July 27, 2016
Wednesday, Day 288
Day 275 in NY
This morning, like every other morning we went for a run. Elder Dutson and I ran a different route today and found another park to work out at. So we did pull ups on the monkey bars, dips on the slides, and before we left... Of course, we used the swings for a minute! Then we ran back to the apartment and got ready for the day. As our laundry was going we went out to get wifi to get some emails then we went across the street to C-Town. All I have left on my card for the month is $0.69, which usually happens on the first cycle of transfers. I had gone shopping in my last area thinking I wouldn't get transferred but I was wrong and left all my food behind. Thankfully my family sent me food for my birthday! I'll survive till my card gets filled again. After following my companion around as he filled his cart with groceries, we came back up stairs to our apartment and started writing emails. During this time we once again, went back and forth and asked each other what do we want to do today? Why this happens I don't know. Eventually we decided to play catch with a Frisbee at Central Park... When we got there we had trouble finding an open enough area where people weren't in our way and there was enough shade... It was way too hot. (It's hilarious to walk around Central Park in the summer, people dress up like they are at the beach and they lay out on the grass and sun bathe). Soon enough we decided to just go to the 87th St. chapel and play ping pong and email. Not too exciting but we went home afterwards and went back to work. Before we came back home to nightly plan, we were able to teach 5 lessons! It seemed like Pday wasn't today because we were working so hard. It felt like days ago that we were playing ping pong.
July 28, 2016
Thursday, Day 289
Day 276 in NY
I woke up this morning and got down on my knees. As I prayed and thanked my father in heaven for another day I thought I'd ask Him if He would wake up Elder Dutson for me. Sure enough as I prayed Elder Dutson arose out of bed. Skip forward a couple hours and during companionship study Elder Dutson asked how I slept I told him I slept well and I asked how he slept, he said "I slept pretty well too, I just don't know how I woke up this morning. I didn't hear the alarm or anything." I kind of laughed and said, "That’s awesome. While I was praying this morning I just thought I'd ask if Heavenly Father would wake you up this morning instead of me." He thought it was pretty cool too, lol! My alarm hasn't been very loud lately, so after I wake up Elder Dutson has told me just to wake him up. So I thought to switch it up this morning, lol.
Today seemed so slow. We did some weekly planning then took a break for lunch and got back to planning. Elder Dutson after planning started syncing/backing up his iPad. So while waiting for that to finish we kept planning and rearranging our schedule since one of our appointments let us know they needed to reschedule. By the time we got through all that we traveled home and had dinner. After an hour for dinner we went back to the church to meet with E. (We were on the phone with her the other day and she was telling us she had been struggling with her faith and struggling a little with repentance. We didn't question it then, but we explained to her that it would be much better to speak to her in person about her questions and struggles). Flash forward to now; we are at the church, sitting all together in one of the classes we let her explain to us what was going on. We had a wonderful discussion on faith and repentance. We talked about how she has great faith in Christ and just needs to remember that she's gained a testimony of Him and the Book of Mormon. We talked about repentance and explained that even through the process of and after repentance we still face consequences. We can always be forgiven but we still need to face the punishment of our actions and often times that punishment is the guilt we feel. So although you may have repented or are still in the process of repenting, Heavenly Father will forgive you, but he will let us face our consequences. She expressed that she felt very relaxed and happy after meeting with us. Afterwards we talked about meeting again, we set a time to get together once more before church on Sunday. When we left the church we made our way to the Ducassas. We had an appointment with them and planned to talk about temples and eternal family. They are the sweetest and always prepare a snack or dinner for us when we come, so we eat and talk about their week. When we finish our plate we slowly get into the lesson. They are just so awesome!
July 29, 2016
Friday, Day 290
Day 277 in NY
My favorite week day! Ice cream with Bae! Lol after lunch we left the apartment and went out to our first appointment. We visit this older man, who we call gramps. His name is Paul; he is a member but is unable to attend church very easily because of his health and things like that. Since I've been in the area we've only been able to catch him at home once. Since then we haven't been able to see him, when we stop by on our scheduled days he isn't home. We know he has DR appointments in the day so he told us to come by around 3:30 so that's when we got there and he just hasn't been home. Leaving his building without any luck of finding him, we went and got Coco Helado. Waiting for a bus we ate our ice cream. When finished with our Spanish ice cream we continued on with the day going to visit a few more less active members and uplift and encourage them to come to church this coming Sunday. Three visits later we went home for dinner and made an end to the night soon after.
July 30, 2016
Saturday, Day 291
Day 278 in NY
So, last Sunday during 3rd hour some announcements were made, one being that Sister Lopez in the Ward would be moving to North Carolina in a couple weeks. Following this announcement was the voice of another member, sarcastically speaking, "Elders be sure to be there". I was excited! It's not as often as I hoped that we would have opportunities to do service like that. So of course we put it in our schedule to go and let Sister Lopez know we would be there. So 9am rolls around and we show up at Sister Lopez's apartment. We got straight to it. For 4 hours we brought boxes and other items in the house including bed frames, mattresses, and couches down a 5 story walk up. Imagine a full size couch fitting down 5 stories of stairs and rotating it every which direction to fit it down each set of stairs with 3 feet to work with. The whole time we were there Elder Dutson and I were walking up and down the stairs. For the first 3 hours we were there another member, Brother McKenna, was with us helping. His phone was tracking his steps and how many stories he walked up. After wards he told us how many stories his phone said he climbed and the total for him came to be 80. After Elder Dutson and I figuring out the math, we came to the conclusion that in those 4 hours we walked up at the very least 120 flights of stairs, and boy did we feel it... When we got home we realized that if we were to walk up that amount of stairs we would have walked much higher than the freedom tower. That's not even counting the stairs we had to walk up to get home crossing through a park. For lunch we quickly cooked something to eat and collapsed on the couches for 40 minutes to rest before getting ready and heading out to continue the day of work we had ahead of us. We finished the day off accomplishing our goals and came home to plan. During our nightly planning our phone went off and was vibrating like crazy, when we checked it, we had 5 messages, all from E. This broke our hearts, in summary, she texted us that she would no longer be coming to church this Sunday, nor would she be meeting with us, or be baptized... Elder Dutson and I looked at the texts and about cried in devastation to loose our friend E. We got down on our knees and prayed, we prayed that whatever it is E is going through that she may find peace and comfort and that we may be guided in what to respond. In some other texts she sent she said that she will continue to pray and read the Book of Mormon but she just can't move on from there because of the situation she's in with her family. We responded to her texts, just reminding her that we love her and that we care about her and her progress that she has made. We reminded her of the testimony she gained from the Book of Mormon and we told her she's welcome back anytime and that we would love to stay in contact with her. She didn't respond after that. But we felt as if everything will be okay. Our hearts were hurting due to the situation but we knew Heavenly Father was mindful of her. After nightly planning we crawled into bed after our long physically and emotionally draining day, and slept like babies.
July 31, 2016
Sunday, Day 292
Day 279 in NY
This morning we met before church and had a correlation meeting with our ward mission leader. We talked about the progress of our investigators and other things about members and people we had been working with. The kids and babies are all soooooooo loud during sacrament; it's a bit of a pain in the butt. After church we had a linger longer and Sister Lopez came up to us, she thanked us for all the help yesterday since it was only Brother McKenna and my companion and I, she then asked if we were sore, with a big grin on my face, I responded "nana, not really" she laughed and thanked us again. (We waited for her to be the first one to walk away so she didn't see us walking with jell-o legs, lol). Sunday's seem pretty relaxed and not quite as busy. But we met with this awesome investigator named A, we found him in our area book just a few days ago. We caught him just as he was winding down after work. He was pretty tired but very nice; he said we could come back Sunday, today. So we showed up today and he opened up the door and let us in. We gathered in his living room, just the 3 of us, and talked about his experience with missionaries previously. He said he just briefly spoke with them; they gave him a Book of Mormon both in English and in Spanish. He said they never met with him after that. He said that he read the whole Book of Mormon in Spanish. He said he was really into religious texts and wanted to learn more. He later explained more of his background in religion and said he doesn't practice anymore because he didn't agree with some of the answers they gave him to his questions. Out of the blue, he asked the question "what are your personal opinions with gays and where they go after this life?" After we both gave our personal responses, both being similar to, "well first we love them just as the child of God they are, we look at them as God does, another one of His children and with the potential they have. After this life they will have the same opportunity to learn and be taught the gospel as we all will, they too
will have an opportunity to repent and change and come closer to Heavenly Father. They will not automatically be thrust down to a hell." After each of these responses were given he had the biggest smile on his face and said, "I have asked many religions this question and all of them have given me a similar answer if not the same answer – being [they will go straight to hell]. But never have I ever heard that from anyone! I love that, I agree with you." We then moved onto explaining more about the plan of salvation and it was a great lesson! The spirit was there and his questions were answered. After leaving A we headed to the church so Elder Dutson could work on My Plan, the program set up for missionaries going home. Following that we came home for dinner.
August 1, 2016
Monday, Day 293
Day 280 in NY
Usually we would have district meeting today, but instead we had a 3 hour training about online proselyting. We have iPads in our mission and they are so helpful! We also have Facebook, but most missionaries are too afraid to use them because there has never been any rules or guidelines as to how we can use them. So today our zone leaders and our sister training leaders gave some training on Facebook and how we can be using them. Recently a mission this last July was chosen and trained on Facebook proselyting. Some videos were out on how they have been using Facebook to help further the work. They had been using it to have daily contact with investigators and members, Facebook chat/video call to teach lessons or Skype in members for fellow shipping purposes, and make posts to encourage, help, and uplift those they've been teaching. This training definitely opened our eyes to a whole new outlook on Facebook. I think about 3 months ago I logged onto my Facebook and made a post, but to be honest I chose not to use it again after that because it was too much of a temptation to get on Facebook and just scroll through the news feed and that's not my purpose. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and
enduring to the end. With that being said, as a missionary, if you have no purpose or focus on what you want to achieve when using technology, you will do nothing but waste time. When we left the church after having that training I felt so much more confident and comfortable with Facebook and how I can use it for missionary work. For lunch we went up a block to a supermarket called Pioneer and bought some sandwiches. For $5 I got a sandwich about a foot long and a free drink and chips. We took it back the church and ate there. After lunch we went to M's and talked about beginning family home evening, to get him and his 3 year old son Little M to read and pray together. Due to the training and travel time we didn't have a whole lot of teaching time but we went out, worked hard, and accomplished out goals!
August 2, 2016
Tuesday, Day 294
Day 281 in NY
This morning after personal study we went to The Common Food Pantry and did some service. I love it! These semi trucks pull up outside the building and Elder Dutson and I go out with hand trucks (dollies) and unload these trucks and load up all this produce onto these hand trucks and pull them up into the building. The produce comes in big 50 lbs bags, big carrots, potatoes, and corn. Its super fun, I really enjoy it. We only stay about 2 hours and help but it's awesome. Afterwards we came home, cleaned up, and had lunch. Then we went to the church and did some online proselyting, we got onto Facebook and added some of our investigators and sent them messages and just started to learn how to use it, it's been a while and everything is so far updated. Afterwards we had a few appointments to get to, so we went out and worked and came home for dinner and went back out again till 9pm. Short and sweet but a great day! I just love working! Service, teaching, whatever keeps me busy... Keeps me happy.
Sorry it's a week late! Love y'all! This week’s should be sent by the end of Pday!
Patience. Love. Faith