Happy Holidays everyone! I apologize for not being more on top of things in terms of writing emails the last few weeks, but our preparation days have been packed!
Funny Story/Spiritual Thought:
Today's spiritual thought is accompanied by a funny story: We've been doing a lot of coding things in order to try to help out the mission, which includes a lot of website modifications with a browser add-on that we run so that we can hide some of the more distracting parts of Facebook for the missionaries who use Facebook to meet new people. That means that Elder Sansom has been teaching me a lot about how websites work and how to find the parts you need to be able to change them. The Church is having an amazing Light The World initiative where some ideas are provided on their website on how you can serve your community, your family, and build your faith. On the website is a button with a ticker that counts how many people are committed to helping #LightTheWorld! While on the website looking around, our natural programming curiosity took hold, and we found out that the button you click to commit is actually very easy to change.
Usually you can only click it once because it locks up, but we found out that it was pretty easy to change the button to let you pledge again. Then we wrote a super short code that clicked the button, made the button clickable again, and then clicked the button again. We thought it was pretty cool that we were able to watch the ticker go up pretty quickly, because the code clicked the button once every 20 milliseconds.
This was all fun and games until we some people showed up for the English class we teach. We ran out to go set up and help them and forgot to turn off the code that increased the ticker! When we got back from English class, we realized our mistake.
The ticker, which was at 700,000ish people when we started was at 1.3 million when we returned! We accidentally accounted for 600,000 people pledging to the cause! The next morning, when we returned to the chapel, the ticker had been reset down to 700,000ish, the button was disabled for everyone in the world, and the computer we were using to do the code with was banned from Mormon.org! Luckily, we have since been unbanned and the ticker now works again.
Where's the spiritual thought in this? Since I messed up the ticker for a while, I feel that it's only fair that I get some of the people on this email list to go on and commit to Light The World this Holiday season! So please, click the link below and pledge to do something good this Christmas!
CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE WEBSITE
It's got some great videos and resources to help make the season about Christ and serving others like him. It's got some really fun ideas that you can use to do some service to bring joy to people in your community, in your family, and throughout the world!
The scripture for this season, and that we've focused on here in the mission is from 3 Nephi 12 where Christ is speaking to the Nephites. Verses 14-16 are I think a better version of Matthew 5:14-16:
14 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
15 Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;
16 Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
I love how it says to let your light so shine before this people. Specifically those around us. by seeing the goodness that we show to them, they can see all the other good that is in the world that Heavenly Father has given us.
How I'm Doing:
I'm doing good! I've had a really hacking cough for about three weeks, and just got put on antibiotics today, so I'm excited to finally be able to laugh or sing without breaking into coughing. I'm feeling really weird completing training and getting a new companion once Elder Sansom leaves to go home to his family next week. I'm definitely nervous to lead out this area with such little time under my belt, but I've seen a lot of miracles here, and I can't wait to keep going.
How the People We Teach Are Doing:
We've had some ups and downs this week! Two weeks ago, we had 4 people ask us to be baptized. All of them asked us. Another wanted to be baptized as well, but we haven't been able to officially set a date.
Unfortunately, this week there were some definite roadblocks that happened. One of the families had their grandmother pass away in Mexico, so they left to go there. Another one of the people who wants to be baptized got a job with one of the members of the church but hasn't shown up to work besides one day this week, which we think is why he didn't come to church (because he was scared to see the member). The two super solid Colombians that we were teaching also juked church. We're continuing forward with faith and trusting that things will work out as long as we keep doing everything we can.
Love you all! Have an amazing Christmas!
-Elder Kai Reyes
1-2. This guy using a super cool custom car antenna
2-3. Passaic parking enforcement is not super feeling the Spirit of Christmas.
4. Some Lomo Saltado that I made myself! I Peruvian food!
5. Mobbing with Elder Fletcher while Elder Sansom is on his Statue of Liberty trip (for missionaries who are leaving). (I had to explain what "mobbing" means to Elder Sansom. Not sure if he gets it yet haha)
6. We were craving Dominican food today and ended up running into some Dominicans who were baptized in the D.R.! They wanted us to come visit (with Elder Fletcher).
7. Worldwide Day of Service on the streets of Paterson.