My first week in Waterbury has been really busy, but really good. I am starting to get situated in the area and getting a feel for everything that is going on. We have got a ton of work to do, which is exactly what we like haha. A week before I came they taught 4 total lessons throughout the week, and this past week we were able to teach 20 lessons so things are looking up.
Waterbury used to be a pretty happening place, but it has kind of fallen to shambles lately. It was known for being the "Brass City" of the world, and that was what their economy thrived off of. It was a pretty booming city, but ever since the economy tanked it has become a pretty rough place. All of the brass factories are all closed down now, and it is just a pretty ghetto place. So a lot of the people we teach are living in pretty rough situations, and come from pretty rough backgrounds. It makes things interesting for us at least! We actually have a decent amount of investigators right now.
We were teaching a guy named Chris, he is a friend of some members of the ward that we met when we were going to visit the members. He just happened to be there at the time of our lesson and he was interested in learning more! He is a heroin addict and is trying to overcome his addiction, so we were trying to help him with that. Luckily for him he got accepted into a rehab facility in Bridgeport so we won't be teaching him for a while.
We have a first lesson scheduled with a guy named Danny tomorrow morning. He is the husband of a member of the ward. Danny just recently got out of prison and is looking to get more involved with the Gospel to try and get his life back on track. He has been coming to church ever since he got out of prison and seems to be doing really well, we are looking forward to meeting with him tomorrow.
We picked up a new investigator this week, her name is Amie. She was excommunicated from the church quite a while ago, not sure why but that doesn't really matter anyways. The Elders had been meeting with her for quite a while here, just talking about the Gospel really, but now she has expressed pretty serious interest in joining the church again. She realizes she has made some huge mistakes in life and she now knows how important the Gospel is and the commitment that it takes to live it each and every day. She has definitely come to realize the power of the Atonement in her life, and it has been pretty cool to see that. She is facing some legal issues from the past so we kind of have to wait and see what happens with that. (Like I said, this is a pretty rough area haha).
We did have a pretty cool experience with this guy named Gene. He is like 65 years old and has stage 4 cancer, and he has been meeting with the Elders here for about 6 months now. He believes in the Book of Mormon, believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet but just wasn't willing to take that leap of faith. They had extended 3 different baptismal dates in the past, but he had declined all of them. During our first appointment with him he got up to go to the bathroom and while he was gone I leaned over and told Elder Boone I was going to throw out a baptismal date for this guy. We had been talking about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life, and I was just like "Gene this tree is what we are all trying to get to. We all want to get on that straight and narrow path that leads to the tree, but the only way to start down the path is to take the first step and be baptized. So will you be baptized on Dec 1?" He didn't even hesitate and was like "Of course!" Haha it was pretty sweet.
Then just yesterday we were over there teaching him the Word of Wisdom and we got to the part about coffee and he was like "Oh boy..." Apparently he is a big time coffee drinker. We went through and explained why we have the Word of Wisdom and talked about the blessings that come from living it in our lives. Then right in the middle of when I was talking Gene gets up and walks into the kitchen, unplugs his coffee maker and hands it to us and says "There is a dumpster outside and to the right. Throw this away in there when you leave." We were pretty stoked about that! You only dream about that kind of thing happening.
We do have a few more investigators but I will have to tell you about them next week. Saturday the youth from the ward had a temple trip and we were able to go up with them and help out with the ordinances. Then Elder Boone and I were even able to go through and do an Endowment session. It was my first time being able to go through the Boston Temple. It was great to be able to go to the House of the Lord and feel the peace that the temple brings into our lives. I forgot to take my camera up with us so I didn't get any pictures. Sorry!
The Bradshaw's from Waterford. (The picture that I forgot to include last time!)