Monday, January 26, 2015

Crazy Juno Weather

Everyone here is going crazy about this winter storm Juno coming our way, it is supposed to hit tonight and go all day until Wednesday morning. They say we might get around 2 feet of snow and it is supposed to be blizzard conditions. So we already know we definitely wont be out and about tomorrow working, it will probably just be a lot of scripture reading and shoveling for a while. We will be fine though so no worries. We have lots of water and Gatorade stored away, and plenty of cereal too so we should be good :) We gotta run to Wal-Mart in a few minutes to load up on some other stuff before it comes, but it should be a pretty wild here for the next few days.

We started teaching a new lady this week, her name is Cindy. Cindy lives in the same apartment complex that a few of our members live in. Cindy grew up in this area but has had a pretty rough life. She was homeless with her toddler son for a few years, and just had a few really tough things happen. She has an eye disease that is slowly taking away her vision, and right now she is pretty much blind but has these huge glasses that she can kinda see through. Anyways, she has gone through a lot of pain and suffering in life. The member of our ward has gotten pretty close to her and Cindy asked why she is so happy, why she loves life so much and the member, Gemma, said that it was the church that made her so happy! So she invited Cindy to learn more about the church and she said yes. We went over on Wednesday and taught her the Restoration, and we are going again tonight to teach the Plan of Salvation. Cindy just really wants to find peace and happiness in life, and we promised her the Gospel can provide that.

Other than Cindy, this week was kinda rough. One of our investigators with baptismal dates is moving to Rhode Island. Another one has not been in contact with us for a week and wont return our calls, and didn't show up to church. Another seems to be doing great but then didn't show up to church. All of that was a little discouraging....but that is life! We aren't too worried though, we always have ups and downs in the work. Some weeks are just super good, other weeks everything seems to go wrong. We just gotta keep working and praying like crazy! Hopefully the snow doesn't slow us down too much. And the Super Bowl as well. People are a little too passionate about their Patriots around here. Sunday might be a little difficult to get appointments, but we will make it work. Gotta go get ready for Juno to come :) Love ya!

Playing pool with Brother Paolini after our lesson.  He is the funniest guy ever, we go there every Thursday for a lesson and a round of pool.  Bro Paolini hasn't been active for quite some time but he has been coming strong this entire year, it has been great to have him back.
Had to show ya my new haircut haha! Just got it this morning!  When Elder Calvert was serving here in Lynnfield he found this nice barbershop pretty close to our apartment.  There is a guy that works there named Raul, he hooks us up with some NICE haircuts.  He is pretty big time haha.  He used to cut a lot of the Celtics players hair, like Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins and Deonte West.  I think he would charge them a lot more than he charges us though!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Great Week In Lynnfield!

Man we had a great week, meeting and teaching lots of new people. We had a lot of things go our way this week and things just seem to be clicking. Right now we have 4 investigators with baptismal dates, which is really exciting to see in the Lynnfield ward. The ward is pumped up and and is helping us out so much with the people that we are teaching. We are also seeing a ton of LA's come back to church. We had 4 at church this past Sunday, it is great to see them making progress back into activity. All 4 of them are working towards getting back to the temple and experiencing the blessings that come from attending it. The temple is the best goal to be working towards, we should all have our sights set on the temple!

Like I said we have 4 baptismal dates right now, 2 of them we picked up this week. One is with a young girl named Lilly! She has been attending church with an active family for the past few years, and is already a part of the ward. None of her family are members of the church, but she just loves coming every Sunday. A little girl in her Primary class is getting baptized on Valentines day, and Lilly expressed a desire to get baptized with her friend! So her family gave permission for her to do it and now we are teaching Lilly the lessons before Valentines day comes. At our lesson this Sunday I asked Lilly why she wants to get baptized and she said, "Because Jesus was baptized and I want to follow Jesus. God wants me to be baptized." Ah man that was awesome to hear! So she will be getting baptized on Valentines day with her friend Tessa.

 We have been working with a less active member of the ward named Linda for the past few weeks, and she finally came back to church last Sunday. As we have been working with Linda, we met her 23 year old daughter named Tiffany, who isn't a member of the church. Linda expressed a desire to get her daughter interested in the Gospel, because she knew how much it would help her at this point in life. So as we were done visiting Linda one night I pulled out a pass along card and wrote a little note on the back to Tiffany and told her to text us because we would love to come over and visit with her sometime. Sure enough the next day Tiffany text us, and we set up a time to go have a discussion. So we met with Tiffany twice this week and it was incredible. As we were teaching the Restoration Tiffany mentioned how she wants a fresh start, a new beginning in life. We promised her the Gospel of Jesus Christ is where she could find that! Sooo many people in life are searching for a purpose in life and have tons of questions and just have no idea where to go. We are so blessed to have the Gospel in our lives. It is awesome how much people embrace the Gospel as they are first learning about it, and Tiffany has done just that. She is reading the Book of Mormon, praying nightly, coming to church and doing all of the right things, and it is just making this huge difference in her life. She is already starting to find that new life that she wanted. Right now Tiffany is working towards the goal of being baptized on February 22, we have lots to do before then but that is Elder Bradley's last Sunday in the mission field so we are hoping and praying it works out!

Patrick is progressing really well, we had an amazing dinner/lesson with him this week. He shared with us his conversion story thus far, and it was incredible. To think that all of this started with a business trip to SLC is mind blowing. As Patrick told his story it was evident to us that God has been working with Patrick in very specific ways to prepare him to find the Gospel. There were so many little things that happened in Patrick's life and in his trip to SLC that it all seems too good be true, but it isn't! Heavenly Father needs Patrick on His team for something down the road.

I told ya about that old guy named Al last week? Yeah we went and did some service for him this week, we worked in his yard for like 2 hours raking up all this dead stuff. Pine needles, leaves, branches, etc. He really appreciated our help. We went inside afterwards and were gonna try and have a lesson with him but it just didn't work out. It seemed like he just couldn't quite grasp the concept that we wanted to teach him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There were some moments of major confusion. He is 89 years old, so that explains a lot. But he is a super nice guy and lives alone so we will go back and help him again soon. Hopefully we will be able to get a lesson in there. He did tour us around his basement apartment, just in case we wanted to rent it haha.

The work is great in Lynnfield and in the MBM. Great things are happening, it is fun to be a part of it all. I hope you all have a great week, Love ya! Byeeeee!
Just enjoying the game from our luxury suite.  JK the game didn't start until six, and pday was over by then haha.  But it was nice day dreaming for a minute.
 Touring the TD Garden!
 Retro Boston sports gear!
 Eldah Towah was my companion for a few hours Sunday.  He is quite the guy.
 New Englanders are crazy about their Patriots.  An investigator asked us to pray over his Patriots coat for good luck before they played their game on Sunday.  We told him that probably wouldn't be a good thing to do, so then he resorted to us holding it and hoping our good luck would rub off haha.
 My man Zdeno Charra.
 Once again, the one and only Zdeno Charra.  My favorite Bruins player haha.  If you don't know who he is, you should look him up!  He is a giant.  He is pretty good at hockey too I guess.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Another 6 Weeks in Lynnfield!

Transfers came in Saturday night and I am staying here in Lynnfield with Elder Bradley!!! Elder Bradley will be heading home in 6 weeks so I get to send him home with a bang hopefully. That means I will be in Lynnfield for a while longer, which I am pretty excited about. I love this place, it is super nice and the ward is great. The work is really starting to pick up here as well, which is pretty exciting.

On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Cambridge Portuguese Elders. I stayed in Lynnfield and Elder Araujo came here with me. We had an awesome day out working together and talking with each other. We stopped at an address that we received as a Media Referral, a woman named Pamela had ordered a Bible from mormon.org. We delivered the Bible and threw in a free Book of Mormon while we were at it, and we actually had a really cool conversation with this lady at her doorstep. She is very active in a Pentacostal church, but she was very open to hearing what we had to say. We shared a very brief message of the Restoration with her and then we all shared our testimonies of the Savior, she was very appreciative of our message. She agreed to have us come back over to share more of our beliefs with her, and so we will be going there on Tuesday!

We had another awesome lesson with Patrick this week and he is doing super well. We taught the Plan of Salvation and he was soaking it up and asking really good questions. I love how the Plan of Salvation just seems to always answer questions that people have had for their entire lives. We are really blessed to know our purpose here in life and where we are going afterwards, I think we often take it for granted. Anyways, the lesson went reaal nice and we invited Patrick to be baptized on February 22 and he said sure! He came to church this Sunday for the first time and had a great experience, and on Thursday we are having dinner with him at a members home. He is progressing really quickly, things are going great!

Friday we went out with a member to go visit some of his home teaching famlies, and we went to one home where the member had moved. The new lady that lived there was not interested in hearing more about the Gospel, and so we offered service. She said nooo, but then mentioned her neighbor is an older guy and might need some help. So we went over there and we met just the sweetest old guy in the world named Al. This guy is gonna be my new best friend. Most old people out here are just grumpy old New Englanders who don't want to talk to anyone, but Al is just a super nice guy. We offered service, he said he would really appreciate it and then he said he would like to sit down and visit with us sometime as well! So we shoveled his driveway the next morning but he was out and about, so hopefully this week we will be able to go back and visit with Al. I want Al to be baptized haha that would make my life.

This week we had our Mission Leadership Council on Wednesday and then a special Zone Conference on Friday. They were both focused on this new goal we have set as a mission to average 70 baptisms a month over the next 6 months. It is a lofty goal, and so we came together this week to figure out what we need to do as a mission to reach this goal. We came up with a few big things we are going to start doing as a mission. First and foremost is we are going to be striving to be exactly obedient in following the white handbook. President Packard has never really been one to preach obedience to us, he just expects us to be obedient. But now more than ever we need the blessings that come from exact obedience in order to meet this goal. Sooo no more disobedience!

Each missionary is also going to make a personal sacrifice, to show the Lord how badly we want to achieve this goal. We all were asked to figure out what is holding us back the most from being a truly consecrated disciple of Jesus Christ. A lot of us are making pretty big sacrifices and giving up things that we have been holding on to, but we are all in for this goal. I don't know if that really makes sense, it is hard to describe what is happening in our mission right now. It is just something really special that we are a part of here!

I love ya all, have a greeeaat week!

The Brozone at our final zone meeting before transfers.  Our friend Stephen joined us too, he is pretty great!  Our zone is on fire right now, lots of awesome things are happening all over.  We just had 3 baptisms yesterday, and we have 8 more baptismal dates set for the next month or so.  For the Cambridge North zone, that is a pretty big deal!  The Lord is blessing us like crazy!
 Our welcome sign to our brunch Saturday morning....people are just way to nice to us!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baptisms At The Temple

Wow we had a NICE week this week! Lots of good stuff happening here in Lynnfield. On Tuesday we had a temple trip with a few of our Recent Converts from the ward, not all were able to make it but we still had an awesome experience. We went with Frank and then met Andrea there, as well as the other missionaries that have passed through the Lynnfield Ward like Elder Calvert and MacJanet. Andrea asked me to be baptized for her uncle, and it was a pretty cool experience to be able to do that for her! The other missionaries were baptized for her father, grandfather, and grandmother as well! Then I had Frank get baptized for one of my ancestors that I found on familysearch.org a while ago. It was a really special night in the baptistry, it all went really well! Our mission had a goal to get 100 recent converts to the temple to do baptisms for family names in December, and we ended up having 107 go this month which is pretty incredible!

Tuesday we also started teaching a new investigator named Patrick and this guy is incredible! He went on a business trip out to SLC a few months ago and had some extra time and toured around Temple Square. He felt something he has never felt before, and was drawn towards learning more about the church. He has since read the entire Book of Mormon, and is super interested in learning more and investigating the church. He has been studying a lot on his own and he knows quite a bit about the church and its teachings. He understands everything and knows all the facts, now he just needs to dive into the spiritual side of things. We had the first lesson Tuesday and we talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and how we can receive a spiritual witness that is the word of God, and how that witness can be a bedrock to our testimonies. It was a great lesson and he seems super excited to keep learning more. We are super stoked about meeting him and seeing where things go from here.

On New Years Eve we didn't do much at all! We had to be home by 6 PM, sooo yeah. We grabbed some McDonalds and went home. We went and played a little basketball at our apartment complex court, went home and listened to a few talks and went to bed at 1030 like every other night! Haha we are quite the party animals.

On Thursday my man Elder Calvert came to town and came on exchanges with Elder Bradley and me. We had a super solid day and got a lot of work done! We actually picked up a new baptismal date on Thursday. We had an appointment with this less active member who just called us and said he wanted to come back to the church, his name is Joseph. When I talked to him on the phone earlier in the week, he told me he has a girlfriend who is Jehovah Witness and so I asked him to invite her to join us for our lesson on Thursday. We showed up and she was there and we just threw down the Restoration and invited her to be baptized in February if she comes to know these things are true....and she said yes! Her name is Amanda, she has a long ways to go and a lot of things need to happen for her to be ready for this day but she can make it!

Friday and Saturday we hit the road and did some exchanges, I went into the Spanish programs for two days. Friday I went to the Lynn Spanish Branch and then Saturday the Revere 1 Spanish Ward. I don't think I was much help because in most of the lessons I just sat there and smiled and nodded my head. Two years of high school spanish doesn't go too far in the real world haha but I am able to at least follow along and know what they are talking about...kind of. I had a lot of fun though, Spanish people are just so loving and friendly to us missionaries, it is great! It was pretty darn cold walking through the streets of East Boston and Chelsea on Saturday, but we survived! So yeah, it was a nice week! I love ya all! Byeee

Temple trip with Andrea.  The Cambridge Sisters, Andrea, and Elder MacJanet and Me.
Our boy Frankie at the temple.
 Boston Temple.
Glamour shot!
 Boston
 Me and Elder Treseder....it was freeeezing!