May 15, 2017
Hello everyone! I hope spring is in full swing where you are, because it certainly is in Connecticut! Wind, trees blossoming, sunshine, the whole thing! We had transfers this week, and my new companion, Elder Nagtalon, is really awesome! He is super obedient and has been out about as long as me. He served in Lowell, Massachusetts before this, and this is his first time in a bigger city. We are excited for all of the work ahead of us.
A little news, the Nashua New Hampshire Stake is now being relocated to the Manchester New Hampshire Mission! This is really huge, especially since the Nashua Stake is big. Starting in about two weeks, they will open a few new areas and have half MBM missionaries in that stake, and half MNHM missionaries. The switch over will be smooth and we will be keeping all of our missionaries! It is a great change and we are excited for the growth that has taken place over the last months to make this change possible.
Elder Nagtalon is from the Philippines, but has been living in Calgary, Canada for the past year and a half. He served in the Winnipeg Canada mission for three transfers while waiting for his visa, then went to the MTC and then to the MBM. He served in Pittsfield for a bit and then Lowell. He has been in five areas in nine months! Hopefully we get to keep him for a while!
Monday and Tuesday were Elder Greding’s last days in New Haven! It was really sad, but he got to visit pretty much everyone possible. We had dinner with Sergio at Mory’s, a Yale Student and Alumni restaurant on Campus, and the Whiffenpoofs, the first and oldest collegiate a cappella group performed. They sang a few songs around the restaurant and then came to our room to finish off! We got to hear them sing,”A Nightingale Sang in Barkley Square” and the Yale Fight Song! It was a really fun night and was a great way for Elder Greding to say goodbye to Sergio. Tuesday morning, we had a Web-ex focused on New Investigators and the Use of Computers. We have been encouraged and instructed to stop using computers in church buildings to stay in line with the White Handbook. This is a blessing to us and will hopefully widen our missionary efforts, even on Preparation Day.
Wednesday was the craziest day ever. We drove up to Southbury in the morning for Elder Greding to leave, and then Elder Smith and I drove 50 miles around their area, since he and his new companion will both be biking. Later, I was with the Waterbury Elders and we did some work in Waterbury (with a break for me to beat Elder Stephens in ping pong, he had a 27 game winning streak against some other elders, and it was really nervewracking!), and then we headed up to Hartford to meet Elder Nagtalon. Because of holdups on multiple fronts, the Hartford Elders didn’t get back till about 10:30pm, which meant that we didn’t get home till around midnight! It was quite a busy day!
Thursday through Saturday were filled with lots of visits with Bill and Robin and Sergio. Bill and Robin both have a baptismal date and will hopefully come to church this Sunday. Elder Nagtalon and I were able to have some great lessons with them, which helped to push them in the right direction and to build their faith! We finally got through a block with Sergio! On Thursday, we had a really bold lesson with him and found that we need to connect the Book of Mormon to what our church believes. When we are able to do this, we hope that he will take the steps to pray about the Book of Mormon and to accept a baptismal date! This was so exciting because for months, we have been in a limbo stage with him where he learns, but hasn’t really progressed. It has been difficult, but that night mixed with the succeeding nights has helped us see that he is having spiritual experiences with the Book of Mormon. It is really slow, but he has nothing to do and asks lots of questions. Minteria has also experienced repentance and is building her testimony of the Book of Mormon. She has a date for the first week in June and is working steadily towards it.
Mother’s Day was awesome! I love my mom and am grateful for everything she has done to teach us kids and to direct us in the right path. I am pretty sure that she is the best mom in the world! Skyping was also awesome! Stay in contact with your family, because one day, it may be a lot harder than you think!
I hope all of you have a great week and stay close to the gospel. It is so important and brings the blessings of heaven upon you. Enjoy!