Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Winter is Coming

 Well. This week was a week. Let's just say it ended with me waking up Monday morning with a hideous cold sore on my face. Now Mom and my few siblings who have also been cursed with cold sores, understand my pain. 

  So yes. This week has been a bit stressful. But that's fine! We had exchanges yesterday and those are always nice. 

  Anyways. Winter is coming and it's starting to get very cold here. But no snow yet! DANG IT. We were going to go to the zoo today but it was closed for the Winter season already! Needless to say I was a little upset. That's the one thing I've always wanted to do for a p-day and we've never been able to figure it out until this week! But, *sigh*. It wasn't meant to be. So we went to see the Titanic and Halifax Explosion grave sites instead. Kind of a morbid alternative but it was still cool. It made me kind of sad that most of the people were just buried with a number because they were never able to successfully identify them. ​​

  WELL. I'm trying to make this email exciting and failing miserably. . . 

  This transfer is already halfway over and I can't believe it! We had zone conference this week and it was a blast. Except for the part where they made me do a roleplay in front of everyone. It's so frustrating for me that I can't speak well in front of people. It makes me feel like Moses does in Exodus 4:10. I need an Aaron. 

  WELP. Sorry this is such a lame email. I love you all! I'm so happy that Erin made it home safely! I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to tell people about my family and just watch their jaws drop as I tell them how many of my siblings have served missions. The most common response is, "Oh, your poor mother!" Haha! But I tell them not to worry. My mom's tough :)
  Seriously though, our family is the coolest, and I can't believe how awesome you all are. I'm grateful to all of my siblings who have served missions, for their examples and their testimonies. I'm grateful for my younger siblings, for their desires to serve and their support and admiration for all the older kids. I'm grateful for mom and dad, for raising in the gospel (not just in the church, in the gospel) and for helping us all realize our potentials as sharers and representatives of Christ and His gospel.

  I love you all! I hope you all take a minute today to just realize how awesome you are. Think about everything you are and everything you've become and are continuing to become. God has blessed us with so many Spiritual gifts! We should take Elder Pingree's advice to us from conference and really take time to discover and develop our individual Spiritual gifts because it's when we use the talents that we've been given - for good - that we bless and make a difference in others lives.

  Seriously though. Y'all are so cool. How did I get blessed with such a cool family?

  Love you to the moon and back!!!

- Sister Enright


PICTURES

 We knocked on J. Rowling's door! (Don't worry, we took the picture after nobody answered)

 Me and Sister Silvenoinnen. I love her so much!

Sister Davenport, Sister Silvenoinnen, and me (notice the handy collar hiding my cold sore)


Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!!!

 Hello, Family! And happy Thanksgiving!!! Today we have an all day P-day so we're gonna go over to the branch president's later today for our Thanksgiving meal and a movie!

  I don't have too much to say about this week but seeing that it's Thanksgiving, I just want to tell y'all about some of the many things I am grateful for in this beautiful world.

1. I'm grateful for my family (duh). I can't even begin to tell you how truly grateful I am for my brothers and sisters, Dion and Harmony, and my amazing mom and dad. Seriously, you guys are amazing. I'm grateful for the many, many family dinners, family home evenings, vacations, holidays, walks to the park, hours spent trying to get one or two good photos, laughs, road trips, Skype calls, zoo trips, bike rides, and scripture studies that we have had together. The more often I am away from my family, the more and more I realize that that time I've spent with them is more than precious - it is priceless. I can't even tell you how grateful I am for the knowledge that I can live with my family forever, because Heaven wouldn't be home if my family wasn't there.

2. I'm grateful for The Book of Mormon. I've been studying chapter 13 of 1 Nephi this week and it's made me realize - yet again - what "a marvelous work and a wonder" the Book of Mormon really is. I'm going to quote Elder Holland here because no one can say it better. 
  "I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days." 
  That is my hope as a missionary, that I can always bear powerful witness and testimony of the truthfulness and the divinity of the Book of Mormon, because I know it to be true and it is now my responsibility to share that knowledge with the world.

3. I'm grateful for nature! Seriously, Fall is the best time to remember how grateful we are for the beauty that is all around us because nothing is prettier than a world in Autumn. Every day, whether we're on the road driving past miles of red and orange forests, or standing on the docks admiring the blue, blue ocean, or looking up at all the stars in the sky, or the clouds on the horizon, jumping in rain puddles, running up hills, or picking wild flowers, I just think to myself, how could someone look at all that beauty and not believe there is God in heaven who loves us? Alma 30:44, "All things denote there is a God. . . and do witness that there is a Supreme Creator!". 

4. I'm grateful for my  best friend, Sister Rivera who is without a doubt, the best friend I could ever ask for! She's an amazing example of spiritual strength, faith and charity, and is doing wonders in Arizona! I'm grateful for all my missionary friends who are spreading the gospel throughout the world and fulfilling the prophecies of ancient and modern-day prophets, that “. . . the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly,and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." I love this gospel with all my heart and cannot thank my God enough for giving me and thousands of other young men and young women my age the opportunity to represent our Savior and share His message with the world!

5. Last of all, I'm grateful for my Savior. He has done for me than I could ever imagine anyone wanting to do. He has loved me despite my faults and helped me through every trial and every challenge of my life. He has brought me peace and joy when the world would tell me that it's impossible to have either, and it is because of Him I have so many things to be grateful for :)

  I love you all!!! I could go on and on about the things I'm grateful for today but I don't have enough time! I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the Fall! :)

- Sister Enright


 That blue, blue ocean I was talking about

 A baby crab!

 That awkward moment when you match the dog​​

Car photos. Classic​​

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Happy October!!! (Aislin)

Happy October!!! 'Tis the best month of the year, and I'm living in the perfect little October-y town with an awesome new companion and a beautiful apartment. I'm sorry, did I say apartment? I meant house. That's right. We're living in a two story, beautifully furnished, Austenian-style HOUSE. It belongs to one of the members who build for his son to sell antiques out of (which is why it looks Austenian) but I guess his son sold all his antiques because now we get to live there. And I'm not lying when I say it's gorgeous. I feel so ridiculously spoiled! The last people to live in it was actually a senior couple and we were told that they left some food in the pantry for us. When we got there we found a lot of weird bran cereals, but also a half full jar of Nutella, so I was pretty happy.

  Also, Annapolis Royal looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale. I LOVE IT. I feel like I'm in Europe or somewhere equally magical (like Canada!). The first night we were walking around, I was pretty close to tears but also couldn't stop laughing because of how happy I was to be here. There is SOOOO much history here! So many museums and historic sites to visit for P-day - Like Port Royal! Dreams do come true, guys. 

  Anyways. I'll try and start from the beginning. *Clears throat*

  Sister Barlow and I spent a lot of our day last P-day cleaning out our apartment, then that night we drove down to Sackville to spend the night with the sister there, and to be ready to head to the mission office for transfers early the next morning. Thursday morning, we drove to Dartmouth and I helped Sister Barlow to pack her things in the trailer and then, just as I turned my back they drove off with her before I could say goodbye! 
  Then I went on exchanges with Sister Cahoon for a few hours as we waited for our new companions to come! Also, the office senior missionaries gave some brownies while we were waiting and I had a really bad allergic reaction which means I greeted my new companion with a very fat lip. Nice. 

  After I picked up Sister Davenport, we drove all the way back to Wolfville to grab all my stuff from the apartment there, do one last visit to my investigators, and then onward to Annapolis Royal! 

  So. Down to business. This area has never had sisters and they haven't had proselyting missionaries for at least two years, so we went to visit the branch president first thing. He's from Northern England and so basically has the best accent ever. Our branch is pretty small with just about 35 active members, and they're all so excited to see missionaries again! I'm so excited to work here!

  Conference this weekend was SO GOOD. There were so many talks on service, humility, and self confidence. I also loved how many people brought up President Monson's Book of Mormon challenge from last conference and shared their experiences with it. I loved When Russell M. Nelson mentioned how he's been reading the Book of Mormon every day for 50 years, but that didn't mean he could just blow off President Monson's challenge, so he decided to follow the prophet's counsel and take his reading and studying of the Book of Mormon more seriously! I loved that so much because I feel like there have been times where general authorities will extend an invitation for us to live a gospel standard, but I'll think, "Oh hey, I'm already doing that so I'm good." and by doing that, I'm missing out on blessings I could be receiving if I were to follow the prophet - whether or not I think I already am - and improve that aspect of my discipleship by studying my scriptures more thoroughly, praying more sincerely, appreciating the sacrament more, etc. We can always be improving our discipleship. The Doctrine of Christ is an upward spiral! We don't endure to the end by walking in circles. Continuing repentance and ever-strengthening faith will continue to push us upwards and onwards! UGH I love the Doctrine of Christ. I love General Conference. In institute a couple weeks ago, the teacher asked how we would feel if we were among the crowd that listened to King Benjamin's sermon, and everyone agreed that it would've been an amazing and humbling experience and just like the Saints then, they probably would've had, "no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually," - but we get that every six months! General Conference is our very own King Benjamin experience, I hope we appreciate it as much as those Nephites did! I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to listen to prophets and apostles every six months!

  Well. It's time to go, but I want you to know how much I love you all!!! I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart! I've decided that reading it every day isn't good enough. I need to be really honestly studying it, harder than I ever have before! I love General Conference, I love this gospel, I love my Savior and His apostles, and I'm so glad that I get the chance to testify of my faith every day!

  I love you all! Stay strong and keep praying! :)

- Sister Enright

PICTURES:


 Mein new companion, Sister Davenport!


 Moi

 My cute companion and I


 We made our own battleship game because we got bored one night

 I WON :D

 Our beautiful house

 I had to do some work on the computer and sis. Davenport had to practice the piano for her new branch calling, so in order to keep the computer-use rules we decided to move the RS piano out into the hallway. Problem solving.


Port Anne's 

10-2-17 Erin's (Probably) Last Email

Okay, so I don´t know if I will be able to email you all next Monday, so this might possibly be the last email you guys receive from me in the mission. That´s super sad :(

I want you all to know that I love you and I´m so darn excited to see you!

I will miss my mission deeply. I have learned so much here in Mexico and every day I am so glad I made the decision (a super hard one at the time) to serve. It wasn´t at all like I expected, to be honest. And some days were super duper hard, but I feel like everything I went through has helped me become a better person. I am eternally grateful for all the experiences I have had, the good and the bad. 

One of the most important things I have learned is about my Savior. I cannot express my infinite gratitude for what Christ has done for me and everyone here on earth. I have come to understand more fully the importance of the atonement, of the plan of salvation and the doctrine of Christ. I love my savior with all my heart. I will be forever in his debt, but the greatest news is that he has made it possible for me to pay my part. I know without a doubt that Christ is the Son of God, that he is my redeemer and that ONLY through him and his doctrine can I return to the presence of God and live in the Celestial kingdom. I am so amazed by the perfect plan that God has given us that we have the opportunity to become like Him. He is such a loving Heavenly Father and I have been able to feel that love for the people here in Puebla. It as been amazing to be part of His work here and to teach and serve His children. 

I have come to better understand the importance of obedience. Please be obedient guys, it´s the only true way to happiness. I have come to better understand and love the commandments of God. I have listened to far too many sad and tragic stories of families and individuals who have been destroyed for their disobedience. Obedience to the commandments of God is the smartest way to live. Its our protection from Satan. There is so much power that God wants to give us, but he cannot when we do not follow His guidance. I have also come to truly understand how good and fast Satan his at his work to tempt us and make us believe that we cannot win. The saddest part of this trap is that it´s so far from the truth, but so many believe it. God will ALWAYS have more power than Satan. Satan cannot win, he never will. The power we receive from covenants and the priesthood will enable us to overcome the temptations of Satan, but we have to believe it will and work hard every day to be worthy of those promises and blessings. 

I will be very sad to leave Puebla. I feel like I will leave half of my heart here in Mexico. I have truly come to appreciate the culture and the language. Goodness I love Spanish. I love that people are kind and friendly here. I love that it is so easy to talk to others here about God and Christ. The people here do not live the easiest of lives, but so many of them do everything they can to be have a living, to be happy, and to support their families. They are truly hard workers. I feel very privileged to have been able to preach the Gospel in this country and help the promises in the Book of Mormon come to pass. In the Book of Mormon there is a part where it explains that those who wrote it and guarded those plates with all their strength did so in hopes that in many many years the descendants of those Lamanites would read their writings and come to accept the gospel and Jesus Christ. I love this part because I had the opportunity to help these very people come to the knowledge of the gospel. 

I truly cherish the Book of Mormon and all it´s stories. It gives me strength when days are hard. I love the stories and truths it contains and I hope everyone of you are reading it every day, like the prophet and apostles have pleaded us to do.

 I feel like my mission has really helped me prepare for my future. To be a better wife and mother, and to be a better daughter of God. I want my future family to be safe, to work together for eternal life, to be obedient, and to serve one another and others with love. I want my home to be a safe haven for my children and thanks to my mission I feel like I am so much more prepared to help others and especially my future family. 

Okay, well I love you all so stinkin' much and I love this gospel,  I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I will see you all soon. Be happy! 

hermana Enright

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Blitz Week and Transfers (Aislin)

 WOW this week was CRAZY and I'm going to have to sum it up as fast as I can because Sister Barlow and I still have to finish packing and cleaning and saying goodbye to members. Yup, we got our transfer news yesterday. We're both leaving Wolfville! And they're not even replacing us meaning that the elders will control their area and ours. Weird. Sister Barlow is headed to P.E.I. and I'm going to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia to open the area! My companion is going to be Sister Davenport. She came out with Sister Barlow so she's a newer missionary. I'm super excited for my new area!!! They haven't had proselyting missionaries there for a few years (they had a senior couple there but they went home at the beginning of this last transfer) but they still managed to get 3 baptisms in their tiny branch over the last year. It sounds like it's got a lot of potential and I'm excited! I'll still be in the same district (I'll only be about an hour from Wolfville) so on Wednesdays, when we have district meeting, Sister Davenport and I will be able to spend some time in Kentville to continue to teach Maddy! And I'll be able to attend her baptism and the baptisms of the other 2 investigators that Sister Barlow and I had in Wolfville that we had to hand over to the elders. 

  Anyways. Now that's out of the way, I can tell you about our Blitz week which was crazy busy and full of blessings! Each day we had specific challenges we had to work with and it made the work so much fun and also helped us to realize our capacity to work hard as missionaries. Seriously, this week we worked SO hard and at the same time, at the end of the day I always thought, "Wow, that was easy. Why haven't we always worked this hard?", so I definitely feel more determined to work that hard every week now!

  On Wednesday our challenge was to share a scripture with as many people as we possibly could. So we basically walked around downtown Wolfville all day, stopping everyone we saw to ask them if we could share a scripture with them. A brilliant finding strategy that I wish I'd thought of earlier. Most people were willing to stop and listen and a lot of them became potentials simply because the power of the short verse we read with them. It was so awesome to see how the converting power of the Book of Mormon can come through even the shortest of verses (no, we didn't share, "And my father dwelt in a tent." though we tried to work it in somehow)! 

  On Thursday we had three lessons and they were all amazing. The first was with our new investigator Helen (I'm really sad that we have to hand her over to the elders but I'm also pretty confident in her "elect-ness" and trust that she will progress no matter who teaches her). She is a student at university here so we had to meet with her between her classes. We met at a little restaurant for lunch and discreetly taught her the restoration because we weren't sure if we would get in trouble for teaching in the restaurant. So we just slid pamphlets to her across the table and all, it was kind of funny, haha. But anyways. We started off the lesson just by telling her about our families and how we have lived the gospel growing up and how it's affected us. I told her about Dad's conversion story and it made her so happy! She told us that she loved hearing the stories of people who have been religious their whole lives, but that there was something about someone finding the gospel after years of searching that made her excited to learn. She expressed to us how jealous she was that we had had the knowledge of the restoration our whole lives and how badly she wanted to be a part of it (I know, every missionary's dream-investigator, right!?) and so we told her that she could be and we invited her to be baptized on October 21! I think Bayley would agree with me that that's the perfect day to have a baptism :) One of my favorite parts during the lesson was when we talked about the Book of Mormon and I handed a copy to her. She held it so gently and you could see the reverence she had for it. When we told her that she could keep it, I thought she might cry! I'm so excited for her and I hope the elders take good care of her.

  Our second lesson was actually with this guy named Nathan, who Sister Barlow and I met a few weeks ago. This was our third lesson with him and - funny story - our last lesson we had with him, we talked about the Book of Mormon and invited him to read it. Then, this week we called him to set up an appointment and asked him how his reading was going to which he responded, ". . . You didn't leave me a book." WHOOPS. *Awkward* So Thursday night we brought him a book! When we first met him, we thought that it would be the best idea to let the elders teach him, so during our lesson we told Nathan about the elders and set up a time for them to come back. Then we texted the elders all the details and reminded them at least twice a day over the rest of the week to call him and confirm the appointment. Anyways (I promise there's a point to this), Sunday night we got a text from the elders that said, "Just called Nathan. He's on chapter 13 of 1 Nephi. Great job!", so that was our blessing of the day!!! He's on date for the 28 of October but we allowed the elders to change that if needs be. BUT if the 28 still works out, I'll be able to come down from Annapolis Royal for his baptism! 

  Our third lesson was with Maddy and it was on scripture study. We showed her our scriptures with all our markings and shared why we loved them and what we learned from studying them. We brought her some colored pencils so that she could mark her scriptures up too and committed her to read her Book of Mormon every day and find a favorite verse she could show us the next time we came back. When we came back the next day she very excitedly pulled out her Book of Mormon and gave it to us and showed us the verses she had marked, and then her scripture study notebook where she wrote down the verses and what she liked about them! AH, my heart just about melted at that. I love to see my investigators truly loving the Book of Mormon!

  On Friday our challenge was to share the Doctrine of Christ with everyone and so. . . We did. Another brilliant finding strategy that worked super well. We walked around downtown Wolfville again and caught all the students walking to and from class. Bus stops were my favorite because we could stand there and preach to 6-8 people and they couldn't go anywhere or else they would have missed their bus. Ha! It was pretty sick though. I love the Doctrine of Christ and it was amazing to see how simply we could teach it. Often our contacts were less than 3 minutes because people were on their way to classes and such. The doctrine of Christ is so beautifully simple and yet so intricately interlaced with every facet of missionary work and our lives as children of God. That is why I love it so much! 

  Anyways. That's most of my week. Not all of it, but the best of it :) I'm super pumped for General Conference!!! Seriously, we've been counting down the days and reading/listening to a lot of the talks from last conference in preparation. I hope you all enjoy the weekend!!! I look forward to hearing about all your favorite talks! I love you all and am grateful for you every day!!! Stay awesome and keep reading the Book of Mormon!

- Sister Enright

9-25-17 (Erin)

Hey guys, so...I´m sick! YAY!
This morning we woke up super duper early to get to Xonacatepec around 6am so we could see some of my converts before they took off to work and school. Then like half way through our visits my compa got sick, so we booked it back to Grajales. On the way I got sick and we had to get off the bus, uck. So yeah, we´re back safely in Grajales thankfully. 

Let´s see...Women´s conference was awesome. I loved Uchdortf´s talk. We only got to see like half of the talks because it kept pausing on us, but I´ll jsut re-watch them later. I´m super stoked for next week and have all my what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-my-life questions ready so I can get some inspiration and not panic too badly about going back home. 

Um...what else...OH I started playing the piano for sacrament meeting because literally no one plays and we have to put in the CD´s, so I thought, "I can play a little, maybe I should be a good sport and serve my fellow beings with what little talent I have". Ha. It´s nice because I really do love to play, but it´s kind of like the first time ever that I have played while people sing and it doesn´t help that no one can really carry a tune, so if I mess up it kind of messes everyone up. And plus like 2 or three REALLY IMPORTANT and often used keys don´t work. But that´s fine. 

So yeah, I´m gonna I was gonna send you photos but it´s not working, so you get to wait again. SORRY!

Love you all!
Ern

Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 18, 2017 (Erin)

Well, I was gonna send you guys pictures, but it`s not working. Also I`m super sad because I think I officially lost for good my USB with all my photos. i kind of just want to cry. I have looked everywhere and asked in all the places that we have used computers in the last couple weeks and its nowhere to be found. So if you guys want to pray for my USB and that it will magically show up, that would be great. 

I got my information about my flight home today, which is super weird. My plans for leaving are coming along as well, kind of. This last week we had intercambios with the sister training leadesr, which was a definite need. I got to go to Loma Bonita, in Tlaxcala. I`ve always wanted to work in this area, but never got the chance till intercambios. I even got to see a member from one of my old areas that was staying with her aunt. I may or may not have planned that, but whatever., 

Let`s see...well in my "spare" time I have been crocheting a hat. We`ve been having relief society activities and we all get together crochet or cook, which has been fun and helpful since when we first got to Grajales, there was not a whole lot of unity in the branch, but it`s growing. 

I`m going to go visit my first area next Monday and see my first converts. I`m super excited but we have to get up super early to get there in time to see them before they take off for work and school. 

This past friday we went home early because of independence day here. The park was full of fairground stuff and little rides, but today they`ve packed up everything. 

What else...we`re teaching this woman named Marisol. She has a baptism date and everything. She`s the girlfriend of a recent convert. Her life is a pretty sad story and when we first met her she was a pretty sad sight. She didn`t smile, she wasn`t happy or positive. But with only a few weeks with her, she has changed so much. She`s happier and has a little more hope for her future and for her family. We had a family home evening with her, some members, and her family, last night. It went really well. Now we`re just waiting to see what will happen between her and her boyfriend. They`ve been together for years.

Well, I love you all lots. I`m so excited to see you guys in a few weeks. It`s super weird, but oh well. Right now I`m gonna go get to work.

LOVE YA!
Hermana Enright