December 5, 2016
2 months ago to this day, I went into the MTC! What? This is my ninth week! What?! I feel like I've been gone forever! I wonder how its going to be when I am about to come home! Haha y'all prolly won't even recognize me.
Wow. What a week! Lots and lots of crazy stuff happened. But also some of the coolest things happened too! So lets talk about them!
Exchanges: I went on my first missionary exchange! President wanted me to get out and experience real missionary work, cause my companions are lazy and sometimes we just don't go work, which is really frustrating. So President arranged the exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I was paired up with Elder Fowles. It was awesome! We went to try to contact some people in the projects, but that didn't work out. The lady we wanted to see wasn't home, so that's a bummer. And then we knocked on a door, and the lady looked through the peep hole. Yeah, we could totally tell she was there. So Elder Fowles calls out "Its the missionaries!" And all we here is "No... Hablo... Ingles." So Elder Fowles right off the bat says "Son los misionaros!" Silence.... Haha that's what you get for trying to say you don't know English. It was funny. So we left and went to go to the Tadros family's FHE. It was good! They are a less active family, and their son Mike is getting the Aaronic priesthood soon! So we talked about that and shared a video. It was really cool normally Mike doesn't even participate in the lessons, and really doesn't care. But this time he participated, and seemed to realize how important this all is. It was awesome. So we were walking home from that, and there was a lady walking by us, and we passed her, so it would be kinda awkward to stop and talk to her. Besides, it was dark, two strange men... Yeah, I'd be scared. But Elder Fowles stopped, turned to her, and said "Hi, we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I just wanted to give you this card." So he hand her the card, she looks down at it, looks up, and says "How can I learn more?" WHAT?!?!?! It was so awesome!!! Her name is Feteye (Feh-tee-yay), and she is from Turkey. She doesn't have a religion, but wants to learn more about our church. She is so nice and kind! She has been here for five months, and is going to school here. A lot of foreigners come here and are super nice, but then become Americanized and are no longer open to us. But she is still so very nice! So Elder Fowles and Elder Garcia are met with her on Saturday, so updates will be coming about her soon! Such a cool experience! We celebrated with Honey Buns and Mountain Dew. So awesome :)
Carols on Columbus: Okay, this was like one of my favorite things my entire mission. So the guy who normally interprets the concert is in Utah this weekend, so he asked the missionaries to interpret, and the North Missionaries were too busy, so Sister Provard and Elder Larson got to do it! So we had spend the whole day on friday and saturday there. So that was boring for the rest of us. But it was still good! The music is incredible! The temple is actually right across the street form Juliard... So the entire YSA ward in Manhattan is ridiculously talented. So the music was so so so good. But that wasn't the only good part!! Background info time!!!! Some of you may have heard me talk about the Hill Comoran Pageant (Honestly, I'd be surprised if you haven't heard me talk about it. I kinda never shut up about it. Aaaanyway.) So there are like 4 families on the island of Manhattan I know from the pageant, and I saw every single one of them at the concert!!!!! The Buckners, the Ortons, the Belnaps, the Pelos! I ran into President Buckner, a man who has inspired me greatly and cared for me in hard times, and that was such a blessing. I am so grateful to know so many great people. I can't even explain it. I felt so blessed. This weekend was incredible. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be there. It was amazing.
Language: Its coming. It is super hard though. I feel so pressured to learn this language, but I feel like I'm not learning as fast as I should be. But its helpful that everyone is patient with me. The members completely understand and are totally willing to help me, so I am really thankful. I am doing what I can, and praying for the Gift of Tongues.
One thing I have learned on my mission: The hard times are always followed with blessings and better times.
And to finish up, here is a quote from Abraham Lincoln! (Again.)
"I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.” -Abraham Lincoln