April 28, 2015
This was an interesting day. It was transfer day, but we didn't get to go because neither of us were leaving the area. We started the morning out by having our appointment for the afternoon cancel on us. So after doing our studies and making some lunch, we deep cleaned our apartment. Spring cleaning time right? We didn't make a plan B in planning the night before because that appointment is usually an every week thing. We were kind of confused as to what to do with the afternoon. The ASL Sisters next door were switching pads with the Spanish Sisters in the Zone, so we decided to help them pack. Once we got the car packed up and the apartment all clean, we waved goodbye to these wonderful ladies I have shared many laughs with and quickly come to love. This transfer won't be the same without them living next door. After they left we spent the next 2 hours making phone calls to the many referrals and potentials that we need to contact. After dinner we went to look up a few of them, but with no success. I don't particularly enjoy the days we don't have lessons or get to go see people. I'm not going to lie, it was kind of a rough day. So as we got on the last train to head back to the church for institute, I wasn't really looking for people to talk to like I should have been. Once we sat down, Sister Hawkins turns to me and tells me the people sitting directly across from us are signing! There was a lady standing, holding onto the bar in the space between us and the people Sister Hawkins was talking about. I didn't have the best view of the couple, but I could see that the man was definitely signing and had hearing aides on. So I pulled out a pass along card and wrote down the ASL sisters phone number. After passing a few stops the lady standing finally got off allowing me to have a clear view of the couple. I waved hello to the lady and then signed that I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints. She got a smile on her face and then signed hello back. I pointed to the card and signed that I knew some ASL sisters and I had their phone number (holding up the card). She signed back that she is a part of the Jehovah's Witness religion and wasn't really interested, but thanked us. I asked how she was doing, she signed great and then she asked how I was doing? I replied with fine. She then asked what my name is and I signed back Sister Beecher. I asked her what hers was and she fingerspelled it and then showed me her name sign. She was really sweet. She then turned to my companion and asked what her name was. So I whispered to Sister Hawkins that she wanted to know her name. She was able to slowly finger-spell it to her, she did great! The lady signed to both of us nice to meet you and then I asked the man what his name was. He didn't seem as thrilled to be talking to us but he signed it slowly for us. Then our stop came and we had to get off. But how cool was that!!! I got to fearless someone in sign language! It was kind of scary cause I knew that I wouldn't know how to reply to everything I was asked. But overall it went well. Later I asked the ASL sisters to teach me more conversational signs I can use to talk about the Gospel. Next time, I will be prepared. Haha As we were walking to the church, we got a text from Paco! He is a man we helped give directions to last week. He is visiting here from Spain and didn't know his way around. So we showed him on our maps and then ended up walking him to his friends house. He was really nice and seemed interested in hearing more about what we do. So we gave him a pass along card with our number on it. So the fact that we heard back from him was fantastic!
Once we got to the church and were on our way inside for institute a man out front stopped us. He told us that he was a missionary here 10 years ago and he was back on a business trip. We chatted with him for the next 1/2 hr about people in the branch and he gave us a lot of really good suggestions of people to look up. It was great! So what started out as a rough day, ended up being full of miracles and tender mercies. To finish the night off, as we were telling the ASL sisters our story, Sister Guris gave me a deaf name! You make a B with both hands and with the palms facing down, you move your hands upward in a smile shape with your hands in front of your mouth. Haha I have no clue if that made sense. Apparently I smile all the time, so that is my deaf name.
April 29, 2015
Our day in Brownsville.
We have been getting media referrals like crazy and the majority of them are in Brownsville. Our service appointment with a member cancelled so we decided to spend the day doing look ups and delivering scriptures. As we were mapping out our route, one of the ladies named Sabrina we called the day before called us back. Which rarely happens, so that was exciting! On the way there we met this cute little family on the bus, and boy were those kids chatty. The 8 year old kept asking questions about what we were doing, so we told her what missionaries do and gave her a Book of Mormon. She told us she would read it that night. Haha Her mom seemed fine that her 3 kids were learning all about our religion. Hahaha we wrote our info down for them and the little girl asked her mom to give us theirs. So we walked away with a slip of paper that had the mothers name, her daughters name, and her daughters email. We were able to meet Sabrina, who had called us that morning and she accepted a Book of Mormon as well as the Bible. We were also able to set up a return appointment with her. Yay, hopefully she will become a new investigator! The majority of our look ups were not home to answer the door, but we ended up giving away 3 Books of Mormon and 2 Bibles. We usually never give out so much in one day! It was great! It was a full day and we were exhausted, and covered in blisters. But it was worth it :)
April 30, 2015
This was our day for weekly planning. I love weekly planning, it makes the week go by so much smoother if you are organized. We spent the majority of the day doing planning and went to do a look up in the afternoon. On the way back Sister Hawkins did not feel well at all. So we came back to the apartment and called the Spanish Sisters (who now live next door to us). We asked if they had any appointments that night and if they would be willing to go on exchange so that I could still go to our appointment. Thankfully they said yes and Sister Cluff(she is from Washington state) and I were able to go visit the Arnett family. The appointment was a mess. The boys were really contentious with their mom and each other. Marcia (the mom) is trying to basically force the boys to believe in God. So of course now they are very turned off to the idea of religion. Oh man, it just did not go very well. But I did ask if we could take her boys to church on Sunday. Marcia trusts us to pick up her boys and take them, but she isn't completely sure that she wants them missing her church services. She is trying to get them baptized into her church soon, so they can't miss their Sunday school classes. I told her there are a few really nice boys I want to introduce them to in our branch that would be good friends for her boys to have. That seemed to help soften her to the idea a bit. But I told her I would call her on Sunday and ask if we could come pick them up. She said that would be fine. We are planning on trying to set up a family home evening with some members and see if Marcia will let us take the boys to that. We think that if we can find a way to teach the boys separately from their mom they might learn more. These are also the boys we are trying to get to come play basketball with some of the young men. If they can feel fellowshipped by them they will be more willing to come to church.
May 1, 2015
This day. It was such a crazy, great day!
We started off by doing our studies like usual. I read an amazing article, that I would suggest everyone should read. It is called, "It isnt a sin to be weak" in the April 2015 Liahona magazine. It is fantastic, and explains why sometimes people are a lot harder on themselves than they need to be. "It is crucial to understand that while sin inevitably leads us away from God, weakness, ironically, can lead us toward Him." After studies we typed up some updates for our Branch President and branch mission leader. Sister Hawkins made a HUGE cookie, and we were off to go get lunch with our Elders and then have district meeting. (At transfer meeting, Elder Seaton our District leader found out he was training! So we have a fresh new missionary from California in our little fantastic 4 district. His name is Elder Menje). We got some delicious Halal food from a street cart (Lamb on rice...it's so good!) and then headed over to the church. Once we got settled in and started eating and chatting, there was a knock at the church door. Elder Seaton went to answer it and we heard a lot of conversation happening and it took him a while before he came back. When he walked back into the room, his face was in shock. He said "Guys, we are literally being evicted right now. Grab your stuff." What!?! Apparently for who knows what reason the bills aren't being paid for the building and they are evicting our church building! There was a marshal lady there with the locksmiths ready to change the locks right then. We hurried and called up our branch President and he talked to the Marshal over the phone. So we went and chilled on the front steps of the building and finished our lunch. President Frandsen (the branch pres.) was making a billion phone calls all day. The marshal lady told us they were changing all the locks and take all of the things from inside to a storage unit. I'm sure there is some kind of misunderstanding and it should be cleared up quick. CRAZY! So.... Church Sunday, in two days?? That is what was going through our heads the whole time. It was definitely an unusual day.
May 2, 2015
Today was a blast!
We met up with Paco (the guy from Spain) at an Indian Restaurant. The food was delicious! It was Pacos first time eating Indian food, I don't know if he was crazy about it. (But I was!) We didn't get to tell him about the Gospel too much. I think he just wanted a friendly face to talk to because the friend he came here to visit is fighting with him right now so he is all alone here in New York. But I hope that he has a good opinion of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and some day soften his heart to hearing more. As we were leaving he asked if he could take a picture with us. I asked him where and he pointed to the park across the street. He said on the swings. Okay. Well the swings were all being used. So the next best thing he found was this camel. So here is our picture with Paco on the camel.
In the afternoon we met with Dorain to go look at a museum with her! The first Satuday of the month is free at the East New York Brooklyn Museum. It was so cool! There was so much to see. There are about 5 floors to the museum with all different kinds of exhibits. When we first met up with Dorain, she told us there was some African music and dancing happening outside on the other side of the museum. So we ran over there to check it out. It was pretty cool! It was like slow motion break dancing.
On the inside, the museum has 5 different floors. The bottom level had a stage (for little concerts, premiers, etc.) right inside the front doors, the front desk, one small gallery of African tribunal artifacts and then a huge line for the elevators to the next level. Each level had it's own theme. For example one level was "Into Egypt", One was the modern show case, and another was home Decour. To a hands-on workshop where we made our own picture frames. This was such a cool museum I plan on going back someday!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the museum. This is my friend Fernando.
There was all different types of collections. This was one of my favorites from the classic gallery.
This is Dorain, our super awesome investigator/friend!
I love her. That cat art though...that was questionable.
There was this whole section of "modern art". Basically the artist took people off the street to be his models. It was an odd mix of classic art meets modern gangster.
MJ why was he randomly in the modern collection?
Yes, the classic bust wouldn't be complete without a comb in the fro. I love it :)
The African masks were pretty sweet. We watched some video clips of their dances, I bet it got hot under there.
The flowers are all in bloom! It's a beautiful time of year to be in New York.
May 3, 2015
What a Sunday.
Church ended up being held at the chapel in Park Slope. It's about 45 min away by train, so it's not the easiest journey. We went to pick up Sis. Lovaglio to take her to church with us because she didn't know how to get there by herself. Ended up making great time and being there 30 minutes early. We only had about 60 members show up when we usually have around 90. But that's okay, hopefully everything will be sorted out by next week and we can be back in our building. So far I have been in Bushwick for about 8 weeks and we have only had one regular Sunday meeting in our chapel. Haha it makes it hard to invite investigators, but hopefully it will be back to normal soon.
Just a heads up... Next Monday is my Zone Conference and possibly the last time I get to see President Calderwood. :( We are going to the Calderwoods home in Little Neck as our final farewell with them. It's so sad! So I'm not sure if we will be having Pday on that day. If I don't email you then, don't freak out. It will just be another day that week.
Well it is been a wonderful week full of adventure! I hope this week goes well for everyone and that you have a fantastic Mothers Day!
Love you all!