Part of Preparation Day yesterday was cut out so that I could grace you all with another email, since all libraries were closed for the Holiday. I hope you forgive them for being closed.
Elder Ledford and I had a very momentous week. I hope you all feel the joy of reading this very condensed account of our adventures!
We met with Sir Benjamin Foote thrice, and taught him a little more "common sense," also known as the commandments. He went to the Gathering at the Grove this weekend with his member brother, an event held once a year where Young Single adults across New York gather to participate in several activities, listen to a general authority speak about the Prophet Joseph Smith, and eat snacks. He told us over the phone that he had a grand time, but we are following up with him today. So excited. He's been praying for a baptismal date best him. We'll see if his weekend had any effect on this decision.
Christian Yarleque received the priesthood two days ago!
We put together a little movie night on Friday with the sisters to attract member missionary work and fellowship for our investigators. There was a great turn out! The Johnson family, a new investigator we picked up this week named Ed Luciano, and a couple of the sisters' investigators showed up. We watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, a movie that Elder Hougaard and I struggled to watch without laughing at some parts because of some lines we would quote together. I was able to contain myself this time. Everyone was really interested in the film and many questions were asked. It was a great success.
Our new investigator, Ed Luciano is a former investigator from this area. He stopped meeting with the elders a while ago because he felt he wasn't ready to join the church and didn't feel he could relate to many of the members because of his addiction to smoking. He is ready to quit and has faith that he can do so. We have taught him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He wants to listen to it on audio. He's a rockstar. We are stoked for his progression.
We are starting to play basketball each Saturday with a 10 year old recent convert named Tiheem in the Branch and teach him stories from the Book of Mormon. He brought his cousin with him this past Saturday and two of the Johnson boys showed up as well. Even though I am terrible at basketball it was a fun little time. We taught them about Korihor afterwards, and promised that if he was good at church on Sunday we would play again this Saturday. He didn't come to church on Sunday so we still don't know what we are going to do. Probably choose mercy.
I just barely received an update from Church Travel and my visa is scheduled to process on July 18th, at 10:20am in case you are interested. I had to RE-RE-apply for an FBI clearance this past week. I imagine the slowness was because of the World Cup? Anyhow, it's a blessing to get to serve in two completely different parts of the world and get two different perspectives of missionary work. I'm grateful for the weeks I have left to work my hardest to not have regrets of from New York before I begin a new mission beginning in the MTC in Sao Paulo. I get to be a missionary baby again :) Maybe my next trainer will be less experienced than me.
D&C 100 is my favorite section of the Doctrine and Covenants. If you pay close attention to the wording on verses 3-6 you might learn why. But something I've thought a whole lot about this week is the importance of knowing that God always allows good to come to them that walk uprightly before Him, love Him, and keep His commandments. A big struggle of mine has always been patience and trust in His timing. I have learned here in New York more than ever before in my life that God knows exactly where we are at and where we need to be. He has promised us that if we trust in His will continuously and not try to take control out of fear, we will be lead to everlasting joy.
I wish you all a very fond farewell until 6 days pass.