The Promised Land of Sri Lanka

Mom and Dad, you guys would be proud! We played up and down the river
last p-day! It was a lot of fun. Oh and we played Egyptian rat slap
too! I am getting better, so you guys should practice up.

Mutual was fun! We played capture the flag with the boys. There wasn’t
very many people who even knew how to play, I didn’t know it was a
west coast thing? I guess they typically don’t have very much space to
run around and play games like that out here in NY. We have seen some
boys starting to come to church again, and come to mutual every week!
It is cool to be a part of their re-activation.

Alright so another Sri Lankan man should be getting baptized next
week! Yay! We are really excited for him. He is a great guy. He was
another member referral. Go figure!

We had an encounter with someone who is anti-mormon… The
conversation was interesting. It got a little more heated than it
should have. Ha! It ended with him yelling at me, “You are going to
hell!!!”. Eh, it wasn’t the first time! It amazes me that so many
people think we are going to hell for our beliefs? Crazy. Just another
glorious day in NY! I love it here, but I do miss being surrounded by
people who have the same beliefs as me. Don’t take that for granted!

We had a great Saturday! We spent a lot of time down at the Staten
Island ferry. We handed out 5 gallons of free lemonade. It helps us
break the ice with people, and they are more willing to talk to us.
Our district worked super hard and we saw the blessings that came from
it! There were tons of people at church, and every investigator had
great comments during Sunday school. We were so blessed. Oh and we
taught the 5th sunday lesson on missionary work! That night we went
over to a member’s home and taught his nephew. WOW! That was like the
third time that had ever happened. We didn’t know what to do with
ourselves. Ha! Anyways, we were really blessed yesterday.

One thing that I have learned lately is that in order to become One
with The Father and The Son, we have to put Them first in every
aspect. We can’t be unified with Them if we have different goals, and
desires in life. Elder D. Todd Christofferson said something along the
lines of, “I tremble sometimes to think about what that means, but it
is a process that takes time”. Even though it may take some time, it
is a worthwhile pursuit in life. It is a scary thought to always put
God first, but I know we will be blessed for it!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

I want S’more!

Our weekly service project was quite the project again! I learned how
to mix concrete! Even though I expected to learn a lot on my
mission… I did not expect to learn that! Ha ha it was fun. We had a
team that just mixed concrete for a little more than an hour straight.
We didn’t stop, and just mixed as much as we could. We ended up
actually finishing their whole days job in two hours! We had a blast.
Oh and it was HOT. Good work out though. 🙂
sean concrete service 2014 concrete job 2014
The ward had a campout! Well the ward was supposed to have a campout,
but only three families showed up. We went to support them, and helped
them set up their tents and gather wood. It was pretty weird because
their is actually a place to go camping in New York City! It was a Boy
Scout camp. We were in nature again though (temporarily) and it felt
good. I actually ate a S’more. I was in heaven! It is amazing how much
joy you can find in the simple things.

sean at campout to give directions 2014 nature in staten island 2014 sean and district campout 2014

Saturday morning we played some handball for exercise! We met a guy
there and played with him. We started talking to him, and we actually
went back this morning to play doubles with him and his partner. We
are going to go back and play with them in the mornings for our
exercise. I dove for the ball and scraped up my pinky pretty bad. I
scraped off my knuckle.. haha! It was for the greater good though! You
never know who will be interested in the Gospel! We are working on
getting a good relationship with them for now.

I love handball. I want to build a court in Utah when I get home.
Haha! Now that I know how to mix concrete. I just need the funding…

Anyways! We had a street sweep at the ferry. We handed out free
lemonade and materials! It was really fun. People are a lot nicer when
there is free stuff that they are interested in. We talked to a few
people with serious potential. Street sweeps are always fun!

Last week we played volleyball at Coney Island! It was so fun. I love
playing sports.

I also love this Gospel! There is nothing more important. I know that
is true. I absolutely love studying the depth of the Gospel. I started
reading Jeremiah today! In Jeremiah 1:5 it says “I knew thee”.
Interestingly enough the hebrew word for ‘knew’ is yada. Yada is
translated to mean more of a personal connection, rather than just
“hey yeah I knew you from 2nd grade” or whatever. To me it shows the
kind of Father-son relationship that God had with Jeremiah before he
was born. He didn’t only know us, it means much more!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

I Am Running Out of Creative Titles…..

We saw some deer this week!!!! In NYC! Haha we were freaking out when
we saw them. There is like a super miniature forest across from our
house. Right next to the freeway.. haha it is kinda sad, but hey!
Trees are trees. Even a little bit of nature is better than none. So
we saw those deer over there as we drove by.

Ready for a funny story? So we had planned to go board the Staten
Island Ferry to fearless people. We get on, and I felt prompted to sit
at this specific seat. I sit down, and Elder Beazer sat behind me on
the other row so we could talk to more people. People kept passing us
(nobody wanted to sit by religious people, imagine that!) and so I
turned to Elder Beazer and he was saying that with all of these people
he was hoping to meet some members or something. He told me that he
had never met random members while he was out proselyting. After he
said that I turned around… literally within 15-20 seconds this
family walks over to me and says, “Lets sit over here by the Elder!”.
Turns out they were members visiting from Utah. HA! Prayers are
answered. We talked to them for a little while, and gave them some
pass-along cards to hand out while they were here. I thought that was
pretty cool.

We made homemade pizza with the YM for mutual! It was at Bishop’s
house. It was really good. We are having a lot of fun working with the
youth.

Service was filthy this week!!! They had put in a bunch of gravel in
our hole that we dug. It rained, and the hole wasn’t deep enough… so
we had to remove all of the gravel they put in, and take out like 4-5
more inches of dirt… There was mud and stuff everywhere. It was
pretty fun 🙂
Well I am always learning something new! A lot of people out here
believe that they will be saved by grace and not have to actually do
anything. Well they are kind of right… We are saved by grace after
ALL we can do (2 Nephi 25:23). I came across a scripture in James 2:19
that basically says “Great job for believing, but hey that’s not
enough! Even the devils believe that God is God”. If salvation was
really determined by confessing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,
then even demons would gain salvation (which is clearly not true). We
see an evil spirit actually doing this in Mark 1:24. Obviously James
was right when he said “Faith without works is DEAD” (James 2:26).
Just some cool food for thought. Faith is important, but without
obedience (works) to God’s commandments, we could never prove that we
love Him (John 14:15)! (See also Matthew 7:21)

Life is hard. Life is good. That is the way it was supposed to be!
Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

Elder Beazer Takes Flight

Wow. What a week!!! I really mean it when I say that. It was quite the week.

Our weekly service project was the same thing as the week before. We
did some touch up on our massive hole that we dug. It was so hot. I
was dripping in sweat, and I got a nice sunburn! The sunburn mainly
came from mowing that lawn again! We try to mow it every two weeks for
her. She has actually been coming back to church recently!! She is
great. (Oh by the way, getting a sunburn on your neck plus wearing a
white shirt all of the time, isn’t the best combo! Ha!)

6-10-14-2

Then we had some training from President Calderwood and the assistants
about Online Proselyting. They made it really fun. We played
Jeopardy!! They even put on mustaches like Alex T. Hahaha it was a
blast.

Saturday was awesome because we got the chance to work with some ward
members! We went out and looked up different people basically all day
with members. The young mens president and the Teachers quorum pres
came out with us to reach out to LA youth. We had a lot of fun. It has
been great to be able to participate in the youth program. We are
trying to help all of the young men get their Duty to God, and then go
on a mission! That is the goal. Luckily we have Facebook, and we can
keep in touch with all of them and help them get there even after we
leave!

We knocked on a door and guess what was inside? A family! They were
super cool, and they told us to come back later to share a message and
talk about religion with them. We are excited for that. Also at church
a man came in who was just baptized in Africa! He is such a solid
member. He googled the church and found his way here. He is pure in
heart, and we are going to take him to the temple after he receives
the Priesthood! Miracles are happening all over the place.

Here is the funny experience of the week! We were going to the
hospital to see a member who is going through chemotherapy. On the way
in, we noticed a bunch of wild turkeys (random right?). We pull into
the parking lot and there is just a turkey chilling in the bush. We
kind of chuckled and kept walking. Then we hear some chirping. We look
over and see a little baby turkey trying to climb up the curb. Elder
Beazer goes over to help the poor thing up, and as he is approaching
the baby I see the Momma turkey getting anxious. As soon as he bends
over to help the baby, the Momma turkey spreads her wings and FLIES
after him. He takes off running!! This turkey just started chasing him
and tried to attack him. Luckily the turkey gave up, and only pride
was hurt that day. I could not stop laughing though. I will never
forget his face. Ha!! Its okay though because that night I tripped
down some cement steps carrying a crate of food and spilled it
everywhere… Karma eh?

The highlight of the week was having Elder S. Gifford Nielsen come for
a mission tour! We had an amazing conference yesterday. I learned so
many things! He talked about a variety of things that I have written
down, but I wanted to focus on one today. They split up the Elders and
Sisters for this part. Elder Nielsen talked to us about how our
missions are meant to help us become the BEST fathers and eternal
companions ever. It was crazy to realize that. A mission isn’t just
something that you do when you are 18 or 19. It is meant to change
you. To turn you into a person who can lead a family. I am grateful
that my dad chose to serve a mission! He has been one of my heroes
throughout my life. I have been blessed to be his son. I know that is
true because I have seen the other kinds of dads out here in the
world. My dad is awesome (even if he laughs at his own jokes:)
Ultimately I am grateful to have a perfect Father in Heaven. I love
him. I try to live my life every day to make Him proud. Although I
make many mistakes, Heavenly Father will always welcome us back into
His arms if we utilize the Atonement of His Son. During Father’s Day
this week, take a minute to show some appreciation towards your
earthly father, but take even more time to talk WITH your Father in
Heaven. That (in my opinion) is one of the greatest gifts you could
give Him.

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

Partying, Partying, Yeah!

Too many things happened last week. I will try to sum it all up!

Well I got a new companion! Elder Beazer. He is great! We hit the
ground running this past week. It started off with us having to clean
out our apartment… We started carrying all of our stuff upstairs (to
the other elders apartment who live above us, because we would have to
live with them until our new apartment opens up). We carried dressers,
supplies, clothes, etc. We thought we had to be out by the end of May
so we were trying to get it all done! We call the guy in charge to
clarify what is going on, and we got a little surprise! He said we
didn’t have to be out until next month! So we had to go upstairs and
bring all of our stuff back down. We went to a meeting the next day,
and on the way home we got a call from Elder Tingey in the office. He
was telling us that we actually had to be out of our apartment by the
end of May. Ahh… we had to take EVERYTHING upstairs. Every last
thing that was in that apartment had to be moved and cleaned. We had
to finish it by Saturday night so we spent the whole entire day
cleaning. It was a long day, but we managed to do it. Life lesson?
Communication is key. Haha…

Our weekly service project was pretty fun! We had to dig out a trench
in the backyard of a home.  It was supposed to be six feet wide, and
one foot across. It was about eighteen feet long.. it was  quite the
project! We managed to do it all in two hours though! I didn’t notice
until near the end, but I got some pretty gnarly blisters on my hands.

We were looking up some people who Bishop had asked us to when we met
this lady. At first she tried to slam the door, but we managed to
start talking to her. Basically we just asked her a question or two
and she started telling us her life story. She had been baptized about
twenty years ago with her six sons. The missionaries always came over,
even for Christmas. Then her missionaries went home… her oldest son
who originally wanted to be a missionary started going down the wrong
path. She tried to reach out to her missionaries, but they left her
obviously. She tried to reach out to the church but nobody helped her
(the story seemed pretty one-sided, but I am sure there was some truth
in there). Anyways. To make a long story short. She gave up on trying
to get all of her kids to church as a single mother and started to
make some not so smart decisions in life. She stopped living the
Doctrine of Christ and now she is not happy. We listened to her, and
tried to at least let her know that we felt bad for her. She promised
us that it was beyond repair, but we are going to go back and see how
she is doing.. It is important that these Recent Converts have strong
friends in the church!!!!!! I gained a stronger testimony about that.

Chino bakes are delicious. They are basically just bread with filling.
Sometimes meat or vanilla pudding stuff. We get them in Dyker Heights
when we have to go for meetings! They are everywhere and really cheap.
A missionary’s favorite! Speaking of which. I am gaining weight. We
have too many things to worry about, and a lot of time we only have
time to eat really bad food. But hey! At least it tastes good. One of
these days we will have to do better with our eating. Ahh… so many
THINGS to do. It is great.

Lastly, we went to a party last night! No really, we did. It went from
7pm-12am. We didn’t stay the whole time, but we stayed out pretty
late. Are you wondering what we were doing?! Well the family that is
investigating right now had a special party. It was in honor of the
“Sweet Mothers of Staten Island”. Basically a night to celebrate all
of the Liberian mothers on Staten. It was great. Our mission president
gave us permission to go and support them. We ate some good food, and
tried to talk to our table about the church.. they weren’t interested.
Turns out they were all either pastors themselves, or married to a
pastor… That is NY for you! We still had a great time. The family
really appreciated our support.

Well this is too long, and I have a nap to take. Just to wrap it up,
President Calderwood spoke some wise words in transfer meeting this
past week. He said “If you are willing to do hard things in life, you
will be successful”. I know that is true!! Success comes from hard
work. He also said, “If you serve (or do anything) for a pat on the
back, that is the ONLY reward you will get”. Pretty intense, but it is
true. God doesn’t want us to flaunt our ‘service’ around. Do things
because you really mean it, and don’t seek recognition. That is the
two cents of the week. He is a wise man!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!