Well heck, I'm surprised I am writing this and not napping right now! This has been such a busy week! Poor Sis Batsuuri, we haven't had a lunch or dinner hour all week cause there just wasn't time. I think she thinks I'm anorexic which, if she knew me better she'd know I ain't got that kinda self-control.
Monday we had the best lesson with JungAh (chong-ah). That was a straight miracle in itself because my comp gets here straight from Mongolia and feels so lonely because no one speaks her language or understands her. Well into church walks some girl from Korea who is a member of the Harlem ward, but her friend who lives in Queens is seriously this golden investigator and so she came to church and obvi my comp is freaking out and they're just doing their Asian thing in the corner and they're in straight heaven. So the lesson was good and this girl is SOLID. Then we went to the RS President's house. They are from the Philippeans. They (her, her brother, and her dad) invited us but they had forgot to tell (haha *mom* jk) we were coming so we get there and they felt so bad but Sis Batsuuri had prepared something to share so she shared it and did SUCH a good job. She is such a sweetheart. Then their dad started going off about how keeping the commandments is what makes us happy. And then he asked Sister Batsuuri to say the prayer. She did but she was crying and I think it really touched the family. When we were walking away she couldn't stop so I asked her what was wrong and she said that the dad reminded her of her father, who had passed away from cancer. Never have I felt so helpless or heartbroken in my life. I didn't know what to say or how to console her. She cried the whole way home. She is so strong and rooted in the gospel. We might have our differences in food (I finally asked her to put the octopus jerky in a ziplock bag cause I gagged everytime I walked into the kitchen), but I have much to learn from her solid focus on the things of eternity. I know we are together for a reason.
Tuesday we practiced our song for the Mission Christmas Party. We also put together a quick musical number by myself and 2 other sisters of a primary song medley. We had district meeting and then went to one of the huge malls in Queens to wrap presents and give away free hot chocolate. We shared the "He is the Gift" video over 500 times! President challenged us to share it 100,000 times before the end of the month, so we are really trying to share it as much as possible. We were supposed to teach Terresa (the really cool girl from last week) but her house is 2 hours away and it took us 1 hour to go 10 blocks on Queens Blvd because of the traffic so we told her we couldn't come that night. We went home and called her and ended up talking for a solid hour. Phone lesson? Nice. I've convinced her to go to LDSBC!! Haha she loves Mormons and she knows this gospel resonates in her soul, she just hates putting a label on her spirituality. I seriously love her and I feel like we're gonna be friends forever, especially once she gets baptized and we can be in the Celestial kingdom together. Haha.
Wednesday was so great. It was the mission Christmas Devotional so there were lots of musical numbers and President talked to us about our vision for the coming year. It was so fun to see all the other missionaries and to feel the true meaning of Christmas. President and Sister Calderwood got us temple recommend holders that have the mission logo on them, they are sooo cool and it'll be fun to see it every time I go to the temple and remember how awesome my mission was. Our musical number went really well! Side note: I'm seriously obsessed with the other sisters in our zone. We see them a lot and they are so sweet. I'm so grateful for all the friends we've been able to make on our mission. On the way home we went and saw Terresa. She was upset because she had just talked to her biological parents and they weren't very nice to her. We tried to cheer her up and it worked! We talked about the atonement for an hour and then she busted out her guitar and we all sang Christmas songs together! It was such a fun night and it's good to feel like you were needed by someone else. I love her so much, she is an incredible person. We also said goodbye to Devin who is leaving on his mission, and saw a guy in the branch who is home for break from BYUI..he knows Rebekah and a bunch of people in my Brookside ward. They fed us Indonesian food. Yum! They gave us these fried shrimp cakes and I tried a bite and just about threw up and they saw my face and so I didn't know how to get out of it except by saying I'm allergic to shrimp. Actually I really am, cause I throw up every time I try and eat it. And I know I joke about my comp's food but she was eating seaweed the other day when I walked into the kitchen and I literally went to the bathroom and threw up. I have the weakest stomach for that kinda stuff. It ain't fun. Anyway Christmas Eve was sooooo awesome and we loved every minute of it!
CHRISTMAS. Wow greatest day of my mission so far even though that's like every day. The other sisters came over and we opened our presents together. I think I got more presents this year than I ever have haha. Thanks everyone who sent me stuff, I am enjoying it all and am really grateful that you thought of me and put so much work into such nice gifts. I feel so blessed. I just couldn't NOT cook something, so I ended up making omelets for the entire zone and we all played games while we took turns calling our families. The call was probably the best thing of my life. The video of Ada and Jed screaming over their presents was a close second. I have never felt so much support and love in my life and am so grateful for everything you do for me. We went to dinner at a family's house in the Astoria ward with the other sisters and the sister who fed us is an INCREDIBLE cook. The food was sooo good. We played some Christmas games and then went home. Mission Christmas=best Christmas yet. There is nothing better than wearing this nametag and talking about what you love all day long.
Friday we did yet another free hot chocolate stand and got a lot of new contacts! We meet such cool people! We got ready for Neil's baptism. Oh and I threw up because I think I'm allergic to seaweed. My comp eats the weirdest stuff guys...
Saturday we didn't do anything too notable, just service and taught some lessons. But I took my comp to McDonalds for her first time and guess what??? She likes burgers! The only reason she said she didn't like them before was because she didn't know what they were. I'm gonna convert her to American food so that I don't throw up every time I open the fridge and see her little fishes in their container staring back at me.
Oh man here comes my sermon of the week. My mind has been on covenants (or promises) that we make with God. It's funny cause we think that if we obey certain commandments we will receive related blessings for the ones we are obeying. Example: If I obey the law of tithing I will be blessed financially. God doesn't work that way. We have to obey ALL the commandments and trust that He will bless us in the way we need it the most. He is bound when we keep His commandments, and we can hold Him to that agreement. Not that God was ever one to withhold blessings...
I KNOW that if we are obedient we will be happy. Obedience isn't a pick-and-choose thing, it's an attitude. I think choosing to be obedient can save you big bucks at judgement day.
Neil got baptized last night! It was such a great evening and the spirit was strong. Oh and Sunday was funny, I saw the lovely Grace and her fiancée Chase in Sacrament Meeting as well as a young man that moved here from the Florida YSA who knows Sister Melissa Hartley! Small world haha. I'm pretty much the ward organist by now as well so everybody gets to hear how horribly I can play the piano! Yayyyy.
Well it was an awesome week, I have really felt a lot of love from home and I am so grateful for all of you for supporting me and helping me, I feel so lucky to have the squadworth (nice word eh) behind me cheering me on! It means a lot to me and I appreciate it.
Love you all!