How Crazy is That ?

20 Jun
Dear lovely people whom I love dearly,
Hello! First of all, Happy Late Father’s Day to my pops. :) I forgot to include that in my last email. Oops!
Anyways, it’s been a very interesting week, to say the least. We had 5 investigators at church this Sunday! Sister Taylor and I had our hands full, big time. The mother and daughter we’ve been teaching came, and I think they really liked it! We’re teaching them again tonight so that’ll be good. We also had two of our Cuban men friends from Central Park show up! We called them every single day leading up to church and they showed up! [They’re kind of flaky, so they asked us to call them– we weren’t just harassing them for no reason :) ] And then this cute girl that I talked to at noche de hogar the other night, showed up as well. It was kind of amazing, actually. She’s in the foster care system, and so I guess money’s really tight for her. She was coming from the Bronx and had to buy a metro card, which aren’t super cheap. She told me that morning (Sunday), her foster dad had given her $25, and so she thought, “Yes! Now I can go to church!” That was just amazing to me that a 17 year old would use the little money that she has to go to church. It definitely touched my heart. I actually ended up teaching the Sunday School class that she went to because they didn’t have a teacher… so yeah, needless to say, Sunday was CRAZY. But awesome. I was very happy :)
We also said bye to President Smith yesterday… he’s leaving, and next week we are getting a new mission president! We’re all excited for the new president, but super sad to see President Smith go. I just love that man. He’s made me feel very welcome and accepted in the mission, and that was exactly what I needed. He will definitely be missed. Also, with that, transfers are coming up. I’m a little bit nervous… I’m pretty sure I’ll be staying in Harlem, but Sister Taylor might go because she’s been here three cycles already. We are really hoping that isn’t the case though, because we love our area and we love serving together. No matter what happens, I’m sure everything will be fine, but I’m really loving things as they are right now.
Oh, another cool thing that happened– we knocked into this lady who was really neat and talked with her for a good twenty minutes, but ended off passing her information to another pair of elders because they teach in English and we’re not really supposed to. So they called her and invited her to a baptism that they were having (A lot of times, we’ll invite people to baptisms so that they can come and see how it’s done and what it’s like) Apparently, she thought that they were inviting her to come and be baptized! So she dresses up and comes to the baptism, all ready, which in and of itself is pretty amazing. Obviously, they did not baptize her there :p but the elders went and visited her last night. They took a member with them for the lesson and found out that two years earlier, a pair of missionaries had knocked on her door, come in and sang a hymn, said a prayer and left. She said that experience had really touched her and helped her a lot, and made her more open to hearing from the missionaries now. She told them the names of the missionaries, and it turns out that one of them was our very own Elder Palu, who just went back home to Australia last cycle. And even cooler– the member that went with them to the lesson had been baptized by Elder Palu and that same companion, two years earlier. How crazy is that? It just goes to show that we never really know how something affects others, and we may not find out about it until many years later– or we may never find out. But I just thought that was super cool.
Also, for last P-day, we went to the Natural History Museum! It was so cool. There was this lady who was a supervisor there who’s actually a member of our church, so she got us into one of the shows they were having for free. It was pretty cool! I made a little video in the space section that you could email home and emailed it to myself… (See this link: http://amnh_space.bitmove.tv/bitmove/amnh_space/receiveleeg.jsp?uid=BDAB400A5F3AA84300B5198679FDB37B&format=flv)
It was super fun. The space and dinosaur parts were probably my favorite. It was cool to be there with some of the other missionaries. I’m also super excited because today, we’re all going to a Yankees game! We’re allowed to go to one during the summer, and this one fell on a Wednesday and it was just perfect. So we’ve got our Yankee’s caps and we’re ready to go! Sooo excited. Stay tuned for pictures next week :)
Well, in terms of other news, let me take a moment to highlight the SUPER random stuff that happened this week. Highlights:
  • The shirtless Dominican man who sang to us a song of his own creation about how beautiful the earth and God is, right there in his doorway.
  • The two guys who came onto our subway car with bongo drums and chairs and just started playing right there while the train was moving. At the end, they passed around a hat for money, but said, “If you can’t spare the change, a smile will do just fine.” Ah! I love New York, that stuff like that happens.
STORY TIME: So we knocked on this lady’s door and turns out she’s Russian and doesn’t speak very much English. She invites us in anyways, and we try to stay for a while because we’re waiting for one of the other missionaries to call us back because he speaks Russian and we want to put him on the phone to talk to her so she can understand who we are and what we’re doing :) (I wanted to just call Neils cause I figured he could talk to her, but that probably wouldn’t have been a very good idea haha!) Anyways, so we’re there, trying to talk to her but not communicating very well. All of a sudden, she gets up and gestures to a table where she has some Russian candy out and tells us to take some. So we take one, say thank you and sit back down on her couch. Then she goes, “No! Take more! Take more!” So we go and take more.
Side note: there’s this thing that people in the latin culture do, and I guess Russians do it as well, where they are just always trying to give you stuff! If you compliment them on something, they try to give it to you! Last week, Yasiris, the dominican lady who we’re teaching, gave us a big carton of juice because I had said it was yummy. I felt so bad and didn’t want to take it. I fought her on it, but finally Sister Taylor told her we’d take it. I guess it makes them feel good when you accept their generosity, but I feel bad taking stuff… it’s a problem. I’m trying to get better at just smiling and accepting their generosity, because when you fight them on it, this is what happens:
She tries to get us to take even more candy, but I’m standing my ground. I don’t want to take all of her candy! So she holds up her finger, says, “Wait!” and gets really excited. She turns to the fridge, opens it, and hands us out a jar of Salmon CAVIAR..”From Russia,” she says, beaming. Sister Taylor and I take the caviar, smile and say thank you, then get out of there before she can hand us anything else. Who knows, maybe she would have tried to send us home with live lobsters, too! Haha it was just really funny and super random.
Anyways, I’m really excited for this week, because Yahaira’s getting baptized! It’s going to be great. We’re also having another noche de hogar on Tuesday and a ward picnic this Saturday, not to mention the English Classes that we’re going to be starting in a couple of weeks. We have too many events to invite people to! It’s going to be a busy summer, I’m pretty sure, and I just can’t wait!
Anyways, I love and miss you all. Thanks for all of your support, prayers, and love!
Con amor,
Hermana Rogers

 

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