Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 23, 2014

Well this week was great! My new companion's name is Hermana B. She's was basically pre-trained, I feel like I don't even have to teach her anything. She's already on the ball, which is nice because we have a LOT of work to do here since they took the elders out. The first few days were kind of slow, but looking at this coming week, we are already decently full. I'm really excited! We've had some crazy experiences in just the last few days. We decided to stop by a members house on Saturday named M so Hermana B could meet her. Turns out she wasn't there, but we were able to have a lesson with her non-member sister who lives there. She's "bien catolica" but she listened to what we had to say and she seemed interested. It was a cool impromptu lesson.
Sunday was a crazy day though. We were asked by one of the stake high councilmen to take attendance for him. The lease on the building we're meeting in is coming up and the stake's trying to decide if they're going to renew the lease. Of course we told him we would help. When we got there, President M asked if I would translate the meeting into english, then one of the members in our ward called us frantically to tell us she had invited a peruvian guy to come to our branch and she wanted us to watch for him. So during sacrament meeting, I was translating, taking attendance and keeping my eye out for a peruvian guy. It was crazy. But it was so much fun. It was the first time that I had officially translated (apart from translating under my breath to practice) but it was a good experience. I didn't mess up too much. Luckily, it was a high council sunday and the speakers were already speaking english and there were a couple members translating into spanish, so I didn't have that much to do. The peruvian guy didn't show up until the end of church. We offered to set up another appointment with him, but he didn't have time during the week so we met with him after church. We had a really cool lesson with him. He had a million really good questions about our church. He started off by saying he had no intention of coming to church, he just wanted to listen, but by the end he was telling us that he felt like something was missing in his life. We gave him a book of mormon and our phone number so we'll see what happens. It was a cool lesson though. It's a good thing we had a member with us because she helped explain things so well, better than we could have. It was a cool experience!

Everything is going well with my companion. Like I said, she's already doing really well. She understands a lot of spanish, even though she's still practicing speaking, which really helps. She'll catch on really quickly. We get along well, which is nice. This transfer is going to be a crazy one. We already have lots of appointments set up and people that we need to set appointments up with. It's cool because as Spanish missionaries, our area is the whole zone so we get to work with different companionships in the whole zone. We got a referral from the elders in Cromwell this morning, we're working with the sister's in Canton with an investigator/less active family and we were talking with the Avon elders about Nathan maybe going to mutual in their ward. It's cool to be working with so many missionaries in our zone. 

So I'm just done with everything TB related. I don't need to take anymore tests or anything.

Well I hope you all have a great week!! Love you all so much. The church is true!
Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 16, 2014

So Saturday we went to the temple! It was a spectacular trip. We went with 4 new converts: J, N, S and L. There were also about 30 other converts there with their families and missionaries. It was an amazing opportunity to go and see these new converts partake of the joy of the temple. President P was there and gave a great devotional before the baptisms started. He gave it again with translators since there were a lot of Spanish and Portuguese people there. It was really cool to see baptisms and confirmations being done in three different languages. It's really something to see the gospel being shared to people in their own languages, as in talks about in the scriptures. Everyone in the whole world can accept the gospel in their lives in their own language. Everyone loved the trip and it was amazing to see these people I'd been able to teach in the temple, performing baptisms for those who didn't have the chance to do it when they were alive. We tried really hard to get names ready for them to take, but we ran out of time. N and J were able to do their own names though, which was great. It was also, hands down, the most stressful trip to the temple I've ever gone on, but I would do it again. We had a lot of help from the amazing members here, with rides and temple recommend interviews. Somehow it all came together and we made it there and back without any major problems.
After we got back from the temple, we went to a branch Father's Day activity. That was a lot of fun! We played volleyball and frisbee and soccer (although my companion and I left before that part). The funny part is that my companion and I were playing in our skirts because we didn't think to bring other clothes. Hahaha playing volleyball in a skirt was amusing. It was a fun branch activity. The temple missionaries were also there with the new temple project manager. He served his mission in Peru so he knows spanish. He wanted to come to the activity and meet everyone. It's so exciting that there's a temple being built here! I really want to come back for the dedication.
So Friday was Friday the 13th and it proved to be an unlucky day. The city of Hartford does a lot of silly things. They're in the process of repaving a lot of the roads here (which is good, the roads here are TERRIBLE) which is great, but the way they do it bewilders me. First, they take all the old and cracked tar off the road and then they wait about 2 or 3 weeks before they pave it again. I don't know, maybe I just don't know anything about paving a road, but I feel like this way seems silly. The problem is with all the tar off the road, all the man-holes and drains stick up above the road and create quite a hazard. They spray-paint them orange and put up signs that say "warning: raised structures ahead" but it doesn't make it any easier to drive on these roads. We were driving back from our District meeting on a rainy Friday afternoon. I was swerving like a drunkard, trying to avoid all the "raised structures", but there was a particularly bad one that I didn't quite miss. Aaaand I blew a tire. For a second I thought I'd screwed up the axle too because the car was trying to swerve to the left, but luckily it was just the tire. We stopped and called the elders to come save us. They came a helped us change the tire in the rain (I observed them as best I could, just in case I need to change a tire in the future). Then we went to pepboys to get a new tire. But then Chile beat Australia in soccer that night, which made it all better. Vamos Chile!

Well are you ready for transfer news?! I'm staying in Hartford!! Sister H is getting transferred to Cambridge though! She's excited, but sad to say bye to her first area. My new companion is..................I don't know, because she hasn't gotten to Boston yet--I'M TRAINING!!! I'm so excited!! President P makes "leadership calls" before T-texts to those who have been called to be trainers, sister training leaders, district leaders and zone leaders. So he called Friday morning before T-texts and said, "Sister Hutchinson, the Lord has called you to be a trainer!" I am SO stoked! It was great to finish Sister H's training (pft, she was basically already trained when I came in), but my new companion is going to be fresh off the plane! I'm excited to help her adjust to mission life and learn how to be a great missionary! In other transfer news...the elders are being taken out of Hartford! For the last year there's been a set of Elders and a set of Sisters in Hartford, but because our mission has too many missionaries, they're not sending us as many missionaries as are going home. So we're losing a lot of missionaries and a lot of areas. The Hartford Spanish Elders was one of the areas chosen to be closed. So not only am I training, but we're now the ONLY missionaries in the Branch. It's going to be weird because my whole mission I've shared wards with other companionships. This will be the first time we're going to be by ourselves. I'm kinda nervous, but a whole lot of excited!

Have a great week!!!
Hermana Hutchinson
June 10, 2014

L got baptized!!!!!!!!! The baptism was huge! A ton of missionaries came and most of the branch. It was a ton of fun to see everyone there. L is so happy now. He was given the Holy Ghost and the Priesthood on Sunday and this Saturday we're going to the temple with him and S to do baptisms! We've been trying to help them with their family history so they can take family names. That's our goal, but it's kind of hard to do family history from hispanic countries. We're working on it though!

In other news, we had a zone conference yesterday!! It was an amazing zone conference! Our Mission President just talked to us for a few hours on how to prepare to receive revelation and then how to recognize the spirit when we receive revelation. Holy cow, I learned a LOT! Learning how to receiving revelation has always been something I've struggled with. I think a lot of people struggle with it. So it was really cool to see all this scriptural insight on how to prepare ourselves spiritually to receive revelation and then how to recognize revelation when we receive it. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of scripture study to learn to recognize spiritual promptings. But it's definitely worth it

Well, the internet cafe we're at is about to close unfortunately. We have t-texts this friday so I'll have transfer news the following Monday. We both think Sister H is going to get transferred, but we'll find out! I just hope that sometime before I finish my mission, I get to be companions with Hermana C. She's from Chile and we're best friends already haha

I hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Hutchinson 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 2, 2014

Well, this was a GREAT week! We had S's baptism on Saturday, which was amazing! Of course, it was a baptism so what could go wrong, did go wrong. We had a hard time filling the font, one of the speakers didn't show up...the usual. But in the end, everything worked out perfectly. Somehow we got the font to work and it filled up in the hour and a half we had left (miracle) and I ended up replacing the speaker who didn't show up (it was because she couldn't get a ride there) so I spoke on the Holy Ghost. I talked about how it's a still small voice, using the example from 3 Nephi 11:2 of when the nephites heard the voice of the spirit before Christ came, but it was a still small voice that penetrated them to their souls. I then told a story from my own life when I felt impressed to follow the spirit and was able to help somebody. It was when I was in college. I was walking home from school one time and I saw a girl with disabilities in a wheelchair across the street. I felt impressed to go follow her. I tried to shake it off, thinking it would be weird because I didn't even know her. Finally, the spirit prompted me enough to follow her, by the time I'd caught up to where she was, she was trying to cross the street. But you know how streets are higher in the middle and lower towards the sidewalks? It's ever so slight, but this girl was struggling getting up the slight slope. I got there just in time to help her cross before the light turned. If I hadn't followed the spirit, who knows what would have happened? 
It was a really short notice talk (like 10 minutes, maybe) but I did my best.

This week was full of a lot of baptismal preparations. Not only did we have S, but we also have L this Saturday. That poor guy is going through a lot right now. We got a call from him Saturday night. He told us he'd got kicked out of his house and was on the street. He was going to try to get into a shelter, but he didn't have any clothes for church the next day so he wasn't sure if he could go. We told him it didn't matter what clothes he had on, as long as he was there! He ended up getting into a shelter that night and he did come to church on Sunday, thank goodness! This morning we got a call from him and one of the members is letting him stay at their house for now. He said he was surprised, but grateful. It's amazing the miracles that come when you keep the commandments!

So Sunday was one of the best sacrament meetings I've ever been in! There were two baby blessings, the confirmation of S, and a particularly good testimony meeting. The spirit was really strong, to say the least. I was really pleased with the spirit that was felt. I love going to church because it gives us the chance to be rejuvenated spiritually and that was definitely a spiritually rejuvenating day. It makes getting through the week a lot easier. We also had dinner with our branch president and his wife last night. They're a hoot! I love having dinner with them. We speak in Spanglish and the food is always delicious. It's a blast. 

So now we commence with preparations for L's baptism as well as preparations to get him, S, N and J (another new convert) to the temple on the 14th. It's going to be a crazy couple weeks. We need to help them prepare names of their ancestors to take to the temple so they can do vicarious baptisms for them. We've already talked a lot about baptisms for the dead and how we can help our ancestors receive the blessings of the Gospel, even though they've moved on the spirit world. They're both very excited about it and have already started finding names. 

There is definitely plenty to do here in Hartford. On top of all the great missionary work that's going on, yesterday was the Puerto Rican parade. The festivities started Saturday night and ended Sunday night. There were honking horns, screaming, yelling, fireworks and sirens going for a good 24 hours, if not more. It was hilarious. Despite all the irreverence, I couldn't help but look out our open 19th story window at the Hartford skyline and think that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now.

I love you all so much!
Hermana Hutchinson

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May 26, 2014


Our zone was got to go to the temple today!! We were supposed to be there at 8:00 for the 8:30 session so we planned on being on the road at 5:30. the elders came with us in our car so we were going to meet them at the church at 5:20. So I planned on waking up at 4:20 to get ready. I woke up at 5. I JUMPED out of bed. We quickly got ready and somehow made it to the church not too late to pick up the elders. We were just about to get on the freeway when sister h realized she left her recommend at home. We drove back, grabbed the recommend and hit the road again. It was raining like crazy and I somehow, by the grace of God, drove past two cops going 20 over and didn't get pulled over (one of them was actually driving behind me. He appeared out of NOWHERE! I looked in my mirror and there was suddenly a state trooper driving behind me. I gasped and slowed down a bit. He then passed me going probably 90 and drove away. That's Connecticut.) We finally got to the hour early haha but we got to go to the 7:30 session instead.

We then ate at Chipotle (Mexican Subway) and met up with some other missionaries in our zone. We went to Cambridge to drop of our cars and did the Freedom Trail in Boston (a must-do for when we go to Boston after my mission!) We did an insane amout of walking! We saw the USS Constitution, the Old North Church (which is where Paul Revere saw the lanterns and warned everyone that "The British are coming! The British are coming!") and the Bunker Hill memorial. The memorial was a giant tower (kind of like the Washington memorial in DC) with 294 stairs inside. We walked up all of them. hahaha we were really tired by the end. My legs were shaking but it was well worth it. We also just got to walk around Boston and enjoy the sights! It was a ton of fun. I LOVE Boston. 

So after our adventure, we made it back to the cars and left for Hartford. THAT was an adventure. Originally we were going to take the 90, but it's a toll road. On the way to Boston it's only $1.75 but after driving for 15 minutes to Hartford, we'd already paid $3 and didn't want to pay more so we got off. The GPS took us on a crazy long route which took an hour longer than it needed to. But we finally made it home! We're here, really tired and ready for bed. But we wanted to write home so as not to freak you guys out. :)

So Elder Holland. Wow. That was amazing. I mean, AMAZING. So just being in the presence of an Apostle of the Lord was cool enough. Sister H and I somehow lucked out and got front row seats so we were right there. We all got the chance to go up and shake his hand, as well as his wife and Elder Hallstrom who's in the presidency of the quorum of the seventy. We listened to a talk by Elder Hallstrom, by Sister Holland and then by Elder Holland. His talk was spectacular. He talked a lot about how our missions should convert us and how we shouldn't fall away when we get home from our missions. He talked a lot about how much of an impact his mission played in his life--he can even tell you, on any given day, how long it's been since he's gotten home from his mission. He said he thinks about his mission every single day. He also talked about how Preach My Gospel came about and used that to explain how Preach My Gospel was written to convert the missionary so the missionary could better convert the investigator. Then came the cool part. He said, "I feel a sermon coming on...." So he came down from the pulpit,  and started walking amoungst the pews (we were in the chapel) He was also using a whiteboad to explain his sermon. So Sister H and I were sitting on the front row. He walked in front of us like 50 times. I was sitting on the very end of the pew and several times he would  stand right in front of me to address everyone. Literally right in front of me. I could check the time on his watch. (I didn't, I was too enthrawled by what he was saying) He was literally right there.

His sermon thing was cool too. Using examples in John 3-4, he explained how we need to "go to" the investigator spiritutally and "bring them" to where they need to be. He showed us how the Savior did it and explained how we could do it ourselves. It was marvelous. He then got back up to the pulpit to finish. He talked to us about "Coming to the edge". He shared a poem about somebody who was beckoned to come to the edge, but didn't want to because he was afraid of falling. He finally headed the voice and went to the edge. The beckoner then pushed him, but instead of falling, he flew. He told us the same is with us. If we have faith, we too will fly.

Finally, he told us that in his entire 25 years of visiting missions, that mission conference was the best one he'd ever been too. He said he felt a strong spirit with us and that we would do great things. He left us all with an Apostolic blessing and sadly, our time with him came to a close.

It was an amazing experience. Even after he left we remained silent. Nobody wanted to move because of how strong the spirit was. We stayed there for about 10-15 minutes, contemplating what we had learned and felt, writing down promptings from the spirit and enjoying the peace that was there. It was powerful.

So that was my week! 

S and L are both doing great! Socorro had her baptismal interview, which she passed with flying colors. I got to translate the interview.

We also changed the baptismal date of L. He was going through some trials so we told him it would be better to confront those trials with the Spirit. With the help of a letter written to him by a past missionary, we convinced him. He's now getting baptized on June 7 and will be going to the temple June 14 to do baptisms! We are so excited but this means that we have a million billion things to do in the next two weeks now that we have back-to-back baptisms! It's going to be a crazy couple weeks, but we're ready for it!

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Keep being awesome! 

Love you all!
Hermana Hutchinson