Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 18, 2013

Hey Dad,
Things are going good. I don't feel like I've gotten to the point yet where every day or week is incredible and I feel my life changing. This week went well. It feels like I have been here way longer than just two weeks. I feel like it has been at least a month, probably more like a month and a half. The days go fast and I guess the weeks go by at a normal pace, but I feel like looking back the time feels much longer.
Our appointment with the man from the Street Life ministry went pretty well. He for some reason asked if Elder Izatt and I could go. Elder Izatt is an English speaking missionary here who has been here about 7 months and is really good. So we had a little exchange for that lesson. The man (his name is Riley and I don't know how to spell it exactly) was excited to see us and said he really enjoyed talking to us. We didn't give any lessons, we discussed what Jesus means to us, then we talked about why its important to read the Book of Mormon and he would tell us about the Anti-mormon stuff that he has found. I have pretty much no experience with that kind of stuff but Elder Izatt handled it well. "If you just look at Anti-Mormon stuff that's what you're going to find." He said well maybe the people who make it are honestly searching, which may be true, but we were pretty straightforward with him. At zone conference recently we were given a workshop about being bold, so I was feeling pretty bold and practically told him he was feeling the spirit and had to read the book of mormon. But I said it more like a challenge than that. The next time the missionaries teach him we/they need to teach him the first lesson I think and teach him all the reasons he should want the Book of Mormon and the Church to be true. That is one thing I have realized recently. Because I understand where a lot of people are coming from that are hesitant. We are asking them to do exactly what we don't want to do. Give up our church. But then I realized something. No church offers more than ours. Basically we all believe the same thing. Believe in God and Jesus Christ, obey them, and have Eternal Life. But within that we have so much more than they do. Priesthood in the home to protect, guide, and give blessings (good job Dad!), the Holy Ghost's constant companionship to guide every decision in our lives. Temple ordinances and covenants that bind us closer to God, teach us, and seal our families together forever. A living Prophet who receives guidance and inspiration and revelation for the WHOLE WORLD. No other church has anything close to that. Our church offers more blessings and happiness here on Earth than any other, and more potential in the life after this one. So not only do I have faith that this is the true Gospel, have hope that it is, because it's the best thing that there is offered to mankind.
You can send my nice tennis rackets if you want. Also if you could send some music cd's. we have a dvd player that can play music. Also could you send the cables that are attached to my music playing chair? I could use those.
We don't have a lot of investigators, and mostly we just try to contact on the street by offering free english class. I say it in English, spanish, and chinese.
Thanks so much for all your prayers! Love you so much!
Elder Schenk

Hi Mom,
I wrote Dad a pretty good letter so I don't have as much to say, so I'll just answer your questions and maybe say a little more.

The busses vary a lot on how crowded they are. I don't know what the trend is, but I think usually they are more open during the day and fuller at night. but usually not too crowded. I don't think I've had the opportunity to give my seat to an older person yet. A lot of times its more convenient just to stand towards the front of the bus.

I've only taught English class once, we get tuesday nights, but last tuesday night I was teaching the guy from the prayer station with Elder Izatt. So I guess the sister missionaries taught last tuesday. I told Dad a lot about the lesson with Riley, the other missionary. It was a really spiritually intense experience. As the conversation went to different topics, the Spirit felt different. Sometimes it was really strong, sometimes it just felt different, not less strong, just different, and when I said that this is all true, or we are all liars, the Spirit whisked away, like saying "we are not liars." I don't know how much of it Riley felt, but it was a good experience.

I'm in a spanish branch, and there are three sets of spanish missionaries in our branch because there are so many people in our area. One of the sisters got here two weeks before me and doesn't have as much spanish experience as me, so when the spanish speakers all complement me on my spanish she doesn't like it too much. So the language is coming pretty great. The best thing to do is just to relax. I can't understand the people here well, but I can express myself pretty well, and the words come so much easier when I just relax and don't worry about talking perfect or fast. So that's advice I would give to people learning a language. I'm excited to hear where Drew goes.

Today we have a zone activity so we are going to Flushing Meadows park (a massive park) to play soccer or volleyball or something. Hopefully the weather stays good.

Thanks so much for your prayers and emails mom. I love you!

Elder Schenk

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