Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Life In The Bronx

Hello everyone =)
Where does the time go? The days are long but the weeks and the months are fast! 
I hope everyone is doing well. From the sounds of it, I know my family is doing well since I got to talk to them on Mothers Day =)
So this past week has been an interesting one. 
We had our interviews with President Smith. It was my first time talking to him one on one.  It went really well.  I felt like I learned more about him while seeking his advice on somethings. He is absolutely great. Now that I'm getting to know him I'm sad he's leaving in four weeks.  However, I am looking forward to building a relationship with my new Mission President and his wife. 
Just a little back ground on President Smith: He's a farmer from Idaho, a lawyer, and he has a helicopter license! haha he is all around a diverse man.
I went on a split in the morning with Sister Ortega because both of our companions were feeling sick.  We went to the Blitz, which was in our area, and then we left early to go to an appointment she had.
We got there a little early a grabbed a bite of lunch. I wanted Chinese food because I hadn't had any since I've been here.  Sister T and I got back together in the afternoon to have a lesson with one of our investigators and a member from the ward. His name is Brother Johnson! lol After that lesson I was really not feeling well. I was worried I caught whatever our roommates had. However, that night I put the pieces together and I'm pretty sure I was sick from some strong MSG in the Chinese food. I've only had this experience twice now, but I feel so bad for my sister in law Jane who used to run into that problem a lot! MSG migraines are a killer! lol
I saw a scene go down in front of the church! lol
First and foremost I was watching all this behind the glass doors of the church while making a phone call.
There was a man walking down the slant of the sidewalk and a lady and her younger daughter walking up the sidewalk (towards the bus stop). Also following close behind was another girl and guy that I think was the woman's daughter and boyfriend (but that is purely speculation).
Anyhow the first man either ran into the young daughter or almost did. The Mom started yelling at him about watching where he was going. He seemed pretty non-responsive. She kept saying, "What's the matter with you?!" With a tad more color ;) Then she started hollering to the daughter and boyfriend who were still a little bit behind them. One they arrived got closer the older daughter started yelling similar things at him.  Then the boyfriend swung a right hook and punch the first guy.  The force of the hit and with his lack of stability the guy fell back, hit the church, and fell to the ground.  The others just walked away. I was freaking out that all this just happened in front of me and so fast! I went and grabbed Sister T and two of the Elders that were at the chapel. We went outside to ask him if he was ok.
When we got out there we was non responsive. We kept asking him questions but he didn't say a word. He got to his feet and we offered him some water (p.s. I'm not loving the humidity! haha) I figured whether he was dehydrated, drunk, or on drugs some water would do him good. He took one sip and wouldn't drink anymore. He motioned to give the water bottle back but Sister T told him to keep it. He still didn't say anything to us he just started walking down the sidewalk and dumped the water out of the water bottle on the ground! It was so bizarre!
We pretty sure he was tripping out on some drug because he was soooo out of it.
Moral of the story-Don't Do Drugs!
I'm so grateful to understand the freedom the commandments allows me to have in my life. It is a blessing to be in control of my body, spirit, and mind.
Mother's Day!
I LOVED talking to my family! I am so blessed to have such an extraordinary family! I love you all so much. It was a true blessing to talk to you on the phone.
After our goals meeting our zone went and got lunch and brought it back to the chapel.  While being at the chapel with the zone Elder Sayao (my Brazilian friend) taught me how to Whistle!!! Yes it's true! I am learning! So many others have tried to teach me and I have never been able to get it, but Elder Sayao actually succeeded.  I feel like a whole new person! lol ok maybe not, but I feel pretty awesome for learning a new talent. I'm still not great but practice my friends, practice.
The other main thing we did on Monday was help the Olsen's back. They are a family in my ward who are about to move across the U.S.  They'll be in a few different states for a while. Eventually, after putting some things in storage and seeing family they will be heading over to Germany. I believe for school or work, I forget which one. There son David who is just over a year is so cute! He reminds me of baby Binks from Baby's Day Out! lol  It was really nice to be able to help them in their time of need. Having all the extra hands really helped them accelerate the time it'd take them to finish packing.
It was raining like CRAZY!!! I was not prepared for the rain at all. Needless to say after one of our appointments we went and bought me some rain boots and an umbrella. Annoyingly enough, it has not rained one drop since I bought those lol, but those will come in handy eventually.
That night we had a cottage meeting with a family in our ward. I can't remember if I explained this or not, but a cottage meeting is basically the members opening their home for missionaries, investigators, and anyone the members have in mind to come together, have spiritual thought, and typically have some dinner.  We brought one of our more solid investigators and it was a nice time :) We talked about how we are literally children of God and how wonderful and empowering that fact is.
That night when we returned home we had a P-day eve party and Sister Vanderdose and I both colored our hair (with the help of Sister T and Sister Ortega) Sister V put red in her dark brown hair. I went a light blond color! Pictures soon to come.
That brings us to today, Wednesday May 16th.  Monday we will find out if anyone is getting transferred. Those are called Shot Calls.  After I log off I'm going to make Elder Eliason a planner cover.  He made me a really funny one.
Here's a spiritual thought for the week:
I've been reading the Ensign with April's conference addresses and it is so uplifting! One quote that has really touched my heart is in Thomas S, Monson's talk called the Race of Life
He begins by telling of his boyhood days when him and some friends would carve toy boats from the soft wood of a willow tree. On one particular race down the Provo river one of the boats got carried by the current too close to a large whirlpool and the boat capsized.  "The toy boats of childhood had no keel for stability, no rudder to provide direction, and no source of power. Inevitably, their destination was downstream-the path of least resistance."
"Unlike toy boats, we have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey.
We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life but with the
power to think, to reason, and to achieve."
"Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return.  I speak of prayer.  I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice; and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, which contain the word of the Lord and the words of the prophets-provided to us to help us successfully cross the finish line."
I thought that was such a beautiful example because it demonstrates just how much our Father in Heaven loves us.  He has provided us the tools to safely navigate homeward.
One other spiritual thought I'd like to share with you came from my studies the past couple of days.  Sister Tu'akalau and I were doing training (which simply involves an extra hour of companionship study within my first few months in the mission field).  We were studying how to help people make and keep commitments.  During which we were reading about the importance of helping people repent and draw closer to God.  This example came to my mind.  Dad and Brad I'm sure you can appreciate this in more depth. lol
What I realized is that Repentance is a lot like a Root Canal! Haha I never thought I'd say that.
But it's so true! You see, people are so afraid of Root Canals. They have a negative feeling towards them because they think of pain.  What they don't understand is that a Root Canal is the procedure to take away the pain. It makes you feel better.  The real pain is already there because of the abscess in the tooth.  The tooth is in so much pain and the root canal is the fix, or cure. 
It's the same with Repentance. So many people look at repentance as a bad thing or a painful thing. When in reality the pain is already there from the sin. When we make wrong choice and allow sin into our lives that is when the pain begins. We don't always recognize it at first or it might throb here and there. Eventually, though it becomes unbearable. Repentance is the procedure to take that pain away. It heals us.
I feel the spirit work through me more each day and I'm excited to continue on this road and see all the Lord has in store for me.  He's constantly reshaping me and molding something better. It's rather a bizarre experience, but it's good :)
I love you all!
I pray that the Lord will bless you and protect you. Have you had a heart felt prayer with the Lord today? What did he say back? Tell him I said hi =D
Peace and Blessins'
Peace and Blessings!
Sister Emily A. Johnson

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