Monday, July 20, 2015

July 6. 2015
The many things that happened this week!

First off, we got to meet President Reynolds and his wife!  That was exciting.  They are so sweet and timid in comparison to my last mission president, but they have large hearts and a strong desire to be obedient to the Lord.  They will be really good for this mission.  All of the missionaries went to the mission office on Thursday and were introduced to President and Sister Reynolds.  They are from Salt Lake City, Utah and have lived there the majority of their lives.  So New York is a big eye opener for them, I know how they feel!  President Reynolds has a construction business back in Utah, and seems like a sweet small town guy.  We will see what changes will soon be happening here in the New York New York South Mission! 

Sister Campbell, one of the members we have been working with (Trelivia's aunt), has been in the hospital twice this week.  So we have been over to her house a few times this week.  She is going through so much right now, and we are some of the only support she has.  She is such a tough lady, because when she has a hard trial it is not just one thing, she gets them all toppled upon each other all at once.  We were making some good progress towards taking her back to the temple, but she is being hit with some mean road blocks.  Might take some more time to get over these, but we have the faith that she will make it back soon.  

We met with Zakiya twice this past week!  She is so humble and pure.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  When we met with her on Tuesday we were planning on teaching her the P. Of S. But she had so many questions about repentance and baptism that we decide to flip to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The cool thing was, then when we taught her the P. Of S. on Thursday, she already understood exactly how baptism fit into the plan.  Everything made so much more sense for her.  Her baptism date is on August 2nd which is the same day as the Elders investigator, so we are going to have an exciting day in the Bushwick branch!  She is on a work trip right now, but had a major set back while there and might be coming back early now.  We will see... So maybe we will get to teach her again this week.  

The Fourth of July was great!  We got to go to a BBQ one of the members from the Spanish branch threw for the missionaries.  We got to play volleyball and party in the rain. (It started coming down pretty heavy) Then we went to Sister Campbells house after to check on her.  She has a lot of health problems and was in a lot of pain.  The Elders came to give her a blessing and then we ended up staying and trying to give her dog a hair cut.  That was interesting, but it was a great service opportunity! :) to end the night, once we came home we went up on our apartment roof and watched some of the fireworks from Manhattan.  It was really pretty!  (Although, I still think our Utah Summer Games firework show is better.) 

Here are some random tidbits from this past week: (Mom, please don't put the last three paragraphs on the blog. Thanks)
🔹While we were teaching Karen the Plan of Salvation, she asked us if we knew what the word  Bible meant.  Sister Hawkins and I looked at each other and shrugged no.  This is what she told us, "What does the Bible really stand for?  Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth."  How clever is that!  The more we talked with her about the importance of Scriptures and how they applied to the plan, the more we decided that was true.  The Scriptures are here to give us direction and instruction about what our Father in Heaven wants us to be doing here on earth.  They are key to helping us understand what we need to do in order to return to live with Him again.  

🔹Last Sunday one of the Brothers in our branch gave a talk about following Priesthood Leaders and sustaining them.  Usually Brother Jones has dark, long, curly hair.  But this day he showed up with it real short, and bright pink!  Haha. I love this branch so much.  But it wasn't his hair that stands out in my memory the most, it was his talk.  He has this journal from his great, great Grandpa named Lehi Jones.  His grandfather was one of the Latter-Day Saint pioneers that was settling Utah.  Guess where he built his household???  In good old Cedar City Utah!  This story definitely perked my interest a little more when he said that.  Lehi had 3 little kids and his wife was pregnant.  They had just finished building their home in the Cedar valley when this new community received a letter from President Brigham Young.  He asked these faithful saints to move their families out east to San Juan.  In my mind I was asking myself "why San Juan?".   If you have been to the South East side of Utah, there is not a lot there.  Haha But he told us that Lehi and his wife immediately repacked all the belongings they had and made the 300 mile journey with their small family.  Once there, they started establishing their new home.  But shortly after their arrival, Lehi received another letter.  Brigham Young was asking him to leave his family and serve a mission in the Southern states.  He asked him to gather his things and leave as soon as possible.  Barely having enough time to discuss this decision with his pregnant wife, Lehi accepted the call and soon left.  Right before he left, his toddler had an accident where boiling water was dumped down his back and all of his skin was burned off.  Even though he had a severely injured son, a wife that was due in a few weeks, and barely a roofs shelter over his families head, Lehi followed his leaders and strived to do the Lords will.  The best part of this story is he was reading all of this straight out of Lehi journal, so it was in his own words.  What trials the Pioneers had to go through.  They had so much faith and courage it amazes me.  When I hear stories like these my testimony grows of the Lords perfect plan and timing.  He knew exactly when we needed to come to this earth and what trials we needed to have. 
🔹I finally have a favorite flavor of ice cream!!  It is THE best :)  Ben and Jerrys "Everything but the..." It is chocolate and vanilla ice cream mixed with peanutbutter cups, fudge covered toffee pieces, white chocolate pieces, and fudge covered almonds.  It doesn't get better than that!  If you ever see this ice cream, I would highly advise trying it. :) 

🔹Also, I've only heard my brother Josh talk about this...but I found breadfruit this week!  I just saw it at a small fruit/veggie market.  It kind of looked like a young coconut, and very green.  But now I can at least say I have seen it.  

🔹 Sister Hawkins and I had one day this week that was filled with highs and lows.  It felt like everything that could go wrong did, but at the same time great things happened.  Haha on our way to an appointment we missed our stop on the bus, and then the bus kept going and going and it felt like it was never going to stop.  It took us to an area (which we are sure was outside of our Bushwick boundaries) that was basically a big stretch of nothing.  It was just a large street with a few mechanic shops, a few fast food and a handful of small apartments.  It was really weird to see that in the city.  But the two things that really stood out on that street were the large and newly built KFC and Wendy's!  I haven't seen those two anywhere in the city, only out further on the island.  So we decided to have lunch at the fanciest Wendy's I have ever seen.  After we finished, we had to wait at the bus stop for about 20 minutes before the bus came.  As our bus was trudging along, it slowly pulled up to a stop light.  (Sis. Hawkins and I were seated in the very back corner of the bus and I was in the window seat.)  I looked out the window and saw this large 12 seater van backing up out of a parking lot.  It was headed right at the bus.  I thought, "no way it would hit us, he has to see this bus it's huge".  Well that van kept backing up as I watched in what felt like slow motion as it hit my window and scraped all along the back side of the bus because the bus had started forward.  The bus driver promptly got out and chewed out the little man driving, then he kicked all of us off the bus.  How that little man didn't see the extremely large bus behind him as he was backing, I have no clue.  Welcome to New York drivers.  :)  We then just walked the rest of the way to Sister Campbells house.  Once there, poor Sis. Campbell had just received some really bad news so we spent a few hours there talking with her, reading scriptures, and making her an omelette for lunch.  We then had to run to a lesson with Karen and Sis. Rodriguez after that.  Both of those lessons went great and the spirit was really strong.  

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