Monday, August 26, 2013

Vegas, Baby! (Rhys)

Hi Mom, Dad, Erin, Bayley (hopefully), Kegan (hopefully), Amik, Aislin, Noah, Ronan, Liam, and Fionn (whew!),

Recently, it's been raining a lot here in Vegas, getting really humid and because no one in Vegas actually seems to know how to deal with water coming from the sky, everyone is driving really slow when the roads aren't turned to rivers due to terrible drainage systems. One cool story about the rivers-for-roads that happened last night during P-day eve was that our zone leaders made it onto the news. On Grand Teton road in four feet of water, while pickup trucks were getting stuck left and right, our zone leaders (Wilcock and Pennington) as well as two other Elders (Long and Patterson, btw Elder Patterson is from Louisiana, but has a serious northern London accent that he started faking as a prank when he was fifteen and it stuck, he also has the coolest handwriting on the planet that looks like it's from LOTR) made it safely through the four feet of water while driving over rocks in their little silver nova and red corolla. One other thing that has unfortunately made the news recently, two guys dressed as LDS missionaries knocked on someone's door last week at 6:30 pm and were invited in. After about five minutes they pulled guns on him and robbed him. Similar stories have cropped up about two guys disguised in missionary attire robbing and sometimes beating or pistol-whipping people. We haven't been on the receiving end of remarks caused by this quite as much as we expected, but if someone does ask us our opinion, we are to recite our missionary purpose and refer them to church websites. Pretty crazy though, one of the things that makes me mad about it (other than the blatant one of what they did and how they did it) was that they were able to find someone who invited them in. It's hard to actually get that around here, especially when we're supposed to keep tracting to a minimum around here. Supposedly Vegas East mission isn't allowed to tract at all. This, plus our non-existent investigators last week (this area's last one was baptized shortly before I got here) made me feel real bummed when I got emails from my MTC brethren last week about the success in Missouri and Salt Lake.

I didn't feel like a missionary or that we were doing our best. Because of our lack of investigators, we've really been teaching just member lessons for most of the time I've been here and trying to work with the members to find new investigators. So, after being real bummed about our progress last P-day, I prayed that we would be able to somehow, through our efforts, get some new investigators. The very next day, we checked up on an old investigator named Jim Lodge who had dropped the missionaries before baptism knowing he'd have to either get married or move to a different place than his girlfriend (a non-active member) before being baptized. When we checked up on him though, he told us he's been wanting to get back to church and we decided that we'd have dinner with him either this week or next week. That was alright, but I was in the mindset that an old investigator who had already had all the lessons didn't really count. Not the best mindset to have, but that's how it was. That night we had a member lesson with Sister Conger who's a single sister, so when we taught her she had her non-active daughter (Tiffany) and her daughter's non-member boyfriend (David) along with their daughter (Daisy). We ended up having an awesome lesson with them and we challenged them to read the LDM and pray about it and they're going to be at our next member Lesson with Sister Conger! That had me buzzed for a while, but the truly awesome part came the next day when we finally were able to get a hold of and teach the first lesson to Traci  who we had been trying to get a hold of for weeks before I was even here, she's friends with a member just down the road. Things like that happen more often than we'd expect, but It's still awesome when it happens.

I really like the ward here (Copper Crest), there are lots of really missionary minded members who help us out a lot. which is good because really the best way of getting new investigators is through the members. Our ward had a Pizza/Pool party the other night (that would be just a Pizza party for the Elders) where we got one of our recent converts, Andre, to come and I think it was a really good way for him to meat more members and have fun. The pizza was made by the Ward, Brother Stapely owns a big pizza trailer with ovens in it and we all made our own pizzas. I made one with Andre that was looked really good, we made it a thin crust. when it was done, I wasn't sure that it was the right one and then a kid from our ward walked up and took the whole thing onto his plate and walked off. "Okay", I thought, "must have just put the same toppings on top as Andre and I." The next Pizza though was the exact same toppings, but smaller with a super thick crust that hadn't cooked all the way through. After no one claimed it, I knew whose it was, it's that kid's! So Andre had his far less superior, doughy pizza while he scarfed down what I knew to be the best one there. While it was an awesome party, complete with cinnamon dessert pizza at the end, I had to face away from the pool as I realized that as I sat facing it I would fall back into watching the pool and getting to the edge of my seat if one of the kids was under longer than I thought was safe. So, in order to stop acting like a lifeguard and actually eat my food, I had to turn my back to it, otherwise I would find that I had been scanning the pool and had set my food to the side for five-ten minutes.

Something that my companions and I have been doing this past week was starting the day out with morning sports. We'll get up at about 5:40  (this is authorized by the Mission President, btw) and get ready and drive to a park next to a high school to play ultimate frisbee. We might try it every morning if people would actually come every morning, but even at just three days a week, we don't always get many people to come. Another Zone, Elkorn Springs, comes more often than most of the Elders in ours, but so far it's been an awesome way to start out our mornings even if I do get Frisbee-blocking-bruises.

Rhys

  Elder Enright

Chile! (Kegan)

First of all I need to say that last week´s email was terrible because you guys still have very few ideas of what it is like here because I never said anything about it.  So the first thing I need to talk about is the city here.  The first thing you´ll notice getting here is the trash and the dogs.  Trash is literally all over the streets and is only beaten by the dogs.  I literally feel sometimes like i am in the middle of Lady and the Tramp minus Italian restaurant owners serenading the dogs.  There are a lot of cats too but the dogs most certainly outnumber them.  They are sleeping on every street corner and the cats prefer to take the rooftops.  The dogs also do not seem to like men in suits.  One of the first things I had to get used to here was the barking and it isn´t usually the big dogs that are actually scary, sometimes they are, but it´s usually the tiny dogs that will follow you and bark like crazy.  I was on interchanges this past Friday and while we were hiking up a hill we had four or five dogs who started following us and barking like mad, one of them looked as if it would keel over it was so old.  Second thing is the marijuana here.  Every night so far I have gotten at least two good whifs of the stuff and Elder Call and I decide to cross the street whenever the person in front of us lights up some happy llama.  Everyone smokes here too, it isn´t always marijuana but there are a lot of smokers here.  Third, the buses.  I actually really like the buses here. They are super efficient but that efficiency come from the rapid speed at which they work. 

But I´m not here to report on the area, I´m a missionary!! Entonces, I have been walking around this area a lot, from appointment to appointment making lunch every day a milagro.  That´s one thing I forgot to mention.  In Chile they don´t do dinner, I literally screamed ¨NOOOOO!¨ when Elder Call told me this. What they do have though are huge lunches and so instead of having dinner with ward members we have lunch.  We are currently teaching several families and I am so ready to baptize!!! The Guillens have two boys and a daughter and I love them. The father is a member and we have invited them to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning as a family and I am so excited to hear how it went.  We are also teaching the daughter of a less active member who told her mother one morning that she had to be baptised because of her dream.  While we were on exchanges Elder Call found a note on our door inviting us to visit them and so they did without me that day but she is one of those people who just gets the gospel.  I literally was teachingthe other night and when I stopped to make sure she understood she looked at me all puzzled and was like ¨no, esta bien, yo entiendo¨ entonces...ESO!!!  

Kegan

*insert High School Musical reference* (Bayley)

I promise that will make sense...later on.  I promise I tried to think of a HSM reference...but fortunately none came to mind.  Actually, had one come to my mind, I think I would've been seriously alarmed.

So.
A few things that seem to just thrive in good ol' Louisiana.
1) Doughut shops.  Unfortunately, I still have not been to one.  I don't know how that is possible, but it's probably a good thing.
2) Church and pastor billboards.  They look like ads for TV shows, with little taglines like "Religion? Ain't nobody got time for that - It's all about The relationship" and all these glamour shots of guys in suits adjusting their watches.  But nope - just ads for pastors.  Weird.
3) Riding lawn mowers.  Is that what you call them?  Sit down lawnmowers?  Lawn mower rides?  Hmm, I don't know - one of those.  But everybody has them - because of course since plants grow here on their own (I know, weird) everybody has to mow their lawn all the time.
4) Law offices.  Seriously.  Each street corner has at least one church and at least one law office.  Southern law is where it's at apparently.
5) Roadkilled armadillo.  I have yet to see a live armadillo, sadly, but I've walked/biked/driven past my fair share of pancaked armadillos.  They actually roadkill pretty neatly - not nearly the mess the possums make.

Anyways.

A few stories from this week.

First of all, my first week here, our whole district was together at the church for p-day and another elder called and was asking who the new missionaries were here and Sister Barton said "Sister Enright" and the elder said "oh I know her - she was in High School Musical."  We don't know why he said this, probably just to be goofy because, well, yeah, but Sister Barton was just like "yeah, that's her" back and then Elder Weeks (my district leader) looked at me and was like "you were in High School musical" and I just said "yeah" back and then we carried on and it has never been brought up again.  Fast forward to the other day, so about 7 weeks later.  During nightly phone calls, Elder Weeks tells us he needs us to just be honest about some questions he had, one of which was "Sister Enright, were you really in High School Musical?"  At this point we started laughing pretty hard because that had never come up since that first p-day, and asked Elder Weeks if he'd thought all this time that I had been in High School Musical, to which he said yes, in fact he had even emailed his younger sisters who are big HSM fans to tell them he was serving with me, a girl who had been in High School Musical.  Then I asked him if he'd been confused at all by *me* being in HSM and he goes "YES! You are probably the least High-School-Musical person I know, and I could never figure it out!"  Hahaha.  Now he'll just have to break the news to his sisters.

Another story.

There are a lot of crazy people here, and they're pretty much the only people who want to talk to us.  So yesterday we were talking to these two guys, one of which probably wasn't quite all there, and they're just talking and talking and talking and finally one of them looks at me and goes "you look like someone who's in the theater business - are you a theater girl?" and I said no, not knowing exactly what he meant but assuming it should be taken as a compliment, and that he was referring to the fact that I must look like some glamorous celebrity (apparently those Catholic prayers for my face have been working) and he takes a minute and goes "are you sure?  You really like you're a theater cashier."  So yeah, apparently I look not quite like a glamorous theater-life lady, but the cashier girl.  I don't really know what that means, but whatever.

We had a tough week when it comes to investigators.  A lot (meaning pretty much all) of our investigators just flake out on us allllll the time.  But this week we had some really awesome experiences with this less active man in the ward named Duncan.  When I say he's less active, he's not less active in the sense of someone who just doesn't come to church - he has strayed far away, is a chain smoker, hasn't been to church in 12 years, and in fact when Sister Barton first contacted him about a week before I got to this area he didn't even consider himself a Mormon anymore and thought the Book of Mormon was completely false doctrine.

So yeah.

But we have been working with him a lot, and recently we've been focusing on the Book of Mormon with him, and reading it with him.  At an earlier appointment with him , he had finished the chapter we had left with him and told us that he had loved it and that it had strengthened his faith tremendously, and so we began to leave him with reading commitments every time and he has just been so good about reading.  When we met with him last, he told us he loves it and has made it a goal to read the Book of Mormon on his own every day.  When we asked him why, he said "because I'm getting so much out of it!"  The last time we showed up, he had cut his hair and told us that it "felt like the right thing to do" and that he is making changes because he just wants to stop doing things that are keeping the spirit away.  He's been to church two weeks in a row now, and yesterday showed up in a button up shirt.  It is so incredible to see people change their lives like that!  And it really was all because of the Book of Mormon - Duncan's story has strengthened my own testimony of the Book of Mormon, it's just incredible.  And he even invited a friend who is not a member of the church to meet with us when we were there last time and then as we're sitting there talking about repentance he looks at his friend and says "you just gotta get baptized!  Then you can get the holy spirit with you!"  Hahaha.  It was brilliant.  The Book of Mormon really does change lives - it is really the answer to everything if you will only read it.

Love you all!  I am into my second transfer now and I cannot believe I've been here that long already, time goes by so fast, it's crazy!

Love,
Sister Enright

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Last Day at the MTC (Rhys)

Rhys is currently serving in Las Vegas waiting for his visa for Argentina. He left Provo on Monday, August 12.  But this has been his first opportunity to send us pictures from his last day at the MTC.

Rhys with his MTC companions Elders Eberhard and Cannon

Elders Enright and Cannon

Elders Enright and Eberhard

Elders Russon and Enright

Elders Carter and Enright

Elders Enright and Olsen

Elders Enright and Johnson

Whole district with branch presidency

Rhys with branch presidency

Monday, August 19, 2013

El Campo Misional (Kegan)

Hola!

This past week has been more or less crazy. Monday was my last day in the CCM but it wasn´t a whole day.  After pictures, one final class, and one final laundry wash in the CCM washrooms Elder Tholen and I dragged our luggage around the campus area looking for a scale with which to weigh our luggage.  At about a half hour before we were scheduled to leave it started to pour rain and Hermano Silva and Hermanas Welch and Vasquez came with us in the rain dragging our luggage to the store where our bus was waiting. 

We arrived at the airport what might have been an hour afterwards, checked our luggage and found our way to our gate.  At this point we had a few Elders who were assigned to stay with the luggage while the others would go and search for phones, bathrooms and in some cases Cena.  I was able to call my family and help Elders Richardson and Jensen do the same because the phones at the airport I believe are meant to allow you to sympathize with people who are going deaf. After a flight filled with two meals, an hour of sleep, and an awesome thunderstorm directly outside my window I was in CHILE! 

We, the Elders, and one Hermana (Meyer), moved together like a large pack of baptisers before we came to the point where it appeared our two mission groups (Viña del Mar and Concepción) would have to separate so I said goodbye to mí distrito and the other Elders and headed down the stairs to wait in the wrong line where pretty soon the Concepción group came because we weren´t actually going to have to separate yet.  Like I said though, wrong line. so we walked over to a smaller line to pay our entrance fee and walk back to the other line that had now grown to be about five times larger in our absence.  Eventually after many stamps and more waiting we had all claimed our luggage and were making for the exit.  

At the exit I met with Presidente Kahnléin, his wife, and Elders Gatica, Tomkinson and one more whose name I still can"t remember.  Here I said goodbye to mí distrito again only to have to wait in the same group for the rest of the Elders.  But pretty soon we were saying goodbye as they went up an elevator and I went outside to climb onto a bus.  We drove through tunnels and fog to get to Viña del Mar and the flower clock for pictures.  At the flower clock Presidente Kahnléin told us that we would now have to take our temporary companions and find the mission home for ourselves from whatever point they dropped us off at.  Thank goodness I had a companion who was native to Argentina, because I quickly realized that my worst fears had come true and that I was in the same position as Elder Calhoun found himself in from The Best Two Years, they had not taught me this language in the CCM.  People here talk super rapid and there is a change in the pronunciation.  I'm doing alright now but my first few days were scary.  While Elder Gomez and I were looking for the mission home we were two blocks from a gas station explosion.  It was scary and exciting at the same time when Elder Gomez just tapped me on the shoulder and said ¨Vamos¨. My first companion is Elder Call and since Wednesday we have been walking everywhere and teaching the Guillens family who I really love.

I have almost no time left to write so just remember that I love you all and am super excited to read your emails every time, I have no pictures to send because I have had a low battery all week in my camera sorry, next week for sure.


Kegan'

Books of Mormon and Boudin Balls

Disclaimer: I may or may not ever actually explain what a boudin ball is in this email...that's what the internet is for.  Unless you're a missionary.  No google for you.

Ok, so first off, apparently last week I lied to you all.  Unintentionally, of course.  But apparently, concerning Hour of Power, the 1st Presidency goes into the temple and prays Thursday *mornings* for the missionaries, not precisely at that 6pm Hour of Power.  But hey, their prayers are certainly good for the whole day.  I don't know why I felt the need to clarify that a whole week later, but I did.

Anyways.

So in case you all didn't know, August is over halfway over with now.  Craziness.  Mission time is not normal time.  But this time of the year is back-to-school time, and it's very apparent here in Lake Charles.  The roads are suddenly super clogged outside every elementary school (fun fact - there are no turning lanes here, so when people need to turn - say into a school parking lot - it gets a bit messy) and with McNeese State University starting up, there are college students everywhere.  It's awesome.  All the more people to teach! It's really weird to think that I was in school just this past Spring semester - as a matter of fact, yesterday marked 3 months since my graduation.  Time goes by incredibly fast, and it's a bit alarming.

But anyways, aside from that, some highlights from this week:
1) So in our mission we have a "333" standard we are meant to maintain - that is 3 lessons taught with a member present, 3 new investigators, and 3 progressing investigators (or people we are teaching who are keeping commitments).  As this past week was winding down, Sister Barton and I had not hit our 3 new investigators, and so as we planned for our day we prayed very specifically to be able to find and teach as we tracted North Lake Charles the next day.  Cue the next day.  We had a member, Regan, with us and we were set to go to a lesson with an investigator who didn't show.  Since this is something that may or may not happen on a consistent basis, Sister Barton and I had planned to check up on someone who lived a couple streets over from her (but with whom we didn't have a set appointment).  So off we went on our merry way, and as we're walking down the road, these two guys call us over and ask what we're reading (it's another mission rule that we always have a copy of the Book of Mormon in hand - so that's what these guys were referring to) and because as a missionary it's really quite exciting when someone flags you down (not the other way around) we went over there and talked to them and taught them and ba-boom, new investigators. God really does answer our prayers - it's pretty remarkable.  And He really does have a plan too - maybe the reason that one investigator wasn't there so was so we would be walking down Pryce just at that time those two guys were outside so that we could talk to them.  That's why it's so important to just trust God, because really, everything does work out.  I promise.

2) I finally had some Cajun classics - a boudin ball and a pistolette.  Probably to most of you those words sound like nonsense, but really what they are is deliciousness.  I'm not even going to try explaining them, because for instance if I was to tell you a pistolette was a Louisiana roll filled with ettoufee (which it is) I don't think that would really help explain it.  Just know that it's delicious.

3) In personal study time this week, I found my favorite footnote in the scriptures (so far).  Having a favorite footnote is kind of like having a favorite stage direction in a Shakespeare play (Exit, pursued by bear).  Go look up Matthew 4:18, footnote a.  It's hilarious.  Or at least I thought it was hilarious.  I realize that missionary humor isn't always equivalent to real world humor...but in this case it is.

Anyways.

I love you all!  Being a missionary is seriously the best thing ever - bike rides in pouring Louisiana rainstorms and all.  I love it so much, and I'm so grateful for all of your support - for me and for the missionary work as a whole.  You're all awesome.

Love,

Sister Enright

Raccoon!



Regan is a member of the ward here (or was) who was absolutely AWESOME.  I say "was" because she left this weekend for school in Utah.  Sadness

We went biking for p-day, pretty hardcore, and just look how cute our little missionary-cars-with-bikes-attached are all lined up.  Precious.

All the sisters in our zone - us and one tripanionship, except now it's down to just two ordinary companionships because Sister Germer (on the left) was a visa waiter and got her visa and left today for Brazil.  So it's Germer, Rogers, me, Barton, and Sister Erickson, our sister training leader.

Vina Del Mar! (Kegan)

Kegan arrived in Chile last Tuesday, we haven't heard from him yet, but pulled some pics from the mission blog that verify his safe arrival there.  You can check out the blog at  http://misionvinadelmar.blogspot.com/

At the Santiago airport.

In Vina Del Mar at the flower clock.

New Vina Del Mar missionaries.

At the mission home.

Monday, August 12, 2013

En Route to Chile (Kegan)

Hola mí familia

I leave today for my mission in Viná del Mar, this is the first chance I´ve gotten to let you guys know this so sorry it is late.  I should be able to call from the airport around 5:30-9:00 and my flight leaves around 9:50 and we should be flying for about 9 1/2 hours.  Also, a few days ago when I got the information about today the same envelope had information about the end of my mission as well.  It said my mission will end the 16th of June so you guys can change the countdown to 17 days earlier than before.  Bayley, those gator pictures are awesome and teaching families in Chile is one of the things I look forward to most.  Rhys, Hermana Welch from my district is from Nevada and says you´ll have a great time and Elder Robert´s twin brother also got reassigned but to the area his family lives in to await his visa. 

Love

  Kegan

"Another Festivus Miracle" (Bayley)

This week was truly a week of miracles.  And not in the sense of festivus miracles - real miracles.

Let me begin with our Hour of Power.  I think I've explained it before, but in case I haven't, Hour of Power is from 6-7pm on Thursday nights, and it is the hour the prophet enters the temple and prays specifically for missionaries and missionary work.  And so during this hour the entire Texas Houston East mission goes out and knocks doors.  We always begin Hour of Power by going and meeting with a member/family of the church and having them offer a prayer of faith with us that we will see miracles.  So this past Thursday we went to the home of a less active member in the ward who is just super awesome and full of faith, even though she doesn't come to church.  She told us she was so honored that we had chosen her for our Hour of Power, and offered the most amazing prayer that we would see miracles.  So then, off we go.  Oh, also, that morning we had chosen our Hour of Power street - and that isn't done lightly.  We prayed, looked at a map, chose a few streets, prayed again, and then decided that Pecanwood was the street we needed to be on.  So yeah, off we go on our merry way excited to see miracles and we get to Pecanwood and it is a gated community street - there are these streets here where like you can walk down the street but you can't get to any house because each house is like it's own little special gated community...I can't really explain it but pretty much it wasn't tractable.  But we knew we needed to be in that area so we went to the next street up, Claude, and right off the bat at the first house there were these four teenagers sitting on the porch.  Normally, I am not at all inclined to approach a group of teenagers, but Sister Barton and I were determined to talk to EVERYONE and so off we went and awkwardly engaged these teenagers in a conversation about God in which they kept laughing and whispering to each other but THEN at the end on the girls said we should call her mom and maybe she'd be interested in talking to us.  So yay, a referral right from the start!  The next door we talked to a lady who said we could come back, and also the one after that.  Pretty much, long story short, in the whole hour we only managed to get through like 6 houses because we were talking to so many people for so long.  But the best part is that one lady totally let us in to her house to teach her and her son, Draco (yup, that really is his name.  Best name ever, haha) and we taught them a lesson and are going back tonight.

So yeah, miracles.  No big deal.

Also, we are teaching a family now.  They have three young kids, ages 4, 3, and 1, and they are pretty much the greatest.  The other day at our lesson with them, we finished teaching and the 4 year old boy, Princeton, said it was his turn to tell us about Jesus, and so then he turned on this lamp and had us all sit and close our eyes as he prayed and then we I started to laugh (because it was pretty funny) he stopped and told us that the next person to laugh would have to face the wall.  And of course I was the next person to laugh, because I have problems, so then he made me stand up and fa ce the wall and this made the mom laugh so hard that Princeton stood up and yelled "OH MOMMA, you gotta go in the kitchen now!"  and made her face the wall in the kitchen.  It was pretty great.  Meanwhile his younger brother had gotten hold of his mom's phone and was taking pictures of us the whole time.  So that was great.

Also, I finally got to see some gators.  And I didn't wrestle them, sadly.  So that will have to be next time.  But it was pretty awesome.  Also, in case you were wondering, gators apparently like that yucky white processed American cheese.  So in case you're ever out on the bayou and want to get a gator out of the water, definitely have some of that handy.  It really does work.  Also, while we're on the topic of wildlife advice, if you pick up a turtle, it will likely pee all over you - like ALL over you.  Which is why we let an elder pick the turtles up initially, and then just take our turn after.

Love you all,

Sister Bayley Enright

Louisiana is beautiful!
Gators!

Sisters Barton and Enright
Elder Gilbert, Weeks, Brewer, and Roundy (pretty much the best disctrict ever)

With Regan
Tracting in the rain
Posterity picture.  Sis Erickson trained Sis Hamilton who trained Sis Barton who trained me.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Reassignment (Rhys)

Hi Dad, Mom, Erin, Amik, Aislin, Noah, Ronan, Liam, and Fionn (and Kegan and Bayley)
       Today we've been doing orientation for a few hours and when we broke for lunch we just got our reassignments and until the visas come in I'm going to be serving in the Las Vegas, Nevada West mission. I'm not sure if I'll actually be speaking spanish in the mission, but I leave Monday morning at 4:30 for Salt Lake and take an 8:47 flight to Nevada. It'll definitely be a bit shocking to find myself in Las Vegas after having been not only in Provo, but the MTC for the past few weeks. I'm only allowed a short time to email and let my family know where I'll be headed, so I hope that you guys are doing well and I'll be able to call you guys from the Airport for a bit.
I'll hear from you then,

Rhys

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Last P-Day at the MTC...Hopefully (Rhys)

Hi Mom, Dad, Erin, Amik, Aislin, Noah, Ronan, Liam, and Fionn (and also, somewhat indirectly, Kegan and Bayley)

 Just this last Thursday, everyone in my district (other than Elder Eberhard who already has his visa to Ecuador) received slips in the mail that told us all that our visas had not come in yet and as such we will all be reassigned and know of our reassignment by either this coming Thursday or Friday. We've all been making guesses as to where we'll be headed before Argentina, but now that we know we'll be reassigned, we're just excited to receive a second mission call. As soon as I get my reassignment I'll let you all know where I can expect to go before Argentina. 

As our stay at the MTC winds down - hopefully, considering that rather than a reassignment we may end up staying here for a few more weeks and I'm not sure if my stomach can deal with all the extra MTC food that that would entail (also whenever I have to use "that that" in a sentence it really makes me think back to how dumb English can be, I love it, but in the same way that you'd love a younger sibling who you know isn't very bright and does lots of stupid stuff; so glad I'm leaning Spanish and already have English down) - entonces, as our stay at the MTC winds down, we've really been trying to find a way to finish off all of Elder Eberhard's hoard of goodies and sweets which has proved to actually be scientifically impossible as it gets larger every day and it mainly consists of sugar packed candy and whatnot, making eating more than one or two things within a good space of time a daunting task that no one wants to take on. Other than food though, he's also gotten lots of toys and games, meaning that along with some candy and food that will hopefully last for a little while, most of these toys and games will be crammed into the greatest Narnia hole ever (other than an actual hole that actually leads to Narnia, that's a tough one to beat unless you have one that leads to someplace like the Shire or Hogwarts, haven't found any of those yet). 

Just this last Tuesday morning our zone shrunk to half it's size as we were all hit accidentally with an experimental shrink ray to help Elders pack their bags more effectively. Other than that though, we lost two districts to the field and since they were the two oldest districts here - one of them was also the largest - my district is currently the veteran district until the 12th when we'll hopefully all be heading out to Colorado. I've tried to think of a cool state to go to (porque we will most likely all be reassigned in the states), but I honestly can't think of a cooler state to go to than Colorado. Our floor has been really quiet due to all of the districts that left, but that won't last long seeing as today we get lots of new Missionaries, it was nice while it lasted though, even though I really miss some of our old zone.

Thanks for telling me who the Doctor is, I'm not sure why, but it's just good to finally know and I definitely called it would be an older guy. Now I'm pretty much running around the campus here and telling any Whovian I can find the news about Peter Capaldi. I'm also glad that Sherlock will be starting so soon, for some reason I was thinking you'd have to wait for next spring and this way ought to make lots of people happy. I was glad to hear you had celebrated Harry's birthday - even though you did so without me, I'm not going to mention that - and most of my district thought it was cool. I hope that Sherlock series 3 is awesome, enjoy the Doctor Who 50th anniversary without me and spoil nothing about anything or I will find you. Can't wait to talk to you again.

 I'll email as soon as possible after getting my reassignment and let you know where my companions are headed as well, bueno suerte.

Elder Rhys Enright


Cannon and Russon in one another's suit coats.

The 'thief of joy.'

The caption was actually up before the picture.

Altered by Hermano Evans.  

Elders Cannon and Eberhard waiting while Elder Enright gets his hair cut.
Haircut

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Church News Article about the CCM

For anyone who may have missed the link on Facebook, here is the article about Kegan's group arriving at the CCM  back in July.  It is on the the Church's Mexican news site, and as such is in Spanish.  Google translate will give you a rough idea of what it says, and will also probably give you a bit of a laugh as literal translation is always entertaining.  But there are several pics and we spotted Kegan in all but one.  (And we are somewhat gratified to see that he makes goofy faces when other people take his picture too, it isn't just a torture he reserves for his parents)


https://www.lds.org/church/news/el-centro-de-capacitacion-misional-mexico-recibe-a-los-primeros-misioneros-extranjeros?lang=spa&country=mx

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ultimo CCM P-Day (Kegan)

Hola Hermanas, Hermanos, Padres, y algun que estan leyendo esté email.

This marks my last P-day here at the CCM here in Mexico, I should be leaving Wednesday next week but the Tuesday before it is not P-day, huge bummer.  However, this P-day is going to rock.  First though seeing as it has been a week since I last wrote I should fill you guys in on this past week.  My last email was a little later in the morning than this will be but it was still early enough that I had to exclude everything else I did that day as they had not yet been done.  Highlights of last P-day were futból and volleyball with Elders Ibarra y Blanco, our two native apartment-mates. They were both absolutely awesome.  Ibarra spoke almost fluent English while Blanco did not.  I speak of them in the past tense because they left super early yesterday morning but the night before I got photos with them so I´ll attach them.  Elder Ibarra also left one of his dress shirts behind and I am unsure whether it was a mistake or a parting gift,  I´m hoping it was a mistake and that I am not expected to begin a brotherhood of traveling dress shirts.  Later in the afternoon we played capture the flag with brooms in the grove of trees behind our apartment complex with brooms for flags and grass that generally grew above knee height.  Needless to say it was awesome and my entire body was sore the next day from running hard and dive rolling/tripping over fallen hermanas.  Later that day we were able to take pictures with Hermano Silva who was one of our best teachers before some other distrit got him (there should be pictures attached). 

Being able to speak another language is bizarre. Normally I would think that I could solidy know English in one part of my  brain and Spanish in another but the thing is the two languages, Spanish and English in case you haven´t been paying attention, are all kind of one big vocabulary stuck in my head and the grammer just eventualy clicks but until then you know you sound like a two year old child trying to speak.  Reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish helps tremendously with  learning the language and the past couple classes mí distríto has had in the afternoon have been outside in the grass reading and practising teaching from the Book of Mormon in Español.  Last week I also had my first 100% Spanish day where I spoke nothing but Español, the day before I had only made it to about 95%.  As a distríto we are going to speak nada but Español today, I hope. 


In the CCM there are so many men and women working what seems like every hour of every day not only to keep the grounds but also to renovate buildings and fix up laundry and bed rooms.  It´s weird because when they are completely done I am sure it is going to look a lot different from the CCM that I know here.  Part of their renovating has been fixing the walls of classroom buildings and hanging pictures on the walls of past Mexico missions and missionaries or, my favorite, amazing pieces of art from the Book of Mormon.  I have never seen any of these pictures before and I need to take some before I leave but my favorite is of Teancum slaying the king in his tent, because Teancum was one of the coolest guys to have ever lived and the picture is amazing.  Speaking of which, I am assuming one of the janitorial staff left a note on the board one night requesting that I draw 3 Nephi 19: 10-11, I did my best but also added Elder Watson into the picture who also wanted me to draw him with the Witch King´s flail from Lord of the Rings so I had to take pictures of the two separately because otherwise it looks as if Elder Watson is waiting ominously in the shadows to attack Nephi.  I do hope one day to be able to draw pictures like the ones in our hallway of the Lamanite and Nephite people. 

 Love Kegan

Elders Enright, Blanco, Tholen y Ibarra

With Hermano Silva (in the suit)

Elder Tholen

With Hermano Silva again.

Cool statue over the wall of the CCM.

3 Nephi 19:10-11

Elder Watson with the Witch King's flail

Ron, Hermione and Harry entering the kitchens.

Monday, August 5, 2013

"I can see your arm..." (Bayley)

(Title should b read in Kirby Heyborne's "The RM" voice, as he peers through a window trying to get his home teaching appointment in...you'll see the relevance of this, I promise.  Mostly because it's 100% true that as a missionary those social boundaries I already walked so precariously before being a missionary are just gone, and I spend many long minutes on porches, waving to the people who peer out behind windows just to let them know I'm there and won't leave even if they won't answer the door because we know they're there).

Tuesday, July 30: the Great Fall Through Day.
I kid you not.

Sister Barton and I set out that morning PUMPED and ready with approximately 547 lessons set up and like 3 members set to come out with us so that each one of those 547 (approximate) lessons would have a member present so like double missionary points, and THEN...

One by one, each and every appointment fell through.  Yup, nobody showed up!  Or answered their door.  Pretty much everybody hated us on Tuesday.  But that's okay!  Because we were missionaries, so we had brilliant back-up plans set, and we went and did service and then we tracted...and then tracted some more, and then while we were tracting we knocked on Gary's door, and Gary told us he wasn't interested and then I just sort of went "would it be important to you if there was a prophet on the earth?" and he was like "yeah" and then we started talking to him all about the Restoration and he said "I'm very Catholic, and I love my church, and you're telling me that the Pope isn't God's prophet, and I should be listening to some other guy in Utah?  You're telling me the Pope is wrong?"

And I said "yeah."

He wasn't too happy about that right away, but then we kept talking to him and he went from "I'm not interested, never come back" to "I guess you can stop by some other time" to "Yeah come back sometime" to "Come back anytime" to "Come back next week" and we set an appointment and high fived - well, high fived after we left.  Because it is moments like that where I realize how much God is there and helping us, and how because of the Spirit I can tell some devout catholic "yeah the Pope's got nothing" and then he lets us come back. 

The next day, Wednesday, we had New Missionary Training, so we woke up at approximately negative 1 am (which is an hour that really shouldn't exist and which actually means like 4:30am) in order to make it to Kingwood, TX (or wherever we went) but it was okay because when we got there they gave us bagels. New Missionary Training was wonderful - it was all the new missionaries (the missionaries who came out with me) and their trainers and then President and Sister Crawford, and they just talked to us and trained us to be even better missionaries.  And then they also quizzed us on our knowledge of the "How to Begin Teaching Points" (which is like 10 short little paragraphs out of Preach My Gospel) and also our recitation of Joseph Smith History 10-17.  They have this whole memorization-and-pass-off-and-get-prizes system thing in the mission, which I love, and so those of us who had HTBTP and JSH memorized got to whip it out and earn points and tassels and pretty much it was Scripture Mastery all over again.  It was wonderful.  Then we also found out that one of our new elders and his trainer had set the record for shortest amount of time on a mission before rolling their mission vehicle.  It was apparently a really terrible accident (like blown tire, three complete rolls, and hitting a tree kind of accident) but they were perfectly fine.  We really do see miracles every day out here in the mission field.

This past week I also went on my first exchange, which means I went to Orange, TX and spent 24 hours with the sisters there and their companion (they're in a trio) went to Lake Charles.  And when I went in their apartment and they had a fridge full of food and cooked a real dinner and then had pantries full of food, I felt kinda bad for sending Sister Erickson into my apartment with nothing but tortillas and peanut butter.  And maybe some Ramen.  Actually, our apartment now is also well stocked with ice cream, since Sister Barton and I had to run into the store Saturday night to get money for fast offerings and were like "what is something fast we can buy?" and decided "hey, you never go wrong with ice cream" and though we had every intention of buying like a little pint of ice cream...Bluebell half-gallons were 3/$13, and we didn't stand a chance.  I think one of them is like blackberry though, so you know, it's healthy.

Also this past week, the Sulfur elders in our ward had a baptism!  It was for a girl named Kayla, who is just 12 years old, and after she got baptized, Sister Barton and I were the ones who helped her out of the font and gave her a towel and we asked how she felt, and how it had felt to be baptized and she told us it was "magical."  It was so amazing.  I love baptisms.  I love seeing people come out of the waters of baptism with a huge smile on their face and in that moment I realize just how perfect and wonderful this work is.  The fact that God trusts me to be out here helping people just like Kayla find that pathway that makes them feel "magical"...wow.  I love being a missionary every minute of every day, but at baptisms, it's just all the more special to be wearing that nametag.

Thanks to everyone for all your emails and support and prayers.  I love you all!
Love,
Sister Bayley Enright

P.S. Sister Barton and I also have a new game we play each night, as I finally take my hair down.  My hair down here strongly resembles a lion's mane, except maybe bushier, and so throughout the day I have to use bobby pins or clips to keep it from escaping (since if it is down, my face melts off in the heat) and then at the end of the day we guess how many I used, and I just search my hair and pull them out, secretary-in-Ferris-Bueller-with-the-pencils-in-her-hair style.  And you thought missionaries didn't have any fun

Me and Sister Barton at transfer meeting.

MTC Pics (Bayley)

My MTC district.  Back Row: Elders Delafuente, Ard, Rampton, Larsen.  Front Row: Sisters Enright, Martinez, Whitlock
MTC district with our awesome teacher Sis. Knudsen

First night at the MTC--you can see my orange sticker of greenie shame, which pretty much tells everyone "help me I'm clueless and lost"

Our west campus apartment.  My avengers bag was totally the coolest laundry bag.  Hands. Down. 

Our district plus our teacher Brother Johnson.

Me and Sister Wood, my sister training leader.  She went to Oregon.  And sometimes she laughed at my jokes.

This one night we got pizza from main campus because they had SO MUCH FOOD and also apple beer from The Creamery.  And then we started a bottle-blowing band.


LOOK A LLAMA FEST AND I COULDN'T GO!  Also, see our fancy outdoor dining hall in the back.

Texas Houston East missionaries in our zone. Back to front: Elder Martinez, Elder Huff, Elder Brewer, Elder Dust, Me, Sis Martinez, Sis Baur, Sis Whitlock
So this one time, I was drawing on the board and of course it was a wizard because my art skills are limited and Elder Ard was like "unless you can relate that to the gospel, erase it!"  So... this happened.