Thursday, March 10, 2016

Praying in the Middle of the Street! (9 March 2016)

Hello from NYC!

I'm now at the top of the island of Manhattan which means I've been able to be blessed to serve in almost all parts of the island lengthwise.

- We have turned up the volume! Elder Richards is willing to put to the test any type of missionary work, which sometimes isn't good, but great at the same time because we will do whatever!  We have been talking to literally everyone. 

- We had a goal to pray with 30 people yesterday. God blessed us with 30 prepared people to pray with. It was LOTS of work trying to find them, but it happened. So far, we (Elder Richards, the Lord and I) have been able to find 8 new investigators (meaning you share a message with someone on the first contact, get their phone number and address, and set up a return appointment with them).

- It was in the late afternoon and Elder Richards and I were drained. We were talking about how our energy was gone. We were walking along one of the main roads and two seconds after we said that, this big black man with dreads down to the floor spotted us and he had a bottle in his hand. He threw it on the ground and it shattered. Then he came after us, trying to shake our hand. He grabbed our necks and started praying with us. He then started saying he was going to "kill them"... whoever 'they' are. He had us repeat a prayer with him, and then he stood around and shouted to everyone on the street that we were his Christian brothers. He then "anointed us" lol, and gave us like 10 hugs. It was the weirdest thing ever. God knew we were tired, but what a way to show us "not yet." (:

- Prayed kneeling down in the street yesterday with a man we just met in the ghetto. It was one of the most awkward but cool experiences I've ever had on my mission.

- We prayed with a pizza delivery man yesterday, too, in the middle of our apartment lobby. Haha, it was great because we told him we were going to pray with him, and then all of a sudden we just knelt down on the ground (which was very awkward). He refused to kneel at first, but by the time the prayer was over, he was kneeling too. I'm sure the people that walked into the lobby while we were praying felt very uncomfortable. But that's good. It turned out to be a very spiritual experience, and the man told us after how much he really needed that and was touched. We are both being super bold with people and relying on God 100% and he's given us miracles.

- We tried praying with this lady and she just wasn't having it. She told us Jesus already "saved her" from her cancer, so she doesn't need him anymore. Makes complete sense, right? So we walked and walked with her, trying to convince her to pray, and she kept saying "no no no no no." Finally, we told her, "You can't just not let us pray for you. That just isn't nice." Haha. She would not stop, so we walked with her and prayed as we walked down the road with this lady.

- Met a guy from Greece. We tried to pray with him, but he had dementia, so every time we tried to pray with him, he forgot that we told him we were going to pray with him. He would just start talking in the middle of the prayer, talking about how his brother died in the war. Haha. He kept talking about how bad the world is, and in between every sentence we would say, "and that is why we need to pray!!" So finally, in the middle of him talking about how horrible this world is, we started praying. It was a very funny experience because in the middle of the prayer he would remember we were praying and then two seconds later he would forget and start talking about his brother again. Haha. Great time though.

- We stopped to go to the bathroom in McDonald's and we ended up praying with five people.

- I've learned this week how much "talking to everyone" can change your entire mission. For you current or future missionaries out there....When it says everyone, it means everyone. I used to not do that, but as Elder Richards and I have tried to talk to everyone we see, you will find prepared people. It has been GREAT! And wow, is it fun. We try to picture this as a game. If it were a game, what would you not be afraid to do? So, every time we leave the apartment, we say to ourselves, "ok, we our out in our playground. Let's have some fun."

- My dad sent me a message this week: "If you knew you could not fail, who would you talk to?" Thanks pops for that because we are trying to apply that in everything we do. IF I knew I could not fail, I would talk to everyone. Imagine if we took that perspective in life.

IF you KNEW you could NOT fail, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."

Love you all,

- Elder Celaya

New Zone Leaders for the Manhattan North Zone

Missionary Leadership Council (MLC)

 Spanish class with Elder Zimmerman

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