July 20, 2016
Wednesday, Day 281
Day 268 in NY
We went to the 87th St. chapel to email and play some Ping-Pong. Elder Dutson and I played for a good hour and a half. Meanwhile other missionaries were in the gym with Jay getting haircuts. President Smith’s son, William, was also in the gym-playing ball with the missionaries waiting for haircuts. Around our hour and a half mark of playing Ping-Pong, President Smith showed up. He brought some pizza for everyone. But we kept playing Ping-Pong. He came into the room we were playing in and chatted with us for a little bit. Just to talk about our investigators and such. Soon after we left and went to go to Burlington to do some shopping for Elder Dutson's return home. After about an hour of shopping we needed to head back home to have dinner and get ready for our appointments. Being unsure of transit getting us home in time and being tired and lazy, we paid for another cab to take us home. It took us 15 minutes, which saved us like 30 minutes, so it was definitely worth it. After getting home we ate and got ready to go to our appointments. We met with a family at 6:15. It's always so interesting meeting with them. We can NEVER get the whole family home together in the same room. All we want to do is get to know them and share a quick message. But instead the mother wants to sit on the computer playing games like a 5 year old, the father isn't home, the oldest son sits in and is one of 2 participants, his younger brother reads with us and has questions, and the rest are too young. It tests our patience for sure because they know we are coming but they don't do anything to prepare for our visit. Our next appointment was with Tiffany, an investigator who has a baptismal date. She's seems to be doing well, but with her it's hard to tell because we will meet with her and invite her to church, then she won't come and for 4 days she won't respond to us. Then we end up catching her some time and talk then she disappears again for a while. But it's Patience. Love. & Faith. that will help us through.
July 21, 2016
Thursday, Day 282
Day 269 in NY
Planning day... After studies we do half an hour of daily contact. Where we call/text our investigators and people we meet with to see how they are doing and to follow up with them and the commitments they accepted. After that we send in any orders we need for this coming week, like copies of The Book of Mormon, pamphlets, pass along cards, etc. Then we begin planning; our planning can take up to 3 hours, which is normal, but it gets so boring and tiring so we usually take quick little breaks in the middle to get us through it. Because our apartment doesn't have Wi-Fi we either stay and plan then head to the church to sync or we just go to the church, plan and sync our iPad’s there. After planning we had lunch then got ready to go see Michael. Michael is doing so well! He's been cutting back on smoking and has been reading the Book of Mormon. He's learning a lot from it and it's so cool to see the change he's making! He is so great! When we finished our appointment with Michael we had to catch a bus home. Which takes us a little over 30 minutes to get home. Meanwhile standing under a tree for shade we feel weight escaping our bodies as we wait there sweating in 95° with ridiculous humidity. It's been so hot lately. When we finally got home we changed out of our drenched clothes and ate dinner. After an hour we changed back into our clothes and headed out to see this awesome family. The Ducassas, they are so sweet. This time I got to meet the wife. Last week she was at job training. They are both Doctors and are working through getting licensed since they came from the Dominican Republic. They are just the sweetest; when we come over they make little snacks for us. They put out fruit, crackers, and cheese and some juice. It's the couple and their daughter who I don't think is older than 8. They both love the Savior and have so much faith in him. They are both Catholic and aren't necessarily looking for change but they are so open minded and willing to hear our message. This visit we invited them to come to church sometime and we could give them a tour. They said they would love to come check it out sometime. We didn't rush them and set a date to come but we kept it open for discussion in the future. Afterward we went and stopped by this kid Rhamelo's apartment and followed up with his Book of Mormon reading. He said he reads a little bit but has a hard time remembering all of it. We explained it will all come but not at the exact time. He told us what he could remember and from what we could tell he had been reading from the testimony of Joseph Smith in the front of the book. It was a quick visit and we headed home to nightly plan.
July 22, 2016
Friday, Day 283
Day 270 in NY
Happy birthday to me!
Birthdays on the mish are so different. All throughout this week I didn't think much of my birthday coming up. In fact this morning I woke up and had totally forgotten it was my birthday till companionship study, which is about 3 hours after I woke up. We were in our living room/kitchen and before we sang an opening hymn the guys sang happy birthday. Then shortly after I forgot again. We just have so much more important things to be doing than my birthday. (So when I get home, we can have 2 birthday parties for me to make up for the 2 on the mish). After studies we called some peeps for daily contact then we had lunch. Thanks to Jen we went and got chipotle and we came back to the apartment with chipotle for the apartment, our roommates gave us money to grab them stuff while they did language study. By the time we got back they were done and we celebrated. Afterwards we went out to do some look ups around the church and since it's Friday that means "ice cream with Bae". Ice cream with Bae is how we strengthen our companionship unity. Every Friday we go to McDonalds or a near by "coco-helado" (Mexican ice cream stand). Since McDonalds was out of ice cream on the hottest day of the freakin year (99° w/ humidity) we went and got coco-helado, which is cheaper and so much better anyway. After ice cream with Bae, we did some more look-ups before we went and met with crazy Willy. Crazy Willy is this guy we met with, with the Sisters. They passed him off to us. He just talks the whole time about random things and most the time hasn't made sense haha. He says he appreciates our visits but he really hadn't showed any interest, we will see how this goes. We had a few more appointments before we came home for dinner and went back out again. By 9pm we were back in the apartment for nightly planning.
Happy birthday to me!
July 23, 2016
Saturday, Day 284
Day 271 in NY
Today was slow but we made the most of what we could. We had 8 lessons planned, but only had 5 work out. It was like every other lesson worked out. After lunch we had an appoint man with Ellenia it was awesome, we gave her a church tour and she had so many awesome questions. As we got to the next room her question always had to do with what we planned on talking about next. So as we left the primary rooms upstairs and came downstairs she asked about tithing. It was perfect, we were just around the corner coming up to the clerks office and so we grabbed a tithing envelope and taught her about tithing, as we moved forward to the next room she asked about the baptismal font which was where we were heading next. As we opened the doors we explained where we were and then we opened the doors to the font. She stood back and in awe just loved the scene in front of her. It was such a sweet experience; the room was the quietest room we had been in. Everything felt still and the spirit was just so strong. After the baptismal font we entered the sacrament room and she began asking questions, so we one by one answered each of her questions. Then we went to our next appointment, which cancelled so we continued on to our next appointment. After a short visit we headed home for dinner. After dinner we worked on planning our lesson for third hour of church. Our subject was service. We planned to talk a lot about what service means to us and experiences we've had while serving. We think it would be a great lesson.
July 24, 2016
Sunday, Day 285
Day 272 in NY
Church was great! Daryl, our investigator, who at first had a problem with organized religion, but ended up coming to church! It was awesome to have him there. He said he enjoyed it he came and stayed for all 3 hours. We had our lesson the 3rd hour and he said he really enjoyed it. We talked about service, asked everyone what came to their mind when they heard the word service after all the great responses we read some scriptures and then we watched the Mormon message "Lift" and let people think about their feelings. It felt like such a great lesson! Everyone was really into it and participated. After church we made our way home and had lunch. Then prepared for our next appointment. Was a bit of a slow workday, afterwards we came home for dinner. It was pretty hot today to. This week has been above 90°... With no Wi-Fi in our apartment I can't check the weather but I've noticed after a few days of hot weather it starts to pour down rain the next day. Even though one day it's bright out and the sky is blue. Then the next it's grey and rainy. So I'm thinking tomorrow will be the day!
July 25, 2016
Monday, Day 286
Day 273 in NY
District meeting this morning was good! We have a zone conference tomorrow and we are supposed to have a 5-minute talk written and study why and how the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost are the most powerful tools in teaching. During district meeting we discussed some things along the lines of our zone conference subject. So we read through parts of the Book of Mormon and talked about Lehi's dream, while talking about his dream we compared his dream and his reaction to how we should act. When Lehi partook of the fruit of the tree he DESIRED that his family should come and partake. The scriptures say that he beckoned to his family, calling for them. Then with a loud voice he yelled for them to come and partake. It shows the desire he has for his family to partake of salvation and that's the desire we should have. We should go out and desire salvation for everyone by talking to everyone we can and inviting them to partake of the fruit, to learn of the words of God. After our meeting we went home for lunch and cleaned out the area book, contacting people who hadn't been taught in a while, calling referrals, and so on. We then went out to meet with Michael. We talked more about his reading with the Book of Mormon. He's been doing well with it, he reads and understands it for the most part and has great questions. When we finished answering his questions we talked about the restoration for review and invited him to answer the questions in the back of the pamphlet. He accepted. Like I had predicted! In the middle of our lesson with Michael it began dumping rain! It was crazy! Full on thunder/lightening storm. When we got outside we got lucky it stopped pouring and was lightly sprinkling. Once we had finally caught a bus it began pouring again… Because of the rain and traffic, it took us an hour to get home. Once we got home it was time for dinner. The rest of the night it lightly rained and eventually stopped. Our lesson fell through this evening so we came home and looked someone up that lived in our apartment building. She was home luckily and we were able to teach her we shared a scripture and invited her to read before we left. Then we went down to the 8th floor and went inside our apartment and nightly planned.
July 26, 2016
Tuesday, Day 287
Day 274 in NY
This morning we woke up at 6am and got ready for the zone conference. We met at the Temple chapel at Lincoln Square. Got there at 8 and didn't start till 9. The meeting went till 4:30pm, but it was a great meeting. I didn't end up giving my talk but I'll share it here. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the spirit being the most powerful tool especially together. It was awesome, 2 talks were given and they were great, full of awesome insights. Around 1pm we had lunch and about 2 we came back together for the conclusion of the meeting. The meeting was so awesome, the spirit was so strong and the entire time the spirit bore to me over and over again that the Book of Mormon is true and never will I doubt it. I feel that President Smith could feel my testimony grow during this meeting, because at the end of it he asked me as well as 2 Sisters to bare our testimony. When he concluded his council to us with his testimony, one by one we shared our testimonies with the other missionaries. It was such a powerful experience, I learned so much about how we could be using the Book of Mormon to teach and other ways of doing so that I haven't yet done. It was such a great conference! It took most of our day and left us with time to take mail home, eat a bowl of cereal, and make it to 3 appointments. Thanks all for the packages and letters! It means a lot! Thank you family! And 2nd family (Halls)! Love you all!
Here's what I wrote for my talk:
Talk - The Book of Mormon combined with the spirit is our most powerful tool.
" Our purpose is to, "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel though faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."
So if this is our purpose, how do we fulfill it? We can't, but through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Having faith in Christ and His Atonement we can know that it is the ultimate place of healing and hope and growth and purpose, which leads us to repentance.
Because of our faith in Christ and His Atonement, we recognize our sins, we recognize His power of healing and we repent knowing that we can be healed and forgiven as Enos did.
[Enos 1:4-8] "4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens. 5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. 6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. 7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?
8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole."
When we recognize the power of the Atonement in repentance it will drive us to the waters of baptism as we come to know that after baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost we become purified.
As we feel the Saviors love and the love of our Father in heaven during this way of life, we accept its goodness and desire to share it with others as we continue up the spiral ladder.
As said in PMG
As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase. You will feel, as Lehi did, the “great … importance to make these things known unto the
inhabitants of the earth” (2Nephi 2:8).
And how is it that we make it to all these things, the Holy Ghost bares witness to us of truth, the truth of the Book of Mormon. As we study the Book of Mormon to help others understand and recognize the goodness of the Book and Christ and His Atonement the spirit will "carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men." (2Nephi 33:1).
Elders and Sisters, it is only by helping your investigators recognize the spirit and teach them to accept it that they will have truth born to them by the Holy Ghost. "
Thanks again for everything! Y'all are awesome! Thanks for the prayer, love, and support! Love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Patience. Love. Faith