Palmyra Temple

Palmyra Temple

Monday, August 3, 2015

Life changing coffee shops

First of all Happy Birthday to Bethany! I hope you have the best day ever and that you know that I'm sending my love from New York! Did you get my card?! Buffalo has really tall buildings, a little like Denver except older. But we are on the East side where there aren't any tall buildings. They have turned most of these houses in duplexes. Bailey ave the Main Street through our area is the really ghetto area. Bars on windows and such. We need to nourish our spirits just as much as our bodies! Heavenly Father doesn't expect us to all be perfect he only expects us to try:) Weakness is not a sin. Nephi said "Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities." 2Nephi 4:17 We learn that even Christ had weakness, but not sin like us. This week.... Monday for P-day we went back to Niagara Falls then up to Lewiston, for the people who just came from Rochester and haven't seen it yet! It was fun to watch them look at it because they all looked like little kids, it was presh. And by the way I've been meaning to say this but Rochester is pronounced like one word not like RAW Chester. I guess that's how you tell a New Yorker from a Westerner. Lol Tuesday we met a barber who was super cool and nice! He was born in Italy and knows French, German, English, Polish, Spanish, and ASL (Elder Woerner in our district is also an ASL missionary so we have been learning sign language) and he cuts hair, can cook, and other cool things; a very diverse guy. Anyway he asked us a bunch of questions about the gospel and after a while he was a little too smart, so I said "your a member" and he said "yes I am haha I am in the Amherst ward." (In his Italian accent) so It was nice to at least meet a friendly face. But Elder Durfee and I ran around like crazies trying to meet people, but no one was home! Blah! isn't that fun when no one answers their phone or answers their door? :) we WERE able to plant two Book of Mormons in the hearts of two people though so I was happy about that:) then we made some calls for L K. Wednesday we had a repeat of Tuesday with people not answering anything. Except one guy named D we thought was going to be solid but it turns out he is like super into his church and was on his way to bible he couldn't meet. Lol we ran into all these little ghetto kids (because school JUST got out here) and they were hounding us to buy their lemonade, but I didn't have any cash I felt SO bad haha Thursday we had District meeting and the spirit told me to discard my training and go over the talk "Swallowed up in the will of the Father" by Neal A. Maxwell from Oct. 1995. It was truly inspired, I also had been looking for on of my favorite quotes by him (I believe you sent it to me once Mom:) ) which I will write at the end of the letter. But it was so sad in area reports to hear the Spanish Elders share their experience of their investigator who had a baptism date just drop them! Flat out just dropped them that morning! After District meeting we took the train back up to Lasalle and met with Miss G; it was a great lesson because we committed her to come to church (which is the LAST thing she needs to be ready for baptism) and she said "as long as your there to greet me at the door, I'll be there." Yay! Hopefully she comes. After that we went over to the H home for dinner with all the other Elders and on the way we listened to a talk about a man who will be a third David (stem, rod, root) in these the latter days, and he shall prepare the way of the lord. He will be great in politics, a leader in military, and spiritual things. I don't know I'll have to study it more. But anyway after dinner we were locked out of our apartment so we had to go to N. Tonawanda to get a key! Wow have they really changed the apartment, and yes I got to see M!:) #whatablessing Friday was a great day we had a lesson with D S who was a teenager in the civil rights movement down in the south! She LIVED it! She is such a nice lady and It is crazy to think some of the things that went on in this country. Anyway the lesson was awesome because we were able to resolve some concerns with her feeling unworthy to be baptized. We discussed the talk "You know enough" by Neil L. Andersen. We are going to help her read her scriptures by calling her everyday. She says she knows the Book of Mormon is true, but just needs to "make time fo da word." As she would say:) but she gave us a couple bags of fruit and cans of chicken which came in handy for our next appointment downtown, because when the homeless people asked me for a dollar and I had no cash I just ended up giving them all our food haha. (Highlight of my week) We had a CRAZY good lesson with B (the owner of Shea's theater, who would always come and talk to us during the Book of Mormon shows, and was super cool) We got a text earlier in the week because he wanted the pictures that we took at the show, and it ended up turning out to a little coffee get together! (No Elder Durfee and I did not break the word of wisdom haha and it was downtown out of our area) We were going to go with a bunch of Elders because we all were there for the show, but I prayed before hand and felt like it should just be Elder Durfee and I. At first our conversation was just about how some of us are old souls, and he said that he felt like I was an old soul. And then we talked about shark tank ( that TV show) money, and how he was once prideful. He wasn't expecting a lesson at first, he just wanted to meet at a coffee shop, but after about an hour of talking he explained why he felt like he needed to meet with us. He said he felt like he should call us and the only way that he had our number was because it was written on the inside of the Book of Mormon we gave him when he flipped it open (we never put our number on the inside of the BOM) . And he thought that there was no coincidence in that. So he texted us and cancelled his plans for Friday night, just to see why he needed to meet with us. About halfway through our conversation he said "I think there is a purpose in just you coming tonight, because if everyone came we might have just acted like friends and never got into the spiritual stuff." We started to have a lesson and he just had a ton of questions about what his purpose is in life, and if the atonement really works for things like that. Which it absolutely does! He talked about how as a kid he loved and he still loves the old Ten Commandments video (reminds me of you Dad) We went over the plan of salvation and he had tons of questions about why we need opposition and why God set Adam and Eve up to "fail". But we read him some scriptures and he understood that you have to fall and get hurt in order to learn and obtain knowledge. And why we NEED Jesus Christ! He also liked the idea of the spirit world and the degrees of glory. Finally we ended with the Book of Mormon. We told him that if the Book of Mormon Is true then that means that God has not left us alone, we have a prophet on the earth, and that we can make it through the things in our lives that seem impossible; just like Moses parting the Red Sea. We read with him Moroni's promise and he just stopped and paused and then kept on reading and said, "I can't stop reading." When challenged to read and pray he said "I will do that, I will defiantly do that." For a minute I saw a searching soul gain a "desire to believe" and "a particle of Faith". Such an awesome lesson. That night Elder Durfee and I tried to figure out how the atonement CAN work. And what we came up with, using the scriptures was that we need to choose Love not Lust. That love and charity are an attribute of Christ, and by choosing to Love and not to Lust we CHOOSE CHRIST. Just like any other choice. And that as we "exercise love the verb, love the noun will come." -Elder Bednar. Our desires can change through the Atonement, and we realize that we can be "yea, born of God, changed from [our] carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters" Saturday. Have I ever said I love the rain? I don't think I have haha Well it dumped the WHOLE day! And we moved three people into the ward. Sunday Miss G never showed up to church:( and I had SO much faith standing by that door! Lol oh well. President Francis came for a Missionary fireside that night at the Buffalo chapel, and it was pretty much a second zone conference because it was just missionaries and a few members! Haha I was able to see M again and some people from the NF ward:). President (he's so good) gave examples from the scriptures of great prophets going through hard times and then through the strength of the Lord they were able to overcome them. At the end he showed one of my favorite Mormon messages called "Good things to come" by Jeffery R. Holland and It really got to me and M haha when Elder Holland calls out to his past self saying "don't you quit. You keep trying." I love that. We have to realize that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way that we can become eternally happy if we endure! :) *"The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!" - Neal A. Maxwell Love, Elder Crowley "Love is a choice." -Elder Durfee&Crowley

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