Wednesday, March 6, 2013

First Letter from New York - March 5, 2013

Hi Mom,

I'm at the Queens library right now. I am loving New York so far. Last night we went to an 8-story building and looked out over the whole city and write out our mission goals. President Calderwood also did short interviews with us. I love him as my President. I can already feel his love for me and all the missionaries. Sister Calderwood is the same. She made us sack lunches and dinner yesterday. She is a good cook, and I enjoyed the home cooking. Usually when new missionaries come, they get a really big group. The last two times they got over 20. But because we were in the advanced class, there were only three of us. The rest of the missionaries at the mtc that are coming to our mission will get here at the end of this transfer. I kind of snuck in two weeks into the transfer. My trainer is Elder Rose, he's from Provo. He loves sports a lot, and that is the way he likes to contact, so this will probably be a really fun area. I'm excited. Speaking of which, could you send my frisbee and two tennis rackets? those might come in handy here. I don't need my good ones.

Last night we had a fireside and stayed the night at the Calderwood's home. The Assistants were my companions for the night. I like them. One, Elder Munday, is from England and has a cool accent. The other, Elder Ferry is from Utah. He is spanish speaking and Elder Munday is English speaking. The word is, spanish speaking missionaries here get dinner appointments all the time, and the food is great. English speakers hardly ever get them. While I was looking over New York city last night, I felt such a good feeling that I am meant to be here. I know that I am meant to be here.

My area is in Queens, and I can't remember what it's called, but it starts with an F. The majority of people here are Chinese. While taking the bus, every store had it's name in English and Chinese Characters. At the mission office last night they told us to just have you send all the letters to the mission office, and they will send the mail to us the next morning after they get it. I have the bedding, and have unpacked, I just haven't organized where my things are all put. They are mostly piled on my desk and our table.

My Companion originally got called to the Dominican Republic and was there for a while until he blew out his knee playing basketball. He had already injured it before he got out, and then it didn't heal all the way, and then he really injured it while on his mission. So he went home and had surgery and got sent to New York New York South. He has been in Staton Island almost the whole time here, because he needed to be in an area with a car for his knee. So we are both learning the area a little bit.

One thing we do to contact is we give English lessons. Just outside the library we handed out info slips about it and people are pretty interested for the most part. Especially about the Free part. But we have to tell people about it as they are walking past, so it's kind of hard. He had me do one where I started it by myself, saying "Como Esta? Damos clases de ingles gratis. Tiene interes? tenemos clase hoy a las siete" But there was a little bit of stuttering in there. Then he jumped in and told them more about it.

We have a visit today at four and then we have class at seven tonight. I think my companion and I will get along well. He leaves in three transfers. I am also supposed to do the 12 week training in the next 10 weeks so that way I am done by the end of next transfer. I need to write my mission president now with my weekly letter. I will be writing on mondays usually, but today is my first real day so I can email and we are going shopping and that kind of stuff.

About my mission President. I love him, he is fantastic. His focus is on changing ourselves and the people. not just baptizing them. Because too many fall away right after baptism. His ideal is pretty much what is said in Elder David A. Bednar's MTC devotional called the Character of Christ. This is a fantastic talk. you should try to find it. Maybe it's on youtube. My trainer said that President Calderwood's style is that he leaves a lot of our decisions up to us. He gives us trust and lets us decide what to do in terms of music and other kinds of things. As long as we can feel the spirit with what we are doing then we are doing good.

Love you!

Elder Eric Schenk
ps you should be getting a letter soon from the mission that has a short letter written from me and then the mission will give you some information too
Also, my area is called Flushing. Love you!

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