February 26, 2018
Hey Everyone! This week has been great and we have seen some big and small miracles. We had a Technology Training this week, Exchanges with the Spanish Elders with some big miracles, and T-Texts! Stay Tuned!
On Monday, the Boston Temple hosted endowment sessions for half of the mission and a Recent Convert Temple day for the whole mission! Our zone was able to participate in the endowment sessions, and Sergio told us that he was going to go to the Recent Convert Temple day, because he can. 🙂 We rode up with him and the Spanish Elders, but sadly, there wasn’t enough time for us to do names with him in the baptistry before our session…That was ok though, because Elder Greding, who is in the Springfield Stake, was there and could do the baptisms with Sergio. Elder Greding, Eldre Duvalois and Sergio had a great time and then went out to eat while they were waiting for us. Suffice it to say, they had a great time! The Session was amazing, it is always a blessing to be able to attend the temple and to remember the promises that you have made. That is what stood out this time: Our Covenants. We make simple but powerful two-way promises with Heavenly Father. Through living the gospel and obedience to His commandments, we are blessed with protection, spiritual safety, and eventually, eternal life. Life often clouds our view, but through an eternal perspective, our covenants provide us with the protection that we need to life a wonderful and God filled life. Take the time to go and experience the peace and answers you need, in the temple.
On Wednesday, we dropped an investigator. He hasn’t been progressing, so it just isn’t time. We are still going to invite him to come to church, but our time as missionaries is short and our job is to be harvesters, to find those who are ready to be baptized. Our time is short!
Thursday was so much fun! We had a technology training in Groton with half of the mission! We watched some training videos that were recorded in the Arizona Gilbert Mission with Elder Bednar and Brent H. Nielson, Head of the Missionary Department. They said that the purpose of technology for missionaries is 1)To help missionaries form healthy technology habits that will bless their lives and 2) To help missionaries be more effective in their work. Elder Bednar said that we need to unlearn the habits that we had at home and relearn how to use technology for its intended purpose: to spread the gospel. Wow! That was amazing to hear. The Lord helped create and make this invention accessible to us so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ could move forward to every nation, kindred, tongue and people! We will have some more training, as well as online training, to help us learn how to use it properly. We learned more of the extremes of proper usage and improper usage through the trainings with Elder Bednar and really started to understand the checks and balances that we will have. Our agency is the most important tool in righteous technology habits, but we also have safeguards and plans for when we feel vulnerable. We’ll be able to have our area books, Facebook Messenger (for teaching online and through video chatting), the Gospel Library and some more all on the phones. It is going to amazing to see how much this helps to hasten our work! At the training, I also saw Elder McIntyre and Elder Merrill!! It was so good to see both of them, and they are both doing well. Also, except for Elders, Carter, Black, Melendez and Peterson (who all went home), our entire district from Lynnfield was there! Elders Rockhill, Zeller, Merrill, Benson, Bezerra (he was an honorary member) and Sisters McCune and Munoz. We had such a good time catching up and reconnecting.
Friday was Sister McVey’s last District Meeting ever! She is from Surprise, AZ and is going home on Friday. She gave the training and discussed the process of repentance. She had us close our eyes and read D&C 19:15-18:
15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—
What are your thoughts as you read this? How do you feel? I feel like repentance isn’t a scary thing anymore, it is relying on Jesus Christ and living like he did. He has already felt and taken upon him the consequences and pain of our sins, and so why not turn to him? There is more than just turning though, we have to continue on the path that he has set for us, which leads to the temple. You can find out more about it at mormon.org. I know that Jesus Christ has His arms outstretched for us and wants us to come back! It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.
After District Meeting, Transfer Texts came! Elder Tirado is being transferred to the Quaker Hill Spanish Branch near New London, but the rest of us are staying. Elder Tirado is an amazing missionary with such a love for the people. He literally loves everyone! We will definitely miss him, but we are excited that he will be able to bless the people in the New London Stake. Also, Elder Bushman and Sister Esplin are BOTH training, so we will have two new missionaries in our District! We are expecting to become much better missionaries this transfer and to see some mighty miracles! We are excited for their energy coming right from the MTC!
Right after District Meeting, Elder Bushman and I went on exchanges in the English Program! For lunch, we made the famous, and infamous, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bacon Cheeseburgers! We have a grill outside, so Elder Bushman cooked them, and they were delicious! Yum! The most interesting part of our evening started on a stop by. The Less Active we went to see wasn’t feeling well, so Elder Bushman said,”Let’s knock that house, since the light is on”. It was getting a little late, but we knocked a young woman came to the door. I started in English, but she looked confused…I asked if she spoke English, she said not really, so Elder Bushman started in Spanish, and she perked up immediately! She ended up being really interested, and it was a miracle that Elder Bushman was there! We stopped by one more person, but they weren’t home. The person next door answered though, and he was interested. We knocked some more buildings just up the street, and they were all interested too! Just before we got in the car, we knocked another house, and they had just gotten back from New York, but said to stop by another day, and the man next door had just gotten back from his father’s funeral. He let us in and talked to us for a few minutes. He didn’t look too shaken, but he definitely listened to the words we taught. It was amazing and it wouldn’t have happened unless we had knocked a few more doors. On our way out, there was a family right there, but we were late!! We still went, offered help with lifting a 75 lbs bag of rice, which was a piece of cake for Elder Bushman, and they said that we could come back too! AHH!! We literally couldn’t believe what happened. It was the most productive night I have ever had! God is a god of miracles and He makes it possible for us to see His hand each day!
On Saturday, we did some visits and then some calls in the afternoon. I didn’t expect too much to come from calling these people, since we had called all of them before, but a woman answered the phone and wanted her Bible the NEXT day, so we set something up and made sure to be there.
The next day, Sunday, both Elder Smith and I spoke in Church. He spoke on reading the Book of Mormon and how it builds our faith in Jesus Christ, and I spoke on personal prayer. With Heavenly Father’s help, it all came together. There are three parts to Prayer: 1. Faith, 2. Pray, 3. Act. Basically, we need to have faith before anything can happen, we are required to ask for the blessings before Heavenly Father will give them to us, and then we need to ACT or our faith is vain. I shared a couple of scriptures about each and then shared some mission experiences that showed how each actually work. The “84 new investigator week” in Hartford was the example for “Faith”, when Edet prayed to know when he should be baptized for “Pray”, and learning how to talk to people over the course of the mission for “Act” (The more you act, the more things happen). It went pretty smoothly. When we work with God, everything is possible! Matt came to church this week, so we were really excited that he made it! After church, we stopped by the lady who wanted her Bible. She is in a rehab center for an operation or something of the sorts, but she had a lot of questions. I mean a lot! She wanted to know where we stood on every point and even what we believed in relation to the Plan of Salvation. She had not heard some of the things we taught her, but she received the Book of Mormon and we’ll see her again this week. She also has a friend who is interested in receiving a Bible, so we’ll see her this week too.
We’ve been seeing some amazingly small but powerful miracles in the past weeks. I know that through faith, even painful faith, we can be able to receive the blessings of Heaven. Heaven is closer than you think, and so is God. He knows you better than you think. Pay attention to the small tests that he gives you, and then prove yourself. It is SO hard sometimes, but it is so rewarding. I love you all. Keep enduring to the end. It’s hard, but it is so rewarding.