Monday, October 13, 2014

Splits with Elder Ayres from Canada - October 13, 2014

BBQ with our zone by the Hudson River

Hola Familia,
What a week! This week my companion had leadership training because he is a newer missionary for two days and I stayed in anEnglish area with Elder Ayres from Canada in Emerson, New Jersey. Emerson is a very wealthy area and what they have to resort to is a lot of door contacting. Elder Ayres just has a way with connecting with people especially with the elderly. We knocked doors for a good two hours and contacted many prepared people. We contacted a lot of Catholic teachers but met one that was investigating the Jehovah's Witness church. She said she is open to all religion and gladly accepted a Book of Mormon to study. She was really nice and said they could come back. We then went to visit a less active at a rest home and ended up contacting an elderly lady named Betty who said she has not been to a church for a couple years because she has no transportation. She said that her daughter is a Mormon but is less active. She said she just wants to attend a church does not matter what kind. She got excited when we told her that someone can come and pick her up. We ended up singing "I am a child of God" and she absolutely loved it.
On Thursday we had the opportunity to watch "Meet the Mormons." I loved it! My favorite was of course the Navy coach and the Candy bomber. They were all really good especially the missionary mom. This is how our investigators are doing:
Iris: We retaught the restoration in a more spiritually conducive environment. It went very well and really liked the first vision and said she believes it. She had some very good questions and she had been reading the BOM consistently everyday. Her husband does not like our church for some reason so she has asked us to come early afternoons when he is not there.
Alejandro: He is the husband of Rosa and we taught him the restoration last Tuesday. The spirit was present and strong and was very attentive to our message. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted! We then taught him again last Saturday the Gospel of Jesus Christ and had another great lesson. He was less attentive but understood and felt the truthfulness of our message. We invited him to be baptized on November 16th and he accepted! He committed him to pray about it first and also with his wife so they can be baptized together.
Kaylee: We had a quick door lesson with her because she was in a hurry but said she has been reading only a little bit in the BOM and has been very busy with her children. We will see her this week.
Justin: He has been reading the BOM every day but only a little bit. We taught him the restoration and tried to ask him some questions to get him to participate but just gave couple word answers. He was very attentive and sincere. He is a great guy that is a little shy but wants to do what is right.
Filadelfo: We taught him the commandment to read the scriptures, say his prayers and attend church by using an object lesson with pennies. We made a triangle out of 10 pennies pointing the opposite direction of a picture of Jesus Christ. We asked them to move the triangle pointing at Christ by only moving three pennies. It took them a while to figure it out but turned out a member that accompanied us figured it out. He just moved the three outer pennies to have it point at Christ. We related this object lesson by saying if you do the three simple things of reading, praying and attending church you will be following Christ and does not matter what crazy, busy things we have to do as long as we put those three things first. They really like the lesson and felt a great spirit.
Rosalino: We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and went very well. He had a lot of great insights about following Christ. We had our Haitian member present and shared some great insights on the holy ghost as well. We invited him to be baptized again but said he still needs to prepare and get his life in more in order. We explained to him that to be baptized is only a goal and that we would help him get to the level of preparation. He is so awesome and loving.
Natalia: We visited her last Saturday and told us she has been having a lot of pain in her chest. We offered her a blessing of comfort and accepted. The spirit was strong after we gave it and shared Alma 7: 11-12 about Christ suffering for us. We have decided to drop her because she is not keeping commitments and has lost interest as well. We will still visit her periodically to see how she is doing.
Mario: He just recover from a chemical exposure and has been doing better. We taught him the Plan of Salvation with a great diagram that my companion had. He said that it all made sense to him and feels like he has a better direction on where he is going. He said that he is going to read more in the BOM. He was also talking with us about how he likes our standards of no smoking and drinking and that we follow them and really wants to follow them as well. He is awesome.
Moses: Went over law of chastity and talked about mutual with him and his mom. He responded well to the law of chastity lesson and would like to attend mutual. We told him and his mom and that we could get a brother to come and take him to mutual. She said she first wants to meet him and she will think about it as well. So we are going to set up an appointment with her and Hermano Pena. Moses is progressing well. So awesome!
Bicente & Dora: We taught Bicente the restoration and the gospel of Jesus Christ yesterday without Dora because she was on her way out the door to Queens. He said that he has been taught by missionaries before in the DR and remembered a lot about the restoration and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said he still wants to be baptized and we committed him to pray with Dora for a date to get baptized. They have been reading a lot and have been sharing the BOM with all there family members that have come to her house. They are an awesome couple.
Last night we visited Sister Mendez who came to church yesterday for the first time in a while due to breast cancer. She has not been getting better but had a great positive attitude and read the Beattitudes in Mathew with her with Hermano Pena. It was a great visit with her and could feel her awesome spirit with her four little kids.
We also visited the Vargus family. We first taught Sister Vargus right outside her door and she was telling us the hard time she is having with her husband. She is very active in the church and served a mission but Hermano Vargus is not. She started to cry and we tried to comfort her. Her husband came back and we had a great lesson on Helamen 5:12 with a object lesson. We had a can and asked them what would they think would happen if someone throw a can at my fingers. They said that it would break them. But them asked what would happen if I smashed my fingers on a table with a can. They said the damage would be worse. I them smashed my fingers with the can and nothing happened because there is a little air in the can that conforms to the shape of your fingers. We related that by saying we need to be build upon the rock of Christ so when the trials come, the blow will not be drastic. They really liked the lesson and we had a great chat with them after. They are a great family. I really love them. I am so grateful to be a missionary and see how the gospel changes lives. Well, I love you Dad, Mom, Tanner and Mckay all so much! Thank you for your unfailing love and prayers in my behalf.
Elder Plummer

General Conference was amazing!!!! October 6, 2014

Dear Family!
What an amazing general conference. I am glad you had a great Happy Birthday Mom! How do you like the shirt? President Taggart has been pushing all missionaries to request "Meet the Mormons" in New Jersey but we have not received enough requests yet. We have seen the trailers and they look great. Hope it does well! I loved the talk by Elder Holland about assisting the poor. Also the talk by Elder Robins about not lowering our standards to the worlds. Really put it in perspective. Elder Scotts talk on the importance of Scripture study and FHE really hit home to me. The brother that gave the talk about the young mother who turned off the TV so that they could have more time to study reminded me of you mom! Grateful for you constant reminder to put education first. I have really seen the fruits. We have been contacting Haitians in French and only know how to say the basics but I am learning. It is really great! This is how are investigators are doing:
Kaylee: She is a former that we only visit periodically because she usually does not keep commitments. But this time when we visited her last Tuesday she told us the real reason why she does not read the BOM. She said that she tried reading it with her boyfriend but would always end up arguing. She also does not have time to read it as well. We said that if she listened to the BOM every day for 10 minutes she will find the peace she is looking for. She then whipped out her iPhone and started to download the LDS app. She has really shown a desire and we are excited to see how it goes.
Filadelfo: He is progressing well. We gave him a promise that if he reads everyday from the BOM for three months he will overcome his struggle to read and improve his reading ability drastically. He has really taken our promise to heart and is reading everyday and it has been a month and a half already. He said that his reading ability has improved! We taught the five points of the gospel and had a great spirit there. He is still looking for his answer to know if the BOM is true.
Justin: He is a English referral from the sisters. They said it started to get a little weird for them and decided that they wanted us to teach him. He is in his early 20s and is very shy and quiet. We introduced to BOM to him and invited him for baptism and he has accepted! Very humble and sincere guy. He is going to go far!
Naomi: she is back in Guatemala but had a great lesson with her on prayer. We said good bye to her and said she will look up the missionaries in her area. We are excited for her and looking forward to teach her children who are still here in New City.
Juan(Less active): He is from Puerto Rico and is about 70 years old. He was baptized 10 years ago in the church but lost contact right after that. He ran into the sister the other day and they wrote down his contact information. He has had some brain damage but is still able to hold a job and carry out the routine of life. He wants to come out and help us preach the gospel and be a member missionary. He also came to general conference and absolutely loved it! Such a great guy!

Dora: She has been extremely busy and we have not been able to visit her. We are hoping next week. Still wants to be baptized.

We could not visit all of our investigators due to conference. Our English class has been struggling but I think this week it is going to increase the attendance. I love you Dad, Mom, Tanner, Mckay!

Elder Plummer

Our wonderful hungarian grandmother non-member neighbor, Ann, she always shares her food with us

George Washington Bridge and Harlem in the background

Doing service at the famous Rockland bakery, yummy!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Birthday boy is 20 years old, feliz cumpleaƱos, Elder Plummer!!!!

Dear amazing family,
I absolutely loved the package I received! I love the patterns on the ties and the colors. So excited to eat the alfajores! The belt is perfect! My companion has the exact same belt but has had some problems with it (leather was kind of shredded off) but thinks he has been too rough on his belt. But I will keep an eye on it. Thank you for the pen and notepads and the bars! I am going to read the French book as well. Thank you for the 17 Miracles DVD. Excited to watch it one of these P-days!
Yesterday we had zone conference with a seventy which is why we have a p-day today. It was an amazing conference. Elder Anderson from the first quorum of the seventy came and spoke to us yesterday about the our purpose as missionaries. He talked about why a lot of investigators do not keep commitments and talked about the difference between head, heart and soul knowledge. Head knowledge is like memorizing and heart knowledge is when it sparks a desire by the Holy Ghost or other motives. Soul knowledge is when they act on there desire and where the true testimony in acquired. It was an amazing training. We also heard from Sister Anderson who addressed us on patterns which make us happy. Some the patterns she mentioned were scripture study, prayer, disciplined schedule, etc. And talked about maintaining those patterns that make one happy after you mission. She also did a comparison with her family as a zone, saying her husband is the zone leader and she is his companion. Her children and grandchildren are there investigators. She reported the number of her children that were baptized, received the priesthood and endowed and sealed in the temple. It was a really cool comparison. Life is just like the mission. She referred the mission as a spiritual boot camp to help us to have a spiritual foundation for the rest of our lives and for eternities. Amazing training. Alot of the focus by the Taggarts was loving ourselves by recognizing God's love for others. Amazing training. The assistants presented a plan to do better effective contacts with the Introduce, feel, felt, question approach. It is very inspired and are going to implement it. Excited to use it.
Investigators are doing great!
Mario: We taught him last Tuesday about the Plan of Salvation. He just told us about his brother who was just killed in Guatemala before we taught him. He really took the news hard and was really struggling. We prayed for him and felt impressed to teach the Plan of Salvation. He was in a lot of pain for his surgery on his shoulder and had a hard time focusing on the lesson. We tried to go through the lesson as quick as possible because of how much pain he was in. He said he will keep reading the BOM and we can come back latter on next week.
Walter: He is not a new investigator but is a referral the sisters gave us. We felt inspired to go find them. We first met with his 15 year old daughter and taught her a short lesson and said we could come back to teach her dad latter on that same day. He is heavily involved in his Christian church and just told us that all churches lead to heaven. We explained about the primitive church and explained more about the BOM and the necessity of it. He had some misconceptions that we cleared up with like if we worshiped Joseph Smith and other concerns like that. He really is curious about the BOM and said he will make some time to read and said he will actually read at work. We have been trying to set up a return appointment but says he is very busy.
Naomi: We went very slowly with the restoration when we taught her last Wednesday and cleared up some principles she was confused on. We focus a lot on the Great Apostasy and the importance of a restoration. She said that she is "Bien metido" in her Evangelical church in Guatemala but is open to still listen to us. She leaves back to Guatemala in a week but we committed her to just experiment on the BOM and ask sincerely if the BOM is true or not. She agreed to read it. We also met with her last Saturday and went over the faith and repentance. She asked us some questions concerning the second coming of Christ and asked if we could address those questions next time. It was a good lesson.
Rosalino: Did the same thing we did with Naomi with going through the restoration slowly. We used the analogy of if a teacher left the room with a bunch of 5 year olds what will happen? We compared that to the Great Apostasy and how there was disorder after God took away the authority and keys from off the earth. It really helped him to understand the importance for a restoration. We also taught him last Sunday as well about faith and repentance. Went very well.
Maria: She was there with her almost whole family and taught her brother, friend and son. We went over the BOM and the importance of it and were all very attentive throughout the whole lesson. They had some good questions about our church and committed each one of them to read and pray about the BOM. Awesome lesson.
Dora: She is on date for baptism for October 12th and is more than excited. We went through the restoration with a member. She was telling us that she has invited some of her friends to be baptized in our church! We were taken back and very excited for her, it was cool as she encouraged our member to share the Gospel. She is very ready to be baptized!
We have also started a English class which will be held Mondays at 7pm. We had our member and recent convert come and had a great lesson on offering prayers in English. I also taught Jimi the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. Great night!

I love you Dad, Mom, Tanner and Mckay very much.

Elder Plummer

I loved all the ties, belt, socks, candy and more. Thanks so much!!!

Our wonderful zone

We saw a car with Utah plates, it made our day!!

Our humble study room

Our beautiful church building 

Again, thanks for all the gifts, specially the French dictionary.