Not a whole lot has happened since I talked to you guys on Wednesday, but we did have a really good rest of the week! For P-day on Wednesday we went to the Yale Art Gallery. We were all complaining at first because it didn't really sound like something fun that we wanted to do, but the Sisters from the zone wanted to go so we went...and it was actually pretty cool! They had a ton of really cool art work there. They even had some Picasso pieces and what not. Not that I know a whole lot about art, but it was still pretty neat to see.
This week we were getting everything ready for our baptism that we had yesterday for Paul Canales. Paul is a 15 year old boy that has been coming to church every Sunday since August. He was living with his father in Mexico but his sister and him moved here to live with their grandparents who are members of the church. Paul and his sister started coming with them each week, and has been attending Young Mens on Wednesdays as well. He was pretty much apart of the ward. His sister that he moved here with got baptized in October, but for some reason Paul said he wasn't quite ready yet. He wouldn't really say why he wasn't ready to be baptized, but we weren't going to push him into doing anything. So the missionaries had already taught him everything by the time I got here, and then things just kind of were at a stand still for a while. But then like 2 months ago we started teaching Paul again and he helped me learn a pretty valuable lesson. Teaching Paul I finally realized how important it is for us as missionaries to teach people, not lessons. If we go and teach the same lesson the same way to each individual, we aren't going to be as successful. We have to teach the same information differently to each person based on their own needs and desires. Once we were able to finally figure out what it was that Paul wanted out of the Gospel, we were able to help him see how being baptized would provide him with that. The baptism on Sunday went great, and his Grandpa was able to baptize him. His non member mom was able to come and watch it as well, so it was a pretty neat experience for the whole family and for us to be a part of it.
I had a really nice birthday week, I shared it with Elder Slade because his was on the 25th, so that made it even better. Thank you all so much for all of the cards and gifts you all sent me, it means a lot! But my birthday was just like any other day on the mission, went out and worked pretty much all day. We did all go out to Chilis to eat at the end of our night, gotta thank Roger for that one! One bummer was that I have been sick for pretty much the whole week. There has been some nasty things going around lately, it seems like we have been giving people blessings sooo much. Every house we go to visit at least one person in the home has been sick. And so of course we all got sick as well. Luckily mine hit right before my birthday haha. But I am finally starting to feel better so all is well.
We have been really blessed with a lot of success in Waterbury for the past little bit. We have already had 8 baptisms in our ward this year, which is a ton for a ward in New England. So the Lord has really been hastening his work and blessing us with people to teach and baptize, but now we are really worried about all of these recent converts. We don't want any of them to be someone who gets baptized and then just falls away into inactivity after a while. So we have been putting a lot of our focus on retention this past week and will be doing even more the next few weeks. Brother Alicea just got called as our new Ward Mission Leader, so he is going to be a lot of help with these things we are working on. We have been without a WML for quite a while now, so that has been tough. We are excited to make sure things keep rolling in Waterbury.
Yale Art Gallery
It was Elder Slades birthday on the 25th and then mine on the 29th so we pretty much celebrated together throughout the week! The Reeder's sent a cake mix and so Elder Pennington made it for us on the night of Slades Bday!
The Longo family had the 4 of us over for dinner on Friday night for our bdays. They have a son on a mission right now too. They even bought us a cake and sang to us in Portuguese. They moved here from Brazil a few years ago. Sister Longo didn't want to take a picture with us because she said she had been working and cooking all day and was dirty. But then we convinced her to take the picture anyways!
The cake they bought for us.
And the best birthday gift I could ask for, a baptism! Elder Morgan, Me, Paul, his mom Rosie, and his grandpa Brother Canales.