Monday, April 27, 2015


So this last week was pretty different. We got special approval from our mission president to go and visit and speak at all of the Phoenix Mission zone conferences. Why? Since our area covers all of the Scottsdale and Phoenix missions, we wanted all of the Phoenix missionaries to start searching for deaf and hard of hearing people and getting referrals for us in their perspective areas. We talked at all of the conferences and taught them how to recognize a deaf person (i.e. their using sign language) and how to see if someone lives in a building who's deaf (i.e. the I-Love-You hand signs, deaf doorbells, people who can't hear you...). Then we taught them how they can communicate with them (Pencil and Paper) and how to act/look (Happy) and how to send those referrals to us. We also taught them how to say hello, goodbye, and emphasized that deaf people don't need braille Books of Mormon, that's only for blind people (you'd be surprised how often we get that :).

After we finished with just 2 of the zone conferences, we had received several referrals for the valley, but most of them were in Flagstaff, Prescott, and Prescott Valley (all 2 hours north of Phoenix). So we decided with our mission president, that it would be a good idea to go up to Flagstaff and stay there for a couple of days just contacting all the deaf people that we had referrals for. By the end of our little trip, we had gotten almost 20 referrals for that part of Arizona. Quite a large amount for deaf people who live in pretty small towns. We met with a really active member who's hard of hearing and has a deaf, autistic son and she visited a couple of people with us (set up all the appointments herself) and was really helpful in the actual teaching of those lessons. I really wish we could make her a group/branch mission leader up there...she was awesome!

So we only had time to contact about 10 referrals, none of them lived even close to each other, and we got a couple more referrals from those along with a new investigator and a few other ones that we haven't quite figured out how to teach yet. VP's (a video phone) are an option but some of them don't have VP's, and we still need to contact more people. So we're planning on going up there maybe every 2 or 3 weeks to just get a branch or group set up there. It was real cool.

Also, the Phoenix mission has this really funny Preach (Fight) Song that they sing at every zone conference, I've sang that thing more often than half of the missionaries that serve there now :)

Love you all!

Elder Sands