Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 13: The Lord Prepares His Children

     Faustina, James, and Emmanuel were baptized on Saturday!!!  The joy and love that was felt this week was so unreal.  I seriously love this family so much and I am so thankful that Elder Stewart/Elder Scoresby and I were able to help them make these sacred covenants with the Lord. Not only were they baptized, but on Sunday they all received the Holy Ghost and James and Emmanuel received the Aaronic Priesthood! (And it was Emmanuel's birthday).  So Emmanuel was actually able to help ordain James, what a powerful spirit flooded the room when he laid his hands on James' head.  I peeked my eyes open during the ordination and it was so powerful to see Emmanuel using his priesthood.  That will definitely be one of my most precious memories from my mission.  Also the Spanish Worcester missionaries had a baptism this week!  Pretty great for the whole mission with 16 baptisms in all!  #Get Dunked

     Also this week, we met some pretty incredible people.  One being Carline Lysonge, Carline was a Bible referral.  So she ordered a free Bible and we had the opportunity to deliver that on Tuesday.  The first thing she told us was that 2 days prior to meeting her, she had dedicated her life to God.  We asked her what prompted the change.  She told us how her family was in a very terrible car crash one week earlier and one of her daughters was even ejected from the vehicle....but not a single person was hurt.  Not even her daughter that was ejected!  She just had a scratch on her ear.  So she new that there must be a God and so she ordered a Bible so she could learn more about Christ.  We have met with her twice and she has had lots of promptings to read the Book of Mormon and we set a baptismal date for October 29th.  We are hoping all works out well, she's great and it is so amazing to see that the Lord prepares people for the gospel even if it is putting them through a car crash!!!
     All is going well here, correction things are going great!!  Thank you for all the support and love I receive every day.  Being a missionary is so great and I'm very excited for the fall here in Massachusetts.  Everyone get ready for General Conference!!!!!

Elder Gutierrez
Elder Stewart, James, Faustina, Emmanuel & Elder Gutierrez - September 24, 2016

Baptism Day - Pure Joy and Happiness

James, Elder Gutierrez, Emmanuel, and Faustina

Gift of the Holy Ghost and Priesthood Ordinations - September 25, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 12: 2 Months in Massachusetts Today

     It's so true when people say the days are long but the weeks are short on a mission.  The weeks are flying by and some of the days never seem to end.  I am continuing to learn so much and I am so thankful to be where I am serving the Lord every day.  I think one of my biggest regrets in life would be coming home from my mission and knowing I hadn't given all my efforts everyday 24/7.
     Huge miracles this week!  We have an investigator named Julia.  She is 21 and basically the most Mormon non-Mormon that has ever lived.  She referred herself to the missionaries after she had been in her Catholic Chapel and had the impression to buy a Book of Mormon!  She bought one off of Amazon and the rest is history.  She has not been baptized yet because her family is very, very, very against the church.  They refuse to let her be baptized and they think she has been "brainwashed" by the missionaries.  She has such amazing faith.
     Elder Stewart and I were teaching her this week and had the impression to extend a baptismal date to her.  We had the most powerful lesson I've ever been in on my mission and extended the date of October 15th.  We told her that miracles would happen according to her faith.  At first she was unsure but she told us that she will be baptized on October 15th.  She is already seeing miracles this week.  One being that her mom said she was "ok" with her going to church now but also said, "You cannot be baptized until after I die."  But no worries, we know miracles will happen and that she will be baptized.  Faith is such a powerful thing.
     Also this week, we met lots of new investigators including a family from Haiti! They said that they believed our message and in the Book of Mormon right after we met them!  We hope to set some baptismal dates with them later this week.  Wish us luck and keep Faustina, James, Emmanuel, and Julia in your prayers.

Elder Gutierrez
Dinner with all the Worcester missionaries and the Bach Family

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Message Sent From Worcester to Mom's Phone

We are here with your son for apartment inspection.  We are eating lunch at Pampas Brazillian Steak House now.  They are great missionaries.  - It was so great to receive this message and know that senior couple missionaries are watching out for the Elders.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 11: Tony Got Dunked!

Dear Family and Friends,
     What a week!  So many crazy and exciting things happened in Worcester this week.  The most exciting and important being that Tony Collazo was baptized!  Teaching him and watching him grow as a person has been truly amazing.  When we first began teaching him, he was reserved and quiet. Now he has so much light and he has such great potential to help others come unto Christ.  Elder Asay was able to baptize Tony and on Sunday I was able to give him the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  What an amazing opportunity it was to give him that sacred blessing from our Heavenly Father.  I know that Tony will have such a great impact on helping his family and friends receive the gospel.
     It was such a relief to see him get baptized because when we first began teaching him he was very unsure and then later on he said he wanted to wait at least a year before he would get baptized.  Our Heavenly Father has a plan for everyone of us and if we pray to him for guidance he WILL help us. Tony is such proof of that, now he is preparing to take his mother's name to the temple and have his girlfriend perform her baptism.  Such a stud!
     So funny thing, Satan was definitely not happy with us baptizing Tony because right after his baptism, Elder Stewart came into contact with a man named Pastor Sam.  After the baptism, we were going to stop by a potential investigators home.  When we knocked, no one answered and we were on the porch talking and somebody opened the door who lived on a different floor of the duplex. (Homes are so weird in Massachusetts.  A duplex can have 8 families living in it).  We introduced ourselves and began to share our message with him.  He would not give us his name and he very hesitantly shook our hands.  Pretty fishy from the start.  He stopped us and began to ask us questions like:  "Who is Jesus?"  "Who is Satan?"  "Who is Joseph Smith?"  He asked us these questions in a very weird way, basically checking for our understanding.  Then, he told us to come into his home.  He sat us in his living room and told us to take out the Bible.  For the next 10-20 minutes, he tried to share as many scriptures with us in an attempt to disprove our message.  We answered back calmly every time with strong testimony and politely listened.  Though all of what he was saying was going in one ear and out the other.
     After a couple attempts to get him to take a Book of Mormon, we told him we would have to leave.  But here's the thing.  I was NOT going to leave that place without giving him a Book of Mormon.  So when he was offering a prayer before we left, I hid a Book of Mormon under his couch cushion!  Haha!!  I can only imagine how mad he will be when he finds it.  It was obvious that Satan was trying to get us to question our testimonies from this experience.  But, to be honest, it was such a testimony builder!  I know without a doubt that this church is true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I will never deny that.
     We are teaching some amazing people.  We have a new investigator named Giordan who is a funny kid.  Thank you for all the support and keep Faustina, James, and Emmanuel in your prayers as their baptisms are closely approaching!  Love you all!!

Elder Gutierrez
Tony's Baptism

Tony's Baptism - September 10, 2016

"The Happy Family Super Chinese Buffet"  (So gross, but somehow we end up eating there at least 2 times a month)

Bob sang us a song last visit.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 10: New Companion!

Dear Family and Friends,
     It has been a pretty amazing week in Worcester.  First of all, I got a new companion!  Elder Stewart, he is from Sunset, Utah.  He has been serving for about 13 months.  He has been all over the mission and recently transferred from Newport, Rhode Island.  He is a great missionary.  We are planning on getting an insane amount of work done and I am very, very excited to serve with him, grow with him, and learn with him.
     Story from the week:  Tony, our investigator is so amazing.  He continues to teach me so much.  He shared an amazing story this week with us.  So he was struggling to pay his car bill.  He currently doesn't have a job and he was getting pretty nervous.  Then, he watched a bible video and Christ spoke to his disciples about having little faith.  He then realized that he needed to have more faith and put his trust in the Lord.  Instead of worrying about the bill, he started reading his scriptures and said a prayer.  No later than an hour later he got a call from a job that he applied for.  They hired him and said that he could start the next day and his dad's girlfriend was going to lend him some money.  SO AMAZING!!  He has a baptismal date for this Saturday.  People here have so much faith and they are such great examples to me.
     This week we were at one of our dinner appointments and we were going to be fed steaks!  I was so stoked and then ... of course the grill caught on fire!  It was so crazy, the family was putting it out with a fire extinguisher and there was a cop there.  Ha, ha, no steak for us but oh well, the story was worth it.
     The work here is going well.  Miracles are happening every day.  Today we got to go to the temple again.  The temple truly is the house of the Lord and I'm so thankful to be so close to one.  I hope all is well in Utah and wherever else you all are!  Take advantage of being able to go to the temple often if you live nearby one.  Thanks for all the support!

Love ya,
Elder Gutierrez
Elder Gutierrez and Elder Stewart - New Companion August 31, 2016

Emmanuel, Faustina, and James with Elder Gutierrez

Elder Gutierrez and Tony

Elder Scorseby, Gutierrez, Clements, and Asay before exchanges