"Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different--in happy ways--from the women of the world... Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and spiritual growth of the Church in the last days" President Spencer W. Kimball

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It has just been a crazy week! I don't know that I have ever been so stressed for no apparent reason than I had this week. It was amazing though to say the least.

Last Sunday Sister Fuimaono and I were asked to teach FHE the following day. I just love being a missionary because of this specific reason; whenever someone forgets to prepare a talk or a lesson the first action of refuge is to ask a missionary, haha! Love it! Nonetheless, we woke up Monday morning and the first thing I told Sister Fui was "I'm prompted to teach the Haka for FHE, aka I'm prompted that YOU should teach the Haka for FHE." She is such a champion, and absolutely one who hates to be put on the spot, but I assured her the lesson that would accompany it would be just right for the occasion. Long story short "putting on the armor of God and preparing ourselves for spiritual battle (Alma 53:20-21, Deut 31:6, 2 Tim 2:3, and the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers")" is what we taught, super appropriate right?! We ended the lesson with refreshments of "Pineapple Spritzers" (pineapple juice, Sprite and coconut ice cream) to set the island feel and ended with everyone preparing for battle. It was so fun! I wish you could see the video of the ward members pumped and doing as the Maori do...well, maybe in a year or so :)

Anyways the reason for the stress I suppose was the highly anticipated baptism of lovely Danilda. It was such a dream come true helping her prepare for her "pool party" as she like to call it. I don't know that I have witnessed someone as happy as she was for a long time now. It was so great to teach her and prepare her to enter the waters of baptism. What a blessing! The service was awesome, where the program was full of love and support from the missionaries and the ward members. We had a great group who attended and participated in the program; her sister and a couple of her friends were there for support, Sister Fui and Elder Kafu sang a special musical number of "Come Thou Fount", I spoke on Baptism, her new Home Teacher spoke on The Holy Ghost, and she was baptized by Elder Rossell. What a great day, a huge feast was also prepared by her family for after the service. We ate delicious Dominican food in celebration of the wonderful decision that Danilda was making. The next day of course she was set apart as a member of the Church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Ugh! I wish everyone could have been there, there was such a great spirit.

It has just been a great week, full of excitement and all the other great emotions that come along with being a missionary in New York City. The more and more I think about it I dont know that I could have served a mission anywhere else. The work here is so specific to me that I almost feel selfish. I guess that is just another testimony that I have that the Lord knows us best. What an opportunity and a blessing it is! Sometimes we just have to let "Jesus Take the Wheel", haha! I never thought I would quote that song but at the same time it is doing this that helps us reach our full potential. The only thing that the Lord doesn't possess is our will, therefore it is up to us to make that happen. When we do finally "give in" to Him we see that we reach so much higher than we could ever on our own. Im trying :) and everyday that I do I see more and more what the Lord has in store for me. I love this work, I love this Gospel! I mostly love all of you... Instead of ending the way I usually do, I'll let Nephi do it for me " But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is...(1 Nep 9:6)"

Love you love you!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Work Is There

So I dont know if I have mentioned this yet but the new year has inspired my companion and I to teach the members the discussions, of course beginning with the first: The Restoration. Our thought behind this was so that they could be more prepared to answer any questions they would come across in everyday conversation. We explain that we have between 30 seconds and 3 minutes to teach a lesson while contacting, this is such a short amount of time! But what is so cool is how the Spirit will pull the most productive information for answers from that which we know if we are prepared. It has been such a blessing! In a ward with so many returned missionaries we often see them excited about reviewing Preach My Gospel, and more willing to pray for missionary experiences. I challenge you to do it too, haha!

Other than that, guess what?!?!? This Saturday we have a baptism!!! Yay! We have been teaching this investigator since about a week after I entered the mission. She has such faith in the Atoning sacrifice of the Lord. She just trusts that the values and lessons we have taught her and by the confirming power of the Spirit, being baptized is the next step for her. I just love this woman! She is proving to be such an example to her family and friends. It is so great to walk into her home and be greeted with "My Mormon girls are here!" as she announces us to her family. They are a great Dominican family that have very traditional values, but agree that the move their sister is making is the best that they have seen. Who knows, maybe one day they will have courage enough to follow her example. I will have to send pics next week.

Anyways, it has been busy out here. The more we work, the more work the Lord has for us. I see these as miracles. When we prove that we can be trusted with the Lord's work, He will be more willing to entrust us with it. I love this Gospel and the light it brings in my life. I am so grateful to be on a mission and witness people's lives change. I am so thankful that I have had great examples in my life that help me make well decisions each week. Thank you everyone! I love you love you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's A New Year!!!

Putting up my calendar this past week helped me to realize two things: one, this entire calendar will be on the wall of one of my apartments as a missionary, that's 365 days that will involve nothing but THE work. Second, this calandar represents "once around the sun", aka the time I have left to do THE work is closing in on me fast!
The time is moving quickly and the work is progressing, in fact transfers have just elapsed once again here in NYNYN mission and all I can think of is how grateful I am that Sister Fuimaono is once again my companion. It is obvious we have work to do here in Harlem! Its almost as if the Lord has lit a flame under our bums cause we have been walking around the streets, going the speed of "missionary purpose" like there is no tomorrow. I dont know that there is any real reason for this besides the ball dropping in on our new year and giving us light that we only have this priviledge for so long. Studying the scriptures these past few weeks has also really emphasized this. You cant help but really commend Alma, Ammon and all those guys for the work that they did for YEARS! among friends and foes. They are such champions, haha! They really make the streets of New York look likeDisneyland, and heaven knows how much I love Disneyland, so it got me thinking "What the heck, right?! Its time to really go to work." I have to give credit also to my girl Lindsey Rowe for finishing strong. She really helped me see how amazing the work can be when you are doing it with obedience and charity. Sometimes I wish I could have served with her in Vegas but then I realize, I can be Lindsey Rowe for someone else. She helped me see the work transformed for me to the point that I almost dont want to call it work anymore. It is weird to say that Ash is back in the sense that Im out for making friends, whether in the Gospel or not because I realize the example I set by living the Lords standards is enough that people are going to ask themselves what "makes you different?" The answer is simple and obvious, God. All the work that I am doing here is for and through that purpose. I am simple an instrument in His hands.
Two thousand eleven is definitely going to be a year of miracles, whether small or big I dont think it is unreasonable to think this. I have seen the hand of the Lord thus far in my life preparing me to genuiely count my blessings this year. Such an amazing gift He has granted me this year, to see all that I can be through Him. I would like to take this opportunity to really bare testimony of the things I know. First and foremost God is a loving Heavenly Father who has sent His son, even Jesus Christ, to atone for my sins. The Gospel is real and the power to act in the name of God, even the Priesthood power has been restored to this earth in and through the prophet Joseph Smith. I do have a personal realtionship with my Father in heaven through prayer and he does send His Spirit to be with me. The Book of Mormon is true testimony of Jesus Christ. And lastly to say but definitely not in conclusion I know that I will grow closer to God when I follow His commandments and He will pour His blessings out on me.
I just love being on a mission, its definitely an addition to my life. I love seeing peoples lives changed when the too find out the things I know. I love new beginnings and opportunities to become better. Its just an amazing thing! I love all of you also, you help me so much and I cant thank you enough for your support! Love you love you, and so it is...

Christmas Has Come and Gone

So I cant lie and say that I am glad Christmas is over. That is a huge switch from the usual debate with my roommates over whether we should wait til the new year to take down the Christmas decorations where my answer woiuld always be "No! Take them down". New feelings of Christmas have evolved these last couple of years. I am just thankful for the opportunities I have had to spend Christmas away and say that it genuinely was a Spiritual Christmas this year.
It was amazing getting up early on Christmas and not running to a Christmas tree to retreive presents. As we got ready to head to Scarsdale for the morning holiday activities I couldn't help but wonder how Christmas was suiting everyone in California and Utah. It was the first time I could say that I really missed everything about being home but not to the point that I was sad or wanting to be there. I think it was more missing the opportunity to share with my family and friends that love that I was experiencing as a missionary in this season. It is unlike any other I tell you and it is a feeling I wish I could have everyone feel at least once in their life.
Getting on the subway, dressed and ready to go, singing carols to everyone who had nothing but distress on their faces as they either recovered from a long night of work or were heading out of town to be with their families was the greatest gift of the Spirit we could bring as we too were overly anxious to spend time with each other and get to calling our families later in the night. There was a blend of missionaries who some were spending Christmas number 2 on the mish as well as others like myself who didn't know what to "do with their hands" as we threw them up exclaiming "So this is Christmas!" It was a great time! We had a devotional in the chapel, each zone providing their own musical number; Manhattan North, my zone, sang What Child Is This to the beautiful accompaniment of Sister Babb (love her!) I got to see my mom (trainer) again at lunch and just had a marvelous time playing around with the other missionaries and reflecting on the plethora of emotions that were surrounding all of us as we dwelt immediate-familyless on this day.
Just as short as it began we were back on a train, preparing for more work. We had a dinner appointment we were running late to so there was little time to converse on the streets the joy of the season with those who were around. A gracious member of the ward provided a nice meal for my companion and I as well as for some other members who were stuck in the city, left without a home full of family to celebrate with. It was a lovely time!
I have to say that the day went by fast. It concluded with the anticipated phone calls home. I loved every moment of it and wished I could have savored it a bit longer. Oh well, maybe next year...
I would also love to thank all of those who thought of me this Christmas season. Your greetings were received with a heart full of thanks for including me in your life once again. Thank you for all that you do! I love you all! Happy New Year!

Sooo Cold

Holy heavens it cold out here! And so it is...
No, Im just playing. But it is really cold out here. It began to snow a couple of days ago, eke! My companion from Hawaii has never seen snow before so while she has been skipping and frolicking along I just sit back and remember the winter I got frostbite, haha! The wind cuts like a knife and living so close to the Hudson, the humidity just sits like ice cubes on your exposed skin, wow! I do love it though, as long as I stay bundled up and working hard it doesn't phase me at all...or is that the sign of more frostbite settling in? :) Either way its a blast!
This last week was busy busy as I could imagine it being for everyone this time of year. I feel like I have been all over the island and back and am still running. Of course being in the Young Single Adult ward has a lot to do with it. Most of the members that are not originally from around here are heading back to their various homes this upcoming week which leaves us with little time to visit with them. On top of that we have had a great bout with tender mercies and miracles too, keeping us on our toes. Last week as I explained that one man on the corner who showed up to church, we actually had the same thing happen this last week, but with 2 people! One night contacting I finally invited a girl that works the register at a store I frequent by extending an invitation to our ward Christmas brunch that we were having on Saturday. I gave her our number and details and amazingly she called the morning of wondering if it was still going on. I actually didn't know who I was speaking with when I answered the phone but I confirmed and just figured I would notice who it was once we got there. As we paraded the crowd looking for someone who might be new or lost we spotted no one! We thought "oh well maybe they are late." Wrong, she just blended in with everyone so well that we didn't see her. She brought one of her friends and just found herself comfortable among a group of people she didn't know. Again thanks to the ward members also who were so inviting. She really enjoyed herself and expressed that the people she had met that day she would love to hang out with more, and what better place could there be than church, haha! I just love this work.
Contacting too has been quite a delight. There are people all over the streets, even in the freezing cold who are more open to talk with you. The Christmas weekend coming is a great way to initiate a conversation about our Lord and Savior I have found, unless you get the "I dont celebrate holidays" response, where in that case you still invite them and walk away swiftly before they really start yelling, haha it happens all the time :) But one thing I really started to notice is every one's appreciation for missionaries too. We have had some events on the streets where we are caroling with tables full of information about the Church, ie Book of Mormons, Bibles, pamphlets, DVDs, etc and people both members and nonmembers have come to us and expressed their gratitude that we are out spreading the Christmas cheer and message. It has shocked me many times the people who end up speaking with you, in this season I suppose they are just happy others are in celebration of the true meaning of Christmas.
Man! I am just so excited for next Saturday!!!! I hear Christmas as a missionary is the best :) and so far the rumors have not failed me yet so I can only anticipate good things. We are having a mission wide party up in Scarsdale where we will have a Christmas program full of musical numbers from each zone and testimonies borne, followed by a good meal then shipped back off to the apartments where we then call die Familie...oh! speaking of German get this. So my Spanish has been dwindling away because not being in a Zebra companionship (one Spanish, one English) any longer leaves me with no time to study or speak with many people. I was feeling kinda bad about this last week because contacting up in Inwood is near impossible without it, but to my surprise I ran into 5 Germans in 3 days!!!!! Talk about "all your skills will be used." Oh wow, I just love this city. Nonetheless, I am really excited about the upcoming holiday and a chance to hear your voices. I love you all and am so thankful for all of your support and love. The countdown is on until Christmas, someone go see Tangled for me I hear its great! Love you love you, and so it is...

Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

"I'll be home for Christmas, you can count on me. I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams..."
Okay, maybe not.
I guess this is the first year in a long time that I'm not scheming a way to show up randomly for a couple of Christmas days. No work this time, no school, no crazy road trips through the night showing up on Christmas morning; only spreading the Christmas cheer here in New York. The season is growing strong and the weather is getting colder. People are feeling the spirit and the streets are busy with shopping and Holiday lights. Happy Hanukkah! There is a menorah on every corner, each night lighting up a new candle. I really have grown to love the Jewish holiday this year too. Its amazing, my study of the Bible has been right on time with the customs of the Judaic traditions. I have so much respect for the Jewish people throughout the city,especially when they are not yelling profanities at you for saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, oops! But they just hold so tightly to the Law, its admirable. They have a great since of community and here in the city you cant help but love them and their spreading of Holiday cheer too. Love it!
So the work here is going very well. I love our investigators so much! I learn from them everyday and through teaching them I grow a greater appreciation for the mercy the Lord has granted me in the knowledge I have of His plan. The other day my companion and I were street contacting on Broadway. It was growing late and we were headed home but as you walk along, among all the people on the streets who are usually up to no good, you see faces of people you just cant pass by. There was this man standing on the corner so naturally I walk up to him. I began talking to him and immediately knew that there was a special message for this guy. I asked him what he was up to, and to my surprise he said something along the lines of looking for someplace to belong. Haha, I love good leads into the Gospel! He continued by telling us he was up from Florida where he was escaping his past and trying to start a new life. He had no family and very few friends and just didn't know what to do. So of course this is what I did and said, "boom, instant family!" as i pulled a pass along card out of my pocket with the information, time and location to the church in Harlem and handed it to him. I told him we were here to introduce him to our family at church and invite him to come and be a part. He responded with a laugh and thanked me as he explained how his mother had been calling him every week asking him if he had gone to church. He said it was about...time (cue Mormon message), and that he would be there on Sunday. We continued our conversation about the Atoning power of Christ, baptism and repentance and ended again with an exchange of information. Now mind you, everyone says this when we invite them to church, but as most RMs know you usually end up sitting alone, haha. Long story short, he showed up!!!!! It was a magical moment, at least as good as I'm gonna get being so far away from DLand, but it far exceeded the joy! As he sat with us in fast and testimony sacrament meeting we explained what was going on as members of the congregation got up to bare their testimonies. As the meeting concluded I was overjoyed to see the members of the ward get up one by one and introduce themselves to him. It was such a humbling experience knowing that the Lord was providing him with the familial love that he needed to feel welcome. He ended up staying all 3 hours which amazing because sometimes it is a struggled for long running members. Anyways, as he left he confirmed his commitments that we had invited him to read. Just another expression of the Father's love for us I suppose, haha.
All in all it has been a good week. The members in our ward are just shining stars. They have really stepped up to the plate and have been very active in introducing their friends and family to the Gospel. President Hinckley reminded us that the missionaries cant do this work on their own. It is definitely by members help that we even have people to teach, but on that rare occasion that someone from a contact shows up, it is nice to see them so friendly and loving to someone who may not be so familiar with church or even our way of living. Thank you to all of the members of my ward and stake back home! You really helped me along :) and thank you to the members in my ward now, we cant do this work without you! I love you all and wish you happy holidays. As was delivered in the Holiday Devotional on Sunday, if you feel you are getting caught up in the material side of things, take a step back. Its not worth losing your REAL holiday spirit, which should be focused on your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Easy for me to say right, haha!
Well I love you love you all! And so it is...

Thanksgiving...aka Give Thanks

The holidays are coming and it is so weird, there is not an ounce of knowledge of them in the missionary world except the fact that its getting cold out and the streets are starting to light up with holiday excitement. Attitudes are changing too for sure! You would think that everyone would start thinking of how much of a joy it is to be alive and able, and spread the holiday cheer, when in reality NO ONE is happy on the streets. I was sitting at Wendy's the other night next to these two women who could only speak about how they hated this time of year. As they continued on in their conversation they touched on money, crowded stores, gaining weight, stress and whiny children complaining about Christmas presents and not having a long enough break from school (not like I was listening, they were just talking really, really loud haha). Its so amazing to think of the holidays in this way, even though all of these thoughts do run through everyone's mind at one point or another, there was no Spirit about it at all.
Maybe its living in New York or even being away from the Spirit of home this year, but things just aren't the same. It just saddens me of all the commercialization that is going on concerning the holidays. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am so very thankful to be a missionary at this time, amidst all the craziness that is going on. And at a lesser scale I am so grateful to know what the true value of gratitude is. Even when you feel like you have it all written down or thought out about the things you are thankful for you realize that there is so much more to your list thank your commitment to count had bargained for. Upon beginning to count you'll find yourself in consideration for days, even weeks, and dumbfounded at all that you have been blessed with. I am so very thankful for everything that I have, know and feel. I am thankful for everyone I know, for my family, and friends. I am thankful for the opportunities that I have had in the past and present, "there's so much past inside my present" right Linds? I hope everyone remembers President Monson and the fabulous talk on Gratitude he gave this past conference. I was reading through the Ensign this last week and was reminded of the many blessings we have to be thankful for, it is truly an eye opener.
I also had the opportunity to speak this past Sunday in church. As I began to bare my testimony I was surprised at what the Spirit would have me say in regards to what I was in deed thankful for. It was more of a testimony to myself of all that I have experienced over the past few weeks than it was announcing all of my blessings to the congregation. I at that point realized I am so privileged to be where I am and do what I do. I only have 18 months and counting to do the Lords work...Im running out of time! I am so thankful for all of your support, love and prayers. Im thankful for all of those that I love and who love me. Im grateful that you all let me leave AGAIN, even though Im never home...Tony. I'm thankful for this opportunity to feel truly humbled by the lives and experiences of those here in New York. Im grateful for my calling as a missionary and for the opportunity to serve others everyday. I am thankful for the Gospel and the unconditional love of a Savior that willingly gave his life for mine and my faults. And mostly I am grateful for this knowledge: of all the blessings in my life, of all the negatives working as positives, of all the great things being even greater than I imagined and for the mind to see all of this as such.
The holiday season is here and I love it! If you fail the rest of the year to be thankful then let this be the time that you are especially brought to your knees in thanks.
Last couple of things, yesterday as we were in a cab coming back from transfers with my new companion (yeah I know!!!!), the taxi driver was so distraught. He recently submitted his daughter to the hospital for some unknown disorder. I was inspired by his courage and hope. As I explained that we were missionaries and would join him in his prayers to help his daughter, his heart was filled with gratitude for the consideration of a stranger. As people knowing the blessings from God, we have the opportunity to extend our faith to others. I dont know that there is any better way to share the Gospel than to just let others we come into contact with know that we care and can empathize with them in their situations.
And yes, my second cycle, 6 weeks in Im training a new companion in the city. Not an actual training position in the mission because she has been out for 7 months but she is new to the city so I get to show her the ropes, its sick! She's from Hawaii, Sister Fuimaono... I'll let you know how it goes, haha!
Love you love you all! Happy Thanksgiving :)

Oh just another week in Harlem

Coldstone for breakfast???!!! Sure.
Sometimes you just come to the conclusion that the best option for breakfast is indeed ice cream. I often wonder where my life would be without that place sometimes. Marilyn definitely wouldn't be posting this blog for you if there were no Coldstone...so the only conclusion is to pay homage to that huge marble slab by eating some to kick off the morning. Anyways...
This past week was so great. We have such amazing people in our ward it blows my mind sometimes. Sister Child and I have been meeting with the members quite a bit lately to really get our heads around the young adult members in our area. As I have said before the range is so broad! There is no rhyme or reason, but there of course is one cause and that is Jesus Christ. This recent convert we have been meeting with is such a gem. She was/is Catholic and has been practicing catholicism all of her life. She recently began this program that helps you analyze how to "enroll" people into your way of thinking by opening yourself up to new ideas that others have experienced in life. This new way of thinking led her to begin taking the missionary discussions. Neat huh? She got baptized about three months ago and has been so involved, she actually hopes to serve a mission someday. I just love her so much. As we met with her Friday she explained that she had a concert that night and was very anxious about it. She is a violist at the Manhattan School of Musicand was performing in a show conducted by Kurt Masur...amazing right?! As we prayed with her we could sense there was something more to her anxiety than just the music. Long story short she was feeling like she had no support that night for what she had been devoting all of her time to these past many weeks. That was such an eye opening experience. Sister Child and I gladly informed her that if we could we would love to be there for her that night. The relief and joy on her face was indescribable! In hindsight it was absolutely our treat. The music was amazing and the musicians just moved us. It was incredible.
Its so funny cause as missionaries sometimes it is led on that we are only here for the sake of religion. As many of you may have served or have been active in knowing those who have served a mission, you know that a mission is much more than just the Book of Mormon. If I can take away anything from this particular experience as well as many others, a mission should be more categorized with serving your fellow men, and loving them as God loveth. Sometimes in this city it is easy to see alternative motives. Everyone is on edge about you when you approach them. "Que paso? What do you want! No thank you." is what we are often met with. Unfortunately the real situation is this, How can we be of help to you? How can we show you that your Father in Heaven loves you? or You know there is a plan for you here on earth, right? If only everyone is as open minded is our friend then they would be so excited to know that there is no alternative motive, just the pure knowledge that they are one of God's children and he waits for the time when you call on Him to bless you.
I have had such a great time this last week gettng to know a few things about the mission, this instance is just one of the many tender mercies I have come to know. Everyday I am learning and growing in my testimony. "I know my Savior lives, and loves me too. The Spirit whispers this to me and tells me it is true," I know that it is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God who translated the Book of Mormon to act as a second witness of Jesus Christ. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet on earth today and that by his counsel we will grow closer to God. It is such a privilege to serve a mission. I am grateful everyday for this opportunity, and though it is not always easy, it is for sure worth it! I love all of you and hope that you have a great week coming! Eat ice cream for breakfast, its so amazing, haha! And so it is...

Hello Hello!!

Because Im terribly impatient Im going to talk about the most exciting parts of my week first...
If any of you know New York then you know that the New York Marathon was this past weekend. I say that it was one of the most exciting parts of my week because if you could only feel the love that was present there, you would agree that there was no other place to be than with all of those amazing brothers and sisters that were running for various causes. After church that day my companion and I, on the way home, passed the 21st mile mark and couldn't help but stay there and cheer on the runners that were running on their last leg (no pun intended, haha). It was a moment of inspiration and desire for me, encouraging me to give all of my efforts for this cause that I am out here working for. Each mile is a step closer to the end but the end is not the satisfaction. The satisfaction is in knowing that the steps leading up to that moment, crossing the finish line, were for the cause of standing for something dear and close to my heart. I guess as in the mission, life could be portrayed in the same sense. We have so many miles in this life, some may be a full marathon, some may be a half or even 5k, the bottom line is whatever the distance the integrity that we have along the way and the endurance that we embrace is what is going to make the end worth the struggle. Here's another thing, as I watched the people in the marathon (PS, people came from all over! Even Germany, Austria and Switzerland, yay!!! and yes I did speak with them in German), they all went at their own ability towards the finish line. It is not a race, it is a test of strength, endurance and will both mentally and physically, many would even say spiritually...such is life. Never have I had more fun or been more enthused than I had on Sunday, seeing the people realize that you were cheering for them in their own individual race. It was amazing!
Another great moment this week was meeting with one of our investigators. Its funny the way the Lord works sometimes. You have to just throw up your hands and say "I surrender" even though there is a plan. Case and point: For the last few Saturdays we have been meeting with this young man Kevin. He is a complete Theorist. He loves sayings and theories to life and he could speak in psalms all day if you would let him. So this Saturday we were planning on meeting with him around 1. As the hour was appoaching and we were preparing to leave to the appointment, Sister Child and I both looked at each other and were like "we need to meet up later." One major reason for this was that we wanted to watch The Restoration with him, and we needed the TV at the ward building to do it later in the day. So just as we were grabbing our phone to call him, we looked and he had actually called. His message was expressing how he needed to meet later in the day than we usually do. Booyah!! Anyways, long story short, he had agreed to not only watch the movie at the ward but to also come to a baptism that was going on in the building after the lesson. The look on his face and the joy in his heart when we were singing the hymns is indescribable. I just love moments like these. It was surely a time to sit and think about my own baptism and the joy I felt when I could feel the Spirit as a blanket over me.
And so the week goes, one of the hardest but amazing weeks all in one. Leave it to the mission to send you through an emotional rollercoaster like you've never felt in your life. I guess its what comes with the deal. The Lord stretches you in ways you would never imagine but all with the knowledge that whatever is coming your way you can handle. But jokes on everyone, not alone but with His help. I love you all and am so glad that I have you all as such great support. It really makes my day to see that you have left me messages, send me letters and love me love me! Love you lots...off to the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Gardens, haha!

This is NO Big Love episode

Guess where Im emailing from right now???? Julliard!!! Crazy! Of course it is the lovely PDay. Our plans are we're going to Central Park to play in the beautiful fall leaves before business time later this afternoon. I absolutely love this city. It is getting brisk outside with a high of 38 degress and man do I love it. Its like the movies everywhere you go, SWEATER WEATHER!!!
There is just so many people to meet and things to do. Like I have said in my last few letters, the area we are in is such a broad area to cover. It is so strange though because we are in a YSA ward and seek out only those between the ages of 18-31. Sometimes I feel like we are stocking people because we just sit back and stare with an eagle eye and before anyone knows what is happening we are talking to the next available young adult that comes our way. It has been quite the experience this week. I would like to say that it was mostly dedicated to teaching first and second lessons and baptizing but it hasn't. To our suprise we have been defusing fires of crazy rumors that go around about the Church. It is amazing that in a city this big and diverse people still allow media to do the homework for them. I guess that is anywhere though.
We have had such a great time though getting to know the city and its youth. We have had some really random lessons and they take place where you would least expect, case and point, on the steps of The Cathedral School. Either way, inspiration comes where it may and there are people to teach everywhere, love it!
One thing also that I really love is the study time that I have each day! The scriptures have such a ridiculous amount of knowledge in them and whatever you are inquiring about you will find the answers there. I have had a greater amount of time this week because my companion has been a bit sick but it has been the best time ever! I never really thought I would be getting so much enjoyment out of reading bouts of religious history but shame on me! There is so much to learn and the scriptures truly testify of the love the Savior has for us. I am so thankful for the time I have to study each day, it just better prepares me for the next "unsuspecting" person I am to teach, haha!
Anyways, Im starting to feel the missionary schedule real strong these days. It feels like a whirlwind of things that happen each week that you really just dont know what to talk about. One thing I will quickly tell you about is my Spanish experiences this week. I have been doing language study each day and boy does it really get in there. I will study flashcards that I prepare for myself, speak with my companion who is actually a Spanish speaking sister and listen carefully to the people around me. I actually went contacting in Spanish on Friday, its a bit crazy. I often cant sleep because my brain is too busy conjugating Spanish verbs or formulating sentences. Its so wacky, hahaha! But I absolutely love it! I understand more and more each day and Im convinced its just a fallacy, but then Spanish speakers ask me questions or they say something about me and dont know that I am listening and I respond....whoa, too weird. Anyways, super lame but I love it. The work and the blessings of the Lord are real. I cant get enough of it. I am enjoying myself too much in this work that I have a hard time saying its even work at all. I know this is where Im supposed to be. The Lord just knows me too well cause he has prepared the way especially for me. I love you all and wish you well this week. Until next time, Adios!