Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 1, 2014

Well, this is my last email as a missionary.

I can't believe the time has gone by so fast. I'm full of many emotions as I finish my last few days. I'm really excited to go home and see you all again, but I'm really sad to leave New England and take the name tag off. But I know that the Lord has a work for me back home. My full time mission is ending but I have another one waiting for me in Moscow.

Yesterday was my LAST Sunday! It was so weird. As I was walking through the halls, I kept thinking "Next time I go to church will be in Moscow. Next time I take the Sacrament will be in Moscow." My head is having a really hard time wrapping itself around the concept. They asked me to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting and even though I told everybody when I first got here, they were all surprised that I'm finishing my mission. I'm actually kind of surprised at how much they're going to miss me; I've only been here 3 months. But I'm going to miss them a lot. Worcester has been a lot of fun.

These last few days are going to be jam packed. Tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday will be filled with many appointments and service. Wednesday night is transfer meeting. I'll have to get there early since I'm a departing missionary. Thursday I'll be spending the day in the mission home and at the temple. And FridayI'll be on a plane.  I'm mostly packed, I still have some stuff I need to put away, but it shouldn't take me very long.

I had my interview with President on Saturday. I was supposed to have it today but we had a surprise baptism come up that he went to so we did it before the baptism. It was a good interview, nothing crazy. He just thanked me for serving and asked if I had any questions.

Well, the November to Remember has officially ended. Last night we had a "Final Count" Webex. Our goal for the month was 70 baptisms and as of November 30, 2014 we baptized 100 people. One Hundred. We had a closing prayer, thanking Heavenly Father for each baptism. We named each of the 100 in the prayer. It has been such an amazing month of miracles. In the last webex, they were telling us about a girl who was completely ready for baptism but was waiting for her birthday in April, went to someone else's baptism and after was challenged by the missionaries to be baptized that very night. And she was. So everybody went back to the chapel for her baptism. Here in Worcester, there was a girl who has been taking the discussions for a while decide this week that she wanted to be baptized on Saturday. The elders and the sisters were planning all week for it. It was a wonderful baptism. 

I have been in such awe of the marvelous work and a wonder that is coming to pass here in this mission. Not only did we completely surpass our goal for November but we have set many many dates for the month of December too. The Lord has raised our sights and we are more aware of what we can do together. It was the best last month ever.

We were really excited because M was able to make it to church yesterday! She came in a cute purple dress and she was beaming the whole time. She LOVED it and everybody loved her! She was telling everyone in our gospel principles class about how much she has changed since meeting with us and how she really wants to get Sundays off so she can come to church every week. We had a proud missionary moment.

There were very few changes in our district this transfer. I'm going home and Elder H is getting transferred to Peterborough, NH. Sister B has been released as Sister Training Leader (for now) and the new Hermana who is coming is Hermana C. I'm so excited for them! I can't remember if I told you this, but as it turns out, Hermana C is from Chile and lives within the Rancagua boundaries! Our paths never crossed in Chile, but we have a lot of mutual friends. Her and Sister B are going to do great things here. I'm excited for them.

Hope you have a great week! See you soon! :)

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 24, 2014

I can't believe I have one p day left after today! The time has gone by very quickly. 

Today was a lot of fun. Our district went to a place called Purgatory Chasm. It's a really cool rocky chasm with some great hiking trails. It was really rainy, but we still had a lot of fun. I took a lot of pictures so I'll either send them to you or just show you when I get home. After going to Purgatory Chasm, we went and bought Pizza and wings to take to our zone p day. We've been hanging out here at the Marlborough chapel for a couple hours. It's been fun to hang out with the zone and eat pizza and wings. 

This week we went with the PVC sisters to help them with an event in Bridgeport, CT. It was cool because we got to stop in Hartford on the way there. Luckily, the McDonalds that S works at just happens to be right off the freeway! So we stopped there for a quick pit stop and I got to see S!! It was a really quick stop and I didn't get to talk to her for very long, but it was still fun, nonetheless. 

The event in Bridgeport was really fun too. Sister H was there so it was cool to see her again before I leave. I have a lot of respect for the PVC sisters. We were absolutely exhausted when we were done and sore the next morning. It was fun to go to Connecticut again :)

We got a call from Sister Packard this week, first wishing Sister B a happy birthday, but then informing me that because there are so many departing missionaries, final interviews are going to be scheduled earlier. So my departing interview is next Monday morning. We're going to try and make a Boston p day out of it. I'll try to get some souvenirs! 

M is going fantastic right now. She's going to be coming to church on sunday and she's still really excited to be baptized. She reads her scriptures everyday and prays. She loves it. We're probably going to have to change her baptismal date, but hopefully she can get sundays off so she can come every week.

Our November to remember is going really well. As of today we're at 63 baptisms! We've already beat our record of 59 and we still have one weekend left! Exciting things are happening in the mission!!

This week, we've got Thanksgiving at the M home. They're from El Salvador, so we'll see how this pans out. We might be having pupusas for dinner, which would be really funny.

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Novemeber 17, 2014

Well, it's pouring outside. It's a rainy, blah day, but I'm happy it's not snowing yet. This week was a fun one! 
Tuesday we had stake reporting. We met at the stake center with the Stake President and President Packard. We told him how things are going in the wards and we talked about some exciting things that are coming up (Worcester 3 Branch!) We also told him all about our mission goal, which he was very excited about. 

Wednesday we did service at the Abby House thrift shop. It's really fun, but I've decided that I don't want to work in retail haha We literally just put clothes on hangers and put them on racks all day. But it's fun. There are a lot of spanish people who come in....even though they're all kinda crazy.

Afterward, we got together with the zone leaders to plan for the training we had to do during interviews. We were training on improving on teaching the first lesson. President Packard brought a couple ipads and we recorded the companionships teaching the first lesson then we watched it with them and talked about how they could improve. 

Thursday was interviews! We gave our training 3 times. We talked with the districts about how their baptismal dates are doing and what else they need to do to prepare them for baptism. Then we did the ipad thing. Everything worked out really well. I feel bad for Assistants to the Presidents who have to give a million trainings though haha My interview with President was good. I'm going to be getting interviewed by him in a few weeks so thursday I just asked him to read the scriptures with me. We read Alma 13 and we talked about the priesthood. It was cool. After interviews we went to Buffalo Wild Wings with the Zone Leaders. Of course, we got wings! West Is Nevah Gonna Stop! They were good. 

Friday Sister B and I got up and played Tennis! Elder M has some tennis rackets he let us borrow so we were out at the tennis courts playing! I'm so bad at tennis, but so is Sister B so it was a lot of fun. Then it started to snow! I can now cross "playing tennis in the snow" off my bucket list. We also had an appointment with M on Friday. She's doing great! She's still excited to be baptized, but she hasn't got sundays off yet. I don't think she's talked to her boss about it. So she probably won't be getting baptized in November, but probably December or January. She's doing great though. We talked about the Word of Wisdom. She told us that she used to drink a lot of coffee but a few weeks ago after starting to meet with us, she decided that she didn't want to drink coffee anymore, so she just stopped. She's so solid, she just needs sundays off. She also gave us a box-full of bread. There were like, 12 loaves. We won't be needed bread for a while.

Saturday we went on exchanges with the worcester english sisters. It was really fun! I went to the english area with Sister B. It was a really fun exchange. We got to go and meet some crazy people, including a crazy cat lady. We helped her clean her house. Yep, it was gross. But we also got to hear her crazy cat-lady stories. So it was an amusing night. We also taught a first lesson to some people from Africa. It was a really great lesson and you could tell the Lord has been preparing them to receive it....even though he was also trying to watch soccer the whole time. haha it was a good lesson. Sister B is an awesome missionary.

Last night we went to M's for dessert. It's Sister B's birthday this week (the 21st) so we had a mini celebration with M, G and the Elders. We had chocolate cake and sang happy birthday. Then M brings out a present for Sister B...and to my surprise, a present for me! She got us each a nice Target scarf and a gift card to Forever 21! It was so nice! We love M so much. We also had fun hanging out with them for a little bit last night. We also went to an english member's house after church because we're going to be doing a musical fireside next week. He wanted us to come over so we could practice. He's going to be doing most of the singing, but we'll be featured in a couple songs. His name is Paul Ferrin and he's amazing! He sang one of the songs for us and we were blown away. You can look for him on Youtube. He has a lot of talent. We're really excited for the fireside.

Also this week, we had 2 baptisms in our zone! That brings us to a total of 4 for the month with 5 more scheduled! On the mission scale, we had 19 baptisms yesterday!!! We're up to 39 baptisms for the month of november! And we've got a LOT more baptisms scheduled for the rest of the month. It's turning out to be a month of miracles. We've seriously been seeing a lot of miracles this past month, both in our area and the well as the whole mission. I feel so blessed to be a part of this effort.

Recently I've been trying to pick up the Boston/Worcester accent. It's hard because we're not usually around english speakers (and when we are, they have a spanish accent) but we do converse with them so watch out, I'm going to be talking funny when I get home! Haha

Can you believe it? 2 more p days! Today I'm doing a clothes purge. But it looks like I'll be taking some new Forever 21 clothes home with me as well so I'll have to plan accordingly.

I hope you all have a great week this week!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 10, 2014

This week we went on exchanges with the Framingham and Marlborough sisters. If you remember, I used to serve in Framingham an Marlborough so it was exciting to go back and see the area again, even though we were in the english area. We got to go to the spanish group activity though so I go to see a bunch of people that I worked with again. Everyone recognized me! But apparently I've changed a lot. I was actually just looking at some old pictures of me and it appears that I've gained some weight, so don't judge me when I get home! haha I'm sure it will come off as soon as I quit my diet of rice and beans.

We had another appointment with M this week! It was awesome because this time we brought a member with us, so the lesson was ten times better than usual. She hasn't talked to her boss about getting sundays off yet, but she has written the letter and is planning on giving it to him soon. 

We also stared a new service this week. We are working at a thrift shop at a homeless center for women! The homeless center is really cool. They work with women who are in really bad situations to get back on their feet. They help them get jobs and find housing opportunities. They also run a thrift shop in which all the proceeds go to the homeless shelter. So this week was our first time working there. We put clothes on hangers and put them on racks for two hours. It was a little monotonous, but it was really fun! There's also some really cute clothes there that I wouldn't mind buying sometime in the future....the other ladies who work there are really nice too. One of them already knew about the church, she has a friend who's a member. It will also be a great finding activity for us because there are a lot of hispanic women who come in! But we'll see, we're not sure if they would let us proselyte while we're there. Either way, we're excite to be volunteering there every week.

So to pump our zone up, we came up with a zone hashtag. #wings which stands for West Is Nevah Gonna Stop. Well there's a restaurant here named Wings so my district went there last p day. 

We also had halloween. I was a mexican. hahahahahah there's also a pic of the ward halloween party

I love you all so much! Hope you have a great week! Only 3 more letters left!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 3, 2014

So wanna hear about my week?! It was another crazy one.

This week we had an area seventy visit our mission, Elder Lawrence. Him and his wife are both amazing. It was such a blessing that he was here.

We stared off on Wednesday with Mission Leadership Council. Apart from the fact that we had a seventy with us, it was a pretty standard MLC. Elder Lawrence had us create a list of things we wanted to discuss in the meeting. He would then ask a missionary to choose a topic and we would discuss it. After lunch the topic of goals was selected. A few months ago, we had set a mission goal to have 70 baptisms for the month. The most baptisms the MBM has ever had in a month is 59, so it was a significant goal. It was also significant because we don't usually set number goals in the MBM. All our goals have a name attached to them. We don't have "standards of excellence" either. But President Packard had his mind set on setting this goal because he knew we could do it. This was back in July. We all had a zone meetings talking about the goal and what we needed to do to reach it. We were all pumped......and then we didn't reach the goal. A lot of missionaries were kind of devastated. 

Wednesday, we brought up the 70 goal. President Packard knows we can do this. He has his mind set. We discussed the goal again, but this time things felt different. The more we discussed, the more we realized that the stars were aligning. We had an area seventy there with us, we had 2 zone conferences where President could get up and announce the goal and pump up the mission; before November even started we had 104 baptismal dates (We now have 110); there are 5 weekends in November...the list continues. So as an MLC we set the goal to have 70 baptisms in the month of November. But this time it's going to be different. After setting the goal we discussed what needed to be done to achieve the goal. We came up with a list of 10 things we are going to do as a mission. For example in every single personal and public prayer offered by a mission we will plead with the Lord that the goal will be reached; missionaries will be completely consecrated; we will each sacrifice one thing to the Lord; and every Tuesday night we will receive a list, via text messages, of all the people who have baptismal dates for November so that Wednesday morning at 9am every missionary will be praying specifically for these people by name. Yesterday we all fasted for the goal. We are so absorbed in this goal and we are doing everything we can do so that the Lord will bless us. This month, it just feels a little different.

Thursday we had our zone conference with Elder and Sister Lawrence. First off, Sister Lawrence is an amazing person. She has dedicated her whole life to gospel study. She knows so much about the gospel. She spent the morning teaching us about the Gathering of Israel. Let me just tell you, my mind was blown. I can't even begin to explain everything I learned. It was just amazing. I have felt like a different person since that zone conference. After lunch, President and Sister Packard got up to announce the goal to this half of the mission. They asked all the leadership to go up to show the missionaries that we are in full support of the goal and we are going to do everything we can as leadership to assure that the goal is reached. It was a very spiritual moment. Then Elder Lawrence talked to us about increasing our faith by exercising it. Another amazing talk. It was a really good conference. I had a 1 Nephi 1:7 moment when I went home.  "And it came to pass that [she] returned to [her] own house at [Worcester]; and [she] cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which [she] had seen.

Friday was our zone meeting. As leadership, one of our responsibilities is to prepare zone meeting. So our zone meeting was about the goal that we had set as a mission and what we were going to do as the Boston West zone to achieve the goal. We talked about all the baptismal dates we have for this month and any potential baptismal dates. We came up with a list of almost 20 people who could potentially get baptized this month! Only 6 of them have baptismal dates, but a goal we set as the Boston West zone to extend baptismal dates to every single person on the list. We also are going to be praying for them all month. 

This spirit has been so strong this last week. We are so excited about our goal. To be honest, I don't think we going to hit 70 baptisms. We are going to go WAY over. I really do. We are doing everything in our power to achieve this goal. Why wouldn't the Lord bless us?

On Friday we also had an appointment with an investigator named M. She doesn't live within our stake boundaries, but we're the closest spanish missionaries to where she lives so we have permission to go visit her. She is such an amazing person. We invited to her to baptized a couple weeks ago and she accepted! The only problem is that she works at a bread factory and they don't give her sundays off so she hasn't come to church yet. But on Friday we set a goal with a lot of faith that she would get baptized on Dec 12. She is going to write a letter to her boss explaining the situation and that she would like to have sundays off to go to church. We are praying that her boss will give her sundays off. In fact, I daresay that she will be able to get baptized in November, because I truly believe the Lord will soften the heart of her boss to give her sundays off. 

So this has been a good week! I'm so happy about everything that is going on here and at home.

Can you believe it!? Only 4 more emails left!

I love you all!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October 27, 2014

Wednesday was transfers! Sister B and I didn't go of course, because we weren't getting transferred, but we now have two new missionaries in our district. Elder S is the new ZL with Elder M. And Sister Bis training Sister L, a new missionary straight out of the MTC. She's from Nicaragua! Poor Sister B is 3 spanish speakers to 1 now. But Sister L is very good at English and usually only speaks in English since she was called English speaking.

So I should tell you about G. His daughter M was just baptized right? So G has been investigating the church for about 20 years. He knows just about everything there is to know about the church, but he's kind of crazy. I don't really know how to describe him in a way that would do him justice. He is from Cuba and says he was in the Cuban CIA before he came to the US. He will go on long rants about the church. We call them rants, but he actually loves the church. He goes out with the missionaries all the time and shares the gospel with everyone he meets. He is a very passionate person so when he gets excited about something it seems like he's ranting. He talks about about "La iglesia mormonica" which doesn't really translate into english but it's kind of like saying the Mormonic Church (Like the Catholic Church) and says that Adam and Christ and all the prophets were Mormons. He's really awesome, but he's crazy. We all love G. I hope you can all meet him someday.

Good news! Because Sister B has been made STL, she also had driving privileges. So you know what that means? Sister Hutchinson doesn't have to drive all the time! Hooray!

I'll be sprinting to the end!

Love you guys!

Hermana Hutchinson

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 20, 2014

Crazy news. Well actually it probably won't be that crazy to you, but I'm going to tell you anyway. A couple weeks ago, Sister B and I were talking about transfers (which are this week). Sister B had this crazy idea that the Zone Leader area would get changed from Framingham and Marlborogh to Worcester and that our District Leader, Elder M would be ZL. It was a crazy idea.
So we had t texts on Friday and guess what happened. The ZL area got moved to Worcester and Elder M is going to be a ZL. CALLED IT. 

I'm staying in Worcester obviously. 
Hermana B has officially been called to be STL. 
Sister B, who I live with is going to be training. 
Sister N, her companion is going to Martha's Vineyard, which is an ritzy island off the coast. It's a coveted place to go. 
Elder H (who is in his 2nd transfer and is currently training a greenie) is going to be the DL. 
And Elder P, the greenie, will be District Mom, as we call it.

Big things are happening in Worcester. #worcesterstake #worcestertemple

Apart from all that, this week was fun. We were going to go on exchanges, but one of the sisters was sick so they got cancelled.

Saturday however, we got to go to Providence, Rhode Island! I've officially been to Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island!

So we have a Portable Visitors Center in our mission. It's a super fancy display that can be transported to bring a temple visitors center experience to just about anywhere. Then we have a sister companionship who does the scheduling, set up and tours. Well the PVC sisters are in our Zone. And I'm their Sister Training Leader. On Saturday they got double booked and asked us to help them with the Spanish appointment on Saturday in Providence. Of course we said yes! It was a lot of fun! We got to help them set up and take down the PVC and we got to help with the tours as well. It's like teaching all the missionary lessons to someone in a 30 minute tour.
We had this one really cool experience. We were out on the street inviting people to come in and we talked to a woman who said she would come back with her son after going to the convenience store that was across the street. We didn't really think she'd come back, but she did! So we took her in for a tour. It started off nice. She really liked the display about humanitarian service and temple displays. It was nice. We were in at the Plan of Salvation display and after watching a video on the ipad she said, "I'm really interested in learning more about your church." To be honest, I was dumbfounded. I didn't really think she was going to be that interested, but she was! She was glowing. She said it was just a trip to the store, but it ended up being the best trip to the store she ever went on. It was SO COOL! So we took down her information to give to the missionaries in Providence. It was such a great experience. Hermana Butts and I both have a testimony of the PVC. 

Well, we are very excited for this next transfer. There are a lot of really great things happening in Worcester. We have been so busy recently, I don't even know what to do with myself. I like it though. I'd rather be busy than bored.

Have a great week! LOVE YOU ALL

Hermana Hutchinson