I think there must be a rule in the white handbook that says "if you have a certain amount of miracles in one week you are subject to extra creeper experiences." Cause that's kinda how it went down this week. It was one of the best weeks as far as finding and teaching, but other than that it's been kinda weird! I won't bore you with every unusual happenstance, but some of them I just can't resist. So we didn't get transferred right? Well we had to go to transfers anyways cause my comp needed to see the mission nurse. On the way home we were on the train for 1 1/2 hours. About halfway home there was almost no one on our car. This guy dressed in all black with chains and rings and all kind of ornaments sat down across from us. I should say sprawled I guess. He was taking up the whole bench. He was staring at us and reached his hand into his pocket and pulled out a wad of $100 bills and started counting them. Each time he counted one he would look up at us. Then he got packets of weed out of his pocket and chewed on them. I have no clue what he was doing but we were glad when he got off. 1 stop before we got off a young Jewish man in his suit and top hat got on. There was no one else on the train...plenty of extra seats...yet he came and sat right next to me and just stared at my face. He was right next to me so it was kinda uncomfortable. People in NYC stare all the time, but usually not when they're right next to you. Whatever. So he puts his hand on my shoulder and asks if the train is going to Coney Island. I replied yes and then it was our stop so we got off. As we were walking the platform I told my comp how creepy that was. She didn't hear me and said "what?" But I turned slightly and he was right behind us! I started walking faster but he caught up and put his arm around me! I'm sorry but if your name isn't Travis Hartley then it's illegal to put your arm around this girl the way he did. I shrugged out of it and turned to face him. I was like "what do you want?" And he asked if the train was going to 57th street, a stop that doesn't even exist in Brooklyn. I was done with this Jewish fool so I was like "that isn't even a stop dawg" and we turned around and walked away. I thought Jews weren't allowed to talk to women? The heck is going on in this world.
We went home and ate and then headed to an appointment. We sat on the bus next to an older man, and I felt like I should talk to him. He had a different look to him, and for some reason I couldn't open my mouth. I felt like I needed to though! I was confused. He got up at the next stop and as he was getting off he turned around and told me I was Satanic. As he walked away he flipped us off. He was clearly pretty angry. I don't know why I couldn't talk to him but I'm grateful I didn't, who knows if he woulda blown his top or something. We transferred to a train and I sat by an older Jewish man. He looked at my tag and started a conversation. He was pretty nice and said "God bless" before he got off. Maybe this day would turn around! Nope. 2 old Russian women sat across from us and gave us the dirtiest looks, I smiled at one of them and she turned up her nose and looked away. I almost snorted trying not to laugh. She looked like one of the stepsisters on Cinderella. We transferred to one last bus before our appointment and it would have been fine except it smelled like weed. Was it national weed day? Who knows. That night we went to drop off a bible for someone and her and all her friends were drunk so we sent up a return appointment. She was nice! Just wasted. And that all happened on Tuesday.
Wednesday we had District Meeting with our new district, they are all super cool! It is now us and 3 sets of elders. Remember in your call packet where it states that your mission president can adjust your language to fit needs? Well we now have a bunch of Spanish people to teach cause they blinded out the Spanish district. Somos Missionaries la inglesa de Jesu Christ de Los Santos Los Ultimos Dias, Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo al ayudarlas a que reciban el Evangelio restaurado mediante la fe en Jesucristo y Su expiación, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la recepción del don del Espíritu Santo y el perseverar hasta el fin. That's all I got. I can say "do you want a pamphlet?" as well just sayin. Jk I probs didn't spell any of that right lets be real. Anyways it's interesting to try and teach someone when you have no clue what they're saying! I'm sure Brent has the same experience haha. We played "hotseat" as a get to know you activity. Basically you sit in a seat in the middle and everyone can ask you questions about yourself. The Zone Leaders found out I was homeschooled so one of them, as soon as my rear hit the chair asked "what was your high school mascot?" I sat there blank for a sec...."a tractor...?" Haha so now they all know I'm homeschooled and it's quite the joke for them. Glad I can entertain people I guess haha. After District Meeting we went to correlation at our WML's house. He always cooks us Filippeano food like chicken feet but we convinced him to let US cook for HIM. We grilled him up some of the best hamburgers of his life and he was quite impressed! His face was the best thing ever. We had correlation which is always a party in itself, especially since we have a bunch of cool things happening in the work here, which I'll get to next!!
Thursday we had weekly planning of course, and we got pretty down and dirty about why some of our people aren't progressing and how we can help them. The struggle here is getting people to church. We came up with some legit solutions and we had a member going with us that night to see the lady who was drunk last time we came over. On the way there we taught a lady on the bus and set up a return appointment. We got there and taught our lesson, one of the best lessons ever because the spirit was so strong and she was so prepared, and we set a baptismal date with her! After that we were going to take a dinner hour but we decided to drop off the other bible referral first. It was a rough decision when you're hungry. We took it to the lady and she was also very prepared! She had 3 kids and told us of how she was trying to understand the bible and had googled some questions and had found Mormon.org! She wants to raise her kids in the gospel. She loved what we had to share about the restoration and we set up an appointment to come back Sunday. THEN we went to dinner and I had Popeye's for the first time. There are more Popeye's here than there are temples in Utah but for some reason I hadn't tried it yet! Best fried chicken of my life. Anyways back to missionary work, MEMBERS ARE THE KEY!! Every time we bring a member they are able to connect with who we are teaching and there are ALWAYS miracles. If you have time, go with the missionaries, because you can make such a difference in these people's lives! Friday was basically a repeat, we went to see a less-active and she went with us to drop of another bible and the lady was so nice! She had a "Families are Forever" sticker thing on her wall and I was like "are you sure you aren't Mormon?" Haha.
Dude Saturday was the truth. The Lord is truly with us here in the work. Last week at a baptism I met an 11-year-old girl and she wasn't a member! I was like duuuude the font is already filled lets getcha in there! So we set up an appointment for Saturday and when we went over with a member and she was seriously smiling ear to ear. You know I couldn't hold in the bap commit so we sat down and I was like "sooo you wanna be baptized by someone holding the priesthood?" She seriously jumped off the couch and started dancing she was like "yes yes yes!" It was so cute. I think the reason this story is so touching to me is her background. She was 6 years old when a hurricane hit her country killing her mom and 3 older siblings, as well as taking her leg. Her dad is moving to America soon so she is living with someone else for now. She's 11. Like seriously, the strength and fortitude in her eyes is so inspiring, and she is so happy and has overcome her trials with a good attitude. She said she wanted to be baptized so she could "be closer to Jesus." Literally the most precious thing of my life. Now I know why Jesus wants us to become as little children.
Sunday we woke up at 6 (I dunno why that seems so much earlier than 6:15, but it does) and went to pick up an investigator for church. The bus never came so we walked a few miles haha. Not gonna lie, I was pretty grumpy. I guess not grumpy, but I wasn't in the mood for comments about being a snowflake. After walking a few miles, running and missing a bus, and starving and it's not even 7am, when someone made a comment about how we looked I was seriously done. But it's okay cause then our investigator came to church and she loved it! We had 3 people there today, it's been a while since that has happened! We had an interesting meeting. A homeless lady got up to bear her testimony about marriage...she was wearing a wedding dress. #awks it was so funny. NY is just so accepting though, everyone just rolled with it! After church we had so many lessons we had to go on splits and taught 4 lessons in an hour! We also went to see the 98-year-old woman in the nursing home. I think she has dementia but I sang her some hymns and read from the Book of Mormon. I seriously love the Book of Mormon. I am learning to use it is my "escape mechanism" instead of technology or anything else and it has been such a positive experience! Too often we reach for our device when we are bored or tired or in an awkward situation. Why do we turn to that for comfort when we have the Book of Mormon?? Anyways it has been an absolute bomb week and I love it here so much! Being a missionary is the biggest blessing of my life and this gospel is like coming home to a fireplace and hot chocolate on a cold winter night. The gospel of Jesus Christ is home for me, so no matter where I go or what is going on in life I can always feel "at home" when I live the way I'm supposed to. This life is really just a practice round at being like our Heavenly Father, I love this quote by Elder Oaks: "the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts--what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts--what we have become." So grateful for the atonement and the opportunity to change and be better every day. Thank you for all your support and love, I have the best family out there!
1. One of my favorite senior couples is going home :( the Dibbles were in Belle Harbor with me and I love them soooo much.
2. Dude "Popcorn Popping" is the real deal. Also, I now understand the phrase "the driver on the buss says move on back."
3. Ward Mission Leader partayyy.
4. My fav 11-year-old in NYC
5. We got compie PJs from H&M :)