Monday, August 25, 2014

NY is rad! I am loving this so far.  It is definitely not Utah, a tad
bit crazier, but I love it.

  The flight was fine. I LOVE my mission pres.  He expects exact
obedience, trust, and shows us a lot of love.  He's is perfect for
this mission. My companion is wonderful!  Her name is Sister Russell
and she is from Cheyenne Wyoming.  She is mature for a 19 year old and
I am really loving her.  She has only been out 3 months! She was
trained and is now training, so I feel like we are being trained
together.  She is a little preppy, loves chic flicks, and likes to
play soccer.   We talk in English accents all the time in the
apartment. So far so good. The apartment is small. Just a one bedroom
place with a small kitchen connected to a decent family room.  It's
tiny but perfect for the two of us.  We live on the third floor and
the stairwell usually stinks.  But oh well.  I am in Lynbrook NY!!! We
are blessed to be in one of the nicer (as in less ghetto. It's almost
all ghetto around here) areas.  I will explain it by it by describing
an area we made a visit to a few days ago.

This lady (an old investigator) texts us telling us she is having
contractions and is kind of freaking out.  (She has 3 little boys and
is having a girl) turned out she is 8 months along and was having
small contractions.  Anywho, she was just nervous about having the
baby that night and not having anyone to watch her boys.  Her husband
is in jail and her family doesn't really get along.  So we asked if
she wanted a blessing and then headed over with the Elders.  We park
and have to walk about two blocks to get to her apartment.  On the
way, this is what I see.  Black people everywhere. I'm serious, not
being racist. (I think I have seen about 5 white people since I've
been here other than missionaries) but there are people all over on
the streets.  As we are walking sister Russell tells me to watch where
I walk.  Because on the sidewalk are brown smears... She tells me that
that is exactly what I think it is and that around the trees are
worse.  Ya. Yuck. Then, just like in the movies, are people with their
cars pulled over next to parked cars on the side of the road hanging
out and blasting thumping music. Haha two of them were like 20 ft away
from each other competing for the loudest music. Haha there were kids
running around in the street with their hipster hats.  There was this
funny drunk old lady who was super friendly.  So we walk into the
apartment and this 18ish girl is sitting inside the door listening to
her iPod.  Let's just say she fit in with the characters outside. But
she said hi. :) then we get to our investigators door.  She opens it
and inside it is smaller than the apt. sister Russell and I live in.
So we explained what a blessing/priesthood is and how it relies on her
faith to work.  Gave her a blessing, chatted for a bit and then
decided we were going to go back in a few days to help her paint her
apt.  She is super sweet and just wants the best for her kids. She is
trying to move to upstate NY.  We went and painted her apartment
peptobismal pink with white trim on Saturday.  (She bought a five
gallon bucket of that color. Yuck!)
But the area I live in is not a sketchy area. No worries :)

Oh! My favorite part of the mission so far!  On my first day here, we
get a call from some random lady saying that her and her friend are in
town for a few days and she convinced her friend to talk to the
missionaries.  She asked if we could go visit them that night.  We
luckily didn't have any plans so we agreed.  We went to meet them in a
HUGE MARRIOTT hotel.  We met them in the lobby and went and found a
quiet empty table.  Their names were Kelly and Emma.  Kelly is the
lady who called, Emma is the investigator.  They work for MARVEL on
the costume crew.  They travel allllll around the world with this
company while it's on tour.  Emma said she had been doing this for
over 17 years!  Emma said she was super nervous to meet with us.  She
had heard about the church through 2 friends who are members.  She
came upon a Book of Mormon and decided to read it.  So when we met
with her she was already on chapter 16!  I was so impressed!  She
asked us to start at the beginning, so we did.  We taught her all of
the restoration and she asked for more! So we keep going and going and
got through all of the plan of salvation and briefly explained the
Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She is so amazing!  She was feeling the
spirit so strong and was crying for about 2/3rds of the lesson.  By
the end, we asked her to pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true
and about Joseph Smith.  We met with her again a few days later and
she had a whole list of questions for us.  We answered a couple of
them and then transitioned into the lesson.  At the end of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ lesson we asked if she had anymore questions.  She
looked at her papers amazed and said that we had answered basically
all of her questions already!  She is so ready and willing to join
this church.  She has already fixed her word of wisdom problems just
by reading the church website herself!  We didn't even have to bring
it up.  She's amazing. But she left yesterday to continue on with the
tour. Luckily though, we get to teach using skype so we can keep in
contact!  She put a post on Facebook about sister Russell and I. :)
she's so great.
 The Gospel of Jesus Christ is my favorite chapter in PMG, by far.  If
you haven't read it recently, please do!  It is a wonderful reminder
of why we are doing the things we do and why we have made certain
covenants to The Lord.  In the MTC I learned that I knew basically
nothing about this Gospel before.  I mean I knew the basics and the
stories, but I never really felt like JesusChrist was the underlying
factor to EVERYTHING.  But that's all this church is. I teach people
about Christ, His Atonement, and then steam the other Gospel
principles off of that.  That is what this church is all about.  I do
not feel like that is stressed enough in our church lessons.
Everything relates back to Gods love and Christ. I feel like I have
missed out on some amazing experiences in my life because it took me
so long to get that.  Maybe I'm just slow or something. Haha

The ward has about 488 members, but only 130 are active.  So we spend
all our time tracking down the less active mixed in with our
investigator appointments.  The ward only has a handful of super
strong members, and everything is translated in 3 languages. (Spanish,
creole, and English) it is really diverse.  The bishop is from the
Dominican Republic, so sometimes I have a hard time understanding him.
He has only been a member for 8 years!  I have yet to do a whole lot
of door knocking.  We do have 2 investigators that seem close-ish to
baptism.  They are just waiting on answers to their prayers.  It's
super hard to meet with people here.  We usually have almost all of
our appointments cancel on us everyday.  But this area is amazing and
has some wonderful members!  One of the families gave me a "greenie"
dinner one of the first nights here. All the plates were green, green
balloon, mostly green food... It was great!  It might help that my
favorite color is green, so I enjoyed it that much more!

It is hard to not be able to talk to all of you whenever I would like
to. But I know that I am in this place, at this moment for a reason.
Like Bishop Grimm always said, "There are no such things as
coincidences." I firmly believe that!  The people of NY are amazing,
and there is a LOT of work to be done here.

As the people of NY say, have a blessed day everyone!
Sister Beecher

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