Monday, November 25, 2013

A Great "Bump" Week!

Hellllllo! We have had a few really good days since I talked to you all on Wednesday. We haven't had another lesson with the Schriver family yet, so still no answer for their baptismal invite. We are pretty sure that the mom isn't quite ready to accept the invitation, but you never know! Their oldest son Mike is going to be baptized this Sunday, so we are still pretty excited about that. So on Friday we had to go to one of the Spanish Elder's investigators home to do a baptismal interview. While Elder Boone was doing the interview, I was sitting out on the couch just kind of waiting around. Then the investigators 10 year old daughter, who speaks English and not Spanish, came out and sat on the couch and was watching tv. I started talking to her and asked her if she was getting baptized too, and she was like "noooo?" And looked at me pretty weird haha. So I asked her why not, and she just said "Well I don't really know". So to make a long story short, I started teaching her right then and there and at the end of the lesson she agreed to be baptized on December 29! Her name is Michaela, and she has been coming to church with her mom since her mom began investigating the church. Throughout the lesson she kept asking me to teach her more and tell her more, she was loving it! When I taught her about the Holy Ghost she said "Wow...I want the Holy Ghost!!!" Haha it was pretty cool. Then every time we have seen her since she has asked us if we can teach her right then and there, she just wants to learn more about Jesus every chance she can get.

On Tuesdays we go to St. Johns in downtown Waterbury and serve food at a soup kitchen. When I was taking some food to this guy, another guy stopped me and was like "Heyyy Elder, I heard you guys had a baptism at your church the other day?" It caught me off guard...haha most people around here avoid us, not many people come up and start talking to us about the church. It turns out he is a family friend of the little girl Disney who was baptized last week, and had talked to one of her family members about it. So I sat there and talked to this guy Brian for a while, gave him a Book of Mormon and got his number to set up an appointment for later in the week. We had our first lesson with him yesterday afternoon at the church, and it went sooo well! Right when we sat down he said "Okay so tell me about this young boy Joseph Smith and the vision that he had, I have just got to hear this story." He was pumped to hear it haha. So we teach him the Restoration and talk quite a bit about Joseph Smith and then at the end of the lesson Brian says "I completely believe everything you Elders have taught me today." Pretty sweet right? So we invited him to be baptized on January 12 and he accepted! As I have told you guys, we don't do a lot of personal contacting in this mission, and work a lot with the members instead. But this week I really saw the Lord's hand in His work. He placed people in our paths who were ready to hear the Gospel, and I am so grateful we were able to take advantage of the opportunities and share the Gospel with these people.

I forgot to tell you in the last email about the Zone Conference we had last week. Elder Gifford Nielsen of the Seventy came and spoke to us and it was amazing! Definitely gave me the spiritual recharge that I needed. I was able to see all of the other Elders from my last district too, and talked to Elder Batts about the Waterford ward for a while. It sounds like they are all doing great still. I don't know if you all remember me telling you about Tom, he was the investigator we got a few weeks before I was transferred out of Waterford? Well anyways, he is going to be flying back to Seattle this weekend and is going to be baptized by his friend that introduced him to the Gospel. I was stoked when I heard about that. And Sovong was supposed to get the Priesthood this past week, the Nehila's sound like they are doing well too.

Just so you all know, we will definitely be well taken care of this Thanksgiving. We have 4 houses lined up that we are going to eat at. So we have 1 lunch, 2 dinners and then a dessert visit to end the night...and we even had a few more people invite us over that we had to turn down. So you can all stop worrying about me for the Holidays, I will be well fed and taken care of this Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving yourself, remember to be truly grateful for what our Heavenly Father has blessed us with. I know I take for granted the many things I have been given in this life. Love you all, take care!

We hit up the mall a few weeks ago and did some shopping. We thought we were looking pretty fresh...

This is where the fun happens on P-days and if we ever have a minute to spare. We have had some pretty intense Foosball games lately, the Spanish Elders have been kicking our butts though. Their soccer skills must help them out with Foosball too or something.
So it is tradition to burn a tie at your 6 month mark, a shirt at the year mark, slacks at 18 months and a whole suit at the end of your mission. Not sure if I will follow through on all of the rest but I decided I would do this one. My 6 month mark was on Friday, so that night I burnt a tie to celebrate an amazing 6 months!

**A few months ago I sent Elder Pulsipher an 'ugly' tie package.  I was teasing Elder Pulsipher and replied, "I sure hope that is not one of the 'ugly' ties I sent you!"  He laughed and said, "You caught me! I hope you don't mind!"  I really didn't. I was actually glad it was an ugly, dollar tie instead of his fancy nice ones.  Haha!  I had been struggling trying to think of what to send him for 'bump' day and never got a great package put together.  So I was so excited to know that he had something to celebrate his 'bump' day mark! Happy 6 months Elder Pulsipher!!! We love you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Transfer Week

Hellooo everyone! We survived transfer texts on Saturday, both Elder Boone and I will be staying in Waterbury together for another 6 weeks. Elder Boone has been in Waterbury for about 6 months now, so this may be his last transfer here. You  never know though! Our roommate Elder Martinez got transferred after only being here for 6 weeks. There is a missionary who has only been out for 12 weeks coming to replace him, so now I finally won't be the newest missionary in the district.

This week was the primary program for our ward, and it was definitely a good one. You can always count on those for some pretty good entertainment. Anyways, we were really excited for it because one of our investigators, Belinda, has a 5 year old son who has been coming to church with her for the past month. So he has been practicing with the primary each week and their whole family was super stoked for this primary program. We thought it was going to be a great experience for their family and help Belinda continue to grow in desire to be baptized. We were wrong though, it ended up causing some big problems. During the program Belinda had her iPad out and was recording her son singing and all that good stuff, but technically no one is allowed to film or take pictures inside the chapel. So a member of the bishopric went up and asked her to stop recording the program, and I guess she got super offended or something. We had no idea that it had happened, but she called us later Sunday evening and told us the whole story. Then she said that because of that incident she no longer wants to meet with us, no longer wants to be a part of our church and called off her baptism. She was supposed to be getting baptized in a few weeks. We were pretty shocked after that phone call. So this week the bishopric was going to try and do some damage control and see if they could repair the relationship with her and change her mind. Hopefully they can get things straightened out.

Last night we had an amazing lesson with the Schriver family, definitely the best lesson of my mission so far. We read Lehi's Dream of the Tree of Life with them, and it is crazy how well it related to them and their familiy. No matter how I describe it, it won't do it justice though haha. It was just one of those lessons that you always wish would happen. It couldn't have gone any better. The Spirit was sooo strong, my hands were shaking, heart was beating and all that jazz, it was pretty sweet. But anyways, at the end of the lesson we invited the rest of their family to be baptized on January 5. The mom's only hold up is her Catholic parents, she doesn't want to hurt them and her relationship with them. So they are all going to pray and ask God if this is what He wants them to do. If it is truly what God wants them to do, then they are going to be baptized. So keep them in your prayers! Pray that they will accept their baptismal dates! Love you all, thanks for all of the letters and emails and packages you all send... I definitely get spoiled. 

This was Saturday night at our T-Text party! Our district and then the Southington Elders too. Back Row is: Elder Boone, Seaich, Martinez, Me
Front Row: Elder Fowler, Hermosilla, Paulson and Butters. If you look at Elder Butters face you can see that he is a little sad that he got transferred haha.
This is us with Disney, she was baptized this Sunday. Out here a lot of families have us go over and teach their 7 or 8 year olds the lessons before they have them baptized. So we get to work a lot with the kids from the ward who get baptized. It is always a lot of fun to go and teach the kids, they always keep it pretty entertaining.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Keep On Pressing On!

This past week was a pretty rough one for us, it seemed like nothing could go our way. We had eleven appointments cancel on us throughout the week, so we had to do a lot of contacting unknown people from the ward directory and some former investigators. It seemed like every appointment we had cancelled on us though.  Some weeks are just like that though, not much that we can do about it. So throughout the week I was getting pretty frustrated, because nothing was working out the way we expected it to. We kept working hard each and every day though, no matter what happened. Then on our very last appointment for the week on Sunday night, I guess the Lord was blessing us for our diligence and for not giving up on the week....or maybe we just got lucky haha. But we had our very first appointment with a guy named Mark. He is the husband to a lady in the ward, and he is a Catholic of course. We were teaching him the Restoration and we decided to watch the movie with him. Well during the movie, right when it was done recounting the First Vision, we look over at Mark and he is crying! So I hurry and got up and paused the movie, and then we bore our testimonies of Joseph Smith and of the Restoration of Christ's church. It was an awesome lesson, and we are planning on extending a baptismal invitation to Mark this week. So even if things are really rough, and nothing is going your way, just keep on pressing on!

We had a pretty crazy experience this week with another new investigator that we picked up. On Wednesday we had our first lesson with a lady named Lisa. She is in her 30's and has two kids and is a single mom. Our lesson on Wednesday went pretty well, and so we set up an appointment to come back on Sunday. On Sunday we show up to our appointment and after like 1 minute of being in her house we realize she is just completely drunk out of her mind. She was GONE! Right when we sat down she came in and started smearing whipped cream all over our faces (not sure why exactly), and was basically throwing herself all over me, so Elder Boone and I look at each other and are like "We gotta get outta here!" So we get up to leave and are walking out the door, and Elder Boone goes out the door first. I am right behind him, but then Lisa grabs my bag and pulls me back in to her house and then shuts the door and locks Elder Boone outside on the porch. So I am stuck in the house with this crazy drunk lady and she won't let me go out, she is standing in front of the door and blocking it. Then she turns to me and says "I want to have another baby...Can we make a baby together?" Haha I about lost it right there. I kept trying to escape from this drunken lady's home, but she just wasn't allowing it. So finally I yell and get her 13 year old son's attention and tell him to come control his mother. He came in and had to restrain her while I opened the door and made my escape. So, our drunk investigator tried to rape me...pretty crazy!

So yesterday I got a phone call from the AP's. They said that they had just gotten out of a meeting with President Packard, and that my name had come up as becoming one of the new digital missionaries. So they were calling to see if it would be something I would be interested in doing.... I have told you all a little bit about the Digital Mission, but I don't know a whole lot about it myself. Basically there are a few missionaries that are on the Digital Mission team, and they run this website that we use to basically go and find people in our area online who are searching the internet for Gospel related topics. So these missionaries are serving online everyday from 10 AM to 4 PM, and then they go out and do normal proselyting. It would be a pretty cool experience, I would be serving right in Boston and would be working with some pretty interesting things online. I just got to Waterbury and am loving it here, and we have a lot of good things happening in the area right now, but I told them I would do whatever President wanted me to do. So I left it up to them to decide. Transfer Texts are coming this Saturday, so I guess we will see what they decide. Hope you all have a great week!

This is our homie Chris! We have been teaching him ever since I got here, he is the friend of some members in the ward. Chris has struggled with drug addictions his entire life, but has been trying lately to get his life in order. He realized that he needed God in his life to ever make it, and that is when he started meeting with us. He has made some HUGE progress so far, and now it is time for him to take the next step! He left this Wednesday for rehab in Bridgeport. So we passed along his information to the Elders there and they are going to keep teaching him.
The James Family! It was sooo nice to see a familiar face all the way out here on the East Coast! They were kind enough to take Elder Boone and I out to lunch at Nardelli's.
This has been our district for the transfer! Friday was our last district meeting of the transfer, because we have Zone Conference this week. Me, Elders Paulson, Fowler, Martinez, Hermosilla, and Boone.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Fun Visit!

Kayd had a fun visit this week!  Scott and Tammy James went to visit their daughter and were pretty close to his area.  So they were able to take Elder Pulsipher and his companion to lunch!  Happy hump day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Baptisms Coming!

Hello everyone!!! We had a really good week here in Waterbury, I am pretty pumped to tell you all about it. We extended three baptismal invites this week...and all 3 accepted! I will tell ya more about that in a second. The middle of this week was full of exchanges. On Wednesday we switched companions with the Spanish Elders that cover the Waterbury ward. I don't know if I told you all yet, but all four of us live together. So we didn't have to go far to make the exchange haha. But Elder Hermosilla came with me and we served in our English area for the day. I don't know if you remember, but Hermosilla was in my district my very first transfer in Waterford, so it is pretty cool to be back with him! He is working on his English, so I let him practice a lot in the lessons. Thursday we went on exchanges with the Southbury Elders who are also in our district. I went up to Southbury and got to see quite a bit of their area. Their area is right by Newtown, CT, where the school shooting took place. We drove through the town and saw the Sandy Hook school, kind of. They have it blocked off still and they are starting to tear it down. The whole town had a pretty eery feeling over it. Then on Friday we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders who serve in Woodbridge, CT. I went to Woodbridge with Elder Carvalho from Brazil. It was a great exchange and I learned a lot from the day we spent together. It is always fun to go on exchanges, to see what other Elder's areas are like and to see what they are doing in their areas to have success.

So I told you guys about the Schriver family last week, well their oldest son, Mike, is going to be baptized on December 1! We sat down and talked to him after church on Sunday and invited him to set a date for his baptism, so that we would have something to work towards. Mike already considers himself Mormon, he already made it Facebook official I guess haha. But he just wanted to read more of the Book of Mormon before he was baptized. So we are going to try and work together so that he has read enough of it before Dec 1 and feels ready to be baptized. So the dad, and one son are already members, and now another one of their sons is getting baptized. We are hoping that Mikes decision to be baptized will be that final little push that his mother and rest of the family needed to make the decision for themselves to be baptized. 

On Monday night a member of our ward called us and you could tell that he was just super excited about something. Well he told us that his daughter was finally ready to take the missionary discussions and learn more about our religion. He had been waiting for this day for 17 years he said. His daughter's name is Belinda, she is married and has a little 5 year old named Jacob. So Belinda and Jacob came to church last week with her parents and she just really liked the church service and her son loved going to primary. She just felt like she was at the right place, and so that was what made her decide to take the missionary lessons. We had our first lesson with her and her husband this week and it went really well. Belinda also committed to be baptized on December 1. Her husband had to leave before the end of the lesson so we weren't able to invite him to be baptized also, but he seemed really interested throughout the lesson and so we are hoping to invite him to baptism also at our next lesson. 

Last week we picked up another new investigator that I forgot to tell you guys about! There is this kid named Matt who is 15, and was adopted by a family in the ward earlier this year. When they first adopted him he didn't want anything to do with the church, but he has slowly came around. He comes to church with them every week and goes to seminary every day, but he didn't want to be a member of it. Anyways, we started teaching him last week and things have gone really well! He is slightly autistic, but he is SUPER smart. This kid knows his scriptures and the Gospel really well. Anyways, he told us he wants to be sealed to his family and so we were like "you need to get baptized in order to be sealed to your family Matt!" And he agreed, so December 29 is the date! He wanted to end the year on a good note, and start 2014 off with a fresh start. 

Everyone keeps asking about Halloween, but we really couldn't do anything haha. We had to be in by 6 PM, unless we were having dinner at a members home. But then after we were done eating we had to go straight home. So we had dinner at a Spanish members home, and then that was it! Apparently they get pretty crazy on Halloween night out here in the ghetto, so Pres. Packard didn't want to take any chances I guess. But it was still a nice night and we had a really good dinner. It is pretty nice having a large Spanish group within our ward. The Spanish women sure know how to cook good food. Speaking of food, I had the most disgusting thing in the world the other day. I really have no idea what it was. We went to give a woman from the ward a blessing, and then after the blessing she offered us a drink, so we said sure! Well her husband is from Ecuador and so they brought up some drink that is popular over there around Halloween. Oh man it was terrible! It had strawberries, prunes and who knows what else in it. But it was warm for some reason and the fruit wasn't even cut up or blended or anything. It was all chunky and oh man, it was bad. She could see that we were struggling to get the chunks down I think so she brought us out some spoons, how nice of her haha. Before my mission I was a pretty picky eater, but I hadn't had any problems eating anything so far on the mission. This was the first thing I have actually had to force down, and man was it terrible. Anyways, hope you all had a Happy Halloween! Have a good week!

Me and the Spanish Elders.
 Me and my main man Ethan. We went to rake up some leaves for a member of our ward who has back problems and his son came out and helped us. Him and his little lawn mower helped out a lot!