Sunday, April 24, 2016

February 8, 2016 The adventures of Brooklyn continue in the most awesome zone ever

So I have learned two lessons about suitcases on the mission:

1) even if they're a Samsonite, putting a hundred pounds in them is
not a good idea
2) buying a $25 dollar suitcase is not as clever as I thought. Just don't do it.

Elder Cottle and I went to he Brooklyn bridge because it's possible this is our last preparation day together in Brooklyn (and probably didn't tell you but last summer going outside of your zone for preparation day was nixed). So we had some epic views upon a nice bridge and then went to Grimaldi's, the most famous pizza in Brooklyn (which likes to say it's the most famous pizza in the world). On our way there we decided to go wander a bit down by the water and were drawn to this nice little garden area. As we explored that, we found a restaurant. We were curious how much a restaurant right on the east river looking at Manhattan would cost, so we go to walk in, doors closed. A worker comes up to us and says it's only open after 5:30. So we go up to another door which has a menu on it - $120 for dinner (and if you like caviar it's $140 an OUNCE). As we are looking, a guy walks out and we had a word. He knew we were missionaries, and he said, "come on in, have a look around". We were thinking "what? A behind the scenes tour?" As he shows us around he says that their pianist is Spencer W. Kimball's grandson. Then he shows us their piano - a custom Steinway, made just for the restaurant (btw apparently Steinways are made in Long Island city). Then he says "go feel the action". My jaw just about hit the floor. He didn't know I played the piano, but I went over and started playing and my heart just melted. I've played on many Steinways (liked leveraging connections at school to get in and touch them), but I've never felt anything like it. It was the sweetest sound I've ever heard in my life. The action matched the incredibly soft and clear sound. I think I just fell in love with the piano. The man said he was late for a meeting and left us with a woman. Turns out the mystery man was the owner. See the little boat underneath the Brooklyn bridge in the pic? That's the restaurant. The lady shortly left us and said to play as long as we liked. Sat there playing the piano for an hour before my companion tore me away so we wouldn't be late, just looking across the piano at the east river and Manhattan. On the way out the employees said I played well; come back any time. I'm still reeling. I've never heard anything like that piano.

Typed up from photos of journal pages:

Feb 1
Today was interesting.  The Young Women did a New Beginnings program in sacrament, which was exceedingly painful.  They “sang” along to this recording of about 5 different songs.  After each one, their president called them out in front of the mic, saying “forgive them, the next one will be better.”  It never was.

After church we went to an appointment with an investigator we met with once a couple of months ago.  After they didn’t answer the door, Elder Cottle called him.  It’s a good thing I didn’t have the phone.  He said “We’re eating”.  “Eating?” “ I mean,oh, I’m just going on a visit”.  “Oh really?”  “Yeah, mom, she uh…died.”

After that, we went to Miguel Bisano.  We had confirmed with him about one hour before.  When we got to the door, called to have him let us in, he said, “Sorry guys, could you actually do it tomorrow?” For the fourth day in a row.  Oh, the life of a Spanish Missionary.

At that point, it had just been a long day.  The daily tender mercies then started as we began to walk home and a man on a bike stopped us and asked us if we had an extra copy of that Book of Mormon.  Mostly suspicious (maybe I need to repent) and a little curious, I replied that we did if he read Spanish.  He affirmed that he did, and we gave him a copy and asked how he knew about it.  He said that he had received the missionaries years ago back in Puerto Rico, and that maybe he’d be able to understand it better now.  Then he told us his address and asked if we could pass by that week.  I think we sort of gave him blank stares before collecting ourselves and setting on Thursday.  So I think I’m going to write a book called, “Cloudy With a Chance of Oh My Word, Investigators Are Falling Out Of The Sky”.  So I suppose there’s no doubt we were in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.  What a miracle, I still don’t even know what to do with myself.

And it gets better.  At 7:00 we had a second appointment with Carlos, a guy we met a week ago on the street.  We ended up having a full 30 min lesson on the street in the cold, and he seemed super solid.  So we passed by, entered in the most beautiful house (yes, it was a HOUSE) I’ve been in here in NY, and taught.  We had felt prompted to do something unusual – teach “revelation through prayer” first, rather than last.  As we did so, we read about the fruit of the Spirit in Galations.  He stopped us and said, “Can I tell you something?  Last week when we spoke on the street, I felt his.  And I felt all these things more the entire week since.”  Now missionaries always have this mental tab running, placing everybody on the Golden Scale (ranging from “robbing the missionaries” to “if there was a font in the backyard this was happening right now!”) When Investigators connect blessings like THAT without any help…

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