Wednesday, November 26, 2014

He Is The Gift

On Pday last week our zone met up in Boston at the Masonic Temple, they call it the Grand Lodge, to take a tour. A few weeks ago Elder MacJanet and I received a media referral for a guy named Joe who had gone online and requested a Book of Mormon. We took the Book of Mormon to him and he invited us and we we had a nice chat with Joe. Joe told us that he practically grew up in the church in California, all of his friends were Mormons and so he did a lot with them. He attended church a lot, was the ward organist for a while, went to EFY, went to Palmyra, and all this other stuff, but he never joined the church for a few reasons. Joe also told us that he is a Free Mason, and so we talked quite a bit about that and he invited to give us a tour of the Grand Lodge in Boston, so that is what we did! It was actually pretty dang cool, Joe was our tour guide and he personalized it to us and our beliefs. It is pretty amazing how similar the Masonic rituals are to our temple endowment. It was really interesting to see what they do within their temples and how it compares to ours. Joe was a pro tour guide and even had us sing Called To Serve while he played it on the organ in middle of their temple, so that was pretty sweet. Later in the week Joe called us and told us that he just found out that in the library in Grand Lodge they have a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon, so now we have to go back and check that out! But it was a fun pday for sure!

This has definitely been a month of miracles for our mission as we have been trying to achieve our goal of 70 baptisms for the month. We are now at 62 baptisms so far, so we already broke our record of 59 baptisms!!! This weekend there are a ton more baptisms scheduled, so keep praying for us. We definitely have a lot to be thankful for with Thanksgiving coming up, because Heavenly Father is just pouring out the blessings here to us in the MBM. Great things are happening!

We were able to start teaching that former investigator that called us randomly last week, his name is Geline. He is from Haiti but moved to Mexico City and then moved here, so he has lived all over and speaks like 4 languages. Anyways, we had two lessons with Geline this week and they went really well. At first it seemed like he was just wanting to debate doctrine and trying to find fault in our beliefs, but we brought Brother Stokes from our Bishopric with us and he resolved that really quickly. Members are the best, they help soooo much in lessons it is crazy. A lesson with a member present is like a million times better than one without. Soo yeah everyone should go out with the missionaries and help them teach. But Geline is a great guy and I think he has a ton of potential. We are trying to help him develop a testimony of the Book of Mormon right now, which was a struggle when he was investigating in the past. He agreed to read the account of Christs visit to the Americas in 3 Nephi 11 and he is looking to see if the Book of Mormon helps strengthen his faith in Christ. We are just having to take it step by step, but I know that if he truly reads from the Book of Mormon then it will absolutely help him come closer to Christ and he will be able to see that this truly is a book from God. It will happen. But Geline is awesome and he pretty much wants to meet with us every single day. Once we finish our lesson he always says something like "so tomorrow night I think I am free, let me know if you are coming". He at least enjoys meeting with us, which isn't often the case haha.

We did a lot of work with less active members this week, and it seems like we made some great progress with some of them. One is a man named Brother Paolini, he has been a member of the church for quite a while now. He was born and raised in East Boston, so he has a pretty Boston accent. A lot of people around here have the accent, that was something I didn't hear a lot of down in Connecticut, but I like it! We try and be cool and talk in our Boston accents but ours are pretty week. But yeah we had a nice visit with Bro. Paolini this week and discussed the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can use it in our lives to help us become better. We led the discussion towards the Sacrament, and how partaking of the Sacrament weekly allows us to fully receive the blessings of the Atonement in our lives. So we invited Bro Paolini to come to church and partake of the Sacrament, and sure enough on Sunday morning he was there sitting next to us at church. I really feel like all he needed to get him there was a simple invitation. The least we can do is simply invite people, and a lot of times they will accept the invitation. It really isn't too hard. Of course we invited a lot of other people to church this week who didn't show up, but even if ya only get one of them it is still all worth it.

We had our Stake Reporting meeting early Sunday morning in Cambridge, but we weren't informed about it until Saturday afternoon, a little earlier notice would have been nice. So we had to scramble Saturday in between our appointments to gather the reports that we could give to the Stake President and President Packard for our meeting. We were able to get it all finished up but it made for a late night on Saturday. But the meeting Sunday went great! The Cambridge stake is a pretty tough one in terms of baptizing,it is always the lowest in the mission. The work is hastening here as well, and I don't think this stake is always going to be the lowest, there is a ton of potential here. We spent a portion of the meeting talking about the "He is the Gift" initiative that the church is sponsoring. They made this new Mormon Message that will be released the day after Thanksgiving, and it is called "He is the Gift". The church wants this video to go viral over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. A few days before Christmas the church has bought out all of the advertising spots on youtube to advertise for this short film. They want it to be a big deal, so be sure to share it all over social media once it comes out! But the church produced a ton of pass along cards with a link to this video, and they want all of us missionaries to be handing them out to spread the word. We have a few big boxes full of them, and they are asking each companionship to give out 10 of them a day until Christmas. It is a really good little film, it will be pretty cool to see how this turns out. The church is expecting to get over 220 milion views on youtube for this film, so I guess we can help them make it happen! But first we get to celebrate Thanksgiving! Love you all, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The first gift of Christmas was a simple gift given by a father to all his children, to us. He gave us His son, the Christ. He is the gift. This Christmas season, how will you share the gift?
Us chilling with Frankie! He loves us!
 Inside the Grand Lodge, where the masons do all of their rituals.

 The Zone with our friend Joe, who was our tour guide!

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