I'd say about half of the members in the ward here have lived in Provo at some point or have relatives there. The first sign of this is when, after I tell them I'm from Provo, they ask "Where in Provo?" I tell them, they know exactly where I'm talking about, and then they ask, "Do you know the _________ family?"
The answer is almost always "no." Even if they are within a quarter of a mile of our house, they could be in another stake.
I met a couple yesterday that lives in Oak Hills in Provo. They told me their exact address, and I asked if they knew any of the people I know in that area. They didn't. I then mentioned that one my friends there bought a giant bus. Their faces immediately lit up.
"Yes, we know them! They live across the street from us!" Then the husband's face went dark and he said that the only time he talked to them was when some band was playing at their house and he went over and told them to turn it down. I chose not to mention that that bus was used for our high school band, Radical Milhouse.
This week I was teaching with our recently released bishop, Bishop Hayden. He's the type of guy that always has a smile on his face, but somehow seems genuine at the same time. I was impressed the first time I met him when we came to his house without warning. He gathered his family to hear us, and when we asked him to call a less-active member he barely knew he said, "Sure I'll do that right now," instead of "Yeah, I could do that. I'll call you in a week or 2 to tell you how it goes."
As we sat down together to teach, we began the regular conversation.
"I'm from Provo," I said.
"Oh, do you know..." he began to ask. Of course I don't know your friend from 20 years ago at BYU, I thought.
It was difficult to continue teaching the Plan of Salvation after that connection was made. Pretty sweet. (Vistaunets, I'll trust you to not tell certain stories from my pre-mission life. As far as I know, Bishop Hayden still trusts me as a missionary and we're trying to start teaching a couple friends of theirs).
We had a great week. 4 new investigators. All of them are friends or family of members of the ward here. First off, one member had us over for steak and twice-baked potatoes, after which we taught his wife the 2nd lesson at the request of their missionary son.
Next, we were sent to a friend that a member goes walking with pretty often The first visit they invited us in for dessert. We came back a few days later, and now are teaching their son.
Last of all was this Saturday. We were invited by the Halls for lunch. They invited 2 less-active members and 2 non-members for lunch with us. After lunch, we taught everyone the Restoration lesson.
Somehow, eating and teaching go together. We're considering making that a requirement that a meal must be served before any lesson we teach. We'll see how that offer goes when we are knocking doors.
In conclusion, the ward here is awesome, and a connection with the Vistaunets makes them that much cooler.
Have a great week. Thanks for your continued prayers that I will meet people out here that know people in Provo.