Hello all! I really do hope you have had a great week! So I am actually emailing on a Tuesday, just because yesterday was Memorial Day and we were able to go do a session in the temple. It took up all of Preparation Day, so we have permission to email today. I hope you have been able to feel the Spirit of the Lord lately. Honestly, it is the best feeling in the world. I cannot imagine living without the Spirit and it’s direction in my life, and I would encourage you to seek it out. He really does make all the difference.
This week has been great and full, so here we go!
Monday morning was spent at the Woodbridge Chapel where we all played basketball and chair soccer! The best way to win chair soccer is to let everyone else go crazy and then to take it at the end. It takes some work and patience, but it makes it a lot of fun! We had a blast as a zone and it was a great celebration for reaching our goal of 50 New Investigators for the week. That evening, we went to the Rogers for dinner, and I learned the hard way that you can’t always do everything you think you can. Back at the Okazaki’s in Cape Cod, they showed us how to cut half a watermelon so that when you flip it over, it comes out cubed and ready to eat! I mentioned it, as we were having watermelon for dinner, and they suggested I try it. It was very difficult, not being a watermelon expert, and we decided that I should practice it a little before next time. It was a lot of fun though, and the watermelon turned out to be very sweet and delicious.
Tuesday was great! In the afternoon, we went to the Taggart’s and did some gardening service for her. She does so much for us, so our way of showing thanks and gratitude is by helping her around the yard. In the back, they have a small retaining wall that has a sloped dropoff of a few feet, and the grass comes right up to it. We raked the mulch back onto the wall, cleaned up the edge, got the grass away from the edge, and raked the wall to make it look nice and to get the grass clippings out. It looked great afterwards, it is amazing what just a little bit of work can do. That is something that has been impressed upon me this last week or so. The small things are what counts, and if we don’t do the small things, the big things won’t matter. You can apply that to almost anything, but I love looking at it in a scheduling and planning view. If you don’t make the small notes and calls, everything else falls apart. As the scriptures say,”And thus it is. Amen”. We also had a great dinner with the Taggarts, as always, and she had a wonderful meal ready for us. That night, we had a cool lesson. A man named Anwar called us Monday evening and wondered if we could meet on Tuesday. We weren’t sure who he was, but we set an appointment for before Institute and met him. He was baptized almost 20 years ago, and has worked 72 hours a week for most of his life, but now he is working less and is stable with everything and wants to come back and learn more about the church. We talked to him a little and showed him around the church, and then proceeded to move upstairs to the Institute class that was about to happen. We talked about receiving the Holy Ghost and Anwar learned a lot. He wants to start from the beginning and wants to get off work on Sundays so he can come, but he is coming to Institute every Tuesday night now, so we are excited for him!
Wednesday morning was busy. The Jacox’s, a family in the ward, were moving student housing, to a home, so they filled up a U-Haul on Tuesday night, and we came on Wednesday morning at about 6 AM to help them unpack it at their new house. We unpacked an entire big U-Haul in an hour and a half with about 10 people from the ward. It was amazing. Furniture went to rooms, there were lots of boxes, and we tried our best not to scratch the freshly done wood floors. The smell reminded me of our Ohio house and when we redid the kitchen floor. That was a long time ago, and the smell is still the same! We got to see Argenis and his family, and helped their mom to understand a little of what the Holy Ghost feels like and how she can know when she is feeling it, which was a big step for us to be able to share the with her! We also had dinner with the Taggart’s again! They fed us rice with diced vegetables, PURPLE POTATOES (they were very purple), and Tilapia. Back in the day, I did not like Tilapia, but my mom loved it! Eventually it rubbed off, and that Tilapia was delicious! Props to Sister Taggart!
Thursday we had District Meeting (a little switch this week in scheduling). It was a good District Meeting! Afterwards, we were heading out to lunch in Southington, but decided to go back to New Haven. We saw Bill and Robin and had a great lesson with them! We had a lesson on Tithing, which they were excited about. We did a little object lesson with Bill too. We stacked some books on Bill’s lap, and after a couple we asked him,”Bill, can you give me one of the books back?” to which he did. After receiving a book, we continued to put books on his lap and stack them higher. After a few more, we asked the same question, to which he gave us another book back, and you see the pattern. We were able to explain that this is the way Heavenly Father treats Tithing. As we give, even when it is hard, he gives back to us even more! After Bill and Robin, we went to see Sergio. We introduced him to the movie, Mountain of the Lord, which shows the path of the Saints from Ensign Peak to the completion of the Salt Lake Temple. It also explains the purpose of the temple and is a great movie! Our conversation was focused on the 10 commandments though. Sergio is big on theology, which is the interpretation of scripture, so what the commandments mean is pretty much as important as the commandment itself. We had the opportunity to explain each of the 10 Commandments and how we live them in the Church today. Sergio pointed out something that has stuck with me. When we think of the church, it is easy to keep the Sabbath Day Holy, but for a new member or investigator, they have no idea what to do! No shopping, tv, homework or work? What do they do all day? There is the church teaching, but then there is the church culture that we have to teach people. We spent a while discussing how to keep the Sabbath Day Holy and what a typical day back home would be like. He really appreciated it was cool for us to see his side of learning. He always tells us,”It’s a process. Be patient. Your effort isn’t wasted.” It’s funny in the moment, but we do have to realize that this is all very new to him. He is only really able to stay for about an hour of church because it is just so much to take in, and especially with all of his religious knowledge, he has a lot to think about. Patience is a virtue!
Friday morning, we had a correlation with the Institute Director, Brother LaRose, and nailed out what we know about the YSA’s in the stake. We met with Anwar at his McDonald’s that he manages and got to know him a little more (which is always important, otherwise you are just teaching a common person, which is not who people are). We also helped Breman Leak, who is one of our favorite solid member helps! He actually lives in Branford, but is still in our ward…he has a cool beach house that he is trying to convert into a four season house, so he’s been working on it for about a year or so, and we helped him tear out a little bed/storage cabinet that was next to his fireplace. It was fun, and we got attacked by no-see-ems when we went outside, which hasn’t happened in a while.
I was able to go to the temple Monday and we had 6 investigators at church on Sunday. I gave a talk on the sacrament and how it can make us holy on Sunday, which was fun, and Sergio came to the Taggarts on Sunday night for dinner, and we had a great lesson with him on Following the Prophet. I love you all! Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean unto your own understanding. Put convention aside and let the Lord lead, that is how you will be successful. Love you!