Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Last Days in Waterford

Conference weekend was probably the best weekend of my mission so far! We watched all 5 sessions at our chapel in Waterford, there was usually about 10 other members at the chapel each session with us. We were pretty pumped to hear all the talks about getting members more involved with missionary work. I dont know if you guys remember the talk given by Elder S. Gifford Nielsen or not, his was the one where he kept saying "Exclamation point!" throughout the talk. Well anyways, he his coming to tour our mission next month and is going to be speaking to all of us missionaries, so that was pretty cool to hear him speak in conference too. Our schedules on Saturday and Sunday went pretty much like this... Eat, Conference, Eat, Conference, Eat.... haha the members were stuffing us full like crazy in between sessions. Our investigator Tom even came to Priesthood session on Saturday and he seemed to really enjoy it, so that was a nice bonus!

Since I found out late Saturday that I was being transferred from Waterford to Waterbury we have just been making the rounds throughout the ward and telling everyone bye. So today I will just be sending lots of pictures of the people that we have been working with and some of the members that have been a huge part of my life for the past 4 months! I have loved every second of my time in Waterford, and the Lord has blessed us with quite a bit of success too. I will miss the area and the people, but the Lord needs me in Waterbury now!

Selfie on the beach, I am looking pretty fresh right?
This is me with Sister Liz Chase, our first baptism in Waterford! We really didn't have to do much for her though, she was beyond ready before we even met her.  She is very strong in the church and she is now the Visiting Teaching Coordinator for the Waterford Ward...and she still studies the Gospel like crazy!  She recently went to the Boston Temple and did baptisms for the dead and had an awesome experience doing temple ordinances for a few of her ancestors.  She was even able to have a young man stand in proxy for her husband and her son who passed away a few years ago.  She is an amazing woman and I am grateful I had an opportunity to be a part of her conversion story.
Just a random picture. The leaves are just starting to change colors. I guess it will still be a week or so until they will be at their brightest and best colors.
 This is the Danforths!!! Ed and Tina, haha. Two of my favorite members of the Waterford Ward.  They were baptized jut over two years ago, so they were in their 80's when they were baptized, its never too late I guess! They are the coolest people ever.  We have gone over there about once a week to do service for them around the house.  Brother Danforth has been battling lung cancer for the past two years.  He got it right after they were baptized, and they didn't think he would live much longer.  But the cancer went into remission and he and his wife were able to go to the temple and be sealed together! But now the cancer is back, and he has had to go through chemo once a week for the past few months.  He is staying strong though and goes through it all with a good attitude and keeps his sense of humor.  His reaction when I told him I was getting transferred was the best!  I told him I was leaving on Thursday, and he slammed his hands down on the table and said "DANG!" (Except he didn't say dang hahaha!)
This is Sister Whitehead! She had been inactive in the church for about 6 years due to work and some other issues.  We stopped by her house a while ago and it happened to be the day she had gotten home from the hospital after having a mini heart attack.  She kind of took that as a wake up call of sorts.  We have met with her and her kids once a week ever since then.  She is now active in the church and has been doing really well. She is one of the strongest ladies I know! She has raised all 4 of her kids on her own living in the projects of New London.  Elder Batts was definitely her favorite because he is the first black missionary that she has ever seen and so she was pretty pumped about that, but her and I were still pretty tight too.
Oh man...the Nehila family haha.  You can tell by this picture how crazy their household is.  The kids sure made it pretty tough to teach the lessons, but we somehow manged to get through it.  Luckily during the time they were investigating the church we had some members that would be willing to come along and play with the kids while we had the lessons.  The Nehila's are still doing awesome! Jason is the Elders Quorum secretary and Sandra is a Ward missionary.  The kids are starting to actually like going to church, and it is amazing how fast they are learning in Primary.  They are still planning on going to the temple and being sealed as soon as they reach the 1 year mark, so that is something we are all looking forward to still.
This is my boy Morgan Gilmour! He is the assistant ward mission leader for our ward, so we have done quite a bit together.  Morgan was baptized into the church about a year and a half ago.  He is an engineer here in New London, but he has decided he wants to be a doctor now so he is applying to med school!  He is also single, so if anyone out there is interested let us know!
This is my main girl Sister Eberly.  She was recently widowed this year when her husband David passed away.  We have tried to stop by at least once a week to just visit with her, share a quick message and then see if she needs any help around the house.  I know how hard it has been for Grandma Janet since Grandpa passed away so I figured it would be good for us to keep an eye out for her.  She is a SUPER smart lady, and has been a member of the church since she was in her early 20's.
Just preaching the good word of God to the homeless people of New London. The lady is actually an active member of our ward in Waterford. She hit some rough times this past month and is now homeless, so we see her as we are walking down the streets occasionally. The guys name is Virgil....and that is all I know about him! He was pretty sweet though.

Here is Savong and Sabrina! I am sure you all remember them, they just got baptized at the end of September.  They are awesome kids, super smart and each have a really strong testimony.  Sovong is going to be getting the Aaronic priesthood here in the next few weeks, so I was pretty bummed I have to miss out on that.  Their grandma is active in the church again so they should keep coming regularly.  I told them I would be checking up with my sources throughout the next few months to make sure they were still going to church.
 And this is Vickie! She was the investigator who we had to hand the teaching over to some other Elders because of boundary issues.  She was baptized at the very end of September.  She can't attend the Waterford Ward because she lives outside the boundaries, but she still comes to our Book of Mormon class each Tuesday night.  She is living proof that member missionary work is effective!  She  would have never known about the Gospel if her friend wouldn't have invited her to church and talked about the Gospel with her.  So ya'll should get to work!
 This is Bishop Hanson.  He is an amazing guy and has sooooo much love for everyone within the ward.  It is crazy how much he loves and cares about each and every person within the Waterford Ward.  This guy can talk your ear off, we have had numerous hour long phone conversations that are usually him talking the entire time, but we still love him!  He is passionate about missionary work and did so much to help us out!
 Here is the Weseman's!!! They are the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life.  We call them Pops and Mom, they call us their sons, and that is just how it goes.  They have fed us at least 3 times a week every single week, usually more though.  Pops goal is to make the Elders gain weight while they are in Waterford, and he did a pretty good job with me...I have gained 15 pounds since I got here, so he is pretty proud of that.  Pops is our Ward Mission Leader, and so we spend A LOT of time together.  Sister Weseman is the Relief Society President of the ward, and she takes really good care of us missionaries too.  You won't meet more generous and giving people than these guys! Love 'em to death.
This is Harriet, but we just call her Triple H (it's a long story).  She is Sister Weseman's mother who lives with them.  She is a devout Catholic of 50 years.  She has read the Book of Mormon and I even got her to come out to our BOM study class one night, but she is pretty firm with her Catholic beliefs, but we still love her haha. I have had a lot of fun teasing her, scaring her and just messing around with know how I am with old people.  She's definitely one of my favorites here in Waterford.

 Brother and Sister Austin.  Sister Austin has been a member for about 7 years, and Brother Austin was just baptized almost a year ago.  Each Sunday she would get up and ask him if he wanted to go to church and each Sunday he would say no, but persistence pays off I guess!  Bro. Austin thinks he is pretty tough as you can see in this picture, but he is just a big softy.  If you can see in the background, we are in front of a store called Cakes and Cones. This place is amazing!!  The Austins take us there every time we are over to their house.  It is an amazing ice cream shop, I will definitely miss this place.  It probably has something to do with the 15 pounds that I have gained.
This is the Bradshaws! Bro. Bradshaw is a member but has been inactive most of his life, and Sister Bradshaw has been a Catholic for her entire life. Their son Darin is an active member of our ward and so we have been trying to work with him to help get his parents out to church more often and get Sis. Bradshaw more interested in the Gospel.  We have tried everything we can to help them come to know the truthfulness of the Gospel, but we weren't able to get it done yet.  They were one family that I really, really wanted to be able to help receive the blessings that the Gospel can bring into their lives.  Can't win them all though I guess.  Hopefully Elder Batts and his new comp. can continue to make progress with them and we will see what happens!

(He forgot to add the picture but I liked the story)

And now I am off to finish packing my bags! Love you all very much.  I will talk to you on  Monday!

1 comment:

  1. You are so funny! I love to read your blog. Keep up the good attitude. Jfillmore