Well as you heard, I'm in Belle Harbor and Far Rockaway. It is so nice
here with the beach a block away but sad part is we can't go swimming.
Oh well. Still really nice though, well, the part I live in at least.
Some other parts are pretty sketchy here.
"We've come a long way from where we began. Oh I'll tell you all about
it when I see you again."
Transfer calls were today and I am leaving. I find out where tomorrow.
Today we did studies and got the transfer call in between studies and
did laundry. Then we played handball until we went on our tour of
flushing park. Jay took us on the tour and that is always great. Then
he bought us Applebee's at the end of the tour and we went back to the
church to email and eat it. Then preparation day ended and we went to
a FHE with brother Cigala and his friend to John's. We showed the
restoration video of Joseph Smith. That was nice and I sort of said
goodbye. Didn't tell him I was leaving though. That would just get
annoying to keep saying that. Then went home and packed some more. I'm
tired and need to pack now.
"Howl at the moon."
"Shut up out there!"
"You shut up in there!"
Transfer day! So we did studies and packed in the morning. Took my
stuff to the church so Jay could take it in his car to Rego. Then we
took the subway to get there and straight away to the new companions.
My new companion is elder Parrish. He is 6'7". He is tall! And I am
transferred to Belle Harbor! We stayed for leadership training and the
workshop was a full district meeting role played. It was super
interesting. And super good. Elder Parrish told me straight up that
the reason I am in Belle Harbor to replace him as district leader next
transfer or the one after that and since I haven't trained yet, I am
going to train here. Well then. We will see if his prophecy is correct
but apparently he called it with me coming here. He looked at everyone
in the mission and strategized a way to predict I had a 33% chance of
coming to Belle Harbor. I was the highest in the mission. Pretty cool.
We then drove, yes we have a car, to Belle Harbor. We unloaded me
stuff at our beach house. Our house is literally a block from the
beach. And it has wifi, a dishwasher, an oven, a washer and dryer, and
more than 2 rooms. Everything Flushing didn't have. This is literally
a super nice apartment and it is pretty clean too. So nice. We then
went and visited a family and we are teaching the 10 year old.
Something I've come to realize is I converted from Chinese to black
people. Literally. Everyone here is black like how everyone in
Flushing was Asian. But that lesson was good. We taught the gospel of
Jesus Christ. Went knocking and went to another lesson with a family
who are a part member/less active family. They got off topic a lot for
the 6 of them. Super hard to focus. Then went back to the apartment.
Hit the hay for the night.
"What happened Derek, I thought we were friends?"
"My names Andy!"
"Your name's liar cause you tell lies."
Today was great, we did studies and had a quick lunch. There is no
food here so I had cereal. Then went to a lesson with a look up we
visited yesterday and taught the restoration. Invited to be baptized
accepted. Then went to district meeting and met the 8 missionary
district. Doubled from Flushing. And I am the only new missionary in
the district and in the zone in fact. Fun. Then went and picked up the
branch missionary leader, brother Thompson, to come with us to 2
lessons. The first one happened, and we taught the restoration.
Brother Thompson has an interesting form of teaching, sometimes
helpful, so times not. You never know I guess. But another thing I
have come to see is the church is located in a ghetto area. It is the
4th floor of an office building and everything around it is bullet
proof. Even the little Caesars and McDonald's. Bulletproof glass and
whatnot. Crazy. Then went to visit another person but they weren't
home so we dropped brother Thompson off and went knocking. We were
invited into a home and taught the restoration and invited to be
baptized, a little reluctant but agreed to read the Book of Mormon.
Then went knocking some more until we ate at Popeye's for lunch.
Basically a KFC. Went knocking some more and visited a less active
family. That was a crazy experience with it not being calm ever. This
is a crazy area. Went and visited a recent convert in the mental
hospital even though he is t crazy. His parent just put him there for
some odd reason. People do things like that here. Weird. Went to visit
potentials and was invited in by one. Taught the restoration and
invited to be baptized, accepted. Then went home. Super fun day and
full! Hardly much finding and when we did, we actually got invited in.
Awesome. This is so much easier than flushing.
"I am never drinking coffee as long as I live."
Today was a good day. We did studies and then had another mission
conference call. President and sister Reynolds talked on repentance
and conversion. Then went to stop and shop and bought food for the
next few days before we starved to death. Made some cards and went to
do service. We do it every week and helping build homes still from
Sandy. This time we sanded down the floor and moved out the heavy
tools so they could prepare to paint. We did that for a few hours and
the best part is music! Haha. Then we changed and went and picked up
brother Thompson and the lesson fell through he was coming to and so
we did some look ups and no one answered. Dropped off brother Thompson
and went to have dinner. After dinner, we had another lesson fall
through when we got there so we went and knocked an apartment
building. Ok success. Then went to visit the Forbes family. They are
really fun and are from Jamaica. Pretty cool and we talked about
prayer. Then we went home. Good day. I feel like I am on just a super
long exchange though. Hopefully it will settle in soon.
"You called a bunch of kids losers through a cone."
"I did not."
"Yes you'd did! We all saw you."
"...ok, maybe I did."
Today was a good day. We made cards for a half an hour until we left
to go to a lesson way at the other end of our area and he wasn't there
but the best part we got Chipotle for lunch. Best day ever already.
And I got a Coke Zero. The sweet nectar. Then we went to the church
for another lesson which got changed to another time today. We then
went knocking and found a teenage girl interested and said to come
back at 3:30. So we went and do some weekly planning and visited a
referral. Turns out we have the wrong address. Went to the lesson with
the girl and the dad kicked us out politely after 3 min. Then went to
the church for the lesson that was supposed to happen earlier and
answered questions about the Book of Mormon. Went to McDonalds as we
didn't have time to go home. Then went went to a lesson that got
cancelled. Did some look ups and then went to another lesson that got
cancelled. Did some knocking and then went home.
"Way to go Bing-Bong!"
Exciting day today. We went to a lesson at 8am but no one answered so
we went home and did our studies. Afterwards, we finished our weekly
planning and had lunch. Went knocking a little and visited a recent
convert named Babatunde. He is from Nigeria like half the people here.
The other half is from Jamaica the island not Jamaica Queens. We
showed him the priesthood session of conference when the prophet spoke
and talked about it. Then knocked and did a look up until our lesson
with a progressing investigator and we taught the plan of salvation.
His baptismal date is may 8. Then we picked up 2 of the Spanish elders
and went to Woodside for stake conference. We first did a choir
practice as our beloved mission president "voluntold" us for choir.
Thanks president. Ugh. I hate choir. And the choir director is crazy
about it. Using all these insane terms I've never heard before and
tell everyone this and that. I was lost the entire time and did what
everyone else was doing. It worked. Still hate choir though. I like to
just sing how I want to. Is that too much to ask for? Afterwards we
had priesthood leadership lesion and the adult session. They spoke all
about family history and temples in the adult session and it inspired
the mission ties to go but then we remembered we can't. Bummer. Then
drove home and got home at 9:50. Then we drive back a gain tomorrow
for the general session.
"I'm sorry I can't hear you. My super bowl ring was making too much noise!"
Today was great. We didn't get to do studies this morning because we
had to leave at 8 for Woodside for stake conference. But stake
conference was great. We sang How Firm a Foundation verses 1, 2, 3,
and 7. Verse 7 is now my favorite verse. Just great. Afterwards, we
went home and ate lunch. Went and picked up a youth member to go with
us to a lesson with a less active. Ok lesson but it was hard as she
didn't stay on topic so hard to teach. Then dropped off the member and
went to a lesson with Derek whom we met earlier this week. Taught him
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then taught another less active and his
brother. Taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Had dinner and picked up a
member to go with us to a lesson. We taught the restoration and then
dropped off the member and went to a referral's home. Not home so we
knocked and contacted around them until the end of the night. Then
went home:) #FTiBH (fun times in belle harbor)
The district is fun with the 8 of us which is double my last district
and the area is sweet too. The church building is interesting as it is
the 4th floor of an office building. Interesting but I've heard we
only have like 30-40 that show up every week. That is half of
Flushing. I don't miss Flushing too much though. It's a nice change.
Lessons are so much easier to get here and people are very open to
talking with us and just randomly say something personal about them.
Never had that before. And yes, we do have a car here. It is nice and
not nice. Nice to get around and not have to wait for a bus or train
but not nice how we don't have many people to talk to on the way to
and from appointments. But still nice. And the apartment has an oven,
dishwasher, washer and dryer, and finally... wifi!!! That is probably
the best part as we don't have to download anything to the iPad's
anymore all at once. We can just do a video or two if we need them
Love all of you and miss you!!