Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First week in Reno

Oi Familia!

Wow! I'm in the field and this is insane!

Elder Stallings

Just kidding. 

Reno is so great! I say that because I'm living & serving in downtown Reno! Such a cool place. I don't even know where to start haha. I guess I'll start with my trainer/companion, Elder Young. Such an awesome trainer. The Lord keeps blessing me with these rock solid companions that I really need, and Elder Young is no exception. He's from Pennsylvania, and he's 22. He is helping me grow and learn every day, and I'm so grateful for him. We get along great, and are both very open with each other. He told me he has had some very tough companions in the past month that have slowed the work down a lot. He immediately expressed gratitude that he had me as a companion and thinks we will do a lot of good work together. His comments are a huge help to me, especially in this first week where doubts and stress are all over the place. But we work very well together. I get at least half an hour every day for language study, and some days a full hour. Elder Young really encourages me to speak portuguese, and even made a rule that any prayer I said in the apartment had to be in Portuguese. 

We had a baptism on Saturday for an extremely awesome man, Walter Smith. Wow. He is one of the funniest/most interesting men that I've talked to. 64 year old southern vietnam vet who makes me laugh at just about everything he says. I had the opportunity of baptizing him. Twice. (his foot came up once. Fun stuff) But it was such a great service. Elder Young commented that it was one of the best baptismal services he's seen on his mission. I'm sure you will be hearing more about Walter Smith in the future. (Pictures are included)

Just a quick experience from yesterday. Elder Young and I don't have a car, so we spend a lot of our time walking downtown and in neighborhoods downtown. (so awesome) LOTS of people to talk with. We weren't having incredible success with that this past week, so yesterday we prayed specifically to find prepared people who were willing to hear about the gospel. Immediately, we talked with 5 people, all of whom accepted the book of mormon and were going to pray about it. One of these individuals, Josh, shared how he didn't think it was coinsidence that we stopped to talk with him. He even asked if there was anything he could do to help us and the work, and we just told him to read the book of mormon and call us. It was so cool to see the Lord help us when we needed it. My testimony is growing every day, and I can truly see the Lords hands in this work.

Ah there's so much more I want to share with you! The ward is incredible. The city is so awesome. My companion is muito ochimo. The weather is great. I'm so happy to be here, and I'm so grateful for all of your letters and prayers. There's some moments where I know your prayers are coming into effect, and I thank you so much for that. I love you all so much!
For real this time
Elder Stallings

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