Thursday November 8th
My 9 month mark!
We had a really great member dinner.
I ate black bean chile! Aren't you so proud of me family?! Haha I ate it with sour cream, tomatoes (sounds like me huh???), and tortilla chips
It was actually really good!
Then they had a cake for dessert that they put candles on in the shape of a 9 after I told them it was my 9 month mark. It was very sweet of them =)
The spiritual message we had with them was very powerful. It was a really neat day.
Saturday November 10th
We woke up early to go serve in Brooklyn and Queens. It was an awesome experience. I'm short on time. Hopefully I can tell you why next week.
Afterwards we went with some other missionaries went to taco bell for dinner. Remember that opposition in all things?! Well I lost my wallet at Taco Bell, which contained my credit card and metro card. It was frustrating and above all inconvenient. We were on 14th st. and we were trying to get back to 108th st. where we live. We went into the train station and a lady offered me a swipe. I was so grateful until I found out she was charging me two dollars. It's technically illegal to sell swipes so out of principle I was not going to accept. It was annoying. We walked a good 30-40 blocks and then I told Sister Maldarizzi that we had to try going to try another train station. I was able to pay cash and get a single ride. When I got home I crashed in my bed! It was so dead!
Monday the 12th
I felt the Lord send tender mercies my way. Which was really nice because I was still pretty dead from Saturday. I really like our new zone. There are two missionaries that are brand new and it's really weird for me to see where I once was.
Wednesday the 14th
For P-day we did laundry and cleaned the apartment. Later we went to Canal Street and Chinatown! It was awesome =D Thank goodness we live with two Chinese sisters who can talk the talk for us and bargain at the shops lol. I got a delicious boba drink! (Kung fu Mango Slush) and we got dumplings (aka pot stickers) 5 for $1.25. Briefly we stopped through little Italy and my companion got to speak to some people in Italian =)
I'm short for time, but let me tell you what I learned this week! (I really put it all together today when I was writing Tristan a letter lol)
I think as human being it's very easy to "glamorize" phases of our lives...
When I'm in high school I'll...
When I can drive I will be so old/cool...
one day when I'm in college I'll...
I can't wait to be a missionary and serve and work hard the whole time...
when I'm married I'll have my own place...
Often we loose focus and effort in our current phase because we glamorize how AMAZING the next one will be.
We recognize all the highs and are oblivious to the lows.
When we reach the desired phase it's exciting at first, but before we know it it has lost it's glamor. Instinctively we think forward to the next thing.
However, I propose a style of living that lives one day at a time, savoring each earthly experience, finding joy therein-thus fulfilling the measure of our creation.
Has our current phase lost it's glamor and excitement?--> Then put some sequins and glitter on it to sparkle it up. Do random things to keep life fresh and interesting. =)
It's funny because I've seen some missionaries talk about home for a good portion of their mission and then once they get home they talk about the mission. We have to live with our choices in this life and invest our attention and energy into one thing until it is through. Otherwise we will only halfheartedly live our lives.
That is not the type of experience Heavenly Father wants us to have here. He sent us here to have deep, meaningful, and enriching lives. We will only benefit from our experiences if we actually live them. Furthermore, we determine our happiness, not our conditions. This principle is taught really well in this last General Conference in Elder Uchtdorf's talk.
I love you!!!
Please seek the Lord in your life. I exhort you with all the energy of my heart to remember to pray daily and communicate with him. Please talk to him about whatever you're going through. He will not be able to show you or help you understand if you don't talk to him. This week has had it's ups and downs for me, but I know Heavenly Father was mindful of me because of the tender mercies he would send. He didn't take away the hard things but he sent His love to me in various ways showing me he was listening. I desire for you to experience this two. The real question is do you desire to know what Heavenly Father is trying to tell you?
Do you want to know how he feels and how much he loves you? Do you want to know why or if he is even there? Then ask. Take action. Use your agency to find out. He loves you and he will listen to you even if you are honest with him and tell him you don't understand or your mad, hurt, in anguish, grief, anything...
He is always ready and waiting for you to talk to him.
I know these things are true by the power of the Holy Ghost. He has shown me just a small glimpse of how much the Lord desires to speak to us through prayer.
I hope you have a wonderful week!
Sister Emily A. Johnson