Monday, July 22, 2013

Transfer Week

On Transfer Weeks we have our p-day on Wednesday, and then they have transfer meeting on Thursday at the Belmont Chapel right near the Boston Temple. So on Wednesday morning Elder Fletcher and I got up early and headed to Boston for his last P-Day on the mission. We met up with some of the Elders that serve in the Boston area and then just spent the whole day out in the city. There is so much to do and see there, but we were able to do quite a bit. We went to Quincy Market and walked through there, walked through downtown Boston for a little while, went through the Boston Commons, went out and saw Fenway Park, and then went to Harvard and walked around the campus there. There was a lot we weren't able to do, but I'm sure I will make it back there again another day. We spent the night in Cambridge with some other Elders, and then all headed to Transfer Meeting on Thursday morning.

At Transfer meeting they have all of the departing missionaries bear their testimony, announce all of the transfers and changes in the mission, and then President Packard and Sister Packard speak. The two that I have been to have been such awesome meetings, I am sure they all are. It is great to hear what all of the missionaries have learned throughout their two years of service. So after Transfer meeting I said goodbye to Elder Fletcher and some of the other Elders that were leaving, and then my new companion, Elder Batts, and I packed up the car and headed back to Waterford, which is about two hours away from Boston. Elder Batts is from Pocatello, Idaho and has been serving for 9 months now. But for some reason, they made me the Designated Driver! So I am now the one driving us around everywhere. I have already learned how to be a much more aggressive driver haha.

Sunday was a day that I won't forget! I was fortunate enough to be able to confirm Sister Liz Chase a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints during Sacrament, and then after church I was able to baptize Jason and Sandra! It was such an amazing day! It was so cool to look up from the baptismal font and see their 4 little boys looking through the window watching their parents get baptized. We are already planning that hopefully 1 year from this week we will be seeing their whole family in the temple being sealed for time and all eternity. I feel so blessed to be a part of this great work taking place throughout the world. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve the Lord. I love this Gospel, and I am so grateful for all of the blessings it has brought to my life so far. I hope you are all striving your best to be member missionaries! Have a good week!
Jason and Sandra Nehila Baptism
 Elder Campos
 Elder Fletcher
 A new friend in Boston!
 Touching John Harvards' golden shoe for good luck!
 Harvard Yard
 Fenway Park

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Liz's Baptism

My first baptism is in the books! Liz was baptized this Sunday, and everything went so well. She has been looking forward to this day for a long time, and she was so glad that it finally happened. It is amazing to see the changes in peoples lives that occur as they progress in the Gospel. It was a perfect day, one that I will definitely never forget. Something that I have been trying to keep in mind is to stay humble. With Liz being baptized this past week, and the Nehilas being baptized this week, we have had quite a bit of success here in Waterford. I have to keep in mind that it isn't us that did all of the work. The Lord has been working on these people throughout their whole lives, and it is amazing to see how the Lord's hand has been in their lives and prepared them to be baptized. I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father trusts us enough to be the missionaries who help them at this important stage of their lives.

We also received some bad news this week. Our investigator Constance is moving away at the end of the month. She has been super interested in learning more about our Church, and things seem to be clicking for her. She has told us many times that she just can't believe how perfect our church is, and it just sounds so right to her. So we will be able to teach her this week, and that will be the last time. Then we will have to turn her over to the Elders in her new area. We are hoping the transition will go smoothly and she will keep progressing!

On Saturday we went to this event called Sailfest. It is a huge celebration here in New London. They have a really cool fireworks show each year where they shoot them off from a barge out on the ocean. Well unfortunately it was a foggy night, and so the fireworks were a little difficult to see but it was still a lot of fun. Saturday night was also T-Text (Transfer Text) night. So each Saturday before transfers the mission sends out a big group of text messages to all of the missionaries in the mission. In the texts they just say which missionaries are being transferred and where they are going. So I found out that I will be staying in Waterford, and my new companion is going to be Elder Batts, but his name is all I know about him. So this Thursday will be transfer meeting where I will meet Elder Batts and get things rolling again here in Waterford. Have a great week!

Last district meeting before transfers.

Liz's Baptism!
Elder Fletcher, Liz, Elder Pulsipher
 Elder Pulsipher's bishop and his motorcycle. He is 68 years old and still rides this motorcycle that goes about 180 miles per hour!  The Elder's thought that was pretty crazy!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Progress & A Fun 4th of July!

So last week we were fortunate enough to pick up three new investigators. One of them is an older lady named Constance. She has been the piano teacher for a family in our ward, the Campbell's, for the past few years, and they have talked about our Church a little bit over the past few years. About a month ago the Campbell's invited her to a Musical Fireside that our Stake was having. She went with them, and loved it! So then a week later they invited her over for dinner and gave her a Book of Mormon, which she accepted. Then the next week when she came to their home for piano lessons, they invited her to meet with the missionaries and so we have been teaching her for the past two weeks! It was the perfect example of how members can be missionaries too. Sometimes all it takes is a simple invitation to a church event or to meet with the missionaries. Constance has a lot of questions about the church that we have been answering, but we are really excited about teaching her more.

The other two new investigators are Sabrina and Savong. Their grandmother and mother is a member of our ward, but they aren't too active in the church. Sabrina is 10 and Savong is 12, but the times that they have came to church with their grandma they have really liked it. Their dad is not a member, and so he hasn't been to willing to give permission for the missionaries to teach them and for them to get baptized. But just a few weeks ago he gave us permission to start teaching them!

Liz' baptism service is this Sunday right after church! She is definitely ready and is so excited for Sunday to come, and so are we. Elder Fletcher will be baptizing her. It will be his last Sunday in the mission, and his first baptism also! So that will be a good way for him to end his mission! The Nehila's are still on track to be baptized on the 21st also. All three of them have progressed so much in the Church in the past month, it is crazy!
For the 4th of July we had a pretty good day! We went to the Groton parade in the morning, it wasn't anything special haha. Since the Navy base is here there was a lot of stuff from them in the parade. But I was surprised to see that even Connecticut has tractors in their parades! I thought for sure that was just a Utah thing. That night the mission president had given us permission to stay out a little later and watch the local firework shows. There really wasn't much going on around here, they did most of their celebrations on the 3rd of July. Our whole district was able to go to the Connecticut Tigers baseball game though, and they had fireworks after. It was a ton of fun and a really good game.

This p-day some members of our ward took our whole district to Six Flags amusement park. It was super hot and humid, but so much fun. The water park rides were awfully tempting, but we weren't allowed to go on those ones haha. The mission work is coming along great, and we are having lots of fun while doing it. Just so you all know, next week is transfer week, so our p-day won't be until Wednesday. Have a good week!
P.S. Our iPhones should be here in the next month or two!!!

Groton Parade

 Back Row: Elders Carlson, Cooney, Pulsipher, Fletcher
Front Row: Elders Hermosilla, Rogers, Campos, Shepherd
 Connecticut Tigers Baseball Game
 L to R: Elder Hermosilla, Shepherd, Pulsipher, Rogers, Cooney, Carlson, Fletcher (my companion), Campos

 Six Flags

Monday, July 1, 2013

Busy In Connecticut

Okay so a lot of people have been asking me questions throughout their letters and emails that I haven't gotten a chance to answer. So here are a few answers to some questions that I have gotten a lot.

-So on P-Days we have a lot of stuff to do in the mornings. We have to get all of our shopping done for the week, clean up the apartment, and all that good stuff. Then we head to the library to email. We usually get done with emails around noon, and then from noon to 6 we can do all sorts of stuff, the main restriction is that we have to stay within our Zone. These past few p-days we have been playing a lot of basketball and soccer with all the other Elders in the district. We also went to the mall a day, went and toured a submarine museum, and went to the beach a day. Our apartment is only 5 minutes from the ocean, so there are quite a few beaches around. I'm not sure what they are named though. These next few p-days we have some really cool stuff planned that I will have to tell you about later!

-Our area here is really big, it includes 11 different cities. So we really don't have to do a whole lot of walking. We have a car, but we have a limit on miles each month and so we have to be really careful and try not to go over our limit. We actually went over our miles limit this past month, and so we are getting bikes now that we can ride around to appointments that are close to our apartment. A lot of people ask about the tracting and going around knocking on doors, but we really don't do a lot of that. We go tracting when there is absolutely nothing else to do, which isn't often. We have actually only went around knocking on doors once so far. We have been super busy working with appointments with members, less actives and our investigators, which is great!

-Sundays are just as busy in the missionary field as everyone says they are. We go to church at 9 AM for meetings and then we are packed with appointments and lessons until 9 PM.  Yesterday during church I gave a talk in sacrament, had to teach the lesson in Gospel Principles, and then also had to teach the lesson in the combined Young Men/Young Women meeting! So yeah Sundays are definitely our busiest day.

This past week has been great though! It has been dang hot and humid. A few days we got into the high 90's, but the humidity is so bad here. We were able to pick up 3 new investigators this week, hopefully I will be able to tell you a little bit more about them as we continue to teach them.

We spent a few days this week going around and contacting a list of unknown people from the ward directory. Just people that no one has seen or heard from within the past few years but their records are still here in our ward. We usually find out that most of them have moved away, but we actually had some really cool experiences doing this.

We went to one guys address that used to live in New London, but when we got there we found out he had moved. We got talking to the guy that lived there now though and found out that he had grown up in the Mormon church and was really active in it until he moved away to college and joined the Navy and then had fallen away. We had a good conversation with him and he said that he had really been wanting to come back to church lately but just didn't know how to go about it. Unfortunately he was in the process of moving when we found him, but he gave us his contact information and asked that we pass it along to the Missionaries in the area that he was moving to. We had a few other really cool experiences along the way but I am short on time today. Hope you all have a great week!

Here are a few pictures from this week. The one is of the Thames River, with the Groton Bridge going across it. We were out along the Thames River for the Submarine tour that we did.

A less active lady in our ward that we have been working with has 6 new puppies this week, so that's what this picture is all about!