Hello! Good to hear from you all and thank you for wishing me a happy hump day! It was a fun day and I’m happy it was spent here in Lynnfield. Alright, here’s the rundown!
Monday, as I wrote last week, was P-day in Boston. Our ferry left the port at 7:45am in Lynn and the next one from Boston didn’t leave till 6pm…..so we were literally trapped in Boston for 10 hours…it was fun though and we got to experience the city more. The rest of the evening was prep for the week and we had a mini planning session to get some appointments and the next few days straight.
Tuesday morning was great! We had an awesome planning session with 3 or 4 lessons throughout the day, and we had lots of backups and small things to do, and then we got a text from the Zone Leaders asking us to help with a move. We came to learn very quickly that the Lord has a specific agenda and that he makes it work. Pretty much all of our appointments fell through, and we spent most of the morning and afternoon helping her move. She has two kids and has a friend who is a member. This member has had lots of conversations about the gospel with her and has really done a lot of prep work. A few days previous, she realized that she would have to move everything in the house by herself up to Peabody, which would be a huge task. When she called her amazing member friend, she responded with,”Call the missionaries!” The Zone Leaders had been working most of the morning, and called us and the Lynn Elders in for reinforcements, and after one more trip, we were able to move everything over. It was a big task, but we were able to have a great conversation with her. At the end of the move, we spent about 10 minutes talking about the blessings of coming to church, and she really feels like that is something she wants to do. After she gets situated, we are going to have a church tour, and then hopefully she’ll be able to come! That evening we our Missionary Correlation Meeting. We have 6 ward missionaries and a great ward mission leader. He has a vision of helping all of our recent converts and returning LA’s come to the temple. We were able to talk a lot about the people we are teaching and how they can help. Another great stride we made was with the dinner calendar. Many dinners we have had are regularly about 6pm, but we have been thinking about getting them earlier, so that we can use 6-9pm more as a proselyting time. When we brought up this concern, they were more than willing to put it on the calendar and see what they could do. We are really excited to see what kind of LA work we can do this transfer!
Wednesday was a harder day. We brought a member to come with us to visit some investigators out in Reading and North Reading, but one wasn’t home, and the other wasn’t able to meet. So we decided to just stop by a LA and then knock around them. We ended up knocking for about an hour and a half with not much success. Even though it was tough, we had some good learning experiences. There was a lady who told us her husband had just passed away, and we weren’t really able to share anything with her, but it was just really hard to see her in so much pain and not being able to see the truth we had for her. We left a Plan of Salvation pamphlet for her outside, so hopefully she reads it. There was another family who was just about to eat dinner, but we were able to testify of the truthfulness of our message and we gave her a card. We weren’t able to teach her anything, but at least she has our contact information. Many turndowns happened, and it started to bug me a little.
Thursday morning, we helped a family move in from the Revere Ward, which is just south of us. There were about 4 guys there and we made 6, and it all went pretty smoothly. It was a good sized move, so we had some fun trying to get furniture in the elevator, but everything fit! That afternoon, we weekly planned and tried to focus on our investigators needs. We set some good goals, especially one for 3 new investigators this next week. We’ve been knocking a lot and trying to talk to people, but it just hasn’t seemed to work. The members are great, so we talked about continuing teaching them about sharing the gospel and building their testimonies. In my entire life, I have never seen a ward where the effect of member missionary work has been more prevalent. Gustavo, one of the Recent Converts, was found by his friend, who is a member, and he has already been to the temple in a month and a half, wants to come out with us, wants to go to BYU, and is just on fire. Diana, the other Recent Convert of a few weeks, was found by her friend, and Diana was so prepared. Her friend just mentioned some of the truths of the gospel, and Diana was hooked. She’s been to the temple twice already and is already counting down the days until she can go at her year mark. The lady that we moved is also so prepared, and that was because a member decided to take the initiative to talk about the gospel with her and to take her young kids to church every week. Do you see how this is all building up!? So many people we know are prepared, and all we have to do is to BECOME what we live and to love others enough to share it with them. Something Elder Foster shared while he was here is that the best way members can share the gospel is by strengthening the relationships they already have. Make your friendships deeper and it will naturally come about. Test it out and let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thursday night, we had dinner with the Reeds, and talked about Family History. Sister Reed said that she had been thinking about Family History recently, but was wondering about learning more about indexing, what it is, and how to do it. I know that God helped us prepare the lesson for their family and that as we keep God’s commandments, he will bless us.
Thursday was also my Year Mark for my mission! It is pretty crazy to think that I’m already halfway done. Honestly it has been the most growth I have ever experienced in such a short time. God really does work with you when you devote everything to him. To future missionaries, here is a word of advice. There are many things to distract you on your mission. You may get tired, homesick, bored, lazy, upset, hungry, or even worse, disobedient, but don’t let these things distract you. The Lord will bless you the most as you give all of your HEART, MIGHT, MIND, and STRENGTH in His work. There is always a purpose to the work happening in your area. It may be for others benefit, or it may be for yours. Just give everything and ask yourself,”What can I learn from this?”
Friday was District Meeting! Elder Black taught us about becoming phase three missionaries. He taught us that the Missionary Handbook and Preach My Gospel work hand in hand. Preach My Gospel teaches us how to do the work, and the Missionary Handbook teaches us the boundaries for our work. As we work with them, like the Bible and the Book of Mormon, we can increase our skills and our spirituality and be able to further the work in our wards. After District Meeting, we went to finish weekly planning and then went to work. I don’t have my planner on my right now, but here is what really struck me over Friday and Saturday. We had knocked a lot, not a bajillion doors, but we would knock a street, both sides, in about an hour or so, so it was a lot. Not a whole lot of success had been coming from it, and it was starting to bug me. We watched a Preach My Gospel video on Friday and in it, there was a quote from Elder Ballard. He said something along the lines of,”Outside of tracting, working with members, and teaching appointments, each companionship should contact at least 10 people a day”. When we tract, it has been good to look for other opportunities to talk to people. On Friday, while knocking, we saw two people with dogs and had great conversations with them. It’s a lot better than door knocking because you can talk about a casual subject, just like PMG says, and then connect it to the gospel. It has helped my confidence a lot. Also, I asked Sister Miller what it was like when the missionaries knocked on her door, and I decided that I need to be more clear about what we say and teach. We tell them we’re from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a short two or three sentence blurb about what we believe. They know our point, where we’re from, and even if they say no, they still had a positive experience. I don’t feel down about rejection as much any more, because I know we have taught our message, and they have their agency. It’s been a great experience to learn from each time tracting and to see the Spirit work, and I can’t wait to see what kind of success we will see this week.
OH!!!!! Sergio was able to go to the temple for the first time this week! Elder Greding wasn’t able to get permission, but we met the New Haven Elders and Sergio, as well as Diana, the Lynnfield Recent Convert. We had a wonderful time! It was filled with the Spirit, and I was able to baptize and confirm Sergio for his Father and Grandfather. He expressed to us that it truly is a generational work that we are doing and none of the work we do is in vain. I know this is the Lord’s work and that he directs us. Make sure you read the scriptures every day!!
Love you all!!