Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Seven Weeks of Somer - March 28, 2016

I know this is grainy, but I couldn't resist zooming in for a close up of her happy smile-Mom

Hello again people who enjoy Mondays. This is your favorite New England Sister Missionary writing you to tell you all about her awesome adventures in the Somersworth area. I honestly can't believe I have already been in Somersworth seven weeks because the weeks just fly by! By my seventh week in Manchester I felt like it had been an eternity and my seventh week in Brewer was Thanksgiving so you can reference that email for my feelings. Being in Somersworth, especially for the super weird seven week transfer, has been a roller coaster; sometimes a roller coaster that's just for little kids and goes up like ten feet in the area but nevertheless a roller coaster. I have learned a lot about myself in this area and I'm sure will continue to grow here as well.
Fun Fact: The town (I think it's a town because I'm sure it's not a city or a village) is supposed to be "Summer" like the season but since the official name was recorded back when there wasn't standardized spelling, some guy wrote up "Somer" and this is where we are now, centuries later. Don't you love history? Well I hope with that fun fact you are excited to learn more about the adventures of Sister Wright in Somersworth. And for those of you already dying to know, yes, Sister DeWidt and I are staying together. In missionary terms I am "killing her off", which is awesome considering she "killed" my trainer Sister Banda. Alli, vengeance will be ours! And another fun fact, we are one of only four sister companionships staying together this transfer, and that includes the eight sister missionaries that came out last transfer and are still being trained. That plus the emergency transfers that happened all last week including us receiving Sister O'Bryant as our new Sister Training Leader were just some of the highlights of this crazy week!
So like I said, emergency transfers happened so we now have a new Sister Training Leader. She had week to learn her new area while Sisters Pankratz and Evans prepared to go home (love you BOTH!) and we already had plans to have lunch with the STL's on Tuesday so we were "surprised" to have three of them over for lunch. It was really fun though. We meant to have it be a picnic at one of the local cemeteries but the weather was too windy and chilly so we were lame and ate inside. Still really fun. And Tuesday was super great because we contacted a media referral who had requested a Book of Mormon. The first time we stopped by her home in the day no one answered so we continued our work around her home but I just felt like we needed stop by even one more time. So as we were going into the building a woman rushed out on the phone and we didn't think anything of it, until we realized that might have been who we were trying to contact so after we knocked on the door and heard silence we rushed outside to find the phone lady and talk to her. Thankfully after a minute of searching and praying we found her and she wasn't our referral. BUT HER SISTER WAS so she got her sister and we got her the Book of Mormon. We were so happy and excited Sister DeWidt almost cried giving her the Book of Mormon. Apparently she had been curious about the church for years and just recently reached out because of all the big changes in her life. We told her the Book would bring her peace and we set up a time to see her again. What I learned: Media Referrals are gold. We received another request of a man who wanted a Holy Bible and Book of Mormon and we were able to catch him too and set up another time to see him. I am so grateful we live in a time where we have resources like the internet to find people and share with them our message!
I also accomplished another major task in driving us and the Elders to Sanford for District Meeting. I just like to share this accomplishment because I don't like driving so go me.
Besides that Sister DeWidt and I had a fairly good week. We planned for this upcoming transfer assuming we'd be staying together and we are. We get to watch General Conference together which will be nice. We got to watch the Women's Session Saturday with a group of women from the ward in the Relief Society room and that was neat. I really enjoyed listening to Sister Marriott's talk in particular (I just really love Sister Marriott in general). I love how she and President Eyring asked us to stand as witnesses of our faith and I know as a missionary I do that 24/7 but it made me want to be a better missionary when I go home.
Sunday was Easter and we were invited/asked/pushed to be in the ward choir for sacrament meeting. It honestly went really well, especially for Sister DeWidt and I who had just seen the music that day. And Easter dinner we spent at the ward mission leader's with his family. We had all the good holiday food like turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and of course deviled eggs. So we weren't forgotten on Easter, yay!
Well that's about all for Somersworthy adventures this week. If I could include one more crazy story it would be we didn't have power for two hours in our apartment. Everything clicked on again as we headed out for the day. Oh apartment, how you tease us so.
Have a good week as I hope you did with Easter! Enjoy general conference and learn what you can by the speakers and especially the Holy Ghost! I love and miss you all!
Sister Wright

"This was (last) Monday, you can't even tell it snowed!"

"Us and the sister training leaders. We had lunch Tuesday"

District meeting

Humpty Dumpty Egg

"Turkey Crossing"

 "This is why you can't be late in New England"

Easter at the Ward Mission Leader's house

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Snow Excited for Week Seven - March 21, 2016

At Zone Conference in Exeter, NH

                     Hello and Happy second day of Spring friends and family. I bet you all thought the cold and snow puns had ended. Nope, thanks to our good friend New England Mother Nature we have another day of snow on our hand. So what better way to start of spring with snow boots and a shovel. Luckily, most of the roads have been plowed so driving to write you this email wasn't too bad, just cold. I also heard the Provo City Center Temple dedication was this weekend! I know a lot of you were Abe to attend that and I hope you all had a good time! Back here in the mission, this week is a super special week because of the MTC extension we all have an extra week added to our missions! So if you all were anticipating transfer news, you get to wait one more week to hear if I get to avenge Sister Banda's "death" by "killing" Sister DeWidt. Next week will be Transfer, Easter, Women's Session week! How fun!
                    Well, I guess I'll get into this week a bit. Honestly, I don't know where it flew by. Probably because Wednesday we had Zone Conference in Exeter. We carpooled down with the Elders, got there at about 8:15 am and didn't leave til about 5:15 pm so it was pretty long but really good. We focused a lot on the importance of the sabbath day and after lunch had a Sister's Session put on by Sister Stoker to talk about the importance of sisters in the work. We all prepared a brief explanation of our favorite female scripture hero and being a narcissist I chose to talk about Priscilla. In all honesty, I do love Priscilla from the New Testament and if you haven't heard of her I would highly encourage it. She is a wonderful example of a member missionary and is someone I aspire to be when I go home. It was also weird to be back where I had my first zone conference six months later. I feel like the building felt different, probably because I am a very different missionary now. I have learned and grown a lot since then.
                    As far as the work goes it is still fairly slow. I am officially dubbing this past transfer just sick season because everyone we work with has gotten sick which makes it difficult for us to work with them. It reminds me of something I learned in my first area that Jesus healed the sick and afflicted because it is really hard to feel spiritually when you aren't feeling well physically. Luckily I haven't been too sick in my time out here but I know a lot of missionaries that have and we should always pray that they'll get better.
                    I guess besides that nothing too earth shattering happened this week. Even though I've been in Somersworth a month I have been really trying to get to know the members, especially with the social media splits we had this weekend to encourage members to share the Mormon.org Easter website and video. Some members I did meet this week were pretty cool including bringing us chocolate bars from Ikea when she couldn't make her appointment with us and observing a members awesome Lego collection. Members are the key to missionary work. I know that's so true. I encourage you all to share something from FollowHim.Mormon.org and use that opportunity to share your beliefs about the Savior and how He blesses us as individuals and as families. And may we all have an awesome Easter weekend!
Sister Wright

Monday, March 14, 2016

Discomfort - March 14, 2016

Hello and Happy Monday/Pi Day. Wow has this past week been crazy. Not crazy as it was last week (which was crazy-weird in the bad way), but crazy how we saw the Lord's hand in our work and efforts. That's not to say this past week has been the best week ever but on the scale of good weeks, definitely on the positive side. 
So this week was really rainy (New England mud season is definitely a real thing. After emails, I'm buying rain boots) which also meant the weather is warming up. Like way up. Like in the 70's-near 80's on Wednesday up. Honestly, no complaints here from the Arizona girls. It was so nice and there were so many people out! Things I've noticed, people go with the weather. People tend to be warmer when the weather is warmer so this week we caught a lot of people and set up a lot return appointments. Honestly, it was a huge blessing.
I guess I haven't updated the world on this but I have been driving for a month and that' so interesting. Sometimes I love driving in New England because the speed limits stay relatively low (I am not a speed demon) but other times it's kinda frustrating like when I can't see things and I drive into/through a curb. Or into a snowbank. Yeah, I've done that haha but I haven't killed me or Sister DeWidt yet so I must not be doing too bad, right?
Sorry, the report for this week is really scattered and random, but Thursday I had a real New England boiled dinner/corned beef and cabbage. Final verdict: Pretty good, but maybe because it wasn't "properly" done because all the vegetables and meat were served separately. But I liked it so yum.
Also since we are getting rid of the DVD players in the missionary apartments out here I decided to catch up on all the fun FHE movies I never saw growing up like The Testaments and Legacy. Final verdict: Not too sad I missed them in my childhood. Some acting was better than others, but I will say I liked The Testaments more than Legacy.
And I guess I can wrap up the review for this week with an awesome experience we had with a sister we're working with. We saw her two weeks ago and during that lesson we really felt like we were bugging her and that she didn't like us coming over, letting us in to be polite sort of thing. We gave it a shot this weekend though and called her to try to see her again this week and she agreed to have us over. Needless to say we were pretty scared to see where this would go: And it went great! Somehow we got on the topic of movies and tv shows we all liked (which probably isn't the best missionary moment). It really helped us to get along with her and I was really glad we saw her.
In conclusion (how I promised I would never end any professional essay) I know the Lord blesses us when we are uncomfortable. I know that is a testimony I have shared multiple times on my mission but it is true. A former companion taught me this gospel is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I know my time in Somersworth has been very uncomfortable but I have learned so much here, I can hardly believe I've been here over a month. I can hardly believe three years ago I was on Trek with so many people I still know and love today. Two years ago I was helping with the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration, sharing with the Prophet Thomas S. Monson my love of the gospel. A year ago I was putting in my mission papers, awaiting for this time in my life. I guess what I'm getting at is you have no idea how the Lord will help you grow over time. Like I've learned from my favorite parable from the October 2015 General Conference: "No, it doesn’t happen instantly, but honestly, how many good things do? Seems to me that the best things, like homemade bread or orange marmalade, take patience and work." May we all remember that through Christ we can change for the better (Wicked plays softly in the background). 
Sister Wright
PS I also Mulan-ed my hair. Yeah I did the typical Sister Missionary thing. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Week of What - March 7, 2016

                   Hello and happy Monday people of earth and any other life forms that read these emails. I hope you all had a wonderful week and did fun things like email or write snail mail for your favorite missionary. No? Well, might I suggest taking sometime and writing a letter to your favorite missionary? They don't have to be me. I know all missionaries are excited when they get hand written notes of love and encouragement. Why? Because being a missionary is hard. Not necessarily because "the work" itself is hard but because being a child of God in a physical body is tough and we should all encourage one another in our efforts. So send a note, it will make a difference!
                    Well, as I'm hoping you read from this week's title, this past week was fairly unusual. For one, New England weather is fairly unpredictable, have I mentioned that before? This week it got down to the 20's plus wind chill so it was pretty crisp outside in the middle of the week. It has since warmed up a bit but as I'm writing you it's snowing outside so...
                    Our biggest challenge (so we thought) this week was getting our screen door fixed after the wind ripped the spring off. After talking with the landlord and telling them that was our only problem we assumed there wouldn't be a huge rush to get a repair guy out here. That's of course what made our toilet start having problems. Using our detective skills we realized the reason the toilet wouldn't flush was because the handle was broken. Easy enough, we could wait for the repair guy to install a new one when he fixes our door. And then a seal was broken... So we had a constantly flushing toilet until Saturday when we definitely requested the repair guy asap. So toilet problems: Not a problem you anticipate as a missionary but they happen.
                    I guess this week was just kinda off. Sister DeWidt and I are doing what we can but at the end of the week we don't have a lot of opportunities to teach which as a missionary is integral to our purpose. I have never been yelled at until I got to Somersworth (this has happened twice) and I feel like Satan is really throwing his fiery darts at this area.
                    Through all of this I have found myself reading a lot from the Ensign. I don't know why but the Ensign has really become my best friend while serving in this area. I have read a number of experiences by faithful members and especially missionaries who face trials with a knowledge of the gospel and are strengthened through that. The scriptures give me peace, but I would say the Ensign definitely brings peace as well.
                    May we all have an awesome upcoming week as we study and prepare for not only Easter but also General Conference!
Sister Wright

Sister DeWidt and Sister Wright

Sister Wright and Sister DeWidt with Sister Hughs, the Knights, and Brother Drew. Elders Bade and McMahan

"Being a missionary is kinda like being a Pokemon trainer"

"When you're trying to study the Book of Mormon and you find Australian slang"