So this week has been pretty good! For all of you that might not know,
I'm serving in Manhattan right now. My area is the Upper East side
which is the streets to the right of Central Park. Our area covers a
big diversity of people. At the top of our area, it's considered
Harlem and so there are a lot....a LOT...of black and Hispanic people.
This area is very poor. Well, they are definitely poor...but they
don't think they are haha. Most everyone lives in projects which are
government owed and ran apartment buildings. These buildings are
disgusting. No one cares about having a clean living space, and so the
halls are absolutely nasty and smelly. There is more often than not
urine in all of the elevators from someone who couldn't wait to use
the restroom...yes I'm being serious. It's ridiculous, though because
everyone that walks out of these buildings are sporting three things:
a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre, a $150 pair of Timberland boots or the
newest Jordan shoes, and the newest iPhone. Haha and then you look in
the parking lot of these places and there are like brand new cars and
motorcycles. People and their priorities...
But then you go lower and lower until you hit the REAL "Upper East
Side". This is where the money is. When you think of a super expensive
penthouse or townhouse in the heart of New York, this is it. Here,
people actually DO have money. almost everyone is white, rich, hd way
too busy or stuck up for us haha. So yeah, my area is so awesome. I
absolutely love it and I'm having the time of my life sharing
(well...trying to share) the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of
My companions name is Elder Stevenson. He is...interesting. He is an
awesome guy and has the biggest heart in the world. I say that a lot
in my emails, but he really does. He's very genuine and sincere. He's
just really...slow. He moves really slowly, walks really slowly, and
yes, he thinks a little slowly. It takes him a while for thinks to
process and click in his brain, and so it's been rough for me to help
him do everything that he needs to. I could be leaving the area in a
few weeks, and so I need to help him be ready to take it over for his
companion. During a mission, you get moved around pretty frequently.
Every 6 weeks or so, you could be moved to a new area, get a new
companion, or anything else. It's all up to the Mission President (he
is in charge of my mission and all of the missionaries in it) and what
he feels is best. For example, I started out in Monticello, NY, went
to Harlem, got moved to Newtown, CT, and am now here in The Upper East
Right now the main guy we are teaching is a man named Greg Aggewala.
He is an Indian (as in from India) that has been taking lessons with
missionaries for like 8 months now. He has really gained a testimony
of the Book of Mormon and knows that this is what he wants to do. He
is so awesome and really just wants to get closer to Christ. He is
planning on being baptized on Dec. 6th. We're excited!
We also have a man named John that we are teaching. He swears up and
down that he has been baptized but we haven't been able to find the
records of it, so we will probably end up baptizing him again just to
make sure he actually was.
Other than that, we really don't have a whole lot of people to teach.
We are still in the process of finding people right now.
So it has been getting flipping cold here. Well, the last couple days
it wasn't so bad, but it was bitter cold like 3-4 days ago. It finally
started to feel like November haha. Can you believe that it's the
holidays already?! What in the world!!
Well, I just want you all to know that I love you and pray for you.
Keep being awesome and keep moving forward. Let me know how everyone
is doing!! Have a great week!!
-your favorite missionary
Elder Stafford :)