Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 4: Worcester, Massachusetts

Family and Friends,

     Massachusetts is awesome, I've been in the field for 6 days now. I am serving in the Worcester area, which is pronounced "wusta" here in New England. This is the craziest place I've ever been. Worcester is full of liquor stores, hookah lounges, tattoo parlors, smoke shops, and CHURCHES! There are soooo many churches here, you can always see a steeple, no matter where you are. The only thing crazier than the area is the people of Worcester. The accents are very thick and they are all pretty blunt. Most people here either speak Spanish, are classic new englanders, or are immigrants from Africa. Pretty diverse, the people are crazy but I love them so much. The ward members are very welcoming and I definitely got called to the best place ever. People here live pretty poorly and it's amazing how much faith they all have in Jesus Christ. 

     My last week at the MTC was fantastic. I had THE best teachers and they truly strengthened my testimony and desire to serve so much. The Sunday before we left Elder Bednar came and spoke to us. That is when I truly realized what a mission is all about, and what I learned is that I am nothing. Nothing without Christ, missions are not about the missionary at all. It's about being an instrument for the Savior.   Through Him we can become so much more, only if we are willing to forget about the natural man in all of us. I invite you all to turn outward as Christ would when the natural man would turn inward. 

     Flying into Boston was amazing, it was so crazy being in the airport and realizing that I represent Christ everywhere I go. President Miller is my mission president, he and his wife are so kind and welcoming. They are very sweet and I know that they are called by God. My companion is...... *drum roll* Elder Scoresby!!!! He is from AZ, he has been out for 10 months. He is such a great trainer and he is an amazing missionary. We had a baptism on my very first week and we have one planned for next week! James was baptized this week, he is a amazing guy. He is 18 and his at home situation isn't very good, but he has so much faith and has such strong desire to follow Christ. Bob is hopefully getting baptized this Saturday.  He is 61 and is from Ghana, he is a cancer survivor and he is such a cool old man. 

I'm so excited to be serving here in Worcester, MA. Thank you for all the prayers and support. 

Elder Gutierrez

Elder Evans & Elder Gutierrez with MTC teachers, Sister Badham and Sister Linford

Elder Gutierrez & Braden Hill (Best friend and MTC teacher)

Massachusetts Boston Mission MTC District
Flying into Boston

Arriving in Boston

Elder Scoresby & Elder Gutierrez with James

Sunset in Worcester

Churches Everywhere in Worcester - You Can Always See a Steeple

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week 3: Call from the SLC Airport

    On Tuesday morning, we got a call from Drew.  They give the missionaries a calling card to call from the airport.  There were 19 missionaries traveling to the Massachusetts Boston Mission.  He was excited to talk to everyone.  He talked about how he loved the MTC.  The spirit is so strong and he said, "I learned more here in three weeks than I have my whole life."  He was a changed person and has had a personal conversion.  I feel like that is one of the biggest blessings of serving a mission.  He loved all the missionaries in his district where he served them to the best of his ability.  He loved his MTC companion, Elder Tanner Evans, from Orem, UT.  He said that they were very complimentary of each other.  When they were teaching, Drew was great at introduction and getting gospel conversations started.  Elder Evans jumped in to bear his testimony of gospel truths.  Drew said that it seemed like they had known each other forever.  He said that Elder Evans reminded him of a mixture of Porter Casdorph, his roommate, and Nate Gutierrez, his brother.
     Unfortunately, we had to tell Drew about the death of his roommate, Frank de Leon Compres.  He was flying an airplane on a solo flight to get hours towards his commercial pilots license.  Something happened to the plane, he sent out a distress signal but the plane crashed killing him. At first Drew was shocked but then immediately responded by saying, "Pray for his family.  This will be very hard for them."  Frank was from the Dominican Republic and was an international student in his senior year at Utah State University.  He was a very well liked student and the Resident Assistant for the Snow Hall dorms floor 4.  We are so thankful that we have the plan of salvation and know that death is not the end.  Drew will see Frank again.
     Before Drew hung up, he challenged Levi to prepare now for his mission.  He also challenged us to read our scriptures and pray daily.  He is extremely excited to get to Boston and share the gospel.  We will hear from him next week.

Heidi Gutierrez

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Week 2: 7 Days until Boston!

     Exactly this time next week I'll be on a plane headed to Boston! Another great week at the MTC, I seriously love it here. It's super tiring but so rewarding. My district is the best. We are all so close, and our teachers are the best. Thank you for all the prayers.

     The companion, investigators, and missionary life is great! I love it here so much. Teaching Bubba has been so good, he is really hard to teach but he opened up to us a lot and honestly Elder Evans and I learned so much form him. What an amazing man with a truly inspiring story. ( watch "From Gangster to Good Man" on Yui, our other investigator, is such an amazing lady.   She's going to be baptized! (I think she's a member) but still it was awesome teaching her as well. Elder Evans and I were BEYOND stoked when she accepted our invitation to her to be baptized. 

     Time is really flying by here, I'm also super excited because today we get to go to the temple. It's been closed all month until today. I've learned so much and have grown so much. My testimony grows every single day. This week my testimony of Joseph Smith has grown so so so much. He did so much and went through so much for us today. He was a prophet of GOD! What an amazing man with so much drive and dedication. I'm so thankful for the work that he did. 

     Thank you all for the support. Love you all. I invite you all to turn to Christ. Act as he would do. Feel as he would feel. And love as he would love. 

With love,
Elder Gutierrez
Yui, our investigator

Tired 24/7

MTC District 216

Elder Crowther, HOMIE

Temple Walk

Bubba!!!  Love This Guy Even Though He Scares Me!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Letter from MTC Presidency

2005 North 900 East
Provo, Utah 84604-1793
Phone: 1-801-422-2603

July 6, 2016

Elder Andrew Luciano Gutierrez

Dear Elder Gutierrez,

     Congratulations on your assignment to serve as a District Leader. We appreciate your willingness to help and bless the other missionaries in your district. Through your example of Christ-like living and appropriate missionary behavior you will become an inspiration and role model for those you lead.  Your support and encouragement of the other missionaries will be a blessing to them. We encourage you to seek the Lord’s spirit in your stewardship. It will guide you to those who may need your assistance and love, and will inspire you in how to lift and strengthen them.

     You have been assigned through inspiration. You will be blessed as you follow the counsel and direction of your Branch Presidency. You should share your concerns with them, and seek their counsel in providing assistance to those you serve. Please refer to your missionary leader guide book for specific responsibilities.

     May the Lord bless you in this assignment and throughout your mission.


Lon B. Nally

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week 1: Charity - The Pure Love of Christ

Dear Family and Friends,

I LOVE the MTC and missionary life. I have never felt the presence of my Heavenly Father so much in my life. The church is so true, God loves all his children, and if we do all that we can to follow him we can become like him. I know this to be true and I hope to share this with every single person that I can in Boston. Thank you again for all the love and support I have received in the last week.

Wednesday: WOW, what can I say. The very first day on my mission was insane. Though so comforting and peaceful. There are angels at the front doors of the MTC, as soon as I walked through those doors any concerns or doubts that I had instantly vanished. The MTC is like being in the temple 24/7, the spirit is so amazing and I love it. My companion is Elder Tanner Evans from Orem, UT. We get along soooooo well!  I feel like I've known him for such a long time and its only been a week.

Thursday: Day 2 as a missionary Elder Evans and I taught our first lesson! Our investigator is Vivian (who is actually our teacher), and even though it was to our teacher it felt so real. Our first lesson was amazing, the spirit was so strong and we invited her to read the Book of Mormon. Everyday at the MTC is slam packed with the spirit and studying. Also on Thursday I was made District leader. So basically I run the meetings, interview the Elders, and get the mail haha! I love my district so much and we all get along so well.

Friday: I have never felt the spirit more in my life than on Friday. Such an amazing day! Elder Stone, our Zone Leader, came randomly into our classroom and started to bear his testimony. He said he had a prompting to do so, he bore his testimony on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I wish I could express to all of you how amazing this testimony was. He spoke about how even the son of God cried out saying "Father, Father, is there no other way?" Jesus Christ was betrayed by those he loved, beaten, spit upon, made fun of, had to carry his own cross, was nailed to the cross, and hung on the cross... A perfect man with no sins who dedicated his whole life to serving others. He did all of this because HE LOVES US! That is so so amazing to me. I wish all of you were there to hear this testimony because it truly changed my life. Later that same day, one of the sisters in my district asked if she could have a blessing, I was super excited to practice using my Priesthood. As I was giving her this blessing of comfort, she began to cry and I was overwhelmed with the spirit. I knew that God loved her so much and that he was proud of her and ALL of us at the MTC for serving him. Satan is constantly working on us here but he cannot win! Amazing day. I love this Gospel and I love being a missionary.

Saturday: I had my very first baptismal invitation today. As Elder Evans and I were teaching Vivian again I had the prompting to invite her to be baptized. The spirit was amazing and she said she would be baptized if she felt it was necessary. Soooo overall a success! Today we got to watch the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire. It was pretty fun even though we were standing in the parking lot, being a missionary is great!

Sunday: Turn outwards to Christ! Today we had lots of places to be and it was super busy, but it was a great first Sunday. At the end of the day, we watched a talk given by Elder Bednar. The message was to turn towards Christ. When we turn in, we let the natural man takeover. "Who cares how you feel!" is what he said, a mission is not about yourself. It's about serving others and helping others come unto Christ. It was a great message.

Monday: We taught our very first "real" investigators! Everyone go on and watch "From Gangster to Good Man", the man in that video is the actual guy we are teaching. His name is Bubba. He's super cool but also super super scary, he makes it super hard to teach him. Our first lesson with him he literally talked for the whole 25 minutes about gangbanging in Oceanside, CA. He's been through some really hard stuff and hopefully we can get him to trust us. Pray for us! Our other investigator is Yui, she is from Japan and has no religious background. She is super, super sweet and she accepted our invitations to go to church and to pray to God. Hopefully all goes well.

Thank you again for all the support.   I love you all and I love this church. I know there are people being prepared for me in Massachusetts right now. I invite you all to strengthen your relationships with Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Pray to him as if he is your best friend (because he is) and as if he is in the room, Love you all.

Elder Gutierrez
Angel Moroni on the Provo Temple
MTC District 216
Elder Drew Gutierrez & Sister Haley Hoch - CHHS Senior Officers- Now fellow ambassadors of Jesus Christ
MTC District 216

MTC District 216

Elder Evans & Elder Gutierrez
Elder Drew Gutierrez - Called To Serve
Elder Evans & Elder Gutierrez