Monday, January 16, 2017

"Final Vermobster squad rap album cover. This can be posted on Facebook"
Hello and Happy Monday friends and family (and Martin Luther King Jr. day for my American friends). This is the last time I will address you all in a mass email with my email and I truly don't know what to say. This has been one of the best weeks I had as a missionary and I can't wait to share it with you all. But I need to say thank you to everyone who has ever supported me through this journey be it a kind word through an email, a letter in the mail, a meal on a rough day, or text/call of encouragement (obviously from the people who I serve with out here). I would not have been able to make it these past eighteen and a half months in a place of the world and even country that I would have never put myself in. Before I came here I thought Northern New England seemed like the least warm, least exciting, and least fruitful place to serve a mission, and there were times out here when I would allow myself to believe that. But through the Atonement and love of Jesus Christ, which often made itself manifest through the loving charity and works of others I have come to make New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont my home. It will always be another home for me because the memories I made here will always remind me of our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ and how blessed I am to be a part of their church. There are many reasons I titled this email "Stronger", the first one being I really have no idea, it just felt right. Everything about this mission has made me stronger, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored church has been strengthened. I know whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger, and sometimes I did feel like something was going to in some way kill me. But I am stronger, and just to wrap up my testimony of my mission I know that it is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can all be made stronger. This mission is just one example of that. And I know things can keep getting better as I trust in Him and turn to Him.
But as for this last week, like I said Sister Clegg and I worked very hard to make it the best ever! We had so many miracles happen that made me so happy to stick through it til the end! Our friend we have been working with and trying to help progress came to church yesterday! She hadn't been my entire time here and I could tell it gave her the energy she had been telling us she has needed all week and even month. We were able to teach her twice this week with members present, once with an actual member there and another time where we had a member call in. The member shared her testimony of the Book of Mormon over the phone and it was SO POWERFUL. It was probably the most spiritual testimony I have ever heard shared and I was so glad we used what we had to get a member there creatively. 
We also had the stellar and spontaneous opportunity to have a FaceTime call with another friend (the one if you remember who was hoping to be baptized in Utah but he found out it wasn't that easy) while he was visiting a member's house 20 miles away from the church where we "taught" him. It was so cool! He has been around the church for 30 years and he now set a date to enter the waters of baptism in April and we are so excited we were able to set that with him through our iPads. He'll be going to church next week to so it will be official. Thanks technology! 
Wrap up miracle: We had a teaching opportunity come from a member who invited his friend and his family to learn and he said yes! His wife wasn't able to come Saturday but we were able to teach him a bit at the member's home and testify of the role of the Book of Mormon and how it will bless his family. He asked if we could meet again with his wife so we are really excited to see where this is going. He also closed the lesson with a prayer in Hebrew which was really cool.
We were also able to find someone who gave us total New England directions when we met him in one of the snow storms a few weeks ago. "It's a blue/gray house up the road with a big front yard". Oh yeah, we totally know where that is... We didn't but we hunted for it for twenty minutes just hiking up the road and somehow we ended up on this hill with apartment buildings. We asked the woman at the door if she knew anyone by the name he had given us and she said No but as we turned around we saw across the street and down the hill was this little gray/blue house with a big yard. So we ran (well, kinda, it was icy so we kinda face walked/slid) to this house and he answered the door and was just so glad we had taken the time to find him. We gave him a Book of Mormon and committed him to read the introduction by next week. Cool finding experience.
Non-proselyting things though: Monday Sister Clegg and I had steak and tots in honor of our love for Napoleon Dynamite. Wednesday I took my death picture. May I just say my district is the best because when I texted them Wednesday morning it was going to be Clue themed they all went with it (well, the Montpelier Elders more than others). Thursday I had my exit interview with President Blair. I love him and Sister Blair so much! And we had stake coordination in Essex so we had to take the last Vermobster Squad photo. Friday we helped at Days for Girls again. The Montpelier Elders also had their car hit last week so we were in a car share with them for a bit until they got their loaner car AKA SALLY FROM SACO. She was already at the mission office to be sold because she is over 50,000 miles BUT WOO SALLY made a cameo for my last week! Saturday we had seven lessons and ALL OF THEM FOLLOWED THROUGH. And yesterday was just a really good and saying good bye to the members here was hard but no tears!
In summary, this last week has been fantastic. These last eighteen and a half months have been great. I will love and miss New England, but you know what? Rogue One and 60 degree weather will be pretty nice too. I love and miss you all and pray you have A GREAT upcoming week!
Sister Wright
"Squad Calls"

"Jammie Studies"

"Steak and tot dinner"

"I always hold their dogs in the lessons"

"Us at Ashley's house"

"Breakfast Monster crepe at the Skinny Pancake"

"Brother Sypher let us borrow his leather jacket so we had to have a photo shoot"

"Death Photo"

"Who doesn't love the rainbow bat of Batman"

"Not as good death photo"

"Best death photo

"Official death photo"

 "Squad photo"

"Inside jokes"

"More inside jokes"

 "Sister Calya is a sweetie"

"Us at the garage where we got our oil changed"


"Sally in Vermont"

"Pretty scenery in East Montpelier"

"She's pretending she's floating weightlessly surrounded by tiny baby sea horses"

Brother Sypher was so sweet to send these pictures to Mom

"I get to be by Sister Daughety on Brother Sypher's board!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Vermobsters - January 9, 2017

At Mission Leadership Conference
Hello and Happy Monday friends and family! We meet again on a cold Vermont day. Sister Clegg and I had a chance to clean out the car this morning and we knew it was cold but we didn't know how cold so we started the car and Chad (our Ford Escape named after Chad Danforth from the High School Musical franchise as portrayed by Corbin Bleu) told us it was 7 going on 5 degrees outside. We weren't really shocked by cold it was but rather how ok we were with the cold. We were betting it was somewhere in the teens at least. Regardless, it will still be 50+ degrees warmer for me in 9 days. The milk we bought today expires before I do! This has been weird moments with Sister Wright. This last week has flown by but at the same time lasted forever so I am going to try to summarize the events as best I can.
Monday wasn't too exciting. We were supposed to see that family we found a few weeks ago but the mom hasn't been feeling well. We actually saw her Saturday at the hospital and are taking her flowers with the Relief Society President this evening. They still want to learn, typical Satan is just being a jerk and keeping us from seeing them so boo. We did have a lesson with our other investigator who has a baptismal date. We saw her twice this week and with the time we were supposed to teach the family we found a few weeks ago we found another family with four kids that we are still trying to pin down and teach this Wednesday so pray for that!
Tuesday after service at the food pantry we went to Burlington to spend the day with those sisters in their area. I was with Sister Lewis and she is so great! She is such a wonderful trainer for Sister Stegall and is probably the best teacher I know. We had a lesson with a less active part member family, and we found out from the elder's later the husband set a baptismal date! We had some good times and good finds in Burlington. We had lots of little finding miracles like we couldn't find this potential investigator and next thing I know Sister Lewis is walking to the neighbor's house which has two, literally two, front doors. We knock on one and the mom answers and says they are about to have dinner but we were still able to get her a copy of the Book of Mormon and commit her to read it! We also got into the home of a lady the sister's kept running into everywhere and invite her to church on Sunday.
The coolest thing in Burlington happened on Wednesday at District Meeting in Essex when I ran into the kid I was co-representative of my seminary class with senior year at Perry. Turns out his family moved to Vermont and he was on a mini-mission with the Burlington elders. So that was a crazy district meeting. Wednesday we also went down to THE LAND OF MY INHERITANCE AKA MANCHESTER jk we spent the night in Canterbury MY FIRST EXCHANGE AND STL HOME but we went down in the "Mystery Machine" with the Essex and Montpelier elders aka the Squad. We don't have squad goals because we are THE Squad. Squadpelier. Or the Vermobsters. I won't tell you too many details about what happened the rest of Wednesday and Thursday because what happens at MLC stays at MLC but I will tell you there was a break in to an apartment, Sister Wright buying everyone Taco Bell at the Holy KFC in Lebanon, NH, and a new album of inside jokes to enjoy. At least, that's a summary of the car ride. At MLC we learned how to juggle. Literally, juggle. Like with balls at clown school. We also had someone from the MTC tell us some things that are going to be announced at the worldwide missionary broadcast January 25th *loud whisper* It's a guy from the District 3. Ok, I'll tell you, it was Brother Jolley who is from Burlington/Barre Vermont so he came to train us on somethings that are going to change soon for missionary. But again, what happens at MLC stays at MLC. And President taught us to metaphorically smoke a pipe. And then Sister Blair told us to not smoke anything from any pipe ever. To summarize, I loved MLC. Everyone warned me to not get too stressed out because it was my first one and they say that tends to be really rough but I loved it! Maybe it was because there was no pressure because I leave like really soon. It actually makes me sad that I am missing out on all these new things. But AH I really can't explain how fun that was.
I guess flash forward to Friday which was mostly weekly planning and teaching the people aforementioned and dinner with Brother Sypher. Saturday was mostly Skype meetings in response to the changes made at MLC. And seeing people in Barre. Did I mentioned Barre is pronounced "Barry"? A member took us to dinner at a place called Ladder One, a firehouse grill that was pretty good. And Sunday was church, more meetings, and a tiny smidgen of finding. We are working on finding people in Montpelier because right now everyone is Northfield which isn't the best for our miles but we make do. Pray we will find people nearby!
But that was my week and I enjoyed it a lot. Good stuff is going on in Montpelier and I am so lucky to be a part of it. I love and miss you all and can't wait (for a lot of you) to see you soon! Have a good week!

Sister Wright
"Sister Lewis and me after exchanges"

"The kid from my seminary in AZ"

"Too swag"

"Actual swag courtesy Sister Adams from the office. Except Elder Barrett, he's blinking"

"Trying to be swag"

"Official album cover"

"Vermobsters. We may have been breaking a law at this point..."

"Because we haven't done selfie a day for like weeks"

"With Brother Syper"

"Casually 0 degrees going to church"

Monday, January 2, 2017

Talk from January 1, 2017

Sacrament Meeting Talk
January 1, 2016
  • Happy New Year!
  • For those of you who don't know me, I am Sister Wright
  • I am from Chandler, AZ
  • Today marks 18 months since I entered the missionary training center
  • As a forewarning, I don't like public speaking and have avoided it for about a year on my mission so we will see how this goes
  • I was asked to speak on a conference talk from the October 2016 general conference and relate it to the Savior
  • The talk I chose to use is “A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up” by Elder Craig C. Christensen which focuses a lot on the role of Joseph Smith in the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • I feel like that inspiration I had to use this talk came partially because of my excitement to be so geographically close to the birthplace of Joseph Smith, especially around the time of his birth.
But who is Joseph Smith?
  • We know Joseph Smith was born December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. The other day I reflected on why It would be important for Joseph to be born in the winter, so near to the winter solstice. Because dates are important to Heavenly Father, I think it's because much like the winter solstice marks the end of the growing nights and the beginning of increased daylight hours, Joseph's birth marked the end of the Great Apostasy, the time in which no priesthood authority would be held on the earth and ushered in the beginning of the dispensation of the fullness of times, or the Restoration of Christ's church on the earth. 
  • Joseph and the Smith family faced a lot of hardship on his path to Palmyra until his martyrdom in Carthage. Most of the social persecution and rejection came after Joseph's miraculous First Vision in the Sacred Grove.
  • 18 months ago while I was at a devotional at the missionary training center a member of the mission presidency taught us that if anyone questioned whether God the Father and Jesus Christ really appeared to Joseph Smith, they could ask him, for "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." I know that to be true myself. My favorite thing about being a missionary is the fact that I invite people not to just take my word for it, but to find out for themselves by reading the Book of Mormon and asking God if it is true.
  • Much of what Joseph translated and restored by the power and authority of God strengthened him through his trials and blesses us in our lives today.
  • Elder Christiansen explains by proposing: "...imagine Joseph’s feelings as he translated passages [from the Book of Mormon] about baptism for the remission of sins. Joseph, who had been told not to join any of the existing churches, naturally had questions about this saving ordinance. His questions led him, once again, to pray, and that prayer led to a visit from John the Baptist, who restored the Aaronic Priesthood and the authority to baptize."
  • " ...imagine how Joseph must have felt [at a time when preachers commonly taught that children who died without baptism would be condemned forever] he translated the words from the prophet Mormon: “Little children need no repentance, neither baptism. … [For] little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world.”"
  • And imagine "how Joseph might have felt when he learned for the first time that Jesus Christ visited the people of the Western Hemisphere--that He taught them, prayed for them, healed their sick, blessed their children, conferred priesthood authority, and administered the sacrament unto them. Joseph may not have realized it at the time, but what he learned about the ordinances and organization of Christ’s ancient Church prepared him to later assist the Lord in restoring that same Church to the earth."
Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith:
  • So how are we to learn about Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith?
  • Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 states: "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it"
  • Elder Christiansen stated: "Because of the truths restored through Joseph Smith, we know much more about our Heavenly Father and the Savior Jesus Christ"
  • When Joseph Smith established the church through the Restored priesthood authority he didn't call it the church of Joseph Smith, instead following the counsel Christ gave in 3 Nephi 27: "Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
  • Through modern revelation we know Jesus wasn't born in the winter, but we celebrate his birth this time of the year to remember the Light He is in our lives, brighter than any light Jospeh or any of us can bring.
  • My favorite revelation found within the doctrine and covenants is found in section 76, where Joseph declares: "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God."
  • "Because Joseph was a prophet, we have witness upon witness, testimony upon testimony, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the world. We have an unbroken chain of special witnesses of Jesus Christ, including our prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson; the counselors in the First Presidency; and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles."
  • I, with Elder Christiansen, "invite you to consider the fruits--the many blessings that have come to us through the miraculous mission of Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration."
  • It may be the fact that "revelations and prophets are no longer a thing of the past. The “day of miracles”--of visions, healings, and ministering of angels--has not ceased."
  • For another it could be that "each of us has access to the power and blessings of the holy priesthood, including baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament."
  • Or for you it could be that "we know that marriage and family are an essential part of God’s plan for our happiness. We know that through temple ordinances and covenants, our cherished family relationships can endure eternally.

Sent from my iPad

Stay Obedient, Kids - January 2, 2017

Hello and Happy New Year friends and family! Well, it is finally January 2017 which means I am in my last 16 days as a missionary in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission. Quite frankly, I am asked a lot do I get distracted by thinking about home and really I don't. Not because I don't want to or because I don't want it to happen. It is really because being a sister training leader and just a missionary in Montpelier has been pretty time consuming so I don't have the time to think about it. This upcoming week will be pretty busy with MLC (my first and only!) and exchanges with the Burlington sisters in Burlington! But this last week I had another good week of helping all kinds of people including members, investigators, and missionaries alike, and set some pretty good goals for 2017. So without further ado, here is the last week of 2016 in Montpelier!
Monday we had district P-Day with the South Royalton sisters and Lamoille elders. We had fun playing some basketball, signs, and mafia. After P-Day we had a lesson with a recent convert, Joy, who has the coolest life experiences ever. We talked about personal prayer and related it to the story of Enos. Good stuff.
Tuesday we had exchanges with the South Royalton sisters! Sister Andelin came to Montpelier with me and Sister Clegg went to SoRo with Sister Barney for her birthday. Oh yeah, did I mention, SISTER CLEGG'S BIRTHDAY WAS TUESDAY! WOO THIRD COMPANION TO TURN 21 ON ME! I made sure to periodically remind her it was her birthday and it sounds like she had an awesome time in South Royalton so woo! Sister Barney and I had a good time as well stopping by some investigators. We tried finding this less active member in the boons of Roxbury and ended up having to trudge through some snow to get to her home and even though we woke her up she was grateful to see us and let us in for a minute. We got her contact information so we will call next time and not wake her up. We had a really cool finding opportunity when we were street contacting in downtown Montpelier. We met this guy who was from Connecticut walking his dogs and while he wasn't interested he told us how impressed he was with our church's outreach and thought very highly of us. We think it is due to the temple dedication in Hartford that made him so friendly.
Wednesday was district meeting where Sister Clegg found my first gray hair. That was gross. Probably just came from the stresses of missionary work. We have been dealing with some missionaries who haven't been exactly obedient so I'm blaming the gray hair on that. Be obedient future missionaries. I can promise you miracles will happen in you missionary work when you do! You will also save some missionary leader a gray hair. We worry about you enough already!
Back to missionary life though, we were in Barre (the elders area) going from one appointment to the next and we get in to have the GPS not turn on no matter how much we plug it into the car or hit the power button. It was crazy considering it wasn't ridiculously cold outside or seemingly anything else could have caused the GPS to stop working. Neither of us knew the area very well either so we ended up using my iPad and the maps app to find our way to the appointment, only to get lost in the apartment complex trying to find this sister's home because it was dark so we didn't recognize anything! It was crazy! Somehow we made it to her home, 20 minutes late, but she was forgiving and afterwards we found the way back to the car easily and quickly. We don't know why we got lost but we know the Lord's hand was involved at least in helping us find the car quickly! Haha!
Thursday.... Oh Thursday.... So everyone has been writing me waiting to hear how we survived the awful winter storm that was to befall us on Thursday. To be honest, Sister Clegg and I have come to an agreement that people (I'm not saying the New Englanders but maybe just the New Englanders) take these things way out of proportion BUT we still were safety cautious and made sure to be safe Thursday. Before the storm we spent some time in Northfield with Meals on Wheels (and even learned how to make Chinese dumplings from a Chinese teacher at Norwich) and saw some people including our investigators Ashley (she is still feeling under the weather so keep her in your prayers!) so to make Thursday somewhat effective. In the afternoon we walked around downtown Montpelier. We actually had success in finding during the snowstorm and handed out a copy of the Book of Mormon and then we came in around 6 to get warm again and then head out to East Montpelier to contact some more people. So, to preface, we have a Verizon phone which doesn't get mission-wide voicemails because those are AT&T. Keep that in mind. So we leave to contact at 6:15 and have some success with this sister we didn't know and on our way to our next person I check the phone to see a text from the South Royalton sisters. "Oh, they must be following up on if we can go to the JSM tomorrow" we thought. But then we also have a text from the District Leader. And a text and missed call from the Zone Leaders. And all of them are saying things like "Where are you?" "Are you ok?" "Did you HEAR ABOUT THE GROUNDING?!" Turns out Salt Lake (fancy name for church headquarters) looked at the weather and said that the missionaries Maine, Northern New Hampshire, and Eastern Vermont would all have their cars grounded effective 6pm Thursday and that information was shared by Assistants to the whole mission. EXCEPT US. So we looked like hooligans out driving 15 MINUTES PAST WHEN WE WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO USE THEM. In our defense, by that time it had stopped snowing and the roads were starting to be cleared off. But once we heard the news we booked it back to Montpelier. BECAUSE WE ARE OBEDIENT MISSIONARIES! Again kids, stay obedient. Don't look like a hooligan your last transfer!
Friday was weekly planning and helping at the JSM for the last time while the lights were still up. I got to hang out and sing with the South Royalton sisters and meet some awesome visitors like a couple that moved from South Africa. The senior Elder in charge of the JSM ended up giving both of them copies of the Book of Mormon because they were impressed by our singing and Sister Andelin's and Sister Barney's musical abilities. JSM miracles!
Saturday I got to attend my first wedding ever! The elders are helping this part member family and they got married and the husband got baptized this week! Woo wedding baptism! There wasn't a lot of people in attendance (again, Ashley wasn't feeling super well) but it was still a beautiful service and I was so glad to be there! Probably the best was to spend New Years even honestly. We also ended up out finding Saturday night which brought two miracles. 1. We ran into that same lady we do service for and ended up pushing her stroller up the hill again and 2. On our way down the hill from meeting with her and her family a woman from her porch yelled "Happy New Year!" and we ended up talking to her about her beliefs and giving her a copy of the Book of Mormon (after I gave the lamest invitation to take one the first time. Keep talking to people even after they say no, kids. That's a paraphrased quote from Elder Rasband). It's like 7:30 at this time. But it was cool to see we had success in finding during the times when some missionaries (and myself in a past life) would say wouldn't be effective such as during the snowstorm Thursday or in the dark hours on New Years Eve. We contacted and handed out copies of the Book of Mormon both times this week and it made me want to take a missionary who said that couldn't happen by the shoulders and tell them it is TOTALLY possible to find all the time. And on our way back driving we got to see the fireworks so blessings!
The most exciting thing Sunday was probably the fact I gave a talk based on the conference talk "A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up" from October 2016. I will send it to my mom separately and if she wants to include it somehow that would be cool. Oh and it was New Years Day. A lot of people complimented my talking, saying it was a good way to kick off the New Year so that felt good. But I hope you have all had a great and happy New Year already. I know 2017 is going to be some crazy adventure for me and I can't wait to hear from you soon. Or see you all soon. Whatever the case may be, Happy New Year and have a safe and happy week!

Sister Wright

Pictures from District P-Day

"District swag. We all look cool!"

"The squad being squad like on District P-Day"

"More swag"

"I think this was pre-album cover"

"Album cover aka inside jokes"

"Sister Andelin and I post-exchange"

"Exchange meeting!"

"Thursday snow day"

 "Photo cred Sister Clegg"

"More photo cred Sister Clegg"

"The snow went up way high"

"JSM tree lights"

"Us after spending the day outside Thursday"

"I thought these lights were cool"

"At the wedding"

"More wedding decor"


A member from Brewer, Maine sent this to Mom this past week. Sister Wright looks so happy in this picture!