Tuesday, November 5, 2013

October 28, 2013

Hellooo family!
Hunter's getting his call soon? Sweet! Hopefully he gets sent here. That wouldn't be the craziest thing that's happened. Two missionaries here in flushing were best friends in high school. One is English speaking and one is Chinese speaking. I did get my package, and the struggle is that when I get candy, I just eat it. I shared a lot of the cookies, they were really good! and I shared the candy, too, but that was mostly just with Elder Wright because by the time we got to the candy part, we were already home, and there wasn't anyone else to share with. But I've pretty much eaten all of the candy by now. Part of my reasoning was "Why wait?" and another part was "I don't want to take it with me when I transfer!"

I'll enjoy the subway gift card, thanks! And don't worry, I already have been eating healthy food. Recently I've done a lot more shopping in bulk and actually cooking my food. (I learned that from Elder Wright.) It just means that I eat a lot less PB&J, and it's cheaper. These last two months are the only ones that I haven't needed to use my credit card for food.  (also, I bought a side bag while back and forgot to let you know. It's been good, I'm used to it now and it's a little more convenient than a backpack. It's easier to access the things inside.) So last month I got a big bag of frozen raw chicken, two different bags of frozen fruit, a box of frozen vegetables (frozen food like that is easier and stays good so I don't have to worry about it). Then I get milk and peanut butter and jelly and some noodles and some tomato sauce and pancake mix (10 pounds of it for only $8! I couldn't pass it up) and other such things. It's gone well. I think that's the way I need to shop. I spend a lot of time looking not at the price, but the price per weight labels at the store. I eat a lot more than most people here. More than any of my companions, so I need to buy a lot more food, so it just means I need to take time and effort to cook it so it's cheaper. Sometimes people email or write letters to me asking how the food it. We eat at homes of other people every once in a while, but not often. Maybe once a month. So the answer is that the food is good. It's just whatever I make.

This week was a good one. We had a lot of lessons, which was good, but we just couldn't get members to any of them. That would have improved things. On Thursday we had an exchange with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Izatt. He started in the English program at the MTC, then got trained in Haitian Creole, but that was interrupted by hurricane sandy, then when he finished being trained, he went back to the English program and trained right away in Flushing. He was in Flushing when I got here, then transferred to Brooklyn, and now is back here in the Chinese program! that's pretty crazy. We had a good time together. He is really energetic so the day went well.

Friday I had an interview with President Calderwood, and he called me to be a district leader. he didn't tell me where, so I'll just find out tomorrow. I'm going to miss Flushing, but I'm excited for the new change, and the new area and missionaries I will get to know and learn from. It's really weird to think that the only place I've lived in my life longer than Flushing, NY is Burlington, WA. Even at BYU was only a couple of months.

Here's what I wrote to president Calderwood.
Dear President Calderwood,

I'm really grateful for how my mission has gone so far. As I think about it, I can see many things that I've learned. And I'm sure that in a few years, once I have returned home, I will see and notice even more things that I will have learned that require hindsight to recognize. Throughout my life, that's been the major thing that I expected to develop on my mission. Every once in a while I wonder if I will gain that, and I'm reassured by the knowledge that if I just forget myself and immerse myself in doing what God needs me to do, the understanding or learning or change that I need to help me now and in the future will come. I am excited for the opportunity to be able to serve as a District Leader, because I know it will help me to serve God more fully. I know it's going to be hard and stretch me in ways that I don't yet know, but that's how God will teach me, so I'm excited and grateful for the experiences that will come my way. As I have thought about it the last few days and sought inspiration and guidance, and I have learned things that hopefully will be able to bless the people wherever I go.
I really hope whoever comes to fill my place can bless Flushing greatly. The people here have needs that the Gospel fills so well, they just need to see it. My entire time here I've seen so many people so close to greatness and happiness, but they don't see it and don't take a step of faith. I see their lives, and then the lives of the strong members, and there is so much more in the lives of the members. Those who know what their doing and why they're here and what they need to do are so empowered compared to the rest of the world. The people here just need a big push into greatness. I imagine that's how it is in the rest of the world, including in where my new area will be. I will work to be that big push for others, to help them see and accept the joy and greatness of the gospel.

I am really thankful for all the things in my mission. I'm thankful for my companion, area, district and zone. And I am really grateful for the new ones to come! I'm thankful for the inspiration that you receive, and the inspiration that God gives to me. The gospel is so great!

This week I had an exchange with Elder Izatt. I really enjoyed it. It energized me and helped me to refocus. He also taught me some good things about expanding my horizons with finding, and really being clear and organized in the work. That will be important to understand as a District Leader. It was really interesting to learn from the experience of a missionary that I have seen grow a lot myself.
Elder Schenk

Alright, I'm a little low on time. Sorry, I forgot to bring my camera to the library, but I'll be sure to bring it next week with pictures of my new area and district! Love you all so much, thanks for your love. Thanks for your support. Go Missionary Work!

With love from Flushing for the last time (for now),
Elder Eric Schenk

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