Well... Vegas is Vegas. It's starting to get really warm here! It was 105 F yesterday. (I can't wait to just adjust to Centigrade.) I know one reason I'm in Vegas is to become accustomed to heat until I head to Mexico. The dry weather here won't be as warm as the 99% humidity of Xalapa, but it's definitely warmer than Provo was!
The Lord placed me here so I could help some people I need to help. Since I arrived, my companions and I have started to teach two families we are going to baptize soon: the Ps and the Cs. The Ps are Filipino, so we've been able to eat lots of fun food at their house, including something called "balut", which is a delicacy in the Philippines -- it's a duck embryo that is still inside the egg. You boil the egg thereby cooking the baby duck along with the egg, and you're ready to eat! The Cs are parents of three children. They haven't ever attended any church before and are very receptive to the gospel message. The father just has to get Sundays off his work so he can attend church and they're set!
We also have two other people with baptismal dates: one is a single mother named C and the other is a Hispanic man named D. C has been flaky with commitments recently and hasn't been to church in a month, so we have to keep pushing back her baptism. "We don't want to baptize an inactive member."
D is a party. I would have come to Vegas just to meet my companions and D. I took some pictures with him last night. He is a great example of the being able to change somebody's heart regardless of what he may have done. D spent 10 years in prison for robbery and had been a heavy drug user/gangster before his sentence. He says that after experiencing prison life, he knew he had to change his entire lifestyle. He's been out of prison for three years. When the missionaries stopped by his house several months ago, he came to know the Church is true, and now he's scheduled to be baptized on 5 July - the day his mother died while he was in prison. He has a lot of stories about having a change of heart and he's a hilarious guy to visit. It's a true Paul/Alma the younger story with D.
His only desire now is "to marry an LDS woman with good values who will love me and who I can trust." Christ changes people from the inside.
I didn't take any pictures of the street signs, but the streets have HILARIOUS names here... they're not even normal nouns or proper nouns. They're adjectives, gerunds, or a ridiculous adjective coupled with a normal noun. It makes me laugh up the wazoo every time I find a new street with a ridiculous name: Captivating. Alluring. In Vogue. Rejoicing. Enticing. Rich Amethyst. Tailor Made. Careful Canvas. Provocative. All streets. All real names. It's splendiferously silly.
One thing I forgot to get for my mission was bad ties! I didn't think that one through before I headed out to the mission field. In south Mexico on the gulf coast where it's going to pour rain on me regularly, I can't exactly be walking around in a tropical storm or cutting a trail through the jungle with my lucky machete in a nice silk tie. So far I have managed to acquire four polyester ties... which brings my total to four. I'll get some more either before I go or while I'm in Mexico!
This is my favorite photo yet by far. My companions are demonstrating how to avoid a member who is out in the yard who likes to talk too much and distract us from proselyting.
I love you!
Elder Abram Dorrough