Thursday, September 14, 2017

*Insert Clever Title Here* (Aislin)

 Well, well, well. It's P-day again and I'm struggling to come up with a clever title for my email. Hmm. . . I'll think of one later

  This week was pretty awesome. I love Wolfville! This area has progressed so much since Sister Barlow and I first got here, and now transfers are coming up in a couple weeks and I'm scared I'm going to leave. I love our investigators so much and a few of them are just weeks away from baptism! I really, really, REALLY want to be the missionary that continues to teach them and helps them into the waters of baptism but I know that there's a high possibility that I won't be. I shouldn't be a selfish missionary and I know I should be happy as long as they're being taught by someone but that doesn't stop me from wishing with all my heart that I stay another transfer in Wolfville! I've just been praying for the strength I'll need to leave them behind if I am transferred, because I know that no matter where I go next, it'll be the place I need to be, whether or not it's here in Wolfville - but if I do leave I know it's going to be HARD.

  Let me tell you a little bit about these amazing investigators. 

  MADDY - Maddy is the sweetest little 11 year old who is on date to be baptized on September 23. We taught her 3 times this week and it's so awesome to see how she just soaks it all up! My favorite thing is how she just lights up whenever she talks about her baptism! She's so excited for it! She's been telling all her friends at school about it and even wants us to make invitations that she can hand out! She missed church this week because she was really sick. We were worried that we would have to move the baptismal date (it's recommended that investigators attend church at least 3 times before they are baptized) but we called President Pratt to ask about it and he told us that it sounded like she was progressing really well, and gave us the OK the go ahead with her baptism, as long as we thought she really understood the importance of church attendance! 

  MANDY - Mandy is the girl we met at the ward activity a couple weeks ago and she is AMAZING. We had our first sit-down lesson with her this week. Going into the lesson we didn't really know what to plan for because Sister Silvenoinnen and I had taught her so much already. But we knew she would have a lot of questions so we planned to answer all of her questions and teach an in-depth Restoration lesson as a back-up. We drove an hour to Middleton, picked up a member from the branch there (she's the granddaughter of Sister Wade in our ward here and so we met her and her family when we went over to sister Wade's for supper once), then had the coolest lesson with Mandy. We got in there and she whipped out her notebook and the Restoration pamphlet we gave her and started bombarding us with questions about prophets, revelation, and priesthood authority. Luckily, I'd recently been studying the book , A Marvelous Work And A wonder (which is FANTASTIC by the way) so I felt confident when answering all her questions about the priesthood and church organization. She and the member, Rebekah, know each other from school so it worked out perfectly. Especially since she would be in the Greenwood branch so we wouldn't be able to be there with her on Sundays. But now she already knows someone there and Rebekah is totally up to inviting and driving her to church! Member fellowshipping is so important, especially in the CHM because everyone in the Maritimes is very friendly but they're all recluses too. So getting people to church can be hard if they don't know anyone there. 

JOCELYN - Jocelyn is this sweet little old lady we met a couple weeks ago when we knocked on her door. At the time she said she was really sick but that we could come back in a week or two. So we've gone back 3-4 times and she's never been home, but I'm a firm believer in persistence (Spirit-led persistence at least)! So we went back yesterday and she invited us in, we shared the restoration and invited her to come to church. She explained how she had been baptized in the Baptist church and believed that every church was the same. So we explained to her priesthood authority and how her priest had authority given him by men, not by God. Then we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She told us she would get her friend to drive her to church on Sunday so she could "see what it's all about". She's so cute and I can tell she has so much potential! I'm excited to teach her!

  Anyways. This week has been fabulous. We've knocked into members a couple times which is always awkward but hey, it's a good way to accidentally get to know the members! We got ice cream (twice in one day!) to celebrate my 7 month mark, we played volleyball with a member and all her nonmember friends for FHE, we taught lots of lessons and talked with lots of people. . . Basically it was a good week to be a missionary! I love you all and pray for you every day! Stay awesome!!!

p.s. I'll come up with a better title next week :)

- Sister Enright
 Me and my companion

 Smarties! They're way better than American Smarties


Sister Bush!

FHE!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Miracles in Wolfville (Aislin)

 Happy September, y'all! 

  This week has been so good and so full of miracles! I don't usually do my emails like this but I might have to use Liam's strategy and give you a day-by-day :)

  TUESDAY - Obviously, P-day. Proselyting hours after P-day are always great because you've had your break and you're anxious to get back to work and when a missionary has the desire to work hard, miracles happen! We had a dinner appointment with a member named Sister Welton and when we showed up, she introduced us to her friend and next door neighbor, a less-active who would be joining us for dinner that night. Halfway through the meal, the less-active got up and left to go get her granddaughter and daughter from next door. Her daughter's name is Maddie and as we talked with her, we found out that she wasn't a member but she was very curious about religion and had spent a couple weeks this Summer at a Bible camp. So, long story short, we decided to change our plan for the spiritual thought and share the restoration with them instead. The whole time I was thinking we should invite Maddie to be baptized but I kept pushing the thought away and telling myself that we should do it next time. So we ended with a prayer and then right after we said amen, Maddie turned to her mom and said, "I don't get baptism. . . " That was when I thought, "OK, sorry, Holy Ghost, I promise to follow you next time." I'm just glad Maddie felt inspired to ask about it or else we wouldn't have said anything! After we explained baptism to her I just asked, "Do you want to be baptized, Maddie?" and she nodded! The best part was how excited her mom seemed about it. Her mom (Tanya) hasn't been to church in probably 15-20 years I think and after Maddie said she wanted to be baptized, Tanya just kept staring at her in awe and then very excitedly started telling Maddie her own conversion story. So anyways. We've had 4 lessons with Maddie now, she came to church on Sunday and LOVED it. That also meant that we got to go to Primary with her! Literally the highlight of my week. 

  WEDNESDAY - Wednesday was Zone Conference and it was spectacular! Probably my favorite Zone Conference I've been to on my mission thus far. Sister Pratt did a training with us and shared a whole bunch of stories from recent converts in the CHM. My favorite was the story of a young woman from Mexico who was in Newfoundland for a few months and was found by our one Spanish speaking missionary (no joke. Only one in the whole mission, ha ha) while he was on exchanges. Elder Huaroc taught her over Skype a few times but then she left for Mexico. A couple months after she left, Elder Huaroc got an email from her with a picture of her and two missionaries in Mexico. She told him that she was getting baptized next week and that she had also invited her sister to listen to the missionaries! The best part was when sister Pratt said, "And - since it's Mexico - her sister is on date now too!" Haha! 
  Also, funny thing from Zone Conference. Sister Hird and Sister Silvenoinnen did a roleplay with us in which Sister Hird was our investigator and Sister Silvenoinnen jokingly said she would be the Holy Ghost. Halfway through helping Sister Hird understand the process of receiving answers with Alma 32, she started to nod and say, "So. . . You're saying that maybe the Holy Ghost has already given me my answer. . . " and then Sister Silvenoinnen leaned over and and patted her arm. We couldn't stop laughing after that!

  THURSDAY - OK, Thursday wasn't actually very exciting (except that we got to teach Maddie!) so we'll skip that one.

  FRIDAY - Friday was crazy busy. We had our STL, Sister Hird and her companion Sister Silvenoinnen come stay with us for exchanges. Usually, we would've gone to our STL's area for exchanges but they switched it this transfer, which also meant that I was the one who got to plan the exchange. Planning for four sisters is a lot of work! But it was fun and it all worked out great! We had a ward activity that night and there was supposed to be a huge turn out of members and non-members so we planned to do some finding there. Lucky for us it worked out, because our back-up plan was to go knocking around the neighborhood but when we got to the home of the members who were hosting the activity, we found out that they had no neighbors within a 3 mile radius. (This is why it helps to have maps in your apartment). I was one Splits with Sister Silvenoinnen that night who is super awesome. After eating supper we started making the rounds, talking with lots of people. One of our members, Sister Donnahee introduced us to her granddaughter Mandy and we ended up talking to her the whole night! We taught her the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and even briefly covered the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Then we gave her some pamphlets, a Book of Mormon, and invited her to be baptized to which she said YES! She lives in Middleton which is actually in another area but Sister Hird gave Sister Barlow and I permission to travel there so we can teach her! We have a lesson set up with her this week and I'm super excited!

  SATURDAY - We had Skype interviews with President which are always awesome. I'm always amazed at how well her remembers each and every missionary, not only their names but also the names of their investigators, their companions and the trials and successes that each missionary has experienced. That's how you really know he's called of God! 
  I got to spent most of the day with Sister Hird who is basically my favorite person ever. I love her and look up to her so much. STLs are the best!

SUNDAY - Obviously, Sunday was hoppin'. We got to go to Primary with Maddie and I've never laughed so hard during church. Primary was CRAZY. Bryson, a little boy with down syndrome kept turning around in his seat to look at me all while holding his nose and humming very loudly. Another kid was shooting small objects across the room with a rubber band. Three of the older boys were engaged in an intense memory card game while the music director tried to get everyone to sing. I love primary!

  Anyways. Those are the many highlights of my week. I hope you guys had an equally awesome one. From your emails, it sounds like you did :) To end this email, I wanted to share a quote from Elder Nelson's last conference talk. He said, "There is nothing easy or automatic about becoming such powerful disciples [of Christ]. Our focus must be riveted on the Savior and His gospel. It is mentally rigorous to strive to look unto Him in every thought. But when we do, our doubts and fears flee."
  I love you all! Don't ever forget to look unto Christ. No matter who we are or where we are, He will never leave us. 

God is good!
- Sister Enright

  Coolest yard decoration

 My cool Canadian socks I got from Sister Kilmer

  Sister Wade!

A card and a picture from the cutest Sunbeam (well, former Sunbeam I guess)

Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4. 2017 (Erin)

Hola familia!

This week was full of awesomeness.

On Friday we had a baptism, Hermana Kusi. First thing you all have to know is that it was raining ALL WEEK LONG! Like crazy. Hermana Kusi even mentioned to us on Thursday if maybe we could postpone her baptism, but with some thought we decided to go ahead with it. Friday morning it drizzled. My companion and I got up early and went to the church building to cook a cake since we don´t have an oven. It continued to drizzle all day, even through our RS activity we had (crocheting) which was at 5pm, but by the time we were getting all ready for the baptism at 6pm, the drizzling had stopped. It was still super cloudy and a little cold, but we all drove out to the outdoor swimming pool en the pueblito where the branch president lives. I´m pretty sure we looked goofy all in coats in the cold, heading to the swimming pool with soda and cake.  Kusi changed into the overalls which she hated and ended up having a nervous breakdown, but we got her calmed down. We had a small devotional and a pretty good amount of members showed up. It was really an amazing experience. At one point I was sure it was raining nearby, but we weren´t getting wet at all, haha. Kusi was so happy and yesterday she got confirmed. She´s such an amazing example for me. She was so prepared for the gospel. So many things her mother taught her (even though she was catholic) helped her understand the commandments and begin to obey them immediately. I hope with all my heart that she will be an amazing example for her family and for her boyfriend who is kind of less active. And of course for her son, who attended the baptism and told his mom that just maybe he would like to be baptized too.

Another miracle happened yesterday. Somehow we always end up having investigators at church. Sometimes it´s not at all who we expected, but they do show up. Yesterday we passed by for our 3 investigators that have baptismal dates. One was sick, the other couldn´t make it because of her father, and the other one wasn´t at home. We were super bummed. BUT, in the course of waiting for members to show up, one member brought one of our investigators, one member brought his nephew, and another recent convert showed up with his girlfriend. And then after sacrament meeting ended, one of our investigators we had found in the week showed up by himself and another family showed up in which the husband is not a member. It was super awesome! One thing I love about being in this tiny branch is I know everyone and all their stories. I also know who is super active, who is really not and who is having some problems. And sometimes I actually know what those problems entail. But it´s super cool because it was fast and testimony meeting and some people bore their testimonies who haven´t in a really long time and it was just so sweet and amazing to listen to their short little testimonies. 

And then, to finish, we try to have family home evenings as a branch every sunday night. It´s a little hard because some people live super far away. Anywho, we made plans with the branch president to have a family home evening with a couple that live in another pueblo about an hour away. When we all got there we had an amazing little lesson about the plan of salvation with this couple and like 10 other members of their family who are not members. we played a game and ate sweet bread with rice pudding. It was so much fun. I love these moments when I feel like I´m actually helping people, bringing families and church members closer together. Then, when we finished, the branch president took us back home. He has a little girl, Abish, and we all ended up singing and laughing the whole time. I really feel like they are part of my family. I have come to love so many people here on the mission and especially here in Grajales. 

okay, well I think that is all for now. I have to go finish my plans for salientes!

Love you all lots!












Hermana Enright

Friday, September 1, 2017

Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood (Aislin)

. . . And metal. And plastic. And literally anything that even slightly resembles a door. Seriously, this week has been full of knocking. That's basically all we've done! We don't have a lot of people to teach right now so we spent as much time as we can outside talking to people. But that's good! Sister Barlow and I have had a lot of opportunities to improve our contacting/doorstep skills.

  I don't have too much to tell but I do have one story

  Friday night we were out knocking and we met this cute little German couple! They thought we were JWs at first and when we corrected them, the wife said, "Oh Mormons! Yes, I like how sweet Mormons are." and then her husband said, "yeah! And I like that I can have five wives!" then his wife hit him on the arm and said, "You want 5 wives!? At your age!?" haha! Then we explained - to his slight disappointment - that we didn't actually practice polygamy.  Anyways. The husband wasn't very interested but his wife was and I wanted to share more with her, so right before he was about to close the door on us, I recognized a Jan Vermeer painting on the wall behind him so I said, "Hey! I know that painting! Can I come see it?" and so he let us in! THANK YOU, ART HISTORY CLASSES. We learned that the husband wasn't religious at all but his wife went to school in a convent and was still very religious herself. We ended up talking about the Plan of Salvation and how we could be sealed to our families forever. When I bore my testimony of eternal families, the wife glanced at her husband and said, "Yes. I'd like to believe that too. . . " That made me so sad! :( I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation! I love my family more than anything and I don't know what I would do without them. I'm so glad I get to live with them forever!

  Anyways. Sorry this is so short. . . This morning we played Spike Ball with the elders which was actually a lot of fun. Then Sister Barlow and I went clothes shopping because we needed winter clothes. Yeesh, I hate clothes shopping but I also love being out in the snow, so I've got to be prepared when that day comes. Honestly, sometimes I pray for it to snow soon. 

  I love you all! Stay awesome! P.S. I finished reading the Book of Mormon this morning and I was reminded of what an amazing book it is. There is no way on earth that it could not be true! Read this awesome talk from Tad R. Callister (my main man. Seriously, he's one of my favorites). 


OK, now for reals. I think that's all. Love you!!! :)

- Sister Enright










Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 28, 2017 (Erin)

Okay, so I have now started my last first week of a transfer...AH! And this has resulted in trouble going to sleep at night, which is just great. I hope it doesn´t last long because this girl needs to sleep if she´s gonna funcion. 
The best news for this past week is that our investigator, Cusi, passed her interview so she´s getting baptized on Friday!!!!!!!!!!WOOHOO! She´s seriously a miracle and I love her so very much. And my goal is to get her son baptized as well. 

Um, one of my favorite things in this area is that some members (less active) own a panaderĂ­a (they sell sweet bread) and they always let us take some home, free mind you. Tender mercy of the Lord because I am absolutely addicted to the sweet bread here and they sell it on practically EVERY corner. It´s also a miracle that I don´t weigh like 200 pounds at this point. 

Oh another miracle...so the branch president is a convert and no one else in his family is a member. We go to their house for lunch every sunday (he lives with his mom and sisters and their kids) and for a awhile we simply ate, shared a message with the branch president and his wife and then left.  A few times we asked the branch president if his family would like to listen, but they were always busy. But about two weeks ago we asked to speak to his mom and set up an appointment to meet with her during the week. The day we had the appointment the branch president messaged us to remind us, all super excited and told us that it was the FIRST official appointment his mom has ever had with missionaries. The appointment went really well actually and we set another for yesterday to teach them how to do a family home evening. That ended up being super fun and now we´re teaching the branch president´s Mom and like 5 of her grandkids. 

So yeah...I don´t know what else to tell you guys for this week...I´ll just send pictures. LOVE YOU ALL!

Ern 

 These two cuties are Uriel and Jose. Their twins and sons of a less active. I´m super proud of myself because I can totally tell them apart. We taught Primary yesterday because like 7 kids showed up and usually it´s just 2 and there was no teacher. So yeah, I hung out with them because my companion tends to get frustrated with the kids who are a little rebelious and want to do their own thing.

 I never get tired of the pretty landscapes here. 

My companion and I. My nose is SO sunburnt, poor thing. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

"It doesn't matter, because our message is true!" (Aislin)

 Hello, everyone! This is going to be a short email. Sorry! 

  After our last two weeks, with the New Missionary conference and Moroni's Quest, we're kind of back to square one here. Which means lots of knocking! It poured rain all day Saturday and so of course, we got pretty soaked! It was actually the best knocking experience I think I've ever had, just because I was so happy through it all. I love knocking in the rain! Every house we knocked on, we testified so boldly and even though no one was interested, we didn't get discouraged at all. We smiled asked for a referral and went on our way. House to house. There was one lady who answered the door and said what a pity it was that we were getting so wet! But we just smiled and said, "Oh it doesn't matter, because our message is true!" To be honest, she was much warmer to us after that. Still wasn't interested but I think we made an impression. Ha! Two soaking wet girls on her doorstep, grinning like lunatics through the downpour and proclaiming the truthfulness of the Restoration. I'm sure that with the Spirit that I was feeling that night, we impacted her somehow.
 Hello, everyone! This is going to be a short email. Sorry! 

  After our last two weeks, with the New Missionary conference and Moroni's Quest, we're kind of back to square one here. Which means lots of knocking! It poured rain all day Saturday and so of course, we got pretty soaked! It was actually the best knocking experience I think I've ever had, just because I was so happy through it all. I love knocking in the rain! Every house we knocked on, we testified so boldly and even though no one was interested, we didn't get discouraged at all. We smiled asked for a referral and went on our way. House to house. There was one lady who answered the door and said what a pity it was that we were getting so wet! But we just smiled and said, "Oh it doesn't matter, because our message is true!" To be honest, she was much warmer to us after that. Still wasn't interested but I think we made an impression. Ha! Two soaking wet girls on her doorstep, grinning like lunatics through the downpour and proclaiming the truthfulness of the Restoration. I'm sure that with the Spirit that I was feeling that night, we impacted her somehow.

When it was about 8:45 and we had to head back to the car in order to make it home on time, we started walking back down the street when I had a distinct impression that we missed someone. Honestly, Sister Barlow probably thinks I'm insane because I just stopped in my tracks and turned to stare back at the houses behind us, having a mental battle with myself, trying to decide whether it was a prompting from the Spirit or if I really was crazy (I feel like a lot of missionaries have experiences like those. I'm slowly learning to act on them no matter what because more often than not, it really is the Spirit). When Sister Barlow noticed I wasn't next to her anymore she asked what was wrong and I said, "We missed someone." So we ran back and knocked on one more door (trying not to seem out of breath), met Nancy, testified of eternal families, got her phone number and then ran all the way back to the car, laughing in the rain! I've had so many experiences where I'll act on something just because I think, "Well, what if that's the Spirit?" and then nothing comes from it, so I was worried that this might be one of those instances, and then I would feel bad for making Sister Barlow run through the rain just to get another "No, thank you." But! I can testify that 1. the promptings of the Spirit really are smaller than we believe. I've been told my whole life to listen for the "still small" voice of the Spirit but I think, unconsciously, I was still expecting a ghost-voice-of-Obi-Wan sort of experience. So remember! The general authorities aren't kidding when they describe the promptings of the Holy Ghost as being barely recognizable. 2. when you don't question it and just go for it, you will be blessed, and you'll bless others in the process. And. . . There was going to be a 3. but I can't remember what it was. . . Just remember to "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith," and strive to always be spiritual first responders! 

  I love you all more than I can even begin to describe! Thank you for your emails, your prayers, and your testimonies. Stay safe on your adventures! Love you!

- Sister Enright


PICTURES:

 Knocking in the rain!

 The biggest blueberries I've ever seen

 That awkward moment when you write "Alma 3:2" instead of "Alma 32". . . Very different scriptures (don't worry, I fixed it afterwards.)

Funny FB post from our Mission nurse (btw the eclipse here was super lame. Couldn't see anything!)