Monday, August 17, 2015

Missionary Summer !!!

Missionary Summer !!!

Another great week! Currently sitting on the Plunkett's front porch soaking in this beautiful Belle Harbor day. It'll probably always be my favorite part of New York.
This week was way busy, we had a tri-zone conference, Sis Anderson and I had to give a workshop on working with members so we invited one of our members to come and talk about how teaching with the missionaries has strengthened her testimony. She bore a really powerful testimony about how she and her husband moved here and they had no idea there were so many people here who needed their testimony. They have the cutest family, their daughter Sariah is like my little twin (: me and my comp also sang a musical number and I played the piano for the  thing so it was a really busy day and went by so fast! After the conference we did a double-exchange so I went with a companionship to their pool in Park Slope and Sis Anderson went with Sister Cox and her comp to Bushwick, not like I was jealous or anything haa ha. We didn't even have time to take our bags home because we had to go see Sister Dorskey, she makes us the most random food I love it! She is the lady who we have to basically scream at in order for her to hear cause she's deaf-ish. She is the definition of Italian Brooklyn, she has the accent and swears like, every other word. Sis Anderson tries not to laugh, I'm past the point of trying to hold myself back...I'm laughing the whole time! It's so great...there's no life like mission life that's for sure!
Pretty much all our appointments had cancelled but this member (the same one who gave her testimony) had let us put our bags in her house till the end of the night so we went to pick them up and proceed with plan b but her house was kinda a dump so we cleaned it and folded all their laundry. It was so fun! I miss cleaning and doing normal people stuff like that.
The next day we exchanged with the Midwood sisters, I got to go back to my old area with Sis Vandertoolen, she is the CUTEST. We had some sketchy experiences, as per usual in Midwood. This guy came up behind us as we were walking down the sidewalk. He had a boombox on his shoulder and was pretty clearly high on something. He yelled out to us (even though he was right behind us) "it's the elders of the Latter Day Saints! Ya'll look like Ruth and Naomi" Sister Vandertoolen didn't even hear him so I'm like "walk faster" under my breath and she's like "what??" Haha she'll learn...
Friday we had Zone Training Meeting, it was super good! I loved one thing from Dalin H. Oaks: "Would I be a lawyer who became an apostle, or would I be an apostle who used to be a lawyer?" I loved it cause I think we think of ourselves as our occupation or looks or accomplishments. We are first and foremost disciples of Christ, and we should shape ourselves to what He wants us to be.
Saturday and Sunday were massive miracles, an investigator who had dropped off the face of earth texted us and we had a lesson with her Friday and again on Saturday!! She is so cool! Then on Sunday we had a TON of people come to church!! The coolest thing at church was when we were sitting in gospel principals with 2 of our investigators: one has a baptismal date and the other was kinda on the edge. It was supposed to be about the sacrament but it ended up being about baptism. She raised her hand and said "on the way here I was thinking about baptism and now we are talking about this...basically, I want to be baptized!" We were stunned and I might have shed a tear or two, we have been teaching her for 2 months and she didn't seem like baptism was in her sights...and then this!!! It was the coolest shock ever! Later that days she texted and said "please don't beget mad for what I'm about to tell you" I was thinking "oh great she doesn't want to get baptized" she sent a second text saying that she was sorry but she gave her Book of Mormon away to a family member who was going through some difficult times and she knew it would help her! The most amazing part is that this investigator has struggled to understand and love the Book of Mormon, but her giving it away is a sign she knows how special it is! We were so stoked. We also had a way cool lesson with a woman who we knocked into last week...she didn't even freak out when we told her her baptism wasn't valid! Haa ha. We got soaked in the summer rain on the way home...I love being a missionary in New York!!
I thought this week was so cool. Last week was a bit of a struggle and Sister Anderson and I knew we needed to keep pushing and work even harder. The Lord was completely aware of everything we go through and He wants to help us! I know this gospel is true and I am so so happy to be here. The closer it gets to the end the more I treasure this special time to grow closer to God and to share the gospel full-time. Love you all!
Sister Wadsworth

1. Our double exchange
2. Tripleting it up
3. We have a popcorn obsession...
4. Sister Vandertoolen

5. Rockaway beach...we came in dresses and Terry made us put on her clothes haa ha.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Livin on a Prayer

It has been quite the week! There were many miracles that made it super great. Perhaps one of the best I have had so far here in NY. We had district meeting, MLC, Leaders Meeting, sisters conference planning, two exchanges, preparation to teach a workshop for mega-zone conference tomorrow, a musical number to practice, doctors appointments (my comp has foot problems too!) and trying to share the gospel to balance. Needless to say we could use some practice at the balancing part. By some miracle we got done all that we needed to, and even hit our goals we had set! The Lord is helping us out cause He knows we can't do it on our own. 

So Monday was our typical p-day. The Elders wanted pizza so we made some for everyone and tried to write letters. I got like 2 letters written in 4 hours haha so better luck this week? Yep. At 6pm Sister Jones (from my MTC district!) came and picked me up for our exchange on Staten Island! It's beautiful there and Sister Jones is a total doll. There is a Ft. Wadsworth there we are a pretty big deal here in NY haha. We had such a great exchange. I feel like I used to hate talking about feelings but I have learned so much in this last week about counseling and working through problems. Sister Jones was seriously running herself to the ground so I took her down to the ocean for a bit and made her relax. She is such a great missionary. 

Tuesday we taught one of our investigators. She is from Islam and is so amazing. Everyone and everything seems to be against her joining the church, but she keeps pressing forward! She is super sassy, we were in Gospel Principals and she asked "if someone came to your door and wanted to tell you about a bible they had, would you listen?" Haha it really made everyone in the class think, it was pretty funny! I am amazed at the opposition some people experience, and even more impressed at how they continue forward regardless.

Soooo. More foot stories: we went to the podiatrist for my companion and I had the lady look at my foot. Not only is the wart still there but ever since I came to Bensonhurst the skin has been falling off my feet at an alarming rate. She said I got some kind of infection or disease from our nasty turquoise shower and she prescribed me some cream. The next day during weekly planning the guy from the pharmacy called and told me the cream would be $400, not insured. I literally laughed into the phone and told him I'll be good without it haha. 

We had MLC and it was SO uplifting. President asked what was wrong with the wards and stakes and then turned it on us and said if our zones and districts were stakes and wards, respectively, what would we need to work on? It was pretty intense and we had a very good counsel about how we can help the missionaries in this mission become the best people for now and the rest of their lives. We talked about patterns of learning and the pattern set forth by Elder Bednar is similar to the pattern I learned at LDSBC and BYUI but now it actually makes sense when put into a gospel perspective haha I didn't feel like it applied to school for some reason :) but the three steps he outlined were: 

1. Prepare to learn
2. Interact to edify 
3. Invite to act

I think these steps can help us follow the prophet's counsel to keep the sabbath day holy, if we prepare before church, go to church to help uplift others, and act on what we learn, we will have a much stronger conversion to the gospel. As missionaries we are used to receiving a lot of commitments or "action items" from things we attend. I know it won't be like that when I go home, so I am trying to look for action items everywhere I go--ways I can improve from what I learned. 

That night we got on a train to go home from our lesson. I was trying to talk to everyone but when we got on the train there were just a bunch of loud teenagers and a few drunk people. We sat across from a Peruvian family with 2 sleeping kids. I wanted to talk to them but I didn't have the courage to interrupt the parents as they seemed to be discussing something very important. I kinda checked out as people so often do on the trains. Then the father leaned forward and asked "sisters, can you help us?" He didn't say he was a member so I was confused why he knew to call us sisters. We got off at the next stop so I quickly asked what we could do. The family was from Albany and were worried they would miss the last bus upstate so they asked if we knew somewhere they could stay. I got their number and almost got squished by the closing doors of the train. We texted half the members in the ward and they gave us suggestions of hotels which we texted to the family. The next morning we woke up to a text saying: "thank so much sisters, we could arrive at time to take the last bus to Albany in port authority bus station, but we are so glad to know two sisters so friendly as you, we pray few minutes before to know you, so we know that God send to you for support us whatever. Thanks and blessings from us, a Mormon Peruvian family living at Albany." I feel like sometimes I am so caught up in receiving answers to my prayers that I forget that God needs me to answer the prayers of His other children. This was such a special experience to me and a testimony that God knows all of His children by name, and He knows your needs before you tell Him. 

Saturday was a rough one haha. I loved it! We stand outside the church every Saturday from like 1-3 and offer church tours, bibles and Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and eternal life. We seriously got rejected by every single person we talked to. Like, our whole district. It was funny but I can't say it doesn't get to ya. Then Saturday night the elder's investigator who is like, totally golden and supposed to get baptized yesterday told them he wasn't going to go through with it. Then on Sunday we only had 1 investigator at church, our other ones kinda broke up with us. After church Sis Anderson and I were just done so we went to Coney Island and knocked on 75 doors. We got two return appointments!! We also saw a less-active and as we were going to find some lost investigators at the projects this random guy stopped us and asked if we were Mormons. We were shocked but responded "yes". He asked if Joseph Smith is a prophet to which we also responded "yes". I asked his story and he said when he was 15 he was addicted to pornography and knew only Christ could help him overcome it. He didn't turn to anyone but Him. And he is now able to resist the temptations and he said he reads the bible and teaches others about repenting and coming to Christ, and he is 21!!! It was SO COOL. We have a lesson with him tonight to introduce him to the elders! And our investigator who DID come to church said she doesn't think it's boring anymore, she likes it! Miracles...

So yeah, there were a ton of hard times but as I was writing in my journal last night I had the thought that "there is nowhere else I would rather be than here, struggles and all." I know Christ is with us in the work. He is standing with us on each stoop as we get the door slammed and he hears all the profane things people scream at us. He feels what we feel, and therefore knows how to succor us in our infirmity. I am so grateful for a loving Savior whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and whose ways are not our ways--He always knows what's best for his children. He answers our prayers, I know that. 
Love you all, thanks for your support! 
Sister Wadsworth

1. Sister Jones and I!
2. Staten Island Pier
3. Our District
4. The closest thing I've seen to a "farm" out here :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

In Bensonhurst, we use Combines

Happy Birthday Sariah!  :)

August 3, 2015

The work is hastening! The world and the church are becoming more and more separate in their standard, and the truly prepared people are drawn to the wonderful gospel we have. We aren't just hand-picking people here in Bensonhurst, we are inviting everyone (the combine method) and those who are prepared and getting baptized! Last week was a little crazy as far as emailing and I want to try and explain this place a bit better, cause it's seriously so great! Bensonhurst is in southern Brooklyn and it's the "old Italians" here. The people with actual Brooklyn accents who say wada instead of water. It's a bit classier than Midwood, not so many Haitians but more Russians, Ukrainians, and people from east Europe. The ward is predominately white people which is different than the other 3 units I have served in. A lot of transient, younger families who go to NYU and the like. We just got a new bishop last week and he is super great! Our ward mission leader is incredible, he is super pumped about the work and he helps us so much! There is one family I like a ton, the Arnalls who just moved here from AZ. They are ranchers too so it's great to talk to them. The wife, Emily, comes teaching with us a lot which is great. So that's the area. The work is a lot different now that we have this calling to help the other sisters. We went on 3 24-hour exchanges this week, I felt like I hardly got to see my cute companion! But it was so cool to get to know some of the other sisters, and get bitten by some strange beg bugs in another sister's bed haha. I have learned a lot from the other sisters and it's so cool how just talkeing to other people about your struggles can help. That's mostly why we're here I think, is to help the other sisters learn how to work through their problems.

I have to tell you about my companion, cause she's amazing at working through problems. She will identify a problem and will literally talk herself through it while I sit there and listen. It's kind of entertaining! After she's finished talking it through, I just say "well, looks like you just said your solution!" And then we move on! It's the funniest thing ever, she is so great. I can't believe we've only been together 2 weeks, it feels like it's been 2 years. She lets me cook for her too so that's a plus. Our District Leader is from Italy so today we are making pizza with all the missionaries in the B-Hurst. Pics to come haha. Oh Sis Anderson and I also have killer workouts together which is so fun! My last few comps haven't been to into the whole exercise things to it has been so fun to get up each morning and run! We did some kick-boxing this morning it was so funny to watch Sis A punch stuff. I'm obsessed with her. 

So this week was cool! I went with one of the ASL sisters to Manhattan for the day and we taught some people in ASL! It was so cool, I can say a few things so I bore my testimony and it was the coolest thing to sit there and watch a new missionary handle a lesson all by herself in a language she hardly knows! I am so impressed with the new missions that come in. They are so prepared and ready. The other two exchanges I stayed in Bensonhurst and tried to find my way around like a newb haha it was fun. Remember the family we walked in on last week during their fight? #awkward but we went back to teach them last night and they are amazing! We had such a cool lesson and they were asking all the golden investigator questions so we are so pumped! We also had a lot of investigators at church! We are teaching 3 really cool ladies right now. One of them said she was going to go drink on Saturday night so she was with her friends and they were all totally judging her for not drinking but she knew if she had some she wouldn't be able to make it to church so she came home early, sober, and made it to church yesterday! People are so cool. When they grasp hold of the thought that they can change they really go for it! We taught gospel principals yesterday and it was on gifts of the spirit but there were so many investigators there it turned into a sort of Q&A session and it was SO GOOD!! Haha one of the investigators made the comment that he used to smoke weed and that's how he found Jesus. I and one of the other investigators seriously burst out laughing it was so funny! Like, sorry but hats seriously hysterical. Satan definitely uses counterfeits for all the good things that come from God. 

Mans I don't even know what spiritual thought to share from this past week, Sis A and I have so many good discussions I can't even remember any of them now, but I was really impressed by a young missionary who has been out for only a month or so. She told me about how she fasted and as she fasted she wrote down a list of things she needed to give up/work on and then every day for 40 days she would pray about the things on the list as she worked on them. I thought that was so cool! This young missionary already seeing the need to improve and then  DOING IT!! I've been reading a lot about consecrating ourselves to the work; giving to the Lord the one thing that isn't already His: our heart and mind. I know as we try to do the Lord's will we will be happier people. I am so grateful for the restored gospel. 
Love you all! 
Sister Wadsworth

1. This girl>>>
2. Birthday cheesecake from Val <3 
3. Steve and Terry had flowers sent to our pad!!
4. Compie pic (: