Wednesday, September 23, 2015

When the Red Rooster Crows (23 September 2015)

Hello Everyone!

One night we went to the church and found a guy in the church who was begging for some food. The bishop asked us to go take him and get him some food. So we did. Turns out the guy was pretty wrecked. He was living from day-to-day and had HIV, which caused a lot of problems in his body. So, we got him food, sat him down outside and told him to listen...that it was God who bought him this meal this night. We said that we weren't even planning on going to the church that night but then something fell through, so we went for five minutes to print something off. To our surprise, there was this guy. God knew we needed to meet him. We talked about how no matter how lost and lonely he feels in life, no matter how much of a failure he may have felt he was, God sees hope in him. It was so amazing to put both our arms around the guy, someone who has been forsaken by everyone, and tell him that God loves him and to talk about the divine potential he has, and that he has the ability to turn his life around. It was very powerful for him. He ended up showing up to church and we talked to him again and taught him about who God is, the kind of being He is. It was a little miracle to meet him. 

- Old man Argentina. Yesterday we were walking by the Harlem wings, and we saw this older gentleman who looked very classy. He had a nice striped bottom-up shirt on with a nice hat with a feather in it. We found him on a busy street, and we started just talking to him about what he was doing outside. He told us he was from Argentina, so we started speaking Spanish to him. We showed him our tags (how they are in Spanish), and then he got super excited when he saw "Jesucristo" written on the tag. He started saying "JESUCRISTO! JESUCRISTO!" He then pulled out a necklace with Jesus Christ on it. We asked him if we could show him a video about Jesus Christ. He was sitting in his little walker chair and so I kneeled down and turned on the video and started reading it for him, and he would copy everything I would say. Everyone walked by us looking at us very weirdly as we were reading this video out loud enthusiastically, but I felt the joy and love of God's spirit so strongly. The man got so excited, and after we told him we would come back, he stood up out of his walker and gave us each this big hug, and kissed our collar. Poor guy, right? I just wonder if anyone ever talks to him. It will be fun because we will be going back over to his house soon. 

- There are so many high class French people here in the upper east side...I really like that culture. I'm going to try and learn some French so we can communicate with them.

- Allen Russ. Well, guess who came and visited us in Harlem?! Good old Allen Russ! Wow, was that such a treat. It felt very weird seeing him again. It felt fake like a dream to some degree. I don't even feel like the life I had existed at all, and to have him come visit felt like I went back to earth! It was great to catch up and talk. He took us to the "Red Rooster," a down south famous restaurant in Harlem. It was amazing to feel my heart be so full of joy to see him again. I have really learned on some level the beginning of love. I felt like that was just a little bit like what it will be like when we are reunited with our loved ones on the other side and we see that they made it! I will attach pictures of his visit. Thanks again Allen! That was SUCH a treat to spend time with you. I never realized how lucky I was to have such role models for me to follow back home. I feel ashamed that I didn't take advantage of it more before, but hey, at least I'm seeing that now rather than later. Great visit!

Well, that seems to be about it. It's been super fun to talk to a lot of these crazies all over the good old Harlem streets. We will continue to do just that this week. 

- Change is possible. No matter how far deep down we may be, God can save us if we let Him. He made us to become like Him and for no other purpose. Just see this young man’s example:

- Elder Celaya

Harlem Days - "Jimmy, we got a world to save our there!"

Transfer Meeting (17 Sept 2015)

Saying goodbye to my trainer, Elder Paize!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Horse Drawn Cabs Only - Tip-Toe’n’ Wit Ma Bronx Cart (9 September 2015)

Hello All!
- We have been running through Central Park still as much as we can. It's wild—you’re surrounded by African Americans, then you enter Central Park and it's all Caucasians. It's wild how you’re surrounded by a massive city and then you enter into a forest. 

- We walked out of our apartment yesterday and there was this random cat. He ran in and we couldn't find it. We spent an hour looking for it and then gave it back to the neighbors. 

- Found something very scary this week in a project elevator that we can talk about when I get home. Harlem never ceases to surprise me. 

- Luis. So we decided to go on a split and bring Elder Rivera, who is from Honduras, over to Luis' house (the man who loves his Bible). It ended up going really well, and after two hours of intense discussion, he was finally touched by the spirit. This guy is very difficult, but there is just something that keeps telling us to go back. 

- My companion and I have been sick this week, so there hasn't been much that has been going on. 

- Miracle moment - We were at a member’s house. She asked for a blessing, but what was interesting is how she asked. She accidentally said, "Elder, can you give me a patriarchal blessing? Oh no not that, I meant a blessing of healing." (Patriarchal blessings give us some understanding of our callings on earth. They are the word of the Lord personally to us.) We said yes and gave her a blessing. Elder Wadsworth did the anointing and I did the blessing. As I put my hands on her head, I waited, and as I waited I began to really feel the spirit strong. We gave her the blessing, and when we finished, she was crying heavily. We didn't know why, and then she began to tell us that the words that were said were exactly, word for word, what the first half of her patriarchal blessing had said. She had never mentioned anything ever to us about her patriarchal blessing, but yet the Spirit somehow spoke those very words to her. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Clearly Heavenly Father wanted her to be reminded of her patriarchal blessing. It was an incredible miracle and incredible feeling that I will never forget. What was even more amazing was she lives in a project building, and as we walk up, there are cops guarding the ground, people smoking and doings drugs—we walk in and it's extremely loud from people yelling at each other. It is just a very dark feeling. And then from that dark feeling, to be able to feel the spirit so strong in that little project apartment was just so amazing. Elder Wadsworth walked out and said, "Why would anyone ever trade what we felt tonight for anything in the world?" I cannot agree more. It was a very personal, piercing and strong feeling that struck me straight to the core, that God knows us better than we know ourselves, that He is there, and that His love and mercy are infinite. No words can describe what we felt that night. 

Isaiah 49:16—“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”

You are the best,

- Elder Celaya

 Central Park

 with Elder Rivera

with my companion, Elder Wadsorth

ABC's in the Subway (Part I):
Don't you just love these subway performers?!  All of them are so good!  This looks like so much fun. 

ABC's in the Subway (Part II):