January 16, 2017
***Mom Note: Elder Davis made a recording for this week’s letter. I have transcribed the content of what he said below.
Letter from Matthew via recording Jan. 16, 2017 — Hartford, CT
Monday was a great day, we had p-day and it was really effective. We had a zone p-day and I actually got to talk to Elder Larson which was kind of cool because he had gone home recently from the mission field because he was sick. We were able to talk about the things he learned while he was at home, the difficulties he had with coming back out to the mission field and the strengthening experiences and miracles that happened to him while he was at home. Then we played chair soccer at the church and emailed a little bit more. And then we went home and prepped for the evening. We did a stop by in Hartford and that was pretty good…they accepted a Bible and a Book of Mormon and hopefully we will be able to set up a return appointment this week. Then at 7:45, we went home and called a lot of referrals, which is actually a majority of our work here in Hartford.
Tuesday was good. Our morning was slow, but we picked up Grant Sorensen, our assistant mission leader. He is in his 20s and he goes to Trinity College. We went to the north side of our area and had a lesson with a lady named Floyree. We are going to have a follow up appointment with her tonight about the Plan of Salvation. We are excited for that! She is super Christian, loves the Bible and has actually come to the church family history center to do work before. After the lesson, we dropped off Grant and then went to go serve Brother Clifford with Brother Buck. We actually shoveled his driveway and he had a huge shovel which was wide as 3 shovels put together. It was short and wide and it had a handle that had a cross bar and it was really good for clearing off shallow snow. It is hard to describe, but I think you get what I mean. We had a miracle with delivering a Book of Mormon….we were able to drop one off to a referral’s house! Most of the difficulty with referrals is that most people aren’t ever home and they don’t pick up the phone when we call, so we just have to stop by and hope they are home. We have to do stop bys in the evenings. We stopped by someone’s house and dropped off a copy of the Book of Mormon …that person who was our actual referral wasn’t home, but we left the book with a family member and hopefully we’ll be able to set up a return appointment. Then we had a good lesson with Temera, who is one of our investigators, about Baptism and Confirmation, why those are important and the blessings that can come from those ordinances. It was really good for her. She had a lot of comprehension and self-realization moments!
Then we went to the church for Book of Mormon reading night – nobody was there, so we just left and went to see Jacob Locke and did a short stop by at his home and taught the Law of the Land. He fully understood and that was a good lesson!
Wednesday was a little slow and weird in the morning, and I can’t exactly remember what went on – I have my planner here, but it isn’t clear. In the evening we got to go to the Rodriguez family’s home and they are a good family. We had dinner with them and afterward we talked about family unity and how life is like a highway and we are all packed in the car and the GPS is like our gospel guide. We all have different life destinations, but the GPS is our common guide to our goal of reaching the celestial kingdom. That is our one goal and we need to keep it in mind and follow the GPS directions.
Thursday morning was weekly planning and then we drove down to New Briton with Brother Harris. We went to see Lisandra and she wasn’t home, so we went to the New Briton hospital where Brother Harris’ father is a patient. He is recovering and getting better. It was a cool experience for us. His father is not a member and He doesn’t understand why his son joined the church, but it was cool to see how Brother Harris interacted with people in the hospital. He feeds the homeless and he knew a ton of the people in the outpatient nursing home center. Then we went to go visit a media referral that was given to us by the Referral Center. The sister of the media referral was there and she told us that the actual media referral is going to be moving to Florida. But the sister has been dedicating her life to God for her New Year’s Resolution and we shared a message about the restoration of the Gospel. She is super dedicated to having a return appointment with us. We are really excited. Afterward, we went back up to Hartford and delivered a Bible to another referral in the middle of town and then went to grab some dinner at Franklin Giant Grinder, which is famous and located on Franklin Boulevard. We got a whole grinder for $20 and split it in 3 for me, Elder McIntyre and Brother Harris. We then went to Newington to the VanWren’s house and taught a lesson to Gigi about baptism, confirmation and talked the blessings of those and how she can prepare herself for baptism and we will continue working with her! We also went to the Donats’ house to see how they are doing. They are doing OK so we will stop by again later.
On Friday, We had zone conference and talked about the goals we have as a mission:
– 3 new investigators per week, 65 for our zone this next month, 11 for our companionship
-600 mission baptisms in 2017
-3 member present lessons per week
-75% recent converts go to the temple with their own family names after 2 months
I can’t remember all of them, so I will have to let you know next week what they all are….. We went out to Manchester to meet with a recent convert to help with her scripture reading and we helped resolve some concerns. Her name is Raynel. Then we went back home and I can’t actually really remember what happened Friday evening! Sorry!
Saturday was a lot of stop bys. We went to Newington in the morning and did 15 stop bys and only one of them actually worked out. We went and saw Temera who wasn’t available when we came by, but we were able to see Johnoy who is back on the radar and we taught him a lesson about the Book of Mormon and we spoke with him about helping him increase his studies and get better at that.
Sunday was good, as always. One of the talks in Sacrament Meeting was about service and charity and how charity qualifies men for the Lord’s work. The former Bishop of the ward spoke about Elder Steven E. Snow’s talk on service from a recent General Conference. We need to look for service. It isn’t always convenient, but it is always good to look for ways to serve. After church we went to Correlation and then we went home to grab some lunch then went on Splits with brother Weber. We were able to stop by several less active members’ home to visit them and we talked about missionary work with Brother Weber, how things are going and things that we can do in the ward. We also attended a baptism Sunday night for the Spanish elders and I was able to play the piano for the service. Elder Rowan came back from Framingham and was able to baptize Belem.
Today, Monday, we went on a zone hike for P-day to Heublein Tower. It was really beautiful and was reminiscent of Arizona with the types of rocks and trees and terrain they had there. It was a great reminder of home!
The one thing I want to challenge you with this week is to set meaningful goals. In Preach My Gospel, there is an Elder Ballard quote in the section about goal setting. As we set meaningful goals, we are more productive. We need to set goals to reach our full potential. Goal setting doesn’t just apply to missionaries. It applies to everyone as we set goals for this new year. Set daily goals and set weekly goals. Apply the principle of goal setting and adjust your new year’s resolutions to your circumstances and what needs to happen throughout the year.
We have some really big goals this week. We are really hoping to be able to accomplish them. They are going to be rough ….and they are going to be difficult to accomplish, especially with our whole morning and afternoon on Thursday being taken up by zone conference this week here at the chapel. But we are really excited ….and this is going to be a good week and we are really excited!
Especially with the direction in the letter that Elder Kikuchi recently sent to me, and with encouragement from our zone leaders regarding our goals that we’ve set, and with encouragement the ward and with two new ward missionaries, we are really hoping to be very productive this week….with lots of lessons and lots of new investigators.
We’ll check in with you next week!
Love you all,