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.