Sunday, March 29, 2015

Avon Boys Make A Good Team

This week wasn't too crazy, but the work is definitely moving forward. Our zone is doing really well with the goal we set to find new investigators this month. Right now we have found 50 new investigators, so we still need to find 20 more by the end of the month. It is going to be a lot of work but it is looking pretty exciting. Of course it isn't really about the numbers, but setting goals like this helps motivate us and makes us work a little extra towards something. And with it being a goal that our zone is working on together it has been really unifying and has helped us all grow closer to one another. We are all working towards the same goal together, and we need everyone's contributions. Even if we don't reach 70 this goal has definitely blessed our zone with a lot of very positive things. But I think we will reach it, I hope so at least!

Tuesday was just a normal night, and at the end of the evening we were out making some visits with our ward mission leader. It was almost 9 and we were just heading back to his house so that we could head home. As we are going up the on ramp to the highway we drive by and see this guy just laying on the side of the road having a seizure or something. We quickly pulled over and ran over to the guy, but he was just out cold. I called 911 and then like five minutes later the police and ambulance came to help this guy. A cop was the first one to get there and the first thing he says to the guy was "Sir have you done any heroin tonight?" Of course the guy was out so he didn't respond haha but hopefully the guy ended up alright!

We started teaching another part member family this week. It is a less active family that has two sons who are not baptized and the ward has been trying to work with for years now. We dropped by and visited with them, and they invited us over for dinner on St Patty's day. We had a great time with them and were able to share a message on prayer and invited them to pray together daily as a family. It was pretty awesome, the less active father was there testifying to his children about the power of prayer and shared some amazing personal experiences with his kids. Then at the end of the lesson their son said "I want to be baptized...." Haha it is hard because the kid wants to be baptized but his family doesn't come to church ever so we are doing everything we can to strengthen the entire family and get them more involved so that the father can someday baptize his children.

Wednesday was Franks b-day so we went out to lunch with him to 3 Amigos...that place is the best. Frank is doing great, he is a lot happier now that the snow is melting and it is starting to warm up a bit. He is still doing really well and is looking forward to going to the temple this summer to be sealed to his wife!

There is a less active brother we have been working with named Richie, and he has made tons and tons of progress. He was away from the church for over 30 years, but has now been steadily coming for the past 3 months almost. We meet with him weekly and strengthen him, and he has been doing great. He has loved being back at church and has recognized a significant difference in his life. Even though things were going great, he still wasn't converted to the Gospel. He knew it was a good thing, but something just wasn't clicking. We knew that if he was going to stay active for the long haul, something needed to change or he was just going to fall away again. Long story short, we committed him to study from the Book of Mormon daily, and this has just made the world of a difference. He has been studying the Book of Mormon at the start of every day and he has progressed sooooo much more than he was. He absolutely loves the Book of Mormon now, and day by day his testimony is growing. It is amazing the change that took place almost immediately as soon as he began studying the scriptures daily. I don't know how it works, but the Book of Mormon carries a very powerful spirit, and as we study it that spirit comes pouring into our life. This book is pretty amazing!

Saturday we had exchanges with the Cambridge 3 Spanish Elders, I stayed in Lynnfield and Elder Pope came up here for the day with me. Elder Pope and I were greenies together down in Connecticut. We were serving in the same area while I was in Waterford, he was in New London Spanish. So we shared our church building and we spent a lot of time together. So we were always together at the very start of our missions, and then we have hardly seen each other since then! But he is back in my zone now so it was sweet to be able to spend a day with him and catch up on everything! It is amazing how much the mission changes an individual, Elder Pope and I are completely different people from the time we last knew each other. It was pretty cool to talk about and see the changes that have taken place.

Sunday we had a meeting bright and early in Cambridge, it was Stake Reporting. This is just where we meet with President Packard and our Stake President, President Lowe to discuss the missionary efforts throughout the Cambridge Stake. It went really well, President Lowe asked us to challenge each of our missionaries to get a member out teaching with them every single day during the month of April. So in April there will be a huge push in our zone for getting member helps! Church was great, we had a packed house again. A sister in our ward just returned from her mission in Russia and gave her welcome home talk. It was a great meeting. Also, one of our members brought their next door neighbor Steve to Sacrament meeting. Steve has been searching for a church for a loooong time, but can't find one. He usually gives a church one week, and if he doesn't like it he doesn't come back. After Sacrament meeting he said he will be coming back for the next month to our church services. So he liked it! He seems super promising so we were stoked about that.

Digital mission life is soooo good. We are teaching people all over the place. Hong Kong, Africa, Thailand, Poland, etc. It is amazing really. I even talked to a guy in Tirana Albania and he gave me his phone number so that Jed could call him to teach him about Jesus Christ. Avon boys make a good team! Haha hopefully something comes out of it at least. Anyways, life is good. Love ya all and have a great week!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Record Breaking Winter

The work keeps moving along in Lynnfield! We got a few more inches of snow last night, so this winter is officially the snowiest winter in the history of Boston. We made history! Haha for the past 2 weeks we were like two inches away from breaking the record, so it would have been pretty disappointing to get hit with this much snow all winter and not break the record. But we made it, so now I can say I was here for the record breaking winter.

Pday we went into Boston and had a pretty sweet day. Stephan took us on a personal tour around the city. He has lived here for practically his whole life, so he knows the city inside and out. It was an awesome day and we were able to see a lot of things. We had lunch in the North End, saw the Old North Church, walked through Quincy Market and Faneiul Hall, the Boston Commons and the Boston Garden, over to the Prudential Tower, and then ended in Beacon Hill. It was a solid pday for sure!

Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Revere 2 Elders. I stayed in Lynnfield and Elder Baird came and spent the day with me. Elder Baird has been on his mission for like 3 weeks now, so it was awesome to spend the day with him and get to know him. It is crazy because we are at complete opposite ends of our missions. Mine is winding down and his is just beginning, so it was cool to be able to talk to him a lot about the mission life and what to expect and those type of things. We had a solid day and of course we went and saw Frank. It is a requirement that whenever someone comes to Lynnfield on exchanges we go and see Frank, it just wouldn't be a trip to Lynnfield without that visit haha.

We started teaching a few new people this week. One is this lady named Sandra...she is like 70 years old. We found her because she ordered a Bible on mormon.org. We delivered it and talked to her for a while and set up an appointment to go back and teach the Restoration. We went there on Wednesday and it was quite the experience. She only had 2 extra chairs and so Elder Hyer and the member with us sat on those....and then all that was left for me was this old shower chair that was sitting their in the kitchen. I really didn't want to stand the whole lesson.....but I REEEALLY didn't want to sit on this ladies old shower chair, but I did anyways. I threw the pants away later that night...haha jk but I probably should have. And then both of her hearing aids were out of batteries that day and so we practically had to yell the entire lesson, and I am pretty sure she has some mild form of dementia. Haha she loved the lesson and everything that we said, but she is quite the character. We thought we might just try and set her and Frank up, so we brought Frank to the lesson later in the week....and it wasn't a good match haha. We tried! Then the other guy is a man named Rich, his fiancee is an inactive member of the ward. He has 4 little kids and we just talked about the family and raising kids and how the Gospel can help him with all of that and he agreed to let us teach the family.

Our zone is still doing work right now with this goal we are working on. We set a goal to find 70 new investigators in March and right now we are sitting at 41 new investigators! It is super crazy because the entire month of February we only found 15 new investigators, Heavenly Father is just working some miracles all over the zone. It has been pretty exciting to see all of these people show up out of no where, but we gotta keep working hard the rest of the month to achieve this goal.

Saturday night was the ward lasagna bake off, apparently it is a pretty big tradition in the Lynnfield ward. Unfortunately the tradition includes that the missionaries are always the judges and pick the winner of the bake off. So we had to taste test every single lasagna that the members brought and select a winner. There were like 15 lasagnas so by the end of tasting them all I had eaten enough lasagna for the next few months. We selected a winner, and many hearts were broken. The members take this competition pretty seriously, so it was pretty fun. Saturday was Joes b-day so after the lasagna we met up with him and his friends at this restaurant and we just hung out with them for an hour and wished Joe a happy b-day.

The work in the digital mission is going great, I am really enjoying it. We have 4 Skype lessons this week with new people from all over the world, and we should have a few more that aren't scheduled yet. Life is good, the work is great. Talk to you later!!!

Acorn Street by Beacon Hill. Evverrryone takes pics here.
 What's up from the Apple store in Cambridge!
 And another canoli of course!
 Lasagna bake off with the ward!
 With the chamion Bro Ailshie
 With our boy Paul Revere with the Old North church in the background.
Regina's Pizza in the North End.
 Pizza in the North End!
 In the Commons with the State House in the background.
 The Trinity Church!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Facebook Shout Out

There wasn't any new news from Elder Pulsipher this week.  He was on tour of Boston for P-Day and didn't get back in time to email.  But it was pretty awesome to see him sharing the gospel online and getting his digital mission experience started this past week!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The "Digital Mission"

Wow what a week! For Pday last week we met up with Elder MacJanet and Farr and spent the day in Boston. Elder Bradley had a few more things he wanted to check out before he went back to Utah. We went to the top of the Prudential Tower, they have an overlook where you can see all of Boston from the top. We had lunch there at the fancy restaurant on the very top floor, it is called the Top of the Hub. Monday and Tuesday we were making the rounds and letting Elder Bradley say his goodbyes to everyone before he headed back home. Tuesday night we had an amazing dinner with Stephan and Joe. Stephan is a recent convert, he was baptized in the Revere Ward this past summer. He is an amazing guy and he had us over and made us a delicious steak dinner. It was the perfect last night for Elder Bradley's mission. At least I thought so!

Wednesday was transfer meeting where all of the departing missionaries share their final testimony. It was a great meeting, there was almost 30 missionaries going home so they had to keep their testimonies pretty short, but they were all super good! It is like one of the best church meetings ever. So after the meeting I said my goodbyes to Elder Bradley and met up with my new companion Elder Hyer and we headed for home! Elder Hyer is an amazing missionary, I have a lot to learn from him. He has been on his mission for 8 months and was up in New Hampshire before he came down to be in Lynnfield with me. He is from California, so this weather is a little bit different! I am excited to serve with him though!

The rest of the week was pretty dang busy, we have been trying to get around and introduce Elder Hyer to everyone. We met with a ton of less actives this week, and we have been continuing to see many of them return to activity. We had 5 Less actives at church on Sunday and some of them have been away from the church for like 20 years. One guy is named Gary, we have been meeting with him for the past few months occasionally, but on Saturday we had an awesome lesson with him. Gary loves to serve and help people out, so we had a lesson on service and the impact that our actions can have on others. Gary has a God-Daughter who lives with him on the weekends, and so we talked about the impact he could have on her life as he returns to the church and helps her learn of the Gospel herself. He committed to coming to church, and then right after we left he went out and bought a new shirt, tie and suit and showed up to church Sunday morning. It was so awesome to have him there, he hadn't been to church in sooooo long, like since he was a teenager and he is in his 50's now. Then later his God-Daughter told him she wanted to start coming to church with him....so that was pretty exciting!

We met with Danielle again this week and she is getting super excited for her baptism coming up. We have a few more lessons to teach her, but she is doing great. She is going to be at New Beginnings for the Young Women this week and her dad who has had zero exposure to the church is bringing her to that and staying with her, so we are hoping this can make a big impact on him and get him interested in the Gospel.

Our mission is doing something really cool where we are sharing the gospel through what we call the "Digital Mission". Our mission has created a portal which we use to find people online who want to talk, and then we try and share the gospel with them. We basically go to online chat rooms and pen pal sites, and strike up conversations with people and then invite them to Skype us and learn more about us as missionaries and the church in general. This is something really new and exciting, and the church leaders are watching it really closely. Right now we have like 150 investigators all over the world and within the past two months we have seen 4 people baptized through the online mission. This was with just a few missionaries proselyting online throughout our mission. Well starting right now all Zone Leaders are going to begin working in the Digital Mission for a few hours during the morning and early afternoon. I am super stoked to be doing this and to be able to have this unique opportunity. So we will be using our Facebook for this a little bit, but it won't be like other missionaries who can view their friends pages and talk with people back home through Facebook. We will only be using it to communicate with the people we meet and who become investigators. So yeah that is pretty exciting! Love ya all and have a great week!

Welcome to Boston! After 21 months of being here haha!
View of Boston from the Top of the Hub!  It is a restaurant at the top of the Prudential Tower in downtown.

Our meal! It was pretty pricey haha but it was worth the view!
 I got some New England Clam Chowdah!
Goodbye Elder Bradley! Love this kid, he is home in Bountiful now!