Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Hey Mom,

I'm glad that everything is going so well with everyone. I wonder if Dennis will fly me home from my mission!

Our branch is doing fairly well. I am getting to know most of the members even better, so I love the work more from that. The missionaries in our district have the branch divided into three different areas, so we have a branch of small numbers divided into three smaller groups to work with. Even with that, it is kind of hard to visit with the members. They are all so busy. And it's hard to plan ahead, because everyone says they don't know what their schedule will be like during the week or when they will be working. But now I've been able to visit a lot of the members that we've been assigned finally, and that changes my attitude for the branch. Yesterday at church, I was so happy to see the members, and they seemed really happy to see us, too. As a missionary, of course you love the members because they are the members of the branch/ward/area you have been assigned to. But when you actually know them, you can love them as the people and Latter-Day Saints they are, and it's so much better! And then they love you back, so you have a connection and can really make a difference with the branch at that point. And that's exactly what one of the members, Hermano Reyes told us, too. There are actually three Hermano Reyes's in the branch, and none are related.

Last week we got to have interviews with President Calderwood. It was really good, of course. He talked to me about where much is given, much is required, and it doesn't mean that any one of us is better than the other. Oh, yeah, he also talked about sins of omission. The things we don't do are FAR greater than the things that we just do wrong. So I'm working on learning and eliminating those things. While talking about all the things that we don't do, he said "There is deep, deep sin there," and I thought, Wow, that's a big deal. As members when we can see ourselves progressing, we probably usually don't think that we have deep sin. I'm definitely not perfect, but I thought I was cleaning up myself pretty well. It turns out I was missing a few spots I didn't know about. As I try to not omit things in my day, I think the biggest or most consistent thing that I have changed is not relaxing during the end of meal time, and cleaning the apartment/doing dishes instead.

President Calderwood is also really good at praying. Usually we don't judge or rate prayers, but during almost the whole prayer I was just smiling because it was soo good.

Today we do have some good plans, and the weather is looking really nice, so I'll bring some sunscreen. Citi Field, the New York Met's stadium is in our area, and they are having the All-Star Game there tomorrow, so we are going to walk around outside it today while they are practicing. There should be some festivities of some sort. We are also probably going to check out the part of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park where the Queens stake is having a big party in a couple of weeks for all the Hispanics in Queens! it's not extremely well advertised yet, because it was orchestrated by the missionaries here, but I'm excited for it. It's on the 27th of July. Then we will probably go to Jamaica and try to find some really cool five dollar watches that we keep on hearing about. And we'll probably get pizza there. I'll take pictures; I have my camera on me right now.

Another thing I learned recently was about being bold as a missionary. Because we have been given a calling with a power, and we need to use it. So I tried being as bold as I could be last Monday night as I fearlessed people and the Spirit was incredibly strong as I did it.

So, that's what's new. I feel like I just wrote a ton, and now I feel like some people here that will end a pretty long testimony by ending with something like "these are the few words I have."

I'll try to take a lot of pictures today and send them to you next week. And also, good news, I've written in my journal two days In a row. Steady improvement.

Love you all! Have a good week and enjoy the consistency of life in Washington.

Elder Schenk

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