Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 22: It's a Boy! (Part 2)

     Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all had a fantastic and grateful week.  On Wednesday, I picked up my son, Elder Barlow!  He is such a great missionary.  The thing I love the most about him is that he wants to work hard and he has such a great desire to learn.  He is such a great missionary already. We are going to do amazing work here in Franklin and we are going to do everything we can to contribute to the missions' goal of having 50 baptisms in November and December.  So far Elder Barlow and I have been able to pick up 2 new investigators and we have set some big goals for this week.  I'm so very excited to be serving with him and to be training him.  He is from Taylorsville, UT and he has 11 siblings back home!
     On Wednesday before I picked up Elder Barlow, I got to go to the Boston Temple with Elder Waters, one of the missionaries that went home this week.  It was such a blessing to go to the House of the Lord unexpectedly.  This was exactly what I needed before I began training Elder Barlow. I gain so much peace and comfort knowing I have made sacred covenants with the Lord in the temple and that he will help me through my trials.  I know God lives and I am overwhelmed by his love for each and every one of us.  He truly loves us!
    On Thanksgiving, I was able to reflect on how thankful I am for my sweet family and all their love and support.  I am so grateful for them and all they do.  We had a great missionary Thanksgiving with the mostly new District and played some fun games.  I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be serving the Lord at this time.  I'm grateful for my health and for a Savior that has helped me to become someone greater because of my mission and I know I still have so much to learn.
     I invite all of you to go to mormon.org and check out the new Christmas video!  We can all serve in 25 ways over 25 days and I testify that you and your families can feel the love of the Christ as you serve as he did.  What a great opportunity we all have to focus on and follow his example this Christmas season.
     This week Elder Barlow and I hope to accomplish some great and big things!  Thank you all that support me and help me as I serve.  Love ya all!

Love,
Elder Gutierrez

Thanksgiving Dinner with the Franklin District

Beautiful Edible Arrangement

Happy Thanksgiving from my District

My son, Elder Patrick Barlow from Taylorsville, UT!

Boston Temple visit before picking up Elder Barlow - November 23, 2016

   

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 21: It's a Boy!

Dear Family and Friends,
     Well a lot of very exciting things happened this week, the most exciting being that I found out I'm going to be a father to a brand new missionary!  I'll be training this upcoming transfer.  Wednesday, the 23rd, I get to pick up my brand new missionary from the mission home.  He flies into Boston today.  I am so very, very, very stoked to be a trainer!  Greeny fire!!  I was also called to be the District Leader.
     This week was very fun, Elder Weber and I got to cut down some huge trees for a less active member who said he would like to come tracting with us sometime!  Which was huge since he hasn't been to church in years.  We also did some service at the Maple Sanctuary Farm, owned by a less active member.  We got to clean out some llama stalls which was surprisingly fun.
     Yesterday was a very cool day.  We got to participate in the Franklin, Massachusetts interfaith choir.  Every year the interfaith group in Franklin has a Thanksgiving event, basically it's a day when a bunch of different people from other religions get together and praise God.  It was super, super cool. We got to sing in Hebrew and hear from lots of other religious leaders from other faiths.  It was cool to see how even though we all had very different beliefs and very different views on lots of things we could all get together and have a good time with each other.  Some of the faiths present were the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Jewish Church, the Univeralist Church, and of the course the LDS Church.  It was also cool to see the religious leaders together in all their robes and fancy clothes and to see how simple and humble our Bishop was.  Very fun and neat experience.
     This week is going to bring lots of change and I am so excited to meet my new companion on Wednesday!  Love you all!!  Wish me luck.

Love,
Elder Gutierrez

Service - Chopping Down a Huge Tree


Friday, November 18, 2016

District Leader Call Letter from President Miller

November 18, 2016

Dear Elder Gutierrez
You are hereby called to serve as a District Leader. You should know that this call comes from the Lord. He trusts you in this sacred calling and responsibility. I also place great trust in you to care for the well-being of the missionaries assigned to work in your district, and to help the work of salvation for the souls of men move forward.  
As part of this assignment, your responsibilities include:
·         Setting an example for the missionaries in your district through study of the scriptures, living the gospel, obedience, hard work, and striving to improve proselyting skills.
·         Supervising, teaching, and inspiring the missionaries in your district.
·         Planning and conducting a weekly district meeting
·         Conducting exchanges with the missionaries in your district.
·         Interviewing baptismal candidates taught by the missionaries in your district.
·         Looking after the well-being of the missionaries in your district.

Your Zone Leaders will help you as you learn to fulfill these responsibilities. Remember that your most effective teaching is done through example.
I congratulate you on this sacred calling.

With Love,
President A. Todd Miller

Massachusetts Boston Mission

Trainer Call Letter from President Miller

November 18, 2016

Dear Elder Gutierrez
You are hereby called to serve as a Trainer for a newly arriving missionary. You should know that this call is a sacred trust from the Lord, and from me. A missionary’s first companion has a profound, lasting influence on the development of the missionary’s attitude and habits.
As part of this assignment, I ask that you:
·         Commit yourself to set the highest example of obedience and effective proselyting, and to do all that you can to help your companion begin his or her mission positively.
·         Help your companion adapt to missionary life by following the daily schedule diligently, reading daily from the Missionary Handbook, and obeying all the mission rules. Remember to be sensitive to the adjustment your companion is making, and provide help and encouragement in a kind and loving way.  
·         Hold companion study daily to help your companion develop and improve basic missionary skills.
·         Hold effective daily and weekly planning sessions, to help your companion learn how to plan to help investigators progress toward conversion.
·         Make sure your companion participates fully in all aspects of the work. Help your companion gain experience in every part of the Missionary Purpose.
Your District Leader will help you as you learn to fulfill these responsibilities. Remember that your most effective teaching is done through example.
I congratulate you on this sacred calling.

With Love,
President A. Todd Miller

Massachusetts Boston Mission

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 20: Connecticut and Rhode Island in One Day

Dear Family and Friends,
     So another great week in the mission.  The best part of this week was Zone Conference on Friday in Grotton, Connecticut.  It was great to see and hear from President and Sister Miller.  It was also fantastic because I saw so, so, so many familiar faces.  My whole MTC District was there and it was great to see and hear about the experiences they have been having in the mission.  I also got to see Sister Emma Carslile who was an ambassador with me at Utah State who just got to the mission!  I never thought I'd see so many familiar faces!  It was great.
     Elder Weber and I found a very funny, old lady this week while we were tracting.  Her name is Carol.  We knocked on her door and when she saw us, she thought we were Russians!  Ha ha after talking to her for a while and giving her a Book of Mormon, she said we could come back sometime so I'll keep you posted on Carol.
     Miracles truly are happening all over the mission right now.  We set two huge goals for the mission.  50 baptisms in November and 50 baptisms in December .  Alma 13:24 was shared during Zone Conference this week and I found it so cool. "For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory".  People here  in the Massachusetts Boston Mission truly are being prepared for the gospel.
     After Zone Conference, we drove to Newport, Rhode Island which is one of the prettiest places I've ever been.  So Friday I got to go to Connecticut and Rhode Island for the first time.  Super fun, and also this week we got to see Tom Brady's car!  His trainer is a member in the Franklin Branch and he let him drive it all weekend.  #OperationBaptizeTomBrady starts now.  Ha ha, great week.  Thanks for all the love and support!

Love,
Elder Gutierrez

Teaching with a bird on my shoulder

Carline's, Baptism (Worcester) on November 5, 2016

Tom Brady's Aston Martin Vanquish

Bridge to Newport, Rhode Island

Beach in Newport, Rhode Island

Elder Gutierrez at the beach in Newport, Rhode Island

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 19: Mosiah 2:17

Beautiful Fall in Massachusetts
     Great week in Franklin!  "When you are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God".  Mosiah 2:17 was definitely the theme of this week.  Lots and lots of service and some great experiences.
     First, I would like to inform you all that Carline and her 2 daughters, Alexis and Benita were baptized this weekend in Worcester!  They were one of my favorite families to teach.  Carline's story and decision to follow Christ is so amazing and I am so happy to know that they made it to the waters of baptism.  She calls us the "Elder Brothers", ha ha she's the best.
     This week we helped a couple of less-active members with service.  Elder Weber and I have made a goal to try and help reactivate a couple of the less-active members in the ward here because there are so many.  We helped Brother Moles lay sod and we helped him build 2 ramps for his shed.  We helped Sister Vandersluis on her sanctuary farm.  We raked leaves for a non-member (which is a lot different than raking leaves on the west coast), and then two families moved out of the ward so we helped them move all their stuff.  Pretty exciting and tiring week of service.
     This week was also Stake Conference for the Hingham Stake.  Elder Michael Dudley was the area seventy that attended and he is a fantastic man.  He gave an amazing talk on choosing to serve the Lord and on Saturday he gave a great talk on joy.  Joshua 24:15, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the Gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the Gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  After hearing Elder Dudley speak I realized how very important it is to choose to serve the Lord and make that the deciding factor of our life.  If our actions are based off of this principle then we can never go astray.  At Stake Conference, we as the Hingham zone missionaries got to be in the choir.  The hymns are able to provide the spirit so strongly and it was great to provide that to the Stake Conference meeting.
     As a mission, we have set two big goals for the upcoming months.  50 baptisms in the month of November and 50 baptisms in the month of December to reach our yearly goal of 465 baptisms.  This Sunday we had a mission fast.  I have so much faith that we will be able to reach our goal and that somebody will be able to be baptized in this area.  Thank you for all your love and support from home.

Love Ya,
Elder Gutierrez

Raking Leaves on the East Coast is different than raking leaves on the West Coast!

Look what I found Kash!

Service at the Sanctuary Farm