Flushing New York

Flushing New York

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week #58 Letter & Pictures

It is getting cold again but hopefully it doesn't stay too cold. We
are hoping it is cold just because of Hurricane Matthew sending some
chilly weather towards us then it will get a little warmer again.

On the other hand, hey everyone. We are back to another preparation day.

So here is my week in a bundle:

"Follow the trail of spider? When Hagrid gets out of Azkaban, I'm
gonna kill him." It was a pretty relaxing preparation day. We had
studies in the morning and did laundry. Then the minneola elders got
dropped off at our apartment by the assistants to take them down to
get their car from the shop so we went and dropped them off. Met Jay
at the Freeport chapel and got a haircut for me:) Went to Wendy's for
lunch and then got some stuff for the beach. We went to the secluded
beach we found last week and I brought my hammock and hung out at the
beach and ate snacks. Spent a little over an hour there and went home
and got ready and finished emailing. Then we went to go visit Bishop's
son who is leaving tomorrow to go on a mission. That was pretty cool
to see him all excited to go. He is going to serve in the San
Francisco Mission. Then we went to do some look ups but we only got to
do 1 as we got a call from the sisters they needed some medicine so we
went and got some from the store and dropped it off for them. Then we
walked around Lynbrook trying to talk to anyone walking around. No
success though. That ended our night.
"Give it here Malfoy or I'll knock you off your broom!" Another
average day in New York. We went and helped one of our less actives
this morning get groceries and clothes for his family from this place
that gives out food for those in need. Then we went to the Freeport
chapel and did some Facebook things and friended most of the members
in the ward. Went and ate lunch, and helped one of our investigators
that like to use missionaries for service move some furniture. Got
changed and went knocking for a bit. Got to meet people but didn't
teach any lessons and then went to the Andersen's home for dinner. We
talked with them about their trip to Utah and our families as they met
them there. That was interesting and we found out that they know one
of our good friends! Small world. Then after, we went knocking some
more until we went up to Will's home and taught him too. He is getting
paperwork together to get married to his girlfriend so they can then
get baptized! SO close with them! That was the end of our night.
"He's a werewolf Harry! That's why he's been missing classes." Today
was a fun day! We went and did some contacting referrals but had no
success, even when we tried to knock around. Nothing. So we went to
district meeting and had a good time there. Went to lunch afterwards
at a buffet calling Flaming grill with all sorts of seafoods and
Chinese food. Had a lot of different kinds of foods but I got to try
oysters, clams, squid, eel. They also had unlimited sushi. That was so
good:) I had a great time there. We then went and did some knocking
around Hempstead. We skipped dinner and did some contacting in
Hempstead and visited the Browns. We read from the scriptures with
them and did some more contacting referrals. That was our fun field
"Dragons, Harry. Ferocious creatures." We left this morning at 8:30
and got home at 9 pm. It was a long day. We went and did some service
for Sister Hare cleaning up her garden for a bit. Then we went and
cleaned out a fridge and stove to give to the family that is
struggling to get by and has no running water. They have electricity
though so they could use a fridge in their home. Their story is a sad
one. They got scammed into a home and the bank owns it so they shut
off the water to the home. Their fridge broke a while back and needs a
new one. Also, any day they could be kicked out of their home they are
living in too. Sad story and we try to help any way we can. Then we
went to the church and had FaceTimed the Zone Leaders about a new way
of doing missionary work. It is a very interesting concept and will
change the way I do missionary work for the rest of my mission. It
basically involves members in every phase of missionary work. All the
way from planning for them to asking them for referrals to contacting
those referrals with them and repeating. We are trying to work with
members everyday and go out with them everyday and teach them
everyday. It is a whole new aspect to missionary work. Will take some
time to get used to for sure. From there, we went to go pick up
brother brown to go give a blessing to his mother in law but he
couldn't do it then and will let us know when he will be available to
do it. So we went and contacted referrals and knocked around them. Got
Wendy's for dinner and went to pick up the bishops son, not the one
who just left on his mission, a different one to go out with us
tonight. We went to a lesson but they canceled so we knocked doors.
That was fun and it was good to know the youth better as we go out
knocking with them. It is a lot of fun for us but they don't like
talking to people:) haha:) dropped him off at the end of the night and
went home ourselves.
"He's back..." today was a lot of fun!! So we first went and took the
fridge and oven to the family that needs it and got lunch. We then
went to Brother Wells to talk with him. All he likes to talk about is
WWII things though. Hard to teach him. From there, we went and did
weekly planning at the Freeport chapel and went to Lynbrook. We
weren't hungry so we walked around Lynbrook and tried to go visit a
less active that owns this game shop near our home so we walked there
and it is a place for game tournaments. It has magic tournaments,
console game tournaments and sells cards and other things like it.
Straight up nerd shop. But it was pretty cool. Then we found a card
shop nearby as well that sells sports cards and memorabilia. We talked
with the owner and he is super cool and had a lot of questions about
us. Then he said he would give us a discount on anything. I ended up
getting a pack of baseball cards and he gave me a 45% discount on
them. I was happy! We will be going back more. Then we went to go
visit the browns but they cancelled on us as soon as we got to their
town so we did a look up of a guy we visited yesterday but said to
come back today and he is also super cool. He was just super drunk and
lives in a fraternity house and had a party going on with a lot of
college students. And I mean a lot. He came out and talked with us and
straight up said he is interested, just not right now. So we will call
him tomorrow and he said we will talk to us then. That party was
bumpin though. Then we looked around and noticed there was 4 houses
around it that all had parties going on at them too. It was party
central for college students. The college was literally around the
corner too. From there, we went and walked around another part of
Lynbrook that had a lot of people on it too, but everyone was super
drunk. That's NY for ya.
"Snape! He trusted you!" Pretty average day. We went and finished
helping Sister Hare in the morning with her yard that we weren't able
to finish the other day. We have been working on taking out her
fountain pond in her front yard and filling it with dirt to make more
room for plants and flowers. Then we went home and got cleaned up and
had companionship Study. Lunch and then went out and contacted
referrals we did that for a while and knocked around each one u till
we picked up a YM to come out with us. Came out knocking for 2 hours
before he had to go home again and we went to visit a less active
named Dave. He is a talker and goes off on random tangents during our
conversations. Hard to teach but he is really fun.
"Happy birthday to Emma! Happy birthday to you!" Now our Sundays are
full of meetings. We had correlation this morning and 9 am and then
went home to finish our studies and have lunch. Went to church and had
the normal 3 hours plus another hour of ward council. Gotta love
meetings on Sundays. We went knocking for a bit before we went to
bishop's home for dinner. From there, we went and did some look ups in
Hempstead that told us to come back. Nothing came out of it. That
ended our night.

It is hard to remember to write in my journal every night so sometimes
I write in it for 2 days worth and shorten both so it doesn't take me
too long and i cant remember what we did 2 days ago. Other days, I
write forever and go into depth about each hour. So thats why there
are really long days and short days.

Brown family we weren't able to meet with too much but we met with
them once. Still working on them to come to church but still hard
trying to help them understand the important things vs what can wait
for another day to do that. Will and Sherrell are doing well. They
understand the need to get baptized and so they are working on getting
married so they can get baptized! That should be exciting. Not for
sure when it will all happen as we are waiting for Will's papers to
get through and processed. We met with another investigator that has
been meeting with missionaries but I first met him this past week
named eddy. He is cool and a little slower but is a fun guy and knows
a decent amount about the church.

Thats the week in a bundle and a half. What a blessing.

We were out knocking and so I took a panorama.


Walking across a bridge


Well, lets not go there...


A couple of goodies from the pack of baseball cards.


Monday's beach day last week

I know most of you like the pictures better. Skip the long boring paragraphs and go for the pictures. Its what I do sometimes. Enjoy your week everyone! 


Week #57 Letter & Pictures

Another week done. And I have now been on my mission for over a year now. Time flies. So this week we had a lot of things go on to make proselyting hard. We had a service day and Mega Zone Conference, we had General Conference for 2 days. We had a lot going on. So this is how the week went:

"Oh, but when I look back now. The summer seemed to last forever. And if I had the choice, yeah, I would wanna be there. Oh, those were the best days of my life." Preparation day! Went went to do laundry directly after studies and we had to go back to the laundromat. Haven't had to go to one of those since flushing. But it had wifi at this one so we emailed during that time and and then dropped it off at home. Wen to the mall near by and got lunch and walked around for a bit. Nothing too exciting and went to Best Buy afterwards. Went to the Freeport chapel then and emailed some more until the end of preparation day. We went to a member's home for dinner and down to long beach to try to contact a referral but nothing and so we went along the boardwalk talking to everyone. That ended our night. 
"And I've made up my mind. I ain't wasting no more time. Here I go again." Today was an average day in Lynbrook. We first went to go visit a referral and we were able to talk to him and drop off the bible and book of mormon he requested. Then went straight to district meeting. Had a good district meeting and went to lunch at chipotle. Went knocking for a bit and exploring the area. Found a cool beach. Then went to a member's home for dinner down on Long Beach. She is from the Philippines so she made us food from her country. It was super good and we got stuffed. Then we went to visit the brown family and was able to talk about the Book of Mormon with them. Then visited a less active named Dave. He is cool and we were able to talk about General Conference coming up this weekend.  
"Its my life! My heart is like an open highway. And breaker said I did it my way. I just wanna live while I'm alive." Well today was a whole lot of service and fun. We had early morning service for sister Hare and her garden. Did that for a little over an hour when we went to the church and did weekly planning in preparation for tomorrow's Mega Zone Conference. Then we had to go to another service project for Ralph and that was kinda like the Far Rockaway service where we were working around a home that was lifted up to make the basement bigger. That was more of the hard labor shoveling dirt around to fill holes and sort out the rocks. Afterwards, we had to take our car into the shop for an inspection. It has been making noises for the past couple days and we were told to take it in. We were there for 3 hours because it was that backed up and during that time, we walked around the mall. They figured out somethings wrong with it and like usual, they found other things that don't need maintenance but still want money so they say to change all this other stuff. Ill just let our vehicle coordinator tell them what to do and not to do. Finally, we went to the Freeport chapel to give blessings to sisters. That was our fun day.
"Shot through the heart, and you're to blame. Darling you give love a bad name." 1 year ago today, I got set apart as a missionary. That year has felt like 4 months. Flown by. Today we had mega zone conference. We had to wake up early to get there by 8 and it was all about being a diligent missionary and the new simplified planning method for weekly and daily planning. It was a great day and I learned a lot. It got over at 4:45 and we got out of there around 5:15 to go eat dinner and went straight to the Brown family's home. They were on their way to bed by the time we got there so we made it quick. Then dropped by the Andersen's because they offered to take somethings to Utah for us on their trip there. Then did a little contacting and headed home. 
"Oh, were half way there! Oh-oh! Livin on a prayer! Take my hand and we'll make it I swear." I have waited 1 year to write that quote right there and finally, its been a year.  So, today was pretty normal. We had studies and then had to go take our car into the shop to get the parts fixed that didn't get fixed Wednesday. That took till 2 pm so the sisters picked us up to take us to visit a member at his work. He is big into WWII stuff and models. We also did some knocking. Afterwards, we got a ride back from the sisters and got our car. We then went to a lesson but the person wasn't home. So we looked up referrals until dinner. Then we looked up more referrals and visited with Will and Sherrel. They are a lot of fun and so close to Baptism. That ended our night
"When the lights go down in the city, and the sun shines on the bay. Oh, I wanna be there in my city, oh-oh." General Conference Saturday! We had so much fun today. We first started off with service for an elderly member and helping her take out her ac units and technology problems. Then we were going to go play basketball with brother brown but he couldn't this morning so we did some contacting until conference. We watched the Saturday morning session at the Freeport chapel. Then we went contacting at the park nearby and got a call to go on exchanges with the assistants. We went to their apartment to watch the Saturday afternoon session and afterwards we went with Elder Sirrine to visit sister tessel. I learned a lot from Elder Sirrine on how to have good member visits. Went back to their apartment and watched priesthood session at their apartment and went home afterwards. 
"Someday love will find you. Great parts, chains that bind you. One night will remind you while we part our separate ways." General Conference Sunday! Today was a little more relaxed than yesterday. We went and did look ups in the morning after studies of our referrals and then went to Freeport chapel to watch the morning session. Then the Spanish branch had lunch there and invited us to stay for it. Couldn't say no:) Went to a member's home then to meet the sisters to grab some of our stuff but ended up staying there and watching general conference. After, they fed us dinner and we went to go to a lesson but it got cancelled and so we did some referral contacting in the area. Visited a less active as well and we were able to meet with him. Then we had to go pick up the sisters phone at the Freeport chapel that the Spanish elders found and then we dropped it off with the sisters. That was the end of our night.

So the people we are working with mostly is the Brown family and Will and Sherrell. To introduce them a little, the Brown family had their mother baptized recently and their father is returning to activity in the church. Will and Sherrell were found knocking by other missionaries and are progressing really well. Just have some things to work out before they can get baptized. It is awesome to be able to meet with them. That is the only people that we have worked with more than once so we are also trying to find through our referrals. Still so many. 

Well, not much else to say. 



WWII models

Close up

image5.JPGWe were ready for the Saturday morning session:)

That was our snacks 

#Lynbrook7 We are in Zone 7 so that's the reason behind the 7 


Week #56 Letter & Pictures

Hey everyone! 

So I got transferred to Lynbrook! It is actually bordered with Belle Harbor/Far Rockaway so it is close to my old area. Lynbrook is a lot like home as it isn't part of NYC anymore and is on "the island". That just means it is on Long Island but not part of the city. It is really nice here with homes and not as many apartment buildings. Normal shopping centers and highways. So it is like I'm living in Massachusetts again. Lots of trees. Lynbrook is a ward, my first one I'm serving in on my mission and it is a big step up from Belle Harbor. Going from a struggling branch to a full ward with callings and members, youth and a primary. My companion is Elder Draper funny enough. He is from Cottonwood Heights, UT and he says his 4th great grandpa founded Draper, UT. He came out with Elder Johnson, my trainee so he has been out for about 4 months now. I'm still the district leader too and I have 5 other missionaries in the district. We have the 3 assistants and a sister companionship. So here is the week:

"Cause the players gonna play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate hate. And I'm just gonna shake it off, shake it off." Well, we had transfer calls and I am getting transferred. Along with Elder Roland, Liljenquist and Sister Dawson. Big changes to the district. I don't know where to yet but I want Lynbrook. So we went to the church and signed each other's transfer journals and hung out for the day. It was fun but a little boring. Didn't do a whole lot but we did make pizza. After preparation day, we went to a lesson with a couple we met a few days ago and were able to meet again! We read through some of the Book of Mormon with them and they seem really genuine to keep learning. Perfect, right when I leave. Then we went and saw the Forbes and the Siddoways to say goodbye to them. It was sad to leave. I did not want to go. We got home and I started packing up everything. 
"We've come a long way, from where we began. Oh, I'll tell you all about it when I see you again." Transfer day! We got up and I finished my packing and got ready to leave. We packed the car, then went and packed the car even fuller when we picked up Elder Roland's things too. Then I shipped a package home of things I didn't need and we headed to Rego. I found out I am going to Lynbrook as the district leader still and my companion is Elder Draper!! Funny thing is he came to the field with elder Johnson so I thought I would train Elder Draper since I am from Draper but no. Now I am companions with him though:) I have a sister companionship in my district and the assistants in my district also. We had to stay for leadership meeting so we hung around and talked with other missionaries for a bit until the meeting and then after, we packed the car and headed to Lynbrook. We got to the apartment and unloaded my stuff and went to Wendy's for dinner. Visited a referral and they get a lot of referrals here. We have 38 uncontacted referrals! Then visited the Brown family and they are super fun. I will like it here:)  
"Welcome to New York! Its been waiting for you, welcome to New York, welcome to New York." First day in Lynbrook was pretty good. We had a little bit of personal study until we had to go to service for a member. We do a lot of yard work there so we helped her with her fountain out front and clearing out the weeds, rocks, and garbage. Did that for a little over an hour and then she fed us cheese cake. Went back home and cleaned up, had companionship study and lunch. Went shopping for a few things at Walmart! I haven't been in a Walmart in a year and it felt good to be back in one:) Then our church building is under renovation so we have to go to the Freeport chapel a little bit always for anything we need on the computer. We went to that building to make cards but we had to wait for the key to the clerks office from the Freeport elders. Made the cards but didn't have time to go all the way home so we ate at Taco Bell for dinner and then went to a lesson with a couple. They were really nice and tried to go back to the Brown family but they weren't home. So we did more referral contacting until the end of the night.  
"Cause baby now we've got bad blood. Now we've got problems. And we can't solve them. You made a really deep cut." Today was really great:) We had studies in the morning followed by the mission wide conference call. We then went straight to district meeting at the Freeport chapel and that was an adventure of itself. Anyways, we then went to Wendy's for lunch and went back and made cards all afternoon. We made a lot of cards cause we had none. Then we went to Long Beach to look up referrals and that was an awesome drive full of scenery and I even saw my old area, Far Rockaway. It was less than 100 yards away across the water. Crazy. Then the ward mission leader invited us over for dinner and to talk about the ward's vision with members and missionary work. They fed us lobster! That was so good:) And they are super nice. Used to live in Utah so they know right where Draper is. That ended our night. 
"Say you'll remember me, standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, babe. Say you'll see me again, even if it is just in your wildest dreams!" I've started to realize what it is like to live in a ward as a missionary. I have been in branches until now. So today we had weekly planning at the Freeport chapel and brought lunch with us this time. During lunch, we got a call to go help this less active that is moving so we went home and changed. They didn't pack anything really so we were going through it determination what to keep and what to throw away. Took up our afternoon and then another member texted us saying she had dinner for us so we went home and changed really quickly to go pick up the food. Drove back home to heat it up and eat before going out. We first went to go visit some of our referrals but no success. Then wen to go visit this other less active family that has a rough situation. We forgot the white shirts they wanted for a job interview and to attend church in so we went back home and got the shirts. When we got back, they also asked us to go fill up these water bottles for them at the church so they can have water to drink. We went to the church and filled up the bottles and took them back. That was getting late so we headed home after that.
"I don't know about you. But I'm feeling 22. Everything will be alright if you just keep me next to you!" So today got cold enough to where we turned the AC in the car to heat. I don't like fall. But we had a good day and got to do some service. We went and looked up referrals for 2 hours in the morning after studies and then had lunch. We then got ready to go play basketball with brother brown but he wasn't available to play but we got a call right then to go help out with service so we went straight there as we were already dressed for it. Stayed there until dinner and went home to change. Then we went and picked up a member to go out with us. We were going to go visit the browns but they weren't home so we went knocking with him for the night. It was really fun:) 
"Cause we are never ever ever getting back together." Church day! So the Lynbrook chapel is under renovation so we go to the little neck chapel a couple miles north of us. But before church, we had our studies and made cards until we left. It is actually a ward! My first thought today was how many people were there. In total, we had 108 at sacrament meeting. That's a big change from the last area. Elder Draper taught elders quorum and then there was a baptism for the sisters today after church and they asked me to conduct it. So I got to conduct a baptism and it went pretty well. Then had some food afterwards and dropped off the leftovers we received at our home and went to Bishop's home for dinner. That took up our night. And made the calls to the district.

We have a pretty solid pool. We have progressing investigators and other investigators. Still trying to remember most of them but weren't able to see most of them this week. We have a lot of referrals to contact and we get a lot of referrals. We have 38 uncontacted referrals even though we try to contact them everyday. So we try to put in other finding time and teaching appointments too instead of spending our days contacting the referrals. 

I think that's about it but let me know if you have any questions. Miss you all and hope you have a great week! 


Old area from the new one
Still got the beach in my area! 
Elder Draper

Week #56 Transfers

Letter from Jay telling us where Jordan was transferred to.

I hope things are going well with you and your family.  I just wanted to tell you that Elder Heaton is now serving in the Lynbrook, Long Island district; I'm pretty sure he is still district leader.  His new companion, Elder Draper, is a very nice new missionary who just finished his training period yesterday (as did Elder Johnson, Elder Heaton's trainee).  He's not from Draper, but from two towns over, and his family goes to the Draper Temple.  The mission president's assistants are in the same district and the newest assistant is Elder Parrish, who was so helpful getting Elder Heaton adjusted in Rockaway after he left Flushing, so they'll see each other often.  Elder Heaton's new district is in the Lynbrook Stake, as is Flushing (but not Rockaway), so we'll see each other at stake conferences and such, which is a nice bonus.

All of Long Island (along with Staten Island (the fifth borough of NYC) and Bermuda) is in the NY South mission.  (In fact, Elder Draper's former companion and trainer, Elder Ramos, who came to NY in Elder Heaton's group last October, just got transferred to Bermuda for six months.  It could've been Elder Heaton, but alas.)  Kings (Brooklyn) and Queens counties are part of NYC, but Nassau and Suffolk are independent counties, and when people refer to Long Island they usually mean just those two counties, not the NYC portion.  Some missionaries work on the tip of Suffolk County, over 100 miles east.
Elder Heaton started in Flushing, in the north of Queens, then moved to Rockaway on the south shore of Queens, and now works in the south-west corner of Nassau, approximately at the first "A" in "Nassau" on the diagram.  According to Google Maps, this is where he now lives:

He's going to do just fine, as you'll see when he writes next week.  I expect that he'll attain some important leadership positions in the mission as he enters his second (and, sadly for us, last) year.


Week #55 Pictures

Jay, the Guy who cuts the Missionaries Hair for free!

Week #55 Letter

Hello all!

So I am OUT!!! I am leaving Belle Harbor after 4 transfers of being here. I am quite sad to leave here. But these past 4 transfers hasn't felt like that long. It felt like 1 month here. 

So yeah, here are the summaries of the day:

"You got to play the game like you've got nothing to loose." Today was super fun. We had studies and then went and picked up Elders Liljenquist and Stoker to go take some bottled cans to Costco to cash in. Got lunch there and debated on buying a few things so that took a while. Then we dropped them off at the church and picked up the other 2 elders and met everyone else at the church for the afternoon district activity of playing board and card games. It was so much fun. Afterwards, we cleaned up and headed out. We knocked around Arverne and then contacted by the church. Simple night but it was a fun day. 
"Happy birthday to Elder Johnson! Happy birthday to you!" So today was Elder Johnson's birthday and we went to service. We had personal study and then left. I mudded all day. I mudded a window frame that was just dry walled and that took 3 hours to do as i had 6 layers of mud and dried each one with the heat gun individually and then mudded over it again. After lunch, I dry walled and mudded part of a ceiling near a doorframe. That I was not able to finish. Afterwards, we went home and got changed and went to Chipotle for dinner. Elder Johnson's choice, not mine even though I didn't argue with his choice:) Then taught Iderle and contacted by the church. We taught this guy on the street and while teaching him, another guy pulls up in an SUV and rolls down the window and tells the guy not to listen to us. We are devil worshippers apparently and the guy we were talking to needs to stay strong to the "black power" as they were both black. So, that was the crazy story of the night. Then the Lilly's, senior couple, bought us Ice Cream for Elder Johnson's birthday. 
"Happy birthday to Elder Liljenquist! Happy Birthday to you!" Today was a fun day. We had district meeting but before that, we got to the church at the end of the Spanish branch's correlation meeting and they had cake for elder Liljenquist's birthday so got to eat some as well. Then had district meeting and ate Chinese food for lunch. Contacted around the church and planned for the baptism this Sunday a little too. Had dinner and contacted around the church some more until our meeting with the sisters and the branch president for this Saturday's activity of visiting the less active members. Then went to a lesson with a guy we met yesterday but he didn't show. So contacted around there a little until the end of the night.  
"I wanna rock and roll all night! And party everyday!" Today was interesting. We had studies on the morning and then lunch. Then drove to Richmond hill to pick up metro cards but the zone leaders didn't have then because when they went earlier today, the office staff wasn't there so they couldn't get them so we drove to Rego Park with them and got the metro cards, dropped them off at their church building and then we headed back to our area. We went and picked up brother Thompson to go to a lesson with us with Iderle. Then had dinner and knocking around Arverne. We weren't having much success except planting seeds but the last house we knocked on, we were able to teach a husband and wife. It is always the last house that you teach a lesson at. Then we went to the church for cake the Lilly's made for Elder Johnson's and Liljenquist's birthday. Then went home. 
"... I can do this all day..." Today was fun. We had studies and lunch in the morning. Then went and picked up brother Thompson to go see Saundra but she wasn't home. Went to the church to do weekly planning and then made cards after that. That took up our afternoon and so we ate dinner. Went and taught a referral we received and it was a good lesson. Her husband was in and out so we weren't able to teach him but she was open to the Book of Mormon and everything we were teaching. Then after that lesson, we got a call from the Spanish elders that they couldn't teach a lesson due to branch presidency meeting so they wanted us to go. The person did speak english they said so we went to the address but we found a spanish family on the first floor, and a very rude black man on the second. Weren't able to find the person we were looking for so we left and went to the Forbes but they weren't home either. So we contacted for a while until the end of the night. 
"And he's talking with Davy, who's still in the navy. And probably will be for life." Today was a fun day. We had personal study and then went to a referral contact but weren't able to teach him. Only drop off the bible but we got a return appointment for tomorrow. Then went to the church and met with the members of the branch for our activity of visiting less actives. We went with our branch president and then his wife went with 2 other sister members. We visited 3 families each and both us of were able to make contact with 1 of them. Nothing more though. Then afterwards, we went through the paperwork from the branch and starting getting prepared for the merge. Had lunch and then knocked for a bit. Had dinner and then knocked some more and went to the church for Iderle's baptism but we forgot to text the interviewer Saturday would work so he wasn't planning on coming. My heart dropped realizing she might not get interviewed and therefore push her date back a week. And this week is transfers so I might not see her baptism at all! But then he said he could do it tomorrow after sacrament so that worked out. So we contacted around the church and got a ton of seeds. 
"Sing with me, sing for the year. Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears." Today was hectic but super amazing. We had the normal branch council at 7:30 and then church. Iderle got interviewed during second hour of church and she passed! So we then taught elders quorum on the spot and did tithing after church. Went home and ate lunch, prepared for the baptism and got our clothes together. Visited Sister Harvey and then tried to go to our lesson with the referral from yesterday but wasn't home. So we went to the church to pick up the Spanish elders and then we headed up to the Richmond Hill building. We got there and the font was filling but the crazy part was a member had gotten there when we got to the church to pick up the elders and he said that the font wasn't even on so he turned it on and by the time we got there, it was pretty good. So we changed and had a wonderful program. There was people there and was a nice experience. Both elder Johnson and I got in the water with her but I did the actual baptizing and he was there to help her up after being completely under. After the baptism, we all congratulated her and we headed home. We didn't have much time so we contacted around the church till the end of the night and made the district leader calls.

Iderle got baptized!! It was super awesome and I was very grateful I was able to see it and to perform the ordinance. She was very excited and loved it. And that is about it with investigators. We haven't worked with anyone for more than two lessons. Just a lot of first lessons but nothing comes out of it in the end. And now with me leaving, I got to pack today and prepare for a new area. I'm quite nervous about where I am going and a little excited. It was awesome to train Elder Johnson and I am grateful for that opportunity. Lets see what the future is for me now. 

Miss you all and hope you all have a great week!


Week #54 Pictures

Week #54 Letter

Hey guys! 

So this week was pretty exciting. We got some big news Sunday on our branch is being dismantled and being merged with the Spanish branch. Lots to do before that happens as I am the branch clerk in my little branch! Also I will be the last clerk. Sad to think about but it is for the better to merge the two. Both branches need the other's support and members. It needed to happen. 

"He did that stare and drive thing didn't he? I taught him that." Half preparation day! I have my temple trip tomorrow so we only had preparation day until 2 and we went and got little ceasars for lunch for the elders and hung with them all afternoon. At 2, we went and did weekly planning from last week we did do because of service. Then had dinner and went knocking. We ended up teaching 3 lessons while knocking! That was a good night and went to a lesson with Cruz and was able to read some scriptures with him. That ended our day. 
"Are we there yet?" Temple trip! I can't believe it has been a year since I left. Oh wait, not yet. Still got 24 more days till the year mark but whatever. Still awesome to go to the temple. But before that, we did Elder Johnson's driving test and he passed. So he is green dotted. Then I left for the temple and we got back around 4 in the afternoon. Then we talked with some people for a bit and elder Neilson and I went and got Chik-fil-a at the mall as it is now open! Super good. Then we went to Richmond hill to exchange back to our companions and went back to the Rockaways. We got back at 7 as the traffic was bad all the way to Richmond hill and down to far Rockaway. We changed at the church and contacted by the church till we exchanged with Elders Corzo and Liljenquist. I'm with elder Corzo for the night. 
"Laugh it up fuz ball." Well, today's exchanges were super fun. We had our studies in the morning and went to go give a blessing to this Spanish less active at the church. Then dropped off some thing for our companions at the other apartment and then headed home and did deep clean. That lasted all afternoon and went to go teach Iderle but she forgot and wasn't home but she said she would be home in 2 hours so we went and contacted by the church till dinner at Tacos y Mas and then exchanged but now I'm with elder Liljenquist. Went and taught Iderle and then had branch presidency meeting. Then the sisters asked us to give blessings to some of the investigators and less actives they are working with for the upcoming school year so we did that for the rest of the night. 
"I'm captain Jack Sparrow, savy." Well, today was a giant day of one meeting. We did our studies in the morning and ate lunch. Then went and picked up elders roland and stoker to go to Richmond hill for Zone Training Meeting at 1. It ended at 5 so we ate at jumbo, a local Chinese restaurant and then went home. We went and taught sister Forbes and then went home actually. But it was a good meeting overall. I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it but it was just so long.
"You've got to be the worst pirate I've ever heard of."
"Ah, but you have heard of me."
We did a lot of driving today. We had our studies in the morning and District Meeting at 11. Afterwards, we gave some blessings to some members and then headed to Richmond Hill and then to Rego Park. We had to go to Richmond Hill to pick up Elder Roland's Metro card he left there from yesterday and then went to Rego Park to drop off the temple recommend binder for our branch president. We gave it to Elder Shapiro to give to our branch president during the temple trip. That took us 2 hours to get to Rego and so we were starving and ate lunch at Chic-Fil-A for lunch. Then drove for another 1.5 hours to get home. Traffic was bad all day long today. We got back to the church and gave the metro card to Elder Roland and had dinner. Then contacted by the church for a bit and taught a lesson but not the best lesson. Then we taught Iderle and contacted some more by the church till the end of the night. 
"Do you know who I am?" 
"Haha, oi! This blunt here doesn't know his own name! Haha" 
Today was interesting. We had the studies and lunch in the morning. We ate lunch at the church as we left our leftovers there from jumbo. Then we tried to go to a lesson but not home so we changed and went to go help this investigator we have with his motor scooter. Elder Johnson is good with that sort of thing so I sat and listened to how it all works. Interesting stuff but it went on for a long time and we had to go straight to the church for correlation. That was ok and then had little caesars for dinner and changed at the church. We stopped by Babatundes home but no answer and then the Dures. We were able to start reading the scriptures with them but the Spanish elders called asking us to go to the church and let the members out as someone locked the front door and no one had a key to unlock it. We did so we finished up the lesson real quick and went to the church. Unlocked it and contacted by the church for the rest of the night. 
"Cause I was, born in the USA. I was, born in the USA!" Well, we remember from 15 years ago the tragedy that happened in NYC to the Twin Towers. From living here in NY, these New Yorkers don't forget. Aside from that though, there has been some changes concerning the branch in which I serve in. We combined with the Spanish branch today for church and we met at 9. The stake presidency was there and took over the entire thing. The stake president announced that the Belle Harbor branch would be dissolved and will be combining with the Rockaway Branch. After the meeting, Elder Roland and I were asked to meet with our branch presidents and the stake presidency in the clerks office to talk about how to start preparing to close down belle harbor and combine all records with Rockaway branch. We got a lot of work to do. We also will be having another audit and quarterly report just like when I did that back in July. And the two branches will combine starting Oct. 9. So it looks like I will be staying for the next transfer as well. But not for sure. That took up second hour and went to priesthood for 3rd hour and that was combined. Then we did tithing after church and drove the other Spanish elders home and had lunch. Went and took the sacrament to sister Harvey and then did studies. Had dinner and went knocking. Planted a lot of seeds and got to teach a lesson. Then went to go visit Saundra off an impression and was finally able to talk to her in person and set up an appointment for Friday. We were worried she talked to some people about the church and they told her not to meet with us anymore. But no, she wasn't feeling well. Then we wanted to go to the roof of the church building to get a cool picture of the 9/11 memorial lights being shot up into the sky but we opened the door to the stairs and the alarm goes off. That was the crazy part as it had never gone off before. So we book it out of there and contact down the street for a bit. After 45 min, we walked back to go home and saw some police there. Later we were getting numbers from Elder Corzo and Liljenquist and they said that they were in the church when the cops were there to use the bathroom and when they got down to the lobby, the cops gave them a hard time. But that was our adventure tonight.

Iderle is still getting baptized this Sunday now. We have a lot to prepare for concerning that as well. Then we have to start going through all the files and records to make sure they are all up to date and correct. So even though this is the last week of the transfer, I don't think I will be leaving as I am needed to help with the merge. I don't think they will have Elder Johnson or his new companion be the clerk for a day and then be released the next week. I think I will do a 5th transfer down here. I'm excited though. Should be fun! That's about it though as far as updates. Nothing new either that happened this week. 

Week #53 One Year Temple Trip

Week #53 Pictures

Week #53 Letter


So today is Tuesday and I'm sending the email today as I have my year anniversary temple trip today! I hit a year on Sept 30 though but still awesome to go to the temple! But as you saw in the subject, we had a week of service with 16 hours of service each for Elder Johnson and I. The only days we didn't do service were Monday and Thursday. 

"First rule of magic. Always be the smartest guy in the room." Our day was boring and then successful. We had studies and then emailed at Elder Roland's and Stoker's apartment until we went to the church for haircuts. Then we hung around the church until I was starving enough to go home and eat. I had no money to go eat out so we just went home and hung around and rested. Then after preparation day we went to visit a referral and they lived in a tight community. Everyone came up to us and asked who we were and the people guiding us were announcing to everyone who we were as well. Lots of seeds! And we got to the apartment and were able to teach the referral and set up a return appointment. Then we picked up brother Thompson to go visit brother Gurreck but we get there to find an annoyed landlord. Apparently brother Gurreck left with out any say or good bye. Packed his things and left. Ok then. So we dropped off brother Thompson and went to go see the Forbes. Were able to talk to their daughter thats in the navy for a bit then talk with Cruz and Candy. Then we headed home after that. Good day! 
"I know more about casino security than anyone. I invented it!" It was a good day. I liked today. We had service and we got to do insulation. I'm pretty sure I breathed in some as I was coughing uncontrollably for a while there but I'm good now. No worries. We had to go at noon to go to some lessons. We got cleaned up and ate lunch. But none of the lessons happened. Bummer. But we were able to talk to some people. Then we got ready and packed for our exchanges with the zone leaders later today. We then left and had to go to a house they were at in Richmond Hill to pick them up and then take them to their apartment to change and then to the church. I'm with Elder Wixom, my first District Leader. We went with the Young Men/Young Women for a bit to talk to them about talking to strangers on the street about the church. They have a mini mission this weekend and this was to help prepare them for it. Then we taught English class and had an audio skype lesson. Then headed home! Love exchanges:) 
"Drink your prune juice, grandma!" It was a fun exchange with the zone leaders! We had our studies in the morning and then had lunch. We got ready for service activities and went to the park. We trimmed some flowers and watered them. After that, we went to the church and got the car, went to their apartment and packed up our stuff into it. Then drove to another house to do yard work in. That was harder as it had thorns and crazy amounts of bugs going through it. But the best part was she gave us all Burger King for dinner. Then we took the zone leaders home and headed home our selves. We got changed at the church still smelling horrible but we went to a lesson but they lady had to cancel for tonight but is excited to talk to us about what she read in the Book of Mormon! That's cool to hear. Then visited Babatunde and he is doing better. He just got a job where he had to work last Sunday but normally he doesn't have to work Sundays. Visited the Dures and then got ice cream from Baskin Robins as it is the cheap day for the scoops. Headed home after that. 
"Wake me up when September ends." Well today was about average. It's how it goes every week on district meeting day. The only thing was it rained cats and dogs! We studied and got ready. We picked up Elder Roland and Stoker and went to a lesson first with them sitting in the car for a bit. We had a few minutes but not enough time for a formal lesson so we set up another time to go by. Then we went to district meeting. It was a good one and learned a few things. Then we ate lunch at home and went to a lesson with Iderle. It rained just as we pulled up so we walked through the Hudson river down the road and Lake Tahoe to get to her house. We were soaked after our 30 second journey from the car. But it was a good lesson. We got another date now for baptism. September 18. 2 days before transfers. Then we ate dinner and went to Inwood to go to a lesson but they weren't home so we knocked around for a bit and then went to the auto part store to get a new headlight for the car. Installed it and then went to the SIddoway's to see Thomas. We ended up giving him a blessing as he just broke his hand from football practice. Bummer. That ended our night. 
"This is not a game, no. Nobody can save you. Spent up all your change, and, now your turn is done." We are continuing the week of service with after our personal study and companionship study, we went to help Sister Siddoway paint her home. We got two walls done but the paint wasn't right or it was old. Something happened to the paint where it just ran down the walls and wiped right off after it was drying. So the sisters took the paint back and we left to go do missionary work and we went and did look ups and referral contacting of those that are only available on fridays. Then we went to Edwin's home for dinner but he forgot this time and so she ended up chatting and then going and getting Little Caesar's Pizza for dinner. Then we went to Inwood to knock but couldn't find a place I haven't knocked yet so we stopped by a potential investigators home for our lesson but she was resting. Then went and contacted by the church until the end of the night.  
"I hear, tell that you be looking for a crew, Jackie."
"Well if enough people keep saying it, it must be true." 
We are continuing on with our week of service. Most of this service this week wasn't planned for either. But today during studies we were trying to determine how we were going to help this lady next week that has been in contact with us to help her since the beginning of July so we didn't want to totally abandon her next week with our crazy schedule so we wanted to do it today. We went over with elders roland and stoker and we went through the house that has been sitting here since Hurricane Sandy. It's been a long time and smelled so bad at some points I had multiple gag reflexes. But we got most of it put in garbage bags as all of it gets thrown away since it so old. That made it nice. Then she gave us money to go out to eat for dinner. We went to this nice place she told us to go to and she gave us a lot of money so we spent most of what she gave us. The rest we will give back to her Wednesday when we go back and finish it. But the other big news for the day is we got a call from the assistants this morning about hurricane Hermine that hit Florida and is moving up the coast. They said to prepare for evacuation if it comes to that and to prepare the district. We also are to get plenty of food and water to last us. So we spent some of prime time preparing all of that as we are supposed to get hit tomorrow night through Tuesday. So that is our day in a nutshell. We also visited with Iderle at night. 
"Gus, don't be a gooy, chocolate chip cookie." We had church today! We got there and did the sacrament program and then sacrament started and we had 13 there at the beginning and ended with 21. We are getting lower by the week. But this was Labor Day weekend so hopefully next week will be better. After church, we did tithing and then took the sacrament to sister Harvey and studies until dinner. After dinner, we went knocking and looked up people from our previous knocking times to see if anyone is interested still or read the Book of Mormon but no luck. Then looked up a woman in Inwood but nothing. Then contacted by the church until the end of the night. Then made calls to the district. Super basic day.

Well we had 21 at sacrament but Iderle came to church so she is progressing again! Her baptismal date is Sept 18 now, so less than 2 weeks away and it may or may not be 2 days before I get transferred out. Transfers are the 20th so we want to get her baptized before I leave, if I do. I don't want to leave but this is my 4th transfer here. Babatunde also came to church for a bit which was good to see him there as well. It was just a nice day at church to see everyone there. But then again, not everyone as there was 21 people with 6 missionaries, 2 imports, and 2 investigators. So we had 11 members in total there. 

Here are the pictures:
Service of painting at the Siddoway's