Ricardo: I think I have talked about Ricardo in the past, but to preface again: He is from Jamaica and is in the US getting education and working. He works pretty much 2-10pm 5 or 6 days a week and goes to school most days on top of it. He spends about a half an hour of his free time with us 3 days a week. I have really been thinking about how to have the spirit in our lessons. Most of the time, it feels like we teach more than the spirit can speak, but this lesson was different. We proceeded with the regular layout for the Plan of Salvation, but we were really trying to feel the spirit, and inspired questions came. When we testified of the Atonement, it was so powerful! The Spirit truly testified, and then we asked Ricardo how he felt about the Atonement, and he bore his testimony! He is really ready for baptism! We had another lesson with Him on Friday, and set him up with the Gospel Library app, the Bible Videos app, the simplified New Testament stories app (the videos from the 90s!), and really had a heart to heart about why we are on missions, what we hope to do after, and how he will fit into the church after he is baptized! We can’t wait to set a date with him next time, and hopefully we can help him as much as we can before he leaves halfway through December to be a truck driver! Crazy right, but we’re on the Lord’s errand. Anything can happen.Leah Way: Leah was baptized the first week we were here. Her grandfather is married to a lady in our ward, who has taken her in for the time being. Today, Leah flies out to Oregon to live with her dad, so at the beginning of last week, we had to organize how to teach her all of the Recent Convert Lessons in a week…..We taught the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation on Tuesday with Brother Sorenson, who is a Sophomore at Trinity College here in Hartford. On Thursday, we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Brother Buck, the most legendary member of the Hartford 1st Ward. On Saturday, we taught ALL of the Commandments. Saturday was really last minute, and we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to get a male with us, so we called the house, and the mother of Sister Way told us that the grandfather was home and that we could come over right then! We didn’t teach the fifth lesson, but we were able to teach as much as we could. Keep praying for Leah! She needs all the help she can get in this transition!
Return and Report!: It was fantastic! Being able to go back again was an amazing experience! I don’t have my notes right now, but I learned a lot about how to be able to allow Elder McIntyre to self discover. Self discovery is the best way to learn and is a really important in the learning process as a new missionary. I hope to be able to become a better trainer, to better allow Elder McIntyre to grow to be an amazing instrument in the Lord’s hands! After Return and Report, we headed over to the Boston Temple. I have really been blessed in relation to temples. I have been able to go to the temple 3 times in the 3 transfers I have been here. This time, we were spiritually in tune, and there was a lot of learning going on. The more you go to the temple, the more you retain and the more your remember. Patterns are huge in the temple and so is symbolism. As you prepare to enter the House of the Lord, prepare questions and think about the promises and symbolism seen in the temple. You will come out with more knowledge than what you came in with. One little awesome tidbit, the circle near the steeple of the Boston Temple has 7 portions, and I was looking at it, and Elder Saxey, who is a Senior Missionary from Gilbert, pointed out that 7 symbolizes righteousness. Pretty awesome right?? Righteousness leads to happiness. Keeping the commandments is the most important thing we can do to obey our Heavenly Father. That evening, Elder Saxey also sent real time photos to my mom and she sent some back. Really cool!
Vionet: Vionet requested a bible, and she lives in New Britain at the bottom part of our area, so we finally got out there. Most of the houses in New Britain are three stories and individual families live in each. Most of them aren’t in great shape either, which is really tough. We walked into Vionet’s 3rd floor apartment, and she was painting at the time. The walls were all in shades of white, tan and brown, there was a nice granite counter top in the kitchen with a tan tile backsplash and nice furniture and a big tv in the front. She told us that she and here husband were redoing the apartment themselves! We set a time that we could set another appointment for her, but she seems like a very prepared person and we will keep you posted about her!
Leah with Brother Buck: Look back on Tuesday
District Meeting and Lunch: Friday was T-texts!!! Crazy, I know right! District Meeting was focused on the importance of the Book of Mormon and how it can help in conversion. After that, we went to Chipotle and read t-texts. Elder Clements is the new Assistant to the President!! He is going to do so well! He is an amazing missionary and will be a great example to and of the mission. Elder Roughan is getting transferred to Framingham, Sister Brooks is getting transferred to Boston 1, and Elder Tebbs is the new District Leader. It is going to be a great transfer!
The Cultural Celebration!: The Cultural Celebration was so good! A lot of my favorite songs were in it too like Embark, Arise, God Works in Mysterious Ways, Newsies’ Medley, Glorious, a song that sounded like Owl City, and on of my new favorites, Stand in the Light! The dancing was amazing and I actually know most of the kids on the front cover picture on the Mormon Newsroom article of the church with the young men in Pilgrim Costumes. Brother (Formerly President) Packard also came to our building to enjoy the Cultural Celebration and I was able to talk to him and his wife and about their service here. It was a really cool opportunity and we were so blessed to be able to see them for that evening! The Algers also came, which was cool to be able to see them!
Dedication: The Dedication was absolutely amazing! We got good seats in the chapel and were able to enjoy the prelude before it began. Since we were at the 9am session, they broadcasted the Cornerstone Ceremony! President Eyring, Elder Holland, Elder Gong, Elder Wilson, and Elder Bennet all came! The first boy who went up to put the mortar in was Grant Bigger, one of the sons of one of our favorite families here! He was so lucky! The dedication proceeded and the Matron spoke first about how we need to purify ourselves even more with the blessing of the temple and how we need to come and Claim our blessings in the temple. The Temple President talked about all who seek for salvation need to come to the temple and how important genealogy is! Elder Gong had three testimony points: 1) No more a stranger, but like a child at home 2) Everything in the temple points to the Savior, His Atonement, and Sacred Ordinances and 3) We’ll sing and we’ll shout! President Eyring finished off with talking about how prisoners are released in the temple. We free our ancestors and allow them to progress and fully have the blessings of the gospel and the celestial kingdom! Our choices determine our salvation and Christ has done his part, so we have to do ours now. He asked President Kimball once about what he should do because he was worried that the decisions of his family might prevent them from going to the Celestial Kingdom. President Kimball told him to worry about his own salvation first, and everything will be worked out better than he could have imagined when they get there. Charity is a daily process and it requires hard choices, but it is necessary. When he offered the dedicatory prayer, I felt such peace an calmness, that nothing could compare. The gospel is hard, but it is worth it. A ship in harbor is safe, but that isn’t the purpose of ships. We have to leave our comfort zone to grow. I love the temple so much!!! That afternoon, we had some miracles with less active member visits and the spirit, but that evening, we were asked to help put the furniture back in the temple after the dedication. So two zones came together to help. We got to the temple, hoping to see general authorities, but they moved us inside to the Baptistry. We sat there for a bit, and a worker came in and said that he would put in a good word to see if the General Authorities could visit us. We were all sure it was just jokingly, but he really meant it! The door opened and President Eyring walked in! An apostle of the Lord stood in front of me! He said a few words to us and so did Elder Gong, and then they walked out. In the corner of the door jam, we could see Elder Holland, he was invited in and came and showed his grandchildren the art in the Baptistry! It was so cool!!!! The ones who speak to us in General Conference stood right before our eyes and were actual people! He came back in and said,”You sure are reverent” and patted Elder McIntyre on the cheek twice!!! It was so cool!!!! My son was slapped on the face by Elder Holland! Not really, but sort of 🙂 That evening, we got to move all of the furniture back into the temple! We got to wrap all of the celestial room furniture, the non-patron waiting room, the sealing room chairs, and got to see the upstairs of the temple! It was a really cool experience to be able to take part in. I really love this temple so much and am so blessed to be able to stay for another transfer and possibly be able to do ordinances in it or in the Boston Temple this Christmas.
“Finally it may be said that the temple endowment is not secret. All who meet the requirements for entrance to the temple may enjoy it. ”
-John A. Widtsoe
“As we touch the temple and love the temple, our lives will reflect our faith. As we go to the holy house, as we remember the covenants we make therein, we will be able to bear every trial and overcome each temptation.”
-Thomas S. Monson
“And ye are to be taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken.”
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”
Go to the temple. Claim your Blessings. Make the time and the Lord will you pay you back ten fold.
With love in my heart,