What up Fam!
Monday we had all my little Belle Harbor besties come up and we hung out for the day. I love them so much! We also had the most awkward lesson of my life. I was trying to tell a less-active that we missed him at church and he kept being like "what?" But then he gets this creepy smile on his face and was like "oh! Like that...." Hard pass dude... I have a boyfriend. But he just stared at me with that smile on his face for the rest of the lesson. YSA problems haha. We taught him on Wednesday again...same thing. How do you tell someone you want them at church without them thinking that YOU want them at church? But oh how I love the YSA, it is so good to be serving here.
Tuesday is not a fond memory for me. We were doing lookups and (once again!) the GPS took us through a $15 tunnel this time into Manhattan. You guys, my blood pressure goes up in Manhattan. I never wanna go there again. Except to the temple. But I don't wanna go there. We probably sounded like a bunch of idiots but we called a member and they told us a way to get back on a bridge that didn't have a toll. Not only that, but that the GPS has an option to avoid tolls! The fur was already ripped off my cat so I just quietly cried the rest of the home. So did Sister Joseph, so don't think I'm the only baby in this companionship. I've cried like 5 times this week, it's like this cool new emotional leaf I'm turning over.
Ok let's just take a second here and talk about being a missionary. The only thing I can even closely compare it to is dating. You find someone you "like" to teach, you get super close to them after like 2 lessons, you come to love them and want their happiness, and you know that only comes from truly following Jesus Christ, and then BAM. They dump you. Except this heartbreak is 10 times worse than the "breakup" heartbreak because you're concerned about their salvation and stuff instead of that your wedding Pinterest board isn't going to come to life in the next 6 months. And then have that happen 4 times in one week. I feel like if I wasn't set apart to do this I would be in a sugar coma from the ice cream and emotional eating. But it's okay because as we understand the Plan of Salvation we know that they have their agency, and maybe we've planted that seed in someone that will be harvested by another member or missionary. In PMG it says that "discouragement weakens faith", and I can tell you that that is what Satan wants. He wants us to give up on ourselves and others and think that because we have already made so many mistakes, we can never completely change or repent. But I know that Christ's atonement reaches much farther than anything we could possibly do, and that he is ever ready to lift us back if we will just reach out a hand and show Him we want to be picked up. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your brother or sister reject the gospel because of social priorities or personal habits that they are too comfortable to give up. Once again, selective obedience brings selective blessings! Man I am just so grateful for the knowledge I have and that I was able to grow up in this gospel. These people have no idea what they are missing out on!
This probably shouldn't be funny, but we are working with a less-active to get her to the temple and I called her up a few days ago to see how she's doing. After I introduced myself over the phone she quickly cut me off by saying "I have decided I DON'T want the blessings that come from going to the temple." I probably shouldn't have been laughing, but it was funny because 1. She is out of her mind, and 2. It was kind of hysterical to hear someone say that. Usually people don't want to WORK for the blessings...they want the blessings though! Well, she didn't so that's that.
We are kept so busy on Sundays. We go to the Astoria (family) ward at 9, the YSA branch starts at 11, then we teach gospel principals (our ward mission leader moved...haha), then since I've been here we've been practicing a song for stake conference and I have to accompany it so we practice that for an hour, and then they usually have like a mingle thing afterwards so we leave the church at 6 for prime time. It's good to be busy! The Astoria ward had their trunk or treat on Saturday night. It took real effort to restrain myself from holding all the cute kids. We were the Cowboy and Indian. Totes won a prize for our costume.
Many other things have happened but I just wanted to share a part of what I was reading in the Book of Mormon. I was reading about Moroni and the title of Liberty and the part right after that was really crazy and it reminded me so much of how satan tries to trick us. So basically Amalickiah is a little fetcher and wanted all the power and to destroy the church so he went to the lamenites to try and join their army but their leader Lehonti got scared so he ran away to the top of a mountain to hide with his guards. Anyway Amalickiah sends his posse up there to tell him to come down the mountain to talk and Lehonti wouldn't come. This happened 3 times until finally Amalickiah went up almost to the camp on top of the mountain and says "just come down a little and talk to me." I feel like satan is smart enough to know that we aren't going to come down from the "mountain", but if he can get us to come down "a little" he has us. It says that after they made the agreement to merge their armies Amalickiah "poisoned him (Lehonti) by degrees". This guy is seriously satanic. We can't let ourselves go even a little or he will have us. I've seen this in a lot of people we are teaching, they want to just do one small thing that isn't in harmony with the gospel, and let me tell you, they are running down the mountain before you know it. We need to be so careful in the things we do or he will take over. We have to actively choose to be righteous every second every day. I know that righteous living is what brings us the most happiness.
I love this gospel and I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, that book will get you closer to God than any other book. I also have a testimony that this gospel is a gospel of application not lip service. The more you live it, the more you'll know it's true.
I love you guys tons!
1. My little Sister Cox!
2. Downtown where we street contact a lot
3. Little Ryan, probably the most adorable little boy in the world
4. At the ward party
5. After the ward party, sometimes we are ADD when planning.
6. So sister Joseph likes to play with fire. I didn't know this when I bought the candle. But she was swooping her hair over it (she was probably chanting something) and she singed half her hair off! I was like, what is that smell? She got the most childish grin on her face. I seriously died. What am I gonna do with her?
7. This kid is my little bro, we were in the MTC together. He reminds me so much of Betty and Don. So obvi I creeped on his selfie.