Monday, November 30, 2015

Three Birds, Two Sisters, One Mission - November 30, 2015

"Hello from the Brewer Library"
Hello hello family and friends that I am so thankful for! This past Thursday marked the annual celebration of my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a wonderful time "stuffing" (Sister Daughety got me into saying puns grrr) your face with delicious food like turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, stuffing, chicken, pie, gravy, and duck. Yep, and duck. As I promised last week I would be celebrating Thanksgiving lunch with a Turducken.  It wasn't exactly what Sister Daughety and I anticipated with a giant homegrown turkey stuffed with a homegrown duck and a homegrown chicken (they raised and butchered those birds) but instead it was already pre-carved and put on a platter which was pretty smart considering the number of people that were there. Regardless, it was my first time tasting duck and I anticipated it to taste weird or different from chicken but it really wasn't that much different. Sister Daughety explained since they were all roasted together the flavors probably mixed and that is why the meat all tasted the same. Regardless, it all tasted really good! Sister Daughety also got to taste Moxie (see previous photos/entry for my experience with the Maine soda of champions) which she really didn't enjoy. She held the can and said "Why is there a giant sleeze-ball on this can". That was probably the most positive comment she gave it haha. But Thanksgiving was good. I was really worried that my first experience of my favorite holiday without my family would be really tough but I definitely felt the love and support of the ward family up here and feel of my Heavenly Father's love as I spent the day giving thanks for all He has given us.
As far as the work goes, it kinda slowed down this week. The elders and us didn't manage using the miles on the van, "the silver bullet", very well and we ended up walking most of the week. It was cold but we were always moving and luckily the members are really helpful with rides so we were always able to get where we needed to be which was nice. And now we know to be more frugal with our miles haha.
Anyway, the biggest miracle we saw this week was with a less active part-member couple we are working with. She is not a member but loves having us sisters over which is great but with Sister Daughety we knew it would be a great opportunity to re-establish our purpose in visiting them. We shared a lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them and made sure to testify of the power of the priesthood and how that makes this church different in the ordinances. It was a really powerful lesson because the he (the member husband), who normally does not interact much in the lessons, bore a strong testimony of the power of the priesthood and we helped her identify that the peace and happiness and light she feels when we come over is the Holy Ghost. It was wonderful to have the really spiritual experience after a hard week of not seeing many people and see someone realize and accept the Holy Ghost more in their lives.
I feel I should also update you on our investigator who was anticipating being baptized at the beginning of December. In multiple of her lessons and during her interactions with members she has been warned that Satan will do everything to keep her from joining this church and I know that is true. Last week she got hit with a pretty serious health concern that would keep her from physically entering the waters and baptism. She is really frustrated by it but she thought it best to post-pone her baptismal date. We are disappointed too but we were able to visit her and help her get a priesthood blessing which I know will help her get better by her faith.
I know I have things that keep me from being totally converted to the church. Something I am studying this transfer is the Christ-like attribute of charity. Being the time of the year it is I figured it would be a good time to focus on giving. I know the Christmas season is a wonderful time to focus on giving to others, but may I suggest we think about what we are giving our Heavenly Father and His Son at this time that we celebrate His birth? I don't know if you have watched it yet but the Church has released a new Christmas video called a Savior is Born (see previous entry for that time I got a sneak peek) and I just LOVE that video because it brings a spirit of Christmas that I have never experienced before. Visit to see why we need a Savior and what He did for us so we can remember and give back this season! I hope I make sense. I'm just really excited for Christmas (just ask Sister Daughety, I yell it every 30 minutes)!!! Have a nice week as we enter December wooooo Christmas!

Sister Wright
Sister Wright watching Sister Daughety try "Moxie" for the first time

I sent a Thanksgiving Tablecloth that could be drawn on and had little puzzles on it for the missionary apartment. Here are the pictures Priscilla sent back
"Sister Turkey (the missionary turkey)"

Sister Daughety's side

"Sister Harward's turkey and my funky turkey"

"We were having dinner with a member family and I mentioned that I hadn't had Whoopie Pies yet and that was part of the Maine-iac initiation so the mom said next time we came over we would have some. We have a Whoopie Pie cafe down the street from the apartment and after the mom dropped us off she stopped by, called and asked if we were still near the apartment, and dropped this off! Members are the best!"

Monday, November 23, 2015

Two in the Brewer Crew - November 23, 2015

Sister Wright with her new companion, Sister Daughety

Hello Family and Friends and Happy Thanksgiving Week! I hope you all are enjoying cooler weather and happy holidays coming up. This week has definitely been one for the records and I can't wait for you all to hear about the adventures I have had my first week area training and preparing for my favorite holiday of them all: Thanksgiving!
Well, last week you all heard from me on Monday and my excitement to return to Manchester and not only receive my new companion but also say farewell (for now) to the best trainer to have ever walked the earth, Sister Banda (if she is reading this, yes I am pointing at you and and embarrassing you on the internet because I love you aww). But really, visiting Manchester was really great and it hurt my heart to leave the chapel and my friend again but I know Heavenly Father has some pretty awesome miracles for me to witness in good ole Brrrrrrrrrrrrewer. 
One of those miracles is my new senior companion Sister Daughety. Sister Daughety is from North Carolina and I really enjoy when she occasionally slips into her southern accent because only the coolest people are from North Carolina, just look at my mom. But really I love Sister Daughety and we have already had a really fun time getting to know each other and sharing the gospel with the people we work with up here. The ward loves her too which is great since Thanksgiving is coming up and that means they'll feed us.
I am not going to lie but I was really nervous when I realized I would be introducing a missionary to a new area, I feel like I was still being introduced myself and just going off what Sisters Harward and Castillo knew. But things have definitely been working out. One miracle in particular was we were looking for an old media referral before a dinner appointment we were having one night and we passed a man on the corner. He seemed really sad and we said hello but we were kind of preoccupied finding the address of this old referral. But after we got a house or two away we realized we really needed to speak with the man so we speed-walked back to the corner and we caught him. We explained to him our purpose as missionaries and gave him a Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet. He explained to us some of the trials he was going through and ended up crying and said that even just us talking to him made a difference in his evening. Things never really progressed from there because of the trials he was going through but that experience was a huge testimony to me that even though it was a small gesture to give him a Book and talk to him, it really made a difference in his day.
I know that as missionaries it is really easy to be caught up in the "numbers" but if my three transfers of experience has taught me anything (I can feel the judgement of older and returned missionaries judging me for that comment but OH WELL) it's that numbers help track progress but don't necessarily measure your personal success. Doctrine and Covenants 4:3 does not say "If ye have desires to baptize 24/7", it says "if ye have desires to serve God" and I know as you have that desire you can better help people come closer to Christ by helping them.
Well, I think I wore out my spiritual thought for the week. I hope everyone has a wonderful upcoming week! As you eat your turkey and potatoes remember your favorite sister missionary who survived her first morning with snow (granted it was only like an inch and it is mostly melted by now) and will be enjoying an authentic homegrown turduckin Thursday (I am so excited! I may not have had seafood yet but turduckin is definitely a lot more foreign so I'll let you know how that goes). Remember what you are thankful for and get excited for the Christmas season!
Sister Wright!

Saying goodbye to her trainer, Sister Banda

"I'm moving up in the world to a bigger desk!"

Her feelings toward missing the new StarWars movie, "Gotta make plans early"

Monday, November 16, 2015

Brrrrrrrrewer - November 16, 2015

"Jumping in leaves is fun!" Sister Frost (the Bishop's wife), Sister Castillo, Sister Harward, and Sister Wright

Happy Monday family and friends! I hope everyone is excited for Thanksgiving because I totally am (and yes I know it is next week but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and might be the hardest one to miss but I digress). I really wanted to save this email (blog) title for later when it started snowing but it has started getting really cold this week and I have just come to love Brewer so much I figured I would use it this week. Hooray for originality!
Well, as far as this week it was again AWESOME. I actually honestly don't remember much of what happened during the week but I know we had a lot of awesome teaching appointments with our investigators who are progressing toward baptism which is great. 
This weekend as a lot of you might have seen (or hopefully participated in) was Social Media Splits weekend! We spent a lot of time with members this weekend providing service (aka wearing jeans), mostly raking leaves. Fun fact: I have never raked leaves before, not because I'm lazy but because I have never lived in a place where there were leaves that needed to be raked... So we did that! Leaf raking is just about as fun as I expected. It was definitely more fun jumping into the pile of leaves afterwards (again, something I had never done because Arizona is a desert). Back to focusing on Social Media Splits: They were such a blessing. Between spontaneously helping members with service and teaching them quick lessons we heard a lot of people who weren't members of the church would like our posts. Hopefully getting the word out there will encourage more people to be interested in learning more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have heard from a variety of people of the tragedy that occurred in Paris this last Friday. I used to really want to serve in France to follow in the footsteps of my father but over the course of my time up here in New England I have gained a testimony that Heavenly Father puts us where He needs us to fulfill His purposes and benefit us personally the most (if that makes sense). I know I'm not in France because I don't think I would be able to handle such a tragic event happening so close to me. Not to say I'm not strong in my own way but I know the missionaries out there must be very strong to face such a dark time for the people of Paris and I am truly praying for them and the French as they face this challenge.
Another event that has really taken up some of my time of thought is the passing of my great uncle this weekend. It is really sad to see family members pass and difficult to face the rest of life without them but I can promise there is peace in knowing the Plan of Salvation. I know my uncle is off doing the same work I am doing right know, teaching others about the gospel of Jesus Christ and what comfort it can give them as they wait for the resurrection.
Speaking of missionary work (sorry for the abrupt change in tone but the Lord's work is meant to bring people joy so I'm gonna focus on the happier things, well, at least happy to me), Saturday night was transfer calls night and we were informed on who will be where for this current transfer! I am happy to say I will be staying in Brewer for Thanksgiving and Christmas and will be receiving a new Senior Companion who I will pick up in Manchester tomorrow. Being in a trio was quite an experience and I wish my two companions the best on their new journey, especially Sister Harward as she goes STL (Sister Training Leader). I'm not gonna lie, I was actually more nervous for the Travel Plans for Tuesday than Transfer calls because I was worried I wouldn't be able to see Sister Banda's Golden Truth at Transfer Meeting and just visit my beloved Manchester. But Heavenly Father answers prayers and I will be able to see my trainer before she goes back to the real world!
I guess I will end on that note, that Heavenly Father does answer prayers and He loves each of His children, enough to create a plan that we can all return to Him some day. Have a safe and blessed week and get excited for Thanksgiving!
Sister Wright
"Fall isn't as pretty when the leaves fall off the trees" (Personally I think this picture is kind of beautiful-Mom)

Pictures Mom stole off of the mission facebook page showing Priscilla and her companions trying "Moxie." Moxie is a soda sold in Maine, supposedly bitter and the locals say it's an acquired taste!

Pictures stolen from facebook of the Social Media Split Weekend

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week of Total Awesome-ness - November 9, 2015

"All the sister missionaries in the Bangor East Zone after Stake Conference. We are all to cute!"

Good Monday Everyone! I feel like back in the real world that's not a phrase you hear very often but when you're on a mission or if you have a favorite missionary you love hearing from (like a certain sister in New England), Mondays are awesome. Well, this past week was nothing short of awesome. Not to say we had a perfect week by numbers or rewards received, but I just look back at this last week and say "Wow, that was good". 
It mostly started off with Monday which was district P-Day. We met at the church and waited for some of the farther missionaries to get there so we played some basketball. I was a little rusty since my killer one season in fifth grade but I almost beat one of the Zone Leaders in a game so. Not too bad. When everyone was at the church we went to a ten-pin (not candle-pin which is a New England thing I want to try) bowling alley and bowled (for the second time as a district P-Day activity). We played with the Sister Training Leaders and, again, I won't brag, but your favorite Arizona-girl may have won with a score of 104. I'm not a bowling queen but I broke 100 and to me that's an accomplishment.
Monday night we had exchanges with the same Sister Training Leaders. We received Sister Innes and Sister Castillo went to Bangor with her old trainer, Sister Eddington. It was a fun experience. Sister Innes is from Arizona too so it was fun to talk to her about home, particularly the Gilbert temple. She left right after the dedication so I bragged all about how awesome it is to have such a wonderful place so close to home. I know someday the people of Maine will have that same privilege. On exchange we also had appointments fall through and a lot of people not home we were planning to stop by but it was ok because we all had a positive attitude and didn't even realize how "bad" it was. 
Wednesday and Thursday were just two more days of just solid work and preparing for the big event Friday: Zone Conference with Elder Nielson of the 70 and head of the Missionary Department. I will admit, at first I was really not excited for Zone Conference because none of my fellow missionary friends would be going to my session on Friday so I was worried I wouldn't know anyone and we had to leave the apartment super early to get to Portland at 8 am. Zone Conference turned out to be really inspiring though! It turned out I knew more people than I anticipated at the meeting (including Sister Hamilton who was trained in Bedford when I was in Manch and Sister Dickson from the MTC) and I learned a lot personally from Elder and Sister Nielson. The coolest part was when he showed us the video for this year's Christmas initiative. He said we are the first or second group of missionaries to see the video and may I just say it is powerful. I can't wait to share it with all of Maine soon! 
We also had Stake Conference Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. As an intellectual person I really like gaining knowledge and so this weekend was really great for me because I learned a lot from general church leaders like Elder Nielson and local church leaders like the Stake Presidency. A lot of the Stake Conference focus was on families, the purpose of church, and sharing the gospel. The overall thing I learned from the Spirit though was that I am I supposed to be here. Before this week I could say I knew I needed to be on a mission but I couldn't say I knew I needed to be here in Brewer. After this weekend the Spirit confirmed to me that I was I needed to be, even if it was to learn what I did from the leaders. And of course I know I needed to be here the week before transfer calls. We will know Saturday night who is staying and who is going in Brewer. At this point I know that the Lord will send me where I need to be (even if that means packing, ugh). But I know when we ask God to direct our paths He is putting us where we need to be. I learned this principle of being where God needs us a few weeks ago when I was reading D&C 100 but I didn't have a testimony of it until this week. May we all learn what our purpose is in our position this week!
Sister Wright

All of the missionaries at Zone Conference. Sister Wright is 4 rows back in the middle.

Monday, November 2, 2015

May the Four Months be with You - November 2, 2015

At the Bangor/Brewer Trunk or Treat

Happy November Friends and Family!
I hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween! I didn't realize how bummed I was not being able to go all out for Halloween this year, especially after being at BYU for it last year (if you ever have the opportunity to experience Halloween on BYU campus, do it!). But I still had some fun/awesome/miraculous experiences here in Brewer this week so I wasn't too sad to have missed out on free candy day.
Like I said, this week was nothing short of miraculous. I don't really talk a lot about the investigators we work with because I don't feel comfortable sharing their spiritual experiences for the internet to see, but this week really just blew my mind. We had two investigators that we picked up within the week that by the end of the week decided they wanted to be baptized. That was never an experience I expected to have happen within my missionary career. One of them was investigating two years ago but stopped because she said she had some discrepancies between the Bible and Book of Mormon. She originally became interested in the church by the example of her friend who is an active member and in her words "you can see Christ in her". Between our visits with her this week she had studied more of the Book of Mormon and for her lesson we felt prompted to share "Lord, I Believe" from Elder Holland's April 2013 General Conference address. (You can read, listen to, or watch that address here) She started crying in the middle of reading the talk because she realized that faith is really what matters in the sight of the Lord, not exactly what we mentally know. She mentioned that is what kept her from joining the church two year ago, she couldn't say she KNEW this church was true. 
Coincidentally (but not really because we know when we let God direct our paths there are no real coincidences), this transfer I have decided to study faith, (not just because that is something the zone leaders have challenged us to do) because I noticed myself going and doing the work without faith. To see this woman realize that faith, what we believe and then act on, is really what qualifies us in the sight of God was a blessing and example in my life. I can't wait to help her to prepare to enter the waters of baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!
Now I'm going to ruin your warm fuzzy feelings and talk about my favorite HALLOWEEN (just kidding Thanksgiving is my favorite but Halloween is a pretty close second, I mean, besides the birth of our Lord and Savior)!!! The night before Halloween we had a combined Bangor/Brewer Trunk or Treat that was really fun. It was kinda like Halloween on BYU campus in the fact that everyone was dressed up (except my companions). I know the picture has gone around but I was a Fairy Princess because my awesome mom sent it to me! I actually got multiple compliments which was pretty fun!
Halloween night we had to be in by 5 pm because going door to door is awkward when all the kids are doing the same thing asking for candy. We had so much fun deep cleaning the apartment which didn't take very long considering Sisters have recently moved in. But we did have a fun experience changing the blinds for the apartment. We unnecessarily borrowed some members' power tools because we didn't realize how painless changing the blinds was supposed to be. Sister Harward and I joked about how many blondes it would take to change the blinds (because I still consider myself blonde sometimes) haha.
Overall, this was a really good week. I really appreciated all the notes and packages from friends and family this week! And as always I appreciate the support I receive through your prayers and emails! May we all have a wonderful week going by faith!

Sister Wright
"Costume I wore all day of Halloween" If you look closely, the missionary in the picture just happens to be wearing the same clothes!