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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 13, 2014

This week was another busy one. We went on 2 exchanges and had stake conference. Both exchanges went well. For the first one I was in Framingham and Marlborough English with Sister W. It was fun being back in an old area. I also got to try my hand at being a "digital missionary" so we did proselyting online. We basically just chatted with people and started up conversations about the church. I was talking with a girl from Chile and another girl from Colombia and managed to bring up the church with both of them. It was fun! For the other exchange I was in Weston with Sister Z. Sister Z is in her second transfer and is doing a great job! She's in two huge wards so her and her companion and working on getting to know all the members. Right now they're doing a 40-day fast with one of the wards and dropping off cookies to each family after they finish their fast. Sister B and I were so impressed with those sisters. They are rocking it in Weston.

Stake Conference was great! I realized that I have attended both stake conferences in the Boston Stake this year haha Elder Gordon H Smith from the sixth quorum of the seventy. He was really cool. The Saturday session of Stake Conference was particularly good this year. I haven't been attending Saturday sessions for very long. Anywho, it was a really great Stake Conference.

The Zone Leaders and I have been working on Stake Reporting this week which is a report for the Stake President on how things are doing in each of the units, but from the ground view. It's been interesting to hear about what's going on in all the units in our zone. I've loved hearing about all the good things that are happening in each ward. Apparently we're supposed to have a meeting with the Stake President tomorrow and report to him about each unit, but we haven't heard anything yet. Hopefully it will still happen....

Man, I can't believe everyone's starting to prepare for my return. It sounds like I'm going to be giving two homecoming talks. One in Palouse River and one in my YSA. Ah well, I gave two farewell talks too. 

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 6, 2014


Wow, this week FLEW by! It was a crazy week, lemme tell ya. We had 4 days of meetings/conferences, including and all day MLC and an 11-hour zone conference! Yes, eleven hours. Of course, that also included watching Meet the Mormons, which was a really good movie! Is it going to be playing anywhere near you guys? It would be a good one to go see, if you can. 

Conference was AMAZING! I especially loved the Saturday sessions. So good! M's baptism was also a success! She was so excited to be baptized. It was nice because everything went exactly as planned this week, which doesn't happen very often. The only bad news is that we didn't have very much time to proselyte. We only had a total of about 2 days, which was a bummer, but this week will be better.

Being STL definitely comes with a lot more responsibilities though. This week we're going on 2 exchanges and the following week we're going on 2 more. And then at the end of the month, an area seventy is coming to our mission and wants to do an MLC with us AND interview all of the leadership individually! I can't remember the name off the top of my head though. But holy cow, we have a LOT going on this month. I like being busy, but at the same time I don't. It makes time go by faster. This transfer is almost over, jeesh. We already have t texts next Friday. At zone conference my good friend Sister H reminded me that we're in our penultimate transfer. Yes, Sister H, I know.

Yesterday we stopped by a part member family. As far as we know, he was baptized when he was 8, but his family stopped going soon after, so he really doesn't know very much about the church. His wife isn't a member. Last night we stopped by and talked with them about the gospel. It was a good chat. The only problem is that they talk A LOT so it's hard to get a good lesson in. We have an appointment on Tuesday so hopefully we'll be able to have a good solid lesson with them. We invited her to be baptized, but she says she's not ready yet. But she will be. They're a great family. They have two adorable kids and he has another daughter. 

This week, we're looking forward to the Boston stake conference and two exchanges. It's going to be another busy, but great week.

Well have a great week! Love you all!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, October 5, 2014

September 29, 2014

We had a great week this week. Sister B and I are getting along really well! We've been joking about going to BYU-H and being roommates (joking, only joking) She's really awesome though, it's been a lot of fun working with her. 

We've had a lot to do this week! We've been planning for M's baptism, doing service and meeting with our investigators. M's baptism is still a go! She's really excited, any time someone asks her about it, she just lights up. We just need to work on her dad, G, who's been investigating since the dinosaurs. 

For service, we have been working at the local Bishop's Storehouse, which has been a lot of fun! It serves for several stakes in all of New England, all the way up to Maine! So we get to meet people from all over the place. The other day there was a couple from the Hartford Stake and there's almost always people coming down from New Hampshire. It's fun to meet people and it's really fun to work there. The people are nice and my companion and I have fun playing tetris as we try to fit the orders into bags and boxes. We go on Thursdays and Saturdays. Heck, I'll probably go volunteer at the Bishop's Storehouse in Spokane when I get home! It's so much fun!

This week, we were visiting a woman from church named A. She has a lot of health problems so she takes a lot of pills. A man comes 2 or 3 times a week to change them out for her. Well he came while we were there and we started a great gospel conversations. His name is B and he's from South Africa. He's a pastor for a local church and was telling us he knew about what the protestants believe and what the catholics believe, but he didn't really know what the mormons believed. We gave him a book of mormon and a basic rundown of our beliefs. He had great questions and was really interested in what we were saying. It was fun to talk about him. Being a priest, he had a good knowledge of the bible, but he didn't bible bash. He had real, sincere questions as to why we believed certain things. Sister B and I think he's going to get baptized one day, then he can invite his whole congregation to come to church! 

Saturday was the womans conference, which was just amazing! I love the new general woman's meeting. The talks were great, especially President Uchtdorf's. You can never go wrong with President Uchtdorf!

This week is going to be a crazy one. Tomorrow we're doing exchanges, Wednesday is MLC (Missionary Leadership Council), Thursday is a weekly planning day, Friday is our zone conference, Saturday is General Conference and Sunday is General Conference and Marisol's baptism. HOLY. COW. We're busy. I'm excited though. It's going to be a good week. 

Hope you have a wonderful week! Love you all! 

Hermana Hutchinson 

10 Things My Mission Has Taught Me

So I haven't been the best about emailing people. For those who don't know, the last 17 months have been a whirlwind involving me changing missions to the Massachusetts Boston mission for latent Tuberculosis treatment in January. I was never sick with it, it was just church protocol. I'm doing great here though. I'm still in the Spanish program and I'm still loving being a missionary. I'm currently serving Worcester, Massachusetts (but I've also been in Framingham, MA and Hartford, CT) As the number of days left of my mission is getting smaller everyday, I've been reflecting a lot on the things that I've learned and the person I've become. I wanted to share with you all 10 things that my mission has taught me  (so now you'll all be getting another long missionary email to read every week), starting with the principle of obedience.

When I was a wee greenie, back in the adorable coastal town of Constitucion, Chile, I had my first significant revelatory experience as a missionary on a cold morning in our tiny Chilean apartment. We were working with some less active members who were going through trials and found themselves very unhappy. As my companion and I lovingly worked with these members and encouraged them to come back to church, I privately couldn't help but privately wonder why they were so unhappy.

One morning during my personal study, I received the answer. It's a scripture I had read several times over, but this time it struck me in a different way as I read it though missionary eyes. "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God." (Mosiah 2:41) As I read this scripture over and over my perspective on happiness began to change. Up to that point in my life, my happiness had been obnoxiously dependent on the situation I was in. When things were good, I was happy; when things were bad, I was sad (although that was also probably a symptom of being a teenager). But I realized that happiness is not a product of our situation, but that it is directly linked with our obedience to the commandments of God. Obedience is happiness. As we continually keep the commandments we are elevated to a higher plane of happiness where we can find peace and joy, even through our darkest moments.

But why is it that obeying these seemingly ancient rules brings us happiness? Well first off, we need to understand what the commandments are. They aren't just a laundry list of rules and regulations, they are instructions on how to become our own free agents, set forth by a wise and experienced Heavenly Father who knows the path and wants to protect us from it's dangers. As we follow his command, not only are we protected, but we learn how to become like him. And that's the idea--that we become independently functioning spiritual beings. The Lord himself said, "For behold it is not meet that I should command in all things...verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves and inasmuch as men to good they shall in nowise lose their reward." (D&C 58:26-28)

I came to a better understanding of this principle when I was transferred to Hartford, Connecticut. My new companion did not feel comfortable driving so I was made the designated driver. Realizing that I wouldn't know my way around Hartford, I asked my parents to send me a GPS. For the first 3 months, I used that GPS everywhere we went. I really relied on that GPS because I knew that my limited knowledge of Hartford was not sufficient to take us where we needed to go, but I knew I could rely on the complex map the GPS had. As I followed it's directions, I began noticing patterns and recognizing certain routs, like getting home or to the chapel. Many times, although the GPS was guiding me, I already knew the route, but other times, I would try to navigate without the GPS, but would take a wrong turn and get lost. However, little by little, I became familiar with Hartford and 3 months later, after many wrong turns and many right ones, I didn't have to use the GPS anymore. It's the same with us. The commandments are our GPS and the more we follow them, the more spiritually independent we become. Sometimes we will succeed and sometimes we will fail, but all these experiences help us to be agents unto ourselves so that we won't even need the commandments because we will "have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." (Mosiah 5:2)

That is why obedience makes us happy. The commandments teach us how to be like God, liberating us from sorrow. We find ourselves in a state of happiness that cannot be dampened by lasting pain. Yes, trials will come. We'll have bad days and stressful moments, but hose moments will not overcome the everlasting happiness that obedience brings into our lives. 

Now, I did not realize all of this in that one moment of reading Mosiah 2:41 back in that small apartment in Constitucion, but as I pondered what happiness really was, as I questioned if I was truly happy, the spirit began preparing my little greenie mind to receive a mission-long (and probably life-long) outpouring of revelation on obedience and happiness that I will forever hold sacred.

Because I love spanish so much, I'm going to include a spanish phrase every week that you can all learn...if you don't already know spanish...

Spanish phrase of the week: 

vale la pena (BAH-leh la PEH-nah) means "it's worth it"
ex. A veces el guardar los mandamientos cuesta pero vale la pena.
(Sometimes keeping the commandments is hard, but it's worth it)

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 22, 2014

This was a great week! We went on exchanges with the English sisters in Worcester. That was fun. We also have a baptismal date! Her name is M. She's been investigating for awhile now, but it's only been recently that she's been ready to take the step to be baptized! It's exciting! She's going to be baptized on October 5, during conference sessions. We're really exciting! We're hoping her dad, G will be baptized too, but we'll see about that.

This transfer we're doing a cool Book of Mormon challenge. We're supposed to read the Book of Mormon all the way through and mark all of the tender mercies of the lord. I've already started and it's been a great experience!

On an exciting note, last night there was a community event in the chapel with Danny Ainge. He was interviewed by Mike Dowling, a retired sports newscaster in Boston, who apparently is pretty famous himself. (He sat next to me at transfer meeting and we talked. I had NO idea who he was) It was a really cool event and a lot of non members came. I made sure to get a picture with Danny Ainge, even though it was kinda blurry(the lighting in the church is horrid) And he signed my planner. Not being a huge sports fan, I don't really know who he is, but I know he's a big deal so I made sure to snag a pic.
The really exciting part for me is that Brother Bayles was there. As in, Dallyn Vail Bayles, the singer I've become obsessed with who lives in Boston and resides in my stake. He sang one of my favorite songs, Better Than I. It was amazing, of course. And I got a picture with him too! He's a really cool guy. We talked with him a bit about his mission in Melbourne, Australia. He was telling us about the giant spiders there. Gross. But he's really nice. 

Sorry this wasn't a very spiritual email. I'm doing great though! I love worcester and being an STL. 

Have a great week!

love you all!

Hermana Hutchinson

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 15, 2014

Greetings from Worcester, Massachusetts! 

I've only been here a few days, but the drivers are already driving me crazy. The roads are narrow and there are way too few stop signs. I also usually have no idea where I'm going haha but I'm making it. No accidents so far :)

Of course, coming to a new area is always stressful. You have to meet and get to know a whole new set of people. And it's always hard coming from an area that you were in love with. But everyone here is really nice and I already like it, so no worries there.

My adventures as STL have been uneventful so far. I feel really under qualified to by STL, but obviously the Lord has other ideas. So I've been in the process of setting up exchanges with the other sisters, without success. Last night I tried to call them all, but no one answered....and then they never called back. I'll try again tonight! haha I did get a hold of the zone leaders though and asked them a few questions so we're all on the same page. I feel slightly less lost haha This will be a fun 2 transfers.

I would tell you about our investigators, but I'm still meeting them too. haha But there is a new convert in our group named Isaac. It's pretty easy to remember his name.

Sister B is awesome though! President Packard keeps putting me with really awesome companions. She has only been in the field for 1 transfer, but she's already rocking it. Her spanish is already good and she knows the area really well. I also found out she's been a member for less than 2 years! I was blown away when I found out. You wouldn't even guess, her testimony is so strong. We've been getting along really well though, which I'm happy about because she'll probably be my last companion..............

H got his mission call!! He's going to Provo, Utah Spanish speaking and reports to the MTC Dec 3rd. Hooray!

This week has been pretty chill, not a lot to report at the moment.

Hope you all have a great week! I miss you all!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 8, 2014

First and foremost: transfers. 

As much as I don't want to, I am getting transferred. I'm going to Worcester, MA (pronounced Wooster. the "oo" as in "good". or if you want to say it as they do in New England, Woostah) I'm going to be a Sister Training Leader and I'm finishing a training again. So a STL is a leadership position. I'm in charge of going on exchanges with the Sisters, doing training in our zone training meeting, going to Missionary Leadership Council. I'm basically a sister zone leader, but I don't have to do as much busywork. My new companion's name is Sister Butts.

That's not the crazy part though. Sister B is ALSO getting transferred. She's going to Nashua, New Hampshire. This means they're shotgunning (aka whitewashing) our area and they're bringing Elders in.

Let's just say the branch is sad that they're taking the sisters out, but I really think Elders will be good for this area. There were some people we just couldn't teach effectively because they need guys teaching them.

Yesterday, they threw us a surprise going away party. It was really sweet. Everyone went around and said a few nice things about us. We ate chips and took pictures. S was crying, H was crying and this sweet little 11-year-old who's class we've taught, D was also crying. Okay, actually H wasn't crying, but he almost did. It's really sweet to see the impact you have on people's lives, especially when you didn't think you were really doing anything. We got lots of pictures, and still have more to take in the next couple days. Although I'm devastated to be leaving Hartford, I'm excited to go on to my next new adventure in Worcester!

Our investigators are doing well, we're in the process of telling them all that Elders are coming. H's baptism has been rescheduled for the 20th. We are just worried about his retention. He doesn't really know anyone in the branch so he doesn't have a huge pull to come all the way to Hartford to come to church. Hopefully the elders will be able to help him be more integrated in the branch. I have faith in them. No word on O yet. We were supposed to have an appointment yesterday, but it got cancelled (which was a good thing, or else we wouldn't have been able to go to our surprise party) but we have an appointment with them tonight. And J is going on and off the map. We were supposed to have an appointment with him yesterday too, but he never answered his phone. 

H STILL hasn't gotten his mission call. He was supposed to get it on Friday or Saturday, but he didn't. He probably won't get it before we leave so I'll have to hear about it through the grapevine. 

Well, I'll let you all know how things are going as an STL in Worcester next week! I'm going to miss Hartford so much! Even though this is the most disgusting, ghetto city I've ever seen. It has a special place in my heart :) 

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September 1, 2014

Well we were supposed to go to Boston today. It's a long story, but the end is that we weren't able to go. It's okay, there will be other chances to go to Boston.

So this week was a bit on the crazy side. Thursday we had interviews. Usually interviews for me are pretty uneventful, so I wasn't expecting anything. One of the first things president told me when I walked in is that he's going to transfer me and make me Sister Training Leader. Then, as I found out the next day, he told the same thing to my zone leaders, my district leader and Sister Beatty. So my whole district knows that I'm getting transferred. To where, we don't know yet, but we all know it's going to happen. 

That kind of threw me off, because I LOVE Hartford and leaving is one of the last things I want to do. I'm also too keen on being Sister Training Leader, at least for my last 2 transfers. But I'll accept the call as I'm sure it will be fun. I was a little out of sorts for the rest of the day, though.

That evening was fun because there was a BYU football fireside. BYU played (and creamed) UConn on Friday. On Thursday they gave a fireside. If I liked football more, it would have been cooler, but alas, football just doesn't call my attention. However, it was still an awesome fireside! The coach was there with the whoooole team and the new BYU president was there so it was cool.

We had a great Sunday though! O and R came to church! And H went to church, but to a different ward. Then, this less active who I have never seen at church, just randomly showed up with his two daughters who are not members. It was miraculous! We were both really happy. H also went to church, but he went to a different ward. He's supposed to get baptized on Sunday, but I think we're going to change the date, because we feel like he needs a little bit more time to progress. He's not quite ready, but he's still doing great! And unfortunately, the less active who went to the fireside, did not come to church yesterday. But she'll be there soon.

We met with O and R that night and had a great lesson. We had a really good talk about them getting married. R is still really unsure about it, even though O is all for it. We realized that, even though they're together and they do things together all the time, they don't really have that close of a relationship. So we challenged them to read the Book of Mormon together every day this week to strengthen their relationship and build trust. We testified to them about how studying the gospel together builds relationships and as they seek revelation for their family, they will grow closer. I know that, if not next week, after a few weeks of studying together they'll be coming to US asking to be married. 

And H did not get his mission call. We were disappointed. He better get it before I leave!!!

I'm glad to hear everything is going well at home! Keep up the good work with the sister missionaries! We need the help :)

Have a great week!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 25, 2014

Hey, sorry for my horrendous email last week. It's seriously getting harder and harder to email on p days. I don't really know why, it just gets old I guess. Especially when nothing exciting or interesting happens during the week. But this week, I'm repenting.

So H is doing well. This week we saw a great change in him. He is understanding the gospel more and he is more interested in reading and going to church. He has even been doing the assignments we give him! He didn't come to the branch yesterday, but apparently he went to the Canton ward with his uncle. Which, I mean, he's at church, but he doesn't understand any of it, so I don't know. Anywho, he's doing well still. We've starting planning his baptism, like who's speaking and what time it's going to be at. We're really excited and hoping that all will go well in the next couple weeks. We still have a lot to do!

O is also doing well. Due to some dumb circumstances, we weren't able to meet with him 2 weeks in a row. BUT we met with him Saturday and Sunday. He asked us what else he needs to do to prepare for baptism since he's been reading and praying a ton. We told him, "Go to church!" He keeps telling us that he's going to go to church and then....he doesn't. But he said this Sunday he will definitely come. No word yet on the marriage, but we want to meet with R sometime and talk about it with her, just us girls. Maybe we can help her get past some of her worries about getting married.

J....well, we haven't met with J recently. He dropped of the radar, but we're going to call him.

Do you remember me telling you about M? She's an amazing woman from Brazil who was already reading the Book of Mormon when we met with her. Unfortunately we have only been able to meet with her once. She started working late and it was difficult to find a time to meet with her, even though she really wanted to learn more. Her family has been going through a lot of difficulties recently. We found out this week (thanks to a great member who's been good about keeping in contact with her) that they were going to be moving to Florida. Her daughter was really sick though and wanted a blessing. Well, it just so happened that an Elder from Brazil had just been transferred into our zone, Elder P. So we called them up and they willingly came to give her a blessing (because they're appointment just "happened" to cancel on them) It was an amazing experience! He was able to speak Portuguese with them, without any language barrier and give her daughter a blessing. M said she's going to join the church when she gets to Florida. We're all hoping and praying that there is someone in the town they're moving to that will be able to help her. We also found out that her daughter, G, also wants to get baptized! So I'm sure, with time, the whole family will get baptized and get sealed in the temple :)

And H. He is still waiting for his mission call.  There were a couple problems with his papers before so they didn't get sent until last week. We're hoping that this Friday his call will come! We have dinner with them that night so it would be very convenient if it came so we can find out where he's going!

Yesterday President Packard came to our stake and did a fireside about "What the World knows because of Joseph Smith" It was an amazing fireside! And we saw the coolest miracle! There is a less active in our branch who was offended and doesn't have very good feelings towards the church. She's a "do not contact". Well, last night, guess who was at the fireside? Yep, the offended less active! And dang, that was an amazing fireside! It got rave reviews! Of all the church events she could choose to come to, she came to the right one! Hopefully she'll come to church this week! 

Another cool thing, on Thursday, we found ourselves driving behind a Bing street view car. It had this tall pole on it with a 360 degree camera. Sooooo we're going to be on Bing street view. It's not a cool as google street view, but I'll take what we can get.  

This week we have interviews with President Packard on Thursday and Wednesday my 100 day countdown will begin! Can you believe it!? 100 days. That's not very many days. (Especially compared to the greenie in our district--he has 700 days left) Also, BYU is playing UConn in football and the BYU president is coming to give a fireside which the missionaries are invited to! We're also doing exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders. I'm going to their area and one of them is coming to Hartford. No, they don't speak spanish. No, I have no idea how our exchanges work, but they do.

Next Monday, we're going to the temple. We don't really know yet if we're going to stay in Boston or not. But in the event that we do, I don't know when emailing will happen. Just so you're aware. But don't worry, I'll send an email next week.

The end of August is shaping up to be a good one! I hope you all enjoy your extra 2 weeks of summer! In Hartford, school is starting this tomorrow. Summer went by fast! Don't blink, or it'll be Christmas ;) 

Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 18, 2014

This was an interesting week. We decided to just stop by H's without setting up an appointment. It ended up being a great appointment! He has been struggling a bit with the Word of Wisdom, mostly because he just doesn't understand why he has to keep it. When he goes out and drinks, he only drinks a little so he thinks it's okay. We were able to help him understand why Heavenly Father wants us to avoid alcohol completely. We also taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and gave him an example of working out (which he loves to's like N all over again haha) We told him that enduring to the end was like working out. When achieve a goal that you set for yourself, you don't just stop working out, or you'll become weak again, but you continue to work out. Like enduring to the end. He really liked that example.The next day, he came to church!! We were excited about that because he's been saying he'll come to church for weeks and he finally came! We were kind of worried about his baptismal date, but he's been progressing a lot the last few days so hopefully everything will work out. We're really excited for him.

We also might have a couple new investigators soon! Last night we were talking to a 15 year old who was asking us a lot of questions about our missions. She thought it was crazy that we were willing to give up movies and music and friends and texting for 18 months.

Okay, I'm sorry this is a short email. I'm getting kicked off. 

Have a great week!

Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 11, 2014

This was a good week! We have a new zone leader and he's really been pumping up our zone to do a lot of work. We had a zone meeting on Friday that was really good. It was a really spiritual meeting and we learned a lot. Our district is getting along really well this transfer, which I'm grateful for. It's nice to be in a district where everyone is close and we all get along.
Last p day the elders in my district were awesome and bought me a watermelon for my birthday! I cut it up and enjoyed watermelon all week. I finished it on Saturday and on Sunday, the M family, the family who let us skype at our house for mother's day, gave me another watermelon! So I got TWO watermelons for my birthday. Best birthday ever!

We're really excited because we have a baptismal date! We invited H to be baptized and he accepted! He's baptismal date is set for September 6th. We're honestly kind of stressed about it because he lives kinda far away in Bristol, about a half hour away and it's hard to keep in contact with him. Plus it's hard for him to get to the branch building in Hartford, but we trust Heavenly Father that he will provide a way for him and for us so that he'll be able to get baptized on Sept 6th.

O and R are also doing well. R is a member of the church, but she's less active. We didn't get to meet with them yesterday though because R was at her mom's house and Oscar was home alone. We set up another appointment for next week though.

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Hermana Hutchinson