Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything

So this was a pretty good week in the Bronx.
Last P-day our zone had a zone activity. We had our own missionary version of the Olympics. We had different events like a relay race, soccer, staring contests, and my specialty, a selfie contest on the iPads. You best believe I took the gold in that event.
We went train tracting again this last week in the subways. Something strange/interesting always happens. The first guy I talked to actually started talking to me first. In the beginning he seemed super interested but turns out he only wanted to bash me. He would let me say what I wanted to say which was kind of nice of him, I guess, but then he would come out with some random scripture in the bible that didn't really mean what he claimed it did and used it to tell me why I was wrong. I was super frustrated with him but I just kept on smiling at him. It was better than punching him in the nose. 
But it gets crazier. Another time we got on and Elder Reynolds announced who we were and what we were there for, and then we spread out and talk to people. All of a sudden I hear a woman unloading on Elder Reynolds; completely yelling at him, drawing the whole car’s attention to the situation. Soon after, another guy joins in and starts yelling at my companion. The lady pointed to me from across the car and asked me to, "come help him out." I walk over and I guess earlier there was a homeless man in the car and since we as missionaries didn't give him money and help the homeless man we were "hypocrites". When I went over there I had no clue how to help, but along with the spirit I was able to calm the woman down until we were cracking jokes and smiling. I'm grateful for the ability to have the Spirit with me or else Elder Reynolds might have gotten his head ripped off.
Yesterday Elder Reynolds and I got a referral so we looked up the address to get there. We saw that it was a hospital and mental health clinic so we were a little unsure if that was the actual address. When we showed up we went to the front desk and they said we couldn't visit this lady because she is a "prisoner" but then we heard a voice say, "missionaries?" It was the lady's sister who is a member. The woman that we were there to see (who was baptized but is now inactive) had been in a nearly fatal car crash. She had an unpaid fine so the NYPD had custody of her so she was handcuffed to the bed. In order for us to see her we needed to go to the police station to get permission. We got to the police station and while we were waiting to get authorization, this man in hand cuffs was escorted in. He was full on yelling at the cop. Then the cop got up in his face, yelling back, both of them screaming words in each other's face that Mom would be disappointed to hear. Even after the guy in handcuffs stopped yelling, the cop kept letting him have it. I felt like I was in an episode of "Cops". Remind me not to mess with the NYPD. Once we got authorization, we were able to go back to the hospital and check in to see the woman. We get upstairs to her room and she started crying when we walked in. She was in very bad condition. We talked to her for a minute and offered her a priesthood blessing. Elder Reynolds anointed and I did the blessing. The Spirit was incredibly strong. It was one of those blessings where afterwards you can't remember anything you said because it wasn't you speaking, it was the Spirit. She thanked us so much and expressed her desire to start doing better in her life. She is a wonderful lady. We are going to try to go back and visit her again.

I see people here that their greatest goal in life is to receive welfare from the government. They waste their money on drugs and alcohol and that's what they think life is about. But I want to boldly testify that even though The Gospel can seem so complex with so many standards and "rules" it is really quite simple. If you want to be happy, live The Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will be worth it, I promise.
Of course I have other stories to share but I also have laundry and shopping to do sooo. K bye.

Prayers and love from the 914.

-Elder Tyler J Johanson

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