Hey Mom and Dad!
This has been arguably one of the craziest weeks of my life. The only good rival with it is the week of the hurricane. But things have been ridiculous this last week.
The first part of the crazy week is all of the practices for the Christmas concert. I am playing for three numbers consisting of two singers and a cello player. Two of them are only a 20 minute drive away, but the cello player is in the heart of Brooklyn, so that's kind of a trek to go practice with her. And I had two practices at each place this last week. There was a lot of driving and a lot of piano playing that went down. All the songs are sounding pretty good though. The people of New York are in for a treat this week.
So that began on Tuesday. Wednesday we had to drive out to Brooklyn to practice with the cello player and we may have gotten a bit lost along the way. Driving in New York is a whole new adventure compared to driving anywhere else. There are very few rules, as far as I can tell, other than you honk at the person in front of you if they aren't driving as fast as they can. And I'm pretty sure that bus drivers here are some of the most talented drivers in the world. It's absolutely incredible.
Thursday was really the craziest day of the week. It began at 3:30 in the morning when we woke up to the sound of a man outside our apartment yelling at everyone to evacuate because there's a fire. I was super confused and thought it was part of my dream at the time. Luckily my companion was already awake to use the bathroom at the time, so he woke up the other two missionaries in our apartment and we all threw on shoes and got out of there. It was crazy outside. People were freaking out and the fire department had showed up and was starting to get the hose upstairs. We could see smoke coming out of the roof. One of the firefighters told us to help them with the hose, so we were volunteer firefighters for about a minute. We decided to head over to the zone leaders' apartment since it was close by. They were really confused to see the four of us at their door at 3:45 in the morning. They let us stay the night and we went back to our apartment in the morning.
Everything was fine, it was like nothing had happened from what we could see. If you look on the other side of the building though, you could see a whole apartment had burned out on the top floor. We're glad that we were safe and that nobody got hurt, but that was a crazy night for everyone involved.
So we were already disoriented from the fire, when we got a call from the AP's that we needed to move into a new apartment that day. It wasn't because of the fire, I guess the mission only wants two missionaries to an apartment from now on. So Elder Wolfe and I began packing up our stuff to move over. The problem is that we had to go to a practice with two of the singers midway through our process of moving apartments. When we had to leave, we didn't exactly have all of our stuff. So I threw on the suit that I left out, but I only had white socks. And Elder Wolfe didn't have his suit with him, so he just wore regular clothes. We were a rag-tag looking crew that day. He was looking like he had just done a bunch of service because all he had on were his service clothes, and I was looking like I was part of Michael Jackson's entourage with my white socks. People looked at us funny most of the day, but that's really nothing new to us. We finished moving in later that day.
And that pretty much brings us to where I am now. We're finally moved into our new apartment. We haven't had too many chances to go out teaching, but I have played a lot of piano. The primary program was yesterday, so they had me come to an extra practice on Saturday and play for the program on Sunday. It's a good thing I like playing the piano.
I wish I could say that this week will calm down, but it probably won't. We have four concerts and two more practices to go to. We are planning a few events for the elliptical though. We're going to set up hot chocolate booths for people near the areas that were hit the worst and sing Christmas carols as a district. Hopefully that will help people see us and recognize us as people who want to help. I think the work is going to be slow out here for a while as people attempt to get back to normal. But we're laying a groundwork for the church out here so that hopefully in five or ten years, the Mormon church in Rockaway will be stronger than ever. I know that this church is true and that the Lord's hand is working through us to help lay the foundation for His church here. Thank you for all your love and prayers and have a very merry Christmas!
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New York New York South Mission