Wow, how the time flies!! As of this thursday (tomorrow) I will have been out on the mission exactly 4 months! What the?! Where the flip did the time go? Haha, it's crazy how fast the time passes on the mission and I think it goes even faster in New York. I hope everyone is having a good time, that things are going well. I know that life has it's moments, but like Gordon B. Hinckley said, we're here to be tested but we're here to have joy too. Lately, I've found this to be especially true. Right now, the summer is starting and the humidity is rolling in. People are leaving but a ton more are coming, people are getting pressured to do bad things and the heat is nasty. We come home drenched, especially on the days we don't have the car. But all at the same time, through all the sweat and nastiness it still hasn't lost it's charm for me. We love seeing everyone we know on the streets, having the sweet hookups that we have, having good members that take care of us on the regular, and teaching people that are so ready for the gospel.
We do a lot of less-active work, and also teach a lot of investigators. We have 350 some odd number of members that are on the records but only 145 come regularly. Kind of regular I know, but it's interesting to see those numbers from a missionary's perspective; I just want to get everybody back to church and then gain some new members haha! (: Sadly, it doesn't work that way all the time, but hey, I can dream and pray (: As of right now, we are teaching and trying to reactivate some cool people. Martin is one of them, an english class student. He comes every time there's english class, and always is wanting to learn more about the gospel. He's so far had fun/learned a lot from everything we've done/taught him, now it's teaching exactly to his needs and seeing where he's at with his progression. Next lesson we're inviting him to church and we're goiong to try to get him to set his own date to be baptized i think that'll be cool. And we have the Cruz family, annie cruz is the mother. They like speaking english so we just speak english with them and right now she has a lot of problems. Trying to decide whether or not to stay in the spanish ward, or move to english, and there's just some family problems that are going on right now. I found a cool ensign article that I will try and relate to her and her needs tonight as we teach her and im going to invite her to come back to church and talk with the bishop about her problems. Those two people are the ones that are closest to coming either back, or to the gospel.
Also just the other day i was on a split with an Elder who is nearly done with the mission, elder noguiera from Brazil, and so I didn't speak a lick of english when i was with him. general conversation and lessons, everything in spanish. It was a crazy time, and I learned a lot of things, including piano, spanish of course cause he doesnt like talking in english, and cool stories and scriptures. It was nice.
Aside from the work, life has been great. Elder Pickard will probably be transferred out and I will get a new companion andI'll start driving and taking over the area, which will be cool and I'll pick up spanish a lot faster, but I will miss him. I love the guy, he never really annoyed me, and he was my "Dad" haha he raised me. Freakin' mission lingo haha it's so awkward. Elder Rydalch and I are pretty good buds now, and he'll probably stay for at least another cycle so that's cool too. (Elder Rydalch is kind of like a Connor Flake hahahaha, real tall and fun/funny).
And the highlight crazy story of the week, which will include pictures: the english elders that we live with and share the car with got hit pretty darn good in the toyota. The pictures say it all, but the story goes that the crazy intersection that we live by is where they got hit. They were turnning left and had to stop in the middle of the interseccion to wait for a pedestrain to cross. A big moving truck was coming fast coming the other way, in-line to t-bone them, but elder aagard floored it to try and miss getting hit, but the truck slammed them in the back left side, busting up everything and tearing the bumper clean off. They skidded and then hit some scaffolding with the front of the car. Needless to say, drving in Yonkers is ridiculous, but quite necessary cause its so hilly. everything, and I mean everything including lights, trunk and the gas flap are fully functional and the car is still drivable and not unaligned, so the mission will let it go and get it fixed fairly soon.
Well, I love you all. Know i am well, trying not to lose anymore weight, and I am loving the gospel, spanish, the whole work. Everyone keep safe, pray for those lives lost in that recent tornado, and God bless.
Elder Mitchell James Buckley