Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!! I hope that you all have a real good Christmas :)
Our pday was switched from Wednesday, so Monday will be pday from now on!

This week was full of a LOT of learning experiences!
We are teaching a woman named Brandy. She was a member referral and is the sweetest. We finally had a full lesson with her and taught the Restoration. It's amazing how powerful Joseph Smith's vision is. And was cool to hear how she felt the spirit as we recited the first vision. She liked it a lot and wants to keep learning. It makes me so so so happy thinking about the ways the gospel will bless her life!

On Friday we went upstate and had a Christmas Devotional with all of the missionaries in the whole mission. That was so cool to all meet together and get to know other missionaries who are serving here as well! The devotional was exactly what I've been needing. I always know that anything that includes President and Sister Smith talking to us is going to be AMAZING. It was the perfect reminder and helped me to just focus on the Savior. To remember and have it retestified to me that Jesus Christ knows ME and each of you individually. He understands and know how everything that I go through feels. And to remember that through the Atonement, we don't have to carry things all by ourselves. Because honestly, a mission is not the easiest thing I have ever done. But I realize the ways that I am growing and learning and changing! None of us are perfect and we all have things that we can work on and improve. And I'm grateful of the knowledge that I have and knowing that I don't have to handle everything alone.

This week I had a pretty humbling experience, I'll share a little bit of it (hopefully it makes sense?) We had a potential investigator, her name is Karen. I met her for the first time one night as she was heading out. Then we stopped by a lot, left notes, texted, called. No answer for a few weeks. I figured she didn't want to learn and was ignoring us. But we went by again on Friday night and I really didn't care too much about going because we have gone by over and over again and I thought it was just a waste of time at this point. But this time when we knocked, SHE ANSWERED. Hearing about all of her struggles, everything she is going through and realizing that she wasn't just ignoring us, she hadn't been home and was just having the hardest time with life. I can't imagine what she is going through. But I'm so grateful we didn't drop her and give up on her but we continued trying and hopefully something great will come of it.

We shared Alma 1:25 with a lot of people this week because it seemed like everyone was just going through really hard things. I love that scripture because we all have to go through really hard things in life. But I love that they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments. And they bore with patience the persecutions which were put on them. And I think that is so amazing, the Lord knows what we can handle and if we have faith and know that we have these experiences for a reason. They help us grow, change, and become more like our Savior if we let them and don't give up.

Merry Christmas I love you!!

Sister Walecki

The George Washington bridge over the Hudson River we passed on the drive back
down into the city.

In the projects, a lot of people decorate their doors with wrapping paper and Christmas
decorations. I think it's real cute & brightens up the buildings so they're not so scary:)

It snowed Saturday morning, so here are a few pictures just outside our apartment
building in Harlem.

Sister Muhlestein & I at the Christmas Devotional!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Snow, members, and a little bit of patience

This week has been a real good one, its getting a whole lot colder. Although, every time I talk about it being cold to someone on the subway or to someone we're teaching they say something like, "oh baby girl, it ain't even cold yet. Just you wait" hahaha It finally snowed enough to actually cover everything on Sunday night. And walking around NYC in the snow was a dream.

The members of our ward are seriously the sweetest ever. I think I got real lucky for my first ward so hopefully the rest are this great. They love doing missionary work, help our investigators feel welcome when they come to church and activities, and they love feeding us!

We also visited an investigator her name is Samantha on Sunday.  I hadn't had a lesson with her yet because she is never available. But we were able to stop by. We helped her put away some dishes and do a little service around her house and she loved that!! Then we showed her and her 2 grand kids the Christmas initiative video. Its amazing how powerful a video can be and how it invites the spirit and can entirely change the feeling in someone's home.

On Monday, I went on my first split with Sister Evans and she is serving down at the bottom of the island so it was cool to get to go down there and see another part of New York City. On Tuesday morning, Sister Evans and I went to do service at a member's home and it was amazing. We just helped her clean and organize things and she shared her conversion story with us. The best part of being a missionary is all the incredible people I have been able to meet and the love you grow for them so fast!

Other than that, our days are filled with other lessons, finding new people- talking to strangers on the subways and street contacting. Its always a good time. We show the Christmas Initiative video outside of the temple each day and have hour and a half shifts as companionships and I have met a couple members out there who know people from the stake at home. Its super crazy and makes you realize how its such a small world!

Each week I like to study a Christlike attribute, this week was patience.
As I studied, for me I was focused more on how patience can bless me as a missionary. Whether it's being patient with learning things, becoming adjusted, investigators and their progress and understanding, lots of different things. I've realized how over and over in The Book of Mormon it says how the people bore with patience the persecutions and afflictions which were brought upon them. We too have trials and hard things, but if learn to trust in God- that he really does have a plan and a purpose, we can come to know of his will for us and we can receive many blessings for being patient and enduring the hard things that we experience in life. I love the promise in Alma 32:41-43. and I love you all.

Sister Walecki

Snowing right outside the temple!

Just too happy because SNOW and it wasn't so cold!

They have the cutest tree stands set up on the sidewalks and the night it was snowing, all the
trees were just too cute to walk past without a picture.

Dinner with Sister Evans on the split.
Here's a picture of our district after a district meeting a couple of weeks ago!

Today for pday I went to get my hair fixed from last week and she actually destroyed it a little bit more,
so in an effort to forget about the hair disaster, dp and a chocolate chip cookie was needed......

December, Penny & Rain

I ALWAYS forget to bring my journal when we write emails, therefore I can't remember what all has happened but I'll try my best.

This week has been really good, super busy but with December now, the Christmas spirit here in New York is THE GREATEST.

I'll just share a few experiences from that past few weeks.
Last week we walked to the subway to head home but for some reason trains headed uptown were closed. So we went back up and wandered around trying to figure out how we'd get home. We decided to try and figure out the buses- we have never taken the bus home before. So we found a bus stop and a lady- her name is Penny was there and we started talking.  She was super friendly and we talked about the gospel and what she believes, etc and we ended up sitting by her on the bus and showed her the new Christmas Initiative video. She loved the video and after she told us that about 20 YEARS ago the elders used to teach her. She said she liked the lessons and they had given her a Book of Mormon but she never actually had read it. So we offered her another one and she accepted it and said she actually wanted to read it this time and wanted us to give her a call in 2 weeks to check up on how her reading was going and how she was doing! So we'll contact her again soon and see!!

Then the other day on the subway we sat by a woman named Hilda and talked a little bit but there was a language barrier so we couldn't understand each other super well. So we showed her the Christmas Initiative video as well and after she said something about our church being in her community? Then she said 2 boys used to  come to her house with tags like ours and talk to her but she moved and she lost contact with them. So she gave us her number and said call me! Because she wanted to receive lessons again. How crazy is that?! The Lord really is preparing people to hear the gospel. And sometimes, when we teach the first time they're not ready (that happens a lot) but their time comes- even if it is 20 years later. Being a missionary has really helped me to see all the little ways Heavenly Father is playing a role in my life and in every single person's life.

Also, no one told me how much it rains in New York. I was not prepared for that! But it is better than it being freezing cold and snow, so no complaints here :)
Next week I will remember my journal so it'll be better then.

I love you!!
Sister Walecki

Here are some pictures from our Wednesday pday activities.

For pday we went down and saw the Rockefeller tree--it's massive. There are a lot of people
and it was pretty busy, but it was worth it for sure.

Some day I'll come back here and actually go ice skating.

Just a 20 THOUSAND dollar Chanel coat, pocket change really.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Week of Thanksgiving

We bought cookies and put them in baggies and took them to some of our
investigators on Thanksgiving.

My boots got here from the MTC. Blessed Day!
Sister West is the best!!
We decorated our apartment and set up this cute little Christmas tree.

Just a little sticker on the sidewalk. Sometimes it's the little things that are exactly what you need.
Its says "Your doing Great"

On Monday evening there was an event called Winter's Eve. We passed out free hot chocolate.
It was a whole lot of fun. New York is great ,especially now that Christmas is coming!!

Just walking down the sidewalk to get some dinner tonight.

As a district they set this up in Central Park.
(Which is the dreamiest place)

We would stop people and ask them what they were grateful for.Then ask them to write it down and tape it up.
It was fun to read what everyone wrote!