Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Brewers of Salvation - January 26, 2015

A sweet sister in Maine posted this on the mission Facebook page. I commented that Priscilla looks cold and the sister said that Priscilla never took off her coat and scarf. But she said not to worry because it was going to be warmer the next few days. I looked up the weather forecast for Brewer and saw that warmer meant a high of 37. For an Arizona girl, that's NOT warmer!-Mom

Happy TUESDAY friends and family. Yeah, I thought I would switch it up and let you hear from your favorite "Brewer of Salvation" on a Tuesday this week. Just kidding, this wasn't my idea, this was because yesterday we had the opportunity to have Zone Interviews with President Stoker! Hooray for missionary leadership and counsel woo! But that wasn't even the beginning of the awesome week Sister Daughety and I had here in Brrrrrwer. In fact it was really more of the end (because Monday really marked the end of the week since I've written you all last.... It's a joke, kinda....). Well, I guess I'll stop keeping you waiting and talk about this awesome week!
Last Monday was District P-Day which was really fun. With it being one of the Bangor Sister Training Leaders' last transfer we pretty much let them run the show and decide what we were going to do which became "The First Bangor-Brewer-Lincoln Olympics! It sounds a lot fancier than it really was, we mostly just played chair soccer, modified dodge ball (which I killed at once because of my 8 years of softball experience), and tag. It was fun to play games and WEAR PANTS and just spend some fun time with some of the coolest missionaries in the mission. But like the last district P-Day where we exerted ourselves physically in a Nerf War (See Transfer #2) I kinda regretted working myself too hard for the rest of the week. Luckily it didn't affect the work too much.
The hardest thing about being so exhausted the day after District P-Day was our mile plus hike in the cold to our new service opportunity. The walk was long, I was already tired, and the wind kicked up the snow into our faces which were already cold due to the already below freezing weather. Sister Daughety and I aren't native-to-cold people so that was rough but we made it to the food bank where we got to know this sweet girl who was around our age and helped us when we had no idea what to do. Did I mention we were able to find that service opportunity through Justserve.org? It's a really handy site that helps you find opportunities to, guess what, just serve. I heard it got its start in Arizona so for any of you back home who need places to help out I would definitely recommend that site!
Wednesday we had the opportunity to view the Special Missionary Broadcast to all the missionaries in the world. It was cool to see Elder Neilson who just visited our mission two transfers prior to the broadcast and what was funny was how his training in the broadcast was pretty similar to what he trained us on a couple months ago. It was also powerful to see the training by Elder Bednar on how we are really instruments in the Lord's hands and how we can never bring truth or knowledge into the hearts of the people we are working with, we can only bring it unto. I know that's something I frequently forget as a missionary, I think I am the one who gives information and they should just take my word for it when in reality I am just the inviter. I invite them to pray to know. I invite them to use means of revelation like prayer, scripture study, and church attendance. I invite people to baptism. I think the theme of the devotional, "We preach repentance, and baptize converts" speaks volumes. The Lord is asking us to change and once we commit ourselves to change daily, we are then baptized as our first sign of change. (This ties in nicely with my Monday entry so hold tight)
Wednesday afternoon we decided to take what we had just learned from the broadcast about the gospel of Jesus Christ and use it with a less-active member we are working with. May I just say I have never had a more spiritual lesson and while he didn't have a sudden change of heart where he suddenly knew everything he needed to, I at least knew I was doing a good job as an instrument in the Lord's hands. And then Wednesday evening to Thursday evening Sister Daughety and I went on exchange with the Bangor Sister Training Leaders. We have a new system of exchange where both missionaries in the companionship go to the leaders' area and basically the Bangor area has twice the sisters and the work is being done by splits. I got to spend my time in Bangor with Sister Duncan (whenever Sisters Eddington and Daughety weren't also around) and we got to teach a lot of their members, via the mission vision which was fun. Sister Duncan is super fun and all four of us got to do service at a thrift shop which was also fun.
Friday was pretty great and we were busy with weekly planning in the morning and teaching/visiting appointments in the evening. All was a pretty good build up to Friday where we got to see three of the elders' investigators get baptized. They are all three siblings and they have actually been taught for a long time, even by us sisters when I first got to Brewer. Their baptism was pretty great and there was a special spirit there when a lot of the ward, even Lynn, attended to encourage them in their decision to come closer to Christ. Baptisms are always special.
So that meant Sunday morning at church all three of them were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and received the Holy Ghost which was also special. Sister Daughety and I also did our best to stay on good terms despite the football game that evening (We even wore our team colors to church because we were that excited). All I have to say about the playoff game is I think I have enough Carolina Panther heritage that I can say that win was also a win for me. Although it would have been nice for the Cardinals to win. But I guess everyone needs a shot to go to the Super Bowl, even the Panthers. 
Anyway, so Monday was great! We had Zone Interviews like I mentioned earlier and I got to speak with President Stoker about how far I've come on my mission. At one point he asked me how long I've been out and as I responded "Six and a half months" I kinda panicked because it hasn't felt that long, especially in Brewer. It's pretty funny to look back at last Zone Interviews and how reluctant I was to embrace Brewer after my first area but here I am almost four months later and I can't imagine being anywhere else. Zone Interviews also focused pretty hard on the importance of getting recently converted members to the temple and family history work. I know that Family History work is something I have personally been frequently called to do and it has been really neat as a missionary to use that resource to bring people closer to Christ and their ancestors who are waiting to have their ordinances performed. What an awesome opportunity! And as we progress in the gospel and continue to repent we want to show our Heavenly Father how willing we are to change (see how I tied it in from Wednesday) and will want to go to the temple for ourselves and our families. I can also tie in Wednesday because Sister Daughety and I got to train on the baptismal invitation during the zone meeting portion of Interviews which was really powerful.
I know that I was called on a mission for a reason. May we all commit to changing and growing daily is my wish for you all this week!
Sister Wright

Monday, January 18, 2016

366 Days of Awesomeness - January 18, 2016

 Sister Wright with a page from the Disney Calendar we sent her

Hello and happy P-Day friends and family! I hope everyone has had a happy and warm week! Brewer has been good to us despite the blizzard (and I'm not saying that as an Arizona girl who doesn't know winter, Sister Daughety and I think it was a legitimate blizzard this last Saturday that we had the pleasure to walk in and shovel). I actually wish I could have gotten pictures but when you're on the Lord's time you don't have a lot of time to take pictures so I will try to get better at taking pictures during lunch and P-Day. But the Brewer Crew is definitely staying warm. Something that always warms my heart is the mail and emails from you friends and family from home and just, again, wanted to say thank you! Again, being on the Lord's time doesn't give me a lot of time to write you all individually but know that I really appreciate all the prayers and warm wishes. So without further ado, here is week 14 of Sister Wright's adventures in Brewer!
Monday was pretty great because Sister Daughety and I finally got the apartment clean from post-Christmas madness. Not that we had decorations still up but all our new stuff was still cluttered around the apartment. And with the apartment still being so new relative to other missionary apartments we took time to organize things like the kitchen for future sisters so that was good.
We were warned Monday that Tuesday evening we would be hit with 6-12 inches of the white stuff. Tuesday our plans were we were going to be out and about in Hampden (pronounced Ham-den, like pterodactyl the P is silent) so we took lunch to eat where ever we could find a place to park the car. We saw a sign for a community library that seemed like a good place to rest. Sister Daughety almost died as we drove up the hill to the library because it was so pretty. We think it was a really fancy house before it was a library which was pretty rad. And that was pretty much our highlight of that day. It was funny, with the oncoming storm all the locals were worried and locked in for the night pretty early. Us missionaries were out at 8 pm watching this "storm" as it barley dusted our van. I think it's more funny to see how casual I've become with snow. Instead of panicking and cringe every time I see it come I just cringe and bundle up and face Jack Frost. 
Wednesday was District Meeting and the final one before the worldwide missionary broadcast this Wednesday which I'm really excited about. We did other missionary things during the week like teach people, visit a member in the hospital, and shovel. Missionary work is definitely really exciting when you have no idea what to expect, especially weather wise. But it goes well, and it's weird how the cold actually softens people's hearts because they feel bad for us. Oh Mainers.
I honestly don't know what else to write about this week. Today actually marks 366 days (because leap year) until I come home! I can't believe how quickly time has gone by. Its hard to believe I have been in Brewer longer than I have been in Manchester, and total I have been on the mission for six and half months. It has been the hardest but also happiest times ever to teach people about the gospel and do that by growing my own testimony. And Sister Daughety and I are having fun despite the cold weather neither of us are used to. We also might not be friends Sunday because the AZ Cardinals are playing the Carolina Panthers. We will keep you posted (but pray for the Cardinals). Well, may we all continue to have a happy, warm, and safe week! Love and miss you all!
Sister Wright

Picture of the Hampden, Maine Library that Mom stole from the internet

From the care package her family sent her

"Whoopie Pie Cafe is life!"

Monday, January 11, 2016

S(no)w More Fun - January 11, 2016

With Sister Daughety and the member she watched the Devotional with

Hello and Happy Monday friends and family! I trust you all had a good week as life has been going back to normal. It's kind of great hearing about all my friends going back to the Y and my family going back into the regular routine of work and school. Kinda wish I could be there but I more like being out here in Maine enjoying this winter weather. So all the snow and ice that had built up the week after Christmas has basically disappeared as it rained all last night. Which is cool in theory or in van, but Sister Daughety and I don't have the van on Sundays so we braved the wind and the rain on our way to a lesson with an investigator last night. It honestly could have been worse; we had layers on and it was 43 degrees so we weren't freezing. It's also funny to say it was 43 degrees because two years ago saying that I would have cried. But I guess Maine has broken the Arizona girl haha.
               But with the rain we are lot less worried when we go out walking on the sidewalks. Not that we ever slipped... Ok well I did Wednesday and it really hurt. I basically fell and went "why...?" Classic Sister Wright. Sister Daughety said I took it like a champ though. Problem is I tried to catch myself which was a bad idea because my shoulder had to suffer for it so it was sore a couple three days. It's good now!
The appointment we walked to last night was really cool too because we have been working with this investigator for a while to pray at the end of our lessons but she would always tell us she didn't feel ready to do it. This time we made sure weren't leaving without her saying the prayer (obviously a lot more loving than that) and promised her that we weren't asking her to say the prayer to check it off a list of to-do's, but to help her communicate with our Heavenly Father and to help her sincerely ask if the Book of Mormon is true. And she did it! It was the shortest, simplest, sincerest, sweetest prayer I have heard and the Spirit really touched me and more importantly her. The entire journey up there in the wind and rain I pondered and wondered why I was walking in the middle of Maine in a rain storm just to have a 20 minute lesson. Somehow amongst my mental prayers the hymn "Count Your Blessings" began to play in my head and honestly when you are wet and tired the last thing you want to do is count your blessings. But the lyrics "Count your many blessings angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey's end" kept repeating and whenever they crossed my mind I felt a little stronger. And that lesson and prayer just proved to me right there why what I was doing was so important.
I don't want to make it sound like yesterday was the only day of miracles but it was the Sabbath so it was by default a more spiritual day. We had the opportunity to watch the CES/YSA broadcast with President Nelson last night with some members in the ward. If you have the opportunity to read/watch that devotional I would highly recommend doing so! I really enjoyed having the opportunity to listen to President and Sister Nelson's inspired words to us "millennials" for many reasons: 1. It really threw me back to my days at the Y, even though it took place at BYU- Hawaii. 2. It definitely was directed towards my age group and letting us know we are a chosen generation. 3. (The saddest/weirdest/realest reason) At first we tried to watch the devotional on the member's smart TV but the streaming wasn't working and it switched to regular TV for a second and I caught 5 seconds of the Golden Globes. If you know me, you know I am obsessed with awards shows and when that came on my first thought was: "The golden globes are happening and no one told me?!?!" And as everyone else went along their business putting  the devotional back on I remembered that I was a missionary, and that this time I have dedicated to serving the Lord I shouldn't be focusing on things like awards shows. And then I realized how much I had grown, how even though I still kinda wanted to watch the award show, the Spirit I felt watching the Devotional and being surrounded by those with my beliefs and standards was more powerful and compelling and made me want to do better. The world is pretty easy to ignore once you turn it off.
Now that I've hit you with two spiritual experiences, I want to let everyone know Lynn is doing well! She was so excited yesterday to be receiving a visiting teaching assignment, she almost cheered in the chapel when the relief society president came to give it to her (which taught me that I should be that excited for visiting teaching when I go home). We also spent some time Thursday at the local Family History Center setting up her Familysearch.org account so she can prepare names for when she goes to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. As we were going it was hard for Sister Daughety and me to get a read on her thoughts on the experience but once we got her paternal side set up we looked at her fan chart and she again went "WOW!" I love Lynn. She reminds me that the basics of the church and the gospel should be celebrated. And it all starts with faith.
Well I hope you all have a good upcoming week and that you got something spiritual from this email. May we all continue to be blessed!

Sister Wright
"When the clearance section at Walmart was clearly calling your name"

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years and 6 Months and All Nice Celebrations - January 4, 2016

Hello and Happy Monday friends and family! I trust everyone had a happy and safe New Years Party on Thursday night and got those New Years Resolutions going! Lucky for your favorite Sister Wright, her mission had transfers the week of New Years so she had the opportunity to set up new spiritual and physical goals regardless. Not really on the physical side actually, Sister Wright already adds 10 sit-ups and 5 push-ups every month to increase her core strength. She also decided to speak in the third person which is cool. 
              Anyway, I did start a new spiritual goal which is to memorize The Living Christ between Christmas and Easter. If you have not read or studied The Living Christ I would highly recommend giving it a once-over. It is an inspired document written by special witnesses of the divinity of Jesus Christ. I had the opportunity to memorize it years ago for Girls Camp but have since forgotten a lot of it so it is really neat to go over and review the powerful truths of the Savior given. Besides that, this week has gone really well for Sister Wright and Daughety. Tuesday was undoubtedly an adventure. Sunday of last week it had already snowed a bit and I was breaking out the warmer boots and a scarf but Tuesday. Tuesday I looked out the window and all I could see was white stuff. Snow. Snow everywhere. I was honestly in awe. The good and bad kind. And what made it even better was we had an appointment with our recent converts down the street so guess who walked in the unplowed snow for about a half mile to a teaching appointment? Man, I was covered in snow and frost. Luckily my hands and feet and head were warm and dry but I honestly was just in awe of how much snow there was. The recent converts and another member we passed on the way just laughed when I said "This is the most snow I've seen in my life". I'm sure all they were thinking was "Poor, poor Arizona girl. You don't know winter." It's true, I don't. But I did shovel for the first time Tuesday which was cool! We shoveled a lot: our doorstep, a near-by member's doorstep, a near-by less active's doorstep. And that took about three hours so yay snow! Oh and fun fact (probably just to me because I don't/didn't know winter) if the snow doesn't melt and if things aren't salted it becomes ice. So "the most snow I've seen in my life" has become "the most ice I've seen in my life". Where there were banks of snow is now icebergs and it's pretty fun to take a smaller chunk of ice and throw it on top of the iceberg just to have it shatter BECAUSE THE ICE IS SO SOLID. These are the fun things Sister Wright finds to do in the winter.
Wednesday was not that exciting but Thursday (New Years Eve) was pretty great. We were about to contact a lot of people we hadn't before because we had a ton of extra miles on the van for the end of the month (thanks smart planning). We even had a spontaneous meal appointment from some members who we called to see if we could stop by and they insisted that they feed us which was good. The dad made some pretty good turkey we got to take home and Sister Daughety and I celebrated New Years Eve at 8:45 pm with turkey on crackers with Gouda cheese (because if I'm not getting a crab boil for New Years I will definitely at least still get my fancy cheese fix. Also, now I have addicted Sister Daughety to fancy cheese). And we didn't set an alarm to be awake for the official start of the New Year. We were both too tired for that so we just woke up into the New Year.
So Friday marks it being 2016! Wow, I honestly never mentally processed this year ever being in existence. I guess I have always just anticipated being on my mission at this time so I never expected it to be real but here we are. January 1 also marked by 6 month mark wearing the name tag! Wow, so many milestones! I honestly don't believe sometimes how fast it goes. But time flies when you're having fun, and I can definitely said my missionary experience has been (9 out of 10 times) fun! And I know I wouldn't be this far without the spiritual strength given to me constantly by my friends and family so thank you all so much.
Well, as far as the new year goes, it's going pretty great here in Brewer. Pretty soon here it will again be Brrrrrrrewer. But I love it here. I still can't believe I've been here longer than I've been in Manchester but my heart still belongs there too. But that's all the mission is about, giving up your heart. Well, I better get going before I get too deep and philosophical and make everyone too emotional. I hope we all start off this New Years right and set awesome spiritual goals to improve and come closer to Christ!
Sister Wright