Wednesday, May 25, 2016

25 May 2016 - Blessing the Streets of Harlem with Crazy People

Dear All,

We ran into a crazy homeless religious man at a bus stop. He was nice
to us, just really weird. He kept on talking about how we have to open
our mouths and how powerful our words are. He then mentioned that his
name is Michael and started loudly announcing that Michael the
Archangel would defend that street corner from the devil. It was awk
because there were just these two Mormon missionaries kinda confused
as to what to do as some crazy guy was yelling blessings at the street
corner. He then used his Crucifix to bless the street corner. Most of
the people there didn't think much of it. Because...well that level of
craziness is average for most the people there. Another classic
(Harlem) New York moment.

I was reading in the Book of Mormon at a time period where King
Benjamin is speaking to the Nephites. I came across Mosiah 4:9. I just
love the simplicity of the verse, especially the first phrase.
"Believe in God; believe that He is".  King Benjamin is just exhorting
the people to believe in God. This is why I chose to be a missionary.
I always think about how happy my beliefs make me. My beliefs make me
always hope for something better, and they influence me to always think
about the better things that are waiting for me after earth. Even if
there wasn't anything more to life than our time here on earth, I'm
still happier believing that there is more. It just seems like it
would be so depressing to me if I thought these 80 or 90 years were
all of my existence. This isn't even to say that I don't like living
here and just can't wait for the next part of the plan, rather it
helps me be more conscious of how to enjoy my time here and be
righteous so that I may be even happier after this life. The Plan of
Salvation is awesome.

We were headed home and walked past a guy and girl talking and the
girl said, "Well, I can't cheat on him right now because that wouldn't
make any sense." I mean I guess casual conversations in the Bronx
often consist of random stuff, but I don't expect it to be on how to
strategically cheat on your significant other. But hey, I mean that's
another New York Moment.

The miracle this week came while Elder Kerr (one of my Zone Leaders)
and I were on an exchange in our area. We taught Jason S. and it
was amazing. The Sprit was so so strong there. The best part was by
far when Elder Kerr taught the First Vision. We just kinda felt
prompted to have him teach it in that moment. Although he doesn't know
ASL he spoke and I interpreted. It was awesome because it was almost
like I wasn't there. The attention was focused on the words from Elder
Kerr's mouth and the incredible spirit we felt in those moments. We
asked Brother S. how he felt afterwards. His response was so simple
and yet so profound. He said, "Inspired. I want to learn more". He
said he really wants to get baptized and continue in the Church. It
was just such a miraculous lesson. Sadly, he did not show up to
church, because he slept in. He very evidently felt the Spirit too during
that lesson. So we'll just keep on doing our best to help him
and hope that he sees the importance of being involved in the Gospel.

"MLC's are basically mission-life hacks with President Smith for 7 hours."
"The fire is still lit."
"What about mouthwash..."
"Not my responsibility."
"No one lives in Montana, except for 8 people...and 18 antelope."
"You wanna know who I am? I'm nobody. You wanna know why? Because
nobody's perfect."

Mosiah 4:9-11
Alma 36:24
"Safety for the Soul" -Elder Holland's talk from the October 2009
General Conference.

Keep on Truckin

-Elder Daniel West

Brother Perez, an investigator.
Outside our apartment
New York City Wall Art

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