Sunday, December 13, 2015

November 23, 2015 Just Serve program

Hopefully you can decipher this! Life is going great, loving
missionary life! There are miracles happening every day in the
mission, I testify of that. Hook up with your local missionaries for
more details! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

(Typed up from photo of  handwritten Journal pages of Nov 20 & 23, 2015)
Nov 20.  Yesterday was quite the day.  It started off with a meeting in Manhattan to launch Just Serve.  I pray that reading this win the future Just Serve will be a well known and well used program.
The Zone leaders and Assistants were invited to attend  with President Reynolds for the pilot training in the North American North East Region.  Just Serve is an initiative to improve public reception of the Church and help the Saints follow Jesus Christ more fully, by making service more publicized and easier.  It is so exciting.  Something interesting about it all – President and Sister Calderwood are in charge of Just Serve in the North America North East Region.  So the presentation was theirs.  It was so fun to see them again and shake their hands and give President a hug.

After that we had several lessons which all cancelled….so we had a long day on the trains, which of course always keeps things interesting.  We still can’t get the zone on board with the commitment from our last zone meeting to talk to five people per day.  It pained me to start the goal so low for city missionaries, but we knew that there were many who would be happy if they could talk to one a day.  Anyways, they like the idea but we are too afraid of the people here…which I suppose is understandable.  Just yesterday I was sitting on a train wile one man had the attention of at least a third of the car, pointing at me and preaching to them as if I were a sort of specimen to be gawked at – “Look here, this is a Mormon! You know what Mormons are?...”  speaking all sorts of blasphemy, lies and slander.  I was powerless to do anything – my pride couldn’t stand walking away, I knew arguing with him wouldn’t help, and something told me starting a train brawl wouldn’t be a good idea either…so I picked up conversation with a woman in front of me that only spoke Spanish so didn’t know what he was saying.  Anyways, that’s what happens here a lot when you open your mouth.  But I’ve also seen miracles happen.  I’ve testified and seen the Spirit move people on train cars.  And I know that God promises that our backs will be laden with sheaves if we open our mouths.  Those sheaves many not come in a day or a transfer, or even on the mission.  But I know they will come.

Our zone is doing a bit better since zone training meeting, but still only at 50 people per day for the zone, many all of which are from the Spanish district and the two districts with decent teaching pools then.

If you can’t tell this has been on my mind lately.  We can’t develop the faith to find if we don’t have faith to talk.  But I understand.  When I started the mission I didn’t think it was even possible for me to become a missionary who talks to everyone.  But the changing power of the Atonement is real.
We had a great finish to the night with the branch Thanksgiving dinner!  It was very successful.  Many people came including investigators and it was full.  I love the people here.  President Cruz (sp?) asked me right as it was starting to give the spiritual thought on the history of Thanksgiving – “Quiero que lo haga un gringo, un Americano!”  Okay.  So I looked up how to say “Pilgrim” real fast and then reached deep into my elementary school studies back when we colored turkeys every third week of November while the teacher attempted to tell us stories about corn and Indians.
Of course, since it was a Spanish activity, as soon as the eating was done they cleared the floor, dimmed the lights, and whipped a disco ball out of thin air.  Hermana Bugas (sp?) (a seventy year old single woman) led the charge to the dance floor and began swinging outrageously.  Boom.  Mission worth it.

Nov 23.  Monday before transfers.  Elder Cottle and I are the only companionship that doesn’t have a change.  This zone is getting seriously renovated.  It’s been a crazy transfer.  We lost 18 of the original 20 missionaries.  One of these vacancies was a District leader who went home.  He came out with me.  Stress got to him after being a city missionary for almost a year.  That’s a long time to be in the city part of the mission.  One of our districts, three out of the four missionaries are going home tomorrow.  Keeping that district in the race has been a bit of a nightmare.  Hopefully we get some freshies, ready for some Brooklyn Street action.

Wells Wagner?

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