Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Friday, June 23, 2017

City life in Rego Park, Queens

Well, I never anticipated being sent to Rego Park in Queens, but here I am!
I am pleased to report that after last Monday we arrived at transfers on Tuesday and what I had anticipated did, indeed, occur. I found Sister McDowell and we learned of our impending companionship. President Reynolds saw us sitting next to each other when he was reading off companions and said, "and Sister Voss and Sister McDowell have been following each other around for the last hour almost as if they knew they would be companions."
We got smart phones!

Another fun thing is that after about five months I finally saw SISTER ASHFORD! We had never been at transfers at the same time and we kept missing each other but she got a training call this transfer so by virtue of that was at transfers to pick up her trainee and at least we reunited! It was one of those epic movie moments where we saw each other and just ran and embraced each other. It was amazing. I love her so much! I feel cheated out of having my full time with her. I wish we had been able to be together for longer. <3 I love that missionary.
Also, Sister Fa'ulao is training, too! It was refreshing to see old companions. Her trainee told me she didn't understand English and only spoke Spanish which threw me off for a moment until I realized she was joking. Phew. It was cute, though! The only companion I didn't see was Sister Gourley who is in Westbury with her trainee. I hope to either see her next transfer or the siguente translado.
Can I say how much I love Rego Park, Queens? So much! I have never seen so many Hispanics on a single street since 5th Ave. in Brooklyn. In fact, I think there are even more Hispanics here than in Brooklyn. Corona is straight out of Central and South America. In Mineola Sister Chung would always say, "en vez de hablar con 'everyone' habla con 'every Juan'" however here there are so many Juans passing one by on every side one can't even decide which Juan with whom to converse! It is one of the most amazing dilemmas in which I have thus found myself.

Yet again I find myself in a city area with a blonde and blue-eyed companion which complicates matters a bit in terms of the rude cat-callers, but ni modo, the work goes on.
Subways and busses own my heart. My Metrocard is one of my most prized possessions. When they placed it into my hands I was so excited I almost cried. I may have been in Mineola for seven months, however I still must proclaim myself a city missionary. There is nothing like walking and walking and walking and catching trains until one comes home to their apartment and collapses on the bed from fatigue. You don't get that in the Island (Long Island). In the city, it is a daily fact of life. It feels so amazing. I love it so, so much.

In terms of exciting news, I am writing this weekly from a Samsung J3, or in other words a smartphone! On Friday at MLC (Mission Leadership Council) they told us how we were getting new proselyting technology. Our mission is the test group for it, so currently about thirty missionaries in the world have the phones. They took away our iPads and locked them up for a few months to see how well the phones work for us. There were a few hiccups, and my phone for example didn't run the church program MaaS360 immediately so I talked to a very nice man in Salt Lake and we resolved the problem. As we set up the phones we had Salt Lake representatives watching us through FaceTime to help us.

President Reynolds and Sister Reynolds are so excited for the technology. However with great power comes great responsibility. "If you abuse it, you'll lose it," stated Sister Reynolds. "Elder Bednar and Elder Oaks are watching us through a microscope right now. If you mess up we'll lose it." -President Reynolds. "Don't mess up!" -Elder Weisler.

The blessing is that we have the Safeguards for Using Technology to help us use technology wisely. They are:
1. Be in tune with spiritual promptings.
2. Be focused on your missionary purpose.
3. Be disciplined.
4. Be one.
"I'm glad to you that you wouldn't dare open up your smartphone without going through those four steps." -Sister Reynolds

We have already seen miracles. One phone in each companionship can make calls/send texts/ and has data. This data allows us to contact street contacts in seconds with meaningful links to or and we are able to add people we meet on facebook within seconds. It is incredible being a missionary in New York City with the ability to contact people instantaneously. It is powerful, it is amazing, and I testify that the Lord is hastening His work and He is doing so now. Through us simple and frequently not smart missionaries in the New York New York South Mission. Through small and simple means the Lord brings to pass His purposes.
Other little weekly things are:

I'm back in a ward! There are so many people!
I miss Mineola, Sister Chung, and all the people in Mineola and Freeport.
But have I mentioned Corona is amazing?
Yesterday I learned a bit about brotherly love (6/4).... We were looking around and somthing was obviouly very different from the normal short Hispanic couples of women with slightly taller men. In fact, there was something most definitely a bit off. We asked a macho-looking man about it (his name was Santiago) and he had little to no idea. He said there was a march earlier that day and we looked at each other and said, "ohhhhhh."
I finally used a Cold Stone card I have had for years.

We visited Laguardia Airport, which is in our area.
As we were walking home I saw a public demonstration of affection and looked straight ahead with my normal smile and heard, "Happy Gay Pride Day, ladies."
I said a tight-lipped, "thank you!" and Sister McDowell said, "happy day!" and then one of them got in my face and said, "Mormonism is a cult, get out of it." Others tried to harass us as well.
We didn't feel awful about getting home a few minutes earlier to plan a workshop, needless to say.
A very lovely and interesting and different week. What is the best part of my mission? THE PEOPLE! I could say it a thousand times, I could shout it from the roof top. My mission is more than I ever could have imagined. Is it because of New York City? Do I love Brooklyn, and Queens, and Manhattan? Yes. Do I love Mineola? Of course. And I love them because of the people. 100% my favorite thing about my mission is how stellar and incredible and weird and funny and rude and kind and confusing and sweet and christ-like the people are.
Go out and make a difference today, because we as people make the world interesting. :) "You is kind, you is smart, you is important." -The Help
Love you all!
-Hermana Ally Voss

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