Westerly, RI: We have started to really focus on teaching the stay-at-home moms the discussions, explaining that Sister Christensen really needs the practice. This allows the members to feel needed and help in missionary work. It also helps us to get to know the members in their homes and builds the Spirit there while helping us with our teaching skills. We have been able to do this with two families so far and it's been going great at both. Both of the SAHM Sister members that we practice on will ask a hard question and then "yell" at Sister Christensen not to look at me and to answer. It's been awesome to build her self confidence.
The last time we were over practice teaching Sister Pesch, her husband was supposed to be out of town. But he was there so we practice taught them both.
Sunday, 14 April, was pretty exciting. We met in the home of one of the members and our new little Branch was organized by President Hutchings, the Stake President. President Clayton Christensen, the counselor in our Mission Presidency was able to attend. Brother West was called as Branch President, which everyone had pretty much anticipated. Brother Parson (son of Leon Parson, the artist) as 1st counselor, and Brother Garrett as 2nd counselor. Still no Relief Society or Primary presidents yet. We taught Sunday School and it appears that we will be the permanent Gospel Doctrine teachers for now. In Relief Society we had about 10 women, including us. It seemed well attended.
It was awesome that when President Hutchings asked us about a woman that was attending Sacrament meeting, we were able to say, "An investigator!" So while things aren't hopping yet, we are now totally, almost, official and we have some plans to keep the working going. It's great!
Monday, 15 April, it was Patriot’s Day in New England and the place we had hoped to visit was closed for the holiday. So we went off to Sister Rowan to help with some projects. We were working out in her yard when Sister Jones came up to me with phone in hand, "Sister, I think something's wrong." I looked at the texts from the Mission and it basically said "Everyone in the Cambridge and Boston Zones get home and tell your Zone leader when you're there" We all gathered around the computer as Sister Rowan read off what was happening at the Boston Marathon. It was sobering. Our thoughts were first to those that were affected by what was happening and then to the missionaries in the area. We realized that half the Zones in the Mission were in Boston to attend the Temple for the special sessions they hold for the missionaries on holidays. We were very relieved to know that all the missionaries were safe.
This week we helped at JonnyCakes (It's like DI. We help sort donations on Wednesdays and then help in the food pantry on Fridays), taught Sister Pesch, and served at the soup kitchen and had an epic lesson with Josh. We have really tried to come at his lessons from a different angle because he has been taught the lessons so many times.We feel like he felt something and we hope he will act on it. We are trying to bring his three goals of: A close relationship with God, a happy family, and peace and serenity at church, into every lesson so he is able see the personal application of the things we teach. We are really trying to help him come closer to achieving his own goals.
On Friday, we were doing our service when we got the text to lockdown because of the events happening near Boston. Saturday, I learned that I am being transferred to Boston.
Boston, MA: Sister Kanani has gone from one of the smaller Branches in the Mission to serve in four very large Single Adult Wards. Her new apartment is in Watertown. (oh, the irony.) She is currently in a trio until the next transfer when 18 Sisters and 1 Elder arrive from the MTC. Then the 4 Wards will be split into sets of two with a set of Sister missionaries serving in each set. When the areas get split again there will be 4 sisters living in the apartment. And no more car. They use the public transportation which is Sister Kanani says is pretty fun.
This last week the missionaries helped clean up the Charles River as part of Earth Day. It was supposed to be last week but with the city shut down it was put off. Sister Kanani said it was, “Just so I could be here and help!”
She wrote that “Sunday was chaos with so many meetings. We left the apartment at 8 a.m. and didn't get back until after 9 p.m. It was extra late because of a musical fireside that Sister Jordan was a part of. It was crazy running around.”
“No matter what, the Gospel is still true and Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer and that is all that matters.”