Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

It's so weird that in just a few days it'll be my 2nd Fast Sunday as a missionary.  Nathan reminds me in his letters that he is just going to count down the Fast Sundays, so now it's almost 22 left! And soon it'll be in the teens, then single digits and then I'll be home.  One of my companions has been saying that it feels like it's been forever, and honestly I feel like I've blinked and it's the end of July.  It's weird, and it only makes me want to work harder because it really is making me realize how quickly the time goes by.  I'm sure it'll only become more and more apparent the longer and longer I'm out.  Oh also I can't recall if I told you all or not, but Nathan refers to himself as my M.C. (minny companion) in all of his emails which cracks me up.  He is such a cute little guy and I miss him tons.  

So this week has been pretty uneventful other than a few cool moments, so I'll just focus on those for most of the letter.  So yesterday was really the first time that I felt super homesick, and I'm sorry that it wasn't for all of you, but rather for NYC.  Elder Sonderegger and I have been sick at different points this week, and I just had a pretty bad cold and felt super congested (I'm almost done with the mend right now) and Elder Sonderegger was far worse than I was.  He's not doing great today either, but he's feeling better.  Anyway, yesterday we took him to the Health Clinic.  Elder Mehr and I were in the waiting room while he had his check up, and they always have either a General Conference talk, or a Mormon Message playing.  Anyway a Mormon Message started playing that took place and it was titled, "God is Our Father."  And it was a video interviewing different members in, guess what, NYC.  All of a sudden I'm watching it and BAM, there's Sister Kell talking, and then Pauline Tautu from Manhattan 2nd, and then BAM Chin-Li.  I just started bawling, it was really hard to see all those people from back home and just realize that it isn't where my family lives anymore.  When they all popped up for the first time Elder Mehr was there and I just called out, "That's Sister Kell!  That's Sister Tautu from Manhattan 2nd!  That's Chin-Li, my dad and I were her home teachers!"  It was just really hard, because there are so many wonderful people in my life, and it's just weird that NYC might never be a place that I call my current home ever again.  Plus, I just got a dear elder from a friend Quincy who's family is moving to Pennsylvania, and she just sort of mentioned how it's weird that she knows family Christmas dinner won't ever be held in South Carolina again for at least the foreseeable future.  It was just a rough moment, but as I think about it more, the more happy I am just that I have so many wonderful friends and family all throughout the world.  

I also got an opportunity to talk to one of my friends for about 30 minutes over lunch one day, and it was a lot of fun to catch up.  He just had to get his tonsils out the other day, so he's been on percocets for the last few days, and it's been pretty fun to basically see an Elder who is acting like he just got his wisdom teeth taken out.  His name is Isaac Bradshaw, and he's one of my good buddies from freshman year.  Anyway, we just reminisced about some of the fun nights we've had, but that we're both so happy to be here right now and go to places where we know we will change and hopefully be able to change the lives of others.  It was pretty fun to be having that conversation with someone who was pretty out of it.  Hahaha, it makes me think of my wisdom teeth being taken out, I think Heather is the one who has some pretty good videos of me just singing up at Uncle Dave's.  You should ask her about them sometime, they're golden.  

In terms of what has been going on on this end, we've had a pretty awesome and spiritual week. One of our investigators/teachers Mila/Sister Handley has been "progressing" really well.  It's weird talking about them like completely different people, but role playing is something that really helps and that we've really enjoyed.  Anyway, we made the decision to extend the invitation to be baptized.  Anyway at a point in the lesson, she asked why we are happy all the time.  And I just knew I had to answer and that somehow it would work into the invitation to be baptized.  Anyway, I just took flight and talked about how we're happy because we know that there is a Christ and that he loves us and wants the best for us.  That he died for us so that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven, and we talked about how this brings us sustained happiness in our lives. I then kept going and told her that we are here not because we were forced to, or because our parents want us to, but because we love Christ, and we are grateful for his atoning sacrifice. The Spirit was just so strong, even though it was all role play!  It was crazy awesome and I just felt so incredibly good.  I wish I could always feel like that.  I then extended the invitation to be baptized and she accepted, it was so awesome.  It was the best experience I've had thus far at the MTC.  

Other than that, my companions and I got called to be Zone Leaders, which for those of you who are getting this email and aren't Mormon, basically means that we are in charge of all the people in our zone (who will either be serving missions in Ukraine or Russia) and just facilitating church responsibilities, who teaches lessons on Sundays, and helping out the District Leaders (who are in charge of smaller districts) with issues that they aren't sure how to solve.  Anyway, there will like 90 people in our zone as of August 12, and are 60 right now, so it's a big and kind of daunting responsibility.  Anyway, it's been fun, but I should get going!

I love you all, you're all the best, and thanks for the support you all are to me!  Love you and uvidimcya!<--My attempt at spelling "see you later!" in Russian without the Cyrillic alphabet.


Elder Belnap

PS  Oh also, some people in our zone leave this coming Monday, and it's the group of people I would say that we're the closest too which makes me very sad :/.  Anyway, I don't have a lot of pictures this week, so I'll be sure to send you some pictures of me with them next Wednesday.  I'll check to see if I have any good pictures to send!  Love you, bye!

PPS  Oh last thing!  I hope you are enjoying the Mount Timp hike, I loved the picture from kelly!  I'm plenty jealous, that's all I've wanted to do since getting here is go on a hike because it's hard having all those beautiful mountains staring us in the face.  Anyway, I love and miss you.  Glad the family reunion went well, glad the shower went well, glad you got to see the murris bachmans and kouznetsovs.  Love you tons momma, sorry I just forgot to include all these things in the email.  oops.  Ok love you bye!

Elder Guerrero from NYC going to San Francisco.  He & CAB knew each other from scout camp

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