Monday, December 25, 2017

Week 78: Merry Christmas Skype

     We love our missionary!!  It was so good to hear his voice and see him in person.  He is loving his mission!  We were touched by his Christmas gift.  He sent his brother, Levi, a name tag along with the teaching pamphlets and things that he can study to prepare for his mission.  He told Levi to try on the name tag with a white shirt.  It was surreal to see him with that name tag on.  Next year he will be the one serving during Christmas.  It was special to hear his brother encourage him
to forge on with submitting his papers and the life changing experience that it has been. My favorite part of the call is our missionary saying the family prayer.  It is extra special to hear him praying for his siblings and other family members. 
   
     I am so thankful for the Daniel and Stacy Mitchell family that took the missionaries in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  They have a special place in our heart.  Brother Mitchell told me that Elder Gutierrez is an awesome missionary and has had great success in their area because he and his companion are extremely hard workers and obedient.  It is so great to hear.  He mentioned that they will be sad when he gets transferred from their area.  I am so grateful for these ward members that treat the missionaries like their own children. 

- Last Christmas Skype in the books

- Heidi Gutierrez
Best Christmas Present for a Missionary Momma!!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Week 77: Make Room for the Savior

    Hello everyone, only one more week until Christmas!  Make sure to #LightTheWorld and look for every opportunity that you can to serve those around you.  Your family members, your co-workers, or even complete strangers.  This is such a special time of the year because the light of Christ is so evident all around us and being a missionary for the Lord only makes it better.
    Elder Warner and I had a super cool Christmas miracle happen this week that I am super excited to tell you all about.  Early in the week we received a media referral for a lady named Caroline for a free Bible.  We called and texted her and she sent us a text saying that she just wanted us to mail the Bible because she was too busy for us to stop by.  Well of course we didn't mail the Bible and just stopped by a couple of days later.  We thought we were going to have a bit of an awkward interaction, but to quite the contrary . . .Caroline was so excited to see us and immediately invited us in.  She had all 3 of her daughters come down (Alexia, Brianna, and Kaiden) and we were able to teach the whole family the Restoration.  Caroline was so amazed that we had set apart two whole years to serve God.  She loved our message and we had such a great lesson.  They were unable to attend church on Sunday but later in the day they were able to attend a Christmas Pageant our ward was putting on.  They were fellow-shipped great by the ward.  They are a huge miracle to us and we are exciting to start teaching them.
     Things are still going well with Marjorie and she is progressing super well.  The only thing holding her back is her boyfriend because he is not sure if he wants to get married yet.  We set a baptismal date with her this week for January 13th.  For the past little while we have been trying to teach her two step-kids and her grandson, but they are a little too crazy.  I'll explain:  Marjorie and the three boys were able to come to church for the second time this week.  During the third hour, we heard one of the boys, Hervince (6) screaming in the hall.  We went into the hall to check it out and we saw him running around like a maniac with a stressed out primary teacher following behind him.  We stopped him in the hall and settled him down and told him that he had to go back to the primary room where all the other primary kids were watching a Christmas movie.  We sat in the back of the room to make sure he was going to behave and out of nowhere he started yelling and lets just say that what he was saying was not good . . .All the primary kids were shocked by what he said and so we had to take him out of the primary room and walk around the halls with him until church ended.  Great parent training. Ha, Ha!  So we are super excited about how Marjorie is doing, but the kids not so great.  We are going to just focus on her until she is baptized and then we will focus on the three boys.
     Things really are going so great here in Bridgeport.  Our district leader has set some awesome goals with us to hand out hundreds of #LightTheWorld pass along cards before Christmas.  We are seeing great things and we are hoping that Vernice will continue to progress so that she can be baptized next Saturday, keep her in your prayers!  Thank you to everyone that supports me.  I love you all, talk to you again on Christmas!

Love,
Elder Gutierrez
Christmas Card Picture

Christmas Card

Our scrappy Christmas tree - famous elf hat in the backgroud

Temple Trip to the Hartford Temple with recent convert Zhong

Teaching with Patrick, Marjorie and the boys!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 76: #LightTheWorld

     Hey everybody!  Elder Warner and I have had a great week in the frozen tundra of Bridgeport, CT!  The snow finally came this week and the weather has gotten a lot colder.  Our investigators are doing well and we are working with some super awesome new people that I am very excited to tell you about.
     Last week, I mentioned a lady named Marjorie that we picked up as a new investigator.  She came to church with her 3 kids/step-kids.  Again this week things went very, very well with Marjorie.  We began teaching her 3 kids:  Rooby (12), Derby (10), and Irvince (6).  You could definitely say that they are a little "wild", but we are loving teaching them all.  They were unable to come to church this week, but Marjorie has shown great desires to become closer to God.  She even cooked us some awesome Haitian "legume" after a lesson this week!  She's the best!
     Wednesday was a super awesome day for Elder Warner as we got to go to the Hartford Temple to see one of his recent converts receive her endowments.  We had a great trip to the temple.  As I was thinking of my own converts, I gave a couple of them a call and found out some great news about Tony Collazo from Worcester.  He got engaged to his girlfriend Krissia who introduced him to the church and last week they both received their endowments.  Also, they will be getting sealed together for time and eternity on January 20th.  What a great joy it is to see people you taught in the beginning of your mission thriving in the gospel and continuing to have their lives changed.  I am so excited for Tony and his fiance.  They remind me a lot of my own parents story.
     We were going through the ward list visiting all the members we didn't know and saw a huge miracle.  We stopped by the home of the Ochoa family.  When we rang the doorbell, a lady came out on the porch of the second floor, saw us, and said, "Elders!"  She ran down to the door to let us in.  We were both so excited.  It turned out to be Sister Ochoa who is a life long member, but hasn't been very active for the past 10 years.  She used to take herself and her 4 kids to the Spanish Ward in Bridgeport but her children didn't like to go to the Spanish speaking ward.  Her husband is not a member and so over time she just stopped taking her kids.  We later found out that just earlier this week she had been telling her oldest son that he needed to be a good example to his three younger sisters and that got her thinking about what kind of example she was being for her children.  She realized that she needed to improve and prayed that God would help her to be a good example to her kids.  She then told us how we were an answer to her prayers.  This Sunday they all came to church and loved it!  Donald (10), her oldest son, is unbaptized because his father doesn't agree with the church but we hope to start teaching him soon.
     Things really could not be any better.  We continue to find many new people to teach each week.  Vernice is still doing great and we set a baptismal date with her this week for December 30th.  She has been stuck in New York due to family problems, but she continues to show great desires.  Claudette is doing well too and we are striving to see her baptized on December 30th as well.  The Lord is blessing us abundantly and we are so excited.  Remember to #LightTheWorld this Christmas season, it really is such a special time!  Love ya all.

Love,
Elder Gutierrez
Elder Warner and Elder Gutierrez #LightTheWorld

#LightTheWorld

Saying Goodbye to the old District

Our Zion Beds

First Day of Snow in Bridgeport, CT

Sister Matambo's nursing graduation

Marjorie's Legume!

#LightTheWorld Snowman Style

Preview of Our Christmas Card . . . 

Bob Womboldt's Baptism from Amherst, MA (Elder Little and Elder Poleman)

Hartford Temple Trip with Elder Warner's recent convert to receive her endowments

Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 75: December Already?

     Hello everyone!  Elder Warner and I had a fantastic week together in Bridgeport and we have exciting news!  We will be staying together for another transfer, woohoo!!  We are both very excited and relieved.
     Time is going by so quickly and I cannot believe that it is already December.  As time is going by Elder Warner and I are seeing great progress in the work with our investigators.  This week we were able to pick up an awesome new investigator named Marjorie.  She is from Haiti and has only been here for a couple of years.  She is loving the Gospel and is super excited to be learning.  Marjorie and three of her grandchildren all came to church this week!  It was so great.  We are expecting great things from her.
     Last week we also picked up a really cool investigator named Claudette.  I failed to mention her in my last email.  She is originally from Jamaica and was actually taught by the missionaries there!  We found her because her neighbors are actually members in our ward.  We had a fantastic lesson with her this week and we set a baptismal date with her for December 30th.  She came to church this Sunday and so we are really excited for her.  She is really determined to receive an answer about the Book of Mormon.  We are excited to meet with her this week to see if she has received an answer yet.
     Also in the past couple of weeks I received exciting news from two of my former areas, Springfield and Amherst.  An investigator that I taught in each area was baptized.  Arline in Springfield and Bob Womboldt in Amherst.  I was very excited to hear about both of them and I am so happy for the both of them.  It is so great to hear that the work continues to go on after you leave an area and that really nothing can stop this work from progressing.
     I am so thankful to be a missionary and that I can wear Jesus Christ's name on my chest each day.  This is such an exciting time of year as almost the whole world stops and takes a minute to remember our Savior.  I invite you all to participate in the #LightTheWorld initiative.  There's no better way to celebrate this time of year than to serve those around you as Christ himself did.  I love you all!

Love,
Elder Gutierrez

Elder Warner and Elder Gutierrez - Temple trip with a recent convert, Nyiesha Tobin

Service at the Zoo

Exchanges with Elder Felt

P-day Sports

Baptism of Arline in Springfield, MA with Elder Little and companion

Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 74: Thanksgiving 2017

     Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Elder Warner and I had a fantastic week in Bridgeport (other than Tuesday when Elder Warner was super sick).  Our investigators are doing very well and I have some great people to update you on.
     I neglected to tell you all that during my last week with Elder Sprehn we picked up a new investigator named Vernice.  She had ordered a Bible online and had just moved to Bridgeport from the Bronx, New York.  She is a super nice lady and has shown some great progression in the last two weeks.  She has come to church the last two Sundays and accepted a baptismal date for December 9th.  It has been amazing to teach her and to see her faith motivate her.  We taught her the Word of Wisdom this week and she accepted it and said she would give up coffee and tea without question!  She struggles a little with anxiety in large groups of people, but this Sunday after church she said that she was a lot more comfortable and liked the service a lot.  Things are looking great with Vernice.  Everyone keep her in your prayers.
     We had the most legendary Jamaican Thanksgiving ever.  We got to spend Thanksgiving with the Harris family and along with the normal Thanksgiving foods we got to eat; curry goat, jerk chicken, jerk pork, potato pudding, ox tail, duck, and shrimp!  It was the best!  I've never seen so much food in my life.  We are currently teaching one of the foster daughters of the Harris family as well, her name is Yasenia Martinez (17).  Yasenia has shown a lot of progression in the past couple of weeks as well and she has come to church twice now!  We hope to set a baptismal date with her soon.
     I am very grateful for this week of Thanksgiving and that I was able to have a reminder to thank God for all that he has given me.  I am so thankful for the testimony that I have and the things that I know to be true.  I am so thankful for the greatest family in the world and for all the support they give to me.  I am so thankful for my Savior and for his cleansing blood, I know that He lives.  Thank you to everyone that has supported me thus far!

Love,
Elder Gutierrez

Winter is approaching!

Our Fearless District Leader, Elder Warner

Dinner with the Cleatons

Jamaican Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving with the Harris Family

Dinner with Christelle and her family

Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 73: Expect Miracles!

     This week has been one of the BEST weeks of my entire mission.  Honestly the best way I could describe this week is with this scripture.  "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."  Alma 26:12.  Last Sunday Elder Warner and I set a very large and stretching goal with our zone of picking up 54 new investigators this week.  After much prayer, hard work, and faith we saw endless miracles from God in our zone.  I know without a doubt that God exists and that this is his work!
     Each companionship in our zone set a prayerful goal with the Lord asking him how many new investigators the Lord thought they could pick up this week.  Some of the companionships set some huge goals, which I'm not going to lie scared Elder Warner and I a little.  We were not sure if we could reach our goal, but we were determined to.  Weekly we average around 28 new investigators in the New Haven Zone.  We started off the week on Monday fairly slow only picking up 1/54, by Tuesday night we were at 8/54, Wednesday 18/54, and Thursday 22/54.  After having a zone wide fast on Friday we had 33/54, Saturday 40/54, and Sunday night the zone saw miracle after miracle and finished the week with 61/54 new investigators in the zone!  I'm not sure if I have ever prayed as hard as I did this week for our zone.  I cannot thank God enough for hearing my cries and for allowing my zone and I to be part of so many miracles.  Here are just a few of the miracles we saw this week:

1.  Elder Warner and I started off the week great by teaching an awesome lady named Andrea.  She was a media referral for a Bible.  The first thing we noticed when we got the referral was that she had a 801 phone number, which is the area code for Utah!  When we called her to set up our appointment, I immediately could recognize her accent.  She had to be Jamaican.  A Jamaican from Utah?  We were pretty confused.  After we had a fantastic lesson with her, we knew that she was a miracle and that God led us to her.  She told us that she was from Jamaica and likes to move around the country getting new jobs.  She had lived in Sandy, UT for 2 years from 2012-2013 and worked at Snowbird Resort!  Small world.  She had been to the LDS church in Utah and had even read the Book of Mormon before.  She accepted our invitation to be baptized and is very excited to learn more!

2.  Thursday night we were getting behind on our own goal and we really needed to pick up some new investigators.  We stopped by an old referral that we had and the lady at the home stuck her head out the two story window and asked what we wanted.  It was getting later in the night so we weren't sure if she would be interested in talking to us.  We told her that we were missionaries and that her sister who we tracted into had sent us.  She said that her husband had just gotten home and she would ask him if he wanted to listen to us.  Right there and then Elder Warner and I both started praying so hard that his heart would be softened and that he would be open to hearing our message that night.  She came back to the window and said that they would come down!  We were able to teach them both and pick them up as new investigators.

3.  Friday night we arrived at our dinner appointment about 15 minutes early and I felt that we should get out and see if we could find anybody to teach.  We started walking down Barnum Ave and it was dead, absolutely nobody was on the street.  Elder Warner suggested that we should say a prayer.  We bowed our heads and prayed that we would come into contact with somebody that was open to hear our message.  As soon as we looked up, there were all of a sudden lots of people walking on the street!  The second lady we talked to had just barely walked out of a restaurant we were about to pass and said that she would be interested in hearing our message!  Her name is Mille.  We set up a return appointment with her for Sunday and she was very excited that we had talked to her.  We went by on Sunday and picked her up as a new investigator.  #MiracleMillie

4.  We were not able to be in our area all day on Saturday because we went on an exchange with the AP's.  Due to this, we were nervous that we were not going to reach our goal of 8 new investigators in the week.  We prayed, and prayed, and prayed that the Zone would reach the goal and by the end of the night we had 14/8 new investigators in our area alone and 61/54 as a zone!  Every single companionship experienced miracles this week and we have had our vision raised by the Lord of what is possible.  I cannot thank Him enough for all the amazing people he prepared for us and all the experiences we had.  We celebrated by eating my mom's banana cream pie made by Sister Mitchell with our district.

     No greater joy can be had in this life than by serving in God's work!  I love you.  All of our investigators are doing well and it would be great if everybody could pray for our investigator Jackie!  Thank you, love you all!!

Love,
Elder Gutierrez

My mom's banana cream pie made by Sister Mitchell

No better way to celebrate 61 new investigators in the New Haven Zone.

Delicioso!!

Exchanges with Elder Andersen

Boston Skyline

Exchanges with Elder Ferreira

Always a good time with Elder Ferreira

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Mission Pie Accomplished!

     So this post is written by Heidi Gutierrez, Elder Gutierrez's mom.  Last year at Thanksgiving, Elder Gutierrez said that Thanksgiving just wasn't Thanksgiving without his favorite banana cream pie.  This family recipe was handed down from my Grandma Sandall to my mom.  After her passing in 2002, I started making the pies for Thanksgiving.  This year I wanted to surprise Elder Gutierrez with his banana cream pie.
     He is currently serving in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  In his ward, there is a sweet sister named Stacy Lee Mitchell.  Her husband is the ward mission leader.  Her son, Daniel (now Elder Mitchell) took Elder Gutierrez and Elder Sprehn to Boston for p-day the week before Elder Sprehn returned home.  They have watched General Conference in the Mitchell home.  Anyhow, I decided I would ask Sister Mitchell if there was someone in the ward that was a baker and would be willing to follow the recipe and make Elder Gutierrez a banana cream pie.  She responded, "Me and I will do it!"  I have been so excited for him to get this surprise this week.  You really don't get the excitement unless you have been a missionary momma.  The holidays can be hard. 
     Well mission pie was accomplished today!  Sister Mitchell surprised Elder Gutierrez at church.  Here is the video and picture she sent us.  I am indebted to her.  Come to find out, Elder Warner also loves banana cream pie.  This is one happy missionary momma and two happy Elders.  Happy Thanksgiving Elders and a big shout out to Sister Stacy Lee Mitchell.


Elder Gutierrez and Elder Warner Holding the Prized Banana Cream Pie - Happy Thanksgiving Elders!!!


Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 72: Exchange Week

     Hey everyone!  The winter has arrived here in Connecticut and it is COLD!!  Despite the freezing weather things are going so great in the work and I have some wonderful updates on our investigators.  Also I have a really exciting new goal to tell you all about!
     This week Elder Warner and I saw so many miracles happen with Jackie, who we just picked up as a new investigator last week!  Our first lesson with her we were able to notice 2 roadblocks that would keep her from getting baptized, her boyfriend Michael and maybe a word of wisdom issue.  We weren't able to see her this week until Thursday.  We were very, very anxious to see if she had read the Book of Mormon and if she had received a witness from the Spirit that it was true.  As we started talking to her, we found out that not only had she read from the Book of Mormon but that she absolutely knew that it was true.  As well as all the potential roadblocks of her getting baptized are fading away!  She loves the Book of Mormon and she was so, so excited to meet with us again.  She told us the most amazing story about how she used to be a heavy drug user, but God had answered her prayers and helped her to stop using.  She then told us that she is going to leave Michael because she feels that he is only dragging her down and she doesn't want his bad habits to affect her.  We were able to set a very powerful baptismal date with her for December 16th.  We then invited her to a Thanksgiving Dinner Party our ward had this Saturday and she came!  She loved the party and met so many members who fellowshipped her greatly.  She wasn't able to attend church this weekend and we aren't sure why, but things are looking great for Jackie!
     This week Elder Warner went on two exchanges, one with the Southington Spanish elders and one with the Southington English elders.  We are very excited about all the missionaries we have in our zone, they are all diligent and obedient.  Many of them are very young though so we are going on many exchanges to help the newer missionaries out.  Tuesday I was with Elder Perkes who is from Logan, UT.  He has only been in the field for 1 transfer and so we had a great exchange and we got to talk about a lot of ways he can see success and joy on his mission.  Friday I got to go with Elder Petersen who is from Santaquin, UT.  He too has only been on his mission for 1 transfer and has great desires.  We were able to talk a lot about how he can help the area that he is currently in and how to work effectively.
     This Sunday Elder Warner and I as well as the District Leaders in our zone worked together to set a huge goal.  We realized that if we want to see a lot of success in December then we need to pick up a lot of new investigators this upcoming week.  We had each of the District Leaders call the members of their districts and ask them how many new investigators they thought they could pick up this week.  After they answered, the District Leaders had them pray over the phone asking the Lord how many new investigators HE thought they could pick up this week.  The total New Haven zone goal came out to 54 new investigators!  This is a very stretching goal and we know that with God on our side that we cannot fail.  We are excited to see many miracles happen!
     That's about it for this weeks update!  I would like to share with you my new favorite couple of scriptures which are quotes from Isaiah found in Mosiah 14: 4-5  verse 4, "Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  Verse 5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."  I cannot thank my Savior enough for what he has done for me, because of his pain and suffering I can be healed and made happy, no matter what happens in my life.  I love my Savior.

Love,
Elder Gutierrez

Jackie, our investigator, at our ward Thanksgiving party

Exchanges with Elder Perkes from Logan, UT

A days work, finding change on the street.  #DateFund

Exchanges with Elder Petersen from Santaquin, UT

Morning Workouts with Elder Warner

Longmore Jamaican dinner!  "Al-de-bes"

Last weeks P-day soccer

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 71: 50 Baptisms Goal

     Another week has past and gone so quickly.  Elder Warner and I were able to do so much great work and we are having a fantastic time together.
     We started off this week by seeing a huge miracle!  A couple of weeks ago when Elder Lewis was here I contacted this lady named Jackie.  We were leaving an apartment building after a lesson and I saw her sitting on the stairs of the building next to us.  We walked up to her and had a very short interaction.  She said that she would be interested in hearing a message about Jesus Christ and we got her phone number.  Finally we were able to meet with Jackie Monday night and it was such a powerful lesson.  Her fiance, Michael, joined us in the lesson and we thought for sure he was going to "Bible Bash" us the entire time.  But surprisingly after we explained to him our purpose and answered all his questions, he began to listen to our message.  Jackie then told us that she had been struggling for a while and that she had been praying for a long time that God would send her the truth.  She said that when we contacted her she knew God had sent us and that we truly had the truth.  As we began to share the account of the first vision with her, she cried.  It was awesome!  Then as we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon she anxiously took it from us and held it close to her chest and smiled.  It was such a great lesson and Michael's heart had definitely been softened.  We are hoping to see them again tonight.
     Tuesday was such a great day.  I got to go on an exchange with Elder Warner (a different one), our District Leader.  Elder Warner is such a fun missionary and we had a great time together.  He has been on his mission for about 5 months and is from American Fork, UT.  During our day together, we had some great discussions about how he can better help the district and I was also able to train him a lot on planning.  We were able to pick up one new investigator.  It was a great exchange.
     Wednesday we were able to drive all the way up to Weston, MA for our Mission Leadership Council meeting.  I always love being around President and Sister Miller and we received some great trainings.  One of the highlights of the meeting was when President Miller extended a goal to have 50 baptisms across the mission in the month of November.  I am very, very excited about this goal.  When our mission is unified in a common goal, there is almost nothing that is impossible.  We are hoping to see great things this month in the MBM!
     The rest of the week went by very quickly and it was very productive.  Elder Warner and I have recently been going through the entire ward list trying to find those that are trying to come back to the gospel and also trying to find part-member families to teach.  We've seen some success already and we can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for us here in Bridgeport.
     By far the highlight of this week though was when Patrick, our most recent convert, bore his testimony in sacrament meeting.  Alma 36:25 says, "The Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors."  I know what Alma was talking about when he said this to his son.  As Patrick bore his testimony, I was smiling ear to ear the entire time and I really couldn't be happier.  He started off his testimony by saying, "I know that the church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true."  There really is nothing that could make a missionary happier than hearing one of his converts say those words.  Patrick is such an amazing young man and he has such exceedingly great faith.  I know that he will forever be close to the Lord.
     It really was a great week!  Thank you to everyone that supports me.  This world is a crazy place and it keeps getting worse, but I know that there is real and lasting peace that is available to all of us and that it can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ.  I know that He lives and has a plan for each of us.  Turn to God in prayer each and every day and I know that He will direct you where you need to go.  I love you all!!!

Love,
Elder Gutierrez
Exchanges with Elder Warner, District Leader

Hermana Pederson's Birthday Party

City View!

Eating Mexican Crickets . . . . 

Lunch with Keith Moon


Monday, October 30, 2017

Week 70: 16 Months Down

     Hello everyone!  I have been very excited to write this email because this week has been so amazing and crazy.  My companion and I have been running around everywhere and we have some great stories to tell.  It amazes me how quickly the weeks are going by.
     One of the biggest things that happened this week was that yet again . . .I got a new companion!  My new companion is Elder Warner.  He is from Star, Idaho and has been on his mission for 14 months.  He is a super star of a missionary and I am very excited to work with him.  Tuesday night he arrived in Bridgeport and all day it had been POURING rain.  On our way home to the apartment, we noticed that a car was stuck under a bridge in the water.  There was so much rain that the road had flooded and the car couldn't move.  We couldn't tell if anybody was in the car or not, but after noticing some movement we decided to get out and help.  We trudged up to the car in water that was up to our mid thighs and saw a lady was in the car.  She got out of the car and we told her that we would help push her out.  After a lot of effort pushing the car uphill, we got it out of the water.  Just as we pushed her car out another car went down the road and thought they would make it through the water, they didn't!  We then pushed that car out also and finally made it home very, very, wet.  It was definitely one of the craziest nights of my mission and a great welcome to Bridgeport for Elder Warner.
     All of the days this week have gone by so, so quickly.  Elder Warner and I are currently working on going through the ward directory and trying to find those that are inactive, less-active, and move the records of those that no longer live in the boundaries.  We were able to pick up a couple of new investigators this week, but we are hoping to pick up many more this next week.  Most of our focus this week was on Patrick who was preparing for his baptism on Saturday.
     Patrick Henri has been one of my favorite people to teach of all time.  I've never met a 17 year old with as much drive and desire for good and to better himself.  He is a true and honest seeker of anything good or righteous.  In the past couple of weeks that we have been meeting with him, he has had a real change of heart and has truly repented of his sins.  One of the things that he has been the most excited about in preparing for his baptism was that he would receive the Holy Ghost.  He has felt impressions of the Spirit and was so excited to have him as his constant companion. 
     Patrick's baptism was one of the sweetest experiences of my mission thus far, I will never forget it!  He was so excited and so ready to be baptized.  I had the opportunity to baptize Patrick and I was also thrilled for him.  As we entered the waters, the Spirit was very strong and you could feel the love his family and the love God had for him in the room.  After I baptized him, we walked into the locker room to change.  The spirit of what had just happened followed us into that locker room and I gave him a big hug.  As I hugged him, he began to cry and uttered, "Thank you, thank you so, so much".  In that very moment I truly felt, for the very first time ever, why I NEEDED to be on a mission and why God wanted me here.  I have loved my mission so much.  I have had so many great experiences that have changed me and have brought me closer to God, but after this experience I truly now know why I need to be on a mission and why there is no place in the entire world where I need to be right now.  I cannot thank God enough for this experience and for the confirmation I received.
     Things couldn't be any better here and I couldn't be any happier.  We hope to also start teaching Patrick's two sisters this week!  Wish us luck.  Thank you everyone for your support, I love you all!!!

Love,
Elder Gutierrez

Patrick Henri's Baptism - October 28, 2017

Celebratory Curry Goat after the Baptism

Pushing Cars out of the mini river on Tuesday night - Welcome to Bridgeport, CT Elder Warner

Our wet clothes after Tuesday night

P-day Soccer and Fall Leaves!