Wednesday, June 24, 2015

the BIG goodbye

He flew around corners. He dodged in and out of lanes to get around traffic. He even cut off an ambulance. What sort of a madman is this??? One of many bus drivers in the Bronx. Good thing too, because we were running late. It was a bit scary though... Most bus drivers here are very pushy with other vehicles, but this guy was something else! He was just flying! On the same bus ride, we struck up a conversation with two ladies who were talking about littering because I had to remove some mysterious trash from the bus seat before I could sit down. They were talking all about how no one has any respect anymore, just throwing trash all around. They just kept going at it. They were so funny! One of them had seen the chapel in Harlem, and started asking us questions. We'll be referring her to the missionaries there.

I think I'm just going to give up trying to include all the amazing things that happen each week in each email. I just don't have the time and can't keep track well enough! But obviously, the most exciting thing of this week was R*'s baptism. It was AWESOME. Everything went very well. The stake president baptized her. I played an arrangement of "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" for a special musical number. The ward was very supportive and we had a lot of people come. A lot of R*'s family came too. At the end, R* shared her testimony with everyone. It was INCREDIBLE. Literally, not a dry eye in the room. She told them all about how she knew she had at last found the fullness of the truth, and she invited them all to join her in the true church and to eventually go to the temple with her to be sealed together as a family. It was beautiful. We will soon be teaching about half of them now. The other half don't live in our area. Unfortunately, DJ wasn't able to make it due to an unexpected funeral. But he was at her confirmation, and he was bawling through the whole thing (tears of joy, of course). I had the privilege of doing the confirmation and afterwards, as R* was shaking the hands of everyone who participated, she knocked aside my stiff arm and gave me a big hug in front of the congregation. Haha.

We just got a referral from a missionary in Tacoma, Washington. He says his friend, who lives in our area, is ready for the gospel! So we stopped by the address last night. We talked to his family, but he wasn't home. I realized afterwards how strange of an experience that must of have been for that family. After we rang their bell, the mom looked out the peephole and said to someone, "you answer it! It's some respectably-dressed folk!" So they had two guys in white shirts and ties in front of their door asking for their brother, saying they got his info from a friend in Washington... This is why people ask us if we're FBI agents. Anyway, hopefully we'll contact him soon!

Another exciting bit of news is transfers of course. I'm staying in Hunts Point and I couldn't be happier about it! Elder Beardall is going to Danbury, Connecticut. My new companion is Elder Unice. He was being trained up in Poughkeepsie when I was there, so I know him already. This will be his first time serving in the city or anywhere even close to it. It will be fun!

Sadly, there is one other change this transfer. President and Sister Morgan are being transferred back to Sandy, UT. President told us at the transfer meeting that President and Sister Smith were being set apart right then back in Elder Ballard's office. So I've most likely seen President Morgan for the last time for the next year or so. On a mission, you meet a lot of different people and forge a lot of new relationships. Consequently, you say a lot of goodbyes. But of all the goodbyes I've had to say on my mission, this has got to be the hardest. I'm going to miss them.

Good things are yet to come though! President and Sister Smith and their kids will be here soon and they seem awesome!

So right now, I am just sitting in the chapel at Inwood Hill in Harlem waiting for Elder Unice to get here for, upstate. I'm temporarily with Elder Miller, who is also waiting for a companion from upstate. We went and saw the Cloisters during our waiting time! That was so cool! I'd highly recommend it to anyone who visits New York. The main part of it is a castle that was moved to New York piece by piece from Spain.

I'll try to send a picture with Elder Unice later today if we have time. For now, I'm going to wrap this up. Until next week...


Pictures: R* at her baptism, President Morgan and myself, Sister Morgan and myself, the Cloisters from outside.

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