Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Week 85, What do I do in the Summer time? (Matt 28:19-20)

The New York South Times Best Seller, Elder Hooper's blog, presents
another fantastic week in Bay Shore! This transfer is coming to an end
and this is Elder McDonald's last week as a missionary! I will miss

At the beginning of the week we had a cool opportunity to be apart of
an interfaith group meeting at a baptist church in the area. There
were people from Reformed Judaism, Wicca, Seventh-Day Adventist,
Agnostic, and Baptist. It was pretty cool. Everyone was very
respectful and that was the cool thing about it all. They loved having
us there and as well as our input on things. There was no bashing, no
trying to prove others wrong, etc. We talked about various ideas like
the true nature of the Godhead and what each other believes. We got on
to other topics like marriage and such. It was interesting to feel
when the Holy Ghost would testify of certain principles and when it
would leave in other opinions. Moral relativism has become something
that is common place today.

For weeks we have been having issues with our car and we finally had
time to take it to Pep Boys. We learned that some of our rims were
bent, 3 tires were dry rotted and we needed an alignment which is why
our car was driving terribly! I guess the missionaries previous to me
didn't pay much attention. It helps having lots of car troubles when I
was a teenager! Super glad to have that fixed. I could turn right by
simply letting go of the steering wheel.

So, obedience brings blessings! At the end of one of days we arrived
home at 8:54pm. Knowing that 9pm is when we are to return home, we
decided to be obedient and go find someone to teach in the next 6
minutes. We are walking down the street towards Main St and I saw an
apartment with lights on and, therefore, decide we should just knock
on that door. I timidly knocked on the door since it is late and
didn't want any grouchy parents to yell at me for waking their
children. The man that opened the door was quite friendly. We
testified of the Restoration and the love God has for him. He was very
open and even said he would try to come to church the next day. He
said that he needs to bring God back to the center of his life! When
we obey with faith, the Lord always blesses us.

Sacrament meeting was awesome yesterday ! During the sacrament prayers
the wording "take upon them the name of [Christ]" took on a new
meaning. Lately, I have been very hard on myself and belittling my
self-worth and defining myself by my challenges. I received a blessing
from my companion prior to this experience and I received the
impression that that is what I was doing to myself- tearing myself
down. I learned that one way we take upon ourselves the name of Christ
is by doing what He does and thinking about ourselves the way He
thinks about us. He would never belittle or hold me to unrealistic
expectations. Names are very important. The names of Abraham and his
wife were changed due to their faithfulness. And the
blessings/covenants they were given. Peter's name was changed, Paul's
name was changed, etc. When we take upon us a new name, or Christ's
name at baptism, it comes with new responsibilities and new ways of
living. The talks were also very good. Saturday was the 170th year
anniversary of Joseph Smith's martyr, so the sacrament meeting was
Restoration themed. With the ward choir, I played my violin to "A Poor
Way Faring Man of Grief" that was arranged by the Burgess family in
the ward. They are super talented! I had lots of compliments after all
of that.

We are having a hard time getting people to progress in the Gospel,
but we are continuing to find people who are being prepared! I love
you all so much and hope you have a fantastic week!
#countyourblessings #lookforthesmallones


Elder Hooper

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