So to begin this week's entry, here is some crazy stories that happened!
We went to visit one less active family in a sketchy area and we stopped at the front entrance of the building to look for the address.
There was a group guys and one of them waves his hand at us and says get out of here. I said well is this 80 Schenectady? He responds no this is 60. I knew he was totally lying, so I said smartly, are you lying to me? He gave some ghetto sarcastic comment back and said get out of here or I'll throw bottles at you guys. I got a bit defensive and said yeah, okay, do it, while walking away. I am glad I didn't get stabbed or something. That was probably the most threatened I have ever felt. I was dumb to give attitude back to these gangsters. I get so frustrated and rebellious when people pull that stuff on me! I just get all "come at me bro" on people hahaha.
Again in a really rough area, our first encounter freaked me out. I had my iPad out and I was looking for the next person we were going to look for when this lady came up to me and said in a flirty way, "take a picture of me", and she put her hand right on my belt buckle! I was just like woah! Get thee hence woman. She was totally drunk.The next one was when we went to go talk to a woman who was in a wheel chair outside and a friend of hers (who also was drunk and high on weed) started preaching all the doctrine she knew from the scriptures saying we were wrong and what not. Right in the middle of this conversation, another lady comes up more friendly asks us if we were Mormon. We responded with a confident yes. Then she asked "Is it true that your church wouldn't allow black people?" I was just like, you've got to be kidding me. Some of the young teenagers that heard her say that, followed by my yes to her response, were like "for reals". It was bad.
Plus we still had this crazy lady preaching!
Earlier this week as I was praying, I said "Father, I love Thee".
After I said that paraphrased words came into my mind from the scripture in 1 John 4:20- "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar". I was taken aback. I realized that I needed to repent and have more charity towards those around me. I made a mental note to try and be better at this, but didn't really know how exactly.
Then during weekly planning in our companionship inventory, I blew up at Elder Goodson. I told him all the things that I was frustrated with towards him. I could tell it made him defensive and angry. I continued to ponder on what I did and wasn't so sure why I allowed that to happen. I had never done something like that to anyone. Then I realized that I was just picking at his faults and as his trainer trying to find the areas he needed to improve on, thus beholding all his weaknesses. I lost sight of who he really was. I became a liar as I was not loving my brother. I was letting a problem to be solved be more important than a person to be loved. It is cool to see the Lord trying to teach me when I am struggling in unique ways. I was allowing this to boil up inside and didn't realize it.
Saturday morning we went to the temple with some of the young men in the branch! It was great. We went with Harold and Isaiah Myers and brought Jeremy Perez along with us. We just did baptisms for the dead, but it was nice to be in the temple with the young men. Elder Goodson and I baptized each other as well which was a nice treat.
Last night we had our Operation Shepherd in the Bushwick 1st Branch.
The branch has 755 Members on the roles with 400 unknown people. We gathered a total of around 50 people and sent them off with some prepared lists and maps to find them. It was a lot of fun and many miracles happened too! This activity is such a blessing to the branch.
Well, I am still loving Bushwick and continuing to work hard. Though home is on my mind frequently it doesn't make me forget the sacred nature of my calling and the covenants I have made to devote everything I have to the Lord.