Wednesday, December 23, 2015
December 16, 2015
Wednesday, Day 64
Day 51 in NY
Went to do laundry! We have this cart that we put our hampers in so we don't have to carry our clothes, which is nice! When we get to the laundry mat we put in our clothes then we sit and write emails until it's done, then we put them in the dryer, then we leave. We go across the street and do some grocery shopping. When we finish shopping we go back to the laundry mat and fold our clothes, put them back in our hampers, put the hampers and groceries in the cart and we start home.
PLAY IT OFF:
Sidewalks in the Bronx are horrible in many places, I'll have to take a picture, but side walks have been redone so many times not every square matches the next. They don't match up with each other, they have tons of carvings in them, cracks everywhere, uneven slabs, and some craters. So walking home with the cart a couple weeks ago Elder Tabor hit a big crack and the weight of the cart went forward, he ended up on top of the cart on the ground. I could not help but burst into laughter, of course after I asked if he was okay. We both just died laughing! (Good movie! Lol Dad we are watching that movie when I get home). So I guess karma is real? I don't know but today I was pushing the cart home and I specifically watched out for the same spot Elder Tabor fell at, so I was good I passed the test. Right after passing that spot Elder Tabor said "just watch, it's gonna happen to you" I laughed in disagreement. About 2 minutes later... I hit another gap in the sidewalk and the cart flipped and I stumbled over the top of it but kept walking. He was right, he called it. But I played it off and survived with nothing but a cut on my shin.
Christmas is among us and giving is what we do. So Elder Tabor and I went to china town. It's kind of like China town in San Francisco. It's located in Manhattan, it's just a bunch of mini stores that Chinese people own, and they sell souvenirs and NY shirts. Elder Tabor and I wanted to send home stuff for Christmas. So we did a bit of bargaining. Prior to coming to China town I took $30 dollars out in cash and stuck it in my pockets. When we went walking by the stores looking for a store with shirts this Chinese guy came out and asked what we were looking for. We said we wanted shirts. So we went in, we looked around. I grabbed a hand full of shirts and asked how much. He responded $12/ each. So I put them back, loosing interest. Knowing that would get his attention… And it did, he was like "whoa whoa, whoa, how many do you want?" I said I needed 8 for my family back home, but that I didn't have enough to afford $12/ shirt. So he said okay choose the shirts you want and I'll smoke you a deal. So I chose 8 shirts, and walked up to him. He said how many, I told him 8. He started doing some math in his head. And came up with a total of $30 plus he saw me eye balling the NYC Fire department shirt, and added $12. I told him I'd do the $30 since that's all I had, and he started dropping the price. So I gave him the $30 and left with my shirts.
We visited Ricky and some how in the conversation we were having we had brought up this question. "Ricky, will you prepare yourself to go to the temple?" He had a smile, but never quite answered the question. He changed the subject to his health and how he's been struggling to come to church and do certain things because his body has episodes and such. So we asked if he'd like to fast and that we would fast with him. He liked the idea of that. He said he hadn't fasted in a LONG time so we explained what a fast is and how we should go about it. We just left it at that and went on to our next appointment leaving him to think on that.
This is the family I talked about a little while ago, saying that every time we come by Richard’s wife leaves, for some reason she didn't want to be apart of our lessons. So even after inviting her a few
times to sit in with us we just stopped inviting her. Well, one day, after a lesson, we were walking home. We were both craving street meat, so we stopped at a near by bank and that's when I felt someone shove my shoulder. I turned around looking to see who it was and saw this lady standing in front of me, but she was in line so I wasn't sure who it was. (Besides the fact that there are so many
black people, I don't remember which ones I talk to everyday) she was the only one staring at me with a smile, so I looked at her and said "oh hey!?" Haha having no idea who she was. I called Elder Tabor over to save me lol, he recognized her and said hi. Later I realized it was, Richard’s wife, the one who skips out on our lessons. She asked us when the next time we would be coming over was. We asked her when would be good for her. So we set an appointment, confused, but excited, thinking she wanted to meet with us, she set us up, with an appointment for her son Darren and husband Richard.
Our following appointment with them, which was this appointment today. We walked into their apartment to a surprise, Twanka, (Richards wife) was sitting on the couch facing 2 chairs she had sat down for us. We then realized she was waiting for us to teach her and her family. It was so awesome, after 2 previous lessons of her hiding from us; she finally came around to being interested. Here's how it came to be. She hid from us every time we came because recently she's had a lot of nuns, monks, and Jehovah witnesses come by and she’d listen but she just didn't like any of them. So when we came she was just tired of listening to people come by to talk about religion. But after each visit we had with Richard and Darren (their only son, who's 11), they would share with Twanka, what they learned from us. They were being missionaries! It was awesome! So she liked what she heard and decided to sit in with us. So miracle of the day!! We invited them all to be baptized, and they've committed to be baptized January 16!
December 17, 2015
Thursday, Day 65
Day 52 in NY
Today we have correlation. So we meet at the church like we do every Thursday. But this morning before we went to our meeting we stopped by Ricky's apartment. He wanted to open the fast together. We had our prayer and planned to meet back at his house around 6PM to check up on him and break the fast. Because of his health and diabetes, instead of fasting the 24 hours he agreed to fast for 2 meals.
After correlation, we stayed at the church and had weekly planning. So for about 2 1/2 hours we planned. We did that until we had our interviews with President Smith. As we were about to close our planning session, President opens the door and that surprised us. He asked if he could use the room for the interviews, we said of course and asked if he could give us a few minutes to close with a prayer. He sad sure as he started walking back out, then immediately, he stopped, turned around, and asked to join us. So he knelt beside us and we closed our planning session.
When President got to me, he came out of the room and invited me in. I sat down in the chair in front of him. He offered a prayer, and then began to ask me simple questions. How are you? How's your area? How's your family? Do you miss them? Do you feel the spirit? Do you have any problems or issues you'd like to discuss? All very simple questions, and it's funny because everyone else is
intimidated by him, but I just look to him as I would my own father. During the interview, after the questions, and me giving my answers, He told me something that dad has told me. "Prepare yourself for callings", dad always told me to prepare to be able to accept a calling, whether it be a bishop or prophet, no matter the calling, prepare yourself to accept it. President had told me that same thing, he said you are a leader and you will be called to be a leader. So keep up the work and determination.
He's so awesome! I love him!
POURING RAIN! ...Nuf' said.
December 18, 2015
Friday, Day 66
Day 53 in NY
We got up a little earlier this morning because we had a Christmas devotional. We had to travel to Ossining, which is about an hour and 45 minute trip from where we live and we needed to be there at 10. The devotional was super awesome! We sat in the chapel and there were missionaries who had been preparing for this for over a month. They sang, some of them played some instruments and played beautiful Christmas songs. After the devotional, we went to the gym area where they were serving lunch, they had people who had been cooking all morning for us, turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, corn, etc. it was a wonderful meal. Then we had pie! Then President had some gifts for everyone; people from their home ward in Texas had donated a pair of gloves for everyone in the mission! We also got Christmas cards from them, and a Jesus journal!
Sister S… is a lady in our ward, she is the Cub Scout leader and requested us to help her keep the kids in control, so we went to the church and helped with that for acknowledged hours. Then went home and that ended our day.
December 19, 2015
Saturday, Day 67
Day 54 in NY
We went and visited Jermaine. Then we went to this kid named John’s house, we met him last week looking up referrals. We gave him a Bible and his uncle was visiting so we taught him too! And he's now our new investigator.
CHILI COOK OFF:
Our ward is putting on an event tonight, a talent show/chili cook off. So we went to go see Carlito cause the other night he told us he would make us chili to take. When we got to his apartment, he was sick. But he let us in and told us he'd make some. So he sent us to his store across the street to get him some chili mix. We ran across the street grabbed what he needed came back and helped cook some chili. It was super good! So we took it with us to the church.
We were on our way to the church because we were meeting the sisters and Elder Nalaza and Hughes for an APF (Area Proselyting Focus). Elder Tabor and I brought hot chocolate, so we stood on the corner of a street by the subway and asked everyone we saw if they would like free hot chocolate. It was the coldest day we have had so far. And surprisingly more people denied our free hot chocolate then those who accepted it. We stood outside doing this for about 2 hours. It was fun and a cool experience but didn't seem super effective.
After our APF we came back to the church and we were setting up for the talent show and chili cook off. While we did that there was a Baptism going on and it was for the Spanish ward. Elder Dominguez and Elder Gallardo asked us to stay, so we did, we showed our support to Victor, the kid being baptized. Plus the Spanish sisters there wanted to borrow my Bluetooth speaker haha it was the best thing I bought before my mission… I'm in NY, it's ridiculously loud and I use my speaker everyday.
I was supposed to preform something in the talent show. (I was just going to tumble) but the man in charge of it was an hour late so we didn't start till then and we ended an hour after, so it was rushed
and I didn't have to do anything. But everyone loved our chili so there's a plus!!
December 20, 2015
Sunday, Day 68
Day 55 in NY
Before we left for church we called some referrals. One of the referrals names was Nana he's from Ghana. He wanted a bible so we stopped by his apartment before we went to church. I knocked, he answered, Elder Tabor handed him the Bible and we invited him to meet with us some other time. He said next Sunday would be good so we are excited for that! He's another new investigator.
Again, none of our investigators showed up. Our gospel principles teacher didn't even show up, so Elder Tabor and I taught the class. Then Sister S… came to us and said she has something for up us in her car, so her sons took us out to the car and he handed us both our own gifts. They were candies and snacks and random little things put into a popcorn bowl and wrapped up, it was super sweet of her. She said it was for helping out with scouting and gold us Merry Christmas.
We had dinner at home; we had a quick appointment with Brother Ford, a recent convert in our ward. He loves us. We love him too so we go over and try to see him once a week. After Brother Ford we went and saw Ricky! Nothing much more to say about that but all our appointments were really good!
December 21, 2015
Monday, Day 69
Day 56 in NY
Every Monday we have district meeting so we went to the church. We had a great lesson taught by Elder Tabor about contacting referrals. Super motivational lol it got us all hyped to work! After our meeting Elder Tabor and I went to the post office to ship out our Christmas packages.
The Spanish Elders invited us to join their APF so we agreed to help them out, the miracle in that was we had a full schedule and all our appointments fell through so it was a sign we needed to be here at the APF. The confirmation came as we were standing on the sidewalk, talking to EVERYONE that walked by. By the end of those 2 hours or so of talking to people, I, just my self, I found 4 new investigators! It was super cool! Everyone enjoyed it so we are thinking we will have more soon.
Again my speaker came in so handy. We stood under a rail track for the train. A train was going every 5 minutes. So it was loud the whole time. And every time the Spanish elders were talking to someone I’d come over with my speaker and turn my iPad to Spanish and play "Ha nacido un Salvador" (Savior Is Born) video. I was the speaker guy haha.
After all we did that day; we went back home for Elder Tabor to pack, we were going to have another split. I took over our area and had Elder Hughes with me and Elder Tabor was with Elder Nalaza.
Love you all so much, stay tuned for next week. The Elders are yelling for me to play some gator ball, so I'll catch you all later.
Merry Christmas to everyone!! #ASaviorIsBorn #HaNacidoUnSalvador #HeIsTheGift
Patience. Love. Faith