Hey everybody! Our week was great! Here it goes:
Monday was great! We had a dinner with the Spanish Elders and a Part-member family and shared the Light the World video with them. I honestly can’t get tired of that video!
Tuesday we started walking, but didn’t realize it was raining, and I had my brown, not so waterproof, shoes and Elder McIntyre had just a sweater. As we kept walking, it got really heavy, and we walked probably two miles or more in the rain. It was dripping like crazy and our bags were soaking on the outside. We finally got to Brother Clifford’s home and went over to help him. We cleaned up his front room so that he could walk from his door to his couch, where he spends a good amount of time, without having anything in the way. He said that it would have taken him a long time to be able to do that and we helped a lot. On the way out, he let us use his umbrellas and one of them was green and yellow and had a duck head on the bottom! It was cool and I’ll send pictures next week! We saw a recent convert and Sister Kirkley-Bey, the civic leader member, and read the Book of Mormon with them for a bit. It was a rainy but a fun walking day!
Wednesday we were still walking and went about 5 miles to a Blood Drive at UHart, or the University of Hartford. It was a lot of fun! We got to talk to a lot of people, usually with the same questions, but we even shared a first lesson, which I’m not sure if that is ok or not, but we were answering questions, so we’ll go with that. After the Blood Drive, we went out with the famous and utterly missionary focused Sister Buswell and Grant Sorenson, the assistant Ward Mission Leader and a student at Trinity College, came with us to Frank Pepe’s, which is repeatedly named the #1 pizza place in Connecticut every year! It was pretty cool! They have a cool and deep history and it was a treat to go there!
Thursday we had a solid weekly planning session and were able to prayerfully find dates for two of our investigators, and will hopefully set them soon! We went on splits that night and were able to see four people in two hours, and we had pretty good conversations with them all! We saw two less actives in the same building, one of which was Brother Kisel, not Kiesel, like I wrote about a few weeks ago. He wants to come to church in 2017, but not until then, so we are going to go help him out and hopefully help him prepare for church! We also saw Gigi Van Ryn, who is 10 and is getting prepared for baptism. We taught the 10 Commandments and did an object lesson with an orange. As long as the Orange has the peel on, it will float. As long as we keep the commandments, we will float in this difficult world. I also heard Prelude a L’apres D’un Faune by Debussy on the radio in Brother Buck’s car, which brought back memories of BYU and my Music 202 class, as well as seeing Doctor Howard, our 202 teacher, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday!
Friday we had district meeting and worked on teaching in unity with our companions and adjusting our teaching to our investigators’ needs. It was a good role play and Elder Hall, one of the new Spanish missionaries, teaches just like me, so it was cool to almost be taught by myself, and we are going on exchanges on Thursday, so that’ll be tons of fun! We went over to the Donats’ that night and raked their leaves and bagged them all. You either put your leaves on the curb our bag them all out here, just depending on where you live in the city, so while the Bobadillas’ last week was just on the curb, we had to bag the Donats’ leaves. That took about two hours, and then we had a great dinner and small talk about the gospel with Nafi, and there were no objections, so we are taking that as progress with him. He is great and really cares about God and faith, and we are hoping to add to what he already cherishes! That night, we had dinner with Brother DiFiore, who is our Ward Mission Leader and talked a lot about missions, and in his home were the exact Night Before Christmas book with the ability to record voices on it, the same white doll house we have back home in the toy room, and the same, to a ‘T’, little plastic white and blue table with tiny, indestructible chairs. It was super cool and brought back good memories! We shared the ‘Light the World’ video with them as well and invited them to follow the calendar set up by the church, which provides a great way to ‘Light the World’ every day!
Saturday we did stop bys in the morning, and set up for the Ward Christmas party in the evening! We set up about 200 chairs, hung decorations, got the tables ready, and had between 150 and 200 people there! It was a big hit, the food was fantastic, we have a lot of leftovers, and Brother Harris was the DJ, complete with Carpenters’ Christmas and Primary songs, with a little techno at the end. In the picture is the Bishop’s son trying out his turn tables. It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity for us to build member trust. We are going to try to do a lot more member visits from here on out and can’t wait to see the work grow!
Sunday was Fast Sunday and we were able to fast for the goal we have as a mission to get 50 Baptisms in Novermber and 50 in December. We got 53 Baptisms in November, so we are hoping to exceed 50 this month! We already have about 126 dates for this month as a mission! We had 3 investigators at church, and Carter is back in business! We’ll probably meet with her soon, hopefully this next week and help her progress! We had a really cool experience with giving Nafi a blessing on Sunday. We went over to give him a blessing before he had an appointment today. In the blessing, we promised him that baptism was the way in order for him to receive all the blessings Heavenly Father has for him. The Spirit was really strong and we hope that his heart softens to be able to accept the message of the Restoration. He is amazing and we love him!
The big thought in my mind this week has been about a switch in mindset. Heavenly Father loves us and in 1 Nephi 15:33 it really shows that Heavenly Father wants us there, but we must be cast out if we aren’t clean. He wants us to come, but he wouldn’t be God if he wasn’t a God of order. My sister sent me a really cool quote this week goes right in line with this: “Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus.” (Neal A. Maxwell) We are the only people keeping us from receiving joy and happiness. Keep it going …. and I love you all!!