March 27, 2017
Hey Everyone! First off, both Elder Greding and I are staying in New Haven for another 6 weeks! We are excited because in that six weeks, Edet and Minteria will be married and will be baptized! Elder Greding loves Edet, and so he is especially excited to see great things happen with him.
This week started off well! We had our P-day at the Woodbridge chapel and played four square and basketball and took time to email, but afterwards, we made dinner. Our classic and favorite here in New Haven is to make a double bacon cheeseburger with a grilled egg. I made it a single and then also had a PB&J Burger (throwing back to Cape Cod). They were really good and we are getting better and better at making them each time.
Tuesday morning, we saw Abdelnasar. We were following up on his reading of the Book of Mormon and as we were thinking about where to go with the conversation, we both had the prompting to talk about Baptism. We asked him questions and read scriptures from First Nephi about Baptism. He said he had already been baptized, so Elder Greding started to explain the Holy Ghost and that we receive it after Baptism. He asked if he had received the Holy Ghost, and he said no, so we extended baptism to him, with the conjunction that the Gift of the Holy Ghost would come after, and he accepted! The only reason that happened is because of the Spirit. His promptings may not always have a clear direction, but as we take them, they lead to our main purpose.
That afternoon, our studies took a little longer, and being myself, I don’t like wasting time, so it was weighing down on me a bit, but Sister Miller sent out a mission wide text saying, “The best time to start becoming the person you want to be is now”. Peace and comfort and a diligent spirit came. I am so thankful for promptings and how the Spirit works in each of our lives!
That evening we had dinner with the Bohorquez family. We became acquainted with them a few weeks prior. We felt prompted to go and knock on their door, and no one answered, but Elder Greding stopped by later and it turned out that they are fully active, but just in the Spanish group, so we don’t see them a lot. Their son turned 16 this week, so now he can go on splits with us and prepare for a mission! They fed us some of the best spaghetti I’ve had. It had squash in it as well, and it came out really well.
Wednesday was really fun! We had a lunch with Sister Taggart! Here is the recipe for the salad she made:
Cut up Red Peppers, Broccoli, and Asparagus. Put on a pan, cover with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook at 400F for 15 min
Slice some Mangos and sprinkle with Salt and Pepper (“You can use any fruit, it just has to be salty enough”-Sister Taggart)
Dressing:Sour Cream, Lemon Juice, Fresh Garlic, Chopped Cilantro, Salt and Pepper
Dressing should be white, but you can add a touch of Avocado mashed up as well
The best thing about the salad is that everything is pretty much replaceable based on your preferences. If you have a different fruit or vegetable, use it! It adds variety and helps with the imagination! It turned out well, and we can’t wait to try it out again! She also started baking, and her cookies here delicious. Most of the recipes were from Pinterest, and they were delicious (Hint hint, nudge nudge).
We were also able to go teach an 18 year old guy named Brendan. He had some questions about the Plan of Salvation, and since it was 20 degrees outside, his parents said we could come in and teach him. It was a great experience and gave us good things to work on teaching wise. The best way to improve is to just do it. When fear comes into play, it paralyzes us. We don’t want to move because we don’t want to fail. Having faith and progressing is a step of strength. Role Plays in our studies are what give us the tools for improvement and preparation and when we evaluate afterwards, we are able to see in real time what we can improve on and what we should do to become better.
Thursday morning, Mike Wise brought some delicious sandwiches to us for breakfast and we talked about his job selling electricity. He basically does missionary work, just for switching people’s electric providers and the blessings include lower rates. It’s pretty cool and he said his mission helped him in a lot of the aspects that he uses. In the evening, we had a presentation from the Muslim Chaplain at Yale. His name is Omer Bajwa. He described the main beliefs of Islam and it’s pillars. He explained a lot of history and it’s views of scriptures and prophets in Islam and many traditions. He said it is very saddening for him to see the worldwide media view towards Islam. It was eye opening to hear about another faith and what they hold dear. It made me appreciate other people’s devotion to their faith and helped me to understand why people are so devoted to their faiths. He was a very nice man and really opened our eyes! I remember going to my friend’s Bar Mitzvah and I was also able to go to Synagogue on Saturday. It was a great experience for me and even though I don’t remember most of it, I loved being able to experience other faiths.
Friday was District Meeting and T-texts. The Woodbridge Elders are being shotgunned out and Sisters are coming in. The rest of the district is staying and we aren’t too affected as a Zone, but Elder Asay is shotgun training in Lynn, where he served before. I am excited for him!! After T-texts, we went to Chick-fil-A with the Woodbridge Elders, but I didn’t have my MSF, so Elder Greding was going to pay, but just as we got to the front, Brother Jones, the Second Counselor in the ward, came to the front and said,”I’ll pay for you guys”! It was a miracle and a big help for us! God truly does watch over us! Brother Jones is awesome! He is also having us over for dinner tonight 🙂 Also, his wife is from Roseville, CA, and they are in the Wheatland Ward, so maybe Jesse and Katie are in their ward!
We were able to see Minteria (Edet’s fiancee) and as we taught the Plan of Salvation, we could see her being more comfortable and asking more questions as we went forward. It was really cool to see. We also extended a baptismal date for May 6, so they will be married April 14, Edet will be baptized the next Saturday, and then Minteria will be baptized the first week of May. Edet may even be able to baptize Minteria! We will hopefully keep them on track and can’t wait to see how they progress! We also saw Christine, and she had had a tough few days, but we helped her get back with it, and we set a day to go to the temple with her! April 6th is the day! She is getting ready for General Conference as well, so it’ll be great!
Saturday we blitzed Southbury in the morning. There were about 20 missionaries there, and they have a good sized list of LA’s who they have no info on, so we broke out with members and went to find them. I went with Bishop Passey, who reminds me of Uncle Scott with his sense of humor and his witty comments every once in a while, but we spoke with one man who wasn’t the member we were looking for. He was turned off to churches, but Elder Duvalois brought up Family History, and after explaining what we could do to help, he was pretty interested! It is amazing what tools the Lord has given us to soften hearts! To some, the Book of Mormon, to some, testimonies, and to some, Family History. The Lord works through different means for different people! After the Blitz in Southbury, we saw Douglas, who we met with last week. He had met with the missionaries before, but had stopped for a bit. We explained the Restoration, and even though he had lots of questions, we got through it while getting his questions and challenged him to read, pray and come to church. We are working on helping him feel comfortable coming to church and also being comfortable praying. He has had some concerns about praying in the past, and so we have to show by example so that he can follow our lead. We spent quite a bit of time with him, but just like with the guy in Southbury, different people take different amounts and tracts of time depending on their understanding and background.
Sunday was great. We had church in the morning, and I dedicated myself to really have a repentance process during sacrament meeting. It was tough at first, as always, but as Sacrament Meeting progressed, more light and understanding flowed into my heart and my mind. The talks were directed at me more and I found more answers. It made it more special than going through the motions and I felt bad for those going through the motions. It always seems like there is something else more important, but as we make the Sacrament most important, we receive the fulfillment and happiness we desire. We had a family history centered Gospel Principles class where everyone went to the family history center and started their own accounts. We are going to help Minteria get hers set up tonight, but Edet got his and so did a few others. Christine is getting more and more, and it was really productive! The YSA ward was pretty good as well, but afterwards, we had some fun.
We were asked by a lady staying in Branford, which is out of our Zone, to help her move a few things from one storage unit to another. We thought it wouldn’t be too much, and we asked Luke Sanford to come drive us out there, but when we got there, it was about 30 boxes and 200 bags. Many of them were Walmart like bags filled with things, and the storage unit we were moving it to was very small. It was probably 5 by 4 and 10 feet tall. We filled up the storage unit to it’s very top, and many of the bags stayed in place when they shouldn’t have. Heavenly Father really helped us out and made it possible for us to fit all that was and wasn’t physically possible to get in there. I am grateful for Heavenly Father and as much as we try, that he will bless us as we stay on the path.
Remember that turning outward and focusing on the Savior will help us.