Monday, May 31, 2010

May 2010

MAY 2010
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NY South Mission Blog Thoughts
                                                           May 2010
About the Blog. Every six weeks the New York South Mission Blog is posted on the internet. The objective of the Blog is to let parents, families and friends know more about what is happening in the mission. With 175 or so missionaries, it is difficult for them to know everything that is happening in the Mission. Much of the time the information never reaches home (can that possibly be true??).
Parents: Just type in the blog name——in the Google bar found in the Internet Explorer and the Blog will pop right up. If you wish to view a slideshow, click on the title (don’t miss last month’s TV clip of a day in the life of our elders in Brooklyn). 

Preach My Gospel Message
     Everything that missionaries do works under the umbrella of Jesus Christ and His atonement. Preach My Gospel is the tool—the manual that is given to missionaries throughout the world to accomplish this. As stated in Preach My Gospel, our purpose as missionaries is to:
“Invite others to come into Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”
    This short statement is repeated in every Zone Conference, in all six languages of the mission: Spanish, English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and American Sign Language.
    People need a sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God and members of His eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values. They want “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come”... but they are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (DC 59:23/D&C 123:12).          
                                                                                                                                                   (PMG, p. 1)

Washington DC

    Twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, the Church sponsors a conference for Mission Presidents from the Northeastern part of the United States. Both conferences were held in Washington DC. The fall conference was held in the Washington DC Temple Visitors Center, with Elder Scott of the Council of the Twelve presiding. Both the Mission Presidents and their wives attended. The Spring conference was held in April in Washington, DC in the Barlow Building, which is a Church facility. Only the Mission Presidents attended the spring session.
     The missions represented were from: Canada, Washington D.C., Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Michigan Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. There were 26 Mission Presidents in all that attended.

New Couples

     Arrivals. We’re excited to announce that we have two new senior couples who arrived in April (President and Sister Nelson love it when this happens).
(1) Elder Allen Brady and his wife, Sister Sharon Brady. The Bradys are from Texas. They are serving in Richmond Hill, Queens.
(2) Elder Hollis Hunt and his wife, Sister Joan Hunt. The Hunts are from Draper, Utah. They will are serving in Rockaway. They are taking Elder and Sister Comer’s place.
Both couples will be serving as Member and Leader Support. Their callings are for 1½ years.
 Departures. President Cory Bangerter and his wife, Gayle will be leaving Long Island and returning to Alpine, Utah. President Bangerter is employed by the Church to oversee the CES (Church Educational System) here in Long Island. He is also the first counselor in the mission presidency. They have been serving in Long Island for 3 years.

Arriving Missionaries
    The “Arrivals” from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah will be here on Monday, May 24. The original plans were for everybody to stay at the Holiday Inn, while the carpet in the basement of the mission home was being replaced because of the flood (see below). However, the process hasn’t started  yet, so they will be staying at the home as usual.
    On the morning of the 25th, the missionaries will go to the Rego chapel for a transfer meeting where they will be assigned to their new companions and area. At the last minute, four new missionaries originally destined for Greece were re-assigned to the NYS mission. Because of the financial problems in the country, they were having trouble getting visas. The “Arrivals” are as follows (also included are their home and the language program they are in):

Elder Daniel Casperson        English/Washington  
Elder Chiang--Shun Chow      Cantonese/
                                              Hong Kong
Elder Charles R. Cooley        English/Utah
Elder Benjamin Kaiser          English/Utah
Elder Levi Meyers                English/Utah
Elder Collin G. Miller            Spanish/Idaho
Elder Cristian Morelli            English/Italy
Elder Mung Nam Daniel Ng   English/Hong Kong
Elder Mathew Palmer           English/Utah
Elder Hasan Khan Sherwani  English/Pakistan
Sister Stephanie Winterton   English/Utah

Note: Elders Meyers, Palmer, Kaiser along with Sister Winterton were originally called to Greece However, because no visas are being released, they were re-assigned to the New York South Mission.
Note: Elder Casperson comes from a family who, in addition to their own children has adopted 8 children from Ethiopia. (It began as a ward Relief Society orphanage service project.)
Departing Missionaries
     On the evening of the 25th, the “Departures”  will come to the Mission Home for dinner and a testimony meeting. They will also be spending the night at the Mission Home. They will depart for home the next morning. The “Departures” are as follows:

Elder Grady Baker         Chinese/California 
Elder Joan M. Carcel       Spanish/Argentina
Elder Reed Gabrielsen     Chinese/Utah 
Elder Kirk Goodman        English/Arizona
Elder Matthew Haggard    Spanish/California
Elder Jae Jeong              Korean/South Korea
Elder Mooyoung Lim        English/Utah
Elder Bum-Erdene
    Mendbayar                English/Mongolia
Elder Sin Hang Ng         Chinese & English/    
                                       Hong Kong
Elder Brian Peterson       Spanish/Utah
Elder Brenton Rhodes     English/Texas
Elder Matthew Stone      Spanish/Arizona
Elder Anthony Wallace    English/California

And The Rains Came Down 
(NY Weather and More)
It seems like the elements are in commotion, at least in the New York South Mission. Our commotion has been in the form of weather as opposed to the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, China and Utah (a 4.9 earthquake which occurred 75 miles north of Salt Lake City in May).
*As we speak, the mission home basement is “recovering” from the unusual rains that occurred in April --it rained nonstop for four days. The basement flooded—just a couple of inches– but everything was soaked. It took a couple of weeks to pump out the water and dry the carpets, which will be replaced.
*Elder and Sister Bullock, higher up on “the Island”  in Riverhead, had almost a foot of water in their basement. They were pumping out 17,000 gallons of water/day. It still continues. Because of the high water level, they now are pumping out 3,000 gallons of water each day.
*February had one of the highest amounts of snowfall on record. This winter, schools and airports shut down, but, at least, it was only for a day.
*We also received a call from the Church Travel Department to report that Elder Habbermann who had been serving his mission in Provo, Utah would be delayed at the JFK Airport. He was  on his way home to Germany. He called to say that his flight had been delayed for 4 or 5 days because of the eruption of the volcano in Iceland. The volcanic ash hovering over England made any air traffic  impossible. Even with only eight people in front of him, he had to wait in the line for almost 5 hours to reschedule his flight. In the end, Elder Habbermann ended up serving a two week extension here in the New York South Mission. His companions were Elder Nielson and Elder Gootee.
*However, spring has finally sprung. Everything is beautiful. This will be our first spring here on the mission.

Jewish Passover
Sisters Carney, Mullen and Killpack.
             While riding a bus in Brooklyn one day, Sisters Carney and Mullen were approached by an Hasidic Jewish man, who asked them if they were Mormons. They informed him that they were, to which he replied that he loved the Mormons because of the common heritage--the history of persecution--that they shared. He eventually invited them over to his home where they spent the evening with his family. He told the sisters that he only wanted to learn about their heritage and traditions, not religion. He told them that he would never do this for any other Christian religion, except the Mormons. 
Salt Lake City.
A few weeks later, he invited Sisters Carney and Killpack (Sister Killpack had been transferred into the area) back to spend to spend the Passover with his family—the Seder Supper which is a meal that commemorates the liberation of the Israelite slaves from Egypt.
The sisters had a wonderful experience. He informed them that he would like to visit to Salt Lake City this summer, if possible, to learn about Mormon heritage and history. He asked them if they could arrange for someone to show him around during his visit. Sister Nelson arranged for a neighbor who had served as a Mission President in Florida as well as the Mission President on Temple Square who is also very familiar with the Jewish heritage and history to help him.
Note: There are tour guides on Temple Square who are specifically trained to only cover the history of the early Mormon and their experiences, for those who are not interested in the religious aspect.

Seder Supper
After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian Pharaohs, God sent Moses to set them free, delivering the message, “Let my people go.” Finally, after ten devastating plagues, the last of which killed all the firstborn of the Egyptians, the Egyptian Pharaoh finally liberated the Israelites. The Passover, originating in Biblical times, was a Jewish holiday that commemorated God “passing over” the homes of the Jews when the first born of the Egyptians were killed.
The Passover involves the retelling of the story of this story. The Seder Supper is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt; “And you shall tell it to your son on that, saying, ‘Because of this God did for us when He took me out of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:8)
Some of the foods eaten in the Seder supper are:
(a) Lamb--which refers to the Lamb of sacrifice.

(b) Matzah—called the “bread of affliction” because it recalls the unleavened bread that didn’t have time to rise because of the hasty flight by night from Egypt.

(c) Bitter herbs—commemorating the bitter slavery and suffering endured by the Israelites.

(d) Green herbs to be dipped in salt water. Salt water represents tears of sorrow shed during the captivity of the Lord’s people.

(e) Haroseth representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves in building palaces and pyramids of Egypt during their slavery. (It is a mixture of chopped apples, nuts and cinnamon).

(f) Four cups of wine or grape juice—a royal drink to celebrate the newfound freedom.
      During the meal, the Haggadah is recited, telling the story of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, the children asking—”Why is this night different from all other nights?” (Exodus 13:8)
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Passover)
Mission Medical Care
        Area Medical Advisor. A warm welcome to Dr. John Mendenhall and his wife Pam, from Utah who is now serving as the new Area Medical Advisor in the North America North East region. He has taken the place of Dr. Bruce McIff. This is the second time that Dr. Mendenhall has served as an Area Medical Advisor. The Church contacted him to see if he would be willing to serve a second time.  The New York South Mission is part of the North East region which covers twenty-six missions in all. It includes all the missions from Virginia up the entire eastern seaboard to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The McIffs
A little more about the McIffs. Sister McIff was raised in Alberta Canada and Dr. McIff was raised in Sterling  Utah. When Dr. McIff was 14 years old, he started raising turkeys during the summers. In the winter he fed cows for a farmer in Manti, Utah. He was eventually called to the California Mission, which included Bakersfield south to the Mexican Border, all of the state of Arizona and Southern Nevada (today, that same area covers 17 missions).
He says: “In the winters, I milked cows every morning at 5:00 in freezing weather. On my mission, the first area I was called to was Tucson where the temperature was 70 degrees. I said to myself—”It’s warm and I get to sleep in until 6:30 every morning. No wonder they call this the best two years of your life.”
The McIffs served for 1½ years. During that time, they personally traveled (almost always by car) to each mission and had the opportunity to meet all the mission presidents. Their phone kept them busy as well. In one of Dr. McIff’s busiest months, he counted over 1,200 calls.
The McIffs returned to their home the last part of April. They live in Mapleton, Utah. A heartfelt thanks to them for their great service.

Visiting Authorities
Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the First Quorum of the Seventy and his wife, Rosalie, paid a visit to the New York South Mission this month. He and Sister Ringwood were here for three days. There were two Zone Conferences and two firesides that were attended by the entire mission. The Zone Conferences and Firesides were truly wonderful learning opportunities. It was really meaningful to us that he and Sister Ringwood spoke without previously prepared notes on completely different topics in each Zone Conference and Fireside, clearly being directed by the Spirit as to the needs of each different group. Prior to his call  Elder Ringwood served as mission president in Seoul, Korea. He and Sister Ringwood have been home for three years.

David L. Cook, an Area Seventy from Rochester, New York, also visited to our mission. He came to a fireside at the Brooklyn North District Conference. A District is almost like a Stake, except smaller, with fewer Priesthood holders. While  he was here, he held a Zone Conference for all the missionaries in Brooklyn. Thirty plus years ago, he served as a missionary in Brooklyn.
When he served, there were only 8 missionaries, one branch and one ward. Now there are over 75 missionaries serving the same area and many members. He met in the same chapel, but remembered it as having a large stained glass window, crosses on the hanging lights in the chapel, and a prayer board in front of each bench for kneeling. It has since been modified by the church. Elder and Sister Cook were visiting with their 15 year old son, Spencer.

American Sign Language
One of the languages of the New York South Mission is American Sign Language (ASL). The ASL Branch is located outside of our official mission boundaries in Manhattan. Four of our elders have been working in the program—Elders Wheeler, Hone, Judd and Rouch. Missionaries from the New York North Mission work in the ASL program as well. In our Blog, we will be posting news and activities of the ASL branch. Those who are deaf or hearing impaired will be able to use the Blog as a tool for more effective communication.

Scripture for the Month (Humility)
Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his stregth I can do all things; yea behold, Many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.  Alma 26:12