So Long 2013!!!

This is going to be a long one… A lot happened last week! Here we go..

sean and his stocking 2013
Well Christmas time has come and gone here in New York! We had an
awesome week out here. It all started with Christmas Eve. We actually
had to wake up at 4:45 in the morning… yeah.. 6:30 is already pretty
early, in case you were wondering 🙂 We had to wake up to catch a
train to the mission office in queens, and transfer to a bus to take
us all the way out to Plainview! It was so fun. The whole entire
mission was there so I was able to see a lot of my friends. The
meeting was pretty musical. All the zones had musical numbers and then
we had a “Christmas Concert” at the end with narrators and more
musical numbers! I was in a quartet of sorts and we sang “Far Far Away
in Judea’s Plains”. It was a blast.

sean singing christmas mission conference 2013

President Calderwood also introduced our new vision for the mission!
It is incredible. In fact I will type it up for you:

New York New York South Mission Vision:

I am set apart from the world to serve with The Lord, Jesus Christ
here in New York. I am called to serve during this “most remarkable
era in the history of the Church”
The Hastening of His work

Through my Obedience miracles will happen
By living and preaching the gospel by the Spirit
I am Forever Changed

Baptism is the gate
Temple is the goal
Members are the key
Doctrine of Christ is the path
The Atonement is the only way

I don’t have the references included on there, but hopefully will be
able to get you the references soon. Isn’t that amazing? We all felt
the Spirit very strongly after the meeting. OH and Elder Olson was
there! He is the Area Authority for our area, and he is awesome. I was
able to talk to him for a bit and hear his testimony. He is a great
guy.

Then we had Christmas! We ate breakfast with a member from the
Carribean! He made us some delicious food.. (I am not exactly sure
what it was… I just eat it without asking) but it was so good. Then
we visited Joey! That was a humbling experience. I spent Christmas
sitting on a trash can with Joseph Booth. We made him cookies (a
little harder than people normally liked.. even too hard for Dad!) and
he had a hard time eating them because he only has a few teeth. BUT we
had a great visit. Sang Christmas songs at the top of our lungs. It
doesn’t get better than that 🙂 Then a member made us some Indian
Chicken and Curry. It was delicious. I love food.

After Christmas was over we had a finding activity at the subway stop!
We were shining people’s shoes for free! Nobody believed that it was
free, but a few people stopped and sat down. It is fun to really serve
people. There isn’t much service like shining somebody’s dirty shoes..

This was pretty funny. Elder McPherson and I were on the subway
talking to different people. Our stop comes up and, naturally, I get
off. He must not have noticed because he didn’t get off..!! By the
time I noticed he wasn’t behind me the doors had already closed. I
banged on the window and he saw me.. and he was pretty frightened! It
was hilarious. I called President to let him know. I was alone for
about 15 minutes before we were reunited! Oh the memories.

It poured rain yesterday. Poured. It made me feel like a missionary
though! Soaking wet trying to talk to people and look people up! It
was fun.. and wet. I spoke in church yesterday about missionary work!
Yay! It went pretty well. I am loving life! Things are great here in
Brooklyn! I appreciate your prayers. They really do make a difference!
Keep them coming. I hope everyone has a great New Year!! I will be
bringing the New Year in with a lot of… Sleep. Have some good clean fun
for me!!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

P.S. I am convinced the zombie apocalypse is happening. We were
walking down the street last night when we saw a man limping towards
us. Nothing too unusual so we just ignored him. Then he literally
jumped and snarled (like really snarled) at Elder McPherson. It
freaked us out a little bit, but we laughed it off. 🙂 Gotta love
Brooklyn!!!

Merry Christ-mas!

Well look at that.. It’s that time of year!! The Christmas season is
very different on the mission. Not in a bad way! I have loved focusing
on other people in stead of myself. Its something I haven’t been used
to, and I am not perfect at it yet! But hey, I am trying. We are still
talking to a lot of people and finally seeing the fruits of our
labors. Speaking of fruits, I tried a pomegranate the other day..
phenomenal. Who knew?

Aceley finally came to church yesterday! He is one of my Less Active
friends. He really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to have him there.
Adam was also there and he played his saxophone in the ward choir for
sacrament meeting. It turned out great. We had a really good day at
church. Even though we had to teach “Exaltation” to someone who came
to church for the first time in the Gospel Principles class. That was
an adventure. New Yorkers are born skeptical out here, and the whole
“We have the opportunity to become like God” topic is not an easy one
for them to grasp. Especially the ones who have seen the Book of
Mormon Musical (curse that thing). We did our best to teach by the
spirit, and hopefully they will pray about it and find out for
themselves! That’s about the best we can do. 🙂

My other friend Joseph Booth is waiting to get his eye surgery. He has
cataracts, and can’t see. We have been teaching him, but sheesh it has
been a challenge. I have learned a lot about patience. It is something
I have needed to learn a lot about. I have a feeling I am not done
learning yet… just a wild guess though! Ha!

Want to know how I am going to be celebrating Christmas? I am actually
really excited about it. We have a breakfast with a member from the
Caribbean! He is going to make us some amazing food. I love eating at
his house. This will be the second time. Then we are visiting people
who would normally be alone. Taking them some humble gifts (probably
cookies or something). Of course we will be skyping home! Yay! Then a
member from somewhere in Africa is feeding us dinner! He makes
delicious chicken curry. Then we will be going to this adult home to
spend the night there. Singing carols, and doing our best to spread
the real meaning of Christmas. 🙂 I can’t wait.

If there is one thing I have learned on my mission.. it is that Jesus
Christ does live. I know he wasn’t born on Christmas Day, but I am
very appreciative that we can dedicate a whole entire season to His
life. Let us not forget the greatest gift He gave to us, the
opportunity to live forever with Him and our Father. His atoning
sacrifice is the greatest gift He could have given, and I would
encourage everyone to study more about His life. Especially the sermon
on the mount. If we pattern our lives after His, we can find peace in
this life and eternal life in the world to come. “He lives all glory
to His name… Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives, I KNOW that MY
Redeemer lives”.

Merry Christ-mas!!
Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love Him

Time For a Change!

I have a new companion! Elder McPherson!! He is from Meridian, Idaho. He is awesome. We are having a great time. We get along just fine. That always helps. 🙂

 Before I forget. We totally saw a raccoon the other day. I had never seen one in person before until then. It was so random. You see the craziest stuff in Brooklyn, I am telling you. We chased it down.. but then I decided I didn’t want rabies so we left it alone.
We are still talking to a lot of people! In two weeks we almost talked to 1,000 people. Amazing huh?! It is fun to meet all kinds of different people. We lost a companionship over the transfers so now there are only 8 of us in the district. We adjusted our weekly goal because of it. So far out of the almost 1,000 people we talked to… nobody came to church. Yet! Ahh.. It is a little frustrating. It is okay though, we are trying our best and that is all we can do. Good things will come to those who wait!! For the time being we will just keep on working hard. Gotta love the mission!! 🙂
We had a sweet ward Christmas party! The missionaries performed a few songs and the ward did a nativity scene. It was cool to see the members with all of their talents. I enjoy Christmas. It is just a feeling that you can’t describe!!! We are trying our best to spread some Christmas cheer, despite the many scrooges that we meet!
I honestly have a hard time remembering what we did the last week. That is what journals are for though right? All I know is that I am loving life. The mission really is a refiners fire, and I am learning a lot. I am trying to make the most of every minute because it is going by too darn fast..
Oh I just remembered!! Ready for a funny (ish) story? We were eating a meal with someone (I know, it was a miracle) when we started to share a message with him. We were talking about the Ten Commandments and how important they are. We emphasized a particular one that we felt he needed to hear. After the lesson he said that he would do a better job of keeping the commandments if he could only have a printout of them on his wall. He promised that if they were only in a place he could see them, he would be able to more faithfully keep them! We told him that we would find a way to get it to him. As we were walking down the small hallway out of his house guess what we saw on his wall? A list of the Ten Commandments. Ha! Just remember that desire and change starts within us. Material things or reminders clearly won’t do the trick. Try a little harder, to be a little better. Don’t rely on things other than ourselves to fix our problems.. or we might end up getting embarrassed in the long run. 😉
Elder Lee!
Come what may, and Love it!

All I want for Christmas….

It is amazing that so many things can happen in just one week. Crazy.

Another roller coaster of a week! It was a good one though, like
always! On P-Day we had a zone activity and played a bunch of “minute
to win it” games! It was a lot of fun. I did the game with the cookie
on your face, and you have to get it from your forehead into your
mouth with just your face muscles… It was a riot.

Then in district meeting we all agreed on a really cool idea. We all
committed to talk to 500 people as a district… by Sunday We all
worked really hard! We had some activities to help out. We made some
cookies and carolled to people on two nights. The second night we did
it was Sunday night… we were shy of our goal by 80 people! Well we
might as well give up… Right? Wrong! We came together and literally
swept the streets. We didn’t let anyone by us without testifying of
Jesus Christ and his Atonement. It doesn’t get more powerful than
that. We hit our goal! Our district was awesome. Even though it was
rainy and freezing cold when we delivered cookies and carolled, we were
all troopers! We sang and testified our little hearts out!

For our weekly service project with prospect park, we were able to
help in “quaker cemetery”. It is a place that is normally 100% closed
off to the public. Nobody is really ever allowed in. They occasionally
let volunteers in to help with leaves and maintenance, and we were
chosen! SO all of us missionaries helped rake leaves in this peaceful
cemetery. It was a cool experience. I love service.

Lately I feel like I have been overworking myself. I have been trying
to do everything I can to be the best missionary. I am not perfect by
any means, but sometimes I take on too many things! It is unwise. It
leads to stressful things and sometimes is frustrating. I sometimes
may fall asleep on buses.. I am fine though. I am learning to balance
things out. I wouldn’t want to be wearing out my life doing anything
else!

We made a visit to a lady we didn’t know, and hadn’t ever seen at
church. Turns out she is a 96 yr old member who is totally blind. She
loved having us come over and was very appreciative. We asked if we
could sing her a Christmas hymn, and before we could start she was
singing to us! She was singing in her frail, 96 yr old voice. My heart
just about melted. It was beautiful.

Transfers! We got our transfer calls… I am staying in Midwood!! Yay!
Sadly, Elder Jensen will be leaving me. I will be getting a brand new
companion tomorrow. In fact 6 out of the 10 people in my district are
leaving. 😦 It is sad, but I am grateful to be able to work around
such incredible missionaries! Sis Blosil is also getting transferred.
Since we hit our goal of 500 she is going to be playing a mini-concert
today during p-day! We are stoked!

Well before this gets too long… I would like to echo the words of M.
Russell Ballard! For Christmas this year I hope that everyone can
follow his counsel. Please reach out to just one person and show them
that you love them. Whether that be family, neighbor, or enemy alike.
All people everywhere need to feel the love of Jesus Christ. People
are praying for that feeling this season, and we are the tools that
Heavenly Father uses to answer their prayers. Would you deny the
prayers of your family or neighbors? Show the people around you that
you love them. That is what this gospel is all about.

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love someone

P.S. Stake Conference was yesterday! It had to be translated into
Haitian-Creole, Cantonese, Spanish, and Mandarin… So diverse!! That
still isn’t even close to all the languages that are spoken here
either!

 

Cat in the grocery store? What?

Cat in the grocery store? What?

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!

Happy late thanksgiving! I had a great week. I am sitting in the
laundromat on my iPad currently. Technology amazes me. Really though,
I had a great week. Life is just too good. 🙂

Thanksgiving was incredible!! It started off with a mission wide
turkey bowl! Zone vs Zone! We lost… Both games.. But we had fun! I
may have injured my ankle a little… But nothing broke, thankfully.
It is bruised and still hurts… But I didn’t come on my mission to
sit on a couch! It is healing up quickly Mom. Stop worrying!

ankle injury from turkey bowl 2013

turkey football jensen lee burch

I saw all of my friends at the turkey bowl. I caught a pass on Elder Burch… He
wasn’t too happy! Ha! I love hanging out with all the missionaries,
even if it seldom happens. Good times! We traveled to Queens to play.
It was awesome. Then we had a sweet dinner appointment. There is a
young family who moved into the ward that invited us over for dinner.
Ironically… Neither of them really ever celebrate thanksgiving. He
is from England, and she is from Spain. They are such a cool couple
though! We had an English feast! It wasn’t a traditional American
thanksgiving at all, but I didn’t mind. We had Yorkshire pudding,
cheese and crackers, beef, sweet potatoes, vegetables, etc. Then they
brought out the apple pie for dessert. It was delicious. Like I
said… I love food.

So we had a blessed thanksgiving with a feast! Then the real feast
happened. I went to the temple the very next day! Now that was a
spiritual feast. I can’t wait to be able to work in the temple when I
get home. I am looking forward to that. I learned so many things when
I went to the temple. It really is the house of God. I know that
personally. If you are worthy for it, please go to the temple! It’s
hard to convey in words how special the temple is to me. You will feel
the same way if you just attend!

Just wait. It gets even better! I got a phone call from Elder
Finlinson the other day. Remember Rich?! I met Rich my very first
transfer in Terryville. Elder Tingey and I worked with him for over 7
months. He would never get baptized… Until the good news came! On
the phone I heard that Rich finally committed to baptism! Elder Jensen
and I traveled all the way out to Terryville (many train rides..) to
attend! It took about 3 hours to get there, but it was worth it! I was
able to baptize him. It was amazing.

I am excited for the Christmas season! I am convinced this is the best
time of year because everyone just spent a whole month being grateful.
Gratitude is a stepping stone in our journey to becoming like Jesus
Christ. Don’t forget the real reason for the season!

christmas

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!
P.S. Sorry for any grammar errors.. Typing on an iPad is rough stuff!
I am grateful to have an iPad though 😉