Saturday, March 16, 2013

Transfer P-day

Thursday February 28th - Wednesday March 6th

With it being the last week of transfer we got fed quite a bit, especially since Elder McCullam is going home.

Thurs. Feb. 28th:
We met up with the Elders to work on somethings for the branch.  Elder McCullum told the Hippen family he would write a song on their ukulele that he would perform his last night.  He had the music of it put together but was stuck on the words.  Which is the exact opposite of my problem =) I wrote some sweet words!  We plan on collaborating on future songs =)
We had dinner with the Altom family. They are the cutest! Plus she made amazing dinner rolls. A funny moment from when we were teaching them about the doctrine of repentance, I asked the son Maddox, who's four, how he knew he needed to tell his mom he was sorry (previously we established that he had told his mom he was sorry). He said,  "Because Heavenly Father told me to."
We looked up a less active member who is very nice :) We had a good lesson with her.

Friday March 1st:
We had dinner with the Johnson family. They have three darling children ( 7yr, 4yrs, and 5months)
We were teaching his good friend Vasu who he met in dental school.  Vasu is doing general dentistry so at dinner it was pretty easy for me to build a good connection with him because we talked a lot about dentistry! I am so grateful I had the chance to work as a dental assistant. It is a fascinating field.  Vasu knows a lot about the church and has recently started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning.  He was raised Hindu but he likes Joseph Smith's first vision.  By the end of our lesson he accepted an invitation to work towards receiving an answer and being baptized on April 6th.  We're seeing him again next Friday after another dinner with the Johnson's. 

Saturday March 2nd:
The elders have been teaching a girl named Natasha.  Despite serve opposition from friends and family, Natasha decided to be baptized. =)  Saturday was Natash's baptism!  It was absolutely wonderful.  We helped the elders get set up and fill up the font.  It was at the Scarsdale chapel. Our branch doesn't have a font.  It was luke warm. We wanted to make it hotter but the kitchen is under construction so there was no microwave, the stove wasn't connected and there were no working faucets. Unfortunately there's wasn't much we could do for the water.  Natasha shared a wonderful testimony afterwards.  I am so excited for her!  In preparing for the baptism we had some oreos and we practiced the song we were writing for the Hippen family.  I really want to take music lessons when I get home so it's easier for me to carry my own note without being influenced by others as I match the notes they sing lol. I pretty much ate sweets this day, which left me with a migraine that night. Oh and when we left the chapel from Natasha's baptism in the evening there was a beautiful snow that had fallen.  It sparkled under the amber parking lot lights 

Sunday March 3rd:
Sunday morning was hard because I still had a bad migraine from the previous night, except now it was fast Sunday.  I decided to pray to see whether or not I should fast this day.  The reason I considered not fasting is because one of the medicines I take makes my sick if I don't eat something first. I had thought about different options: taking some food and medication and then starting my fast or just waiting until I broke my fast to take my medicine with food then.  As I prayed my headache started to leave and I decided I should fast. 
Fast Sundays go pretty fast in our branch because we usually have branch counsel at 8:30am and then church starts at 10:30am. I was especially tired because I didn't sleep well and then Elders played a prank on us and set an alarm on our phone that went off at 2:30am! Not Cool! hah.
It was a struggle to stay focused during church. I felt pretty miserable. 
After church we had two dinner appointments! One with the Fillmore's (Branch president's family) and the Simmons. We were getting together with them to celebrate the Simmons going through the temple and being sealed together.  Sister Fillmore asked us about a month prior if we could help prepare them. Now they are an eternal family! What a blessing.
After eating and drinking again I started feeling better.  Every time I struggle physically fasting I think about how much Christ probably thirsted for a glass of water when he going going through the last few days of His life. Or how sick He must have felt or how He probably had a migraine.  Thinking about the Savior gives me the incentive to hang on a little longer.
The other was with the Johnson family and Natasha came. Sister Johnson is a great cook! She made cheesecake for dessert and it was legit! Afterwards we went to Natasha's apartment to watch the CES Fireside =)

Monday March 4th:
We went to district meeting/zone meeting. I was a little edgy and irritated at the start of this day. I was trying to be patient but I was loosing it. However, I was able to work through it and soften up. One of the things that helped me was reading Elder McCullam's mission experience.  I was proof reading it for him.  He served for a year in Albania but got quite sick and served the second half of his mission here in NY.  He has endured many hardship and trails during his mission service.  Reading his talk touched my heart and helped me reflect on the bigger picture of my mission. What have I experienced and how has that shaped my testimony and character of the person I am today.  It was interesting to think about.  I know the Lord has a plan for me and this service is helping me become everything he needs me to be. Even when it's hard and challenging, each trial is shaping me.  His talk helped me realize I should be grateful for hard days. Also, that if we really understood what people have gone through (because we all face trails-if we could openly read what others have experienced) we would much more willing to love and respect.  That was a good reminder for me because some people in our zone kind of irritate/annoy me a lot haha. However, I remembered that I needed to not look at what's on the outside or how they present themselves, but rather be loving and respectful no matter what. 
We had a dinner with Mary (our investigator) at 5pm and Natasha (recent convert) and 7:30p.m. We were soooo full!

Tuesday March 5th:
It was Elder McCullam's last night. When we were at the Hippen's home for dinner we performed two songs. I wrote the words to both and he wrote the music. I have a video of it, but it is too large to send through email.  I wish I could though, it turned out way good!  

Wednesday March 6th:
Today was transfers.  At the end of the meeting President asks all the missionaries leaving to stand in the front and we sing "Each Life that Touches ours for Good" as the closing hymn.  I couldn't even sing. I just started crying. So many of my wonderful friends were up there and they were all leaving.  It was a hard moment. Afterwards I talked to most of them and that cheered me up.  It was liking having part of my heart leave with them. I know I will be fine, but this is one of my least favorite things  about the mission. Although, I will get to see them all again very soon. :)

That's it for now.
I love you!

Sister Emily Johnson

It was soooo WINDY today!

This is Elder Kerr (who's uncle we refer dental patients to)

Dinner with Mary =)

The Simmons and the Fillmores

Natasha and Elder McCullam


 the McAllisters (they are a senior couple serving here and they let us email on their computers)

 our apartment Hermanas and sisters!

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