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!
Pictures from District P-Day
"District swag. We all look cool!"
"The squad being squad like on District P-Day"
"I think this was pre-album cover"
"Album cover aka inside jokes"
"Sister Andelin and I post-exchange"
"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!