Monday, December 22, 2014

December 8th, 15th and 22nd

December 8, 2014

This week was kind of a dull week.  We had exchanges again this week.  I went with Elder G. which was pretty fun.  We went over to the Elders' Quorum president's house and helped him a couple of days which was good.  Transfer calls are on Saturday so it will be interesting to see what happens.  I wish it would just snow already.  It's December and there still hasn't been a legit snow fall.  It has rained a lot though.

December 15, 2014

Transfer week and sadly I'm out.  It was fun being in Plainview, but it's time for me to go some where else now.  We did a lot of service this week cleaning up leaves on people's yards and helping people fix their fences and other things to help them get ready for snow.  We had a zone training meeting which was good as well.  I'm sad to go but I'm also excited to see where I'm headed.

December 22, 2014

Transfer week is now over and I am in Rego Park (Queens) as an office Elder now.  Basically what an office Elder does is we deliver beds and dressers and things like that throughout the whole mission.  I traded in car keys for a fifteen passenger van keys (for deliveries) and a metro card for the trains and buses.  I am with Elder MacCabe now.  He was the district leader while I was in Plainview my first two transfers.  I also went from an eight missionary district and a 24 person zone to a four missionary district (one set of elders and one set of sisters) and a twelve person zone so it's a big change.  The apartment I am in now has only missionaries in it.  On the bottom floor is me and Elder MacCabe.  The second floor is the Spanish speaking Elders.  The Sisters are on the fourth floor and one of the senior couples are on the top floor so that's a big change.  As an office missionary I get to go everywhere in the whole mission.  On Friday I got to go to the Hampton Bays which was a six hour trip but it was cool to see how different it was to the rest of New York.

I hope everyone has a good Christmas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 1, 2014

This week was a pretty busy week.  Tuesday we had an interfaith program where people from different churches all came to our church and had sort of a conference.  It was nice to see how other religions give their sermons.  One of them played "I'm Proud to be an American".  It was pretty amusing.

Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Maughan.

Thursday was Thanksgiving.  We had our mission wide turkey bowl.  We lost in the championship game.  Bummer.  We went to the senior missionaries' house for dinner and played risk after that.

Friday was a normal day and on Saturday our ward had a turkey bowl and we had a service project.

This week was busy but it is always nice when there is something to do.

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had our zone training meeting this week which was good.  I am starting to get used to driving but it still isn't my favorite thing to do.

On Thanksgiving we are going to Flushing Meadows park to play football, which I am super excited for.

The weather has been crazy.  One day it is nice outside and the next is super cold and windy.  Last night it was raining hard and the wind was blowing hard enough that the apartment was shaking.  It was crazy.  It snowed in upstate New York but not here on the island.

The primary program was yesterday.  It was super good.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Transfer week is finally over.  This transfer is only five weeks so there is no time to sit around.  My new companion is Elder N.  He is from Rwanda Africa.  Since he can't drive I have to all the time.  I hate driving here.

We had a meeting with Elder Halstrom who is in the first presidency for the Quorum of the Seventy.  It was good.  He talked a lot about how we need to continue to be good people even after our missions.

We haven't been able to get in contact with most of the people we found to teach last week but being persistent is something I can do.

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Transfer week is here and my companion Elder B. is out along with Sister L. and Elder M.  Elder N. is switching to my pool so we will be companions next transfer.  Elder N. can't drive and he doesn't know a lot of English.  We may get another companion and be in a trio.

The Bayshore district came out here one night to do a power hour with us which is where we go to a member's house and say a prayer with them and then knock around their neighborhood.  Since there were so many of us we found some new people to teach.

The sister training leaders showed us a cool way to teach people on facebook by starting a group chat session.  The missionaries just have a discussion on whatever topic they choose.  It is a good way to not have to have a formal lesson and have the people they want to start teaching interested.  It is a good way to get people to talk to each other since some people are more comfortable talking on facebook than face to face.  It also gets members, less actives, and nonmembers involved.  It is pretty cool.  They found three new people to teach by doing this.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

Happy late Halloween everyone.  I hope you all had fun.

I can't believe it is already week six of this transfer.  This transfer has gone by so fast.

This week there was an email sent to all of the missionaries saying that because we have been averaging two car accidents a week for about six weeks now, the senior companion has to drive at all times.  That means I won't have to drive for a while because I am still one of the newer missionaries.

Wednesday was deep clean the apartment day which is always the best.  On Halloween I got the stomach flu and all of the missionaries had to be in their own apartments by 6:00 so it was kind of a boring night.

On Saturday we did a service project pulling out mugwort out of a big field.

All in all this was a good week despite me getting sick.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

This week was a good week.  We played football for p-day which was fun.  The Sister's car is in the shop so we drove them around all week so I spent a lot of time driving.

It is getting cooler here and it is starting to rain a lot.

Friday was a busy day.  We had a service project at an investigator's house.  Then we drove to Bayshore (about a half hour away) to have our interviews with the mission president.  Then we went to our ward's Halloween party, which is where we missionaries got the "wonderful" opportunity to judge the chili.  I'm still alive right now so I guess it wasn't too bad.

We had stake conference all weekend.  Our ward building is the stake building as well so we spent all weekend helping the ward get ready for conference.

I found Arkham Asylum!  On Friday on the way back from interviews we turned into the wrong street.  The street led to a huge psychiatric center.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

Monday was p-day.  Tuesday we had our district meeting.  Wednesday was the zone training meeting and I was asked to give a workshop.  Saturday was one of the elders birthday.  He doesn't like cake so we had lasagna instead.

Yesterday was a missionary homecoming.  The missionary served and lives in this mission so our mission president spoke too.  It was pretty cool.

On Halloween the ward is having a trunk-or-treat and a chili cook-off.  We have been asked to be the judges so I am going to have to eat beans.

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

I have gone to a lot of different stores in New York and they all have one thing in common.  No store in New York that I have gone to has Jalapeno Cheetos.  It is kind of depressing.

It is the 50th anniversary of the World's Fair and the Plainview ward building (the ward I go to) was part of it.  L. Tom Perry held a fireside in Manhattan that was broadcasted to our building.  It was nice to hear from someone who was there the first time the church was at the fair.  He talked about how it doesn't matter what our religious background is, but we should all stand up for religious freedom.

We had dinner at a member's house on Friday and I got to try orchata and cow tongue tacos and they are both pretty good.

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Last week I started driving.  After not driving for a couple of months it is kind of weird getting used to it again.

General conference this weekend was really good.  All of the talks were really good and I got something out of all of them.

At transfer meeting we got to watch "Meet the Mormons".  It is really good and I encourage everyone to go see it.  I also encourage you all to invite your non-member friends to go see it as well.  It opens in theaters on October 10th (this Friday).

At the MTC

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

It is transfer week and the whole district is staying except for Sister P who is going home.  It is hard to believe I've already been out a whole transfer.  I "get" to start driving this week and I am guessing that it is going to be interesting figuring out how to drive in New York.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

We did three service projects this week.  They all involved yard work so I knew what I was doing and enjoyed it.  After one of the service projects we were fed spaghetti and some homemade shrimp biscuits.  Eating those shrimp biscuits was an extremely hard thing for do for me.  I don't know how Jasmine eats weird food and likes it.

There is an investigator that we have been trying to contact since day one of the transfer and we were finally able to get in contact with them.  We will be visiting them this week.  It's week six and it is hard to believe that I've already been here for a transfer.  It has gone by pretty fast.

I saw my first firefly the other night which was cool.  It is starting to get cooler her and it has rained a lot this past week.  A lot of people said that since it was a rather nice summer the winter is going to be brutal.  I'm not sure if I should get excited about that.

Love you all.

Elder Shirts

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 14, 2014

Not much happened this week.  On Wednesday we had our trainer/trainee meeting.  It was good to see all of the people I became good friends with in the MTC.  We had zone conference on Thursday and exchanges with the zone leaders Thursday and Friday.  That was good and I learned a lot.

I'm super excited because this week we get to deep clean our apartment.  That means I can finally organize my space.  I've been going nuts because of how unorganized our apartment has been since day one.

I think that crazy traffic stories are going to have to become a thing in these emails because I have another one.  On Monday we were on our way home from picking up my birthday care package from the mission office and the traffic was bad only in the middle lane.  When we finally got out of the lane we drove past these two guys stopped in the middle of the road engaging in some nice casual conversation while people were stuck behind them because they wouldn't move.  It was the craziest funniest thing ever.

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014

I gave my first blessing on Wednesday.  I had my first exchange on Monday and Tuesday.  It was really fun and I learned a lot from Elder MacCabe.  We had a zone meeting as well.  It was pretty good.

We had a service project this week at a 5k race.  We threw cornstarch mixed with food dye at people and it would get all over them.  The paint got everywhere (including all over us).

We visited the (T) family again, and of course we got super good Mexican food as usual.  I understand why people say that New York pizza is the best now, because it is.

It is super funny to see how people react when I say I am an Eagles fan.

My hand is getting better.  It doesn't hurt anymore and I don't need to keep it covered because it is starting to scar.  It is pretty cool looking.

It feels kind of weird to be 19 now.  It was already hard for people to believe that I was 18, now it will be hard for people to believe I'm older.  I experienced some more crazy drivers and I finally noticed how narrow the roads are compared to Utah.  On Sunday the sister missionaries surprised me with sort of a surprise birthday.  After the young adult linger longer I was taken outside and sprayed with silly string and got brownies.  That really made my day after a hard couple of days during the week.

Notice his batman socks?

And of course we have to get some Batman in here

And some how it should have ended:

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

New York drivers are crazy!  On Tuesday we were in a traffic jam and people were goin' nuts! (He says this with a British accent).  There was grass off of the shoulder of the road and there were people lined up on the shoulder of the road getting off the freeway.  Some were using the freeway entrances to exit.  Some were driving on the grass to get off.  I'm glad I'm not the one who has to drive.

My companion, Elder Byrd, is a nice companion and trainer.  This week we met with A. and J.  (full names will not be given on this blog to keep their privacy).  They are long time investigators who I think are super close to wanting to be baptized.  They had been taught the lessons already, but they had a lot of questions, so we answered them and they said that it is a lot clearer now that they have been taught more simply.  We also have been reading the Book of Mormon with the T. family.  They are recent converts and are really nice people.  I also gave a talk in sacrament meeting which was traumatic for me.

There are a lot of different religions in our small area and a church on almost every other block so every neighborhood has a specific religion that lives in the area.  Our house apparently is in a mostly Muslim and Hindi area.  This week was mainly another week of knocking doors, being called names, and being yelled at.  One funny thing that comes up is the Book of Mormon broadway musical.  They always ask us if we don't see it because it is offensive.  They also think that is how we are, so I'm glad the movie "Meet the Mormons" is coming out soon.  If people go see it they might understand that the members of the church are normal people.

On a good note though, I got to dedicate my first apartment the other day.  My hand is doing better too, after I popped the blister playing volleyball.  A lot of people this week have asked me how old I am and apparently I look like I'm 13.  I'm not sure if I should take it as a compliment or something that I need to pay attention to because it seems like they don't take me as seriously when they find out that I'm 18.  Another thing is that they seem a little underwhelmed and disappointed when I say I'm from Utah.  One cool thing is that one of the main Joe Camel and mucinex artists is a member in the ward.  He's pretty cool and has a lot of cool stories.

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2104

My first thought when I got to New York was astonishment at how different it is from home.  I'm in Plainview right now.  The area is pretty big.  My companion is Elder Byrd and he is from Oregon.  We went to all the meetings at church yesterday.

Our apartment is the top floor of a two story house.  My area is a ward.  The ward is small only about a hundred people were there yesterday.  There is another set of Elders and two sets of Sisters in the area.

I burned my hand this week so I now have second degree burns.

Things are pretty cool.  New York is awesome.  It is extremely diverse.  I feel like we have knocked on a hundred doors trying to find new people to teach.

People here are either super friendly or super rude.  The people here drive crazy.  If you don't go right when the light changes they go nuts and honk a bunch of times.  The roads are super unorganized too, they aren't in a grid pattern like they are in Utah so it's kind of hard to navigate.  The area I'm in looks more like the house area in Salt Lake but much bigger.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 12, 2014

August 12, 2014

This week has had it's ups and downs but it is getting a little easier.  The Elders in my district are pretty cool.  We all feel like we've known each other for a long time.

The Spirit is really strong here and I feel like I've already changed a lot.  My companion Elder Young is really cool and we are almost exactly the same.  He is from Riverton.  The other day we met the missionaries from the other zone in our district and we all became friends really fast.  We have all grown together as a district and they are all going to New York except for three of the elders.

I can't wait until I finally get to New York.  We fly out Monday morning and the flight is at 7:45 but we have to leave at 3:30.

The food here is ok, it is sort of a hit and miss thing for me.  Feel free to send me some food.

The schedule here is:  wake up at 6:00, breakfast at 7:00, sit in the classroom for three hours, eat lunch at 11:30, go back to class for three more hours, personal study time for one hour, dinner at 4:30, back to class for a couple of hours, gym for 45 minutes and finally lights out at 10:30.  If you couldn't tell the schedule is very overwhelming.

Most of the missionaries in the district are going to the same mission.

I think I am learning a lot.  I do feel the spirit helping me a lot.

The temple today was really good.

Elder Shirts

Thursday, August 7, 2014

First email

I'm here and safe, there is a website called dear where you can email me any day and they print out the email and put it in the mailbox that day.My companion elder Young is really cool and i'm pretty sure his dad went to the same mission that dad did. It's pretty hard being away from home in a place I don't recognize and people I don't know but i'm doing better though. The good thing about this place is that the spirit is really here though. Another good thing is that all of the other elders in the same room have gotten along well really fast. I think I'm going to need you to explain to me how Dropbox works again. I still don't know where half of the stuff I packed are because I haven't fully unpacked yet since we don't really have any free time which is an ok thing because it means less time to worry about missing home. The teachers here seem like they treat anxiety as a bad thing and that if you have it than you don't have a testimony but I just keep telling myself that they don't understand and I keep moving forward not really worrying about it.

Everything is going good though I think that I'm gradually enjoying it more and more.