Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas and Other Gifts - December 29, 2015

Hello and Happy Monday friends and family! I hope and trust you all had a happy and blessed Christmas on Friday and I anticipate the celebration continuing til January 6th because that is when Little Christmas ends! *crickets chirping because no one really celebrates Little Christmas* Sorry, Little Christmas was just a fun fact Sister Daughety and I learned about from her Grandma on Friday BECAUSE WE GOT TO SKYPE HOME! AND SKYPING WAS JUST ONE OF THE MANY EXCITING THINGS THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK SO LET'S GET STARTED:
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: P-Day and Proselyting days. Not many exciting things happened besides having dinner with our investigator Lynn and her husband to wrap up her lessons before her baptism on Saturday (Yes, the long awaited baptismal investigator is named Lynn)! She was so sweet and kicked off the gift giving part of Christmas early by getting us journals as pre-baptism/Christmas gifts. She is so sweet and was so excited for her baptism Saturday! Besides that, a lot of appointments fell through because people were spontaneously having family come and visit them and other ridiculous reasons like that because it's the holidays or something ridiculous like that. But we forgive, it is honestly kind of nice as a missionary to see the city as a ghost town because that means people are spending time with their families and (hopefully) celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
Thursday as we know was Christmas Eve which was really neat. We started off the day with District Meeting and Sister Daughety and I were asked to share some training on the Atonement and what it meant to us personally. The entire meeting was focused on the gift of the Savior and it was really powerful to take learn that and then go out into the world to share that knowledge with everyone. We also had the really cool opportunity to see a convert of Sister Daughety's she taught in Bedford but it was unfortunate we had to meet her at the hospital because a family member was injured. Sister Daughety was so excited to see her though and it was really awesome to see them both light up in the Christmas-decorated hallway. We then ended the evening with the elders and other member families at the Ward Mission Leader's for dinner and caroling. Really the caroling was unanticipated on our side as Sister Daughety and I meant to sing "Away in a Manger" while everyone else sang their little songs and chatted but then everyone felt prompted to listen to us. So that was neat. And awkward. But overall it was really fun to just take time to sing hymns of praise to the Christ child and get excited for the next morning.
Speaking of which Friday morning it was really hard to not pop out of bed and just tear open presents. Sister Daughety and I abstained as long as possible, baking cinnamon rolls and exercising until 7 am where we couldn't resist any longer and took our personal get ready time, sat down and dived into our gifts under the felt Christmas tree. To anyone sent me anything for Christmas (card, gift, email, prayer): Thank you so much for what you sent me. I will do my best to send you personal notes but this P-Day is going by really fast so it may take a lot of time before it gets to you, but know I appreciate your love!!
We did our best to plan for the upcoming day and week and then had an awesome lunch with a member family (the same Turducken family!) with ham and mashed potatoes and squash and gravy and just all the good holiday food. Santa even dropped off some gifts for us there and we got more handy missionary things. Santa got Sister Daughety 20+ pads of post-its that she was really excited about. One of the daughters of the family painted me a replica of Tangled's Rapunzel's painting of herself looking at the floating lights in her tower which I was really excited and touched to have. 
Two o'clock marked the hour that we got to talk to our families via Skype. It was really neat to see everyone doing well (even my Eli baby) and share with them my love for my mission. I think the best question that was asked me was "Do you think you are leaving Brewer?" as transfers were coming up Saturday evening. I said no because I could still feel I was receiving inspiration for the area, unlike while I was serving in Manchester when I could no longer tell what the area needed. It is really cool to reflect on how much I have grown spiritually just in the past 5+ months and see the difference it makes in not only my life but in the lives of those I interact with, especially family.
The weekend got even better as we got to have Lynn's baptism Saturday! Not only did many members attend but we were also able to have two investigators come and witness the baptism. Lynn was so excited all the time before and I was so glad to be able to speak on baptism before the ordinance was performed. I focused on how on this Christmas season we often focus on gifts from our Heavenly Father such as the birth of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His Gospel and Priesthood power upon the earth. And when Lynn was baptized she came out of the water she was still so excited and cheered "I'm baptized! I'm baptized!" Lynn is really my hero and is truly the greatest example of faith in my life. I would like to say it was all by my efforts that this baptism happened but really it was partially her member friend, members in the ward, and her own desires that brought her to the waters of baptism. And Sunday was just as powerful as she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and was confirmed a member of the church.
Saturday evening, however, marked transfer call nights and I'm starting to think I will never have a normal transfer call night. We (luckily) did not lose the phone at all during the day but when the clock struck 9:30 Sister Daughety and I were on high alert for the phone to go off to hopefully tell us we were both staying in Brewer for the upcoming transfer or that we were unfortunately being separated. As the hour progressed and the news of other missionary's transfer calls came we became more anxious. Minute ticked by until Sister Daughety and I became slightly more hysterical, taking turns panicking over the phone and awaiting some sort of news. Finally the hour was 10:30, lights out, and still no call. We went to bed assuming that meant we were staying together, but anxiously expecting a last minute call or text of some information. Since then we have assumed we are staying together in Brewer. But if you are reading this letter and you have the opportunity to serve as an Assistant to the President, ALWAYS let the sisters know their plans asap, or they will be rather frustrated with you. 
So overall this week was a fairly good, more awesome week! I know every week won't be like this but with the new year and new transfer I know the next 12 months of my mission will continue to be great! Love and miss you all and I hope we all have a blessed 2016!
Sister Wright

"Ugly sweater elevator shenanigans"

The weather in Brewer today

Monday, December 21, 2015

'Twas the Pday Before Christmas - December 21, 2015

Sister Missionaries at the Zone Conference in Topsham, Maine            

'Twas the P-Day Before Christmas and throughout the world
Missionaries were anxiously sharing the word.
Preparing by shopping and cleaning their places,
And writing home letters, bringing smiles to faces.
Two particular sisters, serving in Maine,
Worked hard to stay warm, even harder to stay sane.
For Christmas was coming and just the week prior
They were busy working hard, like oxen in the mire.
So here is the tale of Sisters Daughety and Wright
Their daily adventures from morning to night.

A P-Day ago, after writing their letters
As a district they caroled and dawned ugly sweaters.
So last P-Day we had a district P-Day where we wore ugly sweaters. I got my sweater (more like sweat shirt) a week before at Goodwill for $6 and I love it because it's Rudolph. I love Rudolph, he's my favorite animated Christmas movie. Well, maybe besides Charlie Brown. Anyway, we all wore our ugly sweaters and fulfilled my lifelong dream of eating spaghetti with maple syrup and candy on top like Elf. I was honestly really excited but was so disappointed. 0/10, would not recommend spaghetti with syrup and candy. Especially if it's cold. Don't do it. I think everyone was disappointed by how it was though. We cheered up when we went caroling at a rehab center where one of our investigators was staying. She really enjoyed having 11 missionaries come and sing to her. And the rehab center workers enjoyed it so much too that they had us carol up and down the halls for all the patients which was sweet. Monday was a good day.

"Ugly sweaters but adorable faces"

Tuesday and Wednesday we worked really hard
Searching for people, handing pass a long cards.
Tuesday and Wednesday were normal proselyting days as we searched for less active members in our area. A lot of them had moved from the addresses we had recorded but we were able to give the current residents ”A Savior is Born” cards. We really tried to share the video with them on the spot but giving them the card to explore the website is good too. We also saw our investigator who is getting baptized this Saturday and finished putting together her program! We are so excited for her as she starts to make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father!

Thursday was a zone conference focused on Christ
Celebrating his birth and his atoning sacrifice.
Tis not just the holiday that excited the mission
For conference is where we learned the 2016 vision.
Zone conference in Topsham, Maine was super powerful. President and Sister Stoker and President and Sister Hawkes gave some powerful talks on the life of Christ and why we need Him in our lives and in our hearts. We were also really excited to see the 2016 mission vision! It honestly shocks me to realize we are going into the 2016 because I had always written the entire year off because I knew I would be on the mission for that time so to see it happen really confuses me. But in a good way! Anyway, the mission vision is encouraging us to work a lot more with members which I know definitely will makes a positive improvement in the missionary efforts here. And conference is always a good time to catch up with fellow missionaries, especially former companions which Sister Daughety has a bajillion of. Speaking of Sister Daughety she was super cool in sharing her talent of poetry writing at zone conference for the talent show. The talent show itself was so good! Christmas as a missionary is just so cool!

The sisters that night made sure to get eight hours of slumber
For Friday night they performed a comedic musical number.
The ward laughed and giggled for their song was fire.
Literally, the firemen came, I am not a liar.
Friday was the ward variety show which Sister Daughety and I were asked to perform in (which was clearly more important than a certain franchise's seventh movie release). Technically both sets of missionaries were asked to perform but the elders didn't get something together. Sister Daughety and I realized we had talents in song parody writing so we wrote a song/comedy performance to the tune of "Up on the Rooftop" for New England missionaries. So sing a long and imagine it in our awkward glory:

Up to the doorstep
By Sister Daughety and Sister Wright (copyWright)

Going to the doorstep beneath the stars
Trying to avoid getting hit by cars
It's only three in the afternoon
Why is everything dark so soon?

Ho Ho Ho -
Sister Daughety: Your countenance glows
      Sister Wright: Oh, that's so sweet, but I think it's my reflective gear.
      Sister Daughety: No, it's definitely the spirit
Ho Ho Ho -
Sister Daughety: Oh! Let's sing Let It Go-
    Sister Wright: NO! We are NOT doing that! That is overdone and this is a church function!
    Sister Daughety: Alright fine, I'll let it go.
Up to the doorstep tap tap tap
Sister Wright: We're sorry we disturbed your nap... Why is he asleep, it's four o'clock?
     Sister Daughety: Its New England, once the sun goes down the sidewalks roll up and go to               sleep. There's nothing to do.
      Sister Wright: Yeah I guess not.

We love New England don't get us wrong
But we've been outside too long
We can't feel our toes or face
We press on keeping up the pace
      *holds up picture of Elder Pace*
      Us: Get it, Elder Pace. Like Elder Pace? It's a pun.

Ho Ho Ho -
Sister Wright: Oh boy more snow...
      Sister Daughety: You sound so excited
      Sister Wright: No I'm not, where I'm from there is no snow
       Sister Daughety: Yeah, so that makes you more excited
       Sister Wright: No...
Ho Ho Ho -
       Sister Daughety: Why?
       Sister Wright: BECAUSE IT'S SNOWING.
       Sister Daughety: Sorry about that. Frozen fingers to match your blisters. Awful.
Up to the doorstep click click click
Rejected once again as the clock goes tick

Sister Wright: Ok I don't want to sound like a downer but our song is kinda sad.
Sister Daughety: Well yeah, this is all really sad. I mean, we get rejected, we get frozen, we can't even sing Frozen.
Sister Wright: Ok we are never singing Frozen, let that go.
Sister Daughety: Alright fine, that song never bothered me anyway
Sister Wright: And two, we have happy things to sing about. We should sing the happy things
Sister Daughety: Yeah sure, let's bring the spirit in and sing about the happy things.
Sister Wright: Let's do it

We love the lord and so we try
To invite you to discover why
He loves you dearly can't you see?
The reason behind the Christmas tree
Ho Ho Ho - faith will grow
Ho Ho Ho - through wind and snow
Up to the doorstep knock knock knock
Be sure we're in by nine o'clock
*checks watch* it's 8:50. Alright well by everyone!

The ward loved it and we have since had to do two encore performances for families. It's just good to know at least Sister Daughety and I aren't the only ones who think we're hilarious. And after the variety show while we were helping clean up some plastic wrap was left on a stove in the kitchen and the church building smoked up and the alarms went off. That was great. Fire trucks came and everything. That was fun. 

Saturday, Las Vegas wasn't the place to be
It was at the Bernatche's setting up the tree
Sister Daughety and I have been trying to make an effort to find opportunities for service because we don't have a regularly scheduled service activity so we ask whenever we can. At coordination meeting we noticed the Bernatche's didn't have their Christmas stuff up so we volunteered to set up the tree to being the Christmas spirit in and it was really fun to set up an actual tree (not that the felt tree wasn't fun). Plus BYU lost so. We also "heart attacked" with paper snowflakes the door of a couple we're visiting. It was a good day for service

The week ended and the sabbath was a true delight
As the sisters went about sharing Christ's light
Yesterday/Sunday was really quite an awesome day! The sacrament service was really powerful. We had the bishopric and relief society president speak and it wasn't necessarily on Christmas but on Christ and can I just say, wow. After church Sister Daughety and I made an effort to be outside our apartment and we were blessed with setting up two return appointments in under five minutes. It was so cool (also literally cold)! It is awesome to see how the spirit of Christmas softens people's hearts and opens them up to the gospel.

This Christmas season has definitely helped me understand why we need a savior and why we even celebrate this holiday: Because our Heavenly Father loves us he has given us a second chance, and that second chance is made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If you haven't had the chance already, visit Christmas.Mormon.org and watch "The World Without a Savior" video, it has a powerful message with gorgeous animation and teaches better than I can the need for a Savior.

And that was the week of the sisters in Brewer.
Excited for Friday, worries couldn't be fewer.
Like the angels on high that first Christmas morn,
Declaring the news that a Savior is Born.
            So be nice to the elders and sisters nearby.
            Give them a chance to share and discover why.

            Merry Christmas to all of you! May we all have a loving and blessed holiday!
            Sister Wright

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

"We lack places to hang a vinyl cling nativity so it's on our bathroom mirror"

"Sister Daughety made me art with her super fancy colored pencils and this is the result"

"Spreading out the decorations spreads out the Christmas cheer throughout the apartment. We also lack available outlets so the lights are hanging on the wall in the bedroom."

"Christmas Card display hangs on/around the blinds because we lack table space"

"Decorations from Zone Conference"

Sushi made by Sister Daughety "Did I mention my companion is the coolest?"

She also sent a really fun video, but I don't know how to include it here. Ask me sometime and I'll show you on my phone!-Mom

Monday, December 14, 2015

"I have a plan *Rocket Raccoon laughs in the background*" - December 14, 2015

"I totally loved that gingerbread house" She also sent video of her smashing it. I wish I could figure out how to transfer the video from my phone, but if you run into me I'll show it to you if you ask.

Hello and happy Monday friends and family! I cannot believe how blessed I am at this wonderful time of the year! The Christmas lights and spirit is out and glowing, the weather is decent in New England this year, my companion is the awesomest, the ward I'm serving in is the coolest, and did I mention the weather is decent? Yeah, I am definitely spoiled with this lack of snow. But really, this week has been really great. It has also been really uneventful considering I wasn't hit by any motor vehicles but I'm ok with that. Speaking of which, I have definitely healed quickly from that experience and I know it is only because of the prayers of those around the world for me so that was a wonderful blessing. Thank you all so much for your prayers, they definitely help and have made a difference in my life and the people here in the Brewer area.
So as far as this week goes there were plans made and like a lot of missionaries know, they never follow through. There were multiple times this week where I had to stop and think "Wow, can't we just have a normal week?" Nope. Heavenly Father is really good at just making life, especially missionary life, an adventure. So we had multiple appointments fall through for various reasons and random appointments pop up for better reasons so ultimately it was a good week. Our investigator who is getting baptized has committed to December 26th which we are praying will follow through and that her health won't prevent her from be baptized. 
The only other exciting thing we did this week was go on exchange with the Bangor Sister Training leaders. I went to Bangor with Sister Eddington where we did a lot of service like at a library and a thrift store. The thrift store was a super nice opportunity for me to get my gift for Sister Daughety (which she is super jealous I thought of so haha). But really, exchange was really fun. It made me sad though because I was out of Brewer for a day and I realized how much I loved the area by how much I missed it. Sister Daughety and Duncon did some awesome work while I was gone but still. I missed it. Hopefully they won't take me away from Sister Daughety and Brewer after Christmas.
Well, I am without any more ideas about what to write home about. I am truly grateful for the prayers in my behalf and for this wonderful Christmas season. I hope you all have a blessed Christmas season and have had a chance to explore Christmas.Mormon.org! Next week will be the email before Christmas! Where has the time gone!?
Sister Wright
"Sister Eddington wanted to take a selfie after exchanges. Yay!"

Monday, December 7, 2015

On the Lord's Errand - December 7, 2015

Sister Wright and Sister Daughety at church Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Monday everyone and happy first mass email in December! I can't believe I have been in the field five months now and how much I have grown spiritually from this experience already! This week has definitely been one for the records and I am going to be honest, I know a lot of you have already heard about the accident. Point blank, I really don't want to talk about what happened because it was/is pretty traumatic to me and I feel like reflecting a lot on it won't be helpful for me emotionally or mentally so if I don't fill you in on the details don't be offended, I just still have healing I want to go through before I really talk about it. Thank you for understanding and from there, let's talk about the week!
Monday was my crossover day with Sister Daughety! Now she has less days out than I have in! We celebrated by not really doing much, really just the usual P-Day antics and walking which was fun. Tuesday and Wednesday were busier days, hitting up as many people as we could. Wednesday was particularly fun as we helped a member wrap her family's Christmas gifts so she could send them across the country. Sister Daughety and I had a lot of fun, especially since the member had two cats and it's their first Christmas so I got to play and cuddle with them which is always a highlight for me.
Thursday was a pretty effective day as well. We were able to meet up with some less active members in the ward as well as have a lesson with our investigator who had to drop her baptismal date due to vertigo. Good news! She has been recovering so well and we shared with her enough crazy baptismal stories that she decided she can do it and has a baptismal date set again! She is such a wonderful example of faith to me! She even bore her testimony Sunday during Fast and Testimony meeting which not only inspired me but really touched most of the congregation which was really awesome!
Thursday I also got the package my mom sent with Christmas decorations like the felt Christmas tree and the Christmas lights. I was so excited to put up the tree that it went up during dinner hour and Sister Daughety helped me hang up the ornaments. The lights have yet to go up but at least we have a tree!
Thursday night was also the night of the accident. We were walking home from a teaching appointment with some recent converts (about a five minute walk, and lighted as per the missionary handbook rules) and were crossing the street right by our apartment when the crosswalk signal said we could cross. Next thing I remember was gasping for breath on the asphalt and looking at Sister Daughety who was up and making sure I was ok. Apparently a man in a truck was making a right-turn onto the road we were crossing and didn't see us because it was night-time, rainy, and we were wearing our coats. I don't really remember much but he helped me up and Sister Daughety said he was a nice man and seemed really sorry about the whole thing. I got most of the hit because I was on the left side and didn't fly as far as Sister Daughety but basically was hit by a 4,000 lb linebacker at 10-15 mph. We were so confused, stressed, and unsure what to do in the moment though that we got up, brushed ourselves off, figured the apartment was two feet away so we went to just hide away and process what had just happened. On impact or just among the madness we lost the key to the apartment and realized we were locked out. We went back to the intersection to try to find the key but had no luck. Amidst that time our injuries decided to make themselves more apparent as the adrenaline wore off, our ward mission leader showed up to help us find the key (because we called him because we figured he had a spare), and we spoke with a police officer who said he already had the information of the man who hit us. As time went on I noticed my knee was really starting to hurt and it was hard to breathe. After we gave up the key search we conceded to going to the ER where apparently if you walk in and say you were hit by a car they put you in the trauma room, because apparently it was a tramautic experience. Everyone I talked to afterwards said I was being pretty hysterical. So that was cool. I got a cat scan and x-rays. All the bones are safe but I have a sprained knee and chest contusions (fancy work for bruised lungs). And since we didn't have a spare key to the apartment we went to the Ward Mission Leader's for the night. This all ended about 1 am Friday. So overall, a long, painful experience.
I can say I have learned a lot from this experience. I know the power of the priesthood, that power and authority to act in the name of God, is real. I know our Heavenly Father keeps an eye on his missionaries and protects them because he loves them. I would not still be here if I didn't know He was watching me through this experience. I know I am not completely healed from the experience either, and it will definitely take time before I can say I am better. But I will grow from this experience. I know this church is true and that our Heavenly Father loves each of us. I hope you have all had the opportunity to explore Christmas.Mormon.org to review why we have this blessed season and have shared some of your thoughts on why the Savior was born. I know He was born so we can be born again. I love and appreciate all your prayers and hope you have a blessed week.
Love, Sister Wright

Christmas Tree that Mom sent

"This photo would be cooler if I took it by the Steven King house." Steven King lives across the river in Bangor, Maine

"Latest planner. Front cover by Sister Daughety"

Mom stole this picture from Facebook this week of Sisters Wright and Daughety teaching