Today was a great day. We arose about 7:30 and walked down the path to the church which is just below the Mission Presidents home. It was freezing outside so we walked around and around in the gym and down the halls.to get a little exercise. Doug played a little basket ball and I walked. We explored the church house, it felt like we were home. We then grabbed us a bowl of cereal and got dressed for the day. At noon we drove in with the Searle's to Manhattan to go to a baptism. We were right down town in Union Square. Most all the roads down town are one way roads because all the roads are so narrow. We drove around looking for a parking place, nothing on the street so we went to a parking tower and had to pay. President Searle took care of that. We then walked several blocks to the baptism. The church owns a building in the middle of a block that is about 8 floors high. They actually bought the building next to it also which used to be a catholic convent. There is a senior couple and 5 sets of sister missionaries living in the convent. They have several offices for different things there too.
It's just like you see on tv. The sun is hardly seen on the side walk because of the tall buildings. The bottom floor is shops and up above are apartments. On the top of some buildings there are trees growing in pots people have planted. The baptism was really special. It was for an older lady who had been waiting for missionaries to show up. She had gotten a hold of a B of M and had read it twice. The meeting was really spiritual. The two members that gave the talks were converts too. That was so amazing. They talked about their conversion and baptisms as they share the baptismal and Holy Ghost message.
A really neat thing that happened was that a sister we met in the elevator at the temple was there at the baptism. It really made a difference seeing someone there that was familiar. As well as some of the missionaries that were at the zone leaders meeting that we barged in on yesterday when we first arrived at the Mission Home.
After the baptism we walked the streets finding a chocolate factory resturant. Once we got there it was so crowded we decided to go back to Quizno's On the way back we walked thru the actual Union Square plaza. It is just like a huge craft fair, but with name brand things. Anything you could imagine and more. The girls would love it. The prices weren't to bad either, but oh so crowded. I bought two silk scarfs for $5.00 each. Looked for some boots but decided to just look around. I don't think the set up shops are always there like they were today. Being the holidays probably makes the difference.
It was actually exciting to be in the hubbub of things. It was great being with people that knew their way around too. I would never had been able to find our parking tower. My mouth was probably always open as my head and eyes were staring in amazement at everything going on around us.
An hour after we got back home we drove back to the Bronx to go to another baptism of a gentleman who is actually in the ward we will be attending. He actually stopped the missionaries on the street and told them he wanted to hear their message. The Elder's quorum president who talked is a convert of 6 years. He bore a sweet testimony, with a difficult accent to understand. The spirit steps in and makes it possible to understand. We met many of the missionaries that attend our ward. There are actually eight of them. We were hoping to meet the Shaffers, but they were in Manhattan with a son of their's that flew in for the week end.
The route is becoming more familiar as we have been in the Bronx a couple of times now. We won't actually be staying there until Dec. 12th. That is when the Shaffers will be released. We will go to church there tomorrow with the Mission President as he is doing training with the Elders Quorum Presidency.
(Honest truth) The Bronx scared me to death yesterday. Especially after we found out that right behind us is the train track and right in front of is a very busy noisy road. No houses across the street. The church has a 8 foot rod iron fence all the way around it and no parking lot. The doors have to stay locked because of transients that always wonder in and try to stay, probably because it is warm. You have to ring the door bell to get in. The church is one house away from us.
After checking out our neighborhood yesterday, we went to the temple. Many tears were shed during the session as I prayed for peace in my heart and confirmation of our purpose there. Needless to say, today was a much better day. Especially after attending the two baptisms. What a blessing the church is in our lives, how blessed we are as latter-day saints. The church is the same no matter where in the world you go. What a blessing here in New York, many of the leaders and even temple ordinance workers are very young. Heavenly Father has his valiant warriors on both sides of the veil.
(Note: my camera is now charged, will take pictures of places for you to see)