Summaries of the Day 10-19-15 Preparation day. Did laundry, sent emails, went shopping and got a blanket, Gatorade powder, and goldfish. I'm good now:) dropped that off and went to the church. Went bad and forth with mom for like an hour and a half. Went to eat at a restaurant for dinner. Had good Kung Pao Chicken. Chinese food here is so much better than Panda Express:) then went to visit a less active and taught him about the ugly duckling story and how we are God's children. Visited an investigator that has been gone for a while and turns out she is still gone. Came back and made Gatorade. Home sweet home:) Also opened up my first present of the 13 nights of Halloween. It was a solar, dancing, pumpkin man. 10-20-15 Morning routine. Then lunch, then district meeting. Not much happened there except that Elder Lee(Zone Leader) was on splits with Elder Wixom so we had a Chinese speaking elder present. He spoke English too but as a second language. Then we visited a person we called last week. Fun family but so much was going on with people running around and visiting that we were there an hour and a half trying to teach a lesson and get to know them. They have been taught before but one day the sisters that were teaching them stopped coming. Weird. So they were happy to see us but with phones and people all around, they didn't really pay attention or feel the spirit. Next time is at the library with one of them only. Then we had dinner, and street contacted more. 10-21-15 Mickey Mouse. Lots of Mickey Mouse things everywhere today. Morning routine. Lunch and then President Reynolds was in town conducting interviews with the missionaries. It went well I thought for only having been a week since I had an interview with him. Went knocking afterwards with no success in College Point. Came back and street contacted after dinner and en ended the day with a lesson at a less actives house. They fed us another dinner and ended up starting the lesson at 9:30... And it ended at 10:10 so we had to run home and get in bed by 10:30. But the lesson was the best lesson Elder Reese and I taught as a companionship. It was worth it to stay so long. 10-22-15 Happiness. There were so many people saying hi and actually talking with us today. Everyone was in a happy mood. Some old same old in the morning. Then we had weekly planning meeting to set goals and plan lessons for our investigator pool... Which is very small so that didn't take too long. Then went knocking up in College Point again with the same thing as yesterday, nothing. The people there just never answer doors or something cause like only 5 people answered their door. Not going back for a while now. Going to try somewhere else. Then we went to eat at New World Mall in the cafeteria and I got to say, I couldn't read a single thing there. Nothing was in English, all Chinese. It's china town. Then we went contacting at the library and was able to teach a lesson to someone. Gave them our number and got his contact info to set up another appointment sometime. 10-23-15 ZTM. You should know by now what I do until lunch. Then we went contacting for a half an hour until Zone Training Meeting. Learned a few tips on faith and obedience to apply to the mission field. Then we went contacting again. No success at all. Dinner at a street vendor which was Lamb over rice. It was so good. Best meal I've had here. Then we went to teach a less active about Amlickiah but then Elder Reese changed it to the law of chastity as soon as the prayer finished. We taught the less active and his girlfriend who is taking lessons from the sister missionaries and is planning on getting baptized. She just needs to go to church 3 weeks in a row still. Afterwards we went to correlation and then to another less active. But the second one wasn't home so we went home for the night. Starting to settle in here I feel like. 10-24-15 "It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday. The regular crowd shuffles in." Not too bad today. Went knocking all afternoon but only talked with 2 people, the rest either said they are of some other religion or not interested or didn't even answer the door. We also had Saturday session of Stake conference today. President Reynolds spoke at it. And I finally remembered to sing piano man at 9 pm:) not much happened today but I got a package so that was nice:) full of Halloween gifts that go along with the 13 nights of Halloween so I open one a day at night:) 10-25-15 "I can move mountains, I can work a miracle, work a miracle, oh oh." Stake conference messed up our day. First we went to pick up a less active for it but he was asleep and didn't get up. We also only did personal study today and that was it. We contacted for like 5 hours today. We contacted from 1-4 and found lots of people to talk to. One was a guy in a wheel chair and was looking for the church. Elder Reese actually was going by his place every week before I got here but he was hospitalized which is why no one answered. So we ,et him today and he enlisted on buying us something. So he bought us sodas and we forgot it was the sabbath. But he offered to hand stuff out so we gave him pamphlets and a Book of Mormon to hand out. He was so excited even though he has like 3 areas of his body that need surgery, head, torso, and both feet. All different conditions. Poor guy but he is the happiest guy I've met here. And he insisted on serving us because we are representing Jesus Christ on the earth. He offered to buy us a beer and pizza but we settled with the soda. People like to offer beer a lot here. I'm not old enough but maybe I look old enough. Anyways, then we went to go contacting but was stopped by 2 guys that had a question about our church. One thing led to another and they ended up basically trashing the church. They like study the bible deeply, like university level and questioned us. We are just 18 and 19 year olds straight outta high school and they are like in their mid 40s. They were quoting scripture and asking why we do this and how to tell the difference between an angel of God and an angle of the Devil. I had no idea how to answer most of his questions. He talked for 45 min there on the street so we went contacting till dinner. Then more contacting after dinner and then went to visit the less active we went to visit this morning but they were busy again. So today was interesting in how lots of people talked to us but that trashing the church one was kinda a downer on the other successes we had earlier.
You heard about Pluto? That's messed up right?
So I thought I should share some things I do. I read emails every night in bed just before I go to sleep. It is like my guilty pleasure but not really guilty:) Send lots of questions!!! I can't answer all of them just by sending an update. I need questions to know how to fill these emails. President Reynolds stopped by this week for interviews and one thing they told us is that we are no longer allowed to go to Mets games anymore. Which sucks because they are in the World Series. The mets stadium is in our area by the way. So hopefully they win and if the do, buy me the hat mom and dad. You know I like the collection and how cool would it be to have them win on my mission??? We also had to take down the pull up bar because it broke a door in a different area and the church lost like $1500 dollars on it so no more pull ups.
We had such a cool experience yesterday helping out one guy with his bible class for college and he was like so grateful for us helping him. He was just trying to understand how his textbook related to the Bible and what it was talking about. We taught him some ways to read it to help him understand and he like went on and on about how grateful he was for us. This was after lunch. We also talked to a gay guy after dinner while contacting and he was supper nice but not interested. Darn. But he like travels for like months at a time and loves there for a bit, them moves on to a new area. He is a stock broker or something like that so he travels all the time and stay for a year or a few months and moves onto the next area. He has traveled to every continent except Antarctica which would be so cool. I received a package this week on Saturday and the two letters from mom with the pictures.
Oh and something funny. Friday night we got a text from the Zone leaders that there is a squirrel in our chapel. We get there Sunday morning and find out that is has peed and pooped all over the piano and in a back corner and it tore up a hymn book. It smells terrible over by the piano so no one sat over there during Stake Conference. I laughed because of how mom feels about squirrels peeing and pooping everywhere. Haha. We now call the piano "pee-ano" haha:)
Loving the movie quotes from you guys by the way.
Yesterday, we flipped off and got sworn at to our faces while talking to someone. That was interesting but we came to find out that he was drunk and usually a nice guy when sober. It's just that when he drinks, his parents kick him out to the street so then he comes to the library and that is where we usually are.
On Halloween, we have to be inside our apartment by 6 pm. So we get to hang out around there and just play a board game or something. I don't know what we'll do but we'll find something. Nice part is that there is a Halloween party at the branch that night so we can go get dinner there and snack the rest of the night.
This week was hard on Thursday. I woke up and thought "what am I doing here? I feel like we have no success and no one to teach. We go out and contact with no one that wants to talk to us" So I got really homesick and wanted to go home. But then I put my faith in the Lord. I went to work that day with a smile on my face and said I was going to talk to someone today. As I went out and talked, I felt better and better by the minute. Even if people didn't stop, I felt like I wanted to be here again. The Lord blesses those that are faithful and endure to the end. This is not the end yet but it is a start to challenges and difficulties. So be faithful and always be in tune with the spirit. I have learned what it means to put your faith in the Lord. And I have already seen the blessings that come from it. I love it here now:) I don't want to come back. I have moments of homesickness but now they pass with ease. The mission is the hardest thing I've ever done. But it is so worth the sacrifice.
Squirrel is still in the piano today. Elder Wixom and Elder Householder trapped it in the piano. Elder Wixom is from Draper as well!!!
I'm sure you are all wondering where I ended up. Well....FLUSHING, NY!!! and my companion is... Elder Reese!
Summaries of the Day 10-10-15 We feel stuck at the MTC. Spent 3 hours doing personal study. Packed up all the stuff to leave to go to NY. Craving a Coke Zero right now. Saw pics of Emma's party today, so sad I missed it and it got me a little homesick. 10-11-15 Gave a talk, blessed the sacrament, and gave the priesthood lesson. Walked to the temple. Watched Character of Christ. Elder Ramos had an allergic reaction. And his reaction after it was so funny because it was like he got his wisdom teeth out and this was the aftermath. Everything he said was so funny. 10-12-15 Woke up at 2:45. Saw dad at the airport. Talked to mom, Dylan, and Emma on the phone. Traveled to Detroit then to Laguardia. Met President Reynolds and Sister Reynolds and other missionaries speaking Spanish. Enter to the mission home, had dinner, had interviews with President Reynolds, had dessert, and had a small welcome to the mission devotional. 10-13-15 First day, woke up and did morning routine. Left for transfer meeting. Got iPads, met trainer-Elder Reese, then went to the meeting. Got assigned to Flushing, NY. Left and took subway to apartment while luggage was stuffed in a car. First reaction getting onto the street of Flushing, "I'm in China". Most shop signs and advertisements were written in Korean or Chinese. At dinner, got homesick and cried a little. Then we went street contacting. 10-14-15 Morning routine, did the First 12 Weeks book and safeguards for modern technology for missionaries. Went shopping, then went street contacting again. We street contact a lot, and mostly in front of the queens library. Met a girl that is interested in learning more. But most everyone here is Chinese or Asian. Also, I see like 2 Maseratis everyday when we street contact at the airport. 10-15-15 We had district meeting today. Got a call from President Reynolds that my mom called him to inform me my great grandmother passed away. I started to get homesick again after that.Then street contacted till dinner. Met another person after dinner who would be willing to learn more. The cool part about this person was that I had an overwhelming feeling that someone near me needed to hear our message but I couldn't find them. Then Elder Reese started talking to a person smoking and my anxiety left me so I went over there and started talking to her. And it happened after 1.5 hours of contacting in cold weather so if we stick it out to the end, the Lord will bless you. Then we went to see an inactive member but he rescheduled so we made phone calls to referrals and the first one wasn't the name we had but it was the person's sister who wanted to know more. Small miracle we found her on the first call. Also, updated my iPad to iOS 9:) 10-16-15 Morning routine, went to update Facebook to mission appropriate standards, then we went to Subway for lunch. Then we held weekly planning meeting, which Elder Reese had to redo half way through it because he messed up and wasn't really teaching it to me. Then we went street contacting at the library until dinner. We made calls and had correlation meeting with the ward mission leader who only spoke in Spanish. I have now wished to speak Chinese during street contacts and Spanish during the meeting. Then we left early to go to Anthony's house. He is Fast and Furious. He fixes cars with his family, owns a house that looks like the house from the movie, and he wants to be a cop that specializes in auto theft. Fast and Furious. 10-17-15 After personal study today, we went to the church to help the ward with "home teaching revival" where we went to less active members houses and check in on them. Only visited 1 out of 3 people because the other 2 were not home or did not answer their door. Had lunch and went to visit referrals that are far away so we took the bus out there. Gave away a Book of Mormon. Then contacted till dinner. We then went to a choir practice for Interfaith tomorrow where other church leaders come and learn about our church. We are singing in it and answering questions. Then contacted more. 10-18-15 Sunday. Morning routine. Lunch. Went to church and met the branch. Sacrament meeting is last so went to priesthood but had to go to Interfaith. Missionaries and members gave summaries of our church and we sang as a zone. Then a QnA session but very short. Then sacrament meeting. Primary program was today. I gave the closing prayer. Met more people and was invited over to a Spanish member's home for dinner. They only spoke Spanish, with some broken English, but the sons could speak both. Jerry just got back from his mission this week from that family and Anthony is starting his mission papers. They are a fun family to be around so I will probably be learning some Spanish.
So first thing, we are the only two English speaking missionaries in our zone. The other languages are Chinese, Spanish, and Korean. The branch is a Spanish and English branch that meets at 1 with sacrament last. Like I said in the summaries, we had Interfaith yesterday where other faiths came to learn about the Church. Really cool experience. My companion is awesome, he is training me for the next 12 weeks here so I'll be here in flushing. Also, everywhere I go down Main Street is all Chinese and Korean. No English like anywhere and most people speak Spanish in the ward so I have been getting used to either not knowing what people say or having a translator. I'm starting to adjust here but it is hard. The apartment is like 10 steps down from my home back in Utah but it'll do. Let me know of my then questions you guys have.
"This cake is like kissing a girl... but as a missionary." -Elder Seastrand
Thought that would be a funny quote to put in as it was the funniest thing I've heard from that elder all week.
Hello everybody!!! I'll start with Saturday. We watched conference in the gym which was the most uncomfortable thing in the world. The bleachers have been there since my dad was here so they are old, no leg room and the entire bench moves with the slightest movement. But it was awesome none the less. Sunday was the same except with out the priesthood session and we did nothing in between the sessions except eat, read scriptures/talk with district, and go sit down a half hour early before each session. Monday started class again and we started teaching an investigator in class known as "Olivia" but she is our teacher role playing it. Then we have a TRC investigator at night known as "Carolina". She could be a member role playing it or she could actually be an investigator helping out and actually trying to learn the Gospel. Tuesday is like the rest of the week with class in the morning and afternoon with study sessions, eating, district lessons and other activities before and after class. Wednesday is when we challenged Olivia to be baptized and she accepted! Weird though how it is our teacher. We challenged Carolina to be baptized but she is still heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. Thursday was when we had In-Field Orientation on what to expect in the field and how to perform well with members and key indicators. Fun stuff. Oooohhhh, I almost forgot the best part of the week... iPads came Monday!!!! I was reading all your letters on the iPad at night cause we would forget to get the mail at night so I got the physical letters the next day but I still was able to read the emails the day you guys sent them. I love reading them at night before I went to bed. I am getting better at typing on this tiny iPad screen. AirDrop is the best invention ever. When ever we would take pictures on the iPad, it's a pain to send them to all members of the zone via email or messages but airdrop can be sent to anyone via Bluetooth and was so easy to send pics of each other to each other. So amazing and blessed to use the iPads. We are the only zone to have iPads that is English speaking. And guess what, I can send those pics:) I'll send them in a separate email. I have gotten so close with the district and with the zone that we all get along so well. The sisters are especially nice as they give out their sweet food and candy to us that they don't want to eat that came from home. I got Reese's, doughnuts, and cookies from them and love them for it... as a missionary love. Thanks for the package but I can't open it for 2 weeks??? What is this??? And I got the pic of Dylan in my room, that's crazy. I'm still going to refer to it as my room too! I could hear the BYU game going on last Friday or Saturday, which ever day it was, and it made me home sick. But, Monday was the first day where I didn't want to go home. And ever since, I haven't wanted to go home. It has been nice to focus on the lessons and the spirit here. I ordered a NYNYS shirt and it came in today!!! So excited to have it as my companion has one. I got my first haircut here at the MTC today and it was interesting. Dylan, I'm sure you can beat me in tennis now as you have been practicing and I haven't so imagine how bad I'll be in 2 years as you are practicing for those 2 years. There is no hope for me. We look forward to nights as we can hang out and talk with one another from our district. Elder Hunt and I leave Monday morning at 3:30 to report to the travel office for a 7:30 am flight to Detroit then to Laguardia, NY. We get in NY around 4 pm eastern time zone.
P-Day is Fridays in the morning with temple trips in the afternoon usually but today we have class instead because of General Conference. Man this week is going by a lot faster than I thought it would. To start off, I'll tell the story of the first day here. I left mom and dad and was overwhelmed with the spirit and calmed down straight away to stop crying. We went to a room to get our tags, our debit card to take out into the mission field (still haven't opened that letter yet), and got the key to my room, and the ID card for here at the MTC. Then we (my host and I) dropped off my luggage and went to class. I met my companion, Elder Hunt, who is from Ogden area. I met my district as well, I love all of them and we have gotten along so well. I room with Elder Julander and Elder Wride. They are going to the Santa Rosa, California. My entire district is actually going to the Santa Rosa, California mission except me and my companion. I thought we were the only two going to NYNYS. Then we went to our branch and found out there are 3 more elder going and a sister going with us to NYNYS.
Classes are awesome here. They go by so fast but I learn a ton in them. I have had spiritual confirmations of the truthfulness of the gospel and I already understand how I am going to love the people of New York already. We started teaching Olivia (really my teacher role playing it) but she is so convincing I fell like it is real. We pray to help "Olivia" and her needs like it is real but I guess that is how they teach here. Our district is amazing. The first night we were here, we were supposed to meet with our zone leaders but the hadn't been assigned so we had like a mini devotional/testimony meeting within our district, getting to know each other better. There are so many trials that the Elders have gone through that I feel like my own life was a piece of cake almost. I love them for their example and willingness to serve the Lord to help me become better at loving others like Christ did. My companion said yesterday that he has already noticed how much I've improved since we first met and at that point, it hasn't even been a full 24 hours. My testimony has double in size since I've got here and days go by fast like I said. I never knew how fast they would go by. I have personal study and companionship study everyday but it is different every day. Elder Hunt and I eat with our district and have gotten to know the zone we are in better last night when we went to our branch meeting. We met everyone there and had a formal testimony meeting where everyone shared their testimonies. The we got our assignments, Elder Lee and Elder Pepper are our Zone Leaders and they are serving in the Provo, UT mission!!! That is the third mission in our branch, the Santa Rosa, Provo, and New York South. Those are all the missions that are apart of our branch. There are 5 Sisters total in our mission with around 24 Elders. Our mission is the only one I think where we get to use iPads at the MTC to train with but they haven't come yet. They said they are working on that but these iPads stay here at the MTC and we get our real iPads out in the mission field when we get there. I have got letters from mom and dad and love them. I finally got mail before I started writing this so I got 2 letters in the mail and found 2 emails. Two from mom and two form dad. I was so excited to see them and it hasn't made me too homesick thankfully. I would be a mess if they did. Love you all and look forward to reading your letters. DearElder is the best way to reach me or to email me here. But Dear Elder comes to me that day while email is on P-Day. I have been told that we will be able to read emails everyday but not be able to respond to them. Until then, DearElder is best. I leave to go to New York on Monday, October 12. I don't have the time yet or travel details but they should come Monday. Again, love you all!!!! -Elder Heaton