Thursday, April 9, 2015

That Week was Fleek

This last week has been great! My new companion is great. His name is Elder Thompson from Rigby, Idaho. It's only been a week but I can tell we are going to get a long great.

There's a lot that has happened this week. We have been extremely busy. I could write about the fight that started right in front of our eyes because of skin color, the public demonstrations of the crucifixion for Easter that were taking place, or I could try to describe the smell in the project elevators. There is simply just not enough time for that. Maybe one of these weeks I will have the time to adequately describe everything that has happened to me. 
Some guys thought it would be a good idea to reenact the crucifixion…...
How about general conference tho? Wasn't it amazing?? In case you didn't watch it I advise you to go watch them all on It was incredible. So if you don't know now you know. 

Again I can't adequately describe to you all the emotions and thoughts I had on conference but I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes with you:

"A lot of things are good, many important, but only a few are essential."- D. Todd Christofferson 

"Many of the things you can count don't really count. Many of the things you can't count do count."- Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

"Average is the enemy of excellence." - Kevin W. Pearson

"I'm no saint. Unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying" originally by Nelson Mandela shared by - Dale G. Renlund 

Prayers were answered this Easter weekend through general conference. God is real.
 District Picture in between Conference
In other matters. I picked up a new slang word off of the streets this week. Fleek. Apparently it's a good thing. If the kids are doing it I guess I better start too. The word fleek is fleek.  

Elder Thompson and I were sitting together on the train the other night right? The day had been a gloomy one. It had been cloudy and the rain had been falling sporadically all day. We had just gotten back from getting lost in the Bronx. We went to look up a media referral that was .4 miles away from the train station but we had taken a couple wrong turns and got further and further away from the destination. Each time we tried to do a short cut to get back on the right track we kept getting more lost. We had gotten so lost that we wandered up along the very east side of the Bronx where the land gently kisses the body of water known as the Long Island Sound. We were seeing water, grass, and even a couple geese which is very unlike any part of the Bronx I have ever been to. 

We ended up walking an unnecessary 3 extra miles in the rain. Needless to say Elder Thompson and I were ready to go home, eat dinner, and call it a night. Our morale was as damp as our clothes. I was getting frustrated at my less than stellar attitude. I often get frustrated at the fact that I get frustrated because that is something you choose and I don't like not living up to my potential. 

I was privately entertaining the elephant in the room of my mind when a young man probably about the same age as myself entered the train. He had on big bulky Patrick Ewing basketball shoes, a flat brim hat with the embroidered word "FLY" on it that he wore under a sweatshirt hood. He sported true religion jeans that sagged so low that if my mom saw me wearing my pants like that she would probably tell daddy to go get the belt ready for an old fashioned hick style licking. 

There was one thing somewhat odd about this guy. He had a guitar in his hands and was playing it beautifully, the kind of music that angels in the heavens listen to when they get a moment to unwind. It was the kind of song that plays with your inner emotions causing some sort of internal battle.  I don't know the guitar very well but I do feel that I know when something is good. This my friends was the good stuff. 

At the end of his song he started walking up the train saying, "thank you ladies and gentleman I hope you enjoyed what you heard. God bless you and have a great day." He wasn't asking for money or anything. He was playing for the sole purpose of brightening someone's day. The sad part is nobody said anything back to him. Nobody thanked him. As a matter of fact nobody even made eye contact with him. He might as well have been playing at a wall. This irked me. 

When he made his way to the end of the train toward Elder Thompson and I he looked me in the eye and went through his little spiel. I told him God bless you back and told him I loved his song. The train had stopped and he had to exit abruptly. He told me I was welcome, to have a good night and then he was off into the brisk Bronx night. 

What am I trying to prove by sharing this story in more detail than is probably necessary? The answer is..... I don't know. I don't know why I wanted to share this experience. I'm still questioning why I thought this was so cool. It could be the fact that this guy as different as we may be have a lot in common. He had a talent of playing the guitar. He had a gift to share. Despite the unresponsiveness of others around him he continued to play his music and thank everybody for their time. This guy is a dood of courage and persistence. I can respect that. 

If nobody else on the train other than Elder Thompson and I appreciated his gift he knows that we did. It sounds a lot like missionary work to me. Members of the church have a gift to share. Not a lot of people are responsive to it at least at a specific point in their life. My mission has been teaching me courage and persistence just as this homie. Again although it may not seem like we have a lot in common we are both advocates. We are both advocates for happiness. He advocates music and I'm trying to advocate Christ. There's a lot I have/get to learn from the amazing people of New York. 

With luv, 

Elder Tyler J Johanson
Get it while the getting is good

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