This past week has been super stressful with too much to do, and a metric butt-ton of events to coordinate and plan, and in the end almost all of them got cancelled. On Saturday we had the Barbecue (not planned by us, and a great success), English class (to which nobody showed up), and a game night (which I watched die in my arms as literally everyone but one person juked), as well as at least three lessons during the day which we were planning on needing splits for. Well, every single event that we had planned fell through. I had been stressing out for two days over events that were just going to be cancelled. On top of that I got bit by a cat at a less-active family's home. Ouch! Friday was just disastrous. We had a giant gap in the afternoon, and we went out and did some lookups, and nothing worked. We got lost once or twice because we hadn't taken screenshots of the maps. Just frustrating. Something good did come out of our trials, though. There is a young man in a large family of Dominicans (I think I've written about them before) who is progressing rapidly towards baptism. He has a sincere desire to know if the Book of Mormon is true or not. He said that he didn't think we would be here for two years being missionaries if the Book of Mormon wasn't true. Also, on Saturday, after the last backup lesson we had couldn't be found, we went and visited a member family, the dad had had his records lost, and so he needs to get re baptized. He's been having a hard time with it, because he's had some problems with some of the leadership here. Anyway, we went over and had a truly inspired lesson with him and his family. I don't think I've felt more directed and guided by the Lord since the MTC. So, in the end, I know that the cancellations have been a part of the Lord's plan, and so I've let it go. There's just some residual stress I'm gonna have to sleep off. No, seriously, I'm so tired.
I did have the opportunity to have dinner with Uncle JR last week (yeah, I've got no excuse for not writing last week. That was my bad-sorry 😞). Elder Pavon took out the phone and said that there was a call for me. The user ID said Utah. I answered it, and couldn't really believe what I was hearing, because I fell for a prank last transfer that I'll explain in a different email. Uncle JR was in Manhattan for a while on a training trip, and he had called the mission office and gotten permission to have dinner with me, and they gave him our number. We took him and his coworker out to a delicious tortilleria. I don't think he expected to walk as much as we did, especially in Brooklyn at night time (it's ok, you really only have to worry after 1 or 2 in the morning, or if you hear party going on), but it was great to talk to him about the mission, and his mission to Chicago. I really, really appreciated the visit, and know that it was sent from Heavenly Father to lift my spirits. He has a way of doing that.
Bushwick's warming up, for sure. I've had to switch from long to short-sleeved white shirts. The collars of one of my white shirts was black from sweat, because last Sunday we stopped and the Ruiz family's house, and they had some friends over. After eating a fine, fine, muy rico meal, we talked and made spiritual progress before sweating our butts of playing basketball in their small backyard with a kiddie hoop. It was super fun, but I didn't want to put my suit jacket on for the rest of the day. That was a super weird night, too. We later went to go to that same Dominican family, and we got off the L train (which is underground through Bushwick). We were about to exit when this lady stops us and wants to know more. We sit down in the station and expect a 5-10 minute power lesson where we commit her to a date and time to teach her in her home or something. Three hours later, we were talking about UFOs and the Illuminati, and Elder Pavon and I knew we needed to go for more reasons than we were already out past our bedtime (9:30 is when we need to be at the house. It was much later than that). Never teach lessons to Jehovah's Witnesses underground. Ever.
So, I don't know if you knew this, but Elder and Sister Bednar held a 'face to face' event, where they took questions from youth all over the world via Skype, Twitter, and Facebook, and answered them. It's on lds.org, and in the Gospel Library app, and I highly, highly recommend it. I sat down and watched it for one of my personal studies, and I learned so much. You all should watch it for family home evening, or something. I think Elder Bednar is now my favorite apostle, with Elder Holland in a close second, and Elder Uchtdorf in third. Just, the way that Elder Bednar explains things just clicks with me. He speaks elegantly, but simply, and he is genuine and sincere. So, yeah, that’s my spiritual plug for today.
Well, have fun with dad home today, and I love you all and miss you.
Elder Richard Brandt Hull(k)