Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas From Waterbury

Tuesday morning we had to get up wayyy to early, around 4 o clock, to make it to our Mission Christmas Conference/party in Boston. We started off the morning by all going to the Boston temple and doing a session. That was my second time in the temple here, but it had been a while! The temple is definitely the place to be, that peaceful feeling you get inside there can't be found anywhere else in the world! After our session we had a few hours to kill while the other groups of missionaries went through and did their sessions, so we went into Boston to grab a quick lunch. Our Christmas Conference took up the rest of the day after that. First we had a musical devotional which was reaaally good, there are some talented people in our mission! After the devotional we had a nice ham dinner, and then partied the rest of the night. Well partied as much as missionaries can at least. Each zone had filmed a 5 minute funny film this month, and so we all got to watch each others film. There were some pretty good laughs, I will see if I can get our zones video to send to you all. We did a Hunger Games re-enactment, it was pretty sweet. We got out of the Christmas Party at about 8 o clock, and there was about 8 inches of snow on the ground and it was still coming down hard! President and Sister Packard decided pretty quickly that they didn't want us making the drive back home that night, so they made arrangements for all of us to stay somewhere in the Boston area. Our zone ended up all staying at the mission home, so it was a pretty wild night. There was about 30 missionaries and the Packard family all chilling at the Mission Home that night. It took us like an hour and a half to make the 20 minute drive to the mission home after the party. The freeways were just at like a complete standstill, thank goodness we didn't have to make the trek home that night.

The work is still going well, the past few weeks we have had some major struggles getting our investigators to come out to church. With the snow storms and then the holiday approaching everyone seems to be "too busy". It really is pretty frustrating, so we will probably be having to push back a few of the baptismal dates that we have to try and get them to come out to church a little bit more before they are baptized. We did pick up three new investigators this week, so we were pumped about that. One is a kid named Brandon, he is 14 and is the brother of another of our investigators, Michaela, who is getting baptized pretty soon. We were teaching Michaela and he came walking in, he just barely moved back to live with his Mom and Michaela, and so I invited him to join our lesson and he said sure! The other two are a couple named James and Miriam, we met them at our service we do each Tuesday. Miriam is SUPER interested, she was just soaking everything up that we were teaching during our first lesson on Saturday. James is a little more hesitant and is going to take a lot more work than Miriam, but he is still a sweet guy and really knows his stuff. He has studied out of the Bible a ton, so now we just have to get him to start studying out of the Book of Mormon also!

We had one of the best baptisms I have ever seen in our ward yesterday. There is this family, the Castro family, who are some of the strongest members of the ward. They are a great family that moved here from the Dominican Republic a few years ago. Their entire family are members, except the father was excommunicated quite a while ago. Since they have lived in Waterbury, their father has been completely active in the church and in the Gospel. He is a great part of our ward, and last week he finally got clearance to be rebaptized into the church. His 17 year old son was able to baptize him, and after he came up out of the water they just turned and gave each other a HUGE hug! It was a pretty special moment.

We had our Christmas program at church on Sunday and Bishop asked me to share my testimony of Jesus Christ as part of it. I had been thinking about it all week, and didn't really know what to write about because there is just so much about Him to say. At the center of Jesus Christ life though, and the center of our Gospel, is the Atonement of Jesus Christ and so that is what I talked about mostly. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior this Christmas, we should remember what the point of Jesus Christ's earthly ministry was anyways, and a major part of that is the Atonement that he performed for us. In Helaman 5 there is a verse that says something like "The Lord should surely come to redeem His people, not to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins." I am forever grateful for what Jesus Christ did for me personally, and for all of us. I know what it is like to carry around the feelings of guilt and sorrow from making poor choices in life. However because of the Atonement I also know what it feels like to be freed from those burdens. I have never felt more close to the Savior than when I have been putting the Atonement to the test. The Atonement is real, I know that Jesus Christ suffered for each and every one of our sins, and because of that we can be forgiven! I am definitely grateful that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and my redeemer. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and have a lot fun this Holiday season!

Elder Pulsipher

The Boston Temple
 Merry Christmas from Waterbury!!!! This is our District with our Wal-Mart special Christmas sweaters.
 Just walking out of the Christmas party and we were pretty excited about all the snow on the ground!
Elder Hermosilla and Me
 Elder Hermosilla, Paulsen, Me, and Concha
We rode with the Southington Elders to the party, I was pretty glad I didn't have to drive in that garbage.  Rear wheel drive cars don't do too well haha.  But it is Elder Seaich driving and Elder Greene, then Elder Boone and me in the back.
Traffic was hoooorrrribbbbleeeeee!
Sleeping in the mission home, we were all just scattered throughout the house.  I lucked out and got one of the bunk beds in the basement though.
Merry Christmas!!

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