Monday, December 15, 2014

Full Circle

Well things keep rolling along here.... this week was really good actually! Everyone is super busy getting ready for Christmas and what not, but we managed to stay really busy last week! This week is looking pretty full already as well. We are pretty stoked for Christmas ourselves, we still gotta hunt down a Christmas tree though.

Tuesday was pretty crazy, it was pouring rain the entire day! It was what they call a nore'easter storm around here...not sure what that is supposed to mean but they are usually pretty  nasty! It wasn't quite cold enough for snow, so instead we just got a ton of rain. There were floods all over the place. Luckily for us we were in leadership meetings for practically the entire day. We had to be at the Boston Stake Center by 9 AM and we didn't leave until 8 PM. It was suuuper long, but it was really good! The meetings were primarily for us to sit down and discuss as a mission where we go now. We just had this awesome month of November where all sorts of records were broken, so now what. We set a goal for the month of December to get 100 recent converts to the temple to do baptisms for the dead this month. We aren't here just to baptize people, but we are trying to build the Kingdom of God. So we want to make sure we keep all 100 of these people active, and the very best way to do that is to get them to the temple. So December 27 is our Recent Convert temple day, the temple is going to be packed that day! We also set some goals of what we are going to accomplish from January to July of 2015. President and Sister Packard will go home in July, and we want to make sure these final 6 months are just as special as November was. Our mission is already pretty legit, but I pumped to see what we can accomplish this next little bit.

Wednesday was a super solid day for us, it was one of those days where everything just falls into place perfectly. They don't happen too often, but when they do it is just incredible. We ended up teaching like 8 lessons that day, and we even had two appointments cancel on us. But when one would cancel, another would pop up. It was just an awesome day. We were supposed to have dinner with Bishops family that night, but they had to cancel because of a school concert or something. So we were wondering where to go for about an hour we had free. I remembered this house that we had knocked on the doors of a while back, and the woman and said she would be interested in hearing our message. We had tried visiting again but had no luck, but it had been about 3 weeks since we had last stopped by. We go there, and this woman, Karen, answered the door. She was friendly and all but was saying it wasn't a good time to visit, and to try again another day. We kept talking and she told us that she had just gotten out of the hospital and she was having a horrible day. I quickly told her about the Priesthood and offered her a blessing, and she jumped all over that. She opened the door and brought us into her kitchen and sat down and said "Alright give me this blessing, I need all the help I can get!" So we gave her a blessing and it was a super cool experience. After the blessing she told us about all of the struggles she has been having. She is a single mother raising 3 kids, and she had been in the hospital because of depression. She kept commenting on how much better she felt, and that we brought feelings of peace and calmness into her home right when we entered. She just loved having us there, which was pretty good to hear! We explained to her and her kids what we as missionaries do, and they agreed to meet with us and take the lessons! They seem like they have a ton of potential, and we are stoked to start teaching them!

We also started teaching another family this week. There is a woman in our ward who was baptized a long time ago, when she was like 12 years old. She stopped going to church pretty quickly after joining. She now lives in our ward with her boyfriend Rich who isn't a member, and they  have 4 primary age children. We met them earlier this week and invited them to our ward Christmas party which was on Saturday, and then set up a lesson for Friday. The lesson on Friday went awesome, and we are now going to be going to their house weekly to teach the entire family the discussions. The kids were super stoked about us coming back over, we were like their new best friends. They kept telling me I look like Justin Bieber which was kind of weird, but hey whatever it takes to get the kids on our side. Their mother expressed a desire to get back to the church and to help the kids start gaining their own testimonies of Jesus Christ. The boyrfriend Rich is a super cool guy and has actually met with the missionaries in the past, but it didn't really go anywhere. He was all for us coming back again this week, so yeah things are looking good with them as well!

One last story for this week. Friday was kind of a crappy day, and all of our plans just fell apart. Just one of those days that happen way too often haha. But anyways, we were sitting at our favorite restaurant having dinner (3 Amigos mexican restaurant, remind me to tell you about this place later) and Elder Bradley and I were just talking about our missions and all of our experiences and what not. Elder Bradley was telling me about his time in Norwich CT and then he mentioned this family that he worked with, the McClain family. So let me rewind real quick to right when I started my mission in Waterford CT. My companion and I went to go visit this LA member, but a guy answered and said they had moved and he kinda shut the door in our face. So we went back to our car and started driving away but then this lady came running out of the door and up to our car and was telling us to stop. So we stopped and talked to her, and found out that she was a member of the church and had just moved there with her family and had been wanted to get in touch with the church but couldn't find it. So we talked to her, got her number, and then went on our way. Then for like the next month we were trying to get in contact with this lady, but she just like disappeared. Then I got transferred, and I had always wondered what happened to that lady. To make a long story short, the Waterford Elders finally got in contact with that lady, Mary, and found out that she had moved to Norwich. Then Elder Bradley started meeting with this family, their 10 year old daughter was baptized, and now the whole family is active again. I couldn't believe it when Elder Bradley was telling me about all this. It was soo cool to hear this families story come full circle. So ya never know what will come out the small simple things that happen on a daily basis. A lot of times we never even do find out the results of the people we try and help, but it is always rewarding to hear the occasional story like that!

Love ya all!!!

Riding with Frank to the Christmas party!
Sister Packard is putting together a film for our Christmas party with each missionary holding a sign saying something to the effect of "My mission has changed my..." or "My mission is successful because..." Apparantly this is something a lot of missionaries have been doing all across the world? Not sure, just doing what people ask. Haha.  So here was ours.

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