Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Answer to her Prayers

Dear Family,

Hey, so to start off I included a few pics of a verb chart that maybe Christina could use, seeing as I only have the one that I am using. 

But yeah, so this last week, well I guess weeks, have been really great.  We're really hoping that Jesse's baptism goes through this weekend, but we'll have to see.  It seems like Satan is working super overtime to make sure that he doesn't get baptized.  He just seems to be too busy to do anything, plus his family really doesn't help him at all, but we're still gonna work with him and support him and stuff. 

Anyways, so as I said this week was really good.  The best part of it was actually yesterday.  I'll say though, that it didn't really sound all that good when it first started.  I was on a split with Elder Fan, one of the English elders in my zone, his companion was with Elder Head.  Our plans for the day consisted of one hour of lookups and the rest of the 7 hrs as contacting and knocking on doors, just general finding (not my idea of a fun day).   Sure, a little bit of finding is cool if you have some lessons planned, but looking at your plans and seeing that you've PLANNED 6 hrs of finding isn't cool. 
So around the fifth hr. we were knocking doors in this project and had knocked around 5 floors without really finding anyone other than a couple Spanish people, but I was in the English program for the day, so I was really looking for people to help the English elders.  Anyways, back to the story.  So we're knocking these doors and we eventually knock on this door that from outward appearances is like every other door we have knocked on, but then a lady named Donna answers the door and looks at us kind of weird, with a gaze that said, “What the heck are you doing here?”  We introduced ourselves as missionaries.... you know the drill.  Anyways, I was talking to her about the Book of Mormon and then I had to look down for a second to grab a card.  When I looked up again she was crying.  I thought to myself ok, what’s up, this definitely isn't normal.  Eventually she composed herself and told us that her father had recently passed and that it had been a really hard week for her and that at the very moment that we knocked on her door she had been praying for some help. She then expressed how we were an answer to her prayers and that she wanted us to come back, so we made a return appointment for this Saturday and even though I won’t be there, I'm super excited for the English elders to get to see her and stuff, she’s so legit. 

Those elders definitely deserve it.  It was also kinda cool too because that very morning I had been thinking about how I always hear these stories of finding people and those types of miracles, but hadn't ever experienced one and now I have.  The Lord definitely works through tender mercies and it made that day of finding more than worth it.

But yeah, that’s the cool experience I had this week.  Aside from that, things are all relatively normal.  Unfortunately, Kenny and them have kinda gotten super busy as of late, but we'll get them back soon.  I hope you all have a wonderful week and I look forward to YOUR letter next week.

Love, Carson

Friday, February 10, 2012

Good things happening in NY

Hi!!  So NY won the Superbowl.  I must admit, I was a little disappointed to find that out, but that's cool.  It's always fun living in a city where something big happens.  All I need now is to have the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, but that's definitely not something I'm hoping for. 

Anyways, this week has gone by super fast as always, and it was a pretty good one too.  Nothing super special is really going on right now.  Jesse our Bap date, currently doesn't have one because of some other trials that are going on in his life.  The biggest one being with his wife who currently is in hospice care because of a cancerous tumor in her skull that they got rid of, but it affected her and now she needs A LOT of help, so that's kinda pulling him away from the Waters.  But it's okay, because he is really sincere and wants to be baptized.  Also, his lack of a job right now hasn't helped much either.  He's doing all he can to make the best of his situation, and we're trying to help support him as much as possible.

Aside from Jesse, we're working with a few other people that we found with the help of the Sisters during a blitz.  We found these way cool guys from the Dominican Republic who've been to the church there a couple times, and have been here for about a year.  We're also teaching their aunt, and all of them want to come to church.  Actually, that brings up a pretty cool story.

So we were at their house on Monday, and we went to teach Kelvin, but ended up teaching him and his brother Eriso and their Aunt Kenny (who are both new investigators).  Anyways, we decided to read 3 Nephi 11 with them because that's the assignment we gave to Kelvin the week before.  We read it and taught a little about the doctrine of Baptism and such, and then without us even mentioning anything about church attendance, Kenny asks when the meetings are and whatnot, so we told her 9 o'clock Sundays.  Then she was like “darn, I work Sundays” (she actually works 7 days a week).  But then she continued by explaining how she'd only had the job for like 6 days, and then went on and explained how maybe in a few weeks she could ask for the day off.  She just wants to get her metaphorical foot in the door if you know what I mean.  So were all like YEAH, that's awesome!  We said “In the meantime we'll continue coming back here to teach you so that you can continue getting prepared for that day.  Her next question was “when can you come back?”  So we fixed an appointment for tomorrow with her and Eriso.  Kelvin has to work, but that’s cool because it gives us a chance to teach them the restoration lesson, and hopefully even extend a baptismal date.  So yeah, they seem super legit. 

Anyways, about the baptismal situation here, tonight I'll be doing a little bit of a split to interview one of the people getting baptized by the other missionaries, and then this Saturday two people will be getting baptized.  So things are going great here in Inwood A.K.A. Washington Heights.  As for your question about interviews, I interview those who I don't teach, and then the zone leaders interview those I do teach.  The Sisters had a baptism this past weekend, and that went pretty great once the candidate made it to the church (1.5 hrs late:))  It was a lot of fun though.  I'll excuse her though, seeing as she is an older lady who has trouble remembering things occasionally.

And finally the packages, they're here, but I don't have them yet.  I should get them tonight, and then I'll be sure to send out thank you's and what not.

Anyways (<--- that seems to be my most used word), I hope you all have a Great Week, I love you all very much,


P.S. could you put all the advice stuff on one sheet and send it to me in the mail? That would be very cool.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Superbowl Sacrifice = Missionary Memories

Well, it's always nice to receive your email updates every week, and It's good to hear that all is well.  Things here are going great in Manhattan.  This Last week hasn't been a super eventful one, but things have been going well.  Jesse's still doing well.  Coffee has still been a little bit of a struggle, but he's getting better, and not drinking it every day, so that's great.  That's definitely one of the biggest struggles of Dominicans; they love their coffee.

The Last few days the weather has been hanging around 10-12 degrees Celsius, which is crazy.  And I've really been enjoying it, because I haven't had to wear a jacket, so that's awesome.  Although I do miss the snow a little bit because it's always nice to have some variety, and the days it is cold I wish it was snowing.  Unfortunately it seems that every time we receive precipitation it's warmed up enough that it rains.  And that's not my favorite (in other words, it sucks!).  The really cool awesome thing is that here in New York we almost don't have to be outside because all our tracting is done indoors anyways, and the transit is really good because it can get you almost anywhere you need to be relatively dryly.  But I always have an umbrella just in case.

Anyways, so here's my cool experience.  The other day we had a Blitz (a two hour time period where everyone meets and works in the area of one of the companionships to help them out).  So Elder McMullin and I went knocking doors, and at the first building we had no success at all, but then we went to this other building and found these people who I wasn't aware of, but they've been investigating for 10 years now.  They refer to themselves as Dry Members, or members that aren't baptized.  And right now their big concern is that they don't want to get baptized if they might fall away after their baptism.  So yeah, we taught them yesterday, and I'm really not all that sure what to do with them to help them make the decision to be baptized.  Do you have any advice?

And then in the same building we met this old Lady named Patricia who is bedridden.  Her nephew invited us in, so we went and talked to her and she asked us to say a prayer on her leg which Elder McMullin offered, and miraculously after wards she started to move here ankle a little bit, and it seemed that something had happened.  We asked her if she was able to move it before hand, and she said that she hadn't been able to move it up until the time we said the prayer, so that was really cool.  We'll probably go back there sometime this week, and see how she's doing and try and teach them the gospel.  I know it would definitely bless her life.  But yeah, that's pretty much what’s happened this week.

On another note, we had a really good Multi Zone conference with President Smith yesterday, and that was awesome.  Unfortunately President Smith informed us that even though the NY Giants are in the Super bowl, we can’t watch it :(  JK.  But it was a great meeting in which we talked a little about the doctrine of baptism and stuff related to that, pretty much our mission purpose.

My district is also doing pretty well, and we have 4 baptisms planned in the next 2 weeks, which is fantastic.  As for your question about the languages, there are 5 languages here: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and ASL (American Sign Language).  And we live with two other Elders.  Anyways, that's about all the time I've got for today.  I hope you all have a great week, and that life continues to treat you well.

Love, Carson