Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Last zone studies and a few other things...

Last week we finished up Zone Studies!  I loved the time spent traveling throughout the mission visiting each zone.  We are now busy preparing for the upcoming transfer.  8 new missionaries will arrive Monday and we will say goodbye to 4 missionaries on Wednesday morning.  The days and weeks fly by so quickly.  I'm sure at times it doesn't feel that way for those of you at home who miss your missionary.  Without fail most of those going home remark how quickly the time has flown by and that they can't believe it is time to go home.  It makes me think "are we anxiously engaged everyday, are we doing the things that matter most?" 

"To live more fully each hour and to glean the most from each day is wisdom. How unwise we are to waste our todays when they determine the significance of our tomorrows. We should wisely live a day at a time because that is all we have."
-Elder Marvin J. Ashton

Yorktown Zone

Westchester Zone

Newburgh Zone

On Saturday we spent a few minutes with Elder Wulff and Elder Kirkham in the Manhattan Temple.  Elder Wulff has completed his mission and flew home to Germany yesterday.  Our family became very close to him when he served as the assistant.  William will especially miss him.

 I love Millie!  She is one of the security guards at the Lincoln Center Building.  Millie is so full of life and gives the best hugs.  She has endeared herself to all of us!

We loved having my parents visit for a few days.  They love missionaries and are filled with the missionary spirit.  I am blessed to have had their example of faithfulness throughout my life.

Here are a couple pictures William took of the city

Monday, September 19, 2016

New ASL Missionaries and Zone Selfies

One of our big fears came true this week!  We received a call from the Assistants that we had 2 missionaries at the airport wondering if someone was going to pick them up.  Dave and William jumped in the car and I added to the dinner I was preparing for my family.  Less than an hour later we were all sitting down to eat in the mission home.    Elder Edelfsen and Elder Holt, ASL Elders that we were expecting September 27th had landed at the White Plains airport with no one to meet them.  So sad!  Somehow we got the wrong memo from the MTC but it all worked out! These 2 are awesome and quickly forgave us.  We enjoyed having them in our home and had a sweet testimony meeting that evening.

Dave continues to interview each missionary as we travel from zone to zone.  In between interviews we hold zone study.  This go around we are focusing on Joseph Smith History verses 1-20.  It is amazing!  As I have focused my studies on the Prophet Joseph Smith this past month my love and admiration has grown in countless ways in regards to him.  Praise to the Man!  I love this great prophet who was true and faithful to the calling God gave him, despite opposition every step of the way.  He is a man of great moral strength and character.  Although not perfect, which he never claimed to be, there were no errors in the revelations he taught.
He restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth in its fullness.  The Prophet Joseph has taught us the true nature of God, given us the Book of Mormon, which was translated by the power and authority of God.  I challenge you to pick it up and as you read think "did Joseph write this book or translate it"?  I am blown away the more I study about this great man and read the Book of Mormon.  He could not have written it.  His whole purpose throughout his life was to testify of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  My life has been richly blessed because of this great prophet. 

Stamford Zone

Kingsbridge Zone

Manhattan North Zone

Chinatown Zone

Friday, September 9, 2016

A week to be remembered...

It's been a big week!  The girls headed back to school on Tuesday.  They are both going to the High School this year.  Savannah is a junior and Lauren a freshmen.  It is so nice to have them at the same school which is literally across the street from the mission home.  Dave and William got up early to make them breakfast.  William is in 7th grade.  After lots of prayer and begging by him we have chosen to homeschool him this year.  He is thrilled!  It is going to be challenging in many ways but so far it is going well.  He told me last year on several occasions "school is really getting in the way of my mission!"

 We are so happy to welcome 4 new sisters to the mission.  They arrived this week from the Salt Lake City Temple Square mission where they have been serving.  Temple Square Sisters are given an opportunity to serve 2 transfers "outbound" in another mission.  We told them they are an answer to the prayers of many to have more sisters in the NYNYN mission.  There is so much work to be done! 

 Sister O'Neill

 Sister Felise

 Sister Romero

 Sister Cruz

This week we had Zone Studies/Interviews in Manhattan South and Olmstead Zones.

Manhattan South Zone

 Elder Kirkham, Elder Wulff, Elder Schott and Elder Stevens 
standing in front of the 87th Street Chapel in Manhattan

Dave's parents arrived in NY this week to visit us on their way home from Finland where they have served as full time missionaries the past 2 years.  I loved these pictures of his reunion with them.

Olmstead Zone
If you look close you can see Barbara Jean, a longtime member of the Olmstead Ward.  
She is a beloved member missionary and joined us for Zone Study.

Sisters in Harlem

 Elder Frei and Elder Paulin in Poughkeepsie

This morning we took these 8 Sisters to the Manhattan Temple.  They have received a special assignment to serve at the Hartford Connecticut Temple Open House.  They will spend the next few weeks in Connecticut. The Temple resides in the Boston Mission but takes in a portion of our mission.   It was wonderful to be in the Temple with them as they prepare for this experience.  

 While we were in the Temple William and his two buddies were able to do Baptisms.  Afterwards they went street contacting with some of the Manhattan Elders.  The benefits of homeschool!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fall is in the air...

Fall is in the air!  I love the crisp mornings and the cool nights, although it continues to be fairly warm during the day.  I love the Autumn season and look forward to the beauty of this place as the leaves change into such vibrant colors.  Time is flying by and it is hard to believe summer has passed, the kids are heading back to school and we are in another transfer cycle.  During this 6 weeks, Dave will interview every missionary.  They are usually scheduled by zones.  He begins interviews around 9 am, we have a zone study at 11 am for about 1.5 hours and then he continues with interviews for another 4-5 hours.  By the end he is exhausted even though he has sat in basically the same spot for hours.  He has mentioned on occasion that he is more tired after a round of interviews than he ever was after one of his ironman races.  At the same time he loves interviews because of the one on one time with each missionary.  They are all so unique and individually very important to us.  
We always love to take a "zone selfie" after the zone study.

This past week he interviewed the missionaries in the Manhattan Central and Poughkeepsie zones.

Manhattan Central Zone

Poughkeepsie Zone

William woke up bright and early Wednesday morning to go with Elder McBride 
and Elder Mackintosh to the temple with some of their ward young men for baptisms.  
One of the boys was baptized by proxy for his father who passed away 13 years ago. 
 I am so grateful William is having these experiences.

Friday was MLC at the Scarsdale Chapel.  I love MLC!  I think I say that every time I post pictures from it.  These missionaries are awesome leaders and have such vision for the work and carrying it forward in the NYNYN mission.  I try to do a simple, yummy lunch for them afterwards.  Thank goodness for Costco!  I had to laugh this week when one of the elders said to me "Sister Smith I always know I'll get at least one good meal each month...when I come to MLC".  They make me feel so good, especially considering I don't love to cook.  That is one thing I feel the Lord has really blessed me with on the mission though, making meals regularly for 60+ missionaries.  That would have stressed me big time before but somehow it always works out and it doesn't seem to be a big deal.  I know it is the Lord helping me and I am so grateful!

 On Friday night we went as a family to the Temple with the youth of our ward to do baptisms.
 Its rare and very special when we are all able to go together.  
It's a tradition to walk up the street to Shake Shack after.  
I cherish these moments.