Monday, December 30, 2013

Feliz Ano Nuevo! (Kegan)

Hello everybody! I hope everybody enjoyed their Christmases because if you didn´t, que fome, but seriously Christmas should have been an absolutely awesome day for you guys because it was made awesome for me.

Quick rewind, on Monday I found out that we were pretty much on our own in every way to call our families on Christmas, meaning we would also need to have our own independent Skype accounts to call on Christmas day, which I didn´t have, problema.  So on Monday I tried to direct the making of my Skype account through one way communication email and prayed the next two days that all would go well.

The night of Christmas eve, in my mission, we were permitted to share Christmas eve dinner with a family in the ward but still had to be back home by 10.  Which kind of negates the permission to have Christmas eve dinner because here in Chile they like to eat a late Christmas eve dinner so that at midnight they can shout Feliz Navidad hug each other and open presents.  But we were able to have dinner with a family nice enough to move their dinner to earlier in the night in order to have it with us.  So the rest of the day was supposed to be a normal day of proselyting, but everyone was pretty much at the beach.  So we did what proselyting we could while preparing for that night by buying food to bring with us to the dinner, making brownies to gift, and wrapping presents.  We passed briefly by Jaqueline and Nachi (her daughter) because her older daughter (Kimberly) was spending Christmas with her father in the South of Chile.  Rushing around trying to proselyte, prepare and give gifts, and prepare for dinner was a bit of a task but in the end we were heading to dinner.  We ate in Loncura ( a little town about ten minutes from Quintero that is in our sector) with the Bustamante Family.  Hermana Bustamante reminds me a lot of my Grandma and is super fun to be around in part because of her sarcastic anti-mormon jokes and because she served years and years ago in this same mission area.  Her husband Hermano Bustamante has been very sick lately but has been improving day by day and loves to have the missionaries over.  Their daughter Belen is one of the most active members in the Ward and has helped us teach Azaria and Victor for weeks.  Her son Gaspar was there too, eating meat with his hands like it was a cookie and screaming garbled versions of Back in Black.  It was a very fun night despite the fact that I forgot to bring brownies to the dinner, don´t worry, dinner was still awesome with amazing almost steak (which they don´t have in Chile, NOOOooooooooo) beef and even better cooked vegetables.  The only and best Dinner I have had here in Chile.

We returned to our pension after dinner, opened presents, took pictures and listened to A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief several times on the little portable DVD player we have in the pension.

The next day we called our families after lunch.  We were able to procure two laptops from loving members to take into the church and use to use Skype. (fetch my English is taking a nosedive) We were only allowed 40 minutes (Unlike some spoiled brats who got 45 minutes, ·cough· Rhys·cough·) But it was totally worth it.  For about ten minutes all three of us Enright missionaries were on Skype with our family talking and staring at each others faces.  I definitely did NOT cry, and definitely NOT like four times.  We all discussed missions, different areas, and shared testimonies while marveling at the changes that have taken place in our lives and he lives of our family members back home.  For example my baby sister seems to have disappeared and been replaced by a taller, but still small, human being who speaks Spanish in a high pitched voiced, quite the opposite of the taller, uglier, human that seems to have taken the place of my brother and talks in a deeper much fouler voice.  

The rest of this week we have walked a lot, participated in the Baptism of Victor, for which his family came from Viña, Confirmed both Hilda and Victor this Sunday, and have given several blessings of health that I am praying are not the result of Brownies I gifted on Christmas.  Your prayers in this matter and all others are also very much appreciated.  

Happy New Years!

Elder Enright
Victor's Baptism

Awesome new new hats for Christmas.

That´s still the hat, Chile hasn´t changed me THAT much.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Day Skype

On Christmas we managed to accomplish a four-way Skype with all of our missionaries at once.  They were each limited to about 40 minutes, and didn't all get on at once, so everyone only overlapped for about 15 minutes, but it was a great 15 minutes.  Here is Rhys in Formosa Province, Argentina; Bayley in Pasadena, Texas; and Kegan in Quintero, Chile on Christmas morning (afternoon for Elders Enright).


And after Bayley had to sign off so her companion could have a turn to talk with her family:


And Kegan describing the wind off the ocean in Chile to Rhys who is sweating in 104 degree heat in Argentina:


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Navinavinavinavidad!!! (Rhys)

WOOOOHHHOOOOOO! look who got permision yesterday to have an hour to write to his family and read/print out emails and pretty much get to finalize plans for skype!? Okay, so pretty much every single person in La Gran Misión Argentina Resistencia. . . Including meeee!! But, considering that I pretty much know exactly what I´m going to be doing to call my family tomorrow, all of you lovely people are in luck and get to read another wonderfully crafted email from one of the hottest places on earth, for those of you wondering where that is, you really should already know.

       Last week when we all got to email and normal p-day stuff, we all received an email "reminding" us that for the activity on the 23rd (yesterday) we all needed to buy a present of no more or less than ten pesos. Well, I don't know if just me and my whole district missed the earlier memo or if something else may have happened, but we pretty much were looking for something good to give as a ten peso gift for the 23rd activity. While contacting houses and in between lessons, we´d walk by the little kioscos in our area and try to find something for only ten pesos that didn´t really really stink as a Christmas gift. For only ten pesos. Just a little fun fact here, ten pesos doesn´t get you too much here in the way of Christmas gifts. I ended up getting a really tiny and cheap flashlight and some water balloons, not much, but something. SO all prepared for the activity, yesterday morning we all ( all the formosa missionaries that is, 3 of the zones at least) loaded onto a large colectivo (big bus thingy) and headed off to Resistencia. We arrived and pretty much everyone wanted to talk in the exact same spot outside the chapel, making moving around or finding anyone nearly impossible. But I met up with Elder Cannon and we watched the Christmas devotional in the chapel and after there was picture taking and lunch and the white elephant activity and music. All in all it was pretty awesome, but now I feel really stupid cause there´s something kind of major that I actually forgot to tell you guys.

 I have a new companion. He´s from Santiago Chile and his name is Elder Marilaf and I´m pretty much super grateful for the oportunity to get to serve in my area still, just with a new companion. So now I have my own Chileano companion and we´re working hard to find new investigators.  I love Elder Marilaf and we´re having fun.

And last, but certainly not least (I did promise to keep you updated) just this last Wednesday, first day of transfers and first day in this area with my new companion, I got the double dragon again. Pretty much what happened last time just without leaving the pension for a few hours and without the call with president. Instead I had the oportunity to call the mission presidents wife and pretty much say in Spanish "Hi, I am sick again, what do I do? Same thing, basically? Great, I love pepto bismol." Though really this time I also had to call a doctor and keep him updated because it was only nine days since I had the same thing and basically keep him updated on my problems.

I´m out of time now, but I really wanted to say Feliz Navidad to everyone (especially my family) and Happy Birthday(!!) to my Baby sister and my large headed little brother, I miss you all and can´t wait to see you tomorrow!!

ELder Enright

Monday, December 23, 2013

CHRISTMAS!!! (Kegan)

It`s Christmassssss!!!, or at least it should be!!!!!!

Christmas here in Chile is seriously very different from the States.  Just this past Friday the town finally decided to put lights out and so the town center is strung in Christmas lights and a gigantic inflatable pirate boat is sitting in the middle of the town, not sure what relation Pirates have with Christmas unless they believe Santa raids other towns to bring the ¨booty (argh)¨to the good kids.  No matter how hard they try though the decorations don´t make up for the fact that it is getting hotter here every day and everybody but me and my comp are going to the beach.

Speaking of said comp.  Changes were this Wednesday but the story starts Tuesday.  Sooooooooo   on Tuesday our district leader, Elder Ramirez wanted to do intercambios for the week for some reason the day before and of changes (intercambios have to be from 12 one day until 12 the next, in total 24 hours)  So I spent my Tuesday on the other side of Quintero with Elder McDaniels, we actually found a lot of new investigators and taught a lot of people, it was pretty awesome.  That night I even made Brownies in hopes that changes would produce a Christmas miracle so that I would have a very happy Christmas.  

The next morning we received the call from our zone leaders right after we had returned from the park doing exercises, or if you´d prefer, PUMPING IRON.  Knowing that we had intercambios that day they told both Elder McDaniels and I that we would be staying.  Right after they hung up I called my companion to find out what would happen with him and Elder Ramirez.  We had a brief conversation in which he said he would be staying, as well as Elder Ramirez, for the next change. Later in the day we left the pension to meet up with the other two on the other side of Quintero in the Bunker, big collectin of condominios where me and my comp had lunch that day. Once we were together again Elder Ramirez said he had to leave soon in order to pack.  Turns out Elder Gomez had not been entirely truthful, because He was not going to stay, and neither was Elder Ramirez.  

That meant changes meeting, during which I saw Elder Call (YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY) and Elder Yorgansen (YAAAAAAAAAAAAYY) and was assigned as senor comp with Elder Correa in Quintero.

In other news Hilda was Baptised this Sunday during which she was very emotional and unwilling to let her pack of Kleenex go for fear of a lack of tissue once she started to feel super emotional.  It was a very awesome meeting for the amount of panic we´d had the hour beforehand trying to find people to replace those who had agreed to give talks but then were unable to.  

Hilda is a huge example to the members for her strength in testimony and absolute love of the doctrine.  I can´t wait for Hilda to be confirmed a member next week and to begin teaching her friends, no matter their first reluctance to our invitations.

As for all you guys I hope you are going to have an excellent Christmas wherever you´re located.

Until next monday!!!


Feliz Navidad to everyone!

Changes!  (sorry, Kegan didn't say who was who)

Hilda's baptism

Merry Christmas! (Bayley)

Merry Christmas everyone!  My goodness, I still can't believe it's almost Christmas, even though it's basically here.  Probably the palm trees and absence of snow are part of the confusion, but nevertheless it's practically here!  And I am so excited to be a missionary for Christmas.  There is something so special about being a missionary at Christmastime.
 
Anyways, as you may recall, I was transferred this last week.  Here's how it went down.
 
Tuesday morning I awoke bright and early at 4am to finish packing and writing notes to people and in general being absolutely sure I was all the way set to leave.  Which of course I wasn't, but we'll just pretend I was.  April and Evelyn, two of my most favoritest people in all the world, drove Sister Johnson and I down to transfers, which - despite the mission rumor that it was going to be small since President didn't want to transfer too many people before Christmas - was a giant meeting full of emotionally unstable missionaries who had all be completely shocked by the transfer calls since they, like me, had been lulled into a false sense of security due to the Christmas holiday.  Ah transfer calls.  Still my least favorite thing.  But hey!  I survived!  I am now in good ol' PASADENA, TX with my new companion, Sister Boam!  I LOVE Sister Boam.  She is basically exactly like my older sister to a t (why is that even a phrase).  I love her.  I've also gotten her obsessed with the Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game (one of my many useless talents) and in fact she woke up this morning and like the first thing she said was "I still can't figure out how to connect Antonio Banderas to Lindsey Lohan," which was one of the puzzles I'd given her last night.  Ha! (Note: for those of you who don't know what Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon is - which is probably all of you - it's when you name any actor or actress and connect them back to Kevin Bacon, except I play the modified version of just two actors or actresses, not necessarily Kevin Bacon).  I am so excited for this area.  It is quite different from Lake Charles though, one of the biggest differences being that Pasadena is affectionately known as "Little Mexico" because there are roughly a bajillion Spanish speakers here, which certainly makes tracting interesting since at least 50% of the time we're knocking on Spanish doors.  Here's what those contacts are like:
Us: "Hi we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!"
Random person: *shakes head, holds up hands* "Espanol"
Us: "Um, Espanol...no..." *frantically trying to remember relevant Spanish* "Missioneras.."
Random person: *looks alarmed*
Us: *throwing out random Spanish words*
Random person: *shakes head sympathetically and shuts the door*
Yeah that's about how it goes down every time.  We have Spanish-speaking sisters who work the same area as us so we usually try and ask them if like some missionaries who can speak Spanish could come back, but even just asking that requires a bit more Spanish-speaking skills than I currently have.  Thanks to my several years of Spanish class, I can name most animals, colors, and vehicles - but none of those are very helpful in contacting.
 
Leaving Lake Charles was hard though.  I was so blessed there.  So many of the people I met will remain part of my life forever.  That is one of the most amazing things about missionary work - since you're basically just being an instrument in God's hand, He guides you to those people who He knows you need or maybe who He knows need you, and so the people you meet and come to love on your mission have such a special place in your heart forever because they are those choice spirits that God put in your path.  It's amazing.
 
Anyways, since it is Christmas, and since Christmas is really a time of year in which you are particularly aware of all the blessings you've received and all the things that you love, I decided it was time to make a list.  It's been too long since my last list anyways.  So let's talk about some things that I LOVE:

1. Studying the scriptures every morning.  There is seriously no better way to start your morning off.
2. Sticky notes.  It's bad.
3. The scriptural phrase  "one by one."
4. Hot chocolate.
5. Letters. Just sayin'...
6. Louisiana skies!  Except I guess I should Texas skies now...(*whispers* but really Louisiana skies, forever)
7. Dry erase boards
8. The tender mercies of the Lord.  Let me tell you a story.  Day 2 in Pasadena, we're walking along having spent our entire day knocking doors with minimal success, and now it's dark out and our appointment has just cancelled but we're DETERMINED TO BE HAPPY AND GET WORK DONE, and all of the sudden this truck pulls up alongside us and the woman calls out and asks if we're Jehovah's Witnesses.  We say no and get to talking to her for a little while, and then she looks at me and says "you are cold, take my scarf" and despite my protests she takes her scarf off and wraps it around my neck.  "I can't take your scarf!" I told her, to which she responded that I needed to, that we were little angels, and she couldn't see us be cold.  She told us her husband was sick and asked if we could pray for him.  The next day we went by and starting teaching her - and she wouldn't take her scarf back.  Tender mercies are ALL AROUND US.  Every day.
9. The Disney-princess-paper wrapped present sitting under my tree at my apartment.  Thanks parents :)
10. Lake Charles.  And all my people there.  Love, love, LOVE them.
11. The stash of candy I acquired in my leaving Lake Charles.  Seriously, it was my last day there, and so I was relatively packed (had smashed everything as it would fit into my suitcases) and in doing so I forgot that it was Christmas, and long story short I had a take an additional giant Christmas bag (which read "I *glittery heart* Santa on the side.  Classy) to bring along all my candy.  No complaints here.
12. Putting on my nametag every morning.
13. The power of prayer
14. The story of the Sons of Mosiah.  Favorite.
15. Being a missionary.
16. Tracting in the rain and getting completely soaked through so that nobody wants to let you in their house.
17. Singing Christmas carols.
18. My family.  I love you people.
19. The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
20. My Savior.
 
This is an amazing time of year.  This is the time in which we celebrate that event that seriously had been prophesied about from the beginning of time.  What an amazing blessing we have to be here at this time, to have the knowledge that we do of our Savior and His infinite love for us. 
 
I love you all!  I hope you all have the merriest of Christmases and that you draw closer to your Savior now than ever before.
 
Love,
Sister Bayley Enright

Sister Boam and Sister Enright


With Evelyn and April at the transfer meeting.


Elder Siufanua, Elder Rust, Elder Kleinman
In Pasadena...there are scary giant Barneys

Best Christmas yard decoration ever

Monday, December 16, 2013

Preparing to Leave Lake Charles (Bayley)

Me and Sister Barton
Me and the Australian bagpipe guy
Sister Barton (my trainer) and her new companion
Sister Bauer came out with me.
Biking
With Candace
Transfer Ice cream.  A must.
Elders Roberts and Roundy
Me and Elder Roundy
Bishop Gibson
With TJ and Rhoda
Sister Lundquist
Sister Beveridge
Lauderdals
Maylins
Duncan and Beau
Deborah
Courvilles
Kristy's Baptism
Sister Johnson, Kristy, Sister Enright
Cajun Christmas wreath

Annnnnd the worst part about missions goes to.... (Bayley)

TRANSFERS!

Seriously.

Without contestation.

Saturday night we got a phone call from our District Leader who told me that I was leaving Lake Charles.  If my memory serves me correctly, here's how I responded:
"No.
No.
NO."
*throws phone down*
*runs into bedroom closet*
*slams door*
*cries*

Yes, yes I think that's how it went.

Seriously.  Sometimes I handle things well.  Other times, I don't.

Leaving Lake Charles is proving itself to be the hardest thing I've had to do on my mission.  This place is my home.  This people are my family (away from family).  How amazing that God gives us the capacity to love these people SO MUCH that when we have to leave them we cry for an unspecified amount of hours, and also possibly all the way through church the following day.

But before I get into that, a few other things.

#1 Christmas Conference
So on Wednesday ALL the missionaries in the Texas Houston East mission - which is roughly 180 missionaries - all filed into a chapel near Houston for our annual mission conference, where a lot of missionaries proved themselves far more musically talented than the rest of us, but where I showed everyone else up with my dessert consumption skills.  Ok so maybe I was out-desserted by some elders, but seriously - desserts.  SO MANY DESSERTS.  But in all seriousness, Christmas Conference was amazing.  Our mission president and his wife addressed us, and then they also had a number of recent converts come and share their stories to remind us of what this work is all about.  And then we also got to watch a movie - YES A MOVIE - a pioneer movie called Ephraim's Rescue.  I've come to the conclusion that a missionary audience is any entertainer's dream audience, because of course we've all been so entertainment deprived that basically every cheesy one liner is the best line ever and every joke is the funniest joke ever and when somebody dies it's the most tragic dramatic death ever.  No joke.  And then a member who is from Australia (and so who at several points said such things as "bloody" and "bugger" in front of 180 missionaries plus their mission president, haha) came and played the bagpipes for us in the chapel, which was pretty brilliant.  And what's more, since all the missionaries were there, I got to see my mommy again!  My mission mommy, that is - Sister Barton.  Missions are amazing in that you just come to love SO MANY people be them members or investigators or other missionaries, and it means so much to see them again.

#2 Ward Christmas Party
So earlier this year we had our ward halloween party - or "fall fest" - which is always the biggest event of the year, and after it was over, Bishop Gibson told the whole ward council that his goal was to make the Christmas activity the biggest, and let me tell you - it happened.  We had well over 200 people there in attendance, including an entire local choir that received "Joy to the World" DVDs as thank you presents.  
Really fast, story about the DVDs.  So all 20 of these DVDs had to be obtained by Sister Johnson and myself, so we ordered them from mission supplies and were supposed to pick them up at Christmas conference, but then some other set of missionaries must've accidentally picked them because we were 2 hours away from the conference when my head popped up and I was like "oh no. DVDs."  So then we started frantically calling people to try and collect all the DVDs we needed, and the elders who are in Orange, TX told us they had like 10 and so we were like "ok we need to take them!" and they told us that since they were going to be gone from their apt the rest of the night we would just need to break in through the window and get them.  So Sister Johnson and I get to their apartment and find their apartment window that is left unlocked (after we may or may not have tried breaking into their neighbor's apartment...awkward) but the best part was that as leapt from the car to hurry and break into the apartment, Sister Johnson goes - "wait, we need our Books of Mormon!" (since we always have to have one in hand) so we hurried up and grabbed our Books of Mormon because if anyone was to see us breaking into an apartment, we wanted to be sure they knew we were Mormon missionaries!  Oh missionary life.
But anyways, back to the party.
So it was a HUGE success.  There was lots of gumbo.  Lots of people.  Lots of singing.  Possibly an un-practiced musical number by the missionaries (which may or may not have been recorded somewhere...let's hope not) and then lots of dessert.  Because it's Christmastime, and there better be lots of dessert no matter the function.  But it was absolutely AMAZING to be part of that, to see how much this ward has grown and how much this ward is doing and just how on FIRE it is with missionary efforts.  Absolutely incredible.

#3 Baptism
What better way to end my time in Lake Charles than with another baptism?  Saturday night, Kristy got baptized.  Kristy is the cousin of a member in our ward, whose family we've become SUPER close to.  Basically whenever we show up for dinner they have another person for us to teach.  It's my favorite thing ever.  But Kristy is amazing.  We first met Kristy when she sat in on a few of Anabelle's final lessons before her baptism, which means that Kristy's first lesson was the Law of Chastity, which she agreed to living, and then the next day was the Word of Wisdom, which she also agreed to living - before she even knew who Joseph Smith was.  Like I said, she's amazing.  And on Saturday she was baptized!  It was so incredible.  Baptisms are just seriously some of the most wonderful experiences ever - to see how happy these people are, to see how much they want to be baptized, and to see them feeling the Spirit that is there...there is just nothing that can possibly compare to it.  It was about 3 weeks from the time we first met Kristy to her baptism.  That is pretty fast.  And it goes to show us how much God has prepared these people for us, how much his children are ready to hear about Him and receive His gospel as long as we are there willing and ready to share it.  I love Kristy SO MUCH.  And I loved seeing her all dressed in white, entering those waters of baptism, and realizing all those blessings that lie ahead of her as she enters on this path.

Basically, missionary work is the best.

Even though sometimes you have to say goodbyes.  The best part is that I've already had an offer from a family to build an addition to their house so I can come back and live here after my mission is over, which I think sounds like a perfectly good plan - even though my family at home may disagree :D

I LOVE YOU ALL!  I am so excited for the adventures that await me wherever I go next, but more importantly I am so grateful for the time I've had here.  And saying goodbye is hard, yes, but what's more important is that we just TRUST in God.  Seriously.  That's #1.  Trust God.  LOVE EVERYONE.  And eat gumbo.  And you're good.

Love,
Sister Bayley Enright


NAVIDAD! (Rhys)

Hola hola hola, I´m going to do a shorter email to everyone today due to the upcoming activity on the 23rd for the whole mission and since I won´t be able to email then I am hoping to get all of the skyping/calling plans with my family today. 

First off, I´m glad that it sounds like everyone enjoyed reading about my quite literally explosively painful p-day last week.

First off! All of you wonderful people in Vegas! Missionary or not, I love getting to hear about how Coppercrest is going and I love getting pictures from Elder Stowell and every time I do I get a little pain of trunkiness. I hope you all have an awesome Christmas. I´m going to try Patterson´s email again this time and I guess we´ll see if it goes through this time. Wardells, I hope that you got the address and I would love to get a christmas card whether it´s late or not, I really hope that you guys all have a Merry Christmas and not be prying or anything, but I just want to say that I really wouldn´t mind the recipe for that amazing bread that you would always share with us. If I knew how to make that I would be set for the rest of my mission and maybe a bit fatter by the end of it. Stowell, I don´t know why I never saw them before, but I just saw your turkey bowl pictures for the first time today and I really wish that I could have been there. You know that I´m not even a huge football person ( or a huge person, or a huge football, just to clarify), but I was still jealous. Digging the papa smurf jersey btw, have an awesome Christmas and don´t let any of Sister Dinino´s food go to waste!!

MTC teachers and District members (minus Elder Cannon because technically speaking since he´s in the same mission I can´t email him and Elder Johnson because his email won´t ever work). Pretty much if you fall under the category above, you´re either in Buenos Aires or Provo. Or maybe not, I guess I didn´t think that people would be travelling for Christmas. Nevermind. Firstly, good luck to those of you in Buenos Aires and have a Merry Christmas, we´re at the 1/4th mark can you believe it? I remember being amazed that it was already six weeks and time to leave the MTC, that doesn´t seem like very long ago, we only have so much time out here, aaaahhh! MTC teachers, thank you so much for all the help that I got from you at the MTC. You were right about an accent being important first and the conjugations will come. Also, every day I realize something that you must have been trying to teach me and I wasn´t able to get at the time. But the basics are the things that I did get and those help me learn even a little more every day, Merry Christmas!

Dillon! It´s been forever since we´ve talked, but I really hope that you´re having fun in Chile. Ignore what Kegan said, I´ve only met a few people from Chile, but they all agree that even if they don´t have everything in Chile, they have more than Argentina (as in stuff like food that I used to think would always be easy to find, well . . . it´s not).

Isaac! I have no idea what it must be like to be living in Japan, all I do know is a little about being a missionary. It's the same work that you´re doing over there.  Something I´ve always found to be awesome is how global the church is structured, you´ll be teaching and doing the same things that I´ll be doing here! Only speaking and writing a more difficult language and surrounded by short Japanese people instead of short Argentinians.

Sam!! I would beware if I were you, I keep hearing that Carnival is getting closer and closer (duh, but since I don´t actually know the date I kind of had to say something dumb to bring this up, sorry), but if what I´ve heard is true, the missionaries get a sweet gig in order to get them to stay inside, I guess we´ll see. But good luck and Merry Christmas!

Bailors! Thank you so much for being my amazing parents for about three days a while back, but also remaining friends and writing and for the cookies a long while back. I know it´s been a little while and I´m sorry, but I just want to wish you a merry christmas, I miss snow more than I ever thought I would, enjoy it for me, will you?

Family, I´m actually going to write to you all in a bit so just be patient!

Elder Enright

Zone Conference (Kegan)

Hi Everybody!   It´s so close to Christmas and I barely seem to notice it over here, sadly.  Although we have had Christmasy thingies (I stand by that description) this week and promises of more.

Just Last p-day we received emails that our zone would have it´s conference with the president this Tuesday and the theme would be Christmas (who would´ve guessed it?) and so we would need to buy a gift that would be able to help a missionary.  We also were told a general authority would be coming and so were expected to arrive early and with shiny shoes and short hair, neither of which I had.  So we spent this past Monday preparing for the next day, the one problem was that all the salons here close at about 1:00 or soon after. So we went to Jaqueline´s house after she offered us the use of her hair-machine-thingy.  My companion proceeded to shave the heap of hair off my head so that I would be presentable, at least according to the ¨short hair¨request, for the next day.

During our zone conference the next day the president gave us all another Book of Mormon for our Christmas gifts with an extra piece of paper taped onto the inside cover and I received another notebook and more pencils from a random Elder or Hermana in the mission.  

This week we have visited Hilda and Victor a lot to prepare them for their interviews.  

Victor has recently had a lot of things happen to him.  Two weeks ago one of his sons committed suicide and he had been visiting his daughter who lives several hours away all of last week.  While he was visiting his daughter a dog attacked his younger son who lives with him and his house was robbed while he was gone.  When he told us all that he had been going through recently I was thinking a lot about what I should or could say or even do to help him.  But he quickly added to his stories that he feels now more than ever the need to be baptized.  He´s more than proof of how much a strong testimony can bless our lives.

We taught Hilda this week about tithing.

I am hoping to stay here for Christmas but we don´t know yet because changes are on the 18th, one week before Christmas.  Either way it should be great, but still better here in Quintero.  Wherever all of you guys are right now, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Colorado, Arizona, Brazil (maybe?), Feliz Navidad!

Elder Enright

Goodbye golden locks of beautiful hair!
Christmas Zone Conference (Vina and Valparaiso zones)


Churripan



Monday, December 9, 2013

Daisy and the Double Dragon (Rhys)

 Despite the cutesy title that I came up with. . . all by myself, the two subjects of Daisy and the Double dragon are separate and only put together for an impressive title. 

       I think that I want to end the email on a positive note. so I´ll start out with the double dragon. For those of you that are unaware of what a double dragon is, let me explain. It´s called double dragon because dragons spew fire, right? Scientific fact, they do. well, when you´re puking and it´s got the power of a firehose behind it, it´s kind of like a dragon spewing fire minus the fire and and added grossness, agreed?   Well, I woke up this morning with a super terrible, no good, very very bad stomachache. I kind of groaned a bit when it was time to get up and knew immediately that I had to get out of bed (a bunk bed. . .  top bunk. .  para siempre), when it was time to do our exercises and studies and what not, I wasn´t able to get myself to do the exercises that I usually do or any for that matter and did everything with really really really bad stomach cramps. In case of any health problems such as mine, every missionary is advised by Hermana Heyman to drink Gatorade and clear liquids for about 12 hours, so I bought some Gatorade and started drinking while we were all (mostly just Elder Slangerup this morning) cleaning and it actually started to make me feel a little better to have something back in my stomach again. Then came the time to call President Heyman and ask if we could leave the area to shop and email (we don´t have anything in our area to do either one of these and have to call for permission to leave the area) and it was my turn. So I´m on the phone talking to the mission president when he gets a call on another phone and tells me to wait for a second, so I do. While waiting, I feel it. I stand straight up, hand Elder Slangerup the phone with a brief description of what is necessary and book it to the bathroom. But before I reach it,  I spew (not even kidding SPEW) Gatorade and water and eggs all out with more power than every faucet in our apartment (not saying much, true, but it sounded kind of good), I continued for about five minutes, off and on, before cleaning up and such. Since this, we have been walking all over Formosa trying to find a cyber with electricity and it has happened four other times.

       Now for Daisy. Several days atrás, on Thanksgiving, I was on splits with Elder Batt in our area and we were finding. We passed by a house where I felt inclined to knock (meaning we stand outside the gate and clap our hands real loud). Out came Daisy, an Argentinian from Cordoba who lives here with her two kids and husband (just one of the many miracles about Daisy, she´s actually married to the guy she lives with, doesn´t happen a lot here). Elder Batt and I teach the restoration and answer all of her questions in occasionally skewed Spanish, and at the end we invited her to be baptized on the 21st of this month, which she accepted. One of my favorite things that happened during this lesson is when we were inviting Daisy to be baptized, she told us that, "of course it´s important to know the truth!" and "with this authority (priesthood) in your church, are you able to give blessings like Christ did?" And she doesn´t even have a Bible! She just knows a few stories that she loves from it and you should have seen her face when Elder Truman and I (exchanges again) gave her her copy of the Book of Mormon. Since all of this, she has prayed and received her answer about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and is super excited for her baptism and so are we, she´s one of the greatest friends that I have made since coming here and I am super grateful for the chnace to know her! I really need to email my family now, but I hope all of you have a merry Christmas!!

Elder Enright 




Sitting up straight, coming to church, and divine-interventioning (Bayley)

Dearest family, friends, and any other random reader out there,

It's practically Christmas!  I can't believe it.  Quite seriously.  I still keep writing "October" on our teaching records, which is just confusing to everyone.  Maybe if it would snow that would help, but for now I'll just have to count on the Christmas-light wrapped palm trees, our tiny collection of MoTab Christmas CDs, and that GIGANTIC blow up snowman down the street to keep me in the Christmas spirit.

Seriously it's like as big as my house.

But anyways.

So a few stories for you.  The first one is a Duncan story.  He always gives me the best stories to send home.

So we go over there earlier this week to talk to Duncan about how he's doing giving up smoking - since, you know, he has committed to having completely quit by the end of the year, which is, um, basically here.  So we go in and we're talking some and we ask him about how he's going giving up smoking and he says "not good" and tells us he's back to smoking 2 packs a day.

As you may imagine, we weren't too thrilled about that.

We asked him why that happened, and he says that it's because he's stopped praying.  I guess it's a good thing that he recognizes the crucial role of prayer in helping him quit, but if makes it a bit more confusing as to why he's stopped praying.  So we asked him, and he kind of takes a deep breath and looks very deep in thought for a minute as he ponders whether or not to tell us the story.  Side note, the entire meeting up to this point, Duncan will be leaning forward on the table all slumped over and then catch himself and sit up like ridiculously straight.  And then he'll start to slump and then pull himself up, and the whole thing was a little different for him, but we figured it's Duncan, so...yeah.  Anyways, finally he says: "I've been praying to be successful, you know, with not smoking and going to church and getting a job and everything.  Just successful."  And we're all "uh huh."  And he goes "well, I got my answer." He then takes a deep breath, and says "God told me that I need to sit up straight, and if I sit up straight I'll be successful."

Yeah.

So we all kind of sit there for a minute, and finally I said "and so you're not praying because God told you to sit up straight?"  Duncan nodded, and told us that that had seemed like such an "off the wall" answer from God, that it had confused him and so he had stopped praying.  So we nod some more and Sister Johnson looks over at me with this expression of "what the what?"  Definitely not something addressed directly in the scriptures - "what to do when God tells you to sit up straight" - other than sit up straight I guess, you know, obedience.  Finally we went with the story of Abraham and Isaac, and how Abraham's instruction to sacrifice Isaac had been an "off the wall" answer too (not quite the same as sitting up straight, but we were just going on the Spirit here) and how pretty much Duncan should just trust God and have faith and not give up praying or anything just because he'd received a strange answer to a prayer.  And he agreed and recommitted himself and also made Sister Johnson and I painfully aware of our own poor posture with his frequent readjustments, so that by the end of the lesson we were all just sitting ramrod straight in our chairs.  It was great.  

Oh Duncan.  He's my favorite.

Another story.

So we have this investigator Lisa who is stoked to be baptized but who works every single Sunday and just can never come to church.  This is a problem we run into a lot actually.  So we met with her earlier this week and were pretty forward telling her that if baptism was what she wanted, she needed to come to church, and that if she was really committed to coming to church, God would provide a way.

So get this.

Lisa came to church yesterday.  She was there for only an hour - not even, really, just the bulk of sacrament meeting but not even the whole thing.  She had come straight from work, still in her purple scrubs and everything.  It was Sunday, so her supervisor wasn't there, so she had gone to take the trash out...and didn't go back, instead she hurried to the church and stayed for as long as she could get away with.

Yup.  That happened.  We asked her about it and she told us that she knew that she just needed to come to church, and that the worst thing that would happen was that she would be fired, but that if that happened at least she'd be able to come to all of church.  Talk about commitment!  Not sure we should necessarily be encouraging that sort of thing, but in this little instance I just think it's brilliant.  Lisa was willing to risk a lot just to get to church - it was that important to her.  And I know that because of her sacrifice God will bless her - by allowing her to get away with sneaking out of work every Sunday, if nothing else.  Ha!  Our investigators are the best.  Favorites.

Another story.

Earlier this week we got a mormon.org referral.  Mormon.org referrals are from people who go online to mormon.org and request a missionary visit or request a Book of Mormon or whatever, and then we get a little text with someone's name and contact info and pretty much we drop whatever we're doing to go contact them, even though a good percentage of the time they have been like prank referred by their friends (nothing like being mormon-missionaried) or they're already mormons or something fun like that.  But anyways, so we go up to contact this referral whose name is Rosalyn, and we knock on her door and after she's answered and we've done your basic small talk door approach, she asks us if we have the book.  So we show her a Book of Mormon and ask her how she came to request one.  And here's the story.  

It's pretty great.  

Just sayin.

So several weeks earlier Rosalyn had been at the hospital in New Orleans with her daughter, and the person who had sat with her had been Mormon, and that was basically the first time Rosalyn had heard anything about the Mormons, and even then it was just a very casual brief "hey I'm Mormon" without any teary testimonies or invitations to be baptized or anything like that.  Several weeks later, Rosalyn is home again, and she has a dream.  She told us that she remembered essentially nothing of the dream, except that from it she knew that she needed to get a copy of the Book of Mormon.  She woke up and went and told her husband "I need that book!" and he all confused had asked her what book and she said "it's called the Book of Mormon."  So she went to her computer and looked it up and came across mormon.org, where there's a handy dandy "request a Book of Mormon" link.  And then, tada!  We show up on her porch with a copy for her.  That, dear friends, is a miracle story if I've ever heard one.  Let me tell you what my favorite part of the whole thing is.  The dream about the Book of Mormon obviously is quite amazing (nothing like some divine-interventioning to make a missionary's day), but what was it that enabled Heavenly Father to send her this dream and get her the Book of Mormon?  It was that woman in the hospital in New Orleans.  Some random member of the church who wasn't shy about her faith, and who in a harmless conversation about her church planted a seed that Heavenly Father was able to work with.  *That* is what missionary work is all about.  Does that woman in New Orleans know that some random lady she talked to at the hospital would have a dream about the Book of Mormon after hearing about Mormons from her?  Of course not.  But when we do our part to be missionaries in whatever tiny way we can, God can do miracles with our efforts.

I hope you all have an AMAZING week.  Thank you for your prayers and for your love and for feeding the missionaries in Colorado.  You should give them Christmas presents too - I'm assuming that if the whole meal-magic thing works (you feed them, we get fed) it should work the same with Christmas presents, right?

Love,
Sister Bayley Enright

Dry Mormon, Soon to be Dunked. (Kegan)

Hola!  (Buenos Dias, Buen Dia, Buenas, Hola Hola Hola)  to appear as Chileano as I can through email.

This week has been crazy, as a companionship we have had a total of 13 lessons with a member present, which is fetching crazy. We´ve been pushing hard to get lessons with members in and we also have several members who are just sooooo bacán that they practically beg to be taken to lessons with us and are genuinely excited to help us missionaries.  HOORAY!!  

The majority of these lessons (when I say majority I mean like three or four, but not because I can´t count, what I really mean is that the person we have taught the most this week, why the fetch didn´t  I just say that) have been with Hilda.  I mentioned her in my last Email as Ilda because I hadn´t yet seen how they spell it here in Chilé, but they are the same-- to clear up any confusions that I am sure silent ¨H¨s have created.

Anywho, Hilda is about seventy years old and showed up to church on her own last Sunday.  We went to teach her for the first time this Wedsnesday. When we arrived, with another member of course, she had a table set and ready, her book of mormon, and a notebook she had been using to study the Book of Mormon, in which she had written descriptions of the introduction, the testimonies of the three witnesses, the eight witnesses, and joseph smith, and of the first four chapters of Nephi.  Elder Gomez and I were almost dancing when she began to explain to us what she had learned.  We taught her the Restoration, which was more like a group study session of the Restoration, and invited her to be baptized the 15th of this month, which she accepted.

No big surprise, Hilda is what we call una Mormona seca ( a dry Mormon), which is to say that she is someone who has essentially been Mormon her whole life by her demeanor and, in some cases, unconsious obedience to God´s commandments, all that she is lacking in being a Mormon is, that´s right, the water/dunking/(or as some people like to call it) Baptism.  Hilda really is a ¨dry Mormon¨ and in some cases more.  She lives alone, but is super out-going and also a very professional  person, she speaks very directly and is honest as...something that is really, really honest.  We had three other opportunities to teach her this week, one of which was at a Noche de Hogar with a member family, she had also attended the Noche de Hogar we´d had the night before, during which she may or may not have been knocked out of her chair by a member.  However, we were all being knocked out of our chairs as it was part f the game, she was laughing the whole time too so that makes it ok, right?

Despite my use of the term ¨dry-mormon¨ I don´t believe Hilda was lacking in just the water.  I believe that there was one more thing she needed that she now has and that is a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  Without that testimony we wouldn´t really be able to help her prepare for baptism or teach her anything worthwhile because everything that we stand for and everything we teach is in that Book.

I have come to realize in my mission what exactly Joseph Smith meant when he said that it is the truest of any Book in existence.  Yes I understand that the signifigance of those words are pretty easy to discern, but what I have come to realize in the mission exactly is what that truth is and the significance it has in my life.  The Book of Mormon is full of, let´s be honest, fetching awesome stories about brothers fighting to obtain records of their ancestors and laboring to cross the ocean, humongous battles and smaller ones that leave the opposing end literaly un-armed (I fetching love Ammon), but sometimes we don´t look past the awesome stories, or sometimes we don´t even see those awesome stories and we read the Book of Mormon because we always have or someone has asked us to do so.  But I have been reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish and it makes more sense to me in another language, for some reason.  The Book of Mormon and all the history it contains is about how and why God influenced the lives of Nephi, Ammon, Alma, more Nephis, Moroni, another Nephi, more than one Helaman, and hundreds of other people and the Book of Mormon also clearly states that God is the same, ayer, hoy, y para siempre, which means now, God is in our lives in the same way he was in Nephi´s, in the same way he answered Enos´ prayer, and in the same way he guided and taught every man woman and child in the Book of Mormon he does so today and I know he does because I have seen it.

So remember to read the Book of Mormon every day so you can recognize God working in your life and share the Book of Mormon with anyone who hasn´t had the oportunity to read it and I can tell you that your life will change for the better everyday like it has mine.  Plus, the history of Nephi and his descendants really is fetching awesome.

Pictures will have to wait until next p day, dead battery.

Bye!! 

Elder Enright