Saturday, November 30, 2013

Grateful & Giving; The Way We Should Live Daily

Can I say where did the month of November go?? Holy moly! It flew by! I can hardly believe that it is almost December! I feel like it was just yesterday when I arrived here in Little Neck and that was at the end of October. The days sometimes seem to go by so slow and at others so fast. Then all of a sudden it is another new month. This is something that I always remember my Dad telling me as I grew up, was that time starts to fly as you grow up and it really is so true. I feel like I was looking at the Calendar a while ago and thinking man it is five months til December that is forever away. And then boom! It is here facing me and all of us! And I think that I can safely say that for all of us we are so grateful for this time of year and that it has come around once again! I am so happy that it is this time of year!! :)

There are so many wonderful and beautiful memories that I have of these wonderful times. Especially of how they go right along with my faith. I am so grateful that God allows us to have these experiences during this holiday season. I love how we go from Thanksgiving to Christmas in about a months period and it is such a wonderful thing to see. I love it!! We go from realizing how blessed we are and we can see how we have much to be grateful for, even in the midst of trials and troubles in life, to giving to others. That is one thing that I love so much about this time of year. It is so precious and we really should treasure it. Please do. It is one time of the year where we all can feel the love of God and the goodness of others around us so prevalently. We go from Grateful November to Giving December. I love that so much. We have so much to be grateful for and then we receive the wonderful opportunity in the coming Christmas season to give of what we have to others, whoever they may be. This really is such a wonderful way to live. Yes, we do it in this time of year, but wouldn't it be so wonderful if we could live like this all of our lives no matter when and where we are. I love taking the opportunity to take a step back and look at how blessed I am when I am in a period of when I am down or discouraged. Because this, I feel, is how God wants us to look at things! Instead of looking at what we don't have or what we haven't accomplished we can look at what we DO have and what we have ALREADY accomplished. Yes, we still need to look forward, but sometimes as we take a step back and see how blessed we are we become so happy in seeing how much God has blessed us. And that is what I love about how this time transitions into the Christmas season! Oh yeah! As we lose ourselves in the true goodness of this time of the year, we find that by giving we truly receive. I know that sounds so cliche, and it is! But it is so true! I can testify as a missionary and as a representative of Jesus Christ as we give and lose ourselves in the service of others, we are truly happy. I know that this is true with all of my heart and soul. I have felt the power of giving so much in my life, whether it being giving someone their favorite candy as a surprise when they are having a bad day, teaching someone about the plan of salvation and helping them understand they are a true child of God with divine potential, or wrapping up something to give someone for Christmas! :) All these things bring joy into our lives! Because when we give to others we are doing as Christ would. You know that good feeling you get when you give something to someone and they are happy? That is the light of Christ! That is what He wants us all to do! :)

This past week has been an interesting one that is for sure but a great one nonetheless! Tuesday was another sweet day! We were on exchanges again and this time I was with the champion Elder Park! Man I love that Elder so much! He is from Korea! And he is the Elder that is speaking Korean on the video that I put up on Facebook about our mission! He is so cool! He speaks like perfect English and has mostly learned it here in the United States. We had a great day together and I learned a lot from him. Man he is a great teacher of the Gospel let me tell you. When he speaks and when he teaches I just sit there and am amazed at the ability he has to explain things so clearly and simply as a missionary. I feel like I am being taught! I love it! We went to visit an awesome member in the ward and his name is John Borsic. We also took the Living Legend Robert Michael Goldfine with us. He is seriously the legend of all the Little Neck Ward. Every missionary that comes here knows him and loves him! Ask Justin Casper about him! He could tell you lots I am sure! But we took Robert with us and it was such a wonderful visit. John hadn't been to church in a while and Robert definitely took care of inviting him back! :) He is the best fellow-shipper and such a loving man. Our lesson was great and we talked about how Christ, for us, has overcome the world. He has done all things that we can't. He is always there for us and one way that we can feel His love and His presence is by going to church and partaking of the Sacrament. Or as others know it, The Lord's Supper, or Communion. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we have the privilege to partake of this ordinance weekly and it is something that I feel so blessed to have in my life. As we know Jesus instituted or in other words started the ordinance of the Sacrament when he was with His disciples. We can find it in the New Testament when He does it! :) I love that so much! We do this so that way we may remember Christ in our lives and also for us to renew covenants or promises that we have made with God. This is something so simple and beautiful that we get to participate in on a weekly basis and I am so grateful for it! I know that when we go to church we feel the Spirit there. He comforts, counsels, consoles, and strengthens us. I am so happy to bring joy into others lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It simply beautiful and beautifully simple.

I know that as we give to others we receive such a great amount of happiness in our lives! It is so true! I am so grateful for this time of year! As we are grateful and find ways to give I know that we will feel the presence of God more closely in our lives. We will recognize His loving hands in all things. We will come to trust and love Him so much more. I know God lives and that Jesus is the Christ! Este Evangelio es Verdadero! :) I love all of you so much! Thanks for reading! :) And check out the links below! I promise they won't disappoint! You will LOVE THEM!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Work Goes On!

Hey everyone!

I hope that you all are having a wonderful and blessed day! I am so happy to be able to update you all on what is happening in the most wonderful mission in the world!

This past week has just been beautiful as always! I am so grateful to be able to be here in New York. Man it is one awesome place let me tell you! Fall is in the full swing of things and I am so grateful to be able to see the leaves on the trees changing to their beautiful colors and then fall to the ground. It really never gets old to me! I love being able to see the turn of the seasons. It really is just a witness to me that God is just in control of everything. As I continue to get older day by day I am starting to recognize the little things in life that really just bear witness of our wonderful creator. Our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much. That is why the seasons change, the wind blows, and the sky is blue and why there are the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. He, controls it all and we have the amazing privilege day by day to witness it.

I have seen so many blessings in my life so recently and I am so grateful for each and every one of them. I am so grateful for a loving family who supports me in every step that I take here on my mission. They are my rock. Especially my mom and my dad! I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for them. They really are the most incredible parents in the world. I love how when I am teaching and I find myself quoting things that they have told me so many times. I would not be the missionary or the person that I am without them and their righteous examples to me. Especially of trusting in my Savior Jesus Christ. The testimony that I have of Him is real. And I cannot deny it in any way, shape or form. I know that He truly does live and I know that He truly does love each and every one of us. His love is real. His forgiveness is real. The amazing part is that all we have to do to receive it is try our best to follow Him and His example for us. We have to repent. That word sometimes can take on a negative connotation in our day I feel like and many people turn away from this word and action because we don't want to have that word placed upon us. But something that I love is how in the bible dictionary it says "The Greek word of which this is the translation denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world." I love this so much. Repentance really in all ways means turning towards the light. And I know that is true. The joy that comes through true repentance is something that is so beautiful and so real. It is incredible. Even repenting of the littlest thing can bring us such great peace and hope.

I just thought that I would share that with you all! :) I just wanted to update you on a super awesome day which was yesterday! We had a huge combined zone conference with zones 7,8,9 & 10! Oh my goodness was it wonderful! I was reunited with Elder Goates and Elder Woolley! Oh man that was so cool! I hadn't seen Elder Woolley in forever and that was great! He is an awesome Elder! And it seems as though I and Elder Goates are never far away from each other which is pretty funny! :) Anyway the day yesterday was so filled with the spirit! We talked a lot about the how and WHY of missionary work and how the work is going on. Why we are here doing what we are doing. And ultimately it is to help everyone return to  our Heavenly Father. That is why we are here!

In our mission we talk a lot about vision goals and plans and how important those are in our lives, and also how this is the patter of our Heavenly Father. It is so cool to learn about! I love it! It is so cool to see how our Heavenly Father's vision for his children is for us to receive eternal life and live with him forever! He has said it so much and clearly in the scriptures. And one of His plans is something we know and cherish! Which is the Plan of Salvation! We are a part of this plan of happiness! And our duty is to share it with our beloved brothers and sisters! We learned about yesterday how important it is to show the people we are talking to that we love them and that we want them to be our friend. This is so important! A we truly show others around us that we love them they will want to know and experience what we have. It is so simple to share and something so great to be cherished.

After our wonderful meeting yesterday we headed to our church building and had an awesome activity called our Ward Culture Night. It was incredible! Saying that The Little Neck Ward has culture is a severe understatement! :) It was so awesome! The food there was plentiful and amazing! The people were warm and loving as always and the experience was incredible! It is amazing how places such as Israel, China, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Italy, The Congo, America, Canada, Brazil, The Philippines and many others came together under one roof to celebrate each others culture. It was awesome! It was a wonderful turnout and so much fun! It is days like these where I can sit back and see how incredibly blessed I am to be here!

I am grateful for these experiences! I am grateful for the good and the bad days! And the crazy things that happen where you forget the phone in the car one night and you are on exchanges. Then the next day when you leave to go out and grab it in the morning you realize right as the door shuts that your companion didn't grab the only keys to the apartment. Then you panic. Then you think how in the world are we going to be able to get back inside??? And then you try to find a way onto the lower roof...then once you do you hope that you pick the right fire escape to climb up. Then once you jump and climb up the fire escape, looking ridiculous,to your room and try to open the window, you realize it is the wrong window when you are taking of the screen to try and get inside when an old man yells at you "What are you doing??!!??" Then you try to explain how you thought that this was your room and that you aren't trying to break into his apartment. Then you take off your OWN SCREEN on YOUR OWN WINDOW and then your exchange companion has to climb up the fire escape too and loses his slippers on the way up. Then you finally make it inside and think "Wow!"  Then you go and apologize to your neighbor for scaring the heck out of him and go to retrieve your companions slippers on the lower roof and finally get the phone out of the car. Then you get back inside and your neighbor comes and knocks on your door later and apologizes to you for yelling at you. Then you tell him about how we are missionaries and what we do and how we help people with family history and how we would love to talk with him more. Then you are friends with your neighbor who you have never seen or talked to before. Then you think, did those keys get left by accident? Maybe so. But did something happen out of it that was beneficial? Somehow, incredibly and miraculously...yes. I am grateful for that! Someday I will look back and laugh on that wonderful crisis this might have happened to me. Might have. Okay it did! Haha! But it was so awesome! We are now such good friends with our neighbor Ed! He is way cool!

I am grateful for the crazy days! And the ones with these experiences. I am happy to be a missionary. One who forgets keys and climbs up the apartment fire escape looking like a thief to get back in. One who isn't perfect. One who loves this work. One who knows that the Gospel equals peace. I'm happy to be a 2 year New Yorker. I love being a missionary. NINE MONTHS has past to where? I have really no idea how it is gone. I know that this time is wonderful and that it should be loved. I love it. I really do. I love being here! Our lives are a race! We need to look for the finish line and find joy in the journey as we do so. God will lift us up in our times of need. His light is real.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Through Christ We Can Feel Free

Hey hey! It is almost Turkey Day!

Okay I know that was a really bad rhyme! Hey! Sorry that it has been so long since I have been on the Blog and created a post! We haven't come to the library in Great Neck in quite a while! But the good news is that we are here! :)

So the big news is that the missionaries in our mission have ipads! Oh my goodness what a blessing it is to have one! Holy moly! You can do so much good! I have been learning so much greatness from the scriptures so much faster! Seriously the Gospel Library Application is AMAZING!!! It has a bunch of the Bible Videos that I am absolutely in love with, and mormon messages which are just as incredible and you can go from scripture to scripture in seconds! I love it so much. It has helped me to continue to learn a lot! :)

This last week I had the wonderful opportunity to be able to talk to one of my great friends Dylan Newton through skype! Wow that was so cool! It was the first skype lesson that I have had on my mission! I loved it! It was so cool to see Dylan! I missed him a bunch and it was great to be able to connect with him again. I loved being able to talk with him about or relationships that we have with Christ in the midst of a world that is slowly becoming less and less religious. It was awesome! We talked of how this world and the people within it need God more than ever before and how God really loves us so much. One thing that I love is how we can be of different religions but know that God loves all his children no matter what. It is so true. I love how our Heavenly Father is so beautifully merciful to each and every one of us it is just so true.

I have been learning so much here in Little Neck. I am loving it! There are times when it is hard and easy but that is all part of the life of a missionary right? But the thing that I am most happy about is to continually be able to feel the cleansing power of the Atonement in my life. I know that what Christ did for us is real. I know it without any doubt in my mind whatsoever. The reason why is because I have felt it first hand many times. I know that through Jesus Christ we truly can be clean from sin and from the things that bear us down day by day. I know that this is true. The worst pain can be replaced by the sweetest joy.  I know that this is true. When we are trodden down by guilt, pain, sorrow, or whatever it may be, there is one person who can heal us. And that is Jesus Christ. He knows us and He loves us more than we know. This I know with every fiber of my being. He lives. I know it. It has brought me so much joy and that is all I want for others to know too. I promise that through Jesus Christ we can feel joy and peace in the times where we struggle and wonder if there is one who understands us. Through Christ we can feel free of all our sufferings. I know it. :) 

I know that as we hope on and journey on we will be blessed. Hold onto hope. And never let go of what you know to be true. I love you all! :) 

Check this video out below!! It is amazing! :)     

Thursday, November 7, 2013

You Too Can Be A Light

Hey everyone! It is Elder Waidmann here again!

I hope that all is well with everyone! Life here in New York is just so wonderful! Day by day everything that happens to me I am just so happy to experience. This area of Little Neck is such a blessed place! I am still learning my way around and trying my best to not get hit by anyone on the road! I thought that the driving here would be a lot calmer but it is still pretty crazy! :)

Being a missionary is a once in a lifetime experience! Something that I have realized though is that we can all be missionaries at any time. We need to be in all reality. The world is changing day by day and what is needed is people who can bring true hope, joy, happiness and peace. That is where we come in as missionaries and as members of the church! We have a knowledge of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! And hey! If you aren't a missionary or a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints then check us out! It is something that will bless you for the rest of your life! I promise! So just take a second and think if a gift was offered to you that you were told was the best thing you could ever have and it was free! Would you accept it? Well let me tell you I would!! :) So please accept our gift of a hand of friendship and take this great journey that we call life with us!

On the subject of bringing hope into a world that sometimes we think seems hopeless I can promise all of you that there is one solution to this all. Yes it may seem too simple and sometimes others think that it can't be true because it has to do with God. However I know with my whole soul and being that this is what can mend broken hearts and spirits. It can lift the hands of the weak, bring joy to the dreary and downtrodden and it can bring what we all need in life, light. What is the solution to these problems and the sure for the pain? It simply is the Gospel of the Master Teacher Jesus Christ. I know that it can solve these problems because I have seen it first hand here in New York. And I know that is works! :) It makes me so happy to see others that receive a renewed sense of hope and joy in their lives because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He truly can bring us peace and a sense of security in an often distressed and troubled world.

Christ truly does bring us hope and joy and light. He himself taught "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." I know that as we truly do follow the Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do we shall experience true and everlasting joy, peace, and happiness. 

But the question is how do we follow Him? The answer is fairly simple. We learn of Him and His ways. As we do this we come to feel a sense of closeness with our Heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ that we have never felt before. I can promise that I know that this feeling is real and that it is true. As I have been serving my mission as a full time missionary here in New York I have felt so much closer to my Heavenly Father than I ever have before. I have learned who the Savior is and how He wants us to treat others. I know that He lives and that He is real and that He truly does love us. We who have this knowledge need to share it with others. We have a light within ourselves that sometimes we forget about. We need to let it shine unto all of those that surround us. I promise that as we try to share this wonderful knowledge with those we care about we will help them receive so much happiness and so much love in their lives. As we share our light with our family, friends and those who we see on a daily basis the light in their eyes begin to grow. I know that this is true! The hope of God's light is real! Let us share it! 

God lives and loves us! He wants the best for us! That is why we are here learning and growing together. Let us reach out and take a hand and smile! :) I love you all! And for those of you who would like to receive this gift of love and hope...Come Join With Us! :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Service is The Best!

Well hello there everyone! It is has officially been a week since I have arrived here in Little Neck! The current status is that I am loving it!

Being here has been such a blessing! The Lord is so aware of us and he knows exactly where to put us at the right time. There really is never anything that happens by chance or where it isn't planned out. The Lord always knows that there are certain times for everything. Even though we may not see it or recognize it, the Lord's timing behind everything. I am loving this area so much. It is definitely quite the difference from Dyker Heights in the heart of Brooklyn let me tell you that much! But it is a place that I know that I am going to learn to love.

This past week has been great! I have already learned a lot! I am continually learning so much each day! So I am learning the area as I go! I am driving every so often and it is super weird to be behind the wheel again after 8 months! So yeah I have gotten honked at a few times I can't lie about that one, but also the people here literally honk if they think that you breathe wrong...okay not really but I think that you all get the picture! :) It is great here though. The fall has definitely come here and it is so beautiful! I love it! I have always heard about how here on the east coast the trees are just so beautiful and it really is so true! Everyday I am just amazed by all of the wonderful beautiful things that I see here!

On Saturday we got to do a service project! Oh my goodness was it fun! I loved every second of it! It was so much fun! We drove quite a ways out and the service project was a lot of us missionaries and other members from the Planview Stake. We all put on our Mormon Helping Hands vests and went to work! Man I still can't believe how much fun I had! We got to rake leaves and put them in bags and beautify the area that we were at. It is just a testament to me of how as missionaries we take being set apart from the world so literally and sometimes we don't even realize the effects of it on us. Normally, I can't lie about this one sadly :), but when I knew that it was time for us to get out into the yard and rake leaves I wasn't super excited to go and do that. Also while I did it I can't really say that I loved every second of it. But jump to now this last Saturday, I have never had so much fun doing service. I have never felt such excitement in doing such simple things as raking leaves and cleaning up a Veterans Facility. Then as I now think about it, I realize why. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ for two years of my life. I have given up much to accomplish something much greater. And that my friends is the Salvation of souls. It is helping and blessing others on a daily basis. This isn't something that is a burden to me at all. It is a blessing. Sure the days long and tough, but hey I love it! This period of my life I wouldn't trade for anything. There is much to be learned each day and also to share with others. I have learned that as we serve others and do the littlest things we truly are happy. It is when we lose ourselves in serving others that we find true and lasting happiness. We don't worry about ourselves and the problems we have. We are involved with trying our best to serve our fellowman. That is what life truly is about. That is why we follow Jesus Christ. He was perfect. He was always blessing and serving others regardless of their circumstances. I know that as I missionary I have this opportunity daily, of which I am so grateful. I am so happy to be blessed with this time to serve my fellow New Yorkers and to bring the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. Thank you for all you do! You guys rock!

With Love from Little Neck,
Elder Waidmann