Monday, October 27, 2014

Hillbilly Blessing

It was going to be hard to top last weeks spiritual high, but this week was without a doubt a spirit felt one. We met with Alan twice, and things with him are going great. He like a lot of people are having some problems with the Word of Wisdom, just continually send up prayers for him that he may be at peace with it all. He's so ready for baptism that its crazy, and I hope The Lord pricks his heart. He calls me his Hillbilly Blessing, since we are from the same exact town. I thought that was an interesting name, but I can get used to it.
Dinner appointment with Alan

Hannah and Virginia are progressing very well also, their baptismal interviews are this week, and the 8th both are being baptized the very same service. I thought that was different, but neat.
Sister Humbert cooked out for the missionaries

Something that has been on my mind this week is The Atonement. What Christ did for us. I had to give a talk this past week during Sacrament meeting on The Infinite and Eternal Sacrifice. I of course being a typical missionary referred back to Elder Holland's 2001 devotional in the MTC "Missionary Work and The Atonement." What did Christ actually do for us? Let me paint a picture for you. The most perfect human being to ever walk the face of this earth, a man who healed the sick, made the paralyzed walk, arose people from the dead, made the blind see, this man knowingly performed all these great miracles, keeping in mind that he was to die for our sins one day. This perfect human being was nailed to a cross, each hand, each wrist and both feet, was crucified and stayed there for how long? 9 hours. This perfect human being took it upon himself to die for us. Did we deserve that? Do we deserve the chance to repent for our sins? Christ did all these things for us, and some of us cannot even give 3 hours devoted time to him on Sunday. God says come as you are, last time I checked we all have problems, we have struggle with trials in our life's. Nothing should separate us from the pure love of God, from the chance to be at church to take part of the Sacrament. As a disciple of Christ, I see every single day people who struggle, who need the Atonement in their life's. I am so honored and privileged to be here serving every single day, to watch the light of Christ working in people's life's. This is not what imagined myself doing 2 years ago, but God helped me find my way as I hope God will help people here find their way. The Lord's work is hastening as we here in the WKM are building a culture of high expectations. 

Thanks for all the love and support, it means the world to me. 

Con Amor,

Elder Hutchens
Cute frog Tanner found

Monday, October 20, 2014

Best week of my life...


Elder Ojeda, Christina and Elder Hutchens
Elders Visker, Hutchens, Shoenberger and Ojeda
I have been so sick through out this whole week. I thought at first I had the flu, then come to realize it was just nerves. It seemed like from the time I got off the computer last Monday, I was worried about Christina. I was worried about baptizing her, worried almost to the point that my nerves were being involved. I didn't eat much, I was weak. I was just troubled for some odd reason. Still to this day I have no idea why I was so...upset? All week my mind was completely on the baptism, it seemed like this week just flew by.
Christina and Elder Hutchens, happy on Baptism Day
Saturday morning I woke up and i felt the spirit. In spite of me feeling a little sick, the spirit was there. All day my mind was constantly on Christina's conversion story, and how she had endured and kept pushing towards a baptism. In spite of her parents being so strongly against her being baptized, she still had chose to be baptized regardless. It didn't hit me until I got to the church at 3 o clock that afternoon that her baptism rested in my hands. All the people watching, her parents there watching and everything she had worked for this whole time, it all came down to her and I. There were a ton of people at this baptism which was strange because it was a YSA baptism. The service started and I was all dressed up in white, so was she. The talk before hand was really spiritual. Joseph Quiner gave a talk on baptism which set the tone. After the talk, her and I left and went and got into the water. She grabbed my hand and I started to say the prayer.."Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you, In the name of The Father, and of the Son, and of The Holy Ghost." And within a second I had just baptized Christina. Oh man, I cannot explain the feeling I had just felt. Probably the biggest day of her life, I was a huge part of it. I feel so humble and honored to have been able to baptize her. As big of a day as it was for her, it was almost equally as big for me. After the baptism I went into the bathroom and Elder Manwill, Davison and Ojeda greeted me with a smile and a hug. They said that while my hand was in the air, i was so nervous that my hand was just shaking like crazy. It had looked like I was waving to everyone...haha. I didn't notice it until they pointed it out. We went to sit back down and the talks were just awesome. Near the end of the service, we sang "How Great Thou Art." Its interesting, as I was sitting there praying I heard a voice in the back of my said "I am so proud of you." I had realized just then that this song that was playing was the exact song that was played at my grandmas funeral, and that it was one of if not her favorite hymns. It had dawned on me that my grandma was there with me during that baptism, that she was watching over me. That song playing indicated that she was present, and that she had my back. I don't know Christina personally, but she is SO special to me wether she knows it or not. Is it coincidence that she chose that song for her baptism? My first baptism? I don't believe so..I believe it was God that sent me here to this mission for a reason. I believe with all my heart that as I watch Christ come into these people's life's that I myself am growing with Christ as well. And me being here is more than just Christina, its Alan too, and my companion, so much more. I know I am where I am supposed to be. There is no doubt in my heart. As I continue to watch people come closer with Christ, my heart is softened every time. I just want to say also that I am very aware of my grandma's presence. She left me almost a year ago and went to be with our Heavenly Father, but she has made it known that I am not alone. My grandma played probably the biggest role in my life, and set that Christ-Like example for me and my brother. She raised me, embraced me and taught me life principles at the age of 82 years old. I will never be able to repay her or my grandpa for all that they have done for me. I also want to say that I love my mom, and that i am so proud of her! Our relationship has become stronger and more alive. Her and I have had our ups and downs, but through trial and tribulation our relationship is how it should be. I believe with my heart that God has something to do with it too, that me serving this mission has been something good not only for me, but for my family. Family is the most important thing there is, period.
Elder Hutchens and Elder Ojeda
In spite of everything this week, its always great to say that the spirit has been with Elder Ojeda and I constantly. As we have taught, people have listened, and people are understanding. We are working with Alan, the guy from Yadkinville, North Carolina. As we have taught him the spirit has been strong every single time we are in his house. We have had the special chance to watch Christ answer his prayers, and soften his heart. Also Virginia, Hannah, Jazell and Miah. We are so blessed to have such wonderful people here working towards baptisms. The Lord is preparing a way and opening the hearts of many and I testify of this great and noble work. I testify that God is real, that Christ is battling Satan every day for us. Christ died for OUR sins.. and for that I owe him my whole life.
Guys, the work here is moving forward. I am seeing the world differently and becoming a different person. Christ's light is shining down on me and I cannot deny that the Holy Ghost is constantly speaking to me. As we continue to work, just know that if any of you have any problem, any question, any struggle or trial, that our Heavenly Father is the best source of comfort. In his own time, he will answer your prayers and ease the burden.
Thank you guys so much for the love and support. I hope things are going well back in NC.
Love and miss you all..
Con Amor,

Elder Hutchens
Pictures: Christina and I
Elder Ojeda, Visker and Shoenberger

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Most Spiritual Week Ever

This week has just been a blessing, period. I don't even know where to start...

So transfers happened this week and I unfortunately lost Elder Ballard. He's going to be a great Zone Leader up in Moses Lake. That's one thing I have been blessed with is companions in Leadership who have been around the block a time or two. He was a great example for me and my mission. We traveled up Kennewick together to pick up my new companion. My new companion is awesome!! I dare say he might be one of my favorite companions thus far. His name is Elder Ojeda. He is from the country of Paraguay, and he's just the bomb. He speaks really good English but we always speak in Spanish of course. He is like a spiritual power house. Every lesson we go to the spirit is there and you can just feel it so strongly. 
Goodbye Elder Ballard
Hello Elder Ojeda
Lets talk about our investigators..

Alan- Alan is from NC, born and raised in Yadkinville, North Carolina. He is SO solid. We went to his house with a member this past week and both me and Elder Ojeda was just pounding questions in on him. He opened up finally and started telling us his past life. He talked about how his past religions with Southern Baptist scared him because of the way the people acted. I felt so connected with him because I have the very same background as him. Not that i am scared of Southern Baptist people, both the people that raised me are Southern Baptist, the people in that church are great people as a matter of a fact, but it just wasn't for me or him. He finally came around and said "I know The Book of Mormon is true, can I have one? I have to overcome my fear of going to church.." So we are now teaching him the lessons. He is one of those guys that is so ready...but he doesn't know it yet. Can't wait to continue working with him and helping him progress. A baptism is in his future.

Christina- Christina is just so golden. She will be baptized this coming Saturday the 18th. Her parents are Seventh Day Adventist preachers, and for the longest time she never told them that she was going to be baptized into The Mormon church. When I got here she was planning on telling them soon, but one morning we got a text from her saying "Hey guys, I am going to tell my parents tonight, please pray for me." So guess what she did, she told them. Every since then they have been giving her a hard time with being baptized. Sometimes almost mean to her. But this past Wednesday after we were just saying our prayers the phone went off and it was a text. It said.. "I forgot to ask you Elder Hutchens, will you please be the one to baptize me?" Man, I never in my life have felt so honored and privileged in my entire life. So this Saturday, I will be performing the baptism for Christina! She has been a blessing to work with and can not to wait to see what the future holds for her. 

Hannah- Hannah is just as golden as Christina. She has been coming to church for two years and not ever has she taken the lessons from the missionaries because her parents wouldn't let her. A little before I got here her parents decided it was okay to let her get baptized but the missionaries couldn't get a hold of her. She is in high school and the president of the FFA, so shes super busy. But we have been meeting consistently every single Wednesday for the last month or so, and shes ready! We had a lesson on The Plan of Salvation and things just gradually started to click and you could see she was learning very rapidly. She has a baptismal date for November the 9th! So stoked for her..but we got home that night after the lesson and the WHOLE young women in the church left us Twinkies with cool designs on them on our front door step. They had notes from all the young women in it. One was from Hannah, it said " Thanks for you do Elders, I can't wait for my baptism and I am learning so much!" Its always nice as a missionary to know that your investigators are learning and giving you twinkies all at the same time..

Virginia- Virginia has been meeting with the missionaries for a long time. But never has she understood how important it is to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood. Elder Ojeda with that rolling spiritual tide came in here this past Thursday and we had a meeting with her. We started explaining the Priesthood...I was talking, he was talking, I would talk, he would talk. I would testify..he would testify...BOOM...we had a baptismal date. She's set to go November 8th. But Elder Ojeda and I were speaking by the Holy Ghost. We had nothing to do with her finally understanding all this. The Holy Ghost was using us as tools to deliver the words she needed to hear. She comes to church every single week, and we are excited for her!! 

Guys, I have been blessed as a missionary to be here in the Washington Kennewick mission. The Lord is working on these peoples hearts, and its evident. I am rapidly learning more Spanish, the Spirit is always strong, and our investigators are progressing. I am aware that things will not always be this good in the future, but I am thankful for all this. Your support has been awesome! I have also been blessed with awesome leaders, awesome companions and an awesome area. With transfers of course happening, almost half our zone is now turned upside down. We have so many new people here but I am getting to know them. They seem like awesome missionaries! Can't wait to send yall pictures of the baptism this week, and to let you guys know how our investigators are progressing. Pray for us that we may be able to feel the spirit during these lessons and use the right words to help these people come close to Christ! 
I love you all, and I am rapidly putting on sure how to feel about that. haha.

Con Amor,
Elder Hutchens 

Elder Manwill, Elder Davison and Elder Hutchens



Monday, October 6, 2014

Buenos Dias!

Wow what a great week it was here in the WKM. Got a lot to talk about so lets go..


Was conference not the best thing ever? Every time that someone spoke it was like I felt the spirit just crawling down my back. I for one enjoyed Elder Christofferson and Elder Holland's talks. Both of those guys are just studs..well seeing as how they are my first and second favorite apostles. But anyways, Elder Holland was talking about the importance of service and how our most Christ like thing we can do is helping the poor and needy. It made me realize how blessed I am. There is ALWAYS someone out there who has it worse than you, and those people need our help brothers and sisters.  Elder Holland went on to say that he isn't poor, nor has be ever been poor, but there is always someone who needs our help. "He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor." I feel like Elder Holland was talking to us missionaries directly. Jesus's first duty was to bless the poor, including the poor in spirit. I don't know I just absolutely loved that talk, SO EVERYONE GO LISTEN TO IT. :) Hope everyone had a great conference weekend though!

 My first transfer happened this week, which is crazy. I can never keep a companion longer than one transfer. Elder Ballard and I are being split up this Wednesday as he is going to Moses Lake to serve as a Zone Leader. Pray for him, will you? But I am receiving a missionary straight from Paraguay. How cool is that? He speaks Spanish fluently obviously, but i am not sure how much English he speaks, so this should be fun. I hope The Lord can bless me with patience.

Listening to Elder Holland during conference talk about King Benjamin was a spiritual upbringing. I myself am not poor, I do not need for anything, and i am certainly not living in poverty. But King Benjamin said it best, arent we all beggers? Don't we all beg for mercy? Don't we all beg for forgiveness of our sins? I am indeed a begger for God's love, I am a begger for mercy, and for forgiveness. Everything that King Benjamin said during this passage is just amazing. I love the example he set for his people also. He was a king, he ruled over his people, but he wanted it known to his people that he was ONLY called by God, and that he is no different than his people. He is the same person with a different calling. I think we can all take something away from this example. Magnify our calling, do the best we can, no one is above anyone else. 

North Carolina Man, Alan

Rolling Hills of Washington

As we were walking around talking to people we stopped by a man that was sitting down. We started talking to him and he asked where I was from, I said "It's my accent, right?" He goes "You're from North Carolina aren't you? I was born and raised in Winston-Salem and I lived in a small town called Yadkinville for a long time." I couldn't believe the words he just said..that is exactly where I come from. God works in weird ways..and we have an appointment with him this week :) 


Thanks for all your love, it means the world to me! 


Con Amor, 


Elder Hutchens


*Help yourself before you seek help from others.*