October 17, 2016
So I just wrote an email, but accidentally deleted it, so this email might be a little shorter than usual….
So the beginning of the week was filled with visiting people, mostly members, from Cape Cod. They made my first experience as a missionary so special! I love them so much and can’t wait to go back and visit again!
Wednesday was transfers, and so we drove up to Plymouth to have lunch before driving to the mission home. We arrived a little early, but when they walked in, the guy who drove them looked really, really familiar. It was bugging me the whole time, but I couldn’t see how I knew someone who lived on the other side of the country. We drove in his car to the Weston Chapel, so that they could pick up Elder Shull, but on the drive, he was talking about how he went to BYU for a year. I asked,”Where did you live?” and he said ,”May Hall”. IT CLICKED! I had gone to May Hall (in Helaman Halls) to do Chemistry with some guys who were in my class and I had met him there! It was so cool to see where we were in life and to hear that his papers are going in soon! After lunch, we headed to the Weston Chapel, where I saw Elder Shull and reconnected with him before he went to Plymouth. We eventually, and somehow, fit four Elder’s worth of suitcases in a Toyota Sienna, nicknamed the Love Bubble, and made it to the mission home on time for the Trainer Meeting.
The Millers and the APs trained about being strictly obedient and that by our example, we would be able to help the missionaries rise to the level that we are at now. President Miller pointed me out to make that point, since I just got done being trained. He said something that I’ve been thinking about. He said that we would see our success as a trainer through our new missionary. If they are thriving and are growing and learning everyday, we are successful. I am striving for that everyday, even with all of my flaws and shortcomings. After the Training Meeting, the new Elders and Sisters came downstairs and it was a little nerve wracking thinking about whom would be coming to Hartford and who my companion would be for the next six weeks. After multiple Elders stood up and were matched with their trainers, Elder McIntyre stood up, and just like Elder Woodward’s experience, I could tell then that we were going to be companions. And now we are! He is a strong missionary who has a love of the spirit and of the work. He really relies on the Spirit and has grown even in the few past days we have been together. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish with the Lord here in Hartford!
After Forces Unite, I said goodbye to some solid missionaries who were going home like Elders Sanabria, Pulsipher, and Turley. Elder Tilly gave me the keys and I drove the Love Bubble back to Hartford. Considering it was my first experience driving in 3 months, it was a little rough, but we managed. We got to the apartment, brought everything upstairs, and Elder Clements (who had just been transferred to the Hartford Spanish program from the Hartford English program) and Elder Bacon (who has served in Hartford before) told us a little about the area and everything in between. That night, we had a phone conversation with the bishop that lasted about 20 minutes! He is super cool and we can’t wait to work more with him.
On Thursday, we had an appointment fall through with a recent convert and ended up forgetting the address of the apartment and got lost in Hartford. Not recommended. EVENTUALLY, we got home and then headed out again for another lesson, but went to the wrong house. She had moved and our directory was not updated, but we ended up setting up an appointment with her aunt, who had the same last name, to read the Book of Mormon with her! The hand of the Lord was in that visit. We eventually met with the original sister, who answered her own questions through the scriptures and we even shared a scripture with a friend she had on the phone! She is going through struggles, but we left commitments to read the scriptures, read her patriarchal blessing, and to look for the good in her life, which we are looking forward to following up on! That night, we went on splits with a long time member of the ward. He introduced us to one of the most interesting members of the ward, who is fondly called, by members and missionaries, Grandpa. He is a man of many stories, and even though he is kind of dirty in his jokes, we love him! After meeting Grandpa, we went by the Duartes, who are from El Salvador. They asked if we wanted food, and we told them,”Just a little bit”, but we ended up with an entire dinner and dessert for me, Elder McIntyre, and Brother Buck (the long time member). They are so awesome and we are going over for dinner again this week!
Friday was fun! We had district meeting at the Chapel, which is surrounded by BEAUTIFUL trees! After District Meeting and meeting the district, we had lunch at Noodles and Co., which is fantastic by the way. We rushed to an appointment, but ended up going to the wrong town, and were going to be late, so we knocked doors in the area we were in. We tried to follow the spirit as much as we could and ended up talking to a lot of good people and we shared a few temple cards for the new Hartford Connecticut Temple. We then ran over to the southern part of our area to meet a media referral. We thought it was her second meeting with missionaries, but it was her first, and we didn’t have the Bible she had requested on us. We decided to share our message anyway and that we would come back later to deliver the Bible. We shared a Book of Mormon with her and she told us that she would read it all that night!! And then she would give it to her nephew, who would then give it back to her! We scheduled an appointment with her for this week, but can’t wait to hear from her! Later that night, we had dinner at a member’s home with the four other missionaries in our area. We taught about Family Home Evening and the spirit was definitely present. Elder McIntyre and I were the only ones in the room who didn’t speak English, so that was interesting at one point, but it was a lot of fun to be with the members and with all of the other Elders!
On Saturday, we picked up Grandpa to go to a lunch with Sister Knighton. Sister Knighton is nicknamed Momma, and is truly that. She has been feeding the missionaries and watching over them ever since she was baptized. She is so awesome! After lunch, we prepped for a convert baptism that afternoon for a girl in the ward who is 10. She is super cool and the Baptism was really special. Her grandma gave a talk and her grandpa baptized her. We were asked to give a welcome to the church, since it was a convert baptism, and the spirit definitely led it, but for being hesitant in speech (I usually feel like Moses) but we shared a message that flowed like water. It was so awesome and like always, the spirit was there!
On Sunday morning, we had ward council. We talked about our progress of the past four days that we had and got to know the heads of the auxiliaries. During Sacrament Meeting, we ran up to help with the Sacrament, which for being our first time, wasn’t too bad! The bishop then (who had given us forewarning) asked us to introduce ourselves and bear our testimonies. It really helped us to get to know the ward and so everyone knew who we were. Some of the most powerful testimonies that I have heard are from missionaries. You know a good missionary from their testimony, and that is something that I strive for every time I open my mouth.
I love Hartford and love the message that we share. Like I read in one of my friend’s emails this week, The Book of Mormon is still true. Read it, get to know it, share it.
From right off of Park St.,