New York

New York

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week 31

May 11, 2016
Wednesday, Day 211
Day 198 in NY

Today Elder Moss decided to cut his hair. There's this guy that cuts the missionaries hair for free every month. He's not a member but he loves the missionaries, so for who knows how long, he's been cutting the Elders hair. He does it down at the Chinatown chapel, so we went there and while Elder Moss got his hair cut, I was rushing to get my journal mail completed. Pday went by fast but it was fun, we went over to the Brooklyn bridge and walked down about a third of it, took some pictures, and just enjoyed the view. We hung out with Elder Richards and Elder Burton as we just walked around. Of course every time I pass hats I stop with the intention to buy. Walking off the Brooklyn Bridge I saw a stand with some hats and fell in love... Then realized I had no cash, so I had to walk away empty-handed. My plan then was to go to the nearest Walgreens grab a drink, get cash back, and buy some hats closer to home. The hats I found weren't what I first saw but they were NY hats so I got them.

May 12, 2016
Thursday, Day 212
Day 199 in NY

This morning we all, as a zone, had to meet at the church for a conference. It was a great meeting; we talked about the sacrament and how we can better prepare for it. While on the subject of sacrament, Sister Smith asked me to read the sacrament prayer, which was so great. Naturally, I read the prayer slowly and clear, it's the way I've always done it when I blessed the sacrament. I loved the feeling I had as I was given the opportunity to read the prayer in front of these missionaries giving them the chance to listen and feel the power in the words and the blessings and promises made in the sacrament prayer. The point of her asking me to read it was to point out the blessings and promises made. Overall it was a great meeting, I love being with the missionaries and President and his wife. This conference took longer than we expected. We were there from 8:30-5PM, so much of our day was used up from that.

May 13, 2016
Friday, Day 213
Day 200 in NY

One of our members was out of town and left his spare apartment keys with us so that we could help his roommate who was moving in that day get in. After finding out that his roommate was flying in much later then expected, we had to get the keys to another set of missionaries closer to him. In the process of getting the keys to Elder Casper and Elder Casela the trains stopped working... So that took much longer, we then spent about 2 hours trying to get over to them. Once we got there we had some plans we needed to change due to the time it took. With this ridiculous mishap with the trains, we ended our day with much more success then we planned.

Our first lesson for the day, we were going to meet with at Bryant Park. Instead it strayed to rain so we met with her in Grand Central. We had a great meeting with Mia, (Mia is one of our recent converts), she had some concerns and things she needed to tell us about a dream she had. After explaining to Elder Moss and I, what I thought was just about one of the craziest dreams I've ever heard, we did our best to help her better understand what it may have meant. Now first off let me tell ya, when you become a missionary, you become a person that anyone can trust with their problems, concerns, crazy questions, and so on, but you DO NOT become a dream reader. What I thought was funny about the situation was, it reminded me of movies. When we sat down Mia looked at us both with this trusting look and said very cautiously, "your going to think I'm crazy, but I had this dream last night… Now I've had dreams like this before but this one I just don’t know what it means." This first part of what she said is what made me laugh. She made her self-sound crazy haha but she's not. After she explained her dream to us, we asked her what her dream meant to her or what she thinks it means. (Mia's dream was), Mia was standing in a room talking to some people and not to far from her stood Thomas S. Monson, patiently he waited for her to stop talking with her friends. He stood there and didn't speak to anyone until he was able to speak with her. After he got her attention, he led her out into a field where all kinds of people and creatures were. In this field there also was a space ship like thing, kind of like a space pod. A word was written on this space pod and it said "Vera" (or something like that). President Monson stood there beside her and pointed to the word. Mia asked what does it mean? President Monson remained pointing. She asked again, what does it mean? No response was given… She then woke up and wondered what the definition was. She googled the word and in some other language (Slovak maybe) the word meant Faith. For some reason, this dream had some significance. Maybe it was to get her to realize that she needs to act in faith... She recently hadn't been coming to church or reading her scriptures. When we talked to her, these were things she had told us and she recognized that it was weakening her testimony. We talked for a little longer and helped her realize how important it is that she reads and comes to church.

We met with an investigator named Mia. This was a girl that Elder Moss contacted on the street before I transferred here. We met with Mia at the church and got to know her as we talked. It turns out she wanted to meet with us because she is doing a personal project with photography. She wanted to make it a documentary about Elder Moss and I. One of the questions she asked, which is based off the main idea of her project was, how our religious beliefs helped us find our masculinity. She had some really great questions for us, about us and for us about the church. As we bore testimony with each answer we gave her we noticed that she became more interested in what we teach. She had fewer questions for her project and more questions from her curiosity of our religion. It was really cool how the spirit touched her and helped her find that interest.

After Mia, we then met with Jeffery and read the scriptures with him. We invited him to read on his own and to take notes if he feels it will help him remember what he reads. As we taught Jeffery we could tell he was becoming more comfortable with us. He's a shy guy and when he talks he talks with the sound of a whisper. He never says much and is hard to hear at times. But this time he was a little more confident and spoke a little more then usual! It was great to see more progression from him. Today went well, we had a crazy morning but all was great in the end!

May 14, 2016
Saturday, Day 214
Day 201 in NY

The Alma academy is a fancy name for what the stake in Connecticut calls a mini mission. Just like how we have the day MTC mission with the missionaries. The stake in Connecticut does it too but a little less organized haha. Not that I'm making fun of the way they do things but it was mostly the missionaries putting together this activity because the stake thought that was a good idea. It went well but it wasn't as good as it could have been from what ideas I was hearing. I thought it was so cool to be able to be on the opposite side this time. Before I came out on my mission I went on a couple mini missions. Which was basically an organized split with the missionaries. Doing those were so much fun as I prepared my self for a mission. Today I had the opportunity to be on the missionary side of things. I was a companion with a kid named Hunter. He had graduated high School about a year ago, like I did, but didn't go on a mission immediately. I thought it was so cool to be able to go on a split with someone who wasn't a missionary, and to be able to show him the ways of a missionary. The way we had things set up was, we had planned 4 different APFs. One of which I drew with child a tree on The Mall strip in Central Park. As people gathered to watch and stop when it was complete we added leaves to the tree where they could write their names. While we had them in our spot we talked to them about what we were doing. We explained that we were sharing with people family history, telling them that we are all from different places but we are all one big family, a family of God, and that we can connect ourselves with our family all over the world. There were 3 other activities set up and every hour we rotated the kids from each APF. So really I was only on a split with this kid from 9AM as we had companionship study to about 1PM at our Family Search APF. What an awesome experience it was!

Great surprise! I received a text on our phone from an unsaved number, but the area code appeared as 916 and I knew where that was! CALI! This text was from Anne and Courtney Allen! How fun! They said that they had received permission from President Smith to get in contact with us to meet up this week while they were here visiting. We communicated back and forth about our schedule and planned a time to meet on Monday. I have to say I was excited to see someone from home. As wonderful and sweet as Anne is for planning to take us out to eat, I thought it was enough just being able to have them visit! Well after being at the church for a little while planning and what not, I got another text from Anne and Courtney saying that they had just gone to a pizza cooking class and learned how to make pizza, they ended up with much more pizza then they could or wanted to eat on their own and decided to meet us at the church where we were to drop it off. Not too much later they showed up to church with 3 little boxes of pizza, inside 2 of the boxes were 3 or 4 different kinds of pies. In the other one was a dessert pizza oh it was delicious! They hooked it up real good! Thank you so much Allen family!!

May 15, 2016
Sunday, Day 215
Day 202 in NY

So many new people! There were a lot of people who we hadn't seen before at church. I guess this time of year lots of visitors and interns come to NY and they come to the YSA ward. After sacrament Elder Moss and I went to Sunday school. There we began our lesson and with in about 5 minutes into the lesson I heard a familiar voice following the sound of a door opening. In curiosity I turned around as I heard the words "sorry, I just need to see someone really quick". Kevin Slagle!? Whoa! That was a surprise! He stopped in really quick to say hello and ask what I would be doing after class. I told him we had 3rd hour next and he said he would catch me before then. Totally surprised and caught off guard, I returned to my seat and continued on with the lesson. That's 2 days in a row seeing people from home! It was so fun to see them! After class he came in as we were folding up chairs and we chatted for a bit. It was such a great Sunday!!

May 16, 2016
Monday, Day 216
Day 203 in NY

I can't remember about what happened for most of the day, but we met up with Anne and Courtney for lunch! That was fun! We had lunch and dessert and it was great being with them and talking with them. After a long conversation and a full tummy we went our separate ways, for the day. We planned to meet up once more before they left to do an exchange of suitcases.

After lunch Elder Moss and I then went to the church, picked up a sign and went to Central Park where we did a mini APF and contacted some people. The weather was a little misty and it sprinkled a bit, so there weren’t too many people to talk to. So we went back to the church and dropped off the board.

May 17, 2016
Tuesday, Day 217
Day 204 in NY

After lunch we met up with the ZLs again for another APF. This one was pretty cool; we had these little cut out pieces of paper that on each of them had a sentence. The sentences were "good deed dares". So, people come up to us and we give them a card. Whatever the card says, they have to do. So people would get things like, "call or text someone you haven't spoken to in years." Or "call someone you look up to and tell them why you look up to them." It was pretty cool; at first there wasn't much success from it. I wasn't getting anything from it at least. I'd go up to people, talk to people, try different approaches, and nothing seemed to work. No one really wanted to stop and listen. So I sat back and let people come to me... That didn't work to well, so I said something to this lady walking by and she stopped and I chatted with her. I explained what we were doing and she listened. She explained a little bit about how she's Jewish but that she loves doing good deeds. So she picked a card from my deck and she couldn't think of anyone she hadn't spoken to in years… So I let her draw another. This card said, "Call your parents and tell them you love them" after reading it she looked at me and said, "I'll do this one... I don't have a very good relationship with my dad. But I'm going to call him." I told her she could do it now if she'd like or hold off till she was home. She agreed to do it later and after chatting for a bit more, she left saying, "thank you, I believe there was a reason I stopped and talked to you". I pray that all goes well for this woman and that she and her father may have a better relationship one day. Now as we were wrapping up the APF a man walked by, stopped, looked at me, looked down at his phone, looked back at me and so I acknowledge him and asked if he'd like to do a good deed. After explaining to him how it works, he pulled a card and agreed to do it. He said that he had never had any contact with Mormons really but had heard great things. (He too was Jewish) and he said that he had heard that a lot of Jews have converted to Mormons. He liked what he had heard about us and was interested. After conversing with him and getting his information, I reported my 2 experiences with the Jews I just had to Elder Moss and he agreed that this was why we were here, he said that all the people that came up to him were already members so he had few and unfruitful experiences with those he talked to. It was a great day for an APF!

Sorry again these are getting shorter. But they have the great experiences that I'm going through. I hope you enjoy! Have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love,
Elder Newbold
Kevin Slagle surprised him at church!
Brooklyn Bridge

Anne and Courtney Allen took them to lunch and dessert!

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