Monday, February 24, 2014

Irvington North. The hood.

Dear,
Well, these past two weeks were a wreck.  Two weeks ago, Elder Walker and I were in Kearny, rushing to do our normal missionary labors, and struggling to clean the apartment for the new sister missionaries in Kearny, and shoveling the 16" snow, and preparing the information that the new sisters are going to need, and saying goodbye to Hna. Basantes and her family, Gma. Jackie, and the Pesantez family.  I totally didn't cry at all.  7 months in Kearny....
But now I'm excited to immerse myself in police sirens every 5 minutes, loud conversations in front of stores, and hip hop blaring from every other car.  As a plus, the Bloods and Crips got our backs!

Last week, Elder Walker and I were doubled into Irvington North.  We didn't even have the area book or a map, so we didn't get to start working until Thursday, when we just called people and planned all day.  Friday was when we knocked and contacted as many people as we can.  We also met Sakinah, who is Black and into white guys, and has half-Asian babies.  Way to flirt to convert, past missionaries!  We got talking about white guys, and how her last missionary is the whitest of the white: blond, blue-eyed, and white.  She immediately said, "That's how I like 'em!"
Then on Saturday, we met Sis. Francis, who is less-active because of health issues.  She talks.  But she loves the missionaries and has a wall of our names in her house.  We then taught Manuel, who is an investigator, for the first time.

When we came into the house, we were greeted by a family of Nigerians.  They were so nice and got us excited to teach Manuel.  He invited us to his room and took off the hookah from the center table/box.  We sat on the floor of that chairless room with turf and he offered us some carrot cake.  It was good.  He sat on the floor across from us in an awkward mermaid pose and began firing questions, some of which were about how we can be promoted to President of the Church.  We told him that it is by revelation and he kept asking how to be good enough to be voted into presidency.  We bore witness to him about the reality of modern revelation and left.
New investigator our first week!  As bizarre as that visit was, we felt the Spirit bear witness to him.  He invited us over again.
I am amazed at how much I am reminded that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true every time I or someone else bears testimony.  The Church is true and changes lives!

Elder Walker was impressed at how well this week has been going so far.  He said that it was better than when he was first doubled into Sparta.
Sunday was spectacular!  We had a linger longer, which apparently never happens in Maplewood Ward.  It was a very warm welcome to me, Elder Walker, and Elder Page from Utah and Elder Cuyon from the Philippines.  The ward itself is multicultural, ranging from Guyanan, Ghanan, and Haitian, to puertoricense and Filipino!  Yes, there is a Filipino family from Pangasinan in our ward!  AAAHH!!!  I love this place!
Keep it hood.  Maple hood.
Love,
Elder deJesus

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