The Big 1-9!!!

Time is an interesting thing. I can’t describe how it feels. For instance, I have no idea what has happened this week. I can’t tell if something happened two days ago, or if it happened two weeks ago! So I will do my best to recount this weeks activities…
We had a wicked awesome lesson this week! A members mom goes to a Baptist church. She is an older black lady, who invited her friend over for a lesson. They really wanted to understand what the priesthood was, and what happened to it… I know right? Solid. So we taught them the Restoration. With their bible. It was epic. They had an NIV, and it was a little bit of a challenge, but we managed to do it! Now we are going back tomorrow to teach the Plan of Salvation out of the bible. The bible is so cool, I am sad I never read it before my mission.
Pioneer day!! We had some stick pull, and of course some roping! Elder Finlinson brought his roping dummy on his mission… major farm boy! He set it up at the church and taught people how to rope. Then we projected the movie “17 Miracles” on the wall in the gym. Made a little movie theatre, and had members bring treats! We had 8-10 non-members there! It was a success. Didn’t really get to see the movie, I was trying to make sure that everyone was having a good time. I will watch it again one day.
We went to the beach this morning to do studies! And also to celebrate my birthday. (I am turning 19 by the way… ) I do not want to do anything on Friday, because we are supposed to be out working. So we celebrated with the Dybers at the beach. Mom and Dad.. you rock! Thanks for doing everything. The cake was great, and we had a good time. Studying out there was a blast too. I am a little sunburnt, but it was worth it.
I am studying Proverbs right now. There are some wise things in there! One that has stuck out to me is Proverbs 15:1 and it reads,
“A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger”
I am starting to learn how important it is to have self control. Especially when anger is involved. When we get angry, things happen that we regret. I have seen that evident in many New Yorkers out here. They are a little hot headed, especially on the road. Still love em though! Just fireballs. When I came across that scripture, I couldn’t help but think of my future. I am trying to learn how to control my emotions so that I don’t do something I will regret. That scripture rings true to all of us. If we are looking for peace in our homes, we HAVE to be able to disagree without being disagreeable. There is no other way. So that is what I am working on. I do wish peace in my future home, with my future family. Don’t we all though?
Elder Lee
Come what may and Love it

The Dreaded Day Has Come…

This week was…. an adventure! They all are. We went to the Long Island Ducks game with the Dybers! Hopefully they sent you some pictures from that. We did that on P-day! It was pretty fun. Even though my Ducks lost… grrr. ha!
Entrance to the game.

Entrance to the game.

Long Island Ducks 2013

Long Island Ducks 2013

Quacking at the ducks game!

Quacking at the ducks game!

So first of all.. Mike was baptized yesterday! That wasn’t the dreaded day of course. It was a great day! He finally is a “Saint” as he says. I love that guy. I will try to send some pictures home from the baptism later. The program went very well. Something really cool actually happened with that! We were with Bishop Smith visiting a less active couple. As we were meeting with them (for the first time) I had an impression. I felt prompted to ask him to speak at Mikes baptism! So.. I asked him! Elder Finlinson, and Bishop… mainly Bishop… were pretty shocked! He wasn’t too keen on the idea, but I knew the Holy Ghost was prompting me. He accepted, and came the next day! I had never ever seen him at church the whole time I have been here. He got up and gave a great talk. Bore powerful testimony, and now he is planning on coming next week! The Lord works by small and simple things! Incredible.
Second of all, Elder Finlinson and I are going to start a landscaping business. Not really… But we definitely could! I will send some pictures so that this really can make sense, but I will try to explain it. There were some bushes that a less active member needed to be trimmed. Unfortunately they were too tall for her (or anyone) to reach! Why not use a ladder you ask? Well good question. Naturally she didn’t have one. So we did what we do best! We improvised. He got on my shoulders, while wielding a hedge trimmer, and I walked all along the bushes and IN the bushes so that we could get the job done! Nothing was stopping us! Not even the disgusting bugs. Which by the way… there are TONS of. Long Island is filled with nappy insects. So I was surrounded by spiders and bugs while I was standing in this bush. With a person on my shoulders. Who was trimming bushes. What a day! 
Sean and Elder F. trimming bushes

Sean and Elder F. trimming bushes

7-23-13

Then it happened… The dreaded day had finally come. We were at 7-Eleven getting a drink. When the door opened, and in they walked. 3 women, wearing not so modest clothing! They immediately bee-lined over to us. I tried to escape, but couldn’t. I was trapped between glass and Elder Finlinson. He took off immediately. Right as I was about to turn around and walk away, they started talking to me. Actually hitting on me… The nerve!! Here is the worst part. I can’t talk to women anymore. I have finally become that awkward missionary! I pretty much just stared at them for a few minutes, mumbling things. Then I slowly grabbed my Arizona and with a blank stare on my face… walked away. The dreaded day of becoming an awkward missionary has come.
Those were some of the highlights of my week! Great things are happening out here. Keep the Terryville area in your prayers. We need all the help we can get. My birthday is coming up! The only reason I bring this up.. is to ask for a Birthday present! Duh. The thing I truly want for my birthday is for everyone to find ONE opportunity to share a message about the gospel to someone. Regardless if they are member or not. Then you can understand what I do ALL day every day. 🙂
Here is my spiritual thought of the day. This life isn’t meant to be easy. If it were easy, there would be no point. We all have work to do, and sometimes it will be really hard. But I came up with a little saying:
“The Lord found perfection through blood, sweat, and tears. He expects us to do the same.”
Love,
Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

Pleasure vs Happiness! *Warning, “Only in New York” Moment Enclosed*

What a week! Well.. I pretty much can say that after every week. Ha! They are all busy, and wonderful.

First of all…. Donna was confirmed yesterday!! So cool. I got to confirm her! That was a first. I was a little nervous, but of course everything was fine. She got her temple recommend right after church! We are going with the D”s on Friday. A bunch of ward members will be there hopefully.
There is a less active member we are working with. Brother R. I love this man. He is crazy! He has some stories that I wish I could tell you about. I don’t even think I am supposed to know the things he has told me…. Just know that he has had a crazy life!  We are currently helping them get back to the temple! The Temple should always be the goal. Always. Brother R loves to pick on me. Because I pick on him. He is a shorter, STRONG, guy. Definitely someone you would not want to mess with. So I was talking to Donna and Mike in the pews right after sacrament meeting. Brother R came up behind me, and put me in a headlock. I just start laughing and making fun on him of course (probably not the smartest idea). Then he asked if he was embarrassing me, so I said “no!”  Then he started kissing me on the cheek multiple times in front of the whole ward. Oh Brother R… what a guy… Only in New York!!
We are going to a “Long Island Ducks” Baseball game today! That should be fun. Yes mom… I will try to get some pictures for you! Haha I will let you know how it goes! We are going with the D’s… SO that should be interesting.
Lastly for a spiritual thought I came across a cool concept. I was reading Jesus the Christ on page 247 this week! There is a note titled “Pleasure vs Happiness”. The basics of it are that pleasure brings satisfaction momentarily, and immediately is followed by regret, sadness, etc. While happiness is something harder to achieve, and often requires sacrifice. Yet it yields a long-lasting sense of gratification. Happiness is what we CAN experience throughout eternity. But of course.. It is all up to us, and what we choose to do in this life! Go read that reference, James E. Talmage explains it better of course.
Speaking of happy….. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! Go get a senior discount movie ticket for me! 🙂
Love you guys,
Elder Lee
Come what may, and LOVE it.

The 4th of July, and a Sinful Generation!

Hello all!

This last week was pretty incredible! Donna got baptized! It was amazing. We were filling up the font to get ready for her baptism. Everything was in order! The font takes about 1 hour to fill up. After church I went up to Bishop Smith, and I said “What time did you start filling up the font? Do you think it is done by now?”. He started to nervously laugh and kind of freak out! I just started laughing. Ahh it was too funny. At the baptism we had the members speaking, and a member baptize her. I did get the chance to bear my testimony though! I was speaking, and just started crying. I was so happy. Just looking at Donna and how different her life is going to be now. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room afterwards. We were all just so happy. The spirit was very strong! It was an incredible experience.
Donna and all missionaries 2013

Donna and all missionaries 2013

Donna with Elder Lee and Finlinson 2013

Donna with Elder Lee and Finlinson 2013

Donna's baptism 2013

Donna’s baptism 2013

That was the highlight of my week for sure! Last Monday we started to teach a less active family. He likes to work out, so we go over there to work out with him and share a lesson! He was the one with the tithing experience. Super cool couple. I love them. Needless to say, I was sore for a couple of days after being over there.
The 4th of July was awesome! We got the chance to play in two softball games! One with missionaries, and one with the Terryville ward! It was fun to be able to play. I will join an adult league one day! I love it. That consisted of most of our day. Unfortunately we did not see any fireworks. We were in by 9:00. Just when the “rough crowd” was starting to make their appearance. In fact… We went to 7/11 on the way home! Of course we got our party drink of choice for the occasion! Slurpees.
That was about it for the night… We just witnessed so many people drinking, doing drugs, the whole 9 yards. Claiming to be having the time of their lives. I felt sad for them! They can’t find happiness. I try to talk to them, but they wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Ahhh.. The sins of the world make me sad.
Just a little fact for you.. In Suffolk county there was 197 DUI’s in one night. In Nassau county they had 220. In one night. We truly live in a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. All the more reason to be the “light in the darkness”.
Elder Lee
Come what may, and LOVE it !!
P.S. My new companion is awesome. I call him cowboy. Ha!

Only in NEW YORK!!!

Elder Finlinson is my new comp!! He is from Foll Creek, Utah!! Totally has a southernish accent. Its pretty funny. He grew up on a farm, and needless to say… isn’t a huge fan of New York. We get along just fine though!! We also finally have a 4 man pad. The zone leaders live with us now. Our whole zone got split up, and things are just crazy right now. It’s nice to see a little change every once in a while though!
First of all, there is this less active guy in our ward, don’t act too surprised because there are hundreds of them… but! Tingey and I visited him a few times just to drop by and check up on him, and he would always tell us that he was Jewish and not interested. Out of nowhere he called Bishop Smith to have all of us come over. He had a few concerns, and questions, but we addressed them all. He expressed a desire to come back, go to the temple, and get the Melchizedek Priesthood!! Wow. Obviously it was nothing that we did but it is still cool to be a part of. The Lord really does soften hearts.
The Reese family is another less active family we are working with! The wife is super solid, but the husband struggles a little. They have their own problems that they are dealing with. We taught them about tithing and the importance of it, and the next Sunday he showed up with his tithing money! He paid it in full. Not even 1 hour later he got a phone call to return to work for a day! Dock builders get a lot of money for just one day. It was a huge blessing for them, and it all came because he paid his tithing! We were all jumping up and down freaking out when it happened. It was fun.
Mike and Donna have been working really hard and are planning on getting baptized this Sunday!! They just need 2 more lessons, and an interview. They are very excited. She was in the hospital for muscle spasms on Friday, and was in severe pain. I told her she didn’t have to come to church if she wasn’t physically able to. She told us that she had to come. She knows how important it is. She hobbled her way to classes, and sat through the pain. What a champ!!
We had an interesting Saturday…. We set up a table to do a street sweep and this kid came over. Of course he looked like a gangster because everyone out here does. I started talking to him and then the police came over… They told us we didn’t have a permit to have a table up? So the table was literally only up for about 30 seconds. That’s all it took though! That led to a 45 min. discussion with this kid. The conversation eventually led to how rough the area where he lives is. He told us that he gets jumped all the time, and has to defend himself. Being the naive missionary I am, I asked “How do you do that?”. He proceeded to show me all of his MMA defensive moves. And I mean all of them. Right in the middle of a park. He was throwing me on my back, taking me down, and even throwing me over his shoulders. I think Sis Millett even got some pictures of it from a distance. The whole time I couldn’t help but think “only in New York”… It was a sight to see.
Sean_Park2 Sean_Park1
Then as we were going home we had to stop in a parking lot to give the sisters some things. As we do this a guy sitting on top of a moving car drives by. I didn’t think too much of it until I saw that he was steering his car. With his feet. Through the sun roof. Someone else was doing the pedals, and he was literally driving. Then he went out on a main busy street like this!!!! Not even 1 minute later a cop came whizzing by. Again… Only in New York.
Last night was the end of the month. We were about 5 miles away from home, and had 1597.3 miles on our car. Since we are trying to be exactly obedient we had to pull over and have the zone leaders come and pick us up! All I am going to say is thank goodness for July!!
It is weird that I am going to be 19 this transfer… I still feel like just a wee babe. Oh how time flies… Kind of. Ha!
Love,
Elder Lee
Come what may, and LOVE it.
P.S. Humidity is the worst.