Elder & Sister Smith

Elder & Sister Smith
Elder Casper With Elder & Sister Smith (July 2015-July 2018)


New York New York North Mission
700 White Plains Road Ste 315
Scarsdale, NY 10583

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Elder Domenick Casper

Elder Domenick Casper
Elder Casper With Elder & Sister Morgan (July 2012-July 2015)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Blizzard Fun in the Bronx

Mom and Dad!

Hello, my week was fantastic! We saw a lot of miracles. The Bronx is just tons of fun! Everyday is an adventure! The city is only walking, so I'm walking! We walk everywhere so I probably walk at least 2 miles a day. When we tract and stuff. We shoveled a lot of snow for people, it has been fun! I have been stying really warm even though we walk through snow and party. I have a cool story to tell you. Elder Nalaza is awesome, we have had a fun time and he cooks me food every day! All the time! I love his cooking. Filipinos are really good at cooking! I love him.

It sounds like you have had a good week! Love you! Thanks for everything that you do for me and I'm so grateful for everything you do for me! Love you! I'll get my weekly email started.

Hello everyone,

This week has been great and I'm truly having a great
time here in the Bronx. There is a lot I have to say so let's get

Last Thursday after Pday ended we went to go see Bishop Jessop who is
young but super awesome. He is so cool and we had a good conversation
and quickly shared a spiritual thought and told him that if he needs
us to look anyone up we can do that. We also went to go meet with a
recent convert named Zahil who is 10. We shared an object lesson with
him so he can understand repentance a little more. It was really fun.

Friday our mission president did a mission wide conference call and
talked about the huge snow storm coming our way and how us
missionaries would be partnering up with NYC to help with snow removal
and do all we can. New York gave Inwood on the tip of Manhattan and
both zones in the Bronx, 8 snow shovels. We did weekly planning.
Whenever you're new to an area it's always a chiller kind of planning.
Elder Nalaza has to tell me everyone we work with and pretty much do
it all. Our ward mission leader who's name is Michael had been at the
hospital with his son since Tuesday and we went to see him because we
wanted to offer a blessing. As soon as we got to the room, Michaels son
just got cleared to leave. We had to go to Kingsbridge to pick up the
snow shovels and to bring them back. It was so much fun! We talked to
this lady on the bus named Valencia and she was super legit, we taught
the restoration to her and she told us she would give us a call and
check out! No call yet but soon!

Saturday we got hit with snowmagedon (Winer Storm Jonas)
 and yeah a full on blizzard was
happening. It was cool to look at until we had to go out in it. We did
some look ups and tracted in buildings. We got some cool pictures and
offered to help a lot of people. Elder Nalaza wasn't feeling well and
we came back and he slept for an hour and a half and then we ate. When
he was sleeping I was reading the Book of Mormon and I read like 4 to
5 chapters in Alma and really enjoyed it. I'm never gonna allow
anything to get in the way of my studies after the mission. We went
out and faced the blizzard. The trains and busses weren't running so
we decided to walk a mile in the blizzard to get to our look up.
Luckily I had boots on because we had to walk through a lot of snow.
I'm grateful for boots. We did our look up of Jema Cruz who is a
Filipino potential. We got there and she answered the door and invited
us in. Elder Nalaza spoke Tagalog to her and we gave her a blessing.
We shared a savior is born with her and she loved it. We went upstairs
to grab some snow shovels from her neighbor so we could shovel their
walkways real quick. We shared some of the restoration with their
upstairs neighbor. Then we went back down to tell Jema Cruz that we
finished and her sons were there and we went in and shared the entire
restoration and asked if they would be baptized. They all said yes! We
should be going by sometime soon to share more with them. The spirit
was guiding every word we said and they are so kind. The want to
sacrifice all they have for the gospel and hopefully they have been
reading the Book of Mormon. Elder Nalaza says that's how Filipinos
are, super kind and want to talk to people and learn what we are
sharing. We were fasting as well and look at the miracles we receive
as we do that. We walked so quickly back and we helped shovel a guys
car out of some snow. It was a great way to end our Saturday.

Sunday the normal bus we take to church wasn't working and we had to
walk to another bus but it took forever. Church was postponed to 11:30
and there would only be Sacrament meeting. It was probably the most
spiritual Sunday ever, we got to church and by 11:30 there was only 21
of us and that's including 8 of us missionaries. Our bishop couldn't
even make it but the first counsellor could. We partook of the
Sacrament and all the members that were there took care of Sacrament
meeting. Blessing and passing was done by the members. None of us
missionaries helped and it was such a great experience. We had a
testimony meeting afterwards. Everyone bore their testimonies of how
they could of just decided to not go to church but how it took
sacrifice to get to church. The testimonies were so sincere and I
could feel of their love. It was a great Sunday. We went home, and
changed into non pros because we had to go shovel some people out
because we were part of helping with snow removal. We had some Mormon
helping hands vests and we walked outside with the snow shovels and on
our way to the train and these 2 guys asked if they could use our snow
shovels and we told them that we would help so we helped dig their
cars out. Their names were Robert and Joseph. It was so much fun! We
gave them our card and then we took off to go out of our area to help
shovel acouple people's houses. We did the first one and then we were
standing at the street corner and this guy yells at us asking if he
can hire us to shovel, we tell him that we can do it for free. He
questions us and asks if he can give donation. We told him we would
help for free. We shoveled so much up to that point. They gave us
water but we just had to clear off a pathway for his car to get out of
the driveway. He was super kind and awesome. His name was Aaron and he
asked a little about our church and why we are doing this. It was
cool. Then we went and helped with the last house and it was so quick.
We could hear her talking about our church through the window right
after we talked with her. It was cool to just do some service!

Monday we had district meeting, and it was my first one as a district
leader again. I wanted to know if there was anything I could do for
them and I wanted to know who they were working with. It was a pretty
awesome district meeting and then I went on a split with Elder
Sorensen who is my zone leader. We almost had the opportunity to be on
NBC because of our helping with snow removal. They wanted to follow us
as we did snow removal and they wanted to talk to us but I guess it
was too late. We got called by the public affairs of the church. They
told us how to talk on controversial topics and how to talk on tv. It
would have been so awesome to be on tv. But it didn't happen. We did
meet with a couple investigators of theirs, one named Kuame who
couldn't seem to understand what a Prophet was. We tried helping him
understand but he didn't. He is super cool and very receptive. We
shoveled the house we were supposed to do on NBC. The lady calls her
neighbors her enemies.. Yeah. She didn't want us to help shovel her
neighbors, just her. She was pretty cool though. Then we went to teach
another one of their investigators named George. He is super prepared.
He has been thinking of the invitation to be baptized since he was
asked. He wants it and he has been reading the Book of Mormon and he
explained the first 4 chapters of the Book of Mormon like perfectly.
He wants to set a date for his baptism and he is super solid. He even
committed himself to church not this Sunday but next. He wants to read
the Book of Mormon! Then we saw this guy named Victor who at his door
he told us that he doesn't want to do this right now and he doesn't
want to get baptized because it's so close. He completely changed once
we told him that we can take his date off and move it to whenever he
is ready. He showed us a video he found on YouTube.. About our church.
Once we heard that, we were pretty nervous about it. He found a video
which is somewhat accurate. We just got him to not search our name on
YouTube because he won't find anything good about us. We gave him
church websites where he can watch videos.

Tuesday we had the coolest day ever! We did a couple look ups and then
we unsplitted. I have been trying to get better at talking to people
and I did! I was talking to this guy named Kendri and he was pretty
interested in learning more. He is a chef at Olive Garden. Too bad he
lives outside of our area. We went home because elder Nalaza didn't
sleep well and he was super tired. I called a lot of media referrals
and set up some appointments. We had a dinner at a members house and
it took forever to get there because the buses were so slow. We had a
great dinner. They are such an amazing family! They are the salinas
family. They put us to work. We had to bring a sofa from upstairs,
downstairs and a bed frame and mattress upstairs. They have a 16 year
old and a 13 year old. They are a super funny family. Then we went to
see this lady who asked if we could give her a blessing. Her name is
Donna and she has a son named Anthony. So it turns out some members up
in Poughkeepsie got our number and gave it to Donna so we could come
over. Donna's mom passed away recently and she wants to know where her
mom is. We testified to her about the spirit world and how she is up
there learning about the gospel and we testified about temples and
about how we can do baptisms for the dead. We told Donna she could be
baptized in proxy for her mom. We invited them to be baptized. They
want to talk about it before they make a decision. She was crying with
joy as we told her all of this and there was such a spirit in the
apartment. We gave them each a Book of Mormon and invited them to read
it. She was so happy and she wants us to come back to teach more and
she wants her dad involved as well. There is no doubt in my mind that
she has been prepared. God has prepared her and she is ready for
the gospel. Her son Anthony is a huge gamer and he plays all the games
I played and he wants to be a computer programmer. We have so much in
common. Even Donna plays video games with Anthony. They are so cool! I
feel like I was meant to teach her. I could see the gospel work within
her and her son as we taught them the plan of salvation. They got
closer and closer as we taught them and they cried with joy. We gave
them a blessing and blessed their home. It was a wonderful miracle and
I'll keep you updated on her! That's pretty much it. We are just
chilling today and relaxing!

I do have some pictures! Love you all!

Elder Casper

1. Everyone at church.
2. Subway station.
3. Elder Nalaza and I
4. The subway station with the snow.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Welcome to the Bronx!

Hello to all! As you can see by the title of this email is I'm now in
the Bronx, in Olmstead to be exact. I've already had a fun day and I'm
excited to be here. It's sad to leave the office but I know I'm needed
here. I'm the district leader as well so it's all fun! So I'll tell
you all that we've done in the past week.

Last Thursday we... (I'm not actually sure but that's why you have a
journal!) Ok supposedly we had a conference call with the whole
mission and he talked about when we pray and how we should picture
Heavenly Father when we pray. He also talked about accountability. We
dropped off elder Beardall at the office as elder Burton and I went
down to the city to take him to the 87th street chapel. We ran into
some missionaries from the south mission. We had to reorganize the
Uhaul storage unit.

Friday we had to help with the train the trainers meeting which is
usually held in Scarsdale but president had to meet with someone so it
was planned to meet at the kingsbridge chapel. We brought the mail
with us that goes to kingsbridge and we helped sister smith create a
power point for the youth fireside they were speaking at on Sunday. We
headed to kingsbridge and the fire alarms were going off at
kingsbridge so we moved the meeting to Inwood and transported some
people. I always love the train the trainers meeting. President has
everyone introduce their trainer and something they learned from them
and then at the end he has them pretend they are their trainee and
introduce themselves.. If that makes sense. It's a very spiritual
meeting and I always learn more of how I can be better. I think of
Elder Wallace and all that I've learned from him and how grateful I am
for him to have been my trainer. It was really fun! We had dinner with
a member who cooks good food, they kicked us out before we could share
a message because they had to go see a movie.. Yep that happened but
they are such a wonderful family and I love them. We did a couple look
ups to end out the night but no luck :/

Saturday we did upstate deliveries and met brother smith in Wappinger
Falls. He took us to a Mexican restaurant which was delicious! We went
and saw Bob. He is finally starting to progress a little. He was
trying to find an easy way out of meeting with us, we didn't let him.
I'm gonna miss him. The Youngstrom family is awesome. They wanted us
to share missionary experiences for the lesson so we did that. It made
me see how prepared some of the people I've met are.

Sunday was great, it was my last Sunday in new Rochelle. I gave a talk
too, on how I'm feeling the Holy Ghost in my life. It was super easy!
Especially because I was the youth speaker. Church is always good,
it's spiritually uplifting and I always remember what Jesus Christ has
done for me in my life. After church we had a baptism of a man named
Jesus, his wife has been less active for all time but the other elders
have been working with him and he finally got baptized. It was way
spiritual and a good way to end the area for me. I said goodbye to a
lot of the members and got some pictures as well. It's sad to leave
but I know I'm needed in Olmstead and I'm still in the same stake so
I'll see them around. We had a dinner with the Gardners (A Senior
Couple). Elder Beardall and Elder Gore bore their testimonies of this
gospel. They are going home today. The spirit was super strong. I
couldn't deny the spirit in that room. We went to the Bronx to help
set up for a fireside that the smiths were doing for the youth of the
Westchester stake. What a blessing! We even got to hear them tell all
the youth how much of a blessing a mission is. We also had to go help
the APs afterwards because they locked their Keys in the office so we
rescued them! Haha. It snowed too...Yay!

Monday we had district meeting and we talked about being a leader and
what that means. Just about how great it is to be a missionary and all
that fun stuff. We talked about one of our investigators who isn't
progressing super well and we talked about how we could help. Everyone
really enjoyed it. We got a zone picture so I'll send that really
soon. After we got back to the office we had an unexpected staff
meeting, but a needed one. It's a crazy week with transfers. We filled
orders and then helped a member do some wiring for a microwave in
their apartment. (I Shouldn't say we, it was all elder Beardall). They
are an awesome family who recently moved into amount Vernon and have
been renovating their apartment for quite some time.

Tuesday we packed for the first little bit and then had to go to the
office to take the seats out of the big Van and clean both vans, then
we made our way to the Westchester county airport to pick up the new
missionaries luggage. We transported luggage as everyone else who
drove, then drove them back. We helped as much as possible and got to
eat desert at the smiths. A girl that I knew from college came into
the mission today, I got to say hi and then go to work.

Wednesday I got dropped off at Inwood and met my new companion Elder
Nalaza who is from Cebu city Philippines! I've always wanted a
Filipino companion and now I have one. He started in Newtown with
Elder Ross who is my previous companion. This is the first time I've
been senior companion! We were blessed to hear from Elder Neil A
Anderson, Elder David A Bednar, and Elder Dallin H Oaks on a Worldwide
missionary broadcast. The title of the broadcast was teach repentance
and Baptize Converts. We did a lot of walking and talking to people
and tracting and all that fun stuff. We met with a recent convert
named Dalton, he was baptized recently and he has been struggling to
come to church but he says he can this week.

I already love Olmstead and I'm gonna see great miracles!

1. Brother Sage and I
2. Bishop Neilson and I
3. Brother Jenson
4. My last zone
5. Elder Beardall, Burton and I
6. Some of the elders.
7. Elder Nalaza and I

Friday, January 15, 2016

Getting Cold in New York

Hello everyone, what a wonderful week we had.

Last Wednesday night Elder Burton went on a split with the APs and
elder Beardall and I were left  together to go do work. We looked up
so many people and tracted around them and didn't see much success
until we looked up this guy named C'von (pronounced kah-Von) and his
mom answered. We talked with her for a while and she let us know that
her journey to Christ isn't as she thought it would be. She just
joined another church and she wants to be better but as we were there
she told us that she felt peace. We gave her a Book of Mormon and
promised her that if she read that every day then she would feel
peace. We are going back tonight to meet with her and her son and her
daughters. It should be a wonderful lesson! It was really cold and we
were tracting, people thought we were crazy. It was so much fun to go
and do work like that.

Thursday we did some more cleaning and organizing the bat cave (office supply room) and got
some of our weekly planning done. It was a slower day but it was
needed for sure.

Friday we did our upstate deliveries but we had a twist in the
schedule, Elder Burton had to be down to the 87th street chapel for an
appointment by 1pm. We didn't think we could get it all done but we made
it back in good timing and went to the appointment. I love riding
subways, I feel like a real New Yorker when I am in the city. I love
New York! We got back and we were super hungry so we went to this hole
in the wall Chinese restaurant which was by far the best Chinese food
I've ever eaten. It's called golden imperial. We got home, ate it,
finished weekly planning and went to coordination with our ward
mission leader. Because of the 2 tri-panionships it was a huge
coordination. A lot of great things are coming our way, many miracles!

Saturday we picked up the APs at 7:30 and drove them down to the
Lincoln Center chapel which is the Temple building. We were at our
meeting an hour and a half before the meeting was supposed to start.
President Smith was early with Elder Jeffrey R Holland so we started early.
He has a loud and booming voice. The spirit was present for sure, I
know that he has been called by God and it was so cool to hear from an
apostle. He is a funny guy. One thing he said that really struck home
for me was "You have no right to damage the image of a missionary to
the members!" And imagine him saying this in his loud voice. I thought
about it, and the members look to us after the mission and they don't
want to see us fallen away from the truth. They really want to see us
strong in the gospel. Another thing he said was "Don't you ever think
you will go less active, if you do you better walk on the other side
of the street." And then he screams "I won't use violence!" As he
grabs one of the elders by the neck with his hands. It was so
hilarious. I loved every minute of it. He taught us doctrine and he
taught us that when we teach investigators we need to go down to their
level before they can come up to ours. They need to be lifted by us
and taught at their level. Also he taught us that we should never
judge people and think that they won't accept the gospel, we need to
open our mouths to everyone! We got home and had some lunch, did an
hour of work when the APs call us and ask if we can go on a split. So
we were in a quad for a bit as we went to our dinner appointment. We
had Chicken Cordon Bleu which was so good. It was a crazy night.

Sunday we had church which was super good. I love studying the Book of
Mormon as the main focus of Sunday school, I know the Book of Mormon
is true. Elder Beardall spoke during sacrament meeting and after he
spoke we had to leave quickly because my companions had an interview
with President at the Scarsdale chapel. It's nice being able to see
all the members in that Ward again and listen to their classes. We had
a dinner with our member and I had the best rolls I've eaten in my
life. The reason why we go to members house is to help them fulfill
their missionary responsibility. It may be annoying sometimes but it's
our responsibility as members to get people to the knowledge of this
gospel. We taught one of our less active members named brother
Somerset. He has such a kind heart and he is old which is one reason
he can't make It to church but he told us that he would really try to
make it next Sunday. I love him a lot.

Monday we had staff meeting in which we talked about what's going on
in the mission and how crazy these next couple weeks are. There is a
lot going on. Transfers is coming up and there will be no more
transfer meetings and we have to figure out how to get to our new
area. Elder Dallin H Oaks has been more strict on missionary work and how
everything is running. I'm excited to see how everything will work. We
had district meeting and then we ate at the mall and did our orders
and went to see Bob who wasn't there so we headed to Maria's pizza
place to see if we could help her with her cans and bottles, she
wasn't there so we walked around New Rochelle in the freezing cold and
knocked on doors. The phrase that kept coming into my head is
"Sacrifice brings forth the blessing of heaven" and I know that as we
sacrifice any bit of our time or money or anything for the building up
of the gods kingdom, then we will be blessed.

Tuesday Elder Beardall went with Elder Gore and Elder Burton and I did
the city deliveries. Those were fun. If I get transferred then I will
miss driving through the city. After we got back we went to help one
of our less active members move her couch. On a side note she is
Scottish. She brought her non member friend named Mike who she wants
us to teach. We got there later than she wanted by she still had a
couple jobs for us to do. When we were done she told us that we could
share a message, then she double winks at us. She wanted us to talk
about temples and then she pretty much tells him everything about
temples and why we have them. I hope he felt that spirit like we
could. She had a feud with her land lady. Her land lady was upset
because of her attic and how there is too much of her stuff so she was
grabbing everything from the attic and putting it on the front lawn.
We were helping her with that and then we stopped and talked with her
land lady. We were realizing that this is doing no good. Scottish
people get really angry like that and they are stubborn about that
kind of stuff. She eventually stopped. We cleaned the Batcave for a
couple of hours afterwards.

Elder Beardall is doing his departing temple trip so we dropped him
off with the APs so they will take him. It's weird to see another
missionary go home but eventually that's where I will be.

I am grateful for the opportunity I had to meet Elder Holland this
weekend. We all got to shake his hand and tell him our name and where
we were from. He told us that he shakes our hand and looks into our
eyes and has a personal interview with each of us. He wants to see how
we are doing. The spirit confirmed to me that Elder Holland is an
Apostle of Jesus Christ. I know this church is true. I love you all
and hope you have a great week!

This is the picture that Sister Gardner got of us at the Lincoln
Square Building.

Elder Casper

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone, this week has been crazy. There is a lot of stuff
happening and we were very busy this past week. Thursday morning,
Elder Beardall went with Elder Gore who used to be an AP and is again
an AP. Elder Gore's companion went home mid cycle and Elder Beardall
went with him to his area for the day. We cleaned the church, did our
car inspection and then went to a dinner appointment. And oh my did we
get pounded at that dinner appointment with foods of different kinds.
We got to try some Filipino desert which is kind of like potato with
coconut flakes? Or something like that. It was yummy! Also we tried
banana sauce which is another Filipino thing. This member is from
Manila in the Philippines.

Friday morning we woke up at 3:15 A.M. To go to presidents house to
bring missionaries luggage to JFK. I got to drive by myself for a bit,
president told us that if the JFK people come around and tell us to
move, then drive it around JFK. That's what we did for a while. It was
weird to not have a companion in the passenger seat. It was stressful
but we got there and then headed through queens to the Ed Koch
queensboro bridge and made our way to the temple because we were
picking up a senior couple who was going to JFK as well. We seriously
had the greatest of time. It was 8 o clock when we got to Scarsdale to
help pick people up for MLC. MLC was so much fun, I was delusional but
it was a great time. This Saturday we are having a mission wide
conference. Elder Jeffrey R Holland is coming to our mission for
acouple of hours and he wants to speak to us. I'm excited! When
president told us everyone at MLC literally shifted in their seats and
elder Burtons response was the best. He said "we're gonna die". We
started a split as well with the zone leaders, elder Sanford came into
our area and it was a great split!

Saturday we went tracting around a media referral and we knocked into
this lady named Rose and we talked a lot and then she invited us in
and we taught the restoration to her and her sister Karen. They both
are awesome and they believe what we are saying. The sisters are going
back this Saturday! They say their family would love to learn more. We
ended the split a bit early because Elder Burton had to go to the city
for an appointment. I went on a split with elder Leishman who is one
of the APs and it was so much fun. We taught this guy named Emmanuel
the restoration and we invited him to be baptized and he immediately
says yes. And he really wants this in his life. Elder Leishman and I
were jumping for joy after we got out of the appointment. We also
tracted. Elder Leishman tells me the secret to missionary work.. It's
done through the members. And he said something else "God wants to
help you so much but if you don't leave your apartment and do the work
then God can't do anything for you. Go out and do work and you will
see gods hand in your work.

Sunday we went to church and it turns out I'm giving a talk in 2
weeks, luckily I'm the youth speaker. We went home to start weekly
planning and then Elder Burton was tested by President and he wanted
to meet with him at the Scarsdale chapel. I got to see all the members
in the Scarsdale Ward. We talked a lot because we waited for over an
hour. We went up to the mission home to get our car and we ask
president if we could get a protein bar and he invites us in and yells
"hungry elders" and they start cooking for us but we tell them we are
supposed to have a dinner appointment so he gives us a cliff mint
chocolate chip protein bar. He always has protein bars because that's
what he lives off. He is a very healthy mission president. We finish
weekly planning to end the night. It's funny how your plans can just
get thrown out the window.

Monday we had zone meeting and we talked a lot about how we could be
better missionaries and what we can do to help our investigators
repent and progress. It was super spiritual. We filled orders
afterwards and then went to meet with Bob and we threw down with love
about how he needs to read the Book of Mormon, we talked about how we
have agency and how bobs accountable and how he should be reading. You
could see the spirit change him and he wants to read now. Let's hope
he actually reads.

Tuesday we did city deliveries and cleaned the Bat cave, which is
where we store all the materials for the mission. All the supplies
like books, pamphlets, cards and all that stuff. We are not even done
cleaning yet. Sometimes we do that as an office Elder. We also need to
do a couple deliveries of some things that missionaries need. It was
so fun! I love cleaning!

I am seriously so grateful to be a missionary. I see myself growing
even though I sometimes feel like I'm the same as I was before my
mission. I see myself relying on Jesus Christ a lot more and I know
what the atonement feels like in my life. Jesus Christ can help you
through anything, don't be afraid to ask for help. He knows what it
feels like, he knows how you can over come it. I love you all dearly,
I hope you have a fantastic week! Talk to you next week!

Elder Casper

Crazy Week

Hello to all you amazing people! This week has been chaotic and the
sad truth is that we had no time whatsoever to work in our area. It's
sad but from now on we will get some time in our area and we will be
able to see miracles. We have been busy in other ways with deliveries
and Christmas and more deliveries and church and more deliveries. I'll
go into more detail as I talk about our days but I am excited that the
Christmas rush is now over.

Wednesday we had a zone activity, we had a white elephant gift
exchange and afterwards went home and emailed and finished laundry. We
had to go to the office to fill orders so we could deliver them on
Christmas Eve. It was crazy.

Thursday was Christmas Eve! We got up at 4:30 to get ready and meet
president at 6 to eat some McDonald's before we started our
deliveries. President had a couple more gifts for us to deliver so
after President bought us food we were able to leave right a way and
do the city deliveries. It was probably the fastest city run I've ever
done. There was absolutely no traffic whatsoever. We did the
deliveries and went back to the office to drop a few things we
acquired through the mail run. Missionaries need us to take things to
the office or to other zones. We went and got some Chinese food for
the trip upstate. The Chinese food we got was the worst Chinese food
I've eaten. But we did the upstate route super quick and made it back
just in time for a dinner with the Ciccotelli family. We got there at
about 3 and left at 8, yeah 5 hours there. We played games with them
and ate a wonderful dinner and had good conversations. It was a good
memory of Christmas Eve on my mission. I love being with members and
being able to feel like I was with my family. It was such a wonderful

Friday we woke up and opened all the presents we got and listened to a
conference call from President and did our studies and ate a bit. Then
we were blessed to be able to talk to our families, so I talked to my
family for an hour and it was nice seeing them and being able to see
how everyone's doing.. It's weird to think that I'll have one more
chance to skype before I go home. It's crazy. After we were done with
skyping we went to President Smiths house for a wonderful Christmas
dinner because no one signed up for us to have dinner. The spirit was
strong as one of the elders there shared his favorite Christmas story
in this book called "Don't forget the star" which I really want to
read for Christmas. He read one of the chapters in the book which
talked about the authors mission and how he came to know who his Jesus
was. That dinner was definitely my most memorable Christmas in the
mission. President Smith shared acouple thoughts he had and I know
that Christmas is about Christ and how we can serve like Christ and
forget ourselves. I love this gospel with my whole heart and I've come
to know my Jesus and it's such a blessing to serve a mission.

Saturday we cleaned the church for acouple of hours and as we were
eating a lot of the zone leaders started complaining because some
missionaries didn't get Christmas presents so we did an unexpected
city mail run. There wasn't a ton of mail but we did that mail run in
the dark, I was awesome. The city is beautiful in the dark, I wish I
could see that city every night. That finished out our night and it
was totally A good day.

Sunday we went to church and there was probably 50 people there
because it's Christmas break so there was some people and it was a
very cool day at church. We taught the young men 3rd hour about preach
my gospel. The ward is trying to get their young men to study preach
my gospel and get ready for their missions. It was a cool experience
to get those youth involved in reading preach my gospel and to get
ready for their missions. We ate, did weekly planning and
companionship study and did a couple media referral look ups with no
luck. That was the end of our night.. It was a super slow week but the
week can only get better from this point on!

Monday we had our normal staff meeting, and I shared the spiritual
thought about setting goals and how we need to be setting goals for
the new year. Goals help us to progress and become better. Pray about
goals that you can work on in the year of 2016. It will bless your
life tremendously. We did upstate deliveries that day and I didn't
feel to well so I fell asleep in the back of the big Van for the whole
time from then on. Until we got to Stamford because we were eating
with Elder Burtons trainer, Elder Johanson who used to be an office
elder. It was a good experience and we had some good hamburgers and
fries. So good!

Tuesday we had our normal city delivery but we also ended up staying
pretty much the whole day in Manhattan. Elder Burton had a doctors
appointment with Bishop Nixon at 4 at the Lincoln Center building. We
were done with city deliveries at 1:15 so we went and parked in a
parking garage, which ended up being $22 for 4 hours, it was crazy. We
ate and waited until his appointment. When Elder Burton was in his
appointment we talked to this guy who goes to one of the Manhattan
wards, and he got back from his mission early because he needed
surgery, but he's going back out in January! He was the stake
presidents son of the Manhattan stake! It was pretty cool. We got home
and did our personal study and that was it for the night. We've had a
crazy week. I cannot wait to be able to work in our area tons more and
meet with people and help them receive the restored gospel.

Today we are going to the temple and I'm excited to go and to be
spiritually fed. I know this gospel is true, I've seen myself grow
over the past year and I know there is tons more for me to do here.
One thing about being an office elder is you realize how nice the
little things are, like having studies, and working every day in your
area. I can't wait to be transferred and to work my hardest in
whatever area I am in next. I know I need to be here at this moment
and I know there is more I need to do.

The before and after pictures of Christmas. I love you and thank you
all for everything you do for me, it means the world to me!