June 4, 2018
Wednesday-Hannah, no mutual
Thursday-Lunch with Sergio, Move……
Friday-DM and Party, Yurie, Edwin cool stuff, Malaki, Chris, Tracting
Saturday-Don Mueller, Helping Ron, Bottles
Sunday-Garden Party, Greco’s, Youth Devotional
Monday-46.15 from Bottles, Cans and Glass
It has been another kind of slow week, but we’ve definitely had some out of the ordinary experiences this week as well! Life is good in Connecticut and we are keeping it real and staying out of the trunky (want-to-pack-up-your-trunks-and-fly-home feeling) zone 🙂
The Important Stuff:
Hannah is doing well. She is making some good friends in the ward and they are very supportive. She is planning on getting baptized next week and will be interviewed this week and everyone is willing to help with preparations for her baptism! The RS President is helping with refreshments, the program is already set, it will be very good, so we are excited. She is focusing on making the gospel real in her life, and is seeing good changes that make her happy. It isn’t easy, but she likes coming to church, interacting with everyone, and feeling the Holy Ghost. It is great since she lives with a family in the ward, and they can help and support her during this change, especially since college is coming up soon and she’ll be off there on another adventure. She was also able to watch the devotional with President and Sister Nelson last night and she really enjoyed it! She has shown a good desire to continue, so we are excited to watch how these next few weeks go by.
We stopped by one of our investigators (Edwin) that we haven’t been able to meet with recently, and he wasn’t home. We had set up the day to stop by a lot of people, so we were on a tight schedule. As we were walking to the car, I felt like we should go knock on some doors across the street. It was a quick thought and we were in a rush, so I brushed it off. Elder Benson started entering a record while we sat in the car, and so it gave me some time to think. I decided it would probably be best to do it anyway, since it felt like we could find a good investigator if we did so. We went to knock on the first door, and no one answered. Knocked again, and no one answered. We look back and another one of our investigators, Corey, pulled into his driveway. We had actually just tried to stop by, but he wasn’t home. We went over and had a great conversation and set something up for the next day. It was definitely a tender mercy and showed that God is in charge and it is His schedule that we should follow. His work, His way, His timing 🙂
Later, we stopped by a Media Referral and he was really interested. It was a great teaching experience as well. Sometimes when we as human’s teach, we like to fulfill our requirements for what they need to know, but it doesn’t always meet their needs. We may teach out all of the points out of the textbook, but if they don’t understand, then it is all for naught. We can be like that sometimes, but this one was different. As we discussed his beliefs in Jesus Christ, he expressed a desire to learn more about the role of Jesus Christ. As we took some time to explain the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he understood our whole message more. Because we must rely on Christ, the prophet’s teachings are those that will draw us to closer to Him, therefore, prophets are SO important! It was an amazing lesson and he really wants to learn more. We are really excited to meet with him again!
We had dinner with the Greco’s last night and had Hummel Hotdogs (The Greatest Hotdogs on the planet) and S’mores. Elder Benson had the lesson and pointed out something really amazing. In Elder Anderson’s recent General Conference talk he remarked,”In 1982, two years before being called as a General Authority, Brother Russell M. Nelson said: “I never ask myself, ‘When does the prophet speak as a prophet and when does he not?’ My interest has been, ‘How can I be more like him?’” And he added, “My [philosophy is to] stop putting question marks behind the prophet’s statements and put exclamation points instead.”16 This is how a humble and spiritual man chose to order his life. Now, 36 years later, he is the Lord’s prophet.”
In President Nelson’s first General Conference talk as a General Authority in April 1984, he said:
‘I have learned not to put question marks but to use exclamation points when calls are issued through inspired channels of priesthood government.”
Elder Benson then invited us to do the same, and it was quite timely.
Last night, President and Sister Nelson hosted a Worldwide Youth Devotional. Recently, the Bishop has asked us to work with the youth so that they can know the missionaries and have a mission in their plans. President and Sister Nelon stressed that the youth today are the elect that God has prepared for this day and age and that we have one common cause for being on the earth now: To Gather Israel. They discussed the Lord’s Youth Battalion and how each one of us can be part of this work. He left 5 commitments with the youth listed here in this picture:
It was as powerful as the Priesthood Session when President Nelson invited us to “Rise Up O Men of God”. The youth were electrified with excitement and drive to keep each commitment with diligence. Many have already started their 7-day Fasts from Social Media. Their faith is so strong! Jay, a youth from the Waterbury Ward, was also there, so we got to see him as well! It was a great night with great promise for the blessings to the youth of the church!
Alright, here are some of the crazy things that happened this week:
-Lunch with Sergio: We met him at a SUPER good restaurant, Nardelli’s (Best Grinders in CT) *By the way, a ‘grinder’ is the fancy term for a ‘sub sandwich’. We talked about his temple endowment coming up and the preparations we will have to make. It is coming up soon, so that is crazy!! We have worked out pretty much everything though, so that is good. We also talked about how he used to go house boating and that it is the most relaxing vacation you can take. Sergio is pretty cool 🙂 We are excited for the 20th (his endowment date) and the temple president has been waiting for him to come for over two months now. Interestingly enough, the temple president came to our ward yesterday. We didn’t get to speak with him, he just came to observe and enjoy, but it was still pretty cool (He likes to do that. It happened in Hartford too). Sergio is also very excited to go and is still a little nervous about everything, but I’m sure he will love it. We are enjoying being pretty close to each other out here. It is the closest area north to New Haven, so just a 30 minute drive 🙂
-Nastiest Move Ever: We got asked to help with a move, which is no big deal. We asked Brother Shean to come with us as well, so he brought his truck and trailer. We pull up, walk inside the house, and it is nasty….there is trash everywhere, the floor is dirty, dishes in the sink, it smells like smoke, and one of the ladies in the house kept saying,”I can’t breathe in here” and then proceeded to go to the other room and smoke a cigarette…We moved the kitchen table, and there was a reddish film on it that got on our hands….Funny enough, I was giving Elder Benson a hard time earlier that day for always carrying Disposable Gloves with him, a habit he picked up as an Explorer at his Police Department back home. As he walked inside and saw how gross it was, he took the gloves and discreetly put them on, and was the only one with gloves at the move. Man…..Elder Benson and another member bring the kitchen table onto the trailer, set it down, and as we are looking at it, a nickle sized cockroach climbs off of the leg. There were at least four on the table, and they must have gotten in his trailer, because we couldn’t find them later…..After bringing a heavy coffee table in, we called off the move. We didn’t want cockroaches in our shoes or clothes, so we brought the furniture to their new apartment and ended up drying out clothes on HIGH heat to make sure there wasn’t any bugs left. At this point, we haven’t seen any, so that is GOOD! It was pretty crazy, but Brother Shean got some bug bombs that we’ll use this week to try to clean it up.
-District Meeting and a Par-tay: District Meeting was focused on how to help our investigators stay active. Three things are essential to continued activity in the church: 1) A Friend 2) A Responsibility 3) Nourishment by the word of God. It was very insightful and I can definitely see that pattern looking back on my mission. All three are crucial and help to lift them! I love patterns, and this is one that works 🙂
We had a birthday party from some things that my mom sent us all the way from AZ, and it was great! We used the fourth floor (the Institute Room) in the New Haven Chapel, cooked some brownies, set up decorations, and when everyone came up, we took our party blowers, stood on either side of the elevator, and they walked through the dangling party streamers while Elder Sandage used his party blower to hum the Fox Theme that comes on before movies. It was pretty funny. We had a good time and then blew up the pinata and everyone got some good candy. Thankfully, we had a baseball bat in our apartment that we used to hit it 🙂 Great times.
-Garden Party: So Ron’s mother had an amazing garden that she took care of and people from around the community would come and enjoy all of the flowers and beauty. She would hold a garden party every year when the flowers were in bloom, and many people would come. She passed away about 13 years ago and Ron has been taking care of the garden ever since. He decided to hold a garden party this year and invited a good number of people to come. We helped him to pot some of his plants a few weeks ago, and recently helped him with last minute preparations. It was held yesterday afternoon, and even though the set up ended up being quite crazy, we had a wonderful time. His brother’s kids and families were there, along with old friends and neighbors. It was so cool to see how we were embraced as friends of Ron instead of “the weird Mormons”. All of the people were so friendly, and one of his friends actually has two children who are members of the church! Ron took time to introduce each person there, and spent a good amount of time talking about his history with “the Mormons” 🙂 We had a great time, and the flowers were beautiful as well.
-Small and Simple Things: SO Elder Benson has decided to get in on recycling bottles, cans, and glass ever since he has been thinking about financial planning. We started with saving our bottles, and the first time we went, it was about $1.35. Not really worth the effort, but kind of fun. As we have been talking to people this week, Heavenly Father must have a sense of humor, because we have compiled so many bags of bottles and cans. The Food pantry let us take their empty waterbottles, we got some at a member’s house, and another member saw that he was collecting them and said,”Oh, I have 8 bags at my house, come and take them away!” This morning, with 5 cents a bottle, our total earnings were $46.15 🙂 I guess that goes to show that through small and simple things, great things are brought to pass!
Well, all jokes aside, I know that the gospel solutions in our lives are the ones that make the difference. Prayer, Scripture Study, Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, etc. General Conference talks are wells of inspiration and provide the nourishment we need. Keep them at the center!! You will see more clearly the path God has prepared for you as you keep these at the center of your life. Do it this week and see the difference. I have experienced it and hope to never falter from these essentials. I know this church is lead by a Prophet of God. I know he receives revelation and is our watchman on the tower. I hope and pray that you will take his words to heart and live them each day, simply because you will be happier. I love you all!!