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 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"
At Zone conference
"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)