Monday, August 31, 2015

Not the Greenest - August 31, 2015

Our Bishop posted this on Facebook today. Totally sums up how Priscilla and I feel!-Mom

Good Missionary Monday everybody! As always, thanks for your emails and support through prayers! I honestly would not have made it this far without everyone's love and support. This past week has felt fairly long, at least it has compared to previous weeks. I also feel like this past week hasn't been that exciting and I'm wondering if I'm just getting used to some of the madness that missionary work entails. Maybe you guys can let me know.
Well Monday for P-Day we went to the local art museum in Manchester. There was a lot of artwork that I really enjoyed and some pieces that I would ask Sister Banda if she understood and she would just shake her head. Some modern art pieces can get weird man. But overall it was really fun, especially since we came with a sister in the ward who spends a lot of time at the museum so she was able to tell us a lot about some of the pieces which was helpful.
Tuesday was transfer meetings day and yes Sister Banda and I went because the Elders (who we are in a car share with/we kinda chauffeur) needed a ride so there we were. It also made official that I was no longer the "greenest" in the district; there is a newer sister training in Bedford. Speaking of our district, Sister Banda and I are the only companionship that didn't change so for the next six weeks I get to meet a bunch of new missionary friends. Yay!
Things weren't very exciting for most of the rest of the week after that. Sister Banda and I do service weekly at a food pantry here in Manch and have done an assortment of odd jobs in the pantry like organize clothes to be distributed to people or help organize the pantry itself (I was wondering why we were doing so well on that job and then I remembered: Food Storage). Our job this week was taking 12 "k-cup"s of coffee and opening them up and dumping them into plastic bags to be used as pots of coffee because not everyone has a Keurig coffee dispenser. Sister Banda and I could just laugh about how they put the Mormon missionaries in charge of that job. We really wanted to get some Word of Wisdom pamphlets and slip those into the boxes we were filling with coffee bags. It also solidified the fact that I do not enjoy the smell of coffee. At all. Glad I naturally avoid that temptation.
Another crazy thing Sister Banda and I did on Saturday was attend a local Greek Orthodox church's Greek-fest, partially because we needed to use the restroom, partially because Sister Banda had never tried Greek food so I forced her to try baklava. That was definitely an adventure because at first I was scared that people would see our name tags and brush us out as soon as possible but people were just normal people with us. I think maybe people there needed to see that we enjoy good food too. Plus Sister Banda liked the baklava.
On to the more spiritual side of things I guess, this week I saw a miracle when we went tracting. It was on a street that we have no record has ever been tracted and were prompted by the Spirit one evening to try it out with our last amount of proselyting time we had in the day so we did despite my fear to do so. Most of the people were nice but uninterested, until we reached one house that a neighbor had half-heartedly waved to when we asked if he knew anyone who could use an uplifting message. A mom who was in the middle of making dinner answered the door and when we explained who we were she let us in so we could tell her more (at this point in my mind I was going !!?!?!). We sat down at her table and gave her a brief overview of the Restoration which she said made sense. She took a Book of Mormon and we were able to set up an appointment to meet with her again. When Sister Banda and I went into the car all we could say was "wow". Wow, her heart was prepared to at least hear about the gospel. Wow, she was willing to let us in. Just wow.
I know Heavenly Father is preparing hearts for the gospel out there. He has given us so many opportunities to reach out to them and testify of the blessings they can receive by just coming unto Christ. One big way Heavenly Father gives us to reach out to the world and testify of Christ is General Conference, which I am really excited for. I have been reading a conference talk every day for the 40 days before the October session and it is awesome to read of the testimonies of some of God's chosen witnesses and know that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us living prophets. I would ask all of you to prepare for General Conference, maybe with a question in mind and praying for and answer or just by reading some of your old favorite conference talks. I know Heavenly Father answers questions and true prophecies are made during those sessions so be prepared to receive all the blessings!

Love, Sister Wright

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Transfer DONE - August 24, 2015

I saw this picture on Facebook this morning (Aug 25) and had to post it. It's at transfer meeting. I'm guessing we'll hear about that in next week's letter.

Here we are, another week down and one transfer done. I can't believe how much I have grown in this short amount of six weeks but I can definitely see a difference in myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally. One thing that definitely proved to me that I have grown is the success of my first exchange, what I like to call "The Canterbury Tales". I'm not going to lie, I was really anxious about my first exchange, worried that it would be too much change too soon and it would drive my anxiety insane and be bad for me and my temporary companion. But before the exchange I prayed a lot that things would go well and that I could have the strength to rely on the Spirit when I needed to and luckily everything went well. The evening I was there to extend a baptismal date to an investigator in the Canterbury sister's (sister training leader's) area which was an awesome miracle! I also caught myself constantly thinking of the people in Manchester that Sister Banda would be able to see while I was in Canterbury. That was a miracle because I have spent most of these past six weeks wondering if I could ever get my heart with me here with me in the mission instead of just in Arizona and partially Provo, but missing Manch proved to me that I have! (Do not worry everyone in Arizona and Provo and other parts of the country/world, I miss you as well and my heart is still there as well)

Crazy experience for Sister Banda and I Saturday though! So on our way to an area we had picked for some tracting before we had an appointment at 4 I dropped the phone in the car and innocently thought it just fell under the driver's seat or just between the driver's seat and "mission control". So when we stopped to park and just grab the phone, we didn't see it there. So we looked under the floor mats: no phone. Under the seat itself: no phone. We spent a good 40 minutes searching for the phone and could not see it. We even were in a grocery store parking lot and asked a lady to call it so we could make sure it was still in the car which it was, but for the life of us we could not see or feel this phone. Multiple prayers were given and it reached the time when we had our next appointment at 4 so we had to drop the phone search and go there (That appointment actually went really well! The sister we were talking to said she really didn't have a lot of questions besides wondering what exactly we do as missionaries but we ended up being there an hour teaching about the Restoration and some of the Plan of Salvation). After the appointment we spent another hour digging for the phone in our apartment parking lot with still no luck. Using the car's blu-tooth we were able to call the mission "Car Czar" Elder Adams (because we knew the phone was IN THE CAR) and let him know of our problem and see if he had any solutions. He said we our on a top five list for most creative car problems. We called our District leader to let him know we were safe but sans phone. The icing on the cake: Saturday night was transfer calls night. (Another side story: Between the two of us, Sister Banda and I have had three dreams telling us that Sister Banda would be leaving this next transfer. We even talked to President Stoker about it during interviews and he told us he probably wouldn't do that which calmed our fears a bit but when Sister Banda had another dream about it this last week we were still just as worried). So we spent all of Saturday night without our phone, no idea whether Sister Banda would still be my trainer, and just exhausted and frustrated. Yes, I know, it is just a phone, but it was holding some pretty important information from us. Of course once we picked up the elders for church the next day they find it under a minute. That was also frustrating. But what I learned is all of the precious resources the Lord has given us, even the phone, can be taken away from us. It's His work and His tools so He is in charge of them and when we should use them, even when it is seemingly most inconvenient.

Good news out of all of that though: Sister Banda is staying in Manch and finishing training me! Hooray, tender mercy! I honestly could not ask for a better trainer! 
Well I hope everyone else is having a good week, blessed by the Spirit, and seeing how our trials can strengthen us. Always pray for strength and hold on to your phones!
-Sister Wright

Some rainbow pictures she sent this week

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

One Month In - August 18, 2015

L-R Sisters Keown, Hamilton, Wright, and Banda
Wow I've been in the field one month already?? Only 17 more to go?
Time has definitely flown. And if there's one think I would like to 
say I've learned in this one month of service its that missionary work 
is HARD. I remember being home and having the missionaries over to eat 
and seeing them around and they just made it look like no big deal. 
After a month of wearing the black name tag in the Queen City 
(Manchester) I can definitely tell you we as missionaries may LOOK 
like we have it all together but inside we are definitely stressed or 
scared or worried. Is that a bad thing? No! There's definitely no 
other way you can grow unless you get uncomfortable as I've talked 
about before. 
Well, enough trying to sound all profound. I'll tell you about some 
crazy experiences we've had here in Manch. Well Tuesday it was dark 
and stormy all day long. It was a nice change but I think it was a 
nice change and really cooled things off. The crazy part was Saturday 
it was bright and sunny in the morning, became a little more overcast 
by the afternoon and after we ran into a less active sister it was 
POURING rain and Sister Banda and I had to run down the street in this 
rain to get to the car. That was crazy because we got completely 
soaked in just the minute or two we were outside but it was funny. 
Crazy New England weather! 
Sister Banda and I found out we have more geographically to our area 
then we originally thought so yesterday (Monday) we decided to explore 
it and realized that part of the area contains a popular ice cream 
joint we've heard a lot about so as a proselyting effort we decided to 
stop. Our plan was to talk to locals, see what their favorite flavor 
were, get to know them, and it was working really well with this one 
gentleman that was really friendly to us. Turns out he was a Jehovah's 
Witness from the Kingdom Hall next door haha. He was doing the same 
thing we were doing, haha! So he was really nice and asked us about 
our missions and hopefully we softened his heart about the church. And 
the ice cream place had graham cracker ice cream! Of course we had to 
check it out and see if it was anywhere close to BYU Graham Canyon. It 
was close, but not quite there. 
We also have a sister we have been teaching that we found through a 
mysterious referral. Her name came to us from the Manchester Elders 
because she is in our area but besides that no one really knows where 
the referral came from. But she is super awesome! She loves us, the 
sisters, and jokes she's adopted us because she does things for us 
like come to church and take us out to lunch on Saturday. She swears 
she won't convert but we'll see what Sister Banda and I can do about 
Speaking of Sister Banda, today is her birthday! This morning we were 
able to drive down to the Boston temple which was super fun! The 
Boston temple is so pretty and Sister Banda says this is the best 
birthday she's had which makes me feel special. The big 2-1! 
So I guess I'll sign off for now but I just want to say while even 
though this mission has been a challenge, it has brought so many 
blessings and I wouldn't trade this past month and a half for 
anything. May everyone have a good and safe week! 
-Sister Wright 
Here are some other pictures Sister Wright sent home this week:

    A little bit of Arizona in New Hampshire 
Why is there are Tardis on the front porch?
For the High School Musical Fans
And for the Star Wars geeks out there

Monday, August 10, 2015

What Happens When Sister Wright and Sister Banda Preach the Gospel - August 10, 2015

A sister from the Manchester Ward posted these pictures on the mission Facebook page with the caption, "This is what happens when Sister Wright and Sister Banda preach the gospel." I love the green trees and the rainbow!

Obedience Brings Miracles - August 10, 2015

Mom note: Priscilla finally sent pictures this week. This shot is of Priscilla and her trainer, Sister Banda. Feel free to look back on older posts because I added some pictures there too.

     Wow this week was super busy but that's always good as a missionary! We definitely saw miracles as we were guided by the Spirit in what to plan for, who to talk to, and where to go. This week we made a big effort to reach out to Less-Active members (people who are still technically members of church but do not attend anymore) and that was definitely prompted by the Spirit because as we worked towards that goal we had so many opportunities fall into our lap, especially Tuesday.
     Tuesday evening Sister Banda and I just couldn't stop expressing our thanks to Heavenly Father. Our first big miracle was running into a less active sister right before she said she was leaving. We were able to enter her apartment right as a massive thunderstorm raged on outside. Seriously, as we looked out the window during the middle of the meeting I could not see the building across the street, it was coming down that hard. So Sister Banda and I accepted that as a tender mercy, to be safe from the storm and find someone to talk to. But that's so not all. We tracked a smaller street (which I have frequently mentioned scares me) and I fervently prayed that I would know that what we are doing is the Lords work and sure enough everyone who answered the door, whether they were interested or not, told us to keep up the good work and they respected what we were doing. Check,one more small blessing. Then we went to reach out to another less active sister. She was less than thrilled when we knocked on her door and even told us to leave before she offered us some water before we left and next thing we knew she was making us pancakes. Wow! Sister Banda and I figured that was it. But Heavenly Father had one last crazy miracle for us. After dinner we went to the church building to get wifi to update some stuff and Bishop saw us and offered to take us out to ice cream as a treat. I figured why not, we deserved it. So we meet Bishop at the ice cream place and who do we see there but a referral we had made contact with a few weeks ago and she recognized us and was so excited! Crazier than that: She mentioned she wanted to come to church on Sunday! What even?! Sister Banda and I couldn't believe it! How many miracles in just one day! All I could say in my prayers was how thankful I was and that I don't ever need another day that good again, I just needed to continue to have the strength to be a strong missionary. But wow so many blessings!
     Wednesday for lunch a member threw me a greenie party with all green table stuff, green Hawaiian punch, and all green food like chicken salad on lettuce with green grapes and mint brownies (half not mint which was good) and key lime pie! So good! The ward definitely spoils us here. I've been feed so much and always end the meals with ice cream! Sister Banda says it's one of the benefits of serving in New England haha Friday we had Zone Interviews with President Stoker which was really nice. The Zone Meeting itself was really nice because we got to spend time with fellow missionaries and just feel united with people going through the same experiences with you. Plus we got pumped for our zone P-Day which was today! We went bowling and I at least wasn't the worst bowler the second game! Improvement is key as a missionary. We also went to the Red Arrow diner, a popular little place in Downtown Manchester that a lot of famous people go to. I sat where Adam Sandler (Manchester's hometown boy) sat so that was fun. And the food was pretty good too. Good times with fellow missionaries!
     Well I hope everyone is having a good time wherever they are. Sometimes it's hard to remember I'm all the way across the country because I always can feel the support from home. May we all be blessed by the guidance of the Spirit!
-Sister Wright

Here are some pictures she sent:

Zone Training Day

Sister Wright is the "W" on the scoreboard

A selfie she tried to take with Sister Banda

The door of the Red Arrow Diner

Her seat where Adam Sandler sat

Other random pictures sent this week:
"Sister Banda has a Dark Wing Duck key chain. I want someone from Disney Club to share so they can see I am doing Disney things on the mish"

"Churches down the street from the library we usually go to"

"This is the duct tape that decorates our table in our apartment. Elders lived there before Sisters"

 "Sister Banda as a good Jedi master gave me a light saber"

"I bought live action Cinderella stickers and put this one on the iPad. I figured it isn't too apostate because it fits with my mission statement" (Have courage and Be kind)

"I decorated my planner to be green like everything else in my life right now"

"Cool looking older statue I figured Dad would enjoy"

Monday, August 3, 2015

Spanish??? - August 3, 2015

Greetings Friends and Family,

As always, thank you for the love and support you have given me through prayers and emails and letters. I don't always have a bunch of time to write you back and let you know I appreciate receiving them but I really do so thank you.

Well, this week I can say I kind of understand what it's like to serve a foreign language mission, and kind of not. 96% of the time I hear English and talk to people who also speak English but Manchester is so diverse that a lot people speak another language besides English and/or English is their second language. The language we run into most is Spanish which I'm realizing would have been pretty helpful to have learned at one point because I know like 5 things in Spanish. So one night this week we had dinner at a member's home and they, even the five adorable little kids, spoke Spanish because that is their native tongue. I just sat there like a gringa just so confused. Not that they didn't also speak English, and it's so cool they are raising their kids bilingual, I wish that was something I could have experienced, but it just reminded me what a blessing it was for me personally not to have to learn another language for this mission. The same thing happened when we were at a service project Friday helping a group move down the street in Downtown Manchester and one of the sisters there spoke Spanish with Elder Flores (the District Leader and other missionary serving in the Manchester Ward). But it all kind of evened out when at church Sunday one of the brother's introduced himself in French and I was able to at least say Hello and say how I was doing back. It was funny because normally with the Spanish Sister Banda can catch bits and pieces and communicate minimally, but with the French it all went over her head haha.

Thursday was a big/exciting day. We spent most of it at the New Missionary and Trainers Meeting so I got to catch up with fellow Greenies, people I got to know at the MTC and came out with me to New England. It was really neat to catch up with them, see where they were (spiritually, geographically, and emotionally). It also taught me to be super grateful to be serving in Manchester. A lot of my friends form the MTC shotgunned (both them and their trainer went to the area completely new) and had to start a lot from scratch which would be really scary. Some don't even have investigators which is also super scary because that means they do a lot of tracting. I didn't realize it until this week that we do have a fairly decent amount of people to teach throughout the week, investigators and Less Actives alike. Speaking of less actives, Thursday was also super great because we got to teach a less active sister about Family Search with the Adams, the lovely Senior Missionary Couple. The sister struggles a lot with some Word of Wisdom problems but really wants to get back into church and hopefully go through the temple. What was cool was after we helped her get started on her fan chart and help her find her grandparents and learn a little about them she told us she felt better because she hadn't been feeling good that day up until that point. And then we explained to her that she had the opportunity to not only go through the temple for herself but for her ancestors who didn't know about the Gospel before she expressed to us that that was a lot of pressure. Elder Adams testified to her that this was a good pressure and through a blessing promised to her that she could go through the temple before the end of the year. Wow, right! God definitely knows she needs to help herself and her family out and with a promise like that I bet she can do it.

As I mentioned earlier I love the ward out here. They are pretty good about feeding the sisters, especially since we make sure the calendar gets around the Relief Society room. It's really cool when we teach them because we get to hear a lot of their testimonies and since a lot of them are converts that is really special because it reminds me of the work I am doing out here. I testified at church yesterday that a lot of the time when we knock on doors people will tell us they're comfortable with their faith. At first you think "Wow, that's super great they at least have a faith in something" but then I realize "I am definitely not comfortable in this church". Here I am, giving up 18 months of my life, living across the country with limited communication with my family, going door to door talking to strangers about what I believe AND THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT COMFORTABLE. But as I reflect on my past month being out here in the field I realize that Christ never asks us to do the comfortable thing. The woman caught in adultery, the rich young man, even His own Apostles were asked to go out of their comfort zone in order to become closer to Him. You Can't have spiritual growth without physical pain. I can testify that while I am not comfortable, I am definitely growing closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. I am also growing closer to our loving Heavenly Father who loves us and gives us Christ as a wonderful gift! May we all grow in our discomforts is my hope.
-Sister Wright
Sister Banda and Sister Wright

 Priscilla's trainer, Sister Banda; Priscilla; Sister Dickson, Priscilla's MTC companion; and her trainer Sister Bee

 Front row-Trainers- Sisters Craig, Bee, Maxwell, Banda, Crook, Frame, and Duncan; Back Row-new sisters in the mission - Sisters Knect, Dickson, Weeks, Wright, Watson, Rogerson, and Ashford

 New Sister Missionaries L-R Sisters Knect, Dickson, Weeks, Wright, Watson, Rogerson, and Ashford

 Sister Adams, Sister Stoker (Mission President's Wife), and Sister Holm

 Elder and Sister Adams

Beautiful New England