Wednesday, June 29, 2016

29 Jun 2016 - Finding Deaf People in NYC

Dear All,

Tuesdays are my favorite of the service we do. This week, one of our
responsibilities was taking care of the giant bags of vegetables. So
one of the things was the smaller 10 lb bags of potatoes. That was fun.
I stood in the back corner of a pallet with people throwing the 10 lb
bags at me. I had to stack them up quickly and so that they wouldn't
tumble. They do this every week with the stuff, but this isn't usually
what I've done. It was super fun though. Elder Bell and I actually did
this sometimes when he was here, but I would throw the potatoes at
him. Well now I've seen both sides. I'll attach a picture of it too.

Wow, obedience has meant far more to me as a missionary than it did
beforehand. The commandments are there for our benefit: we already
know that. But even knowing that, it can still be difficult to follow
them. As missionaries, we are representatives of Jesus Christ, and
therefore are expected to live the higher law. Obedience isn't a
request, rather, it is a commandment. This can be hard, of course, and
some of the commandments seem like little things, and not as important.
But, something my Stake President said to me right before I left was
that those "little things" are the ones that matter most. I didn't
fully understand that comment before, but I've come to realize why
that is. Anyone can obey the big, obvious commandments. But our
obedience to the "little ones" is what truly determines how much
we're willing to give up for Him.

Elder Bell and I focused on how to sign differently to each person we
met and talked with. Because every single deaf person signs
differently, we try to change our signing so it matches theirs, and
it generally works really well. That's something that's been different
on my mission than it was at home: so much diversity. Not even just in
ASL, but with people in general. I'm just used to Portland, and its
white liberals. But here is different. I mean in Manhattan it's all white
liberals, but most of our time isn't spent with them. Ah, the things
we're learning in New York.

We had another straight up miracle last night. We were on our way home
from mail and found two more deaf people! They were right outside the
turnstiles and we just barely noticed them before we went through.
They are highly educated, which is super rare. They're also nice, and
truly both want to learn more, which is also super rare. WE FOUND TWO
EDUCATED, NICE, TEACHABLE, DEAF PEOPLE! That is the first time this has
happened on my mission! It was amazing. Heavenly Father put us in
each others' paths for a reason. That brings the total to 3 deaf street
contacts this week. Holy cow, that's a ton of deaf people in a week.

"If you turn all of New York Mormon could you come home early?"
"Excuse me sirs, would you vote...ah too young"
"Even the Mormon ones."
"Yes, the raptor may actually eat us. But we will be blessed by it."
"I wonder what kind of drugs he was using, maybe stupidity." -after
some college student runs into a guy's cane.
"If there's a deal and I'm not getting it, then I'm losing money!"
"Man it seems like all we do is cook, chow down, and do dishes."
"You cannot linger in temptation and expect to overcome sin."
"Repentance is cool"

Mosiah 16:6-9 - But there is a resurrection.
Alma 18:8-10
Isaiah 1:18

Keep on Truckin.

-Elder Daniel West

Tuesday Service
Talvin Staton received the Melchizedek Priesthood! Amazing member
The Manhattan Bridge with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background

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