January 22, 2018
Hey Everyone! This week has literally been crazy…there’s been a ton going on! Between Elder Goodman saying goodbye, traveling, transfers, and figuring everything out for a new transfer, it’s been hectic, but it’s been awesome and we love it.
Tuesday evening, we went to Sister Vogel’s house for Elder Goodman’s last dinner. We had a DELICIOUS dinner (I’ll send a picture) and Elder Goodman had the opportunity to share his testimony one last time before he left. He testified about all kinds of things, but his testimony of the Book of Mormon stood out. His testimony of the Book of Mormon over these last two transfers has increased so much!! It increased because he read it everyday, testified of it often, and lived the it all the time. I’m so grateful for his example, he’ll do great in North Brookfield! We also stopped by the Mangers afterwards and said goodbye to them. They have a kitten and it was very hard to concentrate the whole time because the kitten was so playful! Elder Goodman took a toy and the kitten jumped about a foot or two in the air to get it! It was a lot of fun!
Wednesday was transfers…With the snow, there was a lot to figure out…we had to talk to four or five sets of missionaries to figure out where everyone was going. We initially met up at the Waterbury Chapel, where one missionary accidentally put a dent in their car…they hit the brakes too late and hit a fence pole. Eeek…snow mixed with late braking=Ahhh!! Then we drove to Hartford and had lunch at J’s Crab Shack, which is just down the road from the Hartford Apartment. I ordered a Broiled Swordfish (definitely different, but Elder Goodman encouraged me to branch out) and then they accidentally brought a Broiled Salmon, so they gave me a full refund! Then we headed up to Springfield to meet the other elders there. When we got up, we waited in the church building and then Elder Goodman went off to North Brookfield in the sunset! He is a great missionary and he loves the Lord. I loved serving with him, we had a lot of fun together and worked hard too. I loved Elder Goodman for the thought that he put into people and the simplicity of his life. He is very relaxed and grew a ton in his first area, Waterbury. We took Elder Benson back to Waterbury so he could go to Southington English, but before anything else, we met and picked up Elder Smith back at the Waterbury Chapel. Elder Smith is awesome! He studied mechanical engineering before the mission and knows how to fix almost anything. He’s very smart, knows the scriptures well, and likes to keep it simple as well. We had dinner, Elder Benson included, at Br. Frantz’s house before some home teaching. We were all starving and ate his food up 🙂 Br. Frantz also talked about his life as an electrical engineer, and we got to meet his wife, who isn’t a member. That night, we had an awesome missionary coordination meeting! We talked about a ward mission plan, a simple one, and the current idea is: Visit every member in the ward in 2018. It sounds simple, but we hope it can branch out and promote a lot of reactivation and further missionary work! We eventually dropped off Elder Benson, but he gave us some tips of organizing our area, focusing on what’s most important, and other cool ideas that I’ve been searching for for a long time. Interestingly enough, Elder Benson wasn’t supposed to come down to Southington until the day after transfers because of road conditions, but he got to ride down with us, which provided a cool opportunity to 1) talk about those tips and 2) talk about Lynnfield, where we both served. It was a real tender mercy.
Thursday was Tania’s baptism! With all of the craziness surrounding her baptism and interview process, her baptism had a lot more meaning behind it. We were all happy with her, and a lot of the ward was able to come too. She asked Elder Tirado to give a talk on Baptism and a member named Brother Castro to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. Elder Bushman, Smith, and Tirado sang,”I Feel My Savior’s Love” and I played it. Before the baptism, the Spanish Elders filled up the font with plenty of time. We were a little worried that the water might be a little too warm, so we turned the cold water on, and the water came streaming out. The plan was to let it run, sing the song once, and then come and shut it off. When we left for a dinner and the Spanish Elders went downstairs to the font, the water was brown! All of the sediments had come from the pipes or the water heater and it had turned the water completely brown! They worked for the next hour to make it less brown, and in the end, Tania really wanted to be baptized, so she didn’t mind. Woosh! It’ll be a baptism to never forget!
Friday I had a chiropractor appointment again in Bristol, and he made my back feel so good! I’m grateful for people who are specialized in what they do. He really has done wonders. Friday night, we went to see Clif. We met Clif at Target about a week ago. We felt prompted to talk to another guy in that parking lot, but he left and Clif appeared. We talked to him (Which was the same night we talked to Phil, who was the crazy guy who gave us the big Bible) and had a funny conversation about his life. The Spirit prompted us to give him a pamphlet, and so we did and included a mormon.org card with a phone number. Now, looking back, it was the Spanish Elder’s phone number and he called them right after church last week, but we were standing right there, and appointment was set up for Friday. Now back to the present, we went in to teach Clif, did some How To Begin Teaching, he told us almost his whole life story, and we explained the Restoration. Elder Smith was bold in speaking, which helped us teach more effectively and help Clif understand the message. We got to the end of the lesson and asked him if he wanted to come to church, and he replied that he would really like that! The next day, a ride was set up, and he was ready to go for Sunday!
Saturday night, we saw Brother Page! Brother Page had both legs amputated, but that doesn’t keep him down. He is a very brilliant and knowledgeable man and uses every opportunity to teach the gospel. We helped him clean out some old food storage and bring his tools upstairs to sort through. Afterwards, we had a delicious feast of wings, ribs, coleslaw (With Litehouse Coleslaw sauce), and mashed potatoes with banana splits for dessert. It was so delicious and we were more than grateful for the food. Our dinner conversation focused on being a Celestial, Terrestrial, or Telestial missionary, home teacher, or even individual. A Telestial missionary comes out on a mission and is there for the cool stuff. The new places, having fun, not focused on the work and is very self centered throughout the entire experience. A Terrestrial missionary is one who loves the spiritual experiences, but is still selfish. It is a hard place to be because the heart is split between comfort and the joy from working hard. A Celestial missionary is one who has completely lost himself in the service of God and will do anything in order for someone else to receive the gospel and it’s blessings. They are truly happy. That is the goal, to be a Celestial missionary, home teacher, or even individual. It’s hard, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is here to help us become Celestial people. In fact, in order to live in the highest degree of glory with our Heavenly Father, we need to become like Him. As we become like Him, we lose our selves. It’s amazing!
Sunday was awesome. We had ward council, which was almost all focused on missionary work, and then Br. Frantz gave Clif a ride to church! Clif is our first investigator in almost two months to come to church! We were so excited to see him, and so was the ward. They all came up to meet him and he had a fantastic first experience! Sister Sam-Dadzie, who is from Ghana, gave a talk on her conversion story and how she found the church. She wasn’t able to give a talk a while ago, so I filled in for her, but this week, Clif, Ashley (The Spanish Elder’s investigator), and guy named Patrick were all in the English sacrament meeting. It was amazing. Sister Vogel also gave a talk on Family Mission Plans and President Uchtdorf’s talk, “Lift Where You Stand”. It was super cool and she reminded us that we don’t have to be more of something to be used in the Lord’s hands. We were also able to hold Gospel Principles and me and Br. Pettway, the Elder’s Quorum President, taught the lesson about the Restoration. Patrick, Clif and Ashley were all there too! It was a great day to end a crazy week.
I learned a lot of things this week:
- Keep it Simple and Don’t Over Think
- Following promptings is hard, but it pays off
- Look back on past notes and journals
- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not
I love you all!! Keep it going, keep it simple, and keep it fun. Love you!!