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.
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
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
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)
"Sister Stegall and me. She is being trained in Burlington"
"Us and SoRo"
"Recreating the Christmas elevator slefie from last year with Elder Barrett and Elder Bonosconi"
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!
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.
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
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
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!
The Christmas Card the Montpelier Missionaries sent out
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
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:
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!
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!
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."
"Cool candid shot"
"Us and the elders pose like 90's rap stars"
"Our companionship food"
"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"
"This is the weird things snow does"
"We saw deer in our bishop's neighborhood"
"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."