A Jazz Concert & The Grandin Building’s Anniversary


The Grove in early spring. Early spring, when the First Vision happened. Definitely not like how the films and 99% of the paintings portray it right? The leaves are just starting to make their appearance.
 This past week was interesting. We had two full area days, which is a rarity these days, but the new site schedule gives us more area time. We taught a lot of less actives and got to spend more time doing service, so it was good. Fun story. We went to the rehab center earlier than normal because the person we coordinate with there said that they were having a special musical presentation and it would be good for us to go and mingle with some of the long term residents and get to know them. We get there and it was a jazz concert (funny, I capitalized jazz at first out of habit. Oh Jazz), it was too loud to talk to anyone (especially considering hearing aids..). Sister Phoomphuang was telling me we weren’t supposed to be there listening to it but we were boxed in by wheelchairs on all sides, so we were stuck! Haha. It was a really good concert though. Then we helped by transporting people back and we painted nails.

Miracle of the week: remember James, the guy from England I chatted with a month ago? Sister Moore texted to tell me she called the elders working with him and apparently he got baptized on Saturday!! That was the greatest news ever.

Sister Hirshi

So they do a Family Home Evening activity at the Grandin Building every year to commemorate the anniversary of its printing. Usually they do it in March but they had to push it to April. So there are missionaries dressed up in 1800’s style clothing, activities, cookies, lots of fun stuff. People from all over the mission come to it. We were only supposed to go if we had an investigator (which we were planning on, but that didn’t work out), anyway we carpooled with the sisters who were working there so we had to wait for them. It was a lot of fun. That was the big event of the week.



Thai Dignitaries and Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Miracle of the week: it came early last week. On Tuesday we were told to switch shifts at the Smith Farm because a Thai group was coming in the morning. When we got there we learned that it wasn’t just any Thai group, but the Area Authority over Thailand and that part of Asia, Elder Khanakham. He and his family were on their way back to Thailand from General Conference and they stopped in New York to visit the historic sites. Sister Phoomphuang took them on tour (I was ahead in another group) and then I met them back at the welcome center after they went through the grove. It was really neat, and Sister P. got to use her Thai (she also speaks Laos, which is super cool). Plus she met them before when she was in Thailand, so it was just really cool. 

On Wednesday we had specialized training at the Whitmer Farm with one of the Buffalo zones. Some elders never get the chance to go to the Whitmer Farm while on their mission, so in April, around the time that the church was organized, President Francis brings all the missionaries there for a special conference so they can visit there. We were lucky enough to have our day there on April 6th, the actual day of church organization. We took a group of elders on tour, we cooked in the kitchen for lunch and got to take pictures in the chapel (we had permission), we received some training that was spectacular, and we got to meet with some other missionaries who we don’t see very often. It was just a really fun day, more of a time for us to be spiritually uplifted and to receive encouragement.  And it’s always fun to be around other missionaries too. Here we are in the chapel.
Bonus Miracle of the week: This is a really funny story. It starts with, “Your life as a missionary is about to change drastically..” Actually, no no no, that’s not the beginning. The beginning was last Monday, Sister Phoomphuang found an odd bug on her pajamas. We killed it and identified it as… a BED BUG! So our housing coordinator came and inspected, confirmed that it was a bed bug, had us put special mattress covers on and told us that our lives were about to become miserable. We’re talking crazy laundry routines, covering all upholstery, taking all the stuff off the walls, putting all our clothes in bags, having exterminators come and spray over the course of three weeks, pretty much everything short of burning the house down. We didn’t have any bites, or any marking that the bugs leave on beds, so I honestly thought it was just one bug that hitchhiked onto her clothes, though Elder Workman was sure that wasn’t possible. So then the professional came today to check aaaaand he found no bed bugs or evidence of bed bugs! We are really happy. Prayers work people. At night we used to say, “good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” but we’ve ceased all joking about bed bugs. We dodged a bullet this time, hopefully I can be this lucky through the rest of my mission;)
So that’s about the extent of it. Time keeps flying and I realize there’s really not much new to write about. I’ve been reading the missionary chapters in Alma the past week (17-29) and have learned so much. I love the Book of Mormon. I’ve gained so much insight while reading it on my mission. One thing that I’ve noticed that didn’t stand out to me before was how much there is about FAITH. It’s everywhere because it’s sooo important!  It’s definitely been a recurring theme in my studies.
We went to a Thai restaurant so Sister P. could get some papaya salad (she talks about it constantly). Here is the yummy chicken pad Thai I ordered and my unsuspecting Thai companero. She teaches me a Thai word a day, so my vocabulary is expanding.

General Conference at the Whitmer Farm

WE’RE ALIIIIIIIVE!!!!! Can you guess what the miracle of the week is? Yep, I successfully got us to where we needed to be, on time, and in one piece! Part two of the miracle is how much we got done in our area in the short time we had. We talked to lots of people and have plans to talk to a lot more. Sister Phoomphuang is such a hard worker, we’ll translate Irondequoit before the end of the transfer.

So, some things about Sister Phoomphuang (Poom-poo-ong).  She loves to cook, which is the best. Today we are going to make some Thai food. I’m super excited. She also loves noodles. I think she ate noodles for every meal last week. I had some of the ramen she made one day and it was really good, but also pretty spicy. She LOVES spicy food. Like, reeeeally spicy food. I’ve decided to be adventurous, and I try everything she offers me. This morning it was dried squid. Another cool thing about her is that she does cool things with my hair, which is great because I have no talent in that area, as I had no sisters to practice on. She also has to do an hour of language study each day, which I use to study the historic site guides we’re given (with personal, companion, 12 week, and language, that’s four hours a day of studying!) And lastly, she is so funny. I can’t even explain it, she just does the funniest things.

We were traveling during the first session of General Conference, but I got to watch the first part of the afternoon session at the Whitmer Farm. I was listening to Elder Mazzagardi’s talk about the places of the Restoration and the Whitmer Farm and I was super excited to be at that place right then. Just then a group came into the visitor’s center so we had to take them on tour, so we missed the rest of the talk and the rest of that session. But we got to watch both Sunday sessions. I loved Elder Holland’s talk, which was exactly what I needed to hear, and also Elder Mervyn Arnold’s Saturday talk was really good about going to the rescue. 

We meet cool people at all the sites and we chat with people all over the world. This week it was the missionaries in Thailand that we called. Exciting stuff! Here we are at the Whitmer farm.DSC02768

Here we are with our roommates at the Hill Cumorah Visitor’s Center.