Monday, January 7, 2013

Week 5 NYNYS

The work is really picking up here in Bushwick as the transfer comes to a close this week! Our district is having two baptisms January 20th, and I had the privilege to invite one of them to be baptized while on an exchange which was a great story that you will all have to hear when I get home. We are also having a Branch Culture/Missionary party next month that at this rate is looking like it will be a huge success. We are meeting with every active member of the branch and getting them excited about this party and to invite friends to it as well. We got a branch presidency as well and they are working really well with us missionaries and the work is going to continue to pick up!

Last Saturday, we did one final day of Hurricane Sandy clean up. I really enjoyed it! I always seem to learn something that I have been in need of when I am serving others. It is so much fun to put on that Mormon Helping Hands vest and get to work. All the people in the Rockaways know who we are and honk and wave, they feed us, give us water we are friends with everyone out there. It is a great opportunity to serve them! It is also nice coming from my area where people arent so friendly to us, to another area where the people are grateful for our help. We combined with the NYNY North Missionaries too. I even met some people who I played volleyball with from Mountain View and Westwood HS! They are all super cool missionaries.

My companion and I aren't doing so well with baptisms. We have 3 strong families we are kind of teaching, but it is extremely hard to get in contact with some of them and there are just little things holding them back. I truly do love each family! The Lord gives us a lot of inspiration towards them. I know and feel that he truly does care for them. I wish they could know how much the gospel can bring peace and so much happiness they have never experienced before if they would keep commitments and simply desire to have a testimony. The Lord is so mindful of them. I can't wait to teach them again. I am really hoping that the baptismal service we are holding will be an opportunity for them, if they come, to feel the spirit and know that this is the right thing. Watching the district videos, and from what I have experienced throughout my life, the gospel of Jesus Christ, when truly understood, changes people in a good way! I can see it in their countenance, and in their eyes. I have seen it in me! I just wish everyone understood this!

During our tracting, my companion and I are understanding that the people here need to feel love, most importantly God's love for them. I feel that people feel they are forgotten in this city fool of commotion and big crowds. There are no peaceful places to really go in this area. People feel forgotten and alone. The people here don't really talk to anyone or acknowledge anyone here. It is pretty self-centered here. We are trying to help everyone understand that they are loved and understood infinitely and unconditionally by their Savior and Heavenly Father.

I really hope I will be able to stay in Bushwick for my next transfer. I love this area so much. I am growing closer with the members here and they are getting to know me. I basically know where I am going and which trains/busses to take to get to the places I need to go now! It is pretty confusing, but I have it figured out now. I am often leading our group sometimes!

So cool story. I made this amazingly delicious BBQ pizza the other day. One of the stores near our pad has some really cheap rolls. I got a little creative (story of a missionaries life when it comes to home cook meals) and made me an awesome pizza. Just thought you should know.

One last week of my first transfer!

Talk to you all next week!


Elder Hooper

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