December 10, 2014 Week #21 Riots, Curfews, and the Work

My first empty subway car!

My first empty subway car!

Hola! ¿Como esta todo, mi familia? Me alegre a escuchar de ustedes.

Well, just to give you a picture of me right now as I write: I am sitting in a laundromat waiting for my clothes to dry, with a very interesting gentleman next to me explaining and savoring every bite of his food–I am reminded of What About Bob–explaining how happy he is with his meal and how he has never had anything so good. Anyway, it’s a good time. I’m doing well!

Another great meal!

Another great meal!

This week was just crazy now that I look back in it.  It’s so funny how as it’s all happening, nothing seems that weird or out of the ordinary, but as I look back and see all the emotions, progress, epic fails, awesome triumphs, and everything else in between…well, it’s just been great 🙂

We kicked off our week with some early curfews because of some protests and rioting that’s been happening around here. President Morgan is so concerned with our safety and he is so good; he wanted to make sure we were in by 8 and then 7 o’clock to ensure our safety. Nothing happened over here where I am in the Bronx, but there were some protests in Harlem which isn’t too far away so….anyway, all is well. Not to worry about anything! It actually gave us a great opportunity to be using Facebook to teach some investigators online. His truth is marching on!

Hello Manhattan!

Hello Manhattan!

12:10:1415

We found the tree at Rockefeller Center 🙂

12:10:141712:10:1412Church this week was AWESOME! We had a less active member come, and she brought her whole family! Her kids have a baptismal date for the 27th and she is coming back to church full throttle–wanting her kids and husband and parents and everyone to be baptized. She was absolutely glowing on Sunday, and it was such a blessing to be there with her.  It is such a testimony to me of how important coming to church EACH week is. We really do need the spiritual boost–the love and family and strength that we receive by coming together and worshiping our Lord together. The sacrament has become much more sacred to me as I’ve been out on my mission. It truly renews my soul. We were talking to a sweet little girl in the ward and asked her how she felt when she was baptized. She is incredibly shy, but just dove right into everything she could remember. I absolutely love something that she said–“I felt like my spirit came to life.”  In her sweet 10 year old voice, this just struck my heart. That is exactly how I feel about the sacrament.  My spirit comes to life. How important it is for us all to experience that weekly!

Derlin had her baptismal interview on Sunday and everything was looking so good. We asked her if she had invited her family yet and she said she hadn’t told them.  We encouraged her to do so, and when she did, she was met with indifference by most and livid protests by one. I won’t get into detail, but we are a little on edge about her baptism on Saturday. Her heart is so there, but it is so hard for her to stand up against loved ones. She is painfully shy and the most humble and kind human ever. Keep her in your prayers! I know it will all work out.  I know that the Lord lives and that He loves each of us. I know what His plan is.  I know baptism is essential. I know it is right, but I know that all is and must be done in His timing and in His way. I am stressed about this, but my testimony and faith is keeping me grounded in this storm. I feel strangely calm about it all. It will be ok.  It also just goes to show how much the adversary is working against us–against each of us to discourage and procrastinate as long as possible. My heart finds so much peace in knowing that I am fighting for the right–for the Lord Jesus Christ–and that with Him, we will always come off conqueror.

12:10:148

Hermana Alexander, Ilka, Derlin, and me

Squeezing out of a broken elevator after we pulled the door open

Squeezing out of a broken elevator after we pulled the door open “just enough”

In other news, I was reading in the Liahona and loved this little blip from a article called “We Know Where He Is.”

“The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.”

I just loved that. We recently had some people pass away in our ward, including a little baby.  My heart swelled with joy as I pondered my faith in and knowledge of the plan of salvation. I know that all is well and I know there is a plan in place.

12:10:1410

Just paint it yellow and pink and blue and purple and we have UP!

Oh! Here’s a funny story that happened yesterday: we are visiting and working with a less active member–Hermana Blanca. She is a pass off from the elders (a single older woman) and she has a son who is about 30 who is an investigator. He always sits in on the lessons and reads with us and asks questions, etc. He is awesome. Hermana Alexander and I thought we should extend a baptismal invitation and date yesterday. We had an awesome lesson about the restoration and everything was going so well! We paused for a moment, and I extended the commitment. He looked at me blankly and said that he was already baptized. Thanks a lot elders!! I turned bright red and tried to cover it up and just followed up with some excitement and jokes, etc.  BUT, we asked him how he felt when he was baptized and as he was explaining it came out that he had never been confirmed. Ah! We have some work to do with that now.

Anyway, Hermana Alexander was DYING laughing at me when we left. I was, too. Man! But you know what, I feel good about it. I even feel like we were following the spirit with it all because we found out some very important information–his baptism is incomplete. Anyway, we’re stoked for next time….ha!

12:10:143

In further news it has been cold and rainy for the past little bit, with some pretty bad flooding near the coast. We have some leaks in our house and it’s always a gamble leaving for the day and hoping that the buckets don’t fill by the time we get home. It is awesome! The wind is absolutely insane and every other step my umbrella gets turned inside out and I start fighting with the wind to keep walking and get it fixed. It is absolutely hilarious. We end up walking with our umbrellas straight out in front of us to block the wind (freezing) and it is so strong it practically closes up my umbrella! It’s hilarious. I love it so much. We are laughing all day long as we go from building to building.

Handy umbrella Bronx style

Handy umbrella Bronx style

That’s all for this week, I suppose. I love you all so much! I am still waiting on favorite Christmas memories and gifts and why. No pressure though, I just thought it would be fun to hear of some traditions and stories. I know the Lord lives! I love this work! I love the Bronx! There are such good people here. Hermana Alexander is SO awesome. I learn from her everyday. She keeps me laughing and everything is just so….good. Fun.  Awesome. Productive. My heart is full. The Lord is so good!

Hermana Alexander and me

Hermana Alexander and me

12:10:142

And nicer…

Be strong and good. Just believe. Just have faith. It’ll all work out!

Hermana Boud

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