#SharetheGift

What a memorable week. I will never forget this past Thanksgiving! That is for sure.

We started out the week making team shirts! We bleached the back of some “I heart NY” shirts for our turkey bowl team. The whole entire mission got together to play football on Thursday! It was freezing… we won our first game, but ended up losing. It was a blast though! I miss playing football. Oh and I accidentally pulled my hamstring while I was running for a pass… It hurt so bad. I went down pretty hard, and didn’t get up for a bit. I am recovering though. It is really tender and it still hurts, but I just have to keep on keeping on!

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After the Turkey Bowl, we went to the Forbes! They are a Jamaican family from the branch. They fed us so much food. It was unreal the amount of food that they had. Our whole entire branch could have been fed by that dinner. I ate a little too much food… I threw up in their bathroom. Everyone could hear me, and they all laughed at me when I came out. Hahaha! It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though. We had another dinner appointment after that. We kept eating at the second appointment because we didn’t want to be disrespectful. I excused myself and threw up in their house too! Another blessing in disguise… Then I had room for pie. 🙂

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I had an exchange! I was with Elder Beazer and Elder Young for the day. I love those two guys. We had a great exchange. We found a new investigator, and taught a former investigator. Then we had to stop by a pharmacy and grab some stuff for my leg, so we loaded up on chips and soda for the night! Well I drank seltzer water… haha #mormonparty We had a great time. Then we woke up the next day and found a surprise. We walked out to where we parked our car, and it wasn’t there. We all interrogated each other thinking that someone moved it during the night… We were happy to find out that nobody was lying! But then we realized we still had no idea where our car went. So we had to call the towing place for our complex, and this guy rolled up. He wasn’t all the way there in the head… We got him to give us a little discount, and he drove us to the bank. OUR CAR WAS TOWED! Haha I was so upset. They live in the same complex thingy as us, but they have a different parking pass because it is a different street… Wow. Gotta love New York! We ended up getting the car back, with a little dent to the bank account. It made for a memorable exchange. 🙂

Well I applied for BYU Provo. We will see if I get accepted. It is weird to be this close to going home. I am trying to focus, but there are so many things calling my attention. A lot of them are legitimate things that I have to worry about… Like school. 😦 No thanks. I will stay on my mission.

Anyways!! It was another good week in the books. I will leave you with a little spiritual thought. I am trying to study about the Savior’s life everyday this month because of the “He is the Gift” initiative from the church.So I was studying in John 2 today. The first eleven verses are about Jesus turning the water into wine. Just like He can change water into wine, he can take people with unrighteous desires and change them to have righteous desires. We simply have to be obedient. I know people can change, no matter how long and hard the process is. We just have to turn to the Savior! Especially during this time of the year.

Have you heard of the “He is the Gift” business? If not, google it. Watch the video. Find out how you and your family are going to do these three things this month:

#DiscovertheGift #EmbracetheGift #SharetheGift

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

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The Mish!!!

Well I almost crashed the car this week.. We were driving down the
road and I felt something crawling on my neck. So naturally I freaked
out inside and swatted at whatever was crawling on me. I look at the
windshield and see a spider! Don’t ask me how it got there… I was
focused on that spider to make sure Elder Galloni killed it. While I
was focusing on the seemingly immediate threat, I missed the real
danger. Ha! I looked up just in time to swerve out of the way of a
truck that was heading our way 🙂 Nice eh? Moral of the story… don’t
get caught up on the little things. There you go.

I was reminded of some (not so) great memories this past week! A
member needed help taking down their trampoline. I have not missed
that grueling project, I will tell you that much! Some of those
springs got the best of us, but we were glad to help out.

We had a really cool experience this week! President Calderwood came
to town! He came to interview one of our investigators for baptism,
and while he was here he spent some extra time with us. He took the
district out to lunch and knocked some doors with us. It was funny
because I was telling him, “Knocking doors isn’t the most effective
thing so we don’t do it very often,  but we wanted to do it with you”.
The first door we knock on we get let in, say a kneeling prayer and
get a return appointment for the sisters (she actually has already
been taught with the relief society president and has a baptismal
date). We walked out of the house and President put his arm around me
and said, “Elder, I don’t believe you anymore”. Haha yeah… Anyways.
He was interviewing our investigator and so we were waiting in her
living room. In the middle of the interview she busts through the door
and takes all of these alcohol bottles from around the house and dumps
them down the drain! It was kind of a surprise, but she was serious
about it! There have been a few hiccups since her interview so she
won’t be baptized for a while, but she is on her way! President
Calderwood is such a great guy. I really look up to him.

There was a celebration on Saturday!! Do you remember Mike and Donna?
They both got baptized last year when I was here. They were just
married at the Terryville chapel! They are planning on getting sealed
in a year. I am so happy for them. We had a nice ceremony performed by
the Bishop, and then a party afterwards! I think most people had a
good time. Sadly, Mike and Donna moved upstate already. Everyone is
leaving!! The Binetti family is actually moving to Utah. Crazy. We
finally found all of these people to be baptized, and they just leave!
I guess we just need to find more or something haha!

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Everything is going good! I am more than happy to be enjoying this
mission experience still. There are a lot of ups and downs, but wow
they are great for me. I am learning a lot of lessons. One thing that
I have loved lately is the new mormon message! Everyone should take
the time to watch it. Especially mothers. It is about 8 minutes long,
but it is worth it. Sometimes we all get bogged down with all of the
things we have to do, but remember!! If you aren’t making someone’s
life better you are wasting your time! Live to help other people.

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

You Got Served!!

Not sure if I have used that title before.. but I liked it, so I
figured I would use it anyways!

This week we were blessed to help out with a lot of service projects!
It was a lot of fun. We were destroying a bathroom one day, and
cleaning out chicken coops the next! It was kind of cool to see some
real live chickens! It has been a while. I really appreciated the
chance to serve other people. It was a fun time!

We also had the chance to play volleyball with the ward! Some
investigators came to play with us, and it was a good fellow-shipping
activity for them. Plus I love volleyball, so it was a win-win!!

I don’t have a lot of time today, but I wanted to share something that
I learned in Gospel Principles! We were talking about sacrifice! The
teacher talked to us about the relationship between cost and
sacrifice. I will give you an example. The cost of an ice cream cone
may be $1. That cost is the same for everyone, regardless. BUT each
person sacrifices different amounts in order to earn that $1. Someone
may get paid $5 an hour compared to someone else who gets paid $10 an
hour. You see how one person may have to work harder to earn that $1,
and that means they sacrificed more. We all have to make sacrifices in
order to gain salvation. Each person’s level of sacrifice is
different. We can not judge what another person is sacrificing, or
trying to sacrifice. Only God knows our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7) and
what we go through as individuals when we work out our own salvation
(Phillipians 2:12). Try not to put others down, but lift them up as we
all try to return to live with God again!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

Maggots to Flies!

Another crazy crazy week in the books!

Last Monday we had such a great P-day. A ton of missionaries drove to
the Plainview chapel to play basketball. It has the biggest court in
the mission. We played for like three and a half hours! It was such a
blast. I saw Elder Adams there! He seems to be doing well.

We went to visit a less active this past week with their home
teachers, and they had some pit bulls. Wow those things are mean. I
wouldn’t know what to do if a pit bull came after me. It was barking
at us, but it ended up being really nice after it realized that I
wasn’t an intruder. Thank heavens I wasn’t…

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This week we have been pretty darn bold with people. In all of our
lessons we have been straight up with them. There is no more time to
beat around the bush. We can’t waste a minute!!! There were three
people that we were bold with about coming to church, and one of them
actually ended up coming!! It was pretty cool. Although the other two
just didn’t show up… Ahh oh well. We teach correct principles and
let people govern themselves!

I had a pretty fun exchange this week!! I took him to Taco Bell for
lunch. I challenged him to eat six Taco Bell burritos. Ha… He did
it. It was pretty crazy. Taco Bell has a dollar menu now, so all of
our lives are changed forever out here 🙂 Honestly though.. it is
about time they got a dollar menu.

Remember all of those maggots that we thought we killed? Well somehow
we missed some… and they all turned into flies. We came home one
night and our apartment was swarming with flies!!! We spent the night
trying to see who could kill more flies. That night we killed almost
thirty, and since then we have killed over fifty. Haha it was kind of
disgusting.

We carpooled into a big meeting with some elders. One of the Elders
was Elder Cocoa. He danced at Vibe!! With Tynan, and all of those
people. Small world eh? We talked about some people that we both knew.
He was a really cool Elder. There are so many cool people out there to
meet! I love it.

Anyways, I have to get going now. I hope you all have a good week!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

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Going Home!

It has been a crazy week! I got transferred back to Terryville! This
is the area that I started my mission in, and I love it. It is great
to be back and see all of my old friends. Sadly, a lot of the families
that I knew moved away. It is still good to be back home. This place
feels like my home. 🙂

My last day in Staten was awesome. We went out with our Ward Mission
Leader on Monday night! He is the coolest guy. We learned a lot of
wise words from him. I made sure to record all of his advice about
life. Haha! Then the next day we woke up and went to transfer meeting!
I found out that I will be companions with Elder Galloni. He is
straight from Italy! He has been on his mission for one more transfer
than I have. It is nice to have some Italian cooking in the house!

One of the coolest experiences is teaching with people that got
baptized when I was here last year. We went teaching with two
different recent converts. It is such a blessing to be able to see how
much they have changed, and how much they have learned! Wow that was a
treat.

We had a service project this past week! A member needed help painting
her house that she is moving into. For some reason people take that
talk from Elder Nelson a little too seriously. You know the “Ask the
missionaries they can help you” talk? Yeah. Well I guess she thought
we were professional painters? Anyways, we went over and tried our
best… and honestly I thought it turned out pretty good! Mom’s phrase
came to mind as we were doing it, “You get what you pay for”. Haha! I
don’t think the member was too happy with our painting job.. Ha! We
are going back over tomorrow with some members to try and fix it? I
don’t know.. I can’t seem to win these days.

OH get this. So over the past couple days we have been SO busy. But
when we were in our apartment, Elder Galloni would walk by the fridge
and smell something rotten. He would look in the fridge and behind it,
etc. We could never find the source of the smell. Finally after a few
days we had a minute to check around for the smell. I found a bag of
potatoes on top of a shelf above the fridge… the bag was leaking
with juices. The potatoes were rotting. The worst part? There was
maggots everywhere…!!!! It was disgusting. That was a fun one to
clean up. Do you want to know the really funny part? When we were
first put together as companions Elder Galloni told me that he was
kind of a neat freak and that he doesn’t want a messy companion…
Ironic eh? 🙂

We are teaching quite a bit! It is really nice to be busy. Huge
blessing. I don’t know what else to say! I am really extra tired all
of the time. Who needs sleep these days anyway? Sheesh.. I hope
everyone has a great week! I know I will!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

HAPPY Sunday!

We had a really cool experience this past week! We have been trying to
get in touch with this less active lady for a while now. We met her a
little while ago, and we have been trying to teach her ever since. We
kind of forgot about her because we couldn’t ever get over there.
Randomly Elder Beazer said, “You should give her a call”. So I picked
up the phone and…. she didn’t answer. Then five minutes later she
called us back! She said, “I was just telling my sister that the
elders forgot about me… and then you called”!!! Wow. We were kind of
freaking out. It was really cool.

We had interviews with President Calderwood this week. I look up to
him so much. It is always a good time when we get the chance to talk
to him. After the interviews we had exchanges! I was able to go with
Elder Baker. He is such a humble missionary. I look up to him a lot.
We had a good time! It wasn’t very long, but we taught a young man
about the importance of the temple. It was a good lesson.

Our service project gave me some more gnarly blisters! Our task was
not easy… we had to get a tree stump out of the ground. Those things
are stubborn, let me tell you. Elder Beazer and I swung at part of it
with some axes for like twenty minutes. We did barely any damage to
it. I am guessing we will be going back to the same place to finish
our job this Wednesday. It was fun to swing an axe though. 🙂

A member took us out to eat at a Malaysian restaurant! It was mainly
all really good! Some of it was pretty interesting.. but it was mostly
delicious. They came out with these HUGE coconut shrimps. Bigger than
my fists. Those things were good.

My Birthday was a sacred day for me. So many people took care of me. I
could feel their love! Wow. It was great. Of course my mom took care
of me all the way from Utah! I was truly happy that day, and very
humbled. It was humbling to see all of these great people who are in
my life. I love Staten Island. It is a sacred place in my heart!!

We had a meeting on Friday. We talked about online proselyting. They
asked for opinions on it. I raised my hand and said that it usually
ends up being a waste of time for myself and other missionaries, so I
just avoid it now. That is why I haven’t really posted anything for a
while. Then he made a great point. Should we avoid everything just
because it can potentially be bad? Tracting isn’t always productive,
should we avoid that? Contacting isn’t very fun, should we avoid that?
We have Facebook as missionaries because The Lord wants us to have it.
So… I repented and started using it effectively the next day. 🙂 It
made me think about all of the things in life that we avoid all
together because of how hard they are. It is no excuse! Sometimes we
have to buckle down, and do the hard things in life. We can’t
selfishly avoid things in life. Sometimes you have to step up to the
plate!!

Overall, I am happy. Happy to be in New York. Happy to be on my
mission. Happy to be a member of this church. This way of living
really is the way to ultimate and lasting happiness!!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

Do you want a free book?

Another week of the mish in the books!!! It was a good one. Imagine that, huh?

We are trying to get better at following the Spirit, and we did a
little better this past week! There were a couple of cool experiences
that happened. Last Monday night we were trying to visit  some former
investigators, and they weren’t home… but we saw a guy standing on
the porch next to us. We looked at each other and we both said “I feel
like we should talk to him”. Well then, okay! We looked back at him,
and… he was walking away getting in his car. It is usually awkward
to chase people down, but we figured we would do it anyway. 🙂 So we
went up to his car and asked him, “Do you want a free book?” (I never
know what to say, so I just kinda go with it haha). He actually said
yes. So that was cool! We testified to him, and he said we could come
back!! He hasn’t been home yet, but it was still cool! Then we were
driving to a Less Actives house and I saw this guy on the side of the
road sitting on the curb. I felt like we should talk to him, but I
said… “That is awkward, better not”. We kept driving, and then I
pulled over. We walked over (having no idea how to approach him) and
just started talking. He was not into religion at all… but it wasn’t
too bad! We are trying to find those people, but we gotta keep
looking!

I went on exchanges with Elder Tingey! He was my first companion, and
so it was fun to be back with him. We talked about all of the good
times that we had!! It was a blast from the past. It is crazy that we
were companions over a year ago.. time flies!! OH we were walking by
Mcdonalds and there was a person begging for money. (A little side
note, if you ever decide to beg for money DON’T SMOKE WHILE YOU DO IT!
Or smell like alcohol) I reached in my pocket for change.. and I had a
penny. I figured that I wouldn’t need it, and if he really needed
money that he would treasure it. I gave it to him and kept walking.
Elder Tingey looked back and saw him stare at it and chuck it hahaha.
When we walked by again I tried to find the penny to pick up and give
to him and say, “You dropped this” 🙂 I couldn’t find it though…
haha!

We were on our way to visit a member who just moved in from Nigeria
(he recently went to the temple with us for the very first time… it
was amazing). As we were walking to his house, we saw these three moms
standing outside with their kids. I get a little excited anytime I see
a family, so I was trying to figure out what to say to them. We
weren’t even 20 yds away from them when they noticed us… they all
started hurrying their children inside like we had a weapon on us!
They were yelling “Hurry, it is the Witnesses!!”. I thought I should
at least correct them so I yelled “We are Mormons!”. The lady scowled
at me (I am not sure the mormon thing helped at alll haha) and ran
inside, slammed and locked the door. WOW! Haha we just laughed,
because that is all you can do sometimes. It was funny though because
just two minutes before that we were talking about how nice Utah is
because people actually say hi, and respond to your friendly gestures.
Gotta love me some NYC!!

We met a guy at Target who was nice at first. Then he just tried to
attack our faith. I am sick of it. Haha… I probably shouldn’t be,
but defending the faith every day is not an easy task! I miss being
surrounded by people who believe the same things as me. BUT I can’t
complain, because Heavenly Father needs me here right now. This guy
gave us his number and begged us to come to his church… I just felt
so sick inside. We were nice, but we aren’t going to meet with him. I
am sure he thinks he is doing something good, but I don’t like being
around contention.

Well here is something to ponder for the week: “Material treasures of
earth are merely to provide, as it were, room and board while we are
here at school”. Are we putting too much time and attention into
material things, and not enough time into people who need our help?
Food for thought.

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!