New York

New York

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Week 59

May 2, 2017
Tuesday, Day 404
Day 44 back in NY

Transfer day! This morning we got up at 5:45am... because Elder McBride and Elder Jackman wanted to go to IHOP for breakfast. They all ordered nice big breakfasts and I only wanted orange juice. After returning home to finish getting ready and packing. We headed out the door, the four of us with 5 suitcases. Easy. Right? Well yes, anywhere else in the world, but on public transportation, in NYC. Ha! You’re kidding!! I offered to grab a taxi van... but Elder McBride persisted in taking transit... because he wanted to ride his last bus before going home. What a funny kid. Well, we rode the bus, trying so hard not to take up a ridiculous amount of space, I believe we were successful. Then we got to the subway and like any other transfer continued to haul around our suitcases till we got to the Inwood chapel. Not too long after getting to the church the other returning missionaries arrived and soon after them, President Smith showed up. I said a quick goodbye to Elder Tabor, Pulu, and McBride and they took off to the temple. I was with Elder Petersen for the time being, Sisters Busby, Bongolto, and Benedicto stayed to watch all our suitcases at the church while Elder Petersen and I went and got subway for us all for lunch. 

We finished lunch and people started arriving for transfers. The UHAUL was here and already being loaded up. Once our suitcases were packed up, we drove up to the Ossining chapel to wait for the UHAUL. 

I met up with my companion, Elder Murray. 

After it arrived we unloaded our stuff and then loaded it up into our car and we took off to our first appointment. We stopped by a member’s house, Brother Rizzo. We shared a message with him and were about ready to be on our way... but this guy is so funny before we could close with a prayer he brought up dinner and asked if we wanted steak. We didn't have dinner plans so we thought sure why not. So we ended our message and moved to the kitchen, he pulled out of the fridge this fat bag of steak. He told us to prepare it haha so we got it out, cut it up, and threw it on the BBQ. He made a quick salad and got us some drinks while we cooked the steak. The first glass he brought us was some really good grape juice he made. When we came back in for a plate to put the steaks on he had another drink for us, he said he couldn't remember what it was. (He juices all the fruits that he has when he doesn't want them to go to waste). We grabbed the plate and our drinks and went outside to the BBQ. I took a sip first and whatever it was, it was fermented... We came back into the house and told him and he said "oh okay, that must be the older one". We asked what was in it and he said he could remember. He just juices random fruits together. This guy is too funny!

Our next appointment was visiting our Ward mission leader, brother Walker. He is from Jamaica and has such a great testimony. We caught him outside on his lawn mower; he stopped and was excited to meet the new guy (me). We chatted for a bit and talked about him and me and got to know each other. It was getting late so we let him go so he could finish the lawn in the light and we left to our last appointment. We met at the church and our Investigator T came and we met with him. We read a scripture from Mosiah 4 and talked about the power of God and how we can do all things that are expedient to the Lord. We followed up with his smoking, he said he isn't doing better but he's not getting worse. Then we invited him to work on it and committed him to daily prayer. He is preparing to be baptized at the end of this month.

Our church is tiny because it's just our branch that meets there. It's in the middle of a big lawn. 

After meeting with T we drove home, we are about 5 minutes from home. It was a great day!

May 3, 2017
Wednesday, Day 405
Day 45 back in NY


We went and did laundry first, which was a pain. The laundry card we have can only be filled at a certain place, which we didn't know. I loaded my laundry into the washer, and then realized we needed more money on our card. So we left and wasted about 15 minutes figuring it out. When we got money on our card we then went back to our laundry room and started the load. Then we went grocery shopping. We then went back to put our clothes in the dryer and then we went to the church to email and play catch with a football. All the while we forgot we had groceries in the car. It wasn’t until after we decided to go home that we saw them in the back seat of the car and remembered. After putting our groceries away (thankfully the milk was still cold) we planned to go find somewhere to hike. On our way out we noticed one of our tires was getting flat... so we spent time finding somewhere to fill it. By then we didn't have much time and planned to hike some other time!

After pday, we had two appointments. One was with a member of our branch who we are helping to prepare to receive the priesthood. It's kind of funny... all our members are older… like in their 60’s or so. Then we met with T at the end of the night to uplift him and motivate him to read and pray.

May 4, 2017
Thursday, Day 406
Day 46 back in NY

This morning we had Zone meeting. During one of the trainings given, a question was asked. "Why is Jesus Christ the foundation of everything?" My answer was simply, "well, take away Jesus Christ and what are we left with? Nothing... without Him nothing has purpose and nothing would exist." A scripture that came up in today's meeting was Ether 12:12 "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them;" and it's so true, we can't sit around and expect miracles to happen... you need faith and what's faith? Well, faith is a belief so strong it motivates us to ACT. And there you have it, of you want to expect miracles, you have to act.  Something my companion says a lot, which I love, is "you just have to have Faith over Fear." D&C 6:36 "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." If we look unto Jesus Christ in all things what should we fear? Nothing. We will have no fear because we will look into Him and understand His plan and our part in it.

After our meeting we went out to subway for lunch! Then we had a few people we looked up and then an appointment with a guy named J. He's been seeing missionaries for a little while and is a super nice guy, he's 80 years old and he told us he's been sober about 6 years now and is trying to kick smoking. He's so awesome!

We also went to SUNY New Paltz College campus and contacted people for about an hour before going home for dinner. While on campus we ran into this student who was pretty cool, he was the only one who let us talk to him. We taught him about the plan of salvation and our purpose in life. We gave him a pamphlet and continued on. He said he's studied and read about other religions but just for fun, he's not really looking for a religion. After dinner we met up with T for a bit at a deli near by and a miracle happened! We were about to walk into the deli and this guy just outside stopped us and asked us what kind of missionaries we were. When we answered, he said, "Oh awesome, I was baptized a Mormon." But I only went to church from about 9-13 years old and haven’t been back since. (He's in his 20s). He then asked, "How would you guys try to talk someone like me into coming back to church?" I kind of laughed inside and after the fact wanted to say, "well do you want to come to church? Cause if you answer that, we could save a lot of time." But we went onto answer his question and some others he had. Then a car pulled up and he said it was his ride, we quickly exchanged info and we went inside to meet with T before heading home for the night.

May 5, 2017
Friday, Day 407
Day 47 back in NY

We started off our plans after studies with weekly planning. We planned for about 2 hours in hopes the rain would lighten up so we could do an APF. But the rain continued and we reschedule the APF and went to the church after having lunch to continue planning.

We then went to the library where we wanted to print off a calendar to help T set goals and make plans to quit smoking... but it wasn't till after finding a calendar and a button away from printing it, did we notice the sign in front of us that said 15 cents per page... well we didn't have any change! So we laughed to make ourselves feel better and we left…

We went home and had companionship study and dinner. The remaining time of our night was spent contacting at the college and look-ups around the area.

One of the guys we met was atheist... before leaving we asked if there was anyway we could serve him. He responded, "right now? No! But you come back at 12:30pm tomorrow and I'll put you to work!" We accepted his given time and home we went.

May 6, 2017
Saturday, Day 408
Day 48 back in NY

Exactly 12:30pm we showed up to C the atheist's home. Where we found him dumb surprised, because he didn't believe we would show up. We followed him to the backside of the apartment where he lives and under the building was his workshop. He's a sculptor; he's been sculpting for 27 years and has sculptures in other places around the world. We had no clue what we signed up for… But he put us to work. I wish I took pictures because it was the most interesting thing I think I've done on my mission. We were filling pre formed molds of a sculpture he was making; he made this mix that we used to spread across the mold to make his sculpture. I don't really know how else to explain it so I hope you can picture it like this, two young men in aprons and plastic gloves. Spreading a mix of some kind with paintbrushes across what looks like the mold of an octopus arm. After I think was about an hour and a half of that he said thank you and you’re off the clock for today! Haha so on our way we went.

We changed into our proselyting clothes and on our way to another service project we stopped by a couple people. The first guy we stopped by was a member of our branch. Brother Krom, he's blind and Elder a Murray says he plays the piano really well! (So I hope to watch him play sometime). Our visit was short; we shared a message with him and offered our service. He appreciated the visit and said there was nothing more we could do for him at the moment. We then were back on the road and on our way to Brother Precour's to help him move a lot of stuff on his property. For about 3 and a half hours we moved around a lot of things either to the back of the house or into the dumpster. Sadly by the time we finished it looked like nothing changed. But we surprisingly got a lot done! He ordered us pizza and we ate before we left. Once we left, we went to the church to have our Branch coordination meeting with the sisters and our branch mission leader. It was a bit of an interesting meeting, we basically discussed things that we needed to come back next week and discuss more of. We felt like it was a bit unproductive, but we tried to talk about and form the basis of a Branch Mission Plan. Our meeting was all right, and Elder Murray and I were a bit out of it with all the service we did today.

Now that I think about it, I didn't have much to eat for breakfast and because we were sculpting at noon we missed lunch, then we didn't have pizza till AFTER working for 4 hours, so thankfully our Branch mission leader, brought chicken legs and pizza too. After eating we went to catch T before 9pm. But he was running a few deliveries during work, so we shared a quick scripture with him before he took off so that he could have something to ponder. Then it was a little after 9pm and our beds were calling us! So you know what that means!

May 7, 2017
Sunday, Day 409
Day 49 back in NY

Today we had a live broadcast, so we met in NewBurgh at the chapel there and the whole stake was there. It was sweet! Had trouble staying awake... but it was good.

(I need to order a new mattress from the office because mine is pretty dead and I don't sleep to well on it. You can feel the springs when you lay on it. So maybe once I get that figured out I will stay awake.)

Not too much happened today besides going home for studies and lunch, then lots of contacting, tracting, and look-ups.

May 8, 2017
Monday, Day 410
Day 50 back in NY

This morning we had District meeting! Afterward we began our split with the district leader. Elder Murray stayed in the area and was with Elder Viera. I went to Kingston with Elder Hughes (who I served around in the Bronx at the beginning of my mission). We got all the way to their chapel which was about a half an hour ride or so and then I realized I still had the phone to our area in my pocket .... so after planning and companionship study we got a call from Elder Murray on the sister’s phone asking us to meet them half way so I could give them their phone... way to start off the split right!?

Elder Hughes and I visited some people in their area. There was this one lady... this poor older lady, who had really bad shoulder problems. She had a surgery scheduled 3 days from now to have it fixed. I knew nothing about her, so when we showed up and I saw all the bottles of alcohol on the coffee table and couch, I thought nothing of it. Elder Hughes's reaction was so little that I thought maybe this was normal... but it wasn't, so we did her the favor and threw them out… she was drunk... we tried to talk to her and help her out, but she was gone... she wasn't making sense and was in pain… so we cleaned up her kitchen and living room. We cleaned the dishes and dumped the alcohol in the trash... and we left her with a prayer.

The rest of the day we went around looking people up and trying to set appointments. There was a member family we visited for FHE. Awesome family, they were so sweet and fun!

May 9, 2017
Tuesday, Day 411
Day 51 back in NY

This morning after studies we looked up some people before lunch, we then came home for lunch and drove to New Paltz, back to my area, to help out at the bishops storehouse and to unsplit. We got there about 12:30 and set up tables. Around 1:30 the truck showed up. We unloaded the truck and organized all the food by labels on the table. Then we each began filling ordered for those who ordered food and supplies. We were there till about 4pm and then we had an appointment with a less active member in our Branch. We stopped by for a bit and got to know him, we shared a message and then left.

The member lives in an area with a nice amount of apartments around. So we tracted, we said we'd hit 6 doors. Then go to the church and make phone calls and finish writing up lesson reports. On our 4th door we met this kid J. He opened the door and we immediately testified of eternal families. We asked him what he thought about it and what he believes life is like after death. He was quick and said well I never have thought about it, death scares me. I then bore my testimony of eternal families and how we can know about the life after death from reading in the Book of Mormon. He accepted a copy and we exchanged information. He was really cool and was willing to listen. We went back to the car and drove to the church. We then made 10 phone calls each and wrote up lesson reports, we had about 45 minutes and we got it all done!

The gospel is such a blessing, after meeting J I thought how sad it is to know that many people have no idea what it's like after death and how reassuring it must be to learn and have a knowledge of life after this one. I know that we can be with our families forever. If and only if we submit our will to Heavenly Fathers will and follow his commandments. Then after all we can do, we may have eternal life.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,
Elder Newbold

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