Wednesday, Day 475
Day 115 back in NY
We did everything we needed to get done this morning first, laundry, grocery shopping, unloading groceries and putting away laundry. We had lunch then we went to SUNY College’s soccer field and played around on the field. We practiced kicking goals, PKs, and blocking goals. We took turns switching off and then we played one on one soccer.
Today was HUMID so we were drowning in our sweat as we played, but we had a lot of fun. Elder Murray decided to set up his tablet and recorded us playing.
Around the time we finished up on the field we went home rushed to get ready for dinner we quickly made a glass of raw meal shake (a meal replacement/protein shake) and hit road. We went to the church and “began” emailing... well my email was reset and deleted by the church. (Apparently it's a regular thing the church does... well it's beyond annoying and unnecessary)
It took me nearly 45 minutes to get it all set up again… super lame, so I had like 15 minutes to email. I had to write 3 letters to President Smith. 1. My weekly letter to him. 2. A response from his last email to me. 3. A miracle that happened this week; which I needed to get these done first.
Afterward I rushed to reply to as many emails as I could, time flew by and there was no time left.
We then went to our 1st appointment for the day, J.K. We met with him at his home on his red couch in his shop, where he works on his cars and where we always meet. Last week we committed him to read a verse a day from the Book of Mormon and to try to understand what's going on.
Before we even followed up he told us that he kept his part of the deal and read a verse a day. He then had some questions, which on our part was our job to answer. We went about what he read and we didn't get far… he brought up Nephi’s building of the ship and had some pretty lengthy questions. So we focused on his questions and that's as far as we got.
After our appointment we got to the car, I called Brother W and confirmed the time for us to come help him out. We went home and changed to service clothes. We met him at the home he rents out and we started putting tile in the basement. We lined one side of the room up and evened them out, got an idea of where we wanted them, and spaced them correctly. We had a pizza break, then removed the spacers, pulled back the tiles in order from where we started and began laying them down. I buttered the tiles with the pate like “tile concrete” and Brother W laid them down. We got about a quarter way through and realized it was after 9pm.
We were so caught up in the pday grind we completely forgot about our Gospel Minute… #RepentanceIsCool we will have one tomorrow!
July 13, 2017
Thursday, Day 476
Day 116 back in NY
We finished weekly planning around 2pm. Then went home to change and go to the E Family to help clean around their yard. Just as we finished, the sky quickly grew dark, the wind appeared like lightning, thunder cracked like the sound of a splitting tree, and lighting flashed with the down pour of rain.
All the kids took off into the house and we followed. We stood inside for about 15 minutes and watched as the rain came down and thunder continued to roar. All awhile I had this thought come to my mind and I acted as soon as it was clear… Elder Murray left the keys on the hood of the car... out the door I ran, trying my best to dodge the puddles that had quickly formed. I swiped the keys off the hood and made my way back to the house.
From the look of the storm, we thought we'd be stuck in the house for at least half an hour, just a few minutes more, after retrieving the keys, the rain lightened up and we left the family with a prayer.
Realizing I had packed a change of clothes and left my dress shoes at home, we went home to change. Our APF canceled due to the weather, but our day continued. We had companionship study, had dinner, sent our Gospel Minute, then left and visited the Jamaicans down at the orchards.
We talked with K at the orchards and told him we would come back with a member from our congregation who is Jamaican.
We ended the night with a lesson with this guy named C. The last time we met with him we committed him to read Alma 32, so that's what we discussed this time.
Elder Murray invited him to be baptized and immediately he responded, no I will not be baptized. He went on to say he has already been baptized and he doesn't want to be tied down to one church, he enjoys going to all churches.
Our Gospel Minute today was:
By Carol F. McConkie First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
"Holiness is in the striving and the struggle to keep the commandments and to honor the covenants we have made with God."
Doctrine & Covenants 4:2
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
July 14, 2017
Friday, Day 477
Day 117 back in NY
Yesterday morning, like half way into out studies we got a text from President Smith; he invited us to MLC (a mission leadership council). He asked us to come prepared having studied preach my gospel chapters 1 & 8. Having received this text late we didn't have any time to study those chapters before MLC today at 9am.
We woke up at 6, got ready, left at 7. We drove to Poughkeepsie to carpool down to Scarsdale with the ZLs (Elders Busby & Nadonie). We arrived on time at 9am. It was raining the whole drive down and through the entire MLC meeting.
The meeting was good! The focus seemed to be goal setting, but most of the time it was talked about indirectly. Until the end when it was then emphasized overall.
I cannot recall at all anything that was talked about in depth, but I did have some impressions and things that I felt to write in my pocketbook. Questions I felt to ask myself and take to prayer.
Today was also President Smith’s Birthday so after the meeting his family wheeled out a cake and we sang to him.
The drive home was much longer with rain and traffic so we didn't end up getting home till about 5pm. We did a look up and made contact with this guy named M. We caught him in a bad time, he said. He told us he was on call, waiting for his wife who just got to Italy to call him. She recently lost a loved one and was there for her family.
We then had correlation at the church; this was the first meeting since I've been here that anyone from the branch presidency had joined us for our missionary meeting. It was pretty cool and helpful.
At the end of our meeting we asked Brother W if he would come with us to meet with K (one of the Jamaican guys we met on the orchard farm). They hit it off pretty well; Brother W talked about how he found the church in Jamaica and then bore testimony of the Plan of Salvation. It was awesome!
July 15, 2017
Saturday, Day 478
Day 118 back in NY
This morning we met with Brother H, we talked about a lesson in the Teachings of the Presidents - Gordon B Hinkely. Simply living the gospel. There's an awesome message taught in this section.
We then stopped by L, the neighbor of a member in the branch. She asked if we could come help her out. She's an older woman and has cancer and is very weak, we stopped by and she asked if we could clean up the front walk way, people were moving out and a family was moving into her home and she'd like it to look a little presentable. I trained and the bushes out in front, Elder Murray pulled weeds. We piled it all onto a tarp and took it to the back yard, it was an easy job, it's just hot and muggy out.
But that's the way I love to start my day off. #ILoveHelpingPeople.
When we left her home, we drove about 30 minutes to visit Brother K. Then tried looking up an old investigator who wasn't home, we knocked a few doors. The last door we knocked a couple opened up the door. They held each other at the front door and we introduced ourselves and began to share our message, they talked about how sad it is that so many people say they follow Jesus but they go around twisting and changing His words. They were very nice, very strange, touchy at the door, and obviously weren't interested. We left and went to the church to write up our progress report and had dinner.
Tonight we had planned a sports Night, well we planned it like 2 weeks ago, around 6:30pm it started, at 7 Brother J showed up, and that was it. Lol it was us, the sisters, and Brother J. We played soccer in the front of the church, then went inside and played the crazy cat lady game. It wasn't the greatest success, but we were able to bond with Brother J.
July 16, 2017
Sunday, Day 479
Day 119 back in NY
Church was great! Second hour in gospel principles was taught in Spanish again, that was fun! After church we went straight to sister M’s for the weekly box of food. Then went home for lunch and comp study. We then went to visit Brother Ma and take him the sacrament. His eyes are bad and he can't read the small Book of Mormon font very well, so we brought a small DVD player and the Restoration video and watched that with him.
We came home and made cookies and then drove around stopping by member’s homes and dropping off cookies. Our last stop we brought the cake that we got from sister M with us and we dropped by Brother W. Today's his birthday and we usually drop by his place on holidays and around dinner haha we don't ever plan it that way but so far thats our reputation. So when we pulled up, he was sitting out watching the sunset on his deck and he threw his arms up in the air as he saw our car pull up! Haha he just knew we would stop by. He saw the cake and he and his son were excited. He invited us in and they put candles in the cake, we sang, and served out the cake. I love the W family! Wonderful way to end the night. We were then driving home and A H had pulled out from behind us, we got a text from her and she said “you guys drive so slow” lol we apologized for having tiwi. Haha
July 17, 2017
Monday, Day 480
Day 120 back in NY
After district meeting we drove down to Ossining to split with the AP’s. Elder Murray went down and was with Elder Davis and Elder Chambers and went back up to New Paltz.
Our first stop was at Sister E’s. We had an appointment to stop over and help her with her garden, but the sisters I guess ended up stopping by and did it for her. So after our hour drive back to New Paltz we found out when we showed up to her house that the sisters did it all. Fortunately Sister M had text us about needing help with her garage. Already in our service clothes we drove over to Sister M’s and pulled everything out of her garage, swept the floor, blew out the garage, then reorganized everything back into the garage. After we finished she gave us a frozen pizza.
We drove home, threw the pizza in the oven, cleaned up, and had companionship study while the pizza was cooking. We ate pizza and then continued our study and prepared to visit the E’s.
They were our only set appointment tonight, we stopped by and we taught about the simple ways of living the gospel and making it to heaven. We had this awesome “Lehi’s dream presentation” on our iPad, so we taught using that. It was sweet, the kids were all involved and anyone who gave a correct and great answer they got to touch the screen to add the next slide.
The last couple people we stopped by were the Ma family who were home… and the D’s, fortunately they were home and we gave them cookies and shared Moroni 10:31 with Brother D. It was about 9pm and it was a 30-minute drive home. So we left their home and back to ours.
Our Gospel minute was the last thing we did, we've been slacking on sending them out this week, but it was a quote from President Monson “If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so.”
July 18, 2017
Tuesday, Day 481
Day 121 back in NY
Happy birthday Zach! The big 16!
Miracle this morning!
This morning during daily planning I had put 3 people into our schedule to look up after studies. Then I had this thought, “go to the Jamaicans” I put them in the schedule. A few moments later I caught what I had just done, I knew that the Jamaicans worked everyday from 7:30am-4:30pm. So I hesitated and thought I would take them out of the schedule. I explained that to Elder Chambers, then had the feeling “stop” and I realized that it must have been inspired. We did 3 look ups in our neighborhood… no success; no one answered their door. Then we went to the Orchard farm to look for the Jamaicans. We knocked all 3 homes where we know they live. No one answered. As we stood on the front porch of the last home, over the top of the mobile home, we saw pesticide being sprayed and a tractor coming our way. It then came into vision and stopped in front of us. The man driving the tractor got out and we approached him, we confirmed that everyone was out working today, he said that he had just come back to the house to move the clothes off the clothes line so he could continue spraying.
We taught him about he Book of Mormon and set an appointment to come back Saturday evening.
It was inspiration to come to the Jamaicans and to be obedient in following that prompting, along with the idea to knock all the doors to stall till K (the Jamaican man driving the tractor) came into our vision.
We then drove back to Ossining to end our split. The hour drive down there we talked about New Paltz and how the branch is and what things we could do to help the branch grow.
Then Elder Murray and I headed back to New Paltz and went about our schedule. We visited Brother and Sister F. We talked about what it was like and how they felt when they first heard the restoration and Joseph Smith experience.
We came home for lunch and comp study, we planned the rest of our day.
We stopped by Js and gave him the Restoration video DVD and invited him to watch it. Then we stopped by a couple people on the way to Poughkeepsie to meet with a brother Ray Smith for dinner.
We met at the Poughkeepsie chapel and he drove us to dinner at the Tavern. There's a school called CIA (Culinary Institute of America) I believe is what it's called. It's a school with restaurants. These students intern here and work as chefs, bakers, waiters, etc. and there are teachers that observe and grade the students through our their shift. It's pretty sweet. The Tavern is a 5 star restaurant. We started with an appetizer. I got the Steak Tartar, which was really good. For my entree, I ordered something with venison, I can't remember the name of the entree, but it was really good. For dessert can’t remember what I ordered either but it was ice cream made from mint leaves, it was really good. On my plate they wrote Happy Birthday so that was really awesome! Brother Smith had made this my birthday treat! He's amazing! I really appreciate all he does for me and the missionaries out here. By the time we finished up there we had to rush home. It was a wonderful day! We celebrated my day on Zach's Birthday!
Our Gospel Minute for the day was:
By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.
2 Nephi 27:23
“For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.”
Patience. Love. Faith