Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week 93-11 weeks to go, Back in da BUSH!

This week has been awesome, crazy, stressful, and interesting! I am
back in Bushwick, my first area, in Brooklyn! I am stoked to be back.
I had a hard time my first round here, but now I am ready and
experienced to take on the challenge. This is where all the hipsters
live, and then we have the ghetto of the ghetto in the southern part
of the boundaries where my companion and I live.

I am training Elder Goodson who is from Salt Lake City. He is 18 years
old and straight out of high school. He is going to be an awesome
missionary. Training is pretty stressful. In fact, I was so stressed
out this week with all the changes and trying to train, I had an upset
stomach and loss of appetite and such for a few days. I was stressin'
out of my mind, but I am good now! Since we got blinded I to Bushwick,
we had a ton of stuff to take back to our area. Elder Morse and his
trainee also were blinded into this area and they had a lot of stuff.
I begged Elder Bottomfield, the mission vehicle coordinator, to lend
me a car for a few hours. After a lot of hassle I finally was able to
round up a car. The car however, was blocked in by two cars. I went
down to Elder Bottomfield again and got the spare keys to those cars
and backed them all out. While backing the second one I blocked a
diesel truck in the road causing a big traffic jam! It was scary. I
pulled our car out and moved the other two back in. Our car was
sketchy! The righ tire was wobbling. I can't believe we made it to
Brooklyn and back in one piece!

After we got settled in our apartment and figured out how to work in
the area, we had lots of stress lifted. A year and a half ago with my
trainer, Elder McDonald, and both being new, we knocked on doors
endlessly every day with no success. For seven and a half months that
is what I did. We taught a few people, and because of our hard work
and determination, The Lord gave us a miracle baptism! This was just
not effective at all for the branch and us. The impression that I
received after praying, and meeting with members was to strengthen
less active families, "clear the blind spots" (teach all members of
the family who are not yet members), and convert them to The Lord so
they can stay in the gospel. Individuals have a much more difficult
time staying active in this area.

Sundays are always my favorite days. I love the Bushwick 1st Branch so
much. I got a warm welcome back and it was so good to see the members
that I love so much. These members have a special place in my heart.
The new members that have moved in are awesome! All 6 of the
missionaries (5 of which all got transferred in last Tuesday) spoke in
sacrament meeting to introduce ourselves.

Here are some miracles and funnies:
While I was trying to navigate through the cement jungle of Brooklyn,
we got turned around and risked being super late to an appointment. As
I was looking around I just had this thought to keep going straight. I
was second guessing myself saying to just retrace my steps and find a
land mark to navigate by, but I decided to listen to that first
thought. We started walking and lo and behold, the street was right
there! I knew it was the Holy Ghost. It is so cool to see the Lord
bless us in such small, but significant ways.

Another cool miracle was having the other Elders knock into us haha!
They let us in and we gave a short spiritual thought then heard a
knock at the door. It was the other Elders coming to visit them too!
What a coincidence! (It actually wasn't which was cool.
Another trainee in the district was having a hard day and was praying
to see someone that he would recognize since he gets a little
intimated with all the ghetto folks. Then he knocks into us out of all
755 members in the area). It was a pleasant surprise.

The funnies, well I will just summarize them. One guy came up to us
and started talking like a auctioneer, but understandable saying he
was an anachronism and wasn't actually talking to us. Another guy was
talking to us like a 3 year old since he was totally high, and a
Jewish lady gave us a card with the seven commandments of Noah. I
never heard of any doctrine on Noah having 7 commandments. Obviously
he preached the gospel of repentance. Maybe it's in the Torah? She
said we should go to church. Haha it was interesting.

Well that's all to this week! Have a wondrous week.


Elder Hooper

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