March 27, 2017
Monday, Day 368
Day 8 back in NY
Got up at 6:30am and got dressed enough to go downstairs to start laundry. Then we came up and had personal study. We finished and went back down to put our clothes in the dryer. We came back up and got ready then went down to get our clothes, laid them out and headed out to get groceries! We walked outside and it was raining! I was soaked way before we got to the grocery store. Our bus wasn't coming anytime soon so we walked... and it began to rain harder and I didn't know it was going to rain, so I didn't wear my rain jacket. We came home and put away our groceries and got ready to go to the church in Lincoln Square to play basketball and gatorball, after a couple hours I stopped to type my journal and respond to emails.
(I saved a life! Not really, it wouldn't have killed her, but it would have hurt...) We were at the church for about 3 hours. Around 3pm we left and headed home, we stopped at Penn Station because Elder McBride said there's a Krispy Kreme Donuts shop. So we got off to get some donuts. We headed one way and saw how backed up the stairs were so we turned around and went toward a different set of stairs. At this point the train we got off had not closed its doors. This girl had quickly walked at an angle in front of me; I stood roughly 3 feet from the train and heard the ding as the doors began to close. Instinctively I quickly stepped behind her and put my arms on either side of her where the doors were and kept them from closing as they had already began pushing against her. What was so funny about this was that she had no clue what I did and I walked away like I didn't do anything. It was just in the moment and quick. Within seconds she was from between the doors and I stopped them to then back on my journey for donuts. We enjoyed our donuts. Then back to the train we went to go home. By the time we got home it was about 5pm and we had just enough time to make dinner and get ready for our night plans. It's been a little while…so I forgot to email President... so I took some time to write an email report really quick, but then I couldn't send it because we had no Wi-Fi. So we quickly left for our plans so we could find some. When we got to the train station I sent it off and we were on our way to the church. We did some contacting on Facebook and waited to hear back from C, our investigator. We were planning on going to "FHE" at one of the members, but we decided to let C go and have the member’s fellowship him so he wouldn't be attached to us while we were there. So he went and we stayed at the church taking care of sending messages to members and other investigators. We finished with just enough time to go home; so home we went.
I ate 3 PB & J sandwiches today... I've been so hungry and I don't know why... I have such a larger appetite then ever. I just eat and eat! It's kind of great!
Just thought I'd share that.
March 28, 2017
Tuesday, Day 369
Day 9 back in NY
This morning in my personal studies I decided to review the first lessons. So I started with the first one, in preach my gospel, the message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The first heading in that section is God is our Loving Heavenly Father, as I began reading that section, 4 sentences in I read "He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right." It didn't take long but I pondered this and thought of my journey and the experience I've had with going home. I remembered back to a time when I wept with my loving parents on the occasion of my return. This experience brought this sentence to life for me; it made me understand the truth of it and on such a personal level how real the love of our Heavenly Father is. He truly loves each and every one of us, we are His children and as such He, like our earthy parents, weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what's right. He wants to see us succeed, but he expects us to try and make the right decisions. It was definitely one of the most spiritual studies I've ever had. We then left to the church for leadership meeting and district meeting. District meeting was great! During our meeting our roommates, Elder Jackman & Elder McNeiry received a phone call from Sister H, who was looking for us to give a blessing to a man sometime today, in Spanish. We went home for lunch and companion study. Then we left to the hospital where we gave a man in critical condition a blessing. The doctors warned us that he was very easily irritated and so we shouldn’t have much interaction with him. We weren't sure if he was conscious, he had no family with him. It was just he in his bed and us by his side. We put on our gowns and gloves and placed our hands gently on his head Elder McBride being called Spanish speaking gave the blessing in Spanish. When we finished we watched his heart rate calm to a regular speed. We stood by his side for a couple minutes before we left.
We made it home for dinner then left to the church for institute... unfortunately C told us he wasn't going to make it but not till we got there... then the sisters gave us pizza!! We went home and ate frost bitten ice cream! The end.
March 29, 2017
Wednesday, Day 370
Day 10 back in NY
Woke up this morning at 6:00, got ready and left the apartment by 7:00 to catch a train at Grand Central to be in Scarsdale for MLC (Missionary Leadership Council).
Our leadership meeting was great, very spiritual as always. Since having experience serving in a YSA Ward I'll say, it is hard! You experience more days feeling less productive. We have to work completely through the members. Something President Smith said was, we as missionaries in the YSA Ward are the pioneers of is work. We are laying the groundwork for the next missionaries. At the end of the meeting it was opened up to testimonies. I bore my testimony of The Atonement of Jesus Christ.
We then had lunch around 1pm at the meeting then had to be back to the train by 2pm. We got back to our area by 3pm, we went to the church with some other leaders in our zone and had a Zone planning meeting so the leaders could be prepared to share what was relayed by President Smith to the zone tomorrow. When we finished it was after 5pm so we went out to dinner and did some Facebook contacting
March 30, 2017
Thursday, Day 371
Day 11 back in NY
This morning we got up at 6 and went for a run, we ran about a mile and a half. We cooled off, came home, and got ready for studies and planning. We had Zone meeting around 10-12pm, it was great, and we talked about things that were discussed in MLC. A lot of the focus was on, "what would I do, if the Savior stood beside me". If the Savior stood beside me, would I talk to the person next to me... stuff like that. We also pondered and discussed ways of sharing the new Easter initiative, which I will share at the end of this letter.
We began Weekly planning and then split for the day. We started off the split with some service! The husband of a member family is moving and requested help for a last minute move, well they had already moved most of their belongings but had some furniture they wanted out of the apartment. We stopped our planning and went over to their apartment. We arrived and went straight to work; we had plans for the day and had only 30 minutes. We carried 2 decent sized couches down a 5-story walk up. The second couch was red; it was very dusty and had lots of hair. Do you know what that means?! ALLERGIES! So I sneezed every step down the stairs.... Turns out they were throwing them away... well for the rest of the day I was wrecked! My allergies broke me, my sneezing was out of control and my nose was itchy. Towards the end of the night we had an awesome lesson with an investigator, B. This guy is massive! Ha ha well his upper body, he was over 6 feet and his biceps were at least 2 feet round. His shoulders just about rested below his ears.
For dinner a member who had signed up to feed us was unable to make it, so he sent us pizza! He had it delivered to another members house, which was where we ended the night. This split was in my old area so I slept in the same apartment as I did when I was serving in the West YSA Ward.
March 31, 2017
Friday, Day 372
Day 12 back in NY
We started the day off with working out with B, the massive investigator. We went to his apartment; on the fifth floor was a gym. They had a few different machines so we just kind of rotated around as B asked us questions. B made his way over to the bench, put on 250 and pumped out 20 reps, close grip! He was being very modest in front of us only benching 250. It was raining on our way back to the apartment to get ready and eat.
Elder Cottrell and I went to the chapel and planned until we had a met to unsplit. While we talked about our studies we began talking about our missions and some experiences we've had while being a missionary. Elder Cottrell, knowing that I had returned home, asked some questions about my experience. He also went home early but due to a knee injury. He began his mission in Brazil and had served for a short time before returning home, due to his knee condition, where he was for about 3 months. So we had a great conversation and talked about the blessings and trials we each received and experienced. He also told me that in a conversation with President Smith, he was told that he puts his most trusted missionaries in YSA wards, but of course with the direction of Heavenly Father, it just works out that way. I thought that was pretty sweet, since I have now been in a YSA Ward twice.
After our split, it rained horribly, all day! After all that we did, we came home completely soaked. I wore my rain jacket so my shirt was fine but my pants were filled with water. My legs had water dripping down them from the inside of my pants. After my allergy attack and this horrible weather, I was sick... I worked myself to sickness…
April 1, 2017
Saturday, Day 373
Day 13 back in NY
We didn't do anything today....APRIL FOOLS!
I woke up at 6:30 feeling like a sick person feels and went back to sleep. My companion then woke me up around 9:30. I got up and got ready, I studied a little and then we went to the church to watch general conference.
General conference was great. I felt like sickness and struggled to stay comfortable and awake during it. We had an appointment between sessions but I wasn't feeling up to it so we had a mini split and Elder McNairy went with Elder McBride for me… and Elder Jackman and I had some lunch. I was glad I didn't go to the lesson because it turned out he wasn't even home. We then watched the next session and made our way to the 65th street chapel (the temple). Where we watched the Priesthood session of conference. This is really the only time we ever have permission to stay out after curfew. It ended at 10 and we didn't get home till 11pm. On our way home, like a sick person I fought to stay awake, haha. We got onto a train and standing, I leaned up against the doors as they closed and immediately after the girl sitting to my right stretched her hand out and said, "Will you hold my hand?". I was too sick to laugh, but I would have totally laughed. I politely turned down her invitation and I closed my eyes, praying to get home sooner. Ha ha ha. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE A CURFEW... THE CRAZIEST PEOPLE ARE OUT LATE.
We made it home and I went to bed!
April 2, 2017
Sunday, Day 374
Day 14 back in NY
Still felling sick but better than before I wake up to my companion who is now sick. Thanks to me ha ha I think? He then went back to sleep for a bit longer and we then quickly got ready to watch conference at the church again. After the first session, a wonderful lunch was provided by a sweet elderly woman, from one of the family wards. Since being back into the routine of a missionary, my appetite has once again developed into a monster... but twice as big. I am always so hungry even after eating "plenty" of food. Well with my body type, there isn't such a thing as "plenty". We finished our meal with my favorite triple chocolate cake! And went on to contact some people on Facebook. By the time we concluded those plans, on to the next session we went. What a blessing it is to hear from our beloved Prophet and apostles of God.
Writing this a day later, and still feeling out of it, I cannot recall what we concluded our night with, but I do remember going to sleep! Haha
Well as promised, my great and spiritual experience...
This week we received the new video for the Easter Initiative. As we've been given this video, earlier then it was published, we were instructed many times to watch it and focus on our feelings and thoughts, then to watch it again and come up with ideas of how to share this video with members in our wards.
Well, on multiple occasions throughout the week I did this... I absolutely love the video but never had too many ideas that were new to me. So I continued to watch it... then one time my mind drifted and I began to find myself reflecting on my life. I started to remember the life I previously lived, a life of darkness, a life without peace, a life I hid but wanted an escape from... as these things came to me, my mind settled briefly on the feelings and moments of self worth that I had felt and experienced in the last few years of my life. As the Easter Initiative was once again played, my mind redirected itself, from darkness and sorrow; my focus was now on Jesus Christ. For He was the one who saved my soul from hell, who healed a broken heart, and saved a future eternal family. It's He who has blessed each and every one of us with the ability to find Peace, for He is the Prince Of Peace. It is my prayer that those in this often crazy and distraught world may find peace. I invite all and especially all who suffer and struggle with finding peace, to turn to the Savior. We don't need to suffer any longer. He didn't suffer for us to suffer; He has blessed us with Peace. I strongly encourage all who seek to find peace to turn to your loving Father in Heaven in sincere prayer. Then turn to the Book of Mormon and be mindful of the things you read, ponder it's message and you will find peace. I can promise peace will be found as these things are done with diligence, patience, and faith. And to those who have yet to experience the Latter Day Saints way of worship, we welcome you with open arms, to come and feel the Love that your Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ have for you. It is my testimony that all can find peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In His sacred name, Jesus Christ, amen.
Patience. Love. Faith
Sent from my iPad
***If you are interested in viewing the video Elder Newbold wrote about please click here The video is called Honoring the Prince of Peace! #PRINCEofPEACE its a short, wonderful video that will help you get into the Easter season!