February 18, 2015 Week #31 Low Temperatures and High Spirits

2:18:15-8

happy camper.

2:18:15-5

Please note the windchill at the top of the picture. It’s fine.

Yo! (That means “I” in Spanish, but I am using it in the slang English way. Just a heads up.)

This week was FREEZING. Seriously the coldest I’ve been in my whole life. At times Hermana Molina and I would be running from building to building, almost in tears trying to warm up for a minute and then head back out for another block until we made it to wherever we were going. The part of my body that gets the coldest is my forehead.  I get a brain freeze when we go out and as we run from building to building, trying to speak in Spanish to practice, all I can say is, “¡Mi frente!”  The running joke is “Mi frente” right now.

2:18:15-2

You’d think Hermana Molina was my child

Thanks so much for the Valentine’s love! Thank you 🙂 it means a lot and it’s always so fun to get a treat in the mail! I love you!

This week was great. To kick it off, I got a message from Derlin saying that she got a calling!  She works at a little kindergarten place and wants to be a teacher or work with kids. Guess what her calling is–Primary teacher! So awesome. Plus, in Concourse, the Primary isn’t very big (though it is growing!), so she’ll be with kids of all shapes and sizes and ages. I am so proud and so excited for her. She is a star. I am also thinking that there is no better way to retain a testimony and grow it than by teaching children the simple and basic doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If I had to choose one thing that sums up my experience and understanding from Primary it would be: I am a child of God.  From that comes everything else–“if children, then heirs.”  If a child, then loved by parents who want that child to have and be everything and more than their parents. If a child, then taken care of and nourished and helped along, even when I don’t understand the large picture.

This brings to mind a favorite scripture that my dear mom sent me last week–it set a tone for the week and brought me through some discomfort and concern. 1 Nephi 11:17 “I know that He loveth His children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.”  What a simple and powerful truth–God loves His children. When I feel like I am wandering in the dark, waiting for direction or an answer to prayer, if I can just remember this scripture and remember that God loves His children–of which I am one–I find the strength to hang on. To endure. To go a little longer, and sometimes to go a lot longer realizing that the big picture doesn’t hang on that answer to prayer. It hangs on the simple truth that I am loved by a Father in Heaven. That is the big picture.

Anyway, remember that! It has brought miracles into my life and I know it will continue to provide the only real answer we ever will need–we are loved.

The O'Zone

The O’Zone

I didn’t give an update on Marian last week–because we didn’t see her. For the first time, she juked us! We always have our appointment at the same time and the same place each week, and for the first time she wasn’t there. We called and she sounded really flustered, maybe even a little panicked. She hung up too fast for us to figure out where she was or if she needed help. We did see her this week, though. She was all smiles as usual but definitely distracted. I don’t know what’s up and I’m hurting for her. But, we talked about her baptism and explained that we needed to push back her date because she hasn’t been coming to church. She understands, and is bummed, but at the same time is in a tricky situation because her boss won’t change her work schedule. Working on Sundays and getting to church at least three times in a row is THE hardest thing for anyone here! That is what’s holding back all of our investigators–church attendance. Man, Satan really knows how to trap people in NYC. Even our bishop got up on Sunday and gave a talk specifically about time. It was very well presented and addressed one of the big issues we all have to deal with, seemingly even more prevalent here in NYC: time. We don’t have enough of it to accomplish what we need to in one day–just 24 hours. It really made me think–putting the Lord first in the small and simple things is how great things are brought to pass. In those moments we have waiting in line or shampooing our hair, we can use a moment or two to remember Him. We can whip out our phones and read a verse and then think about it. And then apply it when we get to the cashier (if we are waiting in line). I don’t know. Small and simple. I think sometimes we (and by we, I totally just mean I) just over-think it and spazz out and then just get paralyzed because whatever offering I will make will not be good or long enough.

WRONG!

It’s enough. Every offering is acceptable. And those small little offerings add up. One drop at a time. Line upon line. Here a little there a little.

Hmmm.  Also speaking of church, our Primary class is the best and so cute. We had a great lesson on faith this week. We may have broken a rule or two by doing a demonstration that includes fire…but it was quite a hit with our 5 kids! Don’t freak out on me. It was just an empty tea bag, but we used it to demonstrate how we need to believe that we will be helped by Heavenly Father when we ask for His help. He will come and support and aid us when we ask. When we seek Him we will find Him. Acting on our faith is how we can seek Him, etc.  Also, this was not how we taught (they are 3 to 7 years old). But….just giving you the gist.

Miriam–the one with the PSYCHO dog, Nathan–is awesome. We had THE best time with her this week because her boyfriend was there and we just jumped into why the church is true. The doctrines and the Book of Mormon. Miriam roundhoused him with her testimony of the Book of Mormon and he committed to reading. It was so powerful to me to hear her testimony. And I hope it was for her, too. I think it was. I think that when we bear testimony and witness to those around us, especially those close, the truth we declare rings in all ears present–your own included. A trick I’ve picked up on my mission is that whenever I’m discouraged or have a doubt or something just seems wrong or dark, I recite the First Vision in my head. It is a little friend I call upon for help, and as I do, those words bring the Spirit and I feel the truth of it all. It is my reminder, whenever I call on it, of why I am here and that this IS true.

2:18:15-1

How do they expect anyone to donate clothes when they make the door-portal-thing so small?!

Onelia (one of our fossil less actives, bless her soul) is so darling. She said something that really touched my heart and made me really think when we last saw her. I wrote this in my journal about it: “Lesson with Onelia: we taught the Plan of Salvation and as we talked about the atonement, I loved what she said (she is totally crazy and doesn’t remember anything about the gospel and is so old she is like a fossil….so it took me by surprise that I learned from her and I was so humbled in that). She said it was like Christ’s blood is being poured on us–it is a cleaner or purifier. It is like water being poured in a bucket. But if we are not doing our part and having faith and repenting and going to church and enduring to the end we are like a bucket with no bottom, or we have a hole in us. It doesn’t mean that we are not receiving the atonement or that this water is not being poured in and on us. It means we are simply not prepared to hold it. To retain what is being given. I love the imagery of it being poured.

Am I a solid bucket? Do I have a hole in the side or something that makes the “water” fall out? Am I prepared to receive and hold this blessing being poured on me?”

I am trying to be a worthy and sturdy “bucket” so I can receive that sacred gift we’ve all been given.  This week as I thought about that and about my Savior I was struck again with how very much He simply just loves us.  That is the best. It is my favorite. The love. The hand extended still. The warmth and safety. The peace.

It is home to me. I love my Savior and I love this work! Have a great week!

I LOVE YOU. DUH.

Hermana Boud

2:18:15-3

Familiar couch, anyone?

2:18:15-4

This is, obviously, not me. It’s an elder in my district. More importantly, there is also a Cross Bronx pizza in front of him. Yes. They are that large. 4-pizza-boxes-large. Imagine eating ONE slice. I will also point out the bananas hanging from the ceiling…? Disclaimer: this was P-day.

2:18:15-10

Birds HATE this car.

2:18:15-11

This is generally what my mission looks like. Laundromats and subways. And snow.

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