Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

I got transferred to Little Neck!
It's an area right up the road from Flushing, and we have a ward! It's the ward that President Calderwood's family goes to. I guess he is keeping his eye on me...
Last Tuesday and the weekend before were HUGE! They reorganized the mission because they formed a new stake. We used to have the Brooklyn Stake, Queens Stake, Lynbrook District, and the Plainview Stake. Some wards were formed, and now part of Queens Stake and Plainview Stake are in the Lynbrook Stake! So our mission is covered by stakes! 
Queens stake was renamed the Woodside stake. That's the part of Queens that its stake center is in.
So each stake has 3 zones of missionaries in it. They added on Little Neck (my district) to Flushing's zone, so I am back in my home zone! We will have to get pictures as a district. I have already served with a lot of the missionaries in my district and zone. 
Our district has my companion (Elder Hooper) and I  (he is an English missionary - our ward has some Spanish people, so they are actually allowed to stay, or go to the ward in Mineola)
The rest of our district is Sister Lewis and Sister Peacock - they both speak spanish and are sister training leaders (kind of like Assistants/Zone leaders for sisters. they do exchanges with them. There is a companionship of sister training leaders in every stake now).
The last companionship is Elder Park and Elder Law. They work in the Korean Branch in Little Neck, which is actually called the Flushing 3rd branch, but there isn't space in the Flushing building, and we are right up the road. Elder Park was in Flushing while I was there, and Elder Law was in Bushwick English while I was there. Elder Law is the one from Vancouver. Elder Park is from South Korea!
So my district is really experienced. We have all been out over a year. I am used to being around much younger missionaries. 
our area has a car, which is something that I actually never wanted on my mission, but I am coping with it quite nicely now. On Wednesday or Thursday I drove for the first time in over a year (it was just a short drive to the church from our apartment in the morning - we and the other elders play soccer in the gym there - we have a gym!). The drive felt really weird, but not too bad, and I'm getting it back. 
this is from my letter to president

Dear President Calderwood,

I am so excited to be able to serve here in Little Neck! I love the district, I love the zone, and I love the things that we are doing here. There is a huge emphasis in both units here of working with the youth. That has been one of my dreams. I think that God has done much to prepare me for this (and I feel like I say that all the time). I am excited and grateful to have Elder Hooper as my companion. I have hoped to have a senior companion again to teach me more "secrets of the work," and I have been learning. I love how Elder Hooper plans. It's something that I really need to develop, because planning and nightly follow up have usually been very long processes for me on my mission. With Elder Hooper, they are really effective and take a lot less time.
I believe that my love for Flushing and a lot of the missionaries there will be key in helping our district, which is separated from the rest, be really unified with the rest of the zone. And I think that the whole zone has a positive feeling for each other.
Working in English has highlighted something that the mission leader in Bushwick told us a lot: that when you speak the peoples' native tongue and understand their culture naturally it is much easier to work with them. I think that I see that here a lot. Maybe it's because of my background in American culture, but I feel like this ward is much better established than the other units I've served in. But even so, I hear people complaining a lot about how we aren't where we could or ought to be. I have seen that in every unit I've served in. It's good to see our need for change, but I think that the units need to see the good that they have and apply the Doctrine of Christ to build from there.
I am just so excited to be here, President. Multiple times in my first day here, I said "I can't imagine anything more perfect!" God is so good. 

(this part isn't from that letter)
I had this idea to connect a food object lesson to the Atonement.
Imagine that we are like a block of cheese (good start, eh?)
We are a block, but God wants us to be a circle (or if you are really committed to making it look good, you can say a sphere and be much more technical)
The best way to get like a circle is to start at the part that is the least like a circle, our greatest weaknesses, the corners.
so with a cheese grater, start grating the corners (be sure to collect the grated cheese, you will need it later on of course)
move from corner to corner, weakness to weakness, until you are getting closer and closer to the circle that God wants you to be. it is a constant process, sometimes you need to take of lots of cheese, sometimes you just need to shave off a little, refine the circle
when you are done, you have the circle, and a pile of cheese you can use for nachos, or pizza, or something else. Enjoy the benefits of the Atonement!
On Sunday at church, I translated into Spanish. That was a good practice for me. And our ward mission leader is mexican (but speak great english), so I get some good spanish practice in. 
I ought to wrap up this letter, my time at the library is almost out.
Love you all!  Elder Schenk
ps how much are you feeling the Hastening over there in washington

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