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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Week 2 in Da Bronx...Performers and Beggars on the Subway?

Hello everyone!!

Haha so I'm just loving it here in the Bronx. I feel like I'm in a
dream a lot of the time because it is just such a different place than
anything I am used to, but it's great. I'm starting to get used to
being the "odd one out"....we are literally the only white person
you'll see walking around the streets of the South Bronx haha. Our
area is everything in the Bronx west of Grand Concourse and south of
Fordam Rd. if anyone is interested in looking it up on a map. The
people here are great and definitely keep life interesting. I don't
know if I've told you about the performers and beggars on the subway,
yet, but they are some of my favorites. Here in the Bronx there aren't
a lot of performers like paint-bucket drummers or dancers like there
were in Manhattan, but there are a lot of kids who go to BJs (kind of
like Costco) and buy big boxes of fruit snacks and go train to train
selling them. And then there are just a ton of beggars. They all say
like the same thing. They walk onto the train, stand there until the
train starts, and then say, "Hello everybody, sorry to bother you.
Some of you may have seen me before and some of you may have not. My
name is (insert name). I am on my way to a shelter. I am not a drug
addict. I don't drink. And I could use some help. If anyone can spare
any change, whether it be a dollar, a quarter or even a penny, yes,
ONE penny, it would be appreciated. God bless and have a safe day."
Haha I almost have it memorized!! But yeah, so it's really hard
because you want to help them out, but you literally can't. On
average, I probably see 10 of those people a day. If I were to give a
dollar to each of them, that's like $300 dollars a month! I can't
afford that! I don't even get that much money for food and personal
items each month. That and if you do make it a regular thing to help
them, then they start targeting all missionaries because they think
that they have money to give out and that they're all just nice white
boys that are willing to give away money.

So this month the church is putting on an initiative called "He is the
Gift". I don't know if any of you know anything about it, but
basically what it is is a push from the Church to help people remember
that Christ is what Christmas is all about. The Church has literally
dropped millions of dollars on this project. They've spent like 2
million dollars or something crazy like that to rent out a jumbotron
in Time Square with the ad for it on it. They've made a video called
He is the Gift and it is GREAT!! You HAVE to watch it. So yeah,
they've really pushed for missionaries to talk about He is the Gift
and to hand out cards and show the video to everyone. So that's what
we've been doing!!

This Sunday was the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional, and it was
awesome!! I hope you were all able to see it! It totally put me in the
Christmas Spirit.

This Sunday was also fast and testimony meeting! It
was...disappointing. Haha no just kidding...it was actually really
great, it just wasn't as exciting as I was hoping it was going to be.
I was expecting a bunch of crazy stuff that usually happens, but
everyone said that this was probably the calmest, most spiritual fast
Sunday's in a long while.

Yes I have been able to get rid of most of the cockroaches. We've been
slowly destroying all of their hiding places, but there are still a
couple I see every day. It's getting there, though!

So we only have two investigators, really. They are two brothers that
are like 16 and 11 or so. They are awesome! I haven't really had a
lesson with them and they haven't been coming to church lately, but we
are really pushing to see them this week.

Me and Elder Sorensen are doing great. He is from Las Vegas, NV and is
20 years old like me. He is just a big goof all of the time haha. He's
still pretty weird sometimes, but we get along just fine. We joke
around a lot and have been able to talk about a lot of things, which
is really nice. He'd been in the Bronx for 6 weeks before I got here,
but he actually started his mission out in the other side of the Bronx
in the Olmstead zone. He was there for 4 1/2 months I think. He's been
on his mission for exactly a year! He hit his year mark last Thursday.

Well, sorry if those answers to your questions seemed rushed, but they
were haha. I've gotta get going but I love you all so much! Have an
awesome week. Merry Christmas :)

-Elder Stafford

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