Hey there everybody! Sorry this is late. Yesterday was Columbus Day so all of the NY libraries were closed. Elder Tuiaki and I had a pretty good week.
“Why would 18- and 19-year-olds be willing to put their lives on hold for up to two years,” he asks, “at a time when their peers are working through college or starting careers?”
The answer, Otterson says, is that Mormons learn from their youngest years to follow Jesus Christ by serving all people everywhere. Across the globe, such service brings missionaries in contact with people in “every conceivable kind of trial and circumstance,” Otterson says. “From opulence and selfishness to chronic, spirit-numbing poverty. From the effects of drugs and alcohol to the invidious addictions of pornography and gambling. From broken homes and battered wives to neglected children and debilitating illness. Missionaries encounter it all. But along with the bad,” Otterson continues, “missionaries also see the redemptive power of the gospel of Jesus Christ as it transforms lives.” I just wanted to share this quote from mormonnewsroom.org because I encountered this question this week and the answer that was given is so true! There was a Catholic woman that was saying she wishes the young people in her church would even have the desire to do something like we do. She asked me what gives the young men and women in our church the desire to do this for 2 years? I responded in a more amusing way and said "maybe it is because we have the truth!" and we laughed. I have experienced many of the challenges the world faces in this statement and quite a few more as well!
Using Facebook has been such a great tool for us out here. When we are talking with people on the street, we can just ask for their email, search it in Facebook and then their profile pops up and then we can chat with them where they can control the situation and get more comfortable with having us in their own home in person. It has been a marvelous blessing to us out here. Not only to investigators, but also to members! It has made the missionary work come to life!
My birthday was great! I had a fun day. I made a lemon cake that my mom sent me and we partied! It was fun. Aunt Leslie, thank you so much for the cake balls. They are delicious. They were all gone in two days and maybe even sooner. I appreciated all the birthday cards and I am working on responding to all of them! The star wars package was pretty cool too Mom and Dad. My companion and I took the blow-up light-sabers and dueled.
The sister missionaries had a baptism last Sunday and it went well even after the small crisis before hand. I was in charge of filling the baptismal font and I some how didn't get the drain completely plugged. After checking on it multiple times and not noticing the drain, there was definitely not enough water for the baptism to be performed. One of the sisters even decided to go all the way into what water was present to try and fix the drain. It was pretty funny. Six of us members/missionaries grabbed some pitchers and were frantically filling them up with warm water and trying to assist the water faucet. It helped just enough to complete the baptism. All was well!
So while we were singing at the ferry again last week, we had a few drunk people come up to us and started dancing and trying to conduct our group and such. It was quite hysterical and I played along with them to make them happy so they wouldn't get mad so they would leave. It was pretty funny until they approached our table and started arguing with my companion about something. This always happens to my poor companion. I don't know why all the mean people approach him. He got really upset after that, so we went to Rite Aid and bought some awesome Halloween masks and play around with to cheer us up. Yes, we have scared some people already! Don't worry they were just other missionaries :D. I will post some pictures we took.
So yesterday was my 11 month mark. I can't believe I have already been out for almost a year. It has gone by so fast. Time flies when you are having fun and finding, teaching, and baptizing!
Madeline is still progressing! She has a strong desire to follow Christ and has actually been apart of many churches prior to meeting with us. She has been searching for the truth in it's entirety and she says she feels that she has finally found it. She is determined to be baptized next month. We also have a few other families we are trying to work with and teach, but it has been hard to get in contact with some of them.
I am sorry there aren't very many details in this letter. I forgot my journal and have to get going! Thank you for all your support. My love and prayers go to all of you.