I found some funny Halloween stuff when I went on a split with one of the elders in my district yesterday!
Everything is good here in Harlem! The cold weather is just around the corner, and I'm starting to feel it already. On Sunday it got pretty chilly, and I actually busted out my winter jacket and my scarf. The last couple days haven't been too bad though. I'm sure we'll see snow before the next transfer at the end of November. The work is going pretty well. Rafael, Noel and Kristina are all doing well. We're working with all of them to try to get them to the temple soon. Noel and Rafael still need to get the priesthood before they can go. One step at a time! We're working with a guy named William. Elder Raine and I contacted him a couple of weeks ago, and we've taught him a few times. He's pretty active in another local Christian church, so he hasn't been able to come to church yet. Hopefully soon! We're also teaching a Jamaican couple named Lindsay and Annette tonight. They're awesome. I don't know if I've mentioned their names in any of my emails before. About three months ago they lost their eight year old son to cancer. We actually met Annette through another Jamaican lady that we contacted on the street right after Elder Raine got here. This little family has been in my prayers pretty frequently for a while now. We've been trying to set up a time that we could come over and teach them, but it just hasn't worked out yet. Hopefully all will go well tonight! Other than that, there's only really one announcement from this week. On Sunday we found out that our Ward Mission Leader, Brandon, got called into the Bishopric of the Harlem Spanish Ward, so he got released from his calling and will no longer be serving with us. I was pretty down all day Sunday after finding out about that. I have learned so much in my time serving with Brandon. He's just so dedicated to serving the Lord, and he's been incredibly helpful in our efforts. We also lost our Elders Quorum President this week, because he got called to serve on the High Council. He has also done a lot to help us in the work. It's sad to see these good men go. I've learned a lot from both of them. After a lot of thinking, though, I've come to the realization that they have been called to serve in other callings for a reason. The work of the Lord is always moving forward, and sometimes that means that people who have blessed a lot of lives in a certain calling need to move on to bless the lives of others in a different calling and capacity. My only worry is that they'll take Bishop Kelly away from us next haha. The good ones always go fast. Anyway, I'm grateful for the examples of the faithful brothers and sisters that I've been able to serve with in each ward that I've been in. I've learned so much from so many humble examples of Christlike service. I hope that one day when I return from my mission and serve in different callings in the church, I can serve with the same kind of love and devotion as some of these good people that I've mentioned. I'd like to end this week by highlighting something in my Book of Mormon reading. This week we were reading about the end of Alma the Younger's time in Alma Chapters 36-42. Right before he died, he talked one on one with each one of his sons and gave them personal counsel to remember after he was gone. I started thinking about how much I've learned from my father and about how the things he taught me growing up prepared me to go out on my own. I'm so grateful for that. Then I started thinking about how one day, I might have sons to teach and prepare. What do I need to do now in order to have a positive influence on them like Alma had on his sons? Or like my Dad has had on me? God places all of us in the families that we need to be in in this life. We are to support each other and prepare each other for the challenges that we will each individually face in life. I'm grateful that God chose to place me in a family with all of you. Each person who is reading this email right now has played a major role in my life and has had more impact than you probably realize. Thank you for everything that you have done and continue to do for me. I love you with all of my heart!