Oh my I can't hold this in! I live in Midwood, Brooklyn!!! Obviously it's the coolest thing ever. Right before they said my name I could just feel it, it was kinda creepy how that's happened both times I've been transferred. I am with the darling Sister Christensen from Cedar Hills, UT, she came out 2 transfers after me. You know we already be turnin it up in this hood! The "hastening" of the work just turned into the "hatianing" ..... there are so many Haitians here and we're the two white girls on the bus. We are on foot (I would say "feet" but after the doctors appt last week it's singular until that heals). I love walking though! It has been freezing wind and snow so far, but I love waiting for the bus and having my hair stab my eyeballs!! Jk I'm sure the snow will stop soon. The first few days were a little rough because of the weather and we both got strep throat the second day so still trying to get over that...haha. It snowed 2 feet on the "first day of spring" go figure.
Let me start with transfer meeting. It was probably the best thing of my life. Got to see all my old comps who are going home and President gave the most incredible talk about removing the "accursed thing" from our homes, from our devices, and from our minds. A different twist on repentance that had a huge impact on how I view that part of the gospel. He talked about how Joshua and his men were defeated at the city of Ai and after their loss their "hearts melted" and they lost their faith. Basically the Lord told them they needed to be better at keeping their covenants and told them to remove the accursed things from their homes and from their lives. We can do this as families, we can go into our homes and get rid of video games, movies, apps, or habits that aren't in harmony with the gospel. We can then rededicate ourselves and our homes to the Lord and recommit ourselves to do His work. This has been an incredible experience for all of us missionaries as we have gotten rid of things that don't belong in missionary life. In normal life it might be getting rid of a song with lyrics that aren't completely wholesome, or letting go of a grudge and forgiving someone who hurt you. Whoever we are and wherever we're at in life we can give up things that are keeping us from being true disciples. The enemy will have control over us until we are fully keeping our covenants.
Brooklyn is the straight up hood. We were doing a finding activity and we saw somebody get shot and saw the shooter ran away. I've seen so many hipsters and hippies and homeless people...I have never felt so white. Our Ward is mostly Haitians, we meet in a 100+ year-old catholic building so it feels like we're in mass on Sunday haha. But it's cool, I love this Ward so much! The members are so great, I already love them so much! Family Ward is different haha, one lady offered to let me hold her baby and for a split second I started to go for it and then remembered its a no go in the white handbook so I had to say no....hardest thing of my life, she was the cutest baby I've seen in a super long time. There are like, a ton of crazyish people here too, members and non-members. We were walking down the street and this guy saw our tags and just started cursing at us and looked like he was gonna attack us...I was pretty freaked out, not gonna lie...so we ran away. That was the first time I had to run on my mission, it was sketchy man.
So a bit about the people we are working with...! We had a baptism yesterday, a young man, Christian, who is so precious! We also have another baptism set for Easter Sunday, the most pure woman ever, she is so ready to be baptized! I was so lucky to get here when all these things are happening! I'm already so attached to these wonderful people. We have like 4 temple trips scheduled that we planned out yesterday so uh, siiiiick! This area has miracles growing on trees! At church we had a less-active mother come who doesn't have too many friends but one of the ladies took her in and talked to her and got her number. It was such a blessing, because good fellowshippers are really hard to come by, but this lady is golden, and the less-active woman really needed a friend at church. I love seeing member missionary work in action. *annalee*
I've learned a TON this week in studies, I never know how to condense it because we learn line upon line, so I learn different little things that add to my testimony of so many different concepts. I think it's cool how everything always comes back to the basic doctrine: the plan of salvation, the restoration, the commandments, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and most importantly, the Atonement. I have noticed lately how much Christ uses literal and figurative things to explain His doctrine. I love these verses in Moses: "That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory; For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;"(Moses 6:59-60). All of the physical attributes we gain by receiving a body can remind us of spiritual things we need to gain to have exaltation (baptism, the Holy Ghost, and the atonement). Major shift of gears but I have such a testimony of fasting. Our hunger when we fast reminds us that our bodies have to rely on food, yet it can also remind us how desperately we need the "Bread of Life", our Savior, to sustain us spiritually. I love this gospel so dearly and it is such a blessing to share my testimony of it with others. It is such a privilege to come on a mission, it is the best education you could ask for. Thanks for all you do to support me, I love you all so much!
1. View of the city from BK
2. Selfie with Prez...why is he so cool??
3. Our *Catholic* Church
4. Christian's Baptism!!