Monday, December 26, 2016

Sister Wright's First (pretty real) White Christmas - December 26, 2016

Sister Wright and friends at Zone Conference
Hello and Happy Boxing Day friends and family! I don't know what Boxing Day is honestly is but I am sure I will hear about from my friends serving in Canada soon. But I hope you all had a very merry Blairy Christmas! Sister Clegg and I had probably the best time ever with our last Christmases in the mission field! We felt so much love from our members, mission leaders, and just the people here in Vermont that this Christmas was fantastic! And to make it better this was my first real white Christmas. Granted, last year we technically had snow in Bangor but it was pretty slushy and melted with the 60 degree weather on Christmas day so I am not counting it. This year in Montpelier it snowed a bit on Christmas Eve and the weather was at most in the 30's on Christmas day so I am declaring this my first official white Christmas! 20 years in the making and worth every year! But I had some fun leading up to Christmas so if I remember anything I will tell you all about it!
Monday we had some pretty cool, short and sweet miracles with finding after P-Day was over! We stopped by that same lady Sister Clegg met last transfer with #LIGHTtheWORLD because she asked if we had a minute to deliver her the Family Proclamation we promised her. It was a nice, short visit that we really enjoyed and we got to see her again Friday and wrap some presents for her while she took care of her baby. But after that on Monday we stopped by a referral we have been trying to get in contact with for a while and finally caught him and his family home. After getting to know each other we ended up sitting down and teaching them the Restoration and promising them if they read the Book of Mormon and prayed they would know the church is true. When we went to contact them we didn't really know if all of his family would be interested but the father said he would only commit to do this if his family was all involved in this together (cue the High School Musical music Sister Clegg and I have been singing to each other for the past couple weeks. We had to resist the urge to get up on the table and start dancing to "We're All in this Together" because it was just too perfect). The best part was everyone agreed they wanted to be in it all together (more mental singing) so we picked up all four of them as investigators. They weren't able to come to church or meet again this week because of the dad's work schedule but we were really excited about the experience!
Tuesday we spent some time in Waterbury (again, no pictures of the Ben & Jerry's factory BUT SOON) and dropped off cookies for a member who ended up inviting us over for Christmas eve donuts.
Wednesday we had exchanges with the Burlington sisters! I was with Sister Stegall for the day and my time with her reminded me of a lot of things like when I was a new missionary (she is on her third week as a missionary!) and when I was training Sister Ritchie (Sister Stegall and Sister Ritchie are both from the Dallas/Fort Worth area). Sister Stegall is such a stellar missionary and is going to do great things during her mission. She has the greatest desire to do her best and it shows. In my time with her we shared #LIGHTtheWORLD three times on the street in downtown Montpelier and we started teaching the wife of an investigator I picked up with Sister Barney last week (The craziest thing about the wife is her name is Priscilla Jayne.....) so good work to Sister Stegall! We also got to relive our time as youth by having a "Get to Know You" night with the Young Women in the ward. It was pretty fun but it weirded us out to think we were no longer youth. Or up to date on things. But apparently Buzzfeed quizzes are still a strong time waster in the world so no worries there.
I almost spaced on what happened Thursday but JK IT WAS ZONE CONFERENCE AT THE JOSEPH SMITH BIRTHPLACE MEMORIAL WHERE WE HAD A VERY BLAIRY CHRISTMAS WITH PRESIDENT BLAIR AND HIS FAMILY (well 4 out of his 5 kids and the 100 sum odd missionaries). It was so weird because I gave my golden truth (my testimony of what I have learned over the course of my mission and how it will change my life forever) after months of thinking it would never be my turn. The rest of the conference was like a big (like huge) family Christmas where Sister Blair read us a story from a book, President Blair read the nativity and his family acted out the story with homemade costumes, we sang carols by the piano, enjoyed a turkey dinner, and watched what we all loved about the Blairs on a video we recorded. The most emotional part for me (besides the fact this was my last zone conference ever) was a video put together of the photos of all the people baptized in the last year here in the NHMM and even though I wasn't there for anyone I taught's baptism in 2016 I was just hit with this wave of the Spirit telling me how truly awesome this work is. There was still some people I taught who were baptized after I left that I got to see, people I saw taught by the Elders in my areas that were baptized after I left, and faces of missionaries I loved who got to wear white and baptized the people they loved. I was so touched. I know this work is true and that we really are building a foundation to build a temple in Northern New England in 2026! The conference was cool too because I was able to see missionaries like Sister Ritchie, Sister Johnson, and Sister Rogerson. We also had a musical fireside at the JSM that evening put on by some members from our ward we got to see.
Friday was THE BIRTHDAY OF JOSEPH SMITH which Sister Clegg and I really tried to emphasize. We didn't really do a lot because of Weekly Planning but we were able to see that women as previously mentioned and we had a Bethlehem dinner with a family in the ward with Middle Eastern food and official washing of hands with a Moroccan gold trough. We felt way cool and it helped us to remember the culture Christ was raised in. And we sang a carol to someone who requested one from the JSM that lived in Northfield.
Saturday we had donuts in the morning after studies with that member and her family. That evening we had dinner with the Goodrich's (of Goodrich maple products) and went to the United Church of Cabot's Candlelight service with them. Before then we got a little lost on their property and accidentally parked at their kid's house and walked a good while around, finding a giant horse, and wondering how one gets lost in Cabot, Vermont. Cabot, home of Cabot cheese products. Unfortunately we didn't get bombarded with cheese but I would have loved that. We also got to decorate the tree and put up the nativity with the Goodrich's which was a fun way to spend a Christmas Eve.
Sunday was awesome because it was CHRISTMAS! Sister Clegg and I opened our gifts in the morning before church because we didn't get back home until 9 pm that evening. We were out and about all day, having three Christmas ham dinners (each delicious), delivering wrapped copies of the Book of Mormon to our investigator's family, and calling home. We had so much fun and the day really zoomed by! I can't even believe it is over! Christmas is awesome and I thank everyone who took the time to bless me or any other missionary out there! I know Christmas is a beautiful time of the year and I hope we keep it that way. I love and miss you all and hope you all keep the spirit of Christ(mas) with you!

Sister Wright
"Sister Stegall and me. She is being trained in Burlington"

"Sister Rogerson"

"Us and SoRo"

"Recreating the Christmas elevator slefie from last year with Elder Barrett and Elder Bonosconi"

At Zone conference

"Squad Selfie"

"The monument from the Light tunnel"

"Light tunnel at the JSM"

"View on the way to Cabot"

"Giant horse we found on our adventure in Cabot"

"The meal! Plus we had fish and chicken later"

"Family that had Bethlehem dinner with us"

"All the gifts"

"Turkeys in our church parking lot today"

"Dog River!" (For anyone who watches Corner Gas)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I Mean, You Could Say Vermont Is Literally Chill - December 19, 2016

"Capital Selfie"

So it is Monday again friends and family and I can say I have had the coldest week of my life. Thankfully it was also really fun, filled with activities that didn't let us stay outside for extended periods of time. Because winter is cold. And I'm from Arizona. Like in Arizona, we never have to cancel church because half the ward didn't make it to sacrament meeting, one member slid on the hill to the church and the other half of the ward had to wait for the van to be pulled out of the ditch, and have an ice storm looming in the afternoon so to keep everyone safe cancel third hour. And then have the ward council ground your car because of the ice storm. So you can't go help at the JSM in South Royalton. Not an Arizona problem. But yesterday was still really cool! Because we were grounded we took the opportunity to walk to downtown Montpelier from our apartment and talked to a lot of people. Don't worry mom, we only stayed out in the light hours and carried hand warmers. Good times in Montpelier my friends.
I hope everyone is getting pumped for Christmas in less than a week! I can't wait to Skype my family but I am sad that will bring #LIGHTtheWORLD to a close! I have enjoyed seeing all of you participating in bringing service to those around you. Keep it up for the New Year!
Besides that I guess I'll run down what happened in Swagpelier this week:
Monday Sister Clegg and I went to an all-Vermont shop in downtown Montpelier and found Vermont shirts and a IL*insert heart*VERMONTPELIER sticker. Because Vermont is cool. We also found a restaurant(?)/shop(?)/hotel(?) called Be Our Guest that Sister Clegg made us stop and get pictures because we love Beauty and the Beast. OH and I contacted my trainer's referral she taught when she was in Vermont. Families always give the best referrals. We showed her the #LIGHTtheWORLD video and an advent calendar. Hopefully she can enjoy it with her family!
Tuesday we went on exchange with the South Royalton sisters so I got to spend the day with Sister Barney. She is fantastic! Not only is she talented musically (I mean, she is a drumline boss) but she is a super stellar missionary. We stopped by Dollar General with a member and Sister Barney promised the cashier we would come back and carol for her because she wasn't excited for Christmas and we totally did! She said it made her day! We also found a cool family that is so prepared to learn about the restored gospel so be excited and thanks Sister Barney!
Wednesday wasn't very exciting, but district meeting was cool. The South Royalton Senior Sisters brought us a "snack" that was really a full party tray of meat and cheese and crackers. Way fun.
Thursday started and we anticipated the weather to be full on Siberia and we walk out to 14-19 degree weather it was nothing. By the time we were done helping with Meals on Wheels in Northfield the winds were fierce and the temperature obviously had dropped. We spent the rest of the day being smart like only going outside the car when necessary. Some cool things came of that: We stopped by a less active member's where we were told she was working at a nearby mall so we jumped back in the car, drove to the mall, talked to a lady on the bench outside and showed her the #LIGHTtheWORLD video and went to the shop where the member worked and found the cutest clothes ever. We promised her we would come back today to look around some more so I'm way excited. And Sister Clegg felt prompted to stop by someone she met on the worldwide day of service and she was so excited to see us again and watch the #LIGHTtheWORLD video again. Blessings!
Flashback to Tuesday we helped at a food pantry where we asked an volunteer if she did anything else in the community to serve and she told us she sews for a group called Days for Girls. If you like sewing I would definitely check that out! It is a great way to help out on a world-wide level. All I did was iron fabric together (even though I could sew, I just didn't know how to use the surger(?) and there was only one sewing machine) and it was a great way to use time when it was below zero Friday morning. We also had a spontaneous dinner with the stake patriarch and his wife. They are the cutest thing ever!
Saturday we again had a lot of things fall through but we were able to have the coolest lesson with the most solid investigator at a member's home in Waterbury (home of Ben & Jerry's! No pics, but maybe soon). When I say solid investigator, like he is going to be baptized in a few weeks in Utah. The thing is he travels a lot for work and his member friends are in Utah so I guess you could say we are having a baptism...? Mostly? Oh well, he is cool regardless.
And I already bragged about Sunday. I hope you all have a good Christmas week! I love and miss you all and please remember the real reason for Christmas this season!
Sister Wright

The Christmas Card the Montpelier Missionaries sent out 

"Literally 0 degrees selfie"

"Cool store for Vermont Swag"

 "Vermont Swag Selfie"

"Service at Days for Girls"

"Sister Clegg cutting liners"

"The Capital in the day"

"We joke it's The Hunger Games Capital"

"And at night"

"City Hall"

"Cute alley way is cute and festive"

"So pretty"


"Winter is trippy"

"Photo cred Sister Clegg"

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Start Of Something New - December 12, 2016

"Covered bridges are cute! And so are we!"

Hello and Happy Monday Friends and Family! Today's emails come to you from snowy Montpelier, Vermont, or as I now lovingly call it Vermonpelier! I don't even think I can properly express to you all how great this last week and Montpelier is. This is meant as no offense to anyone from the last areas I've served in. I have truly enjoyed my time in all of them too and knew I was called to serve there when I did. But this last week I have already had the coolest experiences and know that even though it seems kinda weird to have me spend my last six weeks way out yonder in Vermont, it is truly where the Lord needs me. Even the thing I was most nervous about, serving as a Sister Training Leader, has been resolved and I know I was called to help the specific sisters here in Vermont. And my companion Sister Clegg is super cool. We reference High School Musical a lot. Like, we are blasting Donny Osmond Christmas music as we email, obviously she is pretty cool. But I am just so excited to end my mission here and do some great things with what time I have! Ok, now that I have sufficiently bragged about Montpelier, Donny Osmond, and Sister Clegg, I will tell you about some of my adventures up here in the Green Mountain State!
So Tuesday I left Saco and went to Manchester, met up with Sister Clegg, and came up to Montpelier. We hit things off pretty well and we took some time in the evening to share #LIGHTtheWORLD. Vermonters are really cool. They are exactly like what other missionaries had told me they were like, a lot like Mainers but different. They are eating up #LIGHTtheWORLD which is really fun. And Sister Clegg and I have lots of fun so, like I have said, this transfer is going to be great. Pray that we can find ten new investigators through our efforts!
Wednesday we had district meeting with our newly reorganized district. Because they had to close Lamoille to sisters, we now have the Lamoille elders, Montpelier Elders, us, and both sets of the South Royalton Sisters (full proselyting and senior sisters). We are going to have a lot of fun. We also have an investigator in her 20's so we were able to attend the Montpelier Institute at Norwich University library. It was weird being in a college library 1. because I was dressed as a missionary so everyone stared at us but 2. because everyone else was in National Guard gear. But institute itself was cool. The instructors gave the students and us each a pair of Darn Tough Vermont socks so we felt like real Vermonters.
Thursday we had some time to find and we got two new investigators! I had to pull out my inner-Sister Mann but I talked to this guy walking by named Joey as we were looking for a referral and we asked if he wanted to see the #LIGHTtheWORLD video and he said he had a friend that would be interested because he is more "religious" so we went with him in this apartment building to meet his friend named Larry. We ended up teaching both of them in the hallway about the Book of Mormon and invited them to continue to learn and they both accepted! So we now have Joey and Larry. We are excited! And Thursday was full of more meetings because that's what leadership partially means: meetings.
Friday we did weekly planning and I got to meet the one and only Brother Sypher from the South Royalton ward. He is so sweet! He reminds me of a Vermont Brother Bernatche! But we got to meet him and speaking of South Royalton, all the sisters in the stake (so us, SoRo, and the Burlington Sisters) got to help at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in helping guests feel welcome and showing them #LIGHTtheWORLD which was super exciting! I have always wanted to serve at a church visitor's center and I wouldn't say I was perfect at it but I really enjoyed the experience. Life goal unlocked! JSM! JSM!
Saturday we took the morning to make invitations for church services on Christmas because a member of the mission presidency promised us if we invite everyone within a half mile radius to the church we will have people there. So we are going all out and I got to use my design skills to make an invitation styled after #LIGHTtheWORLD and tie candy canes to them. Pray for success there! We also went to #LIGHTtheWORLD with some members at a local nursing home in Berlin. That was pretty fun and reminded me a lot of my time at Southridge Nursing Home in Saco. Saturday was also the ward Christmas party which I enjoyed.
Sunday we had church and I continued to get to know the members here. Besides that we taught a member and her dad was listening to Music and the Spoken Word in the background, so we were way pumped. Like I said, I love it here in Montpelier. I hope you all are as excited for Christmas and new opportunities as I am. I love and miss you all and pray you have a good week!
Sister Wright

Mom asked Sister Wright to send home some pictures for our family Christmas card

"Comp photo for the Christmas card we want to make"

"We love our fiber optic tree." I asked where she got the tree and she only answered, "The apartment."

"Our district!"

"Cool candid shot"

 "Us and the elders pose like 90's rap stars"

"Our companionship food"

"Covered bridge!"

"We didn't expect the camera to go off"

"Nativity at the JSM" (Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial"

"Day three of selfie a day"

"The donkey Annie at the JSM"

"The JSM!"

"This is the weird things snow does"

 "We saw deer in our bishop's neighborhood"

"Cool cemetery"

"We like to catch pictures of the Capital building"

"Another attempt at the Capital"

"Pre cut invites"

"Church invitations for church I made based off #LIGHTtheWORLD"

"We honestly have no idea what a Christmas gram is. All we say is, 'What's a Christmas Gram? I want one!"

"The tree!" Mom sent the tree to her

"This photo was originally from June but at the time I was only serving with Sister Ritchie. Sister Mann, Sister Lescarbeau, and Sister Clegg are all in this photo near me! Crazy!"

"We are doing a selfie a day. This was last night."