Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 31: Fasting = Miracles

     A great week in Rhode Island full of awesome miracles!  I am so very grateful to be here in Warwick.
    Last week at our Zone Conference, our Zone Leader set a huge goal for us of having 67 new investigators this week!  At first, this seemed like a pretty lofty goal, especially in the beginning of the week when the numbers were really low.  But on Wednesday, we fasted as a zone and then the windows of heaven were being poured on us and miracles were happening all over the zone.
     Our biggest miracle happened on Wednesday.  Elder Duggar and I were tracting and trying to find some new investigators.  And on the 4th floor, we knocked on this door and an 19 year old named Mike opened the door!  We told him that we were missionaries and he asked "What's a missionary?"  We told him what we do and he was interested in hearing our message!  After a great lesson, he agreed to be baptized if he knew it was true.  It was so evident that our Heavenly Father had placed Mike into our path.  I absolutely know without a doubt in my mind that this work would be impossible without the Lord's hand.  I'll try to keep you all updated on him.
     Through this experience, I learned a lot about faithful fasting and the reality of miracles it can bring.  "They fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God" - Alma 17:9.  Something cool that I've been able to learn while I have been serving is how much our loving Heavenly Father truly wants to bless His children, but we have to do our part to.  We have to pray (communicate with him!) , and we have to be obedient.  I truly know that God lives and that He WILL bless you and strengthen you as long as you are willing to make the necessary changes as well.
     This next week is going to be a great one!  On Thursday, our District is heading out to Block Island, Rhode Island to blitz the area.  It is a crazy small island and we are going to try  and knock on every door while we are there, wish us luck!  I am so very excited about the missionary work that is happening here.  I love being a missionary and helping to bring back His lost sheep into the fold of God.  Thanks you all so much for the great love and support.  Love ya all!

Elder Gutierrez

Happy Birthday Elder Gutierrez - January 16, 2017.  The BIG #20

Sweet Rapunzel Cups

Block Island circled in red.   1 1/2 hours on a ferry boat ride.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 30: Newport, Lobstah, and the Temple

      Hello from Rhode Island!  This week was so great to be able to start getting familiar with my new area and to meet several of the people we are teaching and helping come closer to Christ here in Warwick.  Rhode Island isn't much different from Massachusetts.  The people are just as crazy and nice.  The ward seems great.  Something that I am very excited about is that we cover the stakes the YSA ward is in here too!  The YSA ward is super fun and it's a blast to be around people our age.  The members are also way more excited about missionary work in the YSA ward and are always inviting non-members to church.  This Sunday I had the opportunity to speak in the YSA ward on the atonement and the sacrament, which are both so precious to me.
      Monday and Tuesday I got to spend the days in Newport on exchanges with Elder Larsen.  Elder Larsen came out one month after me and is from Logan, UT.  We had a few great days together and got tons of new investigators in his area.  Most of the plans that we had fell through so we basically tracted and street contacted all day.  We got about 6 new people for them to teach, which is so great!
     In our area, we are working with some great people that I will try to keep you all posted on.  Our main investigators are Patricia, Meleina, Adella, and a new investigator we picked up this week named Hank.  I am very excited to be working with these people.  Hank especially because he is very open and wants to make some changes in his life.  He is about 30 years old and hopefully we will extend a baptismal date to him tomorrow!
     Saturday, I had a very,very special experience and tender mercy at the Boston Temple.  It was Recent Convert Temple Day and we were taking Daniel, one of our recent converts to do baptisms for his grandpa.  As we were walking towards the temple doors, out walked Carline Lysonge, one of my favorite investigators from Worcester!  I left the area before she was baptized and really hadn't heard much since I left.  It was such a powerful and rewarding feeling seeing her come out of the temple with a huge smile on her face.  You could easily tell that she was different, she was happier and joy radiated from her.  Christ had changed her life and it was amazing that I had the opportunity to help a little in that process.  In that moment, I felt that I really was helping people by being out here and I am so grateful for the Gospel and what it can do for people.
     I'm loving it here in Rhode Island!  Thank you all so much for your continual love and support.  I love you all and I know that God and his Son, Jesus Christ, love you all so much.

Elder Gutierrez
Carline Lysonge at the Boston Temple

Daniel Rodriguez at the Temple with Elder Gutierrez and Elder Duggar

Exchanges with Elder Larsen in Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport Bridge 

Zone Conference with my dad, Elder Scoresby and my son, Elder Barlow

Look what you find tracting Newport


Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 29: Today I Woke Up in Rhode Island

     I've got big news . . . again!  I am now serving in Warwick, Rhode Island!  Yesterday, I got a call from President Miller telling me that I would be leaving that same night to Warwick, Rhode Island.  Today there was a missionary that went home early, so President had me fill his spot here.  My new companion's name is Elder Duggar.  At first, I was super shocked and bummed when I heard that I was leaving West Bridgewater, but I know that I'm going to enjoy Warwick and I'm here for a reason.  This is Elder Duggar's last transfer on his mission and I'm excited to learn a lot from him.
     My last week in West Bridgewater was so amazing and I am so grateful that I was able to serve there with such great missionaries.  Elder Tilly and Elder Rich taught me so much in the short week and a half that I was with them.  And even though I was there for such a short time, we still had a baptism!!  Our investigator, Osa, was baptized on Saturday!!!  WOOOOOHOOOOO, he bore such a powerful testimony after his baptism of the prophet Joseph Smith.  I'm very grateful to have been part of his conversion.  This week we also had Mission Leadership Conference, it was great to go there and learn from President Miller on how to counsel our zones.  In that meeting, we set goals for the upcoming year and we set a huge goal of 600 baptisms in the year of 2017!  Friday, I gave my first training as a Zone Leader which was great.  We picked up some awesome investigators this week that I will be excited to hear about as time goes on.  My time in West Bridgewater was the best!
     Yesterday, I was pondering on all the things that I learned from Elder Tilly and Elder Rich and I want to share some of those things.  One of the biggest things I learned from them was the need and importance of the Holy Ghost in a persons conversion.  It is essential!  Also the need of the Holy Ghost as we teach, there were several times when we would teach where the Holy Ghost would either help us to know when and when not to speak in a lesson.  As a missionary, it is our purpose to help those we teach recognize the promptings of the Spirit and be able to learn from those experiences.  This is something that both Elder Tilly and Elder Rich were really good at.  I also learned a lot about my studies as a missionary and how powerful they can be as we study for those we are teaching and write down the revelations we receive from the Lord.  And finally, one of the greatest things I learned is how to truly love those who I am teaching and serving with.  I love my Heavenly Father and I absolutely know that he loves all of His children perfectly.  With that in mind, it is such a sacred opportunity to serve a mission and teach His children who are searching for Him or have gone astray from His fold.
     I am so excited to be here in Rhode Island and I am excited for the experiences I will have here with Elder Duggar.  Thank you so much for all the love and support I receive.  I love you all.

Elder Gutierrez

Four companions in one photo - Elder Stewart, Elder Gutierrez, Elder Scoresby, Elder Tilly and Elder Rich

Osa's baptism on January 14, 2017 in West Bridgewater

The TRIO - Elder Gutierrez, Elder Tilly, and Elder Rich

My new companion - Elder Duggar and new area - Warwick, Rhode Island

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 28: "Sak Pa Se"

     Brockton is the best place to be serving!  I absolutely love it here and serving with Elder Tilly and Elder Rich is unreal.  Brockton, Massachusetts is definitely not the safest place, it is a lot like Worcester because every home is a "triple decker".  I love it here!  This week alone I learned how to say a handful of words in Portuguese, Haitain Creole, and Cape Verdian Creole.  Brockton is where we do all our work, it is so diverse and awesome.  There are people from all over the world here.  There are a ton of Haitians, Cape Verdians, and Brazilians.  It's wicked fun serving around so many different cultures.
     Elder Tilly and Elder Rich are such amazing companions.  As zone leaders, we oversee all of the missionaries in the Hingham Stake in Massachusetts, which is the lower eastern part of the state.  They are both fantastic missionaries who are such great teachers and so fun to be around all day.  Teaching in a trio is different but we teach pretty well together and as we all testify it can be so powerful.  We are teaching a lot of people right now and we have three investigators who are really progressing.  One of them is Mark, who I taught on an exchange with Elder Rogers not to long ago, he's the guy who gave us all his cigarettes.  The other two investigators who are progressing well are Osa and Taylor.  All three of them have baptismal dates for next Saturday and we are pretty excited that they are doing so well.
     This week was very fun meeting tons of new people and we had some wicked, crazy, snowstorms.  Saturday we got 15 inches of snow and we were "red dotted" which means we were not allowed to drive.  So instead, the three of us bundled up and went out into the Arctic and visited some people.  It was super fun because the streets were crazy full of snow and we were basically the only people outside.  Sunday the YSA ward was cancelled but our normal West Bridgewater Ward wasn't, but there weren't very many people there though.  The ward seems great though and there are tons of members willing to come out teaching with us.
     This area and transfer are going to be so much fun.  I'm trying to learn as much as I can from Elder Tilly and Elder Rich.  Miracles are happening all around us and there are TONS of people who have been prepared in this area and we are so excited to be here.  I know that as we unbind our tongues, peoples' lives can be changed through Christ's mercy and love.  I love you all!  Thanks for the support!

Elder Gutierrez
Converting Benjamin Franklin

Chess with Elder Barlow

Jack Daniels and Elder Gutierrez

Saying Good-bye to the Moessing Family - Sister Moessing arranged the missionary meals in Franklin

Elder Rich, Gutierrez, and Tilly with EDDIE!

Walking around Brockton while "red dotted" - not allowed to drive.

Massive amounts of snow!

Buried in SNOW!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 27: New Year and Big Changes!

     Happy New Year everyone!  2016 was such a great year in my life and I'm very excited to start this new year.  On Friday, the mission sent out the transfer texts letting us know if we were staying or leaving Franklin.  We found out we were both staying . . .until we got a call from President Miller Saturday night telling us both that we were being emergency transferred out!  Wednesday Elder Barlow and I are both leaving Franklin.  I am going to West Bridgewater, Massachusetts #BackToTheGhetto and Elder Barlow is going to Providence, Rhode Island to serve with my MTC companion, Elder Evans.
     I am so, so, so, excited!  I am going to be serving in a trio with Elder Tilly and Elder Rich.  I look up to Elder Tilly soooo much and I could not be happier to have an opportunity to serve with him.  He is such a great missionary and we are gonna do work!  West Bridgewater is a lot like Worcester and I am very, very excited about that.  I am sad to leave Elder Barlow after only one transfer but I trust that the Lord will continue to help him learn and grow.  This will make 7 companions in 6 months thus far on my mission.  I'll also be serving as a Zone Leader for the time being.
     I am so grateful for the members and people I was able to meet here in Franklin.  The ward has been so great in helping us and making sure we are taken care of.  The Franklin 2nd Ward sisters will be taking over our area and investigators.  Sueidy, our main investigator, is progressing well and hopefully the sisters will be able to get her to baptism after we leave!  Brother Moles, the less active member we are working with got married this week!  It was great because we finally got to meet his wife and hopefully they will start attending church together.
     This Sunday I gave a talk in church on "The Value of Preaching the Gospel to the World".  It was a great way to share my testimony with the members in Franklin about this work before I leave.  In my talk, I read to the ward a book that my little sister sent me, Green Eggs and Ham, the Book of Mormon edition.  It was so great and the members loved it.  It was a great way to inspire the members to do missionary work.
     This week and the next couple of weeks are going to bring lots of changes to my mission.  I am very excited that the Lord and President Miller has given me these opportunities.  I love you all and am thankful for the support and love I receive every day.  Love ya all!!

Elder Gutierrez
Elder Gutierrez and Elder Barlow - Last Sunday in Franklin Massachusetts 1st Ward

Franklin Massachusetts District- Elder Gutierrez served as a District Leader

Franklin Massachusetts District

Check out this creepy Santa!