January 27 - February 7, 2014

Since our last posting we have been doing much of the same things we've talked about prior--visiting inactive families, attending district and zone meetings and  inviting Elders and Sisters to dinners at our apartment.

Last weekend the BYU group Living Legends, formerly known as the Lamanite Generation, were in town.  We were very interested in taking our class to the performance as many of the class members have Lamanite blood--from Tonga, Mexico and Peru.  By the time we tried to get tickets the performance was sold out but they consequently added a free shorter Saturday afternoon show for missionaries to bring investigators.  We were thrilled because one of the girls in our class is investigating with her family.  The Spanish Elders are teaching the family and they will be baptized next Saturday.  One other young man, we think, needs to be baptised.   Six of our youth in the class were going to the night performance with their families as the Bishop had some tickets to distribute.  But many were not.  We invited all the rest to go with us that afternoon.  We also held a pizza party at the church prior to the show.  We ended up taking  four Elders and only four youth.  More came to the party.  Sunday Paul opened the class taking about why there were Polynesians, Native Americans, and South Americans who took part in the Living Legends, and how each group could tie to the Book of Mormon.  There was no attempt to do this during the afternoon performance, but we understood they would that night.  Otherwise they are just  groups of highly talented performers, but makes their touring pointless.

Native American and Argentina Dancers

Hispanic and Alaskan Dancers
Today we were invited to eat lunch and speak at the local Institute Friday Forum.  This is the Institute at the University of Nevada at Reno.  Paul felt so at home teaching the students.  He gave a 30  minute talk entitled "Harmony to Tonopah".  He began by introducing Harmony, Pennsylvania, as the only church history site that has not been restored.  With his prior work with the Historic Sites Division in the Historic Library in SLC he told why that site was so significant.  He pointed out five important Church things that happened there.  1. Major part of the Book of Mormon was translated.   2. 116 pages of Book of Lehi were lost.  3.First three baptisms took place there.  4.  Restoration of the Aaronic  and Melchezidek Priesthood.  5.  Joseph Smith learned how to become a prophet--15 revelations received there.  So the church is planning to restore Joseph and Emma's home and the Isaac Hale home.
Then Paul said Joseph and Emma's family began there and told about their children.  That led to Tonopah, Nevada, a town in our mission.  A young boy, named Michael Kennedy grew up there.  In high school his assignment from history class was to write about an ancestor who had affected American History.   His father then told him he was related to Joseph Smith.  He ended up joining the Church and became the first progenitor todaylof the Prophet and Emma to join the Church and receive the Priesthood.  He and his wife have formed the Joseph and Emma Hale Smith Historical Society.  Elder Ballard"s commission is to search out every living person from the family today and help them understand and be proud of  their heritage and later learn about the Church.  The students responded very positively.  

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