apartment. It's a nice white color. I should've taken a picture for you.

It's been about 115 degrees everyday thus far. Except yesterday, it was only like 105. And cloudy. The clouds were nice. I am convinced that if we didn't have a car, I would melt. It's amazing how tan I've gotten in like five days. It's kinda ridiculous. I'm not excited for the awesome missionary tan line tough. My first day in a bathing suit in Hawaii is not going to be pretty.

I am in the Desert Bloom 1 area. We have a Spanish branch here. It's really tiny. Our area covers like three English areas. It's kinda crazy. We run into English elders and sisters a lot. Street contacting is kind of ineffective for us, because most of the people we run into only speak English, so we just have to refer them to the English missionaries. But it's ok, it doesn't matter if we teach them or someone else. But we're still working on finding people. 

This week wasn't very successful. Apparently there was some sort of exchange mix-up and people didn't make return appointments, or something like that, last week so this week we didn't really have appointments, and when we did, we had to cancel them because our meetings ran late. We had a lot of meetings this week. The first one was getting new companions, the second was training, and the third was district meeting. Sister D also had a doctor's appointment this week. We haven't had much time to do much visiting and stuff. But this week will be better. Oh, we also have four hours of studying in the morning, so by the time we finish and eat lunch it's like 1. But's it's ok. It'll be great.

Sister D is really awesome. She's been out for 8 months and I'm her first trainee. She's really excited and awesome. We're going to work great together. Which is good. I was worried I wouldn't like my trainer and I'd be stuck with her for at least twelve weeks. That wouldn't be good.

My area is in Las Vegas. We cover right up to the Strip. On the other side of the Strip is the West mission. Sister D warned me not to look at billboards and that they sell porn magazines like newspapers. So, ya. That's exciting. Like all of the houses are made from stikka (I don't know how to spell it), so, like Styrofoam. Weird. People don't have lawns, they have rocks. Things are basically different shades of tan and brown.

I'm so glad you guys are getting involved in missionary work. We, as a family, have been passive for too long! We, especially since so many of us are return missionaries, need to work more. Invite more people! Work with the missionaries! Make nonmember friends! Feed the missionaries! (But don't take the missionaries out for dinner, that takes up way too much time, they have other more important things to do. And I have a experience that goes with that, I'll tell you in a minute.) Be missionaries! Come on guys! We can do it!

I think it was Thursday that we had a dinner appointment with a member and we found out that there were going to be two of our investigators there. So we were super excited! However, when we got there, they were like "we want to take you out to dinner" and we're like, sure, that's great. And they kind of told us where we were going, and Sister Davis wasn't really sure where it was and so they were just like "follow us." We're following them in the car, and we just keep on going, and going, and going, and them we realized we were at the boarder of our area. Sister D started to panic, she's all like, "I don't know where we are going, and we're leaving our area, but there's two investigators here, and we can't just stop following them, and I don't know where we're going, and I'm breaking the rules with my new trainee and I'm a terrible trainer!" Right? So we try to call the Zone leaders, and the district leaders, and she's panicking because they aren't answering, but finally they did and gave us permission and we finally ended up at a Mexican restaurant. Sister D was kind of mad that they drove us all the way out there for Mexican food. She's like, every one of the members cooks great Mexican food, why did we have to go all the way out here for some! Then, of course, the food took forever to get out there, and we couldn't share a spiritual thought because it was too loud, and she wouldn't let us leave so we were there for like an hour and a half, and ya. It was bad. I had some salsa. Too spicy for me. I also like choked on a corn flake. It was bad. I was embarrassed. Moral of the story: don't take missionaries out to eat, it's not very good.

The hardest part about being a Spanish speaking missionary in the states is that everyone has a different accent because they are from different Spanish speaking places in the world. But it'll be great because I'll know all sorts of different slang, and I'll be able to understand every accent. Also, it's hard to know when to use Spanish and when to use English. With a lot of the teenagers, you can use English, but the adults you want to use Spanish to show them that you are trying to learn. But sometimes they speak to you in English, and I just get confused. But I'll learn. It'll be good.

Anyway, that's kind of some of the stuff that happened. My flight here was pretty uneventful, except a sister and an elder almost missed our second flight. But they got here alright.

Love,


Hermana Leete

Some Pictures from the CCM

Home Town Friends

Hermanas


Cafeteria Food- The Elders' Plates





Zone










My District
With Branch Presidente Torres

Friday, August 8, 2014

Made it to Vegas!

From: Nevada Las Vegas Mission
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2014 4:56 PM
To: Brian Leete
Subject: Your Daughter's Arrival

Dear Leete Family,

I am happy to inform you that Sister Leete arrived in Las Vegas with a smile on her face and a wonderful spirit. Thank you for preparing her to serve the Lord. We will do our best to build on what you have taught her by incorporating the principles of missionary work found in Preach My Gospel. When her service is finished she will be a stronger person with a deep commitment to the Lord.

We hope as you write or email her weekly to express your love, that you will also encourage her to live up to the commitments she made when she accepted this call.  Missionary work is hard, and many times it is discouraging.  Your letters of encouragement and love will help her continue to work hard and be happy.  If problems arise at home we hope you will be thoughtful about what you share, so as not to distract her attention from the work.  If you detect any continuing problems through her letters, please write or email me if you feel we can help. 

Phone calls to family members occur two times a year, on Mother’s day and on Christmas day.  As you can imagine, many people visit or pass through Las Vegas.  We follow the church guidelines that there be no visits from family or friends.  Visits are difficult for missionaries as their focus is interrupted.  Please do not ask your missionary to see you or friends while she is serving.  Please help your missionary live the mission rules including calling only on the designated days.

Finally, the missionaries are provided a monthly allowance that covers their needs.  This mission has some of the most generous members of the church.  In most areas the missionaries are scheduled in a member home for dinner every evening.  Please help your missionary learn to live on a budget.  Don’t supplement her with unnecessary funds.  If an unexpected expense or emergency comes up she will email you.

Your love and support are so important to her success.  She will be blessed as she is obedient and she will be happier.  Again we thank you for your faith in sending your sister out to serve the Lord.

Sincerely,


President D. Jack Snow

NEVADA LAS VEGAS MISSION