Thursday, March 28, 2013

3-27-2013 letter


How's it going?! I'm still alive and kicking here in the great city of Yonkers, NY, and man is it a blast! Hard, weird, crazy, but oh so spiritual and uplifting all at the same time! Just to start this letter off with a bang, Elder Pickard and I have two (hopefully solid) baptism dates for April 7th and one a couple weeks after that! :D It's pretty sweet I think, and I'm super excited. Thank you for all of you who wrote me. You're all the best and I'm glad you're all well. I'll get on with sharing my past week and all the crazy, cool things that have happened.

3/20/13 I think this is where I left off...
But yes, today was good. Beautiful P-DAY and after our day of doing a lot of sleeping, we visited Hermana Ruth and had a lesson with her and her crazy kids, then we went to the Gonzalez to celebrate Hermana Ritchey's year mark with totally bomb food. It was a ton of walking since we didn't have the car that day, but we did it, and we even did both with the same member present and actually a recent convert, Stephen. He is nearly 16 been a member for a month and he just absolutely loves missionary work and so we love to just take him everywhere. He helps with the Spanish a lot of the time, and he helps to bring a huge powerful Spirit to all the lessons we take him on, he's truly fantastic.

All we did today was plan a lot, and we taught a new investigator, Gabriel, who is actually also an Englsih class student. He just wanted to learn what we were all about, but sadly he's a die-hard Catolico, and he says he was born in it, and he will die in it. There's a lot of those.

HOLY COW, today was  busy day! We did a lot of study, errands, and taught 3 wonderful lessons. The first was with Anna Maria for her 8 year old son Braylin about baptism because was getting baptized this Sunday (3/24). It was a great lesson and we shared a cool object lesson with the dish soap, italian seasoning, and a bowl of water and when you have the seasoning in the bowl of water and the soap on your finger and you touch that finger in the water, the seasoning flies to the sides symbolizing the cleansing power of baptism. We then taught Hermana Gari who bought us Subway (it was sooo good, and so well received by us haha) about the blessings and revelation we get from general conference which is coming up. Then we had a call from Stephen who said he was bringing by two friends for us to teach, so stay at the church. We taught Wassif who is Muslim, and Olivia who claims to be agnostic. WOW, what an interesting lesson. They both enjoyed the first lesson and Olivia even came to church and had a Spanish translator as she speaks English. We are actually having both the Spanish (us) and the English elders teach tonight and we are passing Olivia to them. She is so confused but so ready to do what is right. I can feel it and I'm excited.

Today was disappointing. It was rainy, and miserable and we had the weirdest experience. This black guy on the street came up, had us kiss his cherries and he kissed us on the forehead and was muttering stuff. Hmm, haha, I have no idea. Let's just pretend this day didn't happen.

Sunday!! Today was so good, but crappy too. We had two baptisms today after church and then, we had a solid dinner appt. cancel on us after we walked like 4 miles. BLeggghhhh.... I'm trying to stay at 180 lbs, but it's hard.

Monday was fantastic. We taight a ton, and had FHE with Judy Rodak and her daughter Sasha. We made shakes and had good tacos, it was nice and we shared messages in Spanish and English cause the English elders came.

Alright, I'm running out of time, I love you all and expect a ton of pics and whatnot next weekkk!!

Elder Buckley

P.S. I love Spanish. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pictures of the apartment and the Temple 3-20-2013

Yonkers, NY 3-20-2013


Hola, todas las personas que estan leyendo esta carta! Como les van? This week has been hard,with a lot of surprises, but so spiritual as well. I'm going to write the email using my journal and my other journal, the daily planner, haha, and then write the personals. So basically, Elder Picard and I have been on fire in Yonkers. This week was great, but not so great all at the same time, but I love working hard with him, and he's always saying that he's been glad to work with me. We work real well with each other.

So, Thursday, 3/14. Thursdays are our planning days. If we didn't have this day and the many hours it takes to do all the planning for the upcoming week we would die. It was something like 3 of 4 hours of calling and writing in the early afternoon until we had our night appts. You have to, especially in New York, plan things earlier for alter because everyone's always doing something here, and at a million miles an hour. But, after that, we went and got some food from Delfia, then we went and put up English flyers. Putting up English flyers is one of my favorite things to do because the people love it. The store owners, well the SPANISH ones, say that we;re the best for doing what we do, and to put up the flyer wherever we want because they know a ton of people who could use it. And then other people ask us about it all while we're doing it and we hand out the little flyers and get to talking to other people, and it's just freaking great. I'm already picking up the slang it's fantastic. Que transista por tus veinas? (What flows through your veins, or kinda like what's happening) Sangre, haha, (blood)! Or Cogelo suave, which literally means to suck it smoothly, but if you say it to a Puerto Rican, it means take it easy haha. Anyways, after we did the flyers, we went to the church and taught Sister Rodak's nephew who's a less active named Ernesto. We taught him all in English and we taught about the sacrament. It was a beautiful lesson, and he loved talking with me man. We talked after, just him and I, for like 45 mins to an hour about life and the gospel. We're going to try hard to get him back to church especially for Judy. Mom, you'll be happy to know that Judy, so far my favorite member who prefers talking in English although we do both, jokes around with us and talks with us so similarly to how we talk and joke around. It's definitely not entirely the same, but it makes me happy on FHE when we see her, and when we see her all the time at other places and I get that reminder of you (:

Friday, 3/15, was a hard day. 2 of our 3 appts fell through, and we had to do an APF for the English elders (we had to go and get them investigators because they don't have many, basically). We did it in their area in Scarsdale and New Rochelle, and I feel bad for them man. The English elders get so much more rejection, whereas the Spanish culture is just so much more accepting. Elder Cox and I went around and were yelled at, threatened, slammed on, laughed at, and all by the rich, white people. The Carrpios though, at the end of Elder Picard's and my day saved it. Heidi and Elvis are the parents and then they have four kids. This family has just been reactivated by us, just cause Elder Picard and I are cool (; , and they're awesome. Elvis is hilarious, always cracking us up and working hard, always willing to do service. Heidi works real hard doing other jobs and taking care of their four kids who I love. They all speak English real well, and we shared a message about families and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach quite a bit in English actually, which is nice but frustrating as well. They all love us and we love them.

Saturday, 3/16, another hard cold day. We were on bikes that day, and everyone cancelled except for a new investigator, Socrates. This guy is a boss, was baptized Catholic but is looking for something more. Huh! I think we can probably do something for him! (: He made the day a million times better.

Sunday, 3/17, my first Sunday! I didn't go to my first one because I was still real sick. Sundays are nuts though!!!!! The first thing Bishop did on the stand was tell me to come up, introduce myself, and bear my testimony. Little nerve wracking but it went well, ha. Then the other 4 hours that we were at church just flew by. The classes went quick and were good, and we stayed after and chatted and taught a lesson to a boy named Andy. He is 14, was referred by his friend Giovanni who is a member there and who was also recently baptized. The lesson was fantastic, and he accepted a bap date of April 7th! Woo-hoo! I can't wait, I hope he keeps it!

The rest of the week was alright, but Monday we had a huge snowstorm, Tuesday I got to go to the temple for a training meeting, so travelling to Manhattan was awesome!

I love you all, thank you for all the prayers and thoughts, I've definitely felt them.

Elder Buckley

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pictures from 1st letter in Yonkers!!!

1st letter from the field!!


HOLY SMOKES, I'm so sorry for not writing the other day, I feel so bad. We had no time though. Ok, I will preface this email saying that it shall be quite disorganized as it's my first one but that I will be better, I just want to get everything in. Yes, I am serving in Yonkers and I'm loving it!! It's quite ghetto, but nicer than Bronx and Harlem. Haha, this opportunity to serve is  gonna bless my life so much. I am living with Elder Picard (duh, he's my awesome comp) and we live with English elders as well. Elder Aagard and Elder Rydalch, we all get along pretty great. We are in a car share, so we get the Toyota every other day and we bike every other day. SOOO nice too, not having to pay for the bikes, they're nice Trek ones. Where we live is pretty ghetto, like DARN ghetto. I will be sending out all the pics I can today of everything I have taken pics of. Man, what to even talk about there's so much!! K, so Elder Picard. He's a fantastic guy, and we get along pretty well. He's from the BYU area in Utah, and he went to school there. He speaks well and he's been out for like 9 months. I will, and already am, picking up Spanish quick. People are from all over, the DR, Mexico, Nicaragua, just tons of places. The Domincanos are the hardest to understand. They don't pronounce the 's', and they talk super fast. But they're great. The food is good too, I don't mind it at all. Yucca, platanos, tortas, you name it I've had it now, and it's all good. So no worries there. And I finally got some antibiotics, and it's been helping a lot, it's only been like four days but they're working.

Tracting, street contacting, lessons, noche de amistad (family night), and the tables, and flyers, I've got a lot of experience under the belt so far. Rejection, acceptance, it's all good. The Spirit and the love I've already developed for our investigators and members and people in general is quite strong. I've also met a lot of the ward (yes, we have a ward!(: ) and they're all great. I forgot to take a pic of the entrance to the church but it's pretty crazy. It's just a regular church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints sign and then two double doors that are small, and it's between a Lil Caesars and s Mexican shop. Hood, man. Imma come back with a lotta street skills, haha. Not too ghetto though, I promise. I've already talked to guys that go by Scar, Candyman, the Runner.... yeah. But I feel safe here, so don't worry.

I wish so badly that I could tell you absolutely everything in order, but I can't and I probably can't remember everything so I'll just keep going. Some of the lessons we've taught are in English to kids that prefer English, or even adults that prefer English. Pretty interesting actually. But beautiful. I taught the plan of salvation to a 14 year old boy investigator with his best buddy in English and the Spirit was so strong. It's fantastic. Also, there are great deals in NY. Great hats for 10 bucks that would normally go for 80, and great deals on shirts. Great pizza, dollar a slice. I don't have any pics yet of those, but I will the next time. Also, I lost more weight. I'm at like 182. It feels weird haha, I've gone in two holes on the belt, and my pants fall off just buttoned without a belt. And my rings fit now. Beautiful thing. Anyhoo, so yeah, it's been hard but I'm eating it up.

I love President Morgan and Sister Morgan, and they like me too. (: Actually today I had my first interview with President and he expressed a lot of love and appreciation for me already (Watch, I'll have to train after the first cycle haha) He's actually adopted, maybe a convert I don't remember, and yeah, some more stuff too. So Dad, you could be one! Never know!

Alright, last but not least, my first P-day. Picard spoiled me and took me to the city!!!!!! (((: Manhattan, the subways, oh man! Freaking great! We went to Times Square, the best pizza joint, I bought an I heart NY shirt, we went to the BIG EAST TOURNAMENT in Madison Square Garden, walked around and saw everything, where the Letterman show is done, oh man, just so much stuff!! I got pics don't worry.

Know that my love for you all is grand, and I want you to know that I'm out here for the right reasons and that I hope I can make you proud.

P.S. We might have 2 bap dates, so stoked!! And email me whether or not you liked the personals that I would do, and if you want me to keep doing them, or if this format is better. Alright, bye! I'm gonna start sending the pictures.

Elder Buckley

(Or Elder Blackberry as one hermana calls me cause she cant pronounce Buckley, hahaha! )

I love you all so much. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm Here!!! 3-5-2013

Hello friends & family!! (:
How's it going?? I'm in New York haha, it's been great so far! The mission president and his wife are awesome! We all went to a church building and had a dinner and a small orientation and then we went to a hotel next to the Trump towers and stayed the night. Then, we all had our meetings and whatnot in the morning and it took quite a long while. Here's the basics: I'm in Yonkers to start with, and my companion is Elder Pickard. It's 5:30 pm right now and already I'm gonna be teaching and sharing and whatnot in 2 appointments that we have tonight, it's so scary but I think I'll be alright. On the flight over to New York I actually got my first job offer for a company called Arriva haha! Should look it up and tell me what it is! (; My package got there alright as well and I haven't opened it yet, but I think it'll be good(: I love you all so much, I think my sickness is going away, and I'm going to try and make it through to live to the next P-day haha so I can tell you all how I'm doing. Much love,

Elder Buckley