I absolutely love my mission! I really hope that I can just stay this area my whole mission. It is the toughest area in the mission, but I just love it. The Branch here is amazing and the members mean so much to me. I really feel that I am getting closer and closer to each individual member in the branch, especially when a few of them express their love to me. I really appreciate that. The members are like my best friends! Elder Lewis and I had a great week! There is so much to say so I will just go down the days in order and try to get everything! The city is starting to come back a live again. Tons more people are outside and the trees are starting to blossom! It is really nice.
So to start off with a bit of funniness, we were looking up some less actives members and one of them lives in a building right on the edge of the East River and has an awesome Manhattan view! We asked the guy at the front desk how much these apartments cost and he said around $37,500 a month! So as we were walking back from this beautiful building, this (most likely intoxicated) homeless man looked at me and yelled "Mormons Rock!" then I was like "Yea!" and then we fist bumped. Coolest homeless guy ever.
At a recent street sweep, I talked to a man on the street an gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and talked about the Plan of Salvation with him. He said he would like to hear more about this so we have taught him twice now and he is really understanding everything really well. He is very intellectual person so he does a lot of thinking and pondering on what we have been talking about. It will let you all know what happens later in the future and his success. He is a really cool guy.
I had my bimonthly president's interview on Thursday last week. I sure do love President Calderwood. I know he loves and cares about me. He taught me a lot about the Doctrine of Christ and how when someone is being disobedient and not keeping commitments then they don't fully understand the doctrine of Christ. I have been doing a lot of studying lately about the Doctrine of Christ and have been learning so much! I am also speaking on this topic next Sunday in sacrament meeting too.
My joy is just full right now! I had the best Sunday of my life! On Friday, we were walking under the J train on Broadway and we walked past a woman who had a very large cart full of groceries and three 50 gallon plastic tubs that she was trying to load up and take home. I walked past her and then thought I should see if she needs any help. I turned around and asked if we could help her and she most gladly accepted! We talked with her while we walked and when we finally arrived at her house she was just so grateful for our help. Before we left I asked if it would be alright if we could leave a blessing on her home. She gladly accepted that as well. We found out that she just moved out of a shelter and was forced to leave and use her tax return on buying a new apartment within 48 hours. She has no furniture with three kids. I then prayed under the authority of the priesthood and asked the Lord for blessings for her family. She was in tears and just so grateful for our help! She asked us to come back whenever we can. She even came to church on Sunday as well! This is the cool part though. That night while I was praying for her and her family, I had a strong impression that I should ask the branch if they had any furniture that we could possibly round up for her. I asked Brother Barnes and not too long later he responded said that he was able to get a bed. Elder Lewis and I had an old couch in our apartment we never sit on so we loaded these things in Brother Barnes' truck and brought it to her house. The bed was an Ikea bed that I had before so I knew how to set it up and everything.
It was one of the best Sundays of my life. That family was so happy! They all had smiles on their faces and I was just so happy that they were so happy! It is a family of 4 Teresa, 19yr old son Devonte, 16 yr old daughter Grace (who is stoked for coming to church because she fits in so well) and Austin 2 yr old son. I also found out that someone paid Bro Barnes $50 to take the bed off their hands and he had it before I even asked him! It was awesome to see the Lord work through me. Brother Barnes, Elder Lewis, and I got along so well with this family. I love them and sure do hope they will continue to pursue the course of joining the true church of Jesus Christ and ultimately receive the blessings of the temple.
I also had the opportunity to play the organ in sacrament meeting too which was fun. We sang hymns 193, 187, and 291. It was fun. Unfortunately, they just called someone to be the organist so I can't play anymore :(.
A little insight that I have had this week: "Ye are the light of the world...". As a missionary people recognize that I am different than other people. They are watching me and looking to me as an example and judging whether or not I am an effective missionary or not. I have seen this when the lady we helped with her groceries told her story during church how she saw us pass by her then turned around to help her. She noticed our every move even though at first I didn't say anything. Two women apparently saw my companion and I talking to people on the way to church and were talking about it. A member from Utah also stopped and took a picture of us walking on the street. People are always watching. I must always be sure that I being dignified in my calling.
Anyway, I just love my mission. I love serving the Lord. I know that this is the true church. I recently got a new set of scriptures (a condensed quad to be exact) since my others got stolen and I realized how much I treasure the scriptures. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and the heavenly priesthood authority was restored through heavenly messengers. NYNYS!
I hope you all have a great week and hope to hear from you soon!
P.S. Thank you uncle Kirk for the awesome new camera. It is great! Love you!