Thursday, February 13, 2014

Week 4

Week 1 in the Bronx is over and finished. I have seen so many interesting people and had so many interesting experiences that there is no possible way I could share them with you in an email. The Bronx
is no joke. It's the hoodiest of hoods. I'm starting to get used to the frequent police sirens whizzing past your face every 20 or so minutes.

We teach a lot of people in the projects. Those people are my favorite because something interesting/odd happens every time without fail. There are constantly cops everywhere and the inside of the elevators reek of urine. Sometimes the windows are smashed through, letting the bitter NY wind seep through. This is not Utah.

Another cool thing about my area is we walk past Yankee Stadium all the time. Everybody walks past like it's not even there and in my mind I'm thinking, does nobody see flipping YANKEE STADIUM?!

We have a couple of cool ways to find new people to teach here. One of them is church tours. Once or twice a week we open our chapel (which is on the corner of a city block) to the public. We get people
off the street to come in to the church and tour it while we talk to them about the gospel. I'm surprised at how many people are interested. The second way is we go "train tracting" our district (10
missionaries) go on the subway and swarm a car and announce who we are then we start making it rain pamphlets and pass along cards and talk to people about the gospel. It's kind of intimidating going up to
people that look angry all the time but most people are actually willing to talk to us. It's cool the stories people will share you if you are willing to be open to it.

We were walking home one night and a guy comes up and asks me if I have a lighter because he wanted to smoke. I told him I didn't but then we struck up a conversation. I told him I was a missionary and he told me he was a Satanist. We shared our beliefs to each other for about 15 minutes and realized we had completely different beliefs about God and Heaven and Hell but afterwards he told me that he respected me a lot for coming out and sharing my beliefs with people and actually living what I believe. It took me back at how friendly this man was for someone that I initially thought would give me the cold shoulder.

Elder Reynolds is great. He is a straight up mountain man. He talked to me for a looong time about how he loves to trap bobcats for fun. Bobcats. For fun. I don't know why but his personality kind of reminds me of Fregley from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

New York fashion tip of the week: The tip of the tie should be just long enough to kiss the belt.

Being a missionary is awesome! I love being able to share my beliefs. Over the last few weeks my testimony of the love that God has for us has increased so much. You're are loved no matter what you do. Realize
his love for you and make sure you pray and thank him consistently.

Have a great week!

-Elder Tyler J Johanson

P.S. It's cold here.

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