Monday, February 23, 2015

A Good Week of Service, Interviews and A Mini Missionary!

We had a great week, and we only had about an inch or two or snow this week so it was nice to have a little break from all that! It has been pretty chilly outside but we have been surviving. There has still been tons of service to do, everyone has been shoveling off their roofs lately. Since we had so much snow fall there has been tons of roofs collapsing and leaking and stuff like that. We aren't allowed to get up on the roofs but there are these roof rake things that we have had to use to help a few people out. We went with one of our members and raked off the snow of a woman who uses the Family History Library here, and it was crazy how much snow was on her roof. We had like 3 of her neighbors come up to us and ask if they could hire us to come and do their roof too! Anyways, the work is definitely moving forward here!

Monday night we had a Family Home Evening at the Hahn's house and they invited us and Joe and Frank over to join them. It was awesome, they are one of the coolest families I have ever met. They definitely set an amazing example to all of us on how to put family first. We had a nice dinner together, then a little talent show where the kids played their instruments and stuff like that. They made me play the one and only hymn I know on the piano, it was a little rough haha. Then Joe who is pretty much amazing on the piano played for us all. And then we shared a nice spiritual message on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how through it we can become anything the Lord needs us to. It was a solid night!

Tuesday we went to a "Fat Tuesday" celebration at the Episcopalian church that Joe has been going to the past few years. They had a pancake dinner to kick off the season of Lent. Everyone was super nice to us and was happy to have us there. The pastors came up and welcomed us and everything, it was a pretty sweet night! I learned a lot about Lent and the traditions that come with it.

We had interviews with President Packard this week and they were awesome! Sister Packard came for a little while and brought some flowers for decoration and Panera Bread for us to eat. She thought we needed a little feminine touch to our zone full of Elders and no sisters. While President was interviewing each missionary in our zone Elder Bradley and I had to train the rest of the missionaries, and that went pretty good! We talked a lot about how to get investigators to share the gospel themselves and finding opportunities for our investigators to serve in the church. Those are two things investigators can do to really help them feel integrated and a part of the ward family, we treat them like they are already a member! Interviews were a little different this time. Usually President just sits down with us individually and just talks to us and lets us ask him anything we want. This time he interviewed us as companionship's and talked with us about our finding pools and just gave us tons of advice on how we can more effectively find new investigators. It was really helpful, there were some awesome ideas that I took away from it.

This weekend we had a mini missionary come and join us! His name was Nathan and he was from Nashua New Hampshire. He came Friday night and then left Sunday afternoon. He was an awesome kid and he will make a great missionary in a few years! On Saturday we went and had a lesson with Danielle and her friend Gina. We talked with them about The Gospel of Jesus Christ and really stressed the importance of baptism. Then we had planned for Nathan to invite them to be baptized, and he did an awesome job! He wasn't scared at all so it was pretty cool. He invited Danielle and she said yes for sure. She is gonna be baptized on March 22. Her mom Candida who has been away from the church for a long time is super excited Danielle is being baptized, it is pretty cool to see. Gina is the friend that comes to all of our lessons and comes to church with Danielle each week, and she said she would be baptized too but we need her to talk to her parents first before we set anything up. They both came to church again this week and the Young Women welcomed them right in and did an awesome job at making them feel a part of the ward already. The youth are just the best missionaries ever.

Then Saturday night we went down to Foxboro Mass and Elder Bradley baptized a guy named Ernie that he taught a few months ago. So that was a pretty cool way for Elder Bradley to end his mission. Unfortunately he heads home this week! Friday he flies home, so on Wednesday I will be getting a new companion. His name is Elder Hyer! And our zone had a lot of transfers in it as well, we had quite a few Elders get moved. And our BroZone is no longer a bro zone haha. We had sister missionaries transferred into our zone. It was a good run while it lasted, but we are happy to have sisters back. Love ya all, have a good week!

Our mini missionary Nathan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Buried in Boston!

Wow.....the snow just keeps coming here! Everyone back home is saying it has been like 60 degrees, and it has been the complete opposite out here. We had another huge blizzard Saturday night into Sunday afternoon. It has been sooo crazy, but we just have to deal with it and keep working hard when we can!

Tuesday a missionary in our zone had to go into the hospital and get an emergency surgery to remove his appendix. We went down there to see him and show him a little love! Joe gave us a ride down there, he is a life saver. Elder Anderson is recovering great and should be able to go back out and work this week hopefully!

We spent a ton of time this week going around to each area in our zone and doing some planning/brainstorming with each companionship. We just sat down with them and planned for each of the baptismal dates in the zone and came up with a good game plan of what the missionaries could do to make sure these people actually get baptized! So  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that is what we did for pretty much the whole morning/afternoon. Then we went back to our areas and did some work in our own areas. It was tough to spend so much time outside of our area but that is the life of a zone leader. It is worth it though to be able to see all the missionaries in the zone succeed. I would much rather see them have a ton of success than have it in my own area. So it was good!

Saturday we had the baptism for Lillian, and it was awesome. Lillian was soooo stoked to be getting baptized, it was cool to see her so excited. She got baptized with her friend from the ward, Tessa. Lillian has found a little safe haven with the family that she comes to church with and here in the Lynnfield ward, she just loves it. She doesn't have the best home life with her family and so being in a spirit filled environment is such a relief for her every weekend. And she is a great missionary, we had 13 non members there at the baptismal service, which was pretty awesome to see! We will have a lot of following up to do, hopefully some of them can become new investigators!

Saturday night was Valentines and of course we didn't have anything too special planned. But we ended up having to be home at 6 PM that night because the blizzard was rolling in and started around 7 that night. So we grabbed a quick dinner at 3 Amigos and headed for home. Since we got home so early we went to the gym for a little bit that night. I was super bored, so for some reason I decided to run a half marathon on the treadmill. 13.1 miles later I felt like death haha. Eating a huge mexican dinner and then running that far was not the greatest idea, but hey it wasn't too bad! I was pretty beat, and really sweaty too.

We got hammered with snow Saturday night/Sunday morning and pretty much all of the Wards in our mission had to cancel church. Us missionaries couldn't even leave the apartment for most of the day Sunday. We got over a foot of snow with the storm again, but this time we had hurricane force winds along with it. It was a legit blizzard. Then the temperatures dropped suuuuper low, it was like -25 F. last night. We went out and shoveled a little bit Sunday afternoon, but it was just sooo cold. We shoveled out all of the cars parked in the handicap stalls in our apartment complex and got back in the apartment ASAP.

Today for pday we hit up Boston, Elder Bradley only has one more pday left after this so we weren't gonna let the snow get in our way this week. Joe and Frank took us into the city and showed us around. It is still freezing outside but we survived! It was a lot of fun too! Joe knows the city pretty well so he was our tour guide for the day, it was pretty cool!

That's about it, love ya all. Pray for no more snow in Boston haha I have had enough shoveling for a lifetime! Nah just kidding we like shoveling for people, but these storms are slowing down the work a little bit! We are surviving though! Byeeee!

A tradition in our mission is to go eat dinner at this restaurant called Ninety Nine when you have 99 days left in your mission.  Well...Thursday was my 99.  Crazy to think I only have that many days left out here!
 Joe showed us the oldest bar in the country, nice place haha! It is called the Bell in Hand Tavern I think.

 Well this was the view from our apartment was pretty much a whiteout haha!
 So this is what the sidewalks in Boston look like...there is just waaaay too much snow!
We went to the North End and had some niiice Connolis.
 Elder Anderson in our zone had to have an emergency surgery Tuesday morning to get his appendix out!  So Joe took us down there that night to visit him in the hospital.
 I was a little sweaty Saturday night...
 Lillian's baptism!!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Things are going great in Lynnfield. We are getting hit pretty hard with snow, it doesn't seem to ever stop. We are having a huge storm today, just after we cleaned up from the last big one. It started snowing last night and probably wont stop until early tomorrow morning. We are supposed to get another two feet. We were stuck in the apartment today but Joe came and picked us up and brought us to the church. Thank goodness for Joe haha we would have gone crazy sitting in the apartment for another pday. So I won't have much time to email but I will give ya a quick update on things.

We are having a baptism on Saturday for Lillian, and then another girl from the ward is going to be baptized with her. So we will be having a Valentines day baptism which should be pretty sweet! Lillian is suuuuper stoked to be baptized. She had her interview after church on Sunday and she came out and said "I passed!!!" and gave us all huge high fives. We went over to her house Sunday after church and taught the last lesson and now everything is good to go for Saturday. Her grandma who is not a member is going to be attending the baptism so it will be a great opportunity to try and spark some interest there.

We have been working with a less active woman named Candida quite a bit lately, and she is now active again after a looong, long time of not being associated with the church at all. It is a long story of how we became involved with Candida, I will try and make it short. Like 4 months ago Elder MacJanet and I had like an hour left in our night and had nothing to do so we were just stopping by unknown people in the ward directory. We stopped at this one address and knocked on the door and no one was home so we were walking back. As we were coming down the sidewalk a car pulled up and a woman got out of the car and began talking to us. Her mother lived at the address we were visiting, but her mother was not a member of the church. Candida recognized us as Elders and told us she had been baptized when she was about 20 years old, but had not been active. We spoke with her for a while and she didn't really seem to interested but gave us her phone number and told us we could come and visit sometime. It turns out that Candida had just barely been praying to God that day and asking for some direction in life, and then that night she runs into us after having no contact with the church for quite some time. Her sister who is an active member in Maine told her that was her answer from God, and that she needed to get involved with the church and have the missionaries come to her house. Candida is now active, and we have been teaching her two children who are not members. Her son John is 15 but he is atheist and wants nothing to do with God or with the church really. Her daughter Danielle is very interested and has started coming to church with her mom. Danielle even brought her friend Gina to church last week. So our investigators are doing missionary work which is pretty sweet. So on Saturday we taught Candida, Danielle and Gina the Plan of Salvation. We are hoping Danielle will be able to be baptized pretty soon.

On Wednesday we had our February MLC in Weston, MA. Then on Friday we had to take what we were trained on at MLC and train the rest of our zone at Zone Meeting. Our zone meeting went really well, we had a Valentines day themed meeting. Our zone is only Elders but we had hearts and glitter and pink balloons everywhere to try and get in the spirit of Valentines day. Our zone set monthly goals in February to double our baptisms from 4 to 8 and baptismal dates from 11 to 22, so we are saying we are gonna #doublethelove in the Cambridge North Zone in February. It should be a pretty sweet month, a lot of good things are about to happen here!

Alright gotta go before we get snowed in here at the church. Love ya guys, have a good week!

The Bro Zone at zone meeting!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Juno & Super Bowl Fun!

Ya know, this week was a little rough for missionary work but we still made the best outta it! Monday night the blizzard Juno came rolling into town and that pretty much took care of Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday it was blizzard conditions for the entire day! It snowed and the wind was blowing for over 24 hours straight, it was pretty crazy. All of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island put a driving ban on the streets for most of Tuesday. No one was allowed to be out on the streets, so needless to say we definitely weren't allowed to be out on the roads in our missionary cars. Throughout the storm we received over 30 inches of snow here in the Lynnfield area, it was craaazzy! All day Tuesday we were outside shoveling out our car and all of our neighbors cars. It was still snowing the entire day, but it was a proselyting day so we had to go out and do something worth while haha. It was a good work out at least. It was funny, as we were going around shoveling all of our neighbors cars out, everyone was offering us money left and right. We could have made at least 75 dollars, not too shabby. We politely told them to keep their money though haha and people were shocked. It is too bad that people are soo surprised that someone is helping them out free of charge. Goes to show that maybe we don't serve our neighbors often enough I guess!

Wednesday was clean up day after the storm. Our day was full of shoveling, more shoveling, and then a little more shoveling. No one wanted to learn about Jesus while they had 2 feet of snow in their driveway. But a few people let us share a message after we helped them clear all of the snow away haha. But we spent most of the day shoveling out investigators, members and the elderly. Our backs were a little bit sore afterwards.

So we pretty much had to squeeze all of our lessons for the week into Thursday-Saturday, because Sunday was the Super Bowl and the Patriots were playing. I am pretty sure us missionaries were the only people in all of New England not watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night. As we were driving home we were honestly like the only people out on the roads, it was like a ghost town. We sure did see lots of tvs playing the game as we drove by though haha. But Sunday was an awesome day, and we did get to go to a super bowl party. The Bowen family invited us and a few others from the ward over for a Super Bowl party minus the Super Bowl. We had all of the good food, chips, dips, wings etc minus the football game. So it was a missionary acceptable Super Bowl party. That was awesome and the food was suuuuper good. We left there at about 7...and the rest of the night was a little difficult. No one wanted to meet with us during the game for some reason. But at least the Patriots won, now everyone should be in a good mood this week.

Sunday we also went with Frank to get his patriarchal blessing. It was super good for him and he seemed to be really happy with it. We had promised him that he would get an answer to why he is still here on earth and what God needs him to be doing here, and it definitely answered that question. So hopefully he will have more of a purpose in life now. We had a lesson with Lilly on Sunday as well, right after church. She is doing awesome of course and she is gonna be baptized on Valentines day! With her friend from the ward who is turning 8. That will be a pretty cool Valentines day for sure. 

As ya heard we were hit with another snow storm all day Monday, so we all were stuck in our apartments for all of pday. Elder Bradley and I went to the basketball court at our complex and played basketball with some little kids who were home from school, and that was about it. This storm only brought a foot of more shoveling for us today. Exciting stuff, but we are really looking forward to getting things rolling here again and getting our momentum back. Hopefully the weather allows us to do that!

Just when "Juno" was about to get started.
Wednesday morning after most of the clean up had taken place, over 30 inches in our parking lot!
That is a lot of snow....
Our cars were a little bit buried.  It still snowed almost another foot after this picture!
I look pretty upset to be out there shoveling in the middle of the blizzard but I promise I wasn't!  A little sore....but it was till fun haha.
Walking through the blizzard to get to our gym in the morning.  It was cold...and we couldn't see a thing!
Trip to the temple with Joe!