Good Morning from the Big City!
It has been a good week full of some adventures and shocking experiences. The weather tells us that it is fall now and we are wearing scarves and jackets. We had all of our usual plans this week of teaching ESL, going to FHE, having sports night, etc. We also had Zone Conference, which was really great because we got to meet President and Sister Scott for the first time. And you will see in the picture of me with the assistants that I crocheted each of them ties. They look pretty good, eh? At Zone Conference was when I got a big shock. One of the assistants stood up and asked if "Sister Barton and Elder Jung" would stand. He started to say some good things about us and then said that we would not be at the next zone conference (it will be around Christmas time) so we would be giving our farewell testimonies right then and there. What?!?!?! My mission is NOT over and I still have a LONG time! It was really strange to stand in front of everyone, bearing my last testimony at zone conference, when I still have a few months left. Normally I would have thought about what I wanted to say beforehand, but I guess this way I said what was in my heart in that moment.
On Tuesday we taught a girl named Ashley who had been contacted on a bus by an Elder. She was very girly and thought it was really "cute" that we prayed. She was really fun to teach and accepted everything except the baptismal commitment. She says that she wants to take things slowly. We tried to resolve her concerns, but we will have to continue tomorrow when we go to teach her again. We also taught Mike this week. It was a really good lesson, although we left not really knowing what his true intentions were regarding the gospel. He brought a friend to church yesterday and they both asked many questions. The Spirit was very strong at church, but in the end, Mike decided not to meet with us again. He did give us his info for after our missions though....funny. :)
Funny things always happen after teaching Mike (remember last week when I got pizza thrown at me?). Sister Hodgkin and I were taking the subway home when we had quite a scare. We were getting off at our stop and the doors were open for less than 15 seconds before they started to close. Sister Hodgkin barely made it through the Subway doors, but her side bag that was around her shoulder was stuck in the subway car, and she was holding the strap outside the car!!!! It was amazing to see all those around us huddle around, pulling the doors apart to help us free the bag. A girl inside the subway even got up and worked to push it out the door. Then her cell phone flew from inside the car to outside and we hurried and picked it up, throwing it into her hands in the subway car just before the doors slammed shut!. It was quite an adrenaline rush!
My back has been hurting this week so we went to a sister in the ward who does Chinese medicine. It can't hurt to try anything, right? Hehe. So she determined that my T1 (first Thoracic vertebrae) was out of alignment. She put a mallot on one side, told me to breathe in on the count of three, then hit the mallot with a hammer. Hahaha. It was interesting. After doing a few other things, I laid in her massage chair for about 15 minutes, which was great! I wanted to have the faith that the mallot hitting my back would fix it, and she said it would feel better in a few hours, but it still hurts and it has been two days. Oh well. It was worth a try.
There is a member that I love here because she makes me laugh so hard. Her name is Myrrhiam and she was baptized this past summer. She is from Jamaica and is in her 70's. She walks with a walker and her speech is very slurred because she is very aged. She is so funny. She comprehends the Book of Mormon more than more people and can recite complete stories to us from her reading. She is always laughing, clapping, and saying "Praise the Lord." And when I pray, she says "Amen" to everything I say hahaha. I love her.
A couple of thoughts for the week from some of my lessons with recent converts:
"It's easy to be positive when you're positive!" -I don't think Jimmy knew exactly what he was saying when he said this because it is in fact very profound. I interpreted it to mean that it is easy to be positive when you are positive or SURE. It is indeed easier to be positive in this life when you are SURE of your purpose, of Heavenly Father's love for you, of the great plan, and of the eternal truths that God desires to bless us with. A knowledge and testimony of these things brings about a light that emits positivity and happiness not found anywhere else in the world. :)
"Pride and humility are not feelings, they are attitudes that bring about feelings" -This was said by Rene, baptized a few weeks ago. There is a theme in the previous East Mission that they call "NBA - Nothing But Attitude." Much of life is not about events or just undesired feelings coming about. It is about choosing and working to have an attitude that will bring about fruits of humility, love, joy, security, and peace. So we can no longer say "I am a prideful person. That's just the way it is and I have no control over changing it," but rather we can change our attitude so that feelings of pride no longer come into our being.
That's about it for my week. Sister Hodgkin and I have fun making breakfast for each other and helping build each other up. This week will be great and we will find many of Heavenly Father's children to teach. I'm sure of it :) I love you all! If you want to write me straight to my apartment, get the address from my mom. I will most likely stay through the next transfer. But of course send packages to the office. Love you!
Sister Barton :)