New York

New York

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 57

April 17, 2017
Monday, Day 389
Day 29 back in NY

This morning we got up at 5:30 to start our laundry. We got our stuff together and we were out the door... We got to the elevator and it wasn't working... (We are on the 5th floor and the laundry room is in the basement) Elder McBride didn't like that very much and decided that we would go back to bed. So back to bed we went.  I was already awake so I didn't go back to sleep, but laid in bed till the 6:30 alarm went off. Then we did laundry when the elevator started working. We then studied and planned. Then finished our laundry and went about getting ready.

We went grocery shopping at Trader Joes and came home to unload after lunch at the apartment. We left to Soho and went looking around Cole Haan with Elders Mackintosh and Cottrell. We know a member who works there and hooked it up for them. Elders McBride and Mackintosh wanted new shoes and the member gave them 50% off.

After having dinner at home we went to go meet a member of the church who was on our list to visit. He was super cool, very nice guy! He shared his story with us and it was really neat. It was definitely a great experience, after hearing someone's experience of growing up in the church and knowing that his chosen lifestyle wasn't fit to continue and deciding to leave the church and still respect the church, I've never experienced the amount of love that I was blessed to feel for him from Heavenly Father... With this overwhelming feeling of love, I couldn't help but do my best to express it to him and let him know that although his life decisions don't correspond with the standards of the church that his Father in Heaven loves him so much and welcomes him back.

We had one last stop before heading home; we met with another member of our ward, a convert of about 2 years or so. He too has an incredible story, which in short starts with him coming from China as an Atheist and eventually finding the church in search of something more in life. He's got an awesome conversion story typed up and I was able to read it. The message we shared with R was focused on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What we felt to share with him was starting with the apostasy and ending with Joseph Smith’s experience. Elder McBride began describing the apostasy and what it was like on earth during that time. When he transitioned into the Restoration, where I then took over, there was already so much power in the message and it felt so good to share. Before sharing Joseph Smith’s experience, I paused, and the room was silent and the spirit's presence was strong, I continued...

"I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head above the brightness of the sun which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description standing above me in the air, one of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said pointing to the other, this is my beloved son, hear him."

This message and Joseph's experience has so much power! I know that Joseph Smith was and is a chosen Prophet of God. I know that even as a 14 year old boy Joseph was confused when it came to religion and I know that because his confusion and desire to know he went forth and read in the Bible, James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

And I know that from this, Joseph knew if anyone lacked wisdom it was him, with the little education he had. He took the scripture to heart and carried forth with faith and asked of God. From his experience, as shared above, I too know that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph and that they live and love us. And they show this love by their continuation of calling prophets. I know that if we feel that we lack wisdom, in any way, we can ask God and receive answers and guidance. This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

April 18, 2017
Tuesday, Day 390
Day 30 back in NY

This morning we got up and went straight to the church. Elder McBride had his exit interview. While he was in the chapel having his interview I sat in the hall and read the Book of Mormon. Following the interview we went up stairs to prepare for our leadership meeting and district meeting. We had our FaceTime leadership meeting then district meeting. To save time we stayed at the church and had studies, Elder McBride did My Plan. For lunch we went home and I probably had chicken quesadillas with Chick-Fil-A Sauce.

We had an appointment with A, a recent convert. We went to his place to stop by for a quick visit, we knocked on the door, someone came to the door but no body answered… so after knocking annoyingly multiple times and getting no one to open the door, we left.

We went home for dinner. Then had to go back to the church to give a Baptismal interview to one of the Sister’s Investigators, K. While at the church we quickly planned our split and soon after we met with Elders Staker and Reyes. We split at the train station then Elder Staker and I went home. Tomorrow should be a good split... We didn't have much planned since it's been tough meeting with our members.

April 19, 2017
Wednesday, Day 391
Day 31 back in NY

Our split today was good. We did a lot of look-ups. We have a list of people who need to be contacted and figure out whether they still live at their addresses or if they've moved. We had a miracle today! We were doing look-ups down by the Brooklyn Bridge and we came across this name B. We went to his address, knocked on the door, and he came to the door! He immediately said "hey, y'all came over last time right?" We explained that neither of us came last time, we were on a split and the last time missionaries came by was about a year ago. The next thing he said was "That's crazy, I was just cleaning up the house and couldn't find my Book of Mormon, do y'all have another one?" We gave him a Book of Mormon and talked about his interest in the church. He said that he wasn't interested in looking for a church but that he likes to read religious books. He did say that he is interested in coming to church activities; we talked about Volleyball, institute, and FHE he said he'd like to come to volleyball. He said that he was going to visit his dad this week and that we should send him an invite about volleyball so when he's back in the city next week he could plan for it.

Super awesome! The rest of the split we did look-ups and looked for those who live here or moved away. On our way home we saw the Nesquick bunny dancing on the street corner and next to him were 3 reps from Nesquick passing out free bottles of protein packed vanilla milk shakes. We grabbed a bottle and headed home!

When we got home it was about 5pm. We got a text from President Smith asking if we could meet up in The Bronx, Olmstead. We told him we could, so we ate a quick bowl of salad and went to the Temple to split back with the Elders. Elder McBride and I quickly made our way to Olmstead. We got on the train and went up to 138th St. and got off to transfer to the express train. It was so fun! We took the train through Hunts Point and I got to see parts of the area I served in during my first 6 months! We kept going up and finally got off at Park Chester. Then we quickly walked to the church to meet with President, Elder McBride needed to translate a baptismal interview for President Smith. While they were in the interview, I waited in the hall with some Sisters and the kids to the mother who was being interviewed.  After the interview, we got into the car with President and he started to take us home. He grabbed McDonalds for me for dinner, which I was so grateful for! He's the best. I only had a small bowl of salad before I left the apartment. Instead of taking us all the way home we had him drop us off at the train station in Harlem so he could just get home to his family and we could travel home. So here comes a miracle! We were on an express train, so the stops were spread out a bit. The second to last stop for us a man gets on and stands right in front of us. I was on the phone sending some messages and Elder McBride saw this man and just felt like this guy in front of us really wants to talk to us. (“Not, oh I think we should talk to this guy, but this guy wants to talk to us") So Elder McBride compliments him on his suit. They talked about where he was coming from since he was dressed so nice; he told us he had a job interview. They talked for a little bit and then came to our stop. Someone called, so I was on the phone and the crowd of people got off the train, we lost sight of the guy we were talking to. As we were then walking up the stairs, I was on the phone and Elder McBride was up in front of me. Once we both met at the top of the stairs, there was the guy on the train, waiting for us. Still on the phone, I was occupied, and couldn't hear their conversation, but after talking to my companion about it after leaving the station he said... The guys name is K, he said when he got on the train he felt something peaceful… he said he didn't know why he did when he first got on, but after speaking with my companion and I he knew that it was because we were good people. They exchanged contact information and we were on our way.

We were blessed even though we were coming home late. But everything happens for a reason. It was a great way to end the night!

April 20, 2017
Thursday, Day 392
Day 32 back in NY

Today wasn't too wonderful and full of stories but it was a good day! Following our studies and everyday routine, we went to the church to weekly plan. We worked a lot on Google sheets where we have a list of members that needed updating, so we spent time putting in information about less active members and others we've been trying to contact, updating contact info and making notes about them. After a couple of hours we decided to go to Chick-Fil-A for dinner! Thanks mom! 

They only get 30 mins for lunch so since sometimes it's hard for them to get back to their apartment, make lunch and eat it so quickly, I like to send him gift cards so he and his companion can have the convenience of eating out. 
Around 7pm we went back to the church to help set up for Volleyball. When we finished it was time to head home.

April 21, 2017
Friday, Day 393
Day 33 back in NY

After studies this morning we went out just around our apartment and tried looking up some people. We went out for about an hour or so, and then came back for lunch. On our way home for lunch, we were walking under some scaffolding and Elder McBride stepped into this pretty big crack that neither of us saw at first and he rolled his ankle and took a pretty nice tumble. The construction workers around came over and assisted him. He was fine; his ankle was pretty swollen and too sore to walk on very long. The workers went over and got him some ice packs and filled in the gap in the concrete. After lunch we needed to go to our YSA meeting on the west side at the temple. We were about 15 minutes late because Elder McBride’s unexpected dip. The meeting was great; we set goals for this week and planned to achieve them. After our meeting we grabbed mail and took it to our chapel for the district. Then our night concluded with contacting members.

April 22, 2017
Saturday, Day 394
Day 34 back in NY

I honestly don't remember much of what happened today beside the wedding reception we set up for. We traveled for about an hour or so to get to this random studio apartment where the wedding reception would be. The wedding was for a couple in our YSA Ward. We waited at the front of the building for the senior couple the Huntington’s. They are so awesome! We carried up some boxes to the room and began unfolding and setting up chairs and tables. Then more of the people setting up showed up and brought the decorations, we were needed there for longer than expected. The cake was later then planned and others came later bringing decorations. We started setting up around 5pm and left the party around 7:30 when we finished. Then home we went.

April 23, 2017
Sunday, Day 395
Day 35 back in NY

This Sabbath was great! We had Ward council this morning, which was good, we were able to report and inform the ward that we had made progress on the list we were given. We were also asked late last night if we could teach Gospel Principles. We accepted, although we had no time to prepare. We have K's baptism today! After sacrament we went to the basement to fill the font. When we got to class after filling the font, we split up the members into groups and assigned them a section of the lesson. Each had a question as the heading of the lesson, they read over it and had to come up with an experience or story that they've had or known to share with the lesson. We then went around the room and had each group teach the lesson to each other. It made the class much more engaged! It was a great lesson. After church we went to the basement, turned off the water and got ready for the baptism. It was so great! There was a good amount of people to support K. The service was so sweet and awesome, the members who were asked to speak became good friends with her prior to her baptism so it was awesome how well they were able to focus and relate everything they said to K. It was a great baptismal service, very well put together and the spirit just radiated from K and those in the room.

That's about all that happened and worth writing about this week! So I apologize for how short this week’s email is.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,
Elder Newbold
Sent from my iPad

Newbold Avenue!

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