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!

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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!

Saying Goodbye to The Rock!

What an eventful week.

Elder Rodgers and I were on exchanges on Tuesday. The mission office
asked us to update all of our media referrals, and so we started
working on it! We looked up the first one, and witnessed a MIRACLE!!
The lady told us that her son would not be interested, but we tried to
talk to her for a minute. Right before she shut the door we heard
someone yell from the background, “Wait! They are members of my
church!”. We were really confused.. This was basically a random house
on Staten Island.. so we were shocked. It turns out that this girl had
moved in about 2 weeks prior! She was baptized last March and hadn’t
been able to make it to church. She lives kind of far away and only
has a bike. So she had no idea how to get there. We talked to her for
awhile and got her connected with the Sisters. Wow, it was such a
miracle. The Lord’s hand is in this work!!

Another member family is moving… ahh.. so we helped them move of
course! For the first little while I was in charge of entertaining her
little kid. I think they are from the Ukraine? He is a cute little
Ukrainian boy. We had fun playing with his toys, and running in
circles. It is amazing how easily entertained kids are.

There is a new Chinese missionary in Brooklyn!! We spent some time
with that companionship. We went to dinner, and then spent the night
on the streets handing out flyers for their english class!!! It is
always a blast to do Chinese street sweeps. I will miss that.

OH yeah.. I will be leaving Staten Island 😦 We got transfer calls on
Saturday. I don’t know exactly where I will be heading, but I am sad
to leave this Island. This ole rock has treated me well. I have made
such great friends here. The Reyes/De Los Reyes/Hocbo family is
AMAZING!! I love them so much. Bishop Glick and his family? Wow.
Incredible. They took care of me. I also made really good friends with
Roy and his family. Plus the Bairds, Fackrells, etc. That is my
favorite part about serving a mission. All of the great people. There
are too many people to name!! They have made such an impact on my
life, and they probably don’t even realize it. I got teary eyed when I
said my goodbyes, but it is time to move on! Staten Island will always
hold a sacred place in my heart.

bro baird photo 4 sean and beezer 8-17-14 SEAN AND FAM IN STATEN ISLAND 8-2014 sean and no feeted lizard 2014 sean dinner at reyes staten 8-17-14 sean last meal with reyes family 8-17-14

I was able to go to the temple to celebrate my 18 month mark!! It was
such a blessing. There is peace that will come into your life if you
make regular temple attendance a goal! I can’t wait to regularly go to
the temple. On the way back from the temple we got to ride the
trains!! Yay! I was excited to be able to fearless on the trains
again. I met this girl who had been baptized, and had since fallen
away. Crazy eh? She married a RM… I got her Facebook info and am
going to send the right missionaries to her. That was a great
miracle!! I was with Elder Wuthrich for the day, and so we spent some
time fearlessing some Chinese people on the trip back. It was a blast.

There was a baptism of a really pregnant lady. She actually had to go
straight down into the water in stead of backwards. Haha it was
interesting to watch, but we are happy for her!!

We got an emergency call on Saturday night. Nobody could clean the
church, so they asked us to do it. We went over there and started
cleaning. It was sick. The diaper bin in the restroom was full of
diapers. I dry heaved when we were cleaning it out. Rotting poop. It
was gross. I sprayed like half a can of lysol in there! Haha… oh
boy.

Anyways, the mission is great. Poopy diapers and all. I am so happy. I
love serving. I am grateful that I was given this opportunity to
serve. I have found true happiness out here. Real happiness comes from
focusing on other people. Not yourself. I am still learning that, but
I am starting to understand it more. It is a learning process 🙂

Elder Lee!!
Come what may, and Love it!

True Charity?

We went to a Staten Island Yankees baseball game last Monday!! It was
a blast. They lost in extra innings… but it was still worth it. Plus
we all got free jerseys out of it!! Miracle. 🙂 Elder Beazer and I got
our hair cut in Dyker Heights. The chino hair cuts are always an
adventure because you never know what you will be walking out with!
They don’t speak any english. Haha! It turned out fine though.

photo 2

I spent the day in Brooklyn for an exchange. We got fed by a family
that we taught. They gave us Macadamia milk? It was the strangest
thing. They put regular macadamias into this machine, and it grinded
them up and boiled it into milk or something? It was strange. Oh and
we had some delicious noodles in this sauce with peanut butter mixed
in? I think it was a thai food? Anyways. The Chinese exchanges are
always my favorite.

Bishop Glick and family invited us over for dinner. It is always so
nice to go over there. There house is just so… home-y. Truly a home
away from home. There have been a few of those out here!! But they are
rare. They always make the best food too. I love it! That night we
went to mutual with the young men, and a professional volleyball
player came and did a little camp. She asked, “Who knows the three
fundamentals to volleyball??” Elder Beazer and I both said, “Bump,
set, spike it!!”. Luckily we said it to ourselves because then she
said, “If anyone ever says bump set spike to that question then you
know that they know nothing about volleyball”. Oops… we looked
around to make sure nobody heard us. Ha! The correct terms are “pass,
set, hit” apparently… Who knew?

We used Facebook to teach some lessons this week! It is actually
really effective, because everyone is usually on the move out here!
But everyone has their phone with them. It is a huge blessing to have
that tool.

Our ward party on Saturday was great! There was a lot of hard work
that went into it. Our awesome landlords came, and so did a family
that we have been visiting!! It was a great time. There was a bunch of
carnival games for all of the kids. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

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President Calderwood came out to dedicate Staten Island. The whole
ward council gathered and we all came together in prayer. It was
pretty powerful. The work really needs to hasten, and we needed that
spiritual boost. While President was at church with us he made a very
insightful comment. He said something along the lines of, “True
charity is shown in how we treat our spouses (or companion), children,
and close friends. We would be fooling ourselves if we thought we had
charity because we donated something to strangers, yet mistreated
those closest to us”.

I am far from being a perfect missionary, but I am so glad I chose to
come out and serve. I believe that everyone should serve. It has done
more for my life than I would have ever imagined. I will be eternally
grateful for the opportunity to serve!!

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!

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!