What a crazy week here! The weeks are really starting to fly by. So, transfers got moved to Friday this week instead of today, but we already found out who is leaving the area and who our new companions will be. I am staying here, and my companion is staying here too. I have no words. I definitely did not expect that one to happen, but we are going to try and make the best of it!
Diners - So this week we had the opportunity to go out and eat at some diners. The little diners here are SO good! If you are ever in NY, go to a diner, you will not regret it!
Food - I'm starting to get tired of the food here. Well, I guess not really the food, but the amount of grease they put on their food. Last night we had these mini tostadas and after eating three, the entire plate was covered in this orange fried oil/fat. It was liquid but after waiting 10 minutes, it got hard, and was like a jello. Just imagine what that is doing in my body! And I have to eat it every day. Ahhh. It makes you feel so sick after. Haha.
Brandon - Brandon is doing great as always! So, we had to switch him to the English ward here, so he needs to go to church in that ward for three weeks before he gets baptized. We are helping him get acquainted with that ward and we are slowly going to turn him over to the English Elders. We have taught him everything, so we might go over everything again over these next three weeks before he gets baptized.
Dominican Family - There is this dominican family that we are teaching that are awesome! The missionaries have been teaching them for quite a while, but they didn't go over to their house for a few months for some reason. I love how God works sometimes. We had our whole day planned out last Thursday, but our last appointment of the night canceled on us. We had the idea to just go check if this family still lived in that apartment. So, we went over to their apartment, knocked on their door, they let us in, and we were able to get to know them better, share some dominican words and then they asked us to come over every Tuesday night to start teaching them again! God has been so good to us with little miracles like this!
Funny story - So every Tuesday and Friday we go to this Senior Center and work in the kitchen and serve everyone food. Well, there is this one table with this really sassy lady who always has something to say to us. So yesterday Elder Lyons was clearing the finished plates off that table and he went up to that lady and asked her if he could take her trash (pointing to her cup), and she was like "NO, this ain't trash!" I heard her say this and I jokingly said to Elder Lyons "come on you know better than that! What are you thinking?" and the lady was like "Yeah, he's right, this isn't trash, but you know what? You're trash!!" Haha it was very funny. As we were walking out, Elder Lyons had to go to the bathroom so they didn't see him walk out. As I was walking out they asked me where he was, and I told her I threw him out in the dumpster in the back and they started clapping and cheering. Haha. It was so odd and random but it gave me a good laugh for the day.
Dog Poop - The sidewalks here are always COVERED in dog poo. You have to look down the entire time you walk so you don't step in any. Kind of gross, but this place is so dirty I don't think anyone really cares here.
Fights - It's crazy how many fights we hear from our apartment. Someone is always yelling outside or in the apartment building. They are drunk and screaming and fighting in the middle of the night. It's sad. Sometimes I feel these people have lost all respect for themselves or others.
Last week we had the opportunity to go to Roosevelt Island (the small little island between Manhattan and Brooklyn and Queens). We took a tram over the water. I will attach some pictures. It was awesome.
We also went to Nike Town which is the 5 story Nike store in Manhattan. It was super awesome. Each floor is separated by sport.
I want to end with something I have learned this week - something I have decided to try to put in practice in my life. We should only care what God thinks about in this life. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of us, it only matters what the boss thinks. If you are good with Him, it doesn't matter what else happens really. It's sad because there are missionaries who feel you have to be miserable to do the work of the Lord. They feel that if you are having a good time doing the work, then you aren't doing the work. We should be the happiest people alive because we are filled with the knowledge that all will be well in the end! What greater news is that to make someone happy? Be happy. If you aren't truly happy, make some changes so you can be the happiest person you can possibly be. With God, your happiness will expand more than you ever could have imagined.
Just. Be. Happy. Easier said than done, but you get the point =)
With much love,
Elder Austin Celaya