Monday, February 29, 2016

#Hallelujah - February 29, 2016

I finally got that kid to send me a picture of herself! - Mom

                   Hello and Happy Leap Day friends and family! It's not every day you get a letter from a missionary on February 29 but here we are with this super special letter from your favorite New England Sister Missionary. I hope everyone has had a good past week. I know things have been kinda crazy for those in the Chandler East Stake with the split. It is pretty fun to say I won't be returning to the same stake I left from, Chandler South all the way! But really, my home stake split has made me really wish there could be a stake split here in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission because that means more New Englanders would be accepting our Heavenly Father's love for them! And then we could work towards a temple in Maine! But I guess for now I'll just keep working day by day, helping who I can come closer to Christ.
                    This last week was honestly pretty crazy. I feel like that happens with any week that starts with District P-Day. And we ended up not proselyting in our area for a day and a half because we went on exchanges with the Portsmouth Sister Training Leaders. Sister Pankratz and Sister Evans are both super cool and they both g home at the end of this transfer which is crazy. I spent exchanges with Sister Pankratz and we spent most of the exchange in Durham near University of New Hampshire (UNH) campus. Fun facts about UNH:
* UNH has a newspaper they post on the walls of the bathroom stalls so students have to read it (you probably don't have to ask how I know this).
* UNH has gender neutral bathrooms (I only know this because a sign told me).
* There are at least two alpaca farms near UNH campus.
* Everything in Lee, New Hampshire (near UNH campus) is 250 years old.
* There's a restaurant near campus called Polly's Pockets.
* Portsmouth is only 40 minutes from Manchester and UNH is only 30 minutes. Manchester also has it's own extension of UNH (I learned this fact long ago)
Obviously I learned other spiritual and missionary things while on exchange but those were just the fun ones I'd thought I would share with you.
                    Sad news of the week: I'm a little sick. I had a sore throat which started Tuesday on exchanges (sorry Sister Pankratz) and evolved into a cold for the rest of the week. The cold itself didn't bother me, it's more the fact that a sign of old missionary-ship is being sick enough that you're uncomfortable but not sick enough to not go out and work. And luckily the Lord blessed me so when we did go out Wednesday to finally proselyte in our area again I felt fine whenever we were outside the apartment. I still drank lots of fluids and washed my hands regularly but for the most part I felt fine outside the apartment. Obedience definitely brings blessings.
                    Besides that nothing too dramatic happened this week. It was a little more tough that even though the Swing weather is turning more and more into actual Spring we are still having a hard time with the work.
                    Friday was especially hard because even though the temperatures were in the 30's the wind was awful and it made a lot of people grumpy. We had one lady honk at us and another guy yell at us for taking his parking spot (we honestly didn't know it was his spot). That was pretty rough. But all of this week has really made me try to focus on the good things that did happen, even if they are little things like hearing Uptown Funk at Subway or Blank Space at Dunkin Donuts. Heavenly Father is always blessing us with tender mercies and sometimes they’re so small they could be easy to ignore. But I know as we look for them we can always see a constant stream of blessings.
                    One final blessing I would like to point out is the blessing of technology! With the March Ensign already on the Gospel Library App I was excited to see and read a little bit about the new Easter Initiative: Follow Him! #hallelujah And I don't use that irreverently, that is part of the initiative! I hope everyone is as excited as I am for March 13 when the Easter website comes up! #hallelujah!
Sister Wright 

Pictures from District PDay

Monday, February 22, 2016

Welcome to "Swing" - February 22, 2016

"Apartment on a sunny day"

Hey friends and family! I bet you're all wondering what "Swing” is from the email title. I mean, I would be had I not invented the word. Well, Swing is what I like to call whatever this season I'm experiencing in New England is. It is a literal combination of the words "winter" and "spring" and since the temperatures seem to just "swing" back and for between 0 with a -31 windchill to 60 within a week, I'd say it's a pretty valid title. But seriously, the weather in New England is really the most unpredictable thing. I remember in September being told to worry about the winter as I was sure to drown in snow.... Maybe my Arizona-ness rubbed off here and I'm the reason winter was spoiled for New England this year. Overall I can't complain, swing is a wonderful season. But we all know I'm here for more than just the seasons, I'm here on the Lord's errand so I guess I'll share with you all some of my adventures doing that this week!
So this week Sister DeWidt and I made it a goal to work closely with members as per the mission vision and see who they knew that might be interested in learning more about the gospel. The result: 4 contacted referrals (a key indicator of progress we report weekly to our leaders) and 2 received referrals! That is a number you rarely see so high on this mission. The bad news is two of those "contacted" referrals weren't there, they had moved from the address we were given which was lame but we were diligent in finding them nonetheless! Definite points for effort!
This week we also picked up another opportunity for service. Out here a lot of the local and stake leaders are making a push to use which I have mentioned in the past is a great opportunity, if you remember, to just serve. We were challenged this week to go out and contact a food bank and see if they were open for us to serve there on Saturdays and they enthusiastically said yes! We even started helping out within a half hour of showing up! What was better was the people who we were working with began asking questions about missionary work pretty much immediately too so that was awesome.
Besides that the work is pretty slow going. It is definitely going, and going really well, the people we are working with are all pretty interested in what we have to offer which is great. I just really like it here in Somersworth. Sister DeWidt is awesome and we are getting creative in our finding ideas by planning a musical fireside for March on the Restoration. I know I saw a lot of success from that last transfer in Bangor and with a ward with so much musical talent we saw at the ward talent show Tuesday evening that we could combine those talents to help with missionary work. No word on if I'll be performing a musical number, I would honestly rather design the programs and handouts. So we'll keep you updated on that.
Also, as of today we have 40 days until the semi-annual Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints General Conference. If you all remember six months ago (wow, really that long ago? yes, really that long ago) I was way excited to hear from the living prophet and his apostles. We get to have that opportunity again in 40 days! What an awesome experience! I know I am preparing now by reading an October 2015 general conference talk a day (there's about 39 so you can get started tomorrow) and praying to have at least question answered in that inspired meeting. I know our Heavenly Father answers our prayers through those around us, especially His inspired leaders. Don't live below your privileges and prepare for conference now!
Well, we had a good week. When the temperatures creep up to 60 you can't complain much haha. Well may you all have a great upcoming week, use those talents, and get excited for conference!

Sister Wright

"Sunrise was too pretty to ignore"


"Putting this in the 'service' category because we got this when we served Saturday"

Monday, February 15, 2016

Lasagna Season - February 15, 2016

Hello and Happy Monday friends and family! Maybe someday I'll have a more interesting introduction to my emails but for now we're still at "Hello and Happy Monday". Actually, I guess I could have said "Happy Presidents Day and cheap-Valentines Candy day friends and family". Yeah, I kinda like that better. So happy those holidays friends and family.
                     This week was pretty great as far as first weeks in areas go. I have already learned and loved a lot about Somersworth and hopefully I'll have enough time and ability to share with you all my wonderful adventures this week! So without further ado, let's go!
                    So I got to Somersworth Tuesday morning, before lunch was even a thing. Don't ask about Monday, it was mostly last minute packing and crying. I still miss Brewer but Somersworth is already growing on me. I received Sister DeWidt (who only has two transfers left and she "killed" my trainer. I might avenge my mission mom's death here) and our little white 2013 Toyota Corolla, who we think we'll name Margaret. Guess who driving in the New England winter? Yep, my first week in Somersworth I've had to not only learn the area but relearn how to drive. Even though New England roads are nowhere near like the grid systems going on out west its still fairly easy to drive. It also hasn't been snowing while I've been here so the roads have been safe.
                    The first place we drove to was a second hand boutique in Somersworth (just over the river from our apartment. Fun fact: In my three areas there has always been a river to divide something. In Manchester the Merrimack divided our ward from the Bedford ward, in Brewer the Penobscot divided our area from the Elders' area and Bangor from Brewer, here the Salmon Falls divides Maine from New Hampshire). We also help with the boutiques sister exchange/clothes closet store on our side of the river at a local church on Wednesdays. We already do a lot more service down here than in Brewer but that's because Brewer was still so new.
                    Speaking of old areas, we also have an older apartment. It's weird to go from an apartment where everything in it was either yours or your companions to finding random things like a sewing machine in the closet. Fun fun. Well, I guess to address the email title, I feel like in New England there is a definitely Lasagna season which starts in January and right now has an indefinite end. I know in the Brewer ward they were having a Lasagna bake off in March and here I've already had two lasagna dinners. Sister DeWidt's theory is it came about because lasagna is a hearty, warm meal which is definitely necessary at this cold time of year.
                    SPEAKING OF COLD I survived negative degree weather this weekend. That was the weirdest sensation ever. So Saturday and Sunday the world decided to get really cold, like -8 F plus wind chill to -30's. Luckily we have Margaret all to ourselves (first non-car share area yay!) and we ran between her and the apartment and church. Winter is crazy.
                    Well, I guess to wrap this up, I'm already really enjoying Somersworth. Because I've learned not to questions Heavenly Father's will I've already seen many reasons why I was called to Somersworth. The ward here is great and Sister DeWidt is awesome. I've meet people contacting that I've been able to give the Brewer Sisters' number to, that was a cool opportunity. I have already learned a lot and I can't wait to learn more while in not-Summer-y-now-sworth. May we all continue to progress and learn!
Sister Wright

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Back to the 'Shire - February 8, 2016

L-R Sister Morgan from Brewer, Priscilla, and Sister Daughety. She said in her email that she and Sister Daughety wore Carolina Panther colors to church!

Happy Monday friends and family and welcome to my sixth transfer. Wow, time goes by so fast as a missionary, I honestly can't believe it. Like I don't even know where that last transfer went, Sister Daughety and I must have been having way too much fun. But seriously, as this transfer draws to an end so does my time with Sister Daughety and Brewer. I honestly can't believe it's time to leave this place. I don't know if any of you know this but I really did not like Brewer when I first got here. Everything in my mind made me mad and I was really wanting to be emergency transferred somewhere else. But our loving Heavenly Father always has a higher plan for us and that is something I have had to learn as I learned to love Brewer. Now I can't believe I'm really leaving, it feels like I just got here! I am really proud to be able to look at my time here in Brewer and say I did my best and I can see the fruits of my labors here. I honestly wasn't a perfect missionary and I can think of a lot of ways I could have done better here but I did my best and will use those regrets to improve myself. Also, saying goodbye to the ward yesterday was the hardest but I know they will keep up the awesome job they are doing in keeping up the missionary work. 
But enough with the sad things, my last week in Brewer was honestly pretty great. The weather was literally everywhere though. Thursday Sister Daughety and I tracted a street that was honestly the most pleasant street with the most pleasant people we have ever tracted (no one was particularly interested but they were still really sweet!) and the weather as 50 degrees and sunny. PLEASANT WEATHER FOR A PLEASANT STREET IT WAS GREAT. We didn't have to wear coats that day which as a New England missionary is unusual. Of course Friday we woke up to a snowstorm and having our vehicle grounded and our appointments fall through because of the unsafe conditions but all our appointments rescheduled because they still wanted to see us. Brewer is so great. That meant Saturday we got to shovel a lot of our drive way, doorstops, and local members' doorstops which was pretty fun. Everything was fun, especially as I worked really hard to ignore transfer calls. 
And that leads us where we are today. I know I am going to Somersworth, New Hampshire (thus the title, the 'shire, compliments of a Brewer ward member) tomorrow to serve as junior companion under Sister DeWidt which I am really excited for. Honestly, I think the DeWidt and Wright families have been praying for us to serve together since I opened my transfer call almost a year ago. Two Arizona girls in a place that has the word "summer" (or at least sounds like summer)- sounds like this next transfer is going to be a blast. And I am totally going to miss Sister Daughety!! I honestly could not have asked for a better companion these last two transfers and I am really excited for her as she TRAINS (yes, Brewer is having a baby!!) and ah I just love Sister Daughety so much. I can't wait to see her and all my other missionary friends after the mission, it will just be so fun. So shout out to Sister Daughety and may she have an awesome last two transfers with her greenie! If only the Carolina Panthers had won last night, that would make our last Sunday together the best. Oh well.
Before I close this email I wanted to share that I had the opportunity this week at District meeting to share my testimony to close the meeting. The lesson was focused on member missionary work and helping members participate in the 2016 mission vision. I want you all to know I have a strong testimony of member missionary work. As a full time missionary we can only do so much as we try to contact people on the street or on their doors. As regular human beings and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints there are so many more opportunities to share of the blessings the true church brings into your lives. I have seen the outcomes of member missionary work in my time in Brewer with Lynn. Sure, it took her six years but she had a friend that never gave up on here that entire time and helped her understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Miracles happen when members are involved in this work. I know that is true. May we all have a great upcoming week! 

Sister Wright

A couple of pictures of the snow on Friday

Monday, February 1, 2016

Celebrities, Skunks and Seven Months - February 1, 2016

"Pretty sunset Sister Duncan and I needed a picture of while on exchanges two weeks ago"

Hello Friends and Family! Thanks for joining your favorite New England Sister during her regularly scheduled time of Monday whenever-this-email/post-reaches-you. This week has definitely been an adventure for me and Sister Daughety. As much as we both enjoy this warmer weather (we aren't even wearing our coats today!) it has made the work a little difficult. And it's because the slush makes us slip and trip, it's a little different. But let's hear the tale of this week from the beginning!
Since I talked to you last, Wednesday happened. Wednesday morning we had an appointment with Lynn and we helped her get ancestor names ready for when she goes to the temple to do baptisms for the dead next month! It's been really exciting, not just with Lynn, but with everyone we've worked with for family history to see them set up their accounts on and get their fan charts growing. The most exciting part is when they can connect their line to someone else's and their family tree just grows online! If you haven't had the opportunity to just explore I would highly recommend doing so!
Wednesday was also the day we came home to the pleasant aroma of skunk. Yes, we think with the warmer weather we have a black-and-white neighbor that thought winter was over, came out, got spooked, and left a green trail of stink like Pepe le Pew from Looney Tunes. That was so fun to come home to. That little skunk had a lot of power though because not only was it outside the apartment, the smell was able to get into the apartment, into our clothes and air and basically life. Thanks skunky friend. The worst part is how it makes Sister Daughety and I smell like unclean missionaries. It's almost been embarrassing to go out because we're worried people will smell it on us and not want to learn more because we smell bad. Luckily Wal-Mart sells Febreeze and Glade for cheap so those companies will be in the black for a while thanks to Skunky.
Thursday was more or less the same as Wednesday (or any day really) when we weren't teach we were out trying to contact members. What made both of those days enjoyable was the member meals that now with the 2016 mission vision have become really fun opportunities to teach members what we teach investigators. Even with our meal appointment last night, we were with a family of six kids and it was really neat to ask simple questions to the kids that they could just answer because the importance of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ was taught in their home. Member missionary work is such a powerful tool that I wish more members would participate in.
Besides that the only more exciting thing that happened was Friday Sister Daughety and I were driving to our meal appointment and we passed the Cross Center in Bangor who was hosting Brad Paisley that evening. As we were turning on the road going beside the arena we were stopped by some crew people to allow a Corvette Mega Bus to back up onto the road in front of us so naturally Sister Daughety and I being missionaries started to joke that Brother Paisley was going to the Bishop's to meet him as part of his commitment to the missionaries that were teaching him. It was funny to begin with but it got funnier as the Corvette Mega Bus did turn onto the Bishop's street and our nerdy missionary selves got excited. Sadly, Brother Paisley didn't stop by the Bishop's but that's ok. He probably was busy with his international tour or whatever.
Well, today marks seven months of wearing the tag and I really can't believe it has been this long. While I know I'm far from a perfect missionary I am still really proud of how far I have come in my ability to study, communicate, and teach. The past seven months have not been easy, and they don't look like they're going to get any easier with the Captain America: Civil War stuff starting to go on the shelves. But I know that being able to help people, to dedicate 18 months of my life to helping and serving people through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is immensely more important. And I love doing it! When you are in the service of your fellow being you are only in the service of your God, and that's a happy place to be in! May we all have an awesome upcoming week of service is my prayer!
Sister Wright 

"I have needed this picture my entire life"

"Snowy day while driving. It was kind of pretty to drive in"