Tuesday morning we went to give a blessing to someone in a nail salon 🙂 It was a member and she was heading out on a trip and needed a blessing of comfort before the flight. She was working so the only place that we could do it was in a backroom in the nail salon, so Br. Thompson (who was ‘conveniently’ going to the mall that morning to fix his wife’s phone) came with us and helped her to feel ok before she left. We had a crazy couple of days though starting on Tuesday. As a District Leader, I had the opportunity to interview Tania, one of the Spanish Elders’ investigators. She has been learning for a long time, about 7 months, and her husband was being ordained to be a Priest so he could baptize her. During the interview, the feeling came that she needed a little more preparation before the baptism, so we decided to postpone the baptism about a week. Later, there was some confusion that maybe there had been a translation error or that I might have been too hard. We were all a little confused and worried, so we turned to the Zone Leaders and Assistants for guidance. A member of the bishopric needed some guidance on what to do during a visit with their family, and so he gave President Miller a call. That night, Thursday, we had just made a ton of calls and went in to do some home teaching, so the phone was on silent. When we came out, we had two missed calls, a voicemail, and a text from President Miller! He told us that I had made the right decision in the interview (all credit to the Holy Ghost) and that he would be in Woodbridge (30 minutes away) on Saturday and that he could come talk to her and see what he feels. Woah! That phone call was definitely a blessing and a comfort for the next few days. After more phone calls, prayers, answers, and visits, President Miller felt comfortable that she was ready to be baptized. So Tania’s getting baptized on Thursday!! We are super excited for their family and for the Spanish Elders!
On Wednesday night, we were knocking doors around a media referral and we met a guy named Phil. He said he was a super bad guy and roasted me for being too serious. But don’t worry, we learned some good lessons from him. How to relate to the guys on the ‘streets’, how to listen, and that you need to ‘feel Jesus inside of you!’ It was a crazy night. Then, we had to go to Target to grab some things, and one our way out, after talking to the cashier who told us that he just works to ‘squeeze the cheese’ (aka make money?), we met Clif, another guy from the streets. He told us his life story, some crazy experiences from his life, and how much Jesus means to him. At that point, I felt a little more open to listening to, relating to, and laughing with Clif since we had just talked to Phil. We gave him a card and told him to call us. The Lord always puts experiences like that in our way! It ended the night on a fun note!
On Friday, Elder Tirado did the Blazin’ Challenge. It’s pretty daunting, but at Buffalo Wild Wings, or B-Dubs, the challenge is to eat 12 traditional wings covered in their Hottest Sauce, the Blazin’ Sauce! If you finish it in 2 minutes, it’s free, and if you finish it in 6 minutes, you get a shirt 🙂 Elder Tirado finished 6 wings with much anguish! The wings were super hot, but he was a champ about it and in Elder Goodman’s words,”You are the manliest man I know!” Later, we went to the Masons’ to watch President Monson’s funeral. I loved all of the testimonies about President Monson and the person that he was. He was FULL of Love of SERVICE! Each day, he would end the day by saying,”I think we have done some good today”. That is the way to live a life. I’m so thankful for President Monson’s amazing life and example that will carry on!
On Saturday night, Sergio came up from New Haven to see us! We had dinner at Pizza Castle, which was surprisingly good 🙂 We had some Surf and Turf, Lobster Tail and NY Strip Steak, it was super good…We had a great time catching up and being able to talk about life, his future plans, family, and the gospel. He’s doing well and we’re excited to go to the temple in June so he can recieve his endowments. It’s going to be super exciting!! We also gave him a present, 40 pass along cards! They are from Easter when the church did the #Hallelujah campaign. The slogan perfectly describes Sergio and his message to others,”Follow Him and find new life” and on the back it says,”Discover how” at FollowHim.mormon.org. So cool! It was a blessing to see him again and to know that he is doing well!
A while ago, we talked to a man named Adrian, who expressed interest in learning, but explained that his schedule was very busy. Over the past few days, we’ve felt like we needed to pay him a visit. In our daily planning, we planned to see him. Before we went in for the night, we drove by his apartment, and there was a running car in the driveway, but not his. We weren’t sure if it was the right time to stop by, but we felt like it was important. So we went to the door, and the apartment looked empty. A man came and we asked if Adrian was there, but he replied that they had just moved to NY and that he was just coming back to make sure they had everything. We gave him a card to give to Adrian and thanked him for giving the message. If we hadn’t stopped, we would have never been able to get in contact with him. I’m thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord, even if we don’t recognize them immediately.
Church on Sunday was awesome!! We had Ward Council in the morning where Pres. Asciouto (Ah-shoot-oh) and Brother Post (from the Southbury Ward and the High Council) came to present the Stake Goals for the year. They are based around a simple phrase,”Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ”. They gave us five points of how to do so. 1. Establish a Ward, Family and Personal Mission Plan (Family and Personal Mission plans take worry and fear out of it. They help to identify how we can share the gospel) 2. Pray for Missionary Opportunities (Pray Daily as a family and individually and invite the Lord into the things you do every day) 3. Act of the Promptings (Repent if you aren’t acting and show the Lord that you appreciate his help) 4. Partner with the Missionaries (Ask the Missionaries, they can help you!) 5. Nurture Investigators and New Converts (President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “There is absolutely no point in doing missionary work unless we hold on to the fruits of that effort. The two must be inseparable. … Every convert is a great and serious responsibility” (“Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep,” Ensign, May 1999, 108) . Pres. Asciouto promised us that if we do this, that “You will see the hand of the Lord and how He loves His Children”. We are super excited to move forward with the goals of the Stake! Simple and Effective, that is the way to go. If you don’t have a ward or family mission plan, do it! From personal experience, taking the time to plan for a little bit helps you to do more and to be ready in the moment. The rest of church was filled with more instruction on the Stake goals, some funny moments, and pics with Sister Vogel. Later in the evening after a couple of member visits, we taught Brenda and Wellington, two of our investigators! Br. Thompson came again and we talked about the Restoration. Wellington was having a hard time listening during our lesson, but Brenda did her best to keep him on track! (Note: People in New England LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to talk!!!) We had a really good lesson with them and Br. Thompson connected in a deep way with Wellington. They both grew up in Waterbury, know some of the same people, and had similar upbringings, so they were automatic friends! The funny thing is that we were going to bring someone else, but when we talked to Brenda to set up the appointment, Br. Thompson’s name came out of my mouth. CRAZY!
Monday was fun! We played Sushi Go Party at the Halterman’s, which is one of the coolest party games I’ve ever played. It has the ability to accommodate a lot of players, there are multiple different types of cards you can play with, and it is a short strategy game. Basically, you get a hand of cards, you pick the card you want to play, and then pass your hand to the next person. There are different ways to score points, so you have to watch how other people are playing cards, decided what risks to take, what strategy to take, and hope it turns out well!! It is so much fun. Later in the evening, we went to the Crooks for dinner. We had planned to teach the Restoration, but for some reason when we got there, I didn’t feel super confident about teaching it. The spirit prompted us to go forward with it though, so we did. The dinner was SUPER GOOD (Kale Soup, yum!) and when the time came to teach, it was one of the most natural and simple restorations we have ever taught! It was so much fun and it was all centered towards the kids. We had an amazing time.
This morning, we had the special announcement from President Russell M. Nelson. It was announced that he has been called and set apart as the 17th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Elder Oaks and Elder Eyring as his counselors. I’m so grateful for the Lord’s way of organizing his church and that He called President Nelson to be our prophet. I sustain him and am grateful for the service that he will do.I got permission to visit the chiropractor today and T12, L3 and L4 needed attention along with my pelvis, which was twisted, from my bike wreck back on Cape Cod. When I walked out, I felt so good! As missionaries, we only get two chiropractic visits our entire mission so I get to have my second treatment on Friday! It is such a blessing that the mission nurse gave me permission to go. I am hoping that it will help me feel much better!
Well, our week has been BUSY and crazy, but most of all, I’m grateful for 1. The Book of Mormon that gives us the spiritual power we need 2. The Lord Jesus Christ and 3. Our Heavenly Father who loves us enough to guide us, even when we mess up. I hope you all have a great week and I’ll talk to you later! P.S. A great invitation for this week is to pray to know that President Nelson is the Lord’s prophet on the earth today. Try it, and I know that Heavenly Father will answer you and tell you that he is a true prophet.
With Much Love,