Hello everyone! I hope your week was fantastic and filled with the Spirit! That truly is the best way to fill your week. A little preface, this week as a zone, we set a goal to find 50 New Investigators. For us, that is a high number so it was going to take a lot of work. Well, something I have learned this week is the importance of listening to the Holy Ghost. It really sunk in this week that He will not lead us to fail. There is always something good that comes out of the promptings we have, so it is best that we follow them!
Monday night we saw Christine. She is doing well! We went to Golden Corral last week with them, one of the only ones in New England, and talked about a time to go the temple. We set a date for June to go, so that will be coming up soon. She has been working on family names, and has come a long way with them! It has been a blessing to have Sister Singleton, a family history expert, in our ward. She knows so much about it and is so capable of helping others to discover the joy that comes from temple and family history work! She has been going through struggles since she was baptized, but is receiving a lot of help, physically and spiritually! We talked about how she has endured and what blessings she has seen. She is awesome! We also went to the YSA FHE. Elder Nagtalon was in the YSA Ward when he served in Lowell, and he said one thing that really helped them gain trust was going to FHE, so we tried it out. They hiked East Rock, which is a big rock formation in New Haven, and we got to talk to them a lot and to build trust. We also hiked in our proselyting clothes, which was an adventure.
Tuesday morning was interviews. I decided to think about the questions I could ask before I went in. It helped to break down what I really needed. He taught me a few things that have really helped. Cleaning is really just like Boy Scouts. Just like a No Trace camp, just pick up after yourself wherever you go. Preparation Day should also be spent to prepare. Playing is good, but there needs to be time set aside to iron, clean, shop, vacuum and other things to make the rest of the week easier. I also realized that I love being in the ground. Being with other missionaries, just completely focused on the work is the best! Our investigators are the only thing we have to worry about, and that is a blessing. Elder Nagtalon really has a desire to be obedient, so I need to be able to take this transfer head on and do my best with the unity we have. It was also a great day for Sergio! We went over and expected to answer questions from his reading, but we had planned to teach the Restoration. He told us up front that ever since we had started teaching him, he had just been asking questions and that he decided that this lesson would be just for us, no questions, and that he wanted us to speak what the Spirit directs us to say. It was quite shocking to us. We didn’t see it, but it was the most humility we have seen from him since he prayed about the Book of Mormon. It is amazing to see people change. Since I have served here, I have seen Sergio grow more and more and he is an example of humility and how learning about the gospel changes us. We were able to share the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Spirit was present. It was refreshing to teach it all together and for him to hear it completely with no breaks. We shared our testimonies, especially on prayer, and he told us that he had prayed. He remembered when we promised him that if he came to church, God would make a way for him to come to church, which he did. We asked him multiple times last week, and he took the initiative to pray about it! Miracles are happening here! We love Sergio and to see him accept the commitments we leave with him makes it all worth it.
Wednesday was a little slow. We didn’t have a lot planned, so it was stressful. When we don’t have anything planned, it makes it tough to decide what to do. The morning was slow, but we got a prompting to go tract by Edet’s house, and the whole way there, I felt anxious. I didn’t want to talk to random people and to get denied. When we got there, I relaxed and we went forward. We ended up finding four or so potentials! One experience that changed the day was when we were walking on one side of the street and I felt the impression to go back and talk to a person in the car, and I felt guilty about not doing it, but I decided to do it, so we went and talked to him, and there was a father with his young son in the car. We talked to them and he knew about the church, and we shared a Book of Mormon with him and a scripture. We didn’t get his number, but he was interested. It just showed me that when we follow promptings, we really do find success. That morning, Elder Nagtalon saw people moving outside and suggested we go help. I was worried they would say they were all set and that it would be weird, but we went over there, and one guy was leaving and they had to bring up a dining room table, and he said we came at just the right time! We have done a lot of missionary work without appointments this week, like this, where we don’t get a return appointment, but that doesn’t mean that our time was wasted. It is a postive expereince with the church for them, which is always good. Wednesday night, we went to Mecha Noodle Bar and Milkcraft with the Taggarts. It was so good!!! I love both of them. When we were waiting, a guy working at Milkcraft waved us over. He told us he grew up LDS and hasn’t been to church in a whille! We got the information for the Bridgeport and Trumbull Sisters and gave them to him! The Lord puts us in the places we are needed. Also, there was a member that Sister Badham, my MTC teacher, asked me to go see. So we scheduled to go see her, and as we were walking up to the front door, who comes biking down the street, but Mike Wise! Mike actually knew her, so to have him there was great! We also set up a time to go see another Less Active, and that Less Active member came to church. We literally don’t do anything, it is truly the definition of being instruments in the hand of God.
Thursday morning we went to Firestone to get a check up on our car that took a while, but it was done pretty timely, so we were happy about it. We were able to see Bill and Robin and talk about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy with them, and we got them on board to come to church on Sunday!! We went to see Sergio and taught him the commandments. We feel he is ready to learn the commandments and he was really pushing to learn them too so he knows what he is getting into. We taught the basic ones: obedience, reading the scriptures, praying, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. We discussed a lot of it and he taught us while we talked. He talked about experiences he had with prayer, scriptures that have touched him since he was a kid, and how Sunday observance is important. He was anxious to learn about the other ones, so we had a brief overview with him and he seemed ok with basically all of them. He is very learned and is graduating today, so for him to be ok with learning more is always good for us to hear.We also had some lessons with Media Referrals and Elder Nagtalon got a crocheted green bucket hat! It was a good night!
Friday was amazing. I am pretty sure I felt complete joy based on Charity. We had a good district meeting in the morning and then after eating, headed out to work! We made a list of all of the media referrals and went to go work in the areas around them. We stopped by one and she wasn’t home, but a guy walking his bike was on the sidewalk, and Elder Nagtalon wanted to go talk to him, so we did. His name was Roscoe and he had just been working out, biking to be precise, so he was really worn out. He was really respectful though. His view is the religion is just a tool of the devil for confusion, which is understandable for him to have that view. He asked what happened to the records of other peoples relating to Jesus. We found a scripture in 2 Nephi 29:12-15 to share with him, and he was happy with our answer. We set up a return appointment with him and were so happy we listened to the Spirit. The gospel is so amazing because there is almost always an answer to our questions. The scriptures are full of answers, we just have to find them. Over the course of Friday, we found about 5 potential investigators that we had good conversations with. It was amazing to see that as we talked to everyone, how much easier it became. I am pretty sure the fear of men comes back every morning, but as we study hard in the morning, drinking from the fountain of living waters, like Elder Kikuchi and Lehi say, the fear of men is driven away and we are able to find those that God wants us to find.
Saturday was good too. So much happened! We had a good lesson with Roscoe, and we saw how sincere he was. He really wanted to find more and was grateful for everything we taught. He shows a lot of potential and he has 9 kids at home, which is a big family. He is a family man and knows what is important. He is one we love to teach. We also saw Bill and Robin and taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shared our testimonies and they expressed their desire to come to church! We were so excited for them! We had a great lesson with Sergio where Family History came up, and he told us about how he had his father’s driver’s licence from Honduras and an Ancestry account! We showed him Family Search and told him we could figure out how to move his Ancestry information to Family Search if he came to church tomorrow, thanks to the wonderful Sister Singleton! We was excited, especially since Family Search has more international records. His heritage is from North America (Native Americans), the Iberian Coast, and Honduras. Finding records might be hard, but we will do it. The best part of the lesson was after we had shown him all of this. He asked,”So you guys obviously put an emphasis on this, so what is the reason behind it?” We were able to share about the temple and doing baptisms for the dead. It was a tender mercy for us and helped us connect it to the gospel. That night, we were searching for people to give Bill and Robin a ride to church, partially because we had put it off for a bit, and right at the end of the day, a family in the ward said they could take them. It was a miracle, comparable to the miracle of finding a ride for transfers for Elder Woodward when he left Cape Cod. God is watching out for us and does care, even about the small things. If you look, you will see the miracles all around you.
Sunday, a day of refreshment and a break from the world. Bill, Robin and Sergio all came to church, they all loved it and Sergio got introduced to indexing. It was awesome! Also, Elder Nagatalon’s friend from the YSA in Lowell came down to New Haven! We had a fun time during the YSA Ward and church overall was uplifting. We got to see Argenis after church, and even taught his mom a small lesson on understanding the Spirit, which was great because she pulls back when it comes to religion. We also had a dinner with the Peter’s family and Elvira. Sister Peters cooks things that sound good together. She doesn’t use recipes at all, which is quite impressive. I guess that is how to become a master cook. We taught the Plan of Salvation and everyone participated. It reminded me of when we visited Jefferson in Kansas City last summer and everyone taught the lesson, not just the missionaries. Sunday morning, we had found 30 investigators throughout the week, and with only a few hours to go, each companionship had to find about 2 or 3 investigators to meet the goal. We were getting closer and closer, and with an hour to go, we were determined to find at least one. We followed the spirit and tried a few media referrals, but even the people who wouldn’t listen to us wouldn’t accept a return appointment or just weren’t that interested. We had a prompting to go to a certain referral and to tract around them, so we did, but nothing solid happened. With 10 minutes and 1 new investigator left, we drove quickly to a media referral we felt we should go to and one who had been open. We rang her doorbell, and the one next door, but she didn’t answer. It was basically 9, but we wouldn’t give up. We saw a car pull up and almost scared the guy, but we talked to him and read him a scripture and then set up a return appointment! It was such a blessing! In total, we found 61 New Investigators this week! When we set goals and work hard to achieve them, even with a day left, God makes things happen. We cannot just leave goals open ended, we have to endure to the end to see them through. If we endure and work hard, we can accomplish anything.
Try setting a hard goal this week, make yourself accountable to someone who will follow up regularly and seriously on it throughout the week, and then work like crazy! The Lord can do miracles for you. Try it out and let me know what happens.
P.S. Watch Good Things to Come this week