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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New Budget Line Item

We have now added a new category to our New York mission budget.  The New York Finance Department.  Yes, we love New York, but was hoping to not contribute to the Finance Department.

Maybe I should explain.....

1.  Being in New York for only a few day, driving at night with all the lights, and traffic like Daytona 500, I'm afraid we ran a red light.  Who would know there are traffic lights every quarter of a mile.  Cost $50.00
2. Parking in New York is a problem.  We are lucky to have a parking garage a block away for the cost of $350.00 a month (we are use to a 3 car garage home for free).  One day we needed to stop by the apartment to pick something up.  Low and behold we can out to find a parking ticket.  What about all the other cars who park there daily or the man who double parks to run into Dunkin Donuts?  Cost $60.00
3.  We learned our lesson.  While in Brooklyn, we found a parking place, purchased a ticket from the meter, and placed in inside the front window and were on our merry way.  Yes, we came back to a parking ticket on our windshield.  The reason?#! Our meter ticket was turned the wrong way.  Cost $35.00

We've decided that it's one of the cost of living in this great state!  We love New York.

Unadvertised Tax:  New York collects over 8 billion dollars a year from traffic and parking citations!

Lesson Learned;
Christ-like attribute learned and working on "Don't be quick to anger."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Patience is a Christ-like Attribute

There are many one way streets in New York; and there is only room for one moving car as cars are parked on both sides of the street.   That being said, it's important to know the garbage pick-up days in the various neighborhoods.

We were on our way to "open" an apartment in Brooklyn.  "Open" means to set up and furnish an apartment.  Of course, the apartment was located half way up the street in front of the garbage truck.  So we waited....and the office elders, who were assisting with the move, waited.  I have to give credit to the sanitation workers of New York.  Sometimes we hear them out our window at 11:00pm.  I guess at that time they don't have to deal with the traffic.  They really do work very hard and it's not the perfect job, although we have been told it's a very desirable job due to the steady work and pay.  Let's face it...garbage happens.

So, as we waited, we thought of the Christ-like attribute of Patience.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

It was so COLD that....

Oops, our window is not really floating, the picture just didn't adjust.

It was so cold last night that my waterpic froze.  Because we are so short of space, I keep it on the windowsill of the bathroom.

When we woke up it was a bit chilly.  It wasn't long before we discovered that two of our three radiators were not was getting pretty cold.   So we checked the temperature on our phones and it read 1 degree and that's not counting wind chill.

I looked out our window to the trees across the street to check my weather balloons (two birthday balloons stuck in the branches since we arrived) and they were not there.  I commented to Richard that I wondered if I should even bother fixing my hair as I couldn't tell if it was windy or not.  He said, "It's so cold that the air has frozen."  and I believe him!  Oh, love and trust.

So glad it's Sunday and we get to spend the day in a warm church.  We are substituting in Primary today so we are sure to be warm.  We will be with the Valiant class (ages 8 to 11).  There are two brothers in the class, Prince and Oscar who are simply wonderful.  They are smart, know the gospel, and can answer any question we pose.  After church we have a baptism.  Our branch does the baptisms on Sunday so that more people can attend.  There is always a big turnout.  We love the Richmond 1st Branch.

Pencil Makers Lesson

                                       THE PENCIL MAKER'S LESSON

Just before putting the pencils in the box, the pencil maker gave them five important lessons:
1.  Everything you do will always leave a mark.
2.  You can always correct the mistakes you make.
3.  What is important is what is inside you.
4.  In life, you will undergo painful sharpenings, which will only make you                better.
5.  To be the best pencil, you must allow yourself to be held and guided by the          hand that holds you.

We all need to be constantly sharpened.  This parable may encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities.

Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish.  Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed.  Always remember that the most important part of who you are is what is inside.

Just wanted to share this great little parable we had in family home evening last week.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Queens Version of Payson's Walmart

Our corner store is about 25 feet wide and 25 feet deep, and I believe it has everything that Payson's Walmart has, minus the food.  I think the owner of this store must be a brother to the owner of the store next door because it has all the grocery part of Walmart.  I'm not saying that I am a fan of Walmart, it just where you go in Payson if you need something.

Today I needed to mail our January grandchildren's birthday cards.  The mail delivery person only delivers-does not pick up.  So I walked to the bank to get change and then walked another mile to the mailbox.  I don't see how anyone in Queens could be overweight because the kitchens are too small to cook in and you have to walk to everything.

This morning we went to look for a new apartment for the AP's (Assistants to the President).  We learned a new term "railroad" apartment.  Can you guess what that means?  I thought it meant that it was close to railroad tracks, some trains running within yards of an apartment, but no.  It refers to an apartment that is about 20-25 feet wide and 2 or more stories high.  The rooms run into each other with no walls or hallways.  You open the front door to a living room, which runs into a office, which runs into the bedroom, which runs into the bathroom- and there is actually a door on the bathroom which is the only door in the house!

Take a moment and reflect on your many blessings.  You might say, "Well, I have been successful.  Just look what I have accomplished."  Think did not accomplish anything by yourself.  Your Heavenly Father has a hand in everything you do.  You have been given gifts, maybe a good mind, a loving spirit, a beautiful voice, etc.   If you follow His commandments, you will be blessed.

We Have a New Understanding of 24/7

Have we been busy....not sure where all the time has gone, other than alot of it was spent in the Jeep!  We have driven the length and width of the New York New York South Mission.

Every night we get a telephone call from the AP's (Assistants to the President) with new needs for housing.  The AP's are two young missionary with exceptional leadership skills that assist the Mission President in administrating the work of the mission.

It's only 2 weeks before transfer day and we have to find 3 new apartments.  Now, that might seen easy where you live, but in New York it is a major undertaking.  Traffic and parking are always an issue.  I use to say, "It's 10 miles away."  Now, it's "That should take us at least an hour."  New York drivers are actually very understanding.  We left our apartment the other morning at 8:00 and drove to the corner to make a turn....a car was parked in the one and only lane while the driver ran into Dunkin Donuts to get a cup of coffee.  No one honked their horn, we all just waited.

Another issue is that there are more people wanting to rent than there are apartments.  So you have to make friends with realtors and be quick on your feet or maybe I should say tires.  This last week we viewed a dozen apartments.  The benefit is that we know some really good New York pizza places. When we see an apartment we would like to rent we then have to convince them to rent the apartment to the Church and two 20 year old boys or girls will be living there. The realtors are always apprehensive as to whether the landlord will rent to us. We know that Heavenly Father has intervened in guiding us to the right people and apartments.  As an example, we were prompted to call a realtor in Brooklyn who as it turned out grew up in Arizona and has family members who are members of the Church.  She became a strong advocate in convincing the landlord to rent to us.  When the landlord asked her, "Who are the Mormons?" She told them to think of Mitt Romney.

As of  a couple of hours ago, we still had one more apartment to secure.  The realtor called us at 8:00pm on Saturday night and said he was amazed as the management company just called him and said they would accept our offer.  He has never known the management company to works on the weekend.

We have been told by a realtor to not wear our missionary badge as it would be a "turn off" to potential landlords.  We would not even consider that option.  On that same day, wearing our missionary badges, we met with a realtor, and after reading the words  "Jesus Christ" on our badges she said, "That's good enough for me."  We got the apartment.

These little miracles confirm our faith that we are loved and being watched over by our Heavenly Father.

Take some time to ponder the tender mercies you receive each day and express in prayer your gratitude and your love to your Heavenly Father.