October 24, 2016
Greetings from Hartford!
Hartford is truly is promised land! We have seen so many amazing blessings this week, it is insane!
Tuesday was so cool! We called a Media Referral and she told us that she wasn’t too interested in meeting with us, so we dropped off the Bible and decided to tract around. It was in a rough part of Hartford, but like Elder Clements, our District Leader says,”The Lord truly sets forth angels in front of us, behind us, on our left and on our right”. People tell us to be careful in Hartford, and some people don’t even like to be in those parts, but I have a testimony that the Lord watches over His missionaries. Especially because the people in those parts of town are often very humble and are willing to learn. That day, we ended up picking up four New Investigators!! One of them told me that I looked super nervous, so I eased up and it totally helped pick up the next two investigators, and then we picked up the son of the Media Referral! It was crazy!
Wednesday, we had a packed schedule!! We were going to be running from place to place with no time in between, but just like the Lord is sometimes, and he is the same yesterday, today and forever, EVERYTHING cancelled. Literally everything. Our appointment in the morning and our potential first trip to the temple, both of our lessons we set up with 3 of the 4 New Investigators, and our dinner appointment…..it was pretty bad. It was a pretty frustrating day. BUT, we texted Sister Buswell (who is super awesome!) and she asked if we wanted to go out for Burgers that night, and then we asked if we could come to the temple with her, and we got to do both! She never falls through! So that night, we ran out to the temple and had an amazing experience! It is so beautiful and the peace in the Celestial Room was amazing. I love temples so much, and it is such a blessing to have one 30 minutes from us! Everyone in the ward helped out (with the open house) and it was such a big part of our ward! After the temple, we ran over to the church building and had a Book of Mormon reading night! A few members were there, and a recent convert, and it was really eye opening and a testament to me of how important the Book of Mormon is! After that, we ran over to Mooyah Burgers and got a Mooyah for Twoyah (half price Tuesdays) with Sister Buswell! She knows all of the missionaries who have served in Hartford really well and served a mission herself in Tahiti! She knows French and we had a fun French speaking session (luckily I remembered a little from French 1-2 and 3-4!).!
On Thursday, we had a lesson with an investigator in the morning basically on the Hartford/West Hartford line! After that, we went to pick up the Recent Convert from the night before at the Book of Mormon reading night, and instead of living in Windsor, which wasn’t too far from us, he lived in Windsor Locks, which added another 4 miles! It took like 45 minutes to get to his place and back…He used to live in Hartford and knew the whole area really well, and so when we mistakenly used the word “ghetto” to refer to the tough part of town we were visiting, he gave us a 20 minute dictionary lesson and inspirational talk about how not all the people that live there want to live there and how just a few people make it that way. It was really cool! When we walked in to have the appointment with Tisha, who we had met on Tuesday on Martin St, and she told us to come back the next day, the inside of her house looked really nice! Cedric (the RC) connected really well! It was a blessing for sure and testified to me how important member-present lessons are and how much of a blessing members are in the life of investigators! That night, we were a little late to dinner with a member, but they were super legit! They have a young family and were doing family prayer and scripture study and FHE! They were golden! After that, we ran over to the bishop’s house and had a lesson with Carter. Carter is from Utah and she has been investigating for two years. She has tons of friends who are on missions and knows a ton about the church, but just wants to take the entire lessons so she can be baptized! When we went over there, we felt the spirit so much, and she is so prepared!
Friday was cool too! It was just us, the Spanish Elders and the Spanish Zone Leaders for District Meeting, which was small, but it was super fun! The afternoon was pretty slow, but we had a lesson with Lisandra, and we taught about prayer and her husband, who is really quiet, prayed at the end of the lessons. He gets really emotional when he thinks about his father passing away, but we are teaching about the Plan of Salvation next time, so we hope that that lesson will help him cope more with his loss. They are really cool though! Lisandra has been through a lot and has really been prepared to hear our message, so we are hoping that she is going to be solid as we continue. She also loves movies, so we left her with the Bible Videos DVD and the Restoration DVD and the Book of Mormon Storybook for her daughter. She is reading the Book of Mormon and loves it so much! That night, our dinner canceled, but we were able to visit a Media Referral named Johnoy. Johnoy was in a motorcycle accident and was actually dead at one point, but came out of it and is still alive. He lost all movement in his right arm, and it is pretty much completely limp. His accident really drew him to Christ, and he requested a Bible. We came by and shared the Message of the Restoration, and he wanted to understand the Bible better first.
We read with Johnoy the next day in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and he started to understand so much more! We told him that we would find him a ride to the temple! It took us the whole afternoon, but eventually around 6 o’clock, we found a member to bring him. He had such a great experience! He had questions about baptism and really felt the spirit! He also took some cool pictures in front of the temple and the Christus statue in the reception tent. He wants to be baptized, but doesn’t seem ready, which makes sense because we have known him for literally three days.
On Sunday, Johnoy came to church and Brother Harris, the hippest Ward Missionary you’ll ever meet, totally fellowshipped him really well! He enjoyed Sacrament Meeting, even with a super intense talk about how single adults are important, which is true, but which almost sounded like it was being mean towards families. Kinda weird. But, we taught Gospel Principles about sacrifice and had a GREAT lesson and Priesthood was good, too! He loved it and we stopped by later and gave him a blessing. We spent 5 hours with Brother Harris on splits and had about 5 lessons! It was awesome!! (Including another one with Carter, which are always the best).
This week has been so awesome!!! I love Hartford with all my heart and Elder McIntyre is growing so much! To see his growth has been really cool, and even though it seems like I’m not doing as well as a trainer as Elder Woodward was to me, it is always reassuring to have Elder Clements, Elder Bacon, and Elder Woodward to bring my spirits up. The Gospel is so true! It makes me soooooo happy and I can’t imagine not living without this knowledge. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!! Seriously, if you sacrifice your time to the Lord, HE WILL BLESS YOU (read D&C 82:10). He loves you and I love you too, live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and you will be happy (mic drop)!
Loving the Gospel,