Heeeey! Pretty good week. I guess the weather has been super unusual here because usually snow n’stuff is on the ground, but we still have green grass! Super weird, but it’s cool! I heard the winters are crazy here, so we’ll take the mild weather for now! Haha…ha.
We had some great service opportunities once again! We helped decorate at the Presb. nursing home and we helped roll them out to hear an old people band play! It was seriously the cutest thing ever. And a lot of the people were singing along to these classic, old songs. It was great. We also feel so beautiful there because all of them compliment us, haha. It’s really funny. We are going to hopefully start volunteering at the refugee center in Utica and this women’s shelter. It should be awesome. Our mission is trying to get all the elders and sisters to do 10 hours of service in the community which is so sweet!
Omigosh, I almost forgot, the craziest thing happened a few nights ago!! So, we didn’t have any appointments Saturday night and we were out by our New Hartford park to try and talk to some people. There was like no people though. We sat at this bench for a little bit and decided to walk on this one sidewalk and look at the Christmas displays in this store…no luck. We crossed the street to go back to the park and went by a church…Sister Thao wanted to go and sit on some stairs, so we did. It was cold, it was around 8:30pm, and we didn’t know what to do. I said out loud, “Where are all the people?!” I mean, it’s cold, but come on. Then, all the sudden, we heard a bunch of voices and then saw this ginormous mob of high school or college kids congregate across the street of where we were looking at the Christmas displays. We were like, what the what?! What is this?! They went out into the street and cars were beeping and then it looked like they were starting to come into the park. We were pretty sure a fight was going down. I had the impression that we needed to go a different way to our car in the parking lot. We went around the church and these two kids ran passed us and we saw that the cops were starting in the scene. We got to o car safely and we were so shocked that we were laughing. I guess the Lord heard my question and BAM! People. Not ones that we felt we should talk to though, haha. They had some major issues and we left it to the police… Oh man…Sister Thao was just laughing at the timing of it all..of how I was saying, “Where’s the people.” And then all the sudden there was a mob of people….and we were just over where they were, sitting, twiddling our thumbs, on the quiet bench and sidewalk. It was something. Haha..anyways…
We have talked to a few people off and on this week…saw the awesome people we teach…we OYM’d this one guy who was at the park and we asked how his day was. He said that it wasn’t the best…that his life wasn;t the best. He said, “Honestly, I got high and watched tv all day.” He then asked, “Can Christ make me better?” We testified that He can and that through Him, we can be relieved from all our shame and guilt and be made clean by believing Him and following His gospel. We saw he had an iphone and said if we could show the Christmas video about the Savior. He watched it and said he liked it. He was going to ask us more questions, but his ride came. We got his number and address so hopefully we’ll meet with him soon. He was still high I think when we talked to him, but I think he meant every word of wanting something better in his life. And that is a start…the trick is, how can I get there? I know that we all have choices and are given the gift of agency to choose on how we will act. We can try to make excuses or justify the wrong choices we make, but that just brings misery and pain, and that isn’t our eternal destiny! I know that by following Christ and living His gospel can and will lead to true happiness…and it’s all made possible by Christ atoning for all our sins, pains, and afflictions…all we need to do is have faith and continually repent and seek Heavenly Father’s will which is revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It may not seem easy, but when are the greatest things in life ever easy? I love the quote that Sister Reeves said in the last General Conference, ” I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?”
I love serving. It seriously is so hard, but I love it. I love the people here and all that I am experiencing. The gospel is real and true. I love this time of year where the greatest news is celebrated…that a Savior was born into this world to set the example and overcome all sin and death so we can have eternal life. He lives and loves each of us.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week ❤
Love, Sister Pange