Before I go on, I better give you my address before I forget for the third time.
P.O. Box 149
Whitesboro, NY 13492
There. Now feel free to send me a little something that will make my day.
I can't believe I am already in week 4 of New York! The weeks just keep flyin' by. I ate lots of Buffalo wings and pizza this week and have been working on my New Yoka accent.
The winds of winter have approached this area. The huge population of squirells is scurrying. Today it was 21 degrees outside. It is CHILLY, and I'm not talking about the grub or the country. The sun is out, but it is deceiving. Sometimes I feel tempted to go about my day in just a long sleeve shirt, but then I find myself looking like Mr. Snow from "The Year Without a Santa Clause". But don't worry about me. I haven't been ill once while I've been here. In fact, I've never felt so healthy.
On Tuesday I had my very first Zone Conference. Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy addressed us for about an hour about the Savior's atonement and grace. It was definitely a talk from a general authority. It was incredible. Some of my favorite talks are about the atonement and it's immense healing capabilities. I was able to have a good little chat with him afterwards.
A couple days ago we attended the baptism of a young chap whom the zone leaders taught. Baptisms are the best. President Wirthlin was there! He gave me a gentle shoulder squeeze and made sure I was keeping up with the Portuguese. I did not let him down.
This past week was a tough one. We weren't able to teach any of our investigators, so we attempted some potential investigators and less active members. We taught a lady named Elaina Arluck who is contemplating leaving the church. She has a tough time getting out of the house. We experienced a miracle with her. She started explaining why she doesn't want to come back to church, and ended the meeting by saying she did want to come back. We showed her the talk by Uchtdorf about Doubting your doubts. We are meeting with her again tonight, and I cannot wait.
Justin has been talking to his mother about joining the church. We heard this from some of his friends in the Branch. She is not very supportive, but he is an adult. We are just excited that he is wanting to accept the gospel.
The work here in Albany has been quite tough, but most of the members in our branch are recent converts, so they love to share the gospel with their friends, it is incredible. Since the branch is so new, the members are still learning a lot about how the church is ran. It can be really funny at times. Many members who come from a baptist backgrounds repeat prayers and shout "Amen!" These members are so loving though and are following the prophet by helping with the work of salvation.
The mission has stretched me in many ways. I have been well humbled by it. Even though there is much discouragement, the miracles and spiritual experiences are what make it well worth it. Family, help the missionaries. Give them people to teach, people who may be struggling with challenges in their lives or who you feel are prepared to feel the incredible amount of joy we feel from the gospel. It is very hard to find people to teach, most of our success comes through the members. This is why the prophet is asking members and missionaries to work together. We are one. We can all feel the incredible blessings from missionary work.