Sunday, March 30, 2008

Connecticut Greetings

Having fun after institute. This is the lady that teaches the Spanish Class
Elder and Sister Bulkley out with the Sister Missionaries
Do I look like a missionary? (note all the letters and drawings from our Grandchildren on the door)
Hi Family and Friends,

Greetings from Connecticut. It is finally starting to warm up and that is so wonderful. It has been very cold, humid, and snowy and driving in the freezing rain and snow has been a real hard thing, but we made it through. Its different than Utah snow because it often mixed with freezing rain. I know that God helped us on more than one occasion. We had some real experiences driving home from Boston and up to New Hampshire to a YSA conference in the freezing rain and snow.

We are keeping really busy and loving our mission. We are working with several young single adults that are investigating the church and that is exciting. We take one young man and his girlfriend to all the YSA/institute activities and to church and he has a baptism date for April 13th. His girlfriend is coming along too and it is exciting and wonderful to see their testimonies grow. Another young man is coming to institute and YSA activites. He met the missionaries at a Subway where he works a month or so ago and has already read the Book of Mormon and D&C and is now reading Jesus The Christ. He is already a scholar of the Bible. He will be baptised this month too. He is just so excited about the gospel and so happy. When we first arrived here, we met a girl from Jamaica who had come over after the hurricane last summer to join her mother who was already here. Her mother is a member but Jessica isn't. She has been coming to YSA/institute activities off and on since last fall. She and her mother do not have a car, but want to get one. The only trouble is that neither of them have a driver's license so Jessica is taking drivers training and we are helping her practice on the road since she has a learners permit. She is so grateful and is meeting with the Sister Missionaries to take the lessons. On our mission we get to do a lot of fun things with the YSAs. Some of the fun things we have done lately are to go ice skating, bowling, to dances, to conferences, to the Boston Temple, to dinners and on double dates with some of them who need rides. I think I have mentioned before that there is a huge range of students that we work with. As we teach our institute classes at Hartford and at Springfield each week, we work with law students, medical students, graduate students, college students, YSAs who are working, a lot of Spanish students who don't speak much English (we have a Spanish institute class too in Hartford), and young people who come from hard family and life situations who are struggling, and some students with disabilities. Many of them do not have cars in their families and don't have driver's licenses so getting them to activities is one of the big major things that we do. We often take two trips to activities to get people there.

I have mentioned before how we love to go on appointments with the Elders and Sisters. It is a real privlege to testify to people about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We go out with the Sisters in our area probably 4-5 times a week. We love working with the mission and seeing the gospel go forth. Recently Elder L Tom Perry was here visiting in our mission (So was Elder Glenn Pace) They were both wonderful and got everyone all re-energized to carry on the work. In addition to English Speaking Elders and Sisters, we also have Spanish and Portuguese Speaking Elders. They have several Spanish Speaking Branches and a ward in our mission,which also covers Rhode Island. The growth of the church among these people is tremendous. In fact, they are trying to move the Hartford Ward back to inner city Hartford because so many of them don't have rides and if they moved it there people could take the busses. Right now there is a Twigg (mini branch) in downtown Hartford, but the Spanish Hartford Branch and the Hartford ward have to come all the way out to Bloomfield, which makes it hard. We work with a lot of people from Jamaica, Puerto Rico, other places in the West Indies, Mexico, and other Latin American Countries and a lot of African Americans. In fact in our ward, the Bloomfield ward, I bet we have more than 50 regular attenders who are black. When we go out with the Sisters I would say most of the people we visit are black. Its wonderful to meet so many wonderful people.

Elder Bulkley is doing great. When we first got here, he started to have some trouble with his heart, and some of his medications. In fact there for a while it seemed like something new and different was happening to his health every week and we couldn't get on top of it. They do have a lot of good doctors here and we were able to get him in to some specialists in several areas and get these issues resolved. He is now doing so much better and we know that our Heavenly Father has blessed him greatly. We can testify that when it comes to missions, there are ups and downs and I think that makes you have to depend totally upon the Lord for strength. But, He is always there to help you deal with these trials and to carry you when you need it. We are so grateful for being here on our mission. It has been a wonderful blessing in our lives and in the lives of our family. Thanks you dear family and friends for your love and support. We love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know. Love, Elder and Sister Bulkley