I got home from my mission to NYC a little over a year ago and looking back on the experience, it was one of the best journeys of my life. One of the missionaries I served with is going back and since I am super jealous, I am going to blog down memory lane. As a sister missionary for the Latter day Saint (Mormon) church, you serve for 18 months. This is 18 months of teaching people about Christ, helping strengthen congregations, helping to build stronger families, and doing service. I learned so much about relationships, love, and being selfless because all day, every day you are thinking about others. We didn’t listen to pop culture music, or watch movies, and as a missionary, your dress and hair must be done in a very conservative
style. This was a big sacrifice, but it was so worth it because for the first time, I left all my cares behind and devoted myself to others. I had to reach down inside myself and realize that there is more to me than my desires, my style, and my hobbies. By giving all that up in the service others, God helped me discover a new side of myself. It was hard but because I learned to love people so much, I have never felt such heart ache and I have never felt so much joy.
So here are the things that I learned to love about being a missionary in NYC:
1- There are so many different cultures. The place is a potpourri of different ideas, textures, and faces, and I loved getting to smell them all. Well, between the projects and the china town fish markets, the smells weren’t always the best but …you know what I mean.
2- I LOVE public transportation. I think its great. There are so many interesting things to keep you entertained. There are street performers that jump on the subways, there are adventures to be had, and when you are on the subways, that is people watching at its best. I was also surprised to find that amidst one of the most densely populated cities in the world, there were a lot of lonely people. Often people just fall through the cracks and get lost in the hustle
and bustle. They can brush elbows with 1000′s of people and through the whole day, only talk to their business partner. I loved how, often times on a crowded subway, so many people were willing to make a friend, if I just took the time to smile and say hello.
3- The food. Enough said!
4- My mission really taught me that it is the little things that bring joy. We had so little money, we lived out of 2 suit cases, and all our time was spent devoted to others so I gained so much appreciation for everything. In this picture, one of the girls we were teaching gave my companion and I socks so we had a photoshoot.
On Halloween, we made sure we had a free half hour on Halloween between when we finished for the day and when we were to be in bed. In that 30 minutes, we dressed up as old ladies. So simple but we laughed so hard and it was one of the best dress up parties in my memory. I am sad to admit that we used all our own clothes and we looked that legit. Haha.
There are are so many things I loved about NYC. But I will have to continue later cus I don’t want to bore anyone.