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