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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sunday Buddy

This is a little girl is in our branch and she is a little sweetheart.  She is one of six children in her family, all about one year apart.  Once Sacrament meeting starts, she will generally find her way to us and sit between us.  She has such a happy spirit and is so sweet.

Our New Favorite Meal

This is definitely our favorite "go to" lunch.  Our favorite neighborhood pizza place just closed overnight.  We could not believe it, one day slices for sale and the next day everything was gone!

But, not to worry.  Naan bread, marinara sauce, provolone cheese, tomato, red peppers, and garlic powder.  All from Costco.

So easy to prepare:

Now, who could resist this....yum.

We get hooked on a particular meal and we eat it for weeks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Examine the Day

We know that Sunday is a special day....the Sabbath, a day of worship, a day when we draw near to our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  We attend our meetings to receive inspiration, to learn the gospel, and to contemplate our lives and the eternities.

But, what about the other six days of the week?  Do we stop receiving inspiration?  Do we stop learning?   Do we stop striving to be like Jesus or stop following His teachings?

Prior to leaving on our mission, Elder Johnson and I thought that our senior mission would be a time of spiritual growth.


We began our primary assignment as housing coordinators for approximately 200 missionaries in the New York New York South Mission, which entails finding new apartments, inspecting missionary apartments for cleanliness and safety, closing apartments that are no longer needed, ordering and distributing cleaning and housing supplies, teaching missionaries how to clean and maintain their apartments, and dealing with all the kinds of problems that come from renting over 100 different apartments in varying conditions, including bugs of all kinds, plumbing problems, worn out and broken furnishings, vacuums, lost keys and window air conditioning units.

Before the next missionary transfer day on August 7, we were told three vacant apartments were to be "blinded in".  That means a vacant apartment would be assigned to a missionary companionship on transfer day.  As part of our assignment we make sure the apartments are ready for the missionaries to move into.

As we began our inspections, we found that each apartment needed repairs, supplies and a thorough cleaning.  None of the apartments had air conditioners that worked.  It was close to ninety degrees inside, and it was hot and humid! After a full days work in each apartment we were dripping wet and exhausted.

Was this what a senior mission looked like....where was the spirituality?

And then we thought of the Savior.  During His entire mortal ministry, He was humble and provided love through His service to others.  THIS IS WHAT WE WERE TO LEARN!  Our service to the missionaries, showing our love for them by serving them.

Lesson Learned:
Each day we are given choices, a work to do.  Do we just go about the "job" and not pay attention to what we need to learn?  Do we recognize the blessings that are there for us?  At the end of the day, can you say to yourself, "I did what was asked of me, I did my best"?

An Elder's Testimony

Elder Johnson and I were both touched by the following testimony of Elder Young. Elder Young has been an AP (assistant to the mission president) since we arrived in December.  He is an example of a righteous, dedicated, and consecrated missionary.  He knows who he is and what is important in life.  We have no doubt that we he will be successful in all he endeavors to achieve.  We will miss him.
This is a picture of Elder Johnson with the AP's.  Elder Young is on his left. Here is his last testimony before returning home:

"The last full week is here! This will be the last email to share as
next Monday will be too busy to send an email! I have come to cherish
New York City and all of the people here, I am eternally grateful for
the lessons I've learned and most importantly the foundation I've
developed in Jesus Christ and His gospel. The Atonement truly is the
only way.

I want to give a big THANK YOU to all of my family and friends back
home and the ones I've gained here that have provided so much love and
support. Thanks for all of the prayers, packages, letters, and emails.
Most important I am thankful for the relationships I have been able to
feel strengthen as I have been away.

I have had many experiences, life changing events, and witnesses in
which I know God saved me specifically for this time to come forth and
give Him my all here in the NYNYS Mission. In due time whatever else
He has in store for the future, I am here to serve. I love His perfect
gospel and know it is up to the individual with a sincere desire to
have an understanding that Jesus is the Christ and his authority is
real and on earth once again. I testify that Jesus Christ's gospel is
brilliant and through him our Heavenly Father instituted the most
omnipotent plan. I love my God and Savior Jesus Christ, I know they
are in the most finite details of our lives. When it gets too hard to
stand, always kneel. I know as we learn to turn outward rather than
inward, we are revealed the path God has created for us. God lives and
I know he wants us to involve him in our lives, he wants you to be
successful. This church is the only true church and was restored by
the most incredible man, Joseph Smith. I revere him whole heartedly
and know he was and is a prophet of God. The Book of Mormon is the
evidence of the Restored Gospel. The Book of Mormon was written by his
holy prophets and has built my testimony of Jesus Christ and his
doctrine. It was inspired of God. Progression and change are the
fruits of living His gospel. I testify of that and close in the name
of Jesus Christ, Amen.

These are just a few things I've learned as I am very excited to come
home next week and begin a new chapter upon these foundations. As my
mom would say, "I love you more." And to finish my last words from
Grandpa Young, "Remember Who You Are."
See you all on the 14th!
Love the Elder in NY -
Elder Parker Young"
We trust Elder Young's testimony will touch each of you.