Monday, September 14, 2009

To All: September 14,2009.

Monday, September 14, 2009
     So the day has finally come! Well I have been here for a while now and it's been more than great.  I can't wait to see where the mission will take me. Sorry it has taken so long to write, I came in on a P-day and on a mid-transfer so that was most interesting. I haven't even finished unpacking, haha. The first few days were amazing, not necessarily teaching wise but because I had to solely rely on the Spirit to guide me because I had no idea what was going on. I'm in a three some right now and their names are Elders Balaich and Cordy. They are great! Elder Balaich is deaf and is one of the funniest people I have ever met and Elder Cordy is a CODA, which means Child of a Deaf Adult, so both of their sign is amazing. But I have been learning A LOT! I can already tell that my sign has improved more than what it was in the MTC. There have been some issues with the program and they are being addressed as we speak, but I will address that later. 

      Anyways, LA is not burndt down haha...it's funny because from what I had been hearing it's been really bad but in fact it hasn't been, I can barely notice that there is a fire going on, if it is going on, so that's good. The funny thing that has happened is that I have already gone out of my mission boundaries.....don't worry I'm still being obidient but the ASL program is a little different. Because deaf people are not congregated into areas we work within the branch boundaries which in some cases are outside of the mission boundaries so that's pretty cool. I can't wait to meet the rest of the people that we are currently teaching. Elder Balaich will be leaving in 2 weeks now so it will be just me and Elder Cordy covering the whole mission. When I heard that I was like why? So I think I should help clearify that. At the ASL program there have been some issues concerning obidience, so little by little the program has been cut down to a literal minimum. Also, our Mission President feels like the ASL missionaries need to be transferred out to gain the tools necessary to become the best missionaries, and that right there has been an issue that has risen between the Branch President and Mission President. So please pray that everything can be resolved and that a compromise can be made peacefully and with the benefit of both parties. But in January we will be getting 5 new ASL missionaries so that should take some of the load off our shoulders. Anyways, enough with politics.  The ASL program is amazing. I have absolutely no complaints and there is nothing that can change my mind concerning my calling to the ASL program. I know that the Lord has called me for a reason, a reason that I have seen over this past week and it's because there is a desperate need for ASL missionaries to both speak English, Spanish, and ASL. It's because there is usually only one person who is deaf and the others speak Spanish. I'm so blessed to already have that knowledge and skill, so that I can help benefit the lives of others who are in search for happiness. I know that because I don't think I have gone a day without using my Spanish. But we have 8 baptisms coming up within the next 4 weeks and 1 this Sunday! I'm so excited! How great is the Lord for providing people that are ready to hear the gospel and to change their lives for the better! How great it is to be worthy and be obidient to receive those blessings as well! I'm so grateful for Him and for all that He has done for me. I feel like now I'm starting to see the blessings that have come through the trials that I have faced over the past few years. So yeah I'm so excited to be united with the Spirit in teaching, in finding, and in studying His gospel and it's teachings. 

     Something funny that has happened is when we went to Fry's to get a cable we are always asked by someone for help. I think today we were all asked at least 4 different times, Elder Balaich said we should start working there haha. Oh, the door for our bathroom just broke but in comparison to all the other homes I have visited I feel humbled and grateful for all the things I have received. It really saddens me and it really kills me seeing what these people are going through, no family, no money, and are barely able to pay rent and the bare necessities. Obviously some take it bad and are pessimistic about it but then there are some that are happy and optomisitic for the things to come. It just shows that we are really blessed to have the things we have and it's been a true humbling experience. 

     Anyways I got to go, I don't have much time left but on a little side note I won't be able to email anyone except for my family so if you need my address it's:

1591 E. Temple Way
Los Angeles, CA 90024

     We only get mail on Fridays, but our Zone Leaders pick it up on Tuesdays so if you want me to respond by the next week you need to send it before Saturday...just a little heads up there. 

     Know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ, that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can come back to live with our loving Heavenly Father. I know that if we count on the Spirit, He will provide for what we need physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I love you all and I miss you tons and I wish you were all here, but I know that this is where I need to be.

     It's great hearing from all of you and I can't wait to hear from you again!

With love,
Elder Leavell

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