Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 30 NYNYS - 7 Months in good ol' NYC

Hey there everybody! Everything is going very well here in Brooklyn. Some exciting news for the church here in New York this week is that a new branch called the Belle Harbor English Branch has been organized by the First Presidency and President Calderwood. Right now the branch is meeting in a member's home until they get a building worked out. This is right where the Hurricane Sandy efforts were so we are excited to see the Lord's Kingdom progress in that area where our mission's efforts have been so focused.

Due to the Tropical Storm Andrea, we have had lots of rain here and much more to come this week unfortunately! Rain for missionaries is not so fun. I feel bad for the missionaries that have to ride bikes in the rain back home.

I have had a really good week. I have learned a lot, especially on Sunday. I had the chance to go on exchanges with my district leader, Elder Kang, and was able to pick through his dying(going home) 23 month old missionary brain for some tips and ideas for being a good leader and successful missionary. I also received some much needed revelation during our Branch Conference on Sunday. I have been feeling like I haven't been working as hard as I should be. I have been in this area for 7 months and I have been noticing that I am starting to get comfortable here. I was praying for some help to know what I can do to get back going and not be "compelled to obey" and be a "slothful servant". In sacrament prayer it talks about keeping all the commandments which "He has given them". A scripture that I recently memorized in Matthew 28:19-20 says to "observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you". I realized at that moment that the Missionary Handbook and its rules are commandments that I have received at this time, and I have been and will be for the rest of my mission promising every week that I will obey them. I have set a vision, some goals, and made plans to be more obedient than I have been. So far I am doing much better and proud of myself for the changes I am making.

I had another experience testifying to me that I have truly been called of God to serve in New York. It is a personal experience for someone that Elder Lewis and I have been visiting and I feel it would be inappropriate to write in this email, but you can ask my parents and they will tell you at their discretion.

Family History has been a huge tool for Elder Lewis and I! It is very effective in our area and I have drawn out a huge family tree on poster board and printed out my 9 generation fan chart and people are fascinated! Even my next door neighbor was very intrigued since she has been looking for her ancestors and found that we have ancestors that are related and she has been searching for names that are already in the computer! It is such a wonderful thing. I feel especially closer to my relatives that have passed on as I have been studying their history. Elder Lewis and I are going to the family history center in Parkslope to learn how to help people who are just starting on Thursday with our branch's family history consultant.

Thank you to all who have sent letters my way. It is great to hear from you all. I have to get going now, but everything is good in da hood!

Elder Hooper

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