Monday, October 28, 2013

Festivus Miracle Overload (Bayley)

I feel like I run the risk of overusing the "another festivus miracle!" reference, but the thing is, missionary work really is all about miracles - SO MANY MIRACLES - and sadly that's like the only miracle reference I know, unless you'd rather I reference that "Miracles Happen" song from Princess Diaries which, let's be honest, we all know we'd rather hear the "festivus miracle" line again.  Wait wait - I just remembered.  Miracle Max.  Yup. We're going with that one.  And not just because Sister Johnson and I like to yell "LIAR!" at each other all the time, just like Miracle Max's wife.

But seriously, MIRACLES.

First of all, Rhoda.  Remember Rhoda?  We found her just a few weeks ago during Hour of Power.  And guess what?  She's getting baptized Saturday!  Yup, it's pretty much the greatest thing ever.  Rhoda is AMAZING.  She has been SO prepared by the Lord - so prepared that when we taught her the Word of Wisdom and were like "coffee's bad" she goes "you know what?  I've thought for a while that coffee wasn't right.  That's why I never went and bought a coffee pot, because I just knew."  Yup.  Like I said, MIRACLES.  She came to church yesterday and brought with her her 14 year old son, Tyrone, and partway through Relief Society she just starts bawling and we went out with her and as she's sobbing in the bathroom she told us that she just can't help it, she just feels the Spirit here so amazing, and she just can't wait to be baptized.  After church one of the elders came up to me and said "Sister Enright - why were you smiling so much when you walked by with Rhoda, and she was crying everywhere?" to which I responded "EXACTLY, she was crying everywhere.  Best thing ever."  Seriously though, she is amazing.  God led us right to her, and I am so grateful for Him and for the blessing she is to me.

And since we're talking about how God prepares people, let's talk about Preston.  Preston is also amazing, and also super prepared.  When we went to teach him about tithing, we asked if he'd heard of "tithing" before, to which he responded "yeah, it's when we give 10% of everything we've gotten back to God, because it really all belongs to him anyways."  Yup.  At which point I stood up and threw down the pamphlet because my goodness, God is amazing.  Sister Enright out.  Okay so not actually.  Instead we just sort of sat there and blinked until he expressed concern that he'd said something wrong.  Nope, not at all Preston.  We were just confused as to why we're trying to teach somebody who is already Mormon.  But seriously.  Preston too has received all the lessons and is set for baptism, except that he works every single Sunday and hasn't been able to get any off.  He knows he needs to, but he's also working hard to earn money for tickets to get his family out here from California, so he's in a bit of a rough spot.  But he's even fasted about it, so it won't be long before he too is entering the waters of baptism.  We gave him a church tour last week and as he's walking around he sighs deeply and goes "I feel like I'm at home."

But the miracles don't end there.  We met a family of six that wants to start taking the lessons.  We got a less-active couple to commit to preparing to return to the temple.  We met a young woman who wants her family to be together forever.  We ate a whole bag of Sweet tarts and didn't get sick.  God truly blessed us this week with more than I can even comprehend.  

And now, all those miracles aside, let me tell you about how we pranked our zone leaders.  Because seriously, there is a special joy to be found in pranking other missionaries.  So this last Friday, after our District Meeting we had lunch on the patio outside our apartment - we and the elders aren't allowed to be in the apartment at the same time, but we're allowed to all be out on the patio, so we'll go and make lunch for them and have a right jolly time.  Well this past district meeting, the zone leaders came, and we were't quite prepared and so were running a little late in our pancake making.  Finally, it came to the point where the elders were all still eating and we needed to go for an appointment, and so we left them our apartment key to lock up and left, taking with us a can of Glade air freshener that, for some reason, the elders think is hilarious to spray all over the place, which we don't like because it smells gross.  Well, the time came for us to go pick up our key from the elders in Sulphur, and we arrived there to find that the zone leaders had left their car there while they went out with the elders, and that they, like all our elders (for some reason) had left their car unlocked.  We've told them over and over again this is not wise, but nobody listens to us.  Trying to think of some way to prank them, we returned to our car to see that can of Glade that the spirit had prompted me to take with us from the apartment.  Oh yes.  We deep sprayed their car so bad the lavender Glade spray was fogging up the windows.  Yes indeed.  It's the little things in life that bring us joy.

I love you all so much!  Thanks for all the prayers and the birthday wishes, I truly had the best birthday week ever.

Sister Enright

Monday, October 21, 2013

Leaving for Argentina on the 28th (?) and other stuff (Rhys)

Hola! It's tough to know for sure, but I think that this past week has been the best week yet of my mission. I got my visa (happy/sad, Copper Crest ward keeps getting better and better) and I'm scheduled to fly out on the 28th for Argentina. We didn't start out the week with nearly as much planned as we would have liked, only a few lessons and meals and splits with Andre on Wednesday and with our DL on Saturday. Now that I think about it, I can't think of what happened in the week before Saturday, not much unfortunately, but Saturday made the whole week.

      The night before, we initiated splits with our DL, Elder Long, and his companion that he's been training, Elder Patterson. Elder Long came to our area with Elder Jack and I, and Stowell went to Long's and Patterson's area with Patterson. After Morning sports with our zone and the Elk Horn Springs zone, we helped with service in the area of some other Elders (Corcoran and Cipriano) and then rushed back to our apartment to do personal and companionship studies and prepare for our one appointment, because of the lack of time we had to push back my language study to later in the day.

       The one thing that we had planned for the entire day was a lesson with the Tuft family. The Tufts are a super cool older couple that are super missionary minded. Two weeks ago, we had dinner with them and their daughter was there with them and we all had dinner together. The Tuft's daughter is in her 40s and has been inactive for a few years, but two Sundays ago, Brenda (the Tuft's daughter) and her fiancé attended Church. "Cool, cool," is pretty much what we were thinking and that only elevated when Brother Tuft told us that Sunday that he'd like us to do a lunch/lesson for Saturday. So, with our DL, that's what we did just this Saturday. We headed over to the Tuft's at 11 for lunch (sloppy joes and tater tots with fudge for dessert, everyone always feeds us dessert). After Lunch, we moved to the living room and taught the first lesson which brought the Spirit super strong into the home even though it was something that Brenda could still remember much of from when she was younger. As the lesson wound down, we were discussing the Book of Mormon and we would usually extend a commitment, but I could tell that Elder Long and Jack aren't planning on it because Brenda's read it before obviously. Elder Jack was asking Brother Tuft who he would like to say the closing prayer when I felt more than heard a voice in my head that said, "Heck no! you're not ending this without committing her, get her to read that book." I don't usually bulldoze right over people talking (literally or metaphorically) and interrupt, but that's exactly what I did. I asked Brenda, even though she knows the Book and what's in it, if she would be willing to read 3 Nephi 11 that night and pray about it. Though she said yes, it wasn't a real yes. To quote exactly, "I think so, maybe not tonight, but sure." Same voice in my head, "Heck no!" I told her it would only be one chapter, not too long and it was awesome.

"That doesn't sound too bad, I can probably read that."

"Heck no!" There was a copy of the Book of Mormon on the coffee table that I immediately picked up, turned to 3 Nephi 11 in a heartbeat, and pulled out a pass along card to mark it. I showed her the place and where it was marked and told her that she could just pick up the Book of Mormon tonight and flip right to where I had marked it, then it would be right there for her. THAT is when I got the yes. We ended with a prayer and said bye and such and it was awesome.

       After our lesson, I decided that I would do mi studio de la idioma a bit later and instead find and visit less actives or in-actives since we were already out and on a bit of a spiritual buzz. We weren't able to really get to meet with anyone and it was kind of a bummer, so when we ran out of people to visit, we made our way to the apartment for my study time before we headed off to a stake activity for dinner. 

       Right outside the apartments, is the highway. There's the road that we drive to get to our apartments, Skypoint drive, a chain link fence,  and then the highway 95 on the other side. As we turn the corner on our way to our apartment, there are two cars stopped on the road, one on either side of the fence and on the highway side is a woman holding a baby talking to a woman on our side of the fence. Elders Long and Jack and I all looked at each other and pulled ahead to flip a U-turn and end up next to the car. Elder long was in the passenger seat and rolled down his window to ask if they needed help. The woman on our side of the fence was a Member, who immediately asked if we had an appointment we were headed to. We said no. She said that was good. The woman on the other side of the fence was bone dry, out of gas, nothing. The member then said that she would stay with the woman if we could go get a gallon container of gas from the nearest gas station and bring it back. We did so and eventually drove onto the highway on the other side of the fence to help fill the car up because she couldn't figure it out. After we had helped her on her way to find a gas station to fill up, we felt good and headed back to our apartments. Not 20 yards into the apartment complex, was a lady moving into a new apartment to whom we also offered help who, contrary to the norm, accepted gratefully and we helped her move in and invited her to the up and coming Gladys Knight fireside that will be happening here in which Gladys Knight will sing with and direct her choir and bear her testimony. I won't be here for it, but it sounds awesome.

       Without time now for my language study, we headed to the stake activity which included high priests, single sisters, non-members and make your own pizza. I swear, everyone (slight exaggeration) here seems to have a their own pizza oven trailer. So we all made our own pizzas and I ate one (their should be a picture for that, I think it was a 16-18 inch pizza, somewhere around there) and because not as many people showed as they had expected, we got a lot of extra pizza to take home and also to deliver to the Sisters in our zone at the request of our stake leaders. And then we got back to our apartment late to find Patterson and Stowell climbing the balcony into our apartment shortly after which we closed splits. Whew! It was an awesome day.

       Now, about Argentina. this week, before I can leave, I have to head over to the police department HQ (out of mission) to get fingerprinted. Look at IMG_0770. That's how most of my fingers look right now (I don't know what from or why), but it's a little bit tough, to the point of being impossible to get a fingerprint from a finger that looks like that. So we'll see if I leave the 28th or not, depending on whether or not my fingertips heal and allow me to get finger printed. I may stay a little while later just so I can actually get those fingerprints because I am quite literally not allowed to go without those fingerprints. As Elder Stowell likes to say a lot, the power to either leave or stay is at my fingertips. I guess if they do heal in time I will be on an airplane this time next week, whereas if they don't, I'll be emailing and letting you know that they didn't heal, we'll see. Weirdly painless blistering/peeling on my fingers or not, being a missionary is the greatest experience ever and whether in Argentina or Nevada I'm having a blast. The best is talking to people in convertibles at stop lights, I have a copy of the Book of Mormon that I have prepared to hand out the window at a red light if the situation demands.

Elder Rhys Enright

Mysterious finger injuries.

A street called Rhett (If only I had a sign that said Link). 

I'm standing next to Britton, who's mission call should come sometime this week and Andre is in the middle, then Elder Stowell and Jack.  Oh yeah, that's Kait in the background, she's another recent convert.

Little laminate that is in one of our church buildings here about the sacrament trays.

Child's Play (Kegan)


To clear some things up first I may have mentioned something about a drug -deal that we maybe walked through, maybe.  This might have possibly been read by someone else's mother who did not receive the same information from some other correspondent. So, to clear things up it may not have been too big of a drug deal, in fact, from what I remember  I might have just been a couple of kids with candy in a bouncy house. 

Now that that´s taken care of this week was mostly very, very foggy.  I actually appreciated this a lot after a week of scalding sunshine, Elder Call, however, every morning when he looked out the window made many exclamations about the sun and its absence.  But, we are back to scalding sunshine today so no worries.
During the beginning of this very foggy week we had an appointment with a family, se llama Navarrete, who we began teaching a couple of weeks ago.  They live in military housing because the dad, Jorge, is a marine. We went by monday to teach them about the Plan of Salvation.  When we entered the house the first thing we noticed was that a Chucky movie (as in the scary ginger doll) was playing on the TV.  The second thing we noticed was that the parents weren´t the ones watching, they´d put Chucky on for their four and five year-old daughters.  Marjorie, the mother, told us she had tried to change the channel but Elane and Ylanna hadn´t allowed it.  Okay.  So we ended up giving health blessings to Elane and Jorge in the other room, while Chucky continued playing until it came time for the lesson, because Chucky may not be the best way to talk about what comes after this life. I don´t know, discussing where several ¨victims¨went after their roles in the film were done with might have made a good segue.  I would think it would take some practice though. Entonces, we taught Marjorie and Jorge about the Plan of Salvation, which was very fun,  we are going to start helping them prepare to be baptised as well.  What was even better was when Marjorie told us that she was genuinely interested in the gospel for herself now, she said she had felt more or less like she was taking the lessons because Jorge was, but now that had changed.  I definitely danced on the way back home after she had said that.  It is a completely different feeling when someone you are teaching expresses their desire to fulfill the commitments to reach the very goal you are really and truly there to help them reach, which by the way is to be sealed as a family in the temple Whoop!

The next day we taught Eugina.  The mother of Mauricio, a recent convert who are both very awesome. Eugina started attending church with her son and his family after coming to visit him from Santiago for the 18th of September.  Now she is reading both the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principles book used in Sunday school.  She is speeding through the books and the only hesitation she has towards baptism is that she doesn´t want to feel like she is playing with God by changing religion, something she has done once before.  She genuinely takes religion very seriously and I just love talking with her about the church because her testimony is constantly growing right before my eyes.  We have been asked by a lot of people how often we go on missions in our life to which we respond, of course, once.  It really is the best once in a lifetime opportunity I´ve taken advantage of.

Elder Kegan
Our pension bedroom. The bottom bunk, funnily enough (·cough· Rhys) is where I lay my royal head.



Living room.

The Hobbit doorknobs!! This one is right across the hall from our apartment.

Proof that Bob Marley is alive, an animagus, and living in Chile

A big spider I almost stepped on exiting the house of some Conversos Recién 
Nuestra actividad de zona tuvimos en la segunda semana de este cambio

Que paso en nuestra actividad de zona, que triste

more of the adorable bunnies because I can´t get enough of them and I know it must be the same for you guys.  

21 on 21! (Bayley)

So I'll be honest with you - I don't know how I feel about being 21.  I guess it actually won't really change anything, since everybody already thinks I'm old.  For instance, our first district meeting this transfer, our new District Leader, Elder Kleinman, is talking to me and asks "so does it bother you when everyone asks if the age change affected you?" and I kind of looked at him confused and he goes "you know, like you're out here because of the age change?" and I was like "um, the age change did affect me" and he just sort of sits there for a minute and then was like "wait, how old are you?"  So yeah.  Pretty much everybody here thinks I'm like 42, so I guess being 21 really is no big deal.

But anyways.  On to more important matters.

I have four stories for you all today.

Story #1: Rhoda
So last Hour of Power (so not this past Thursday, but the Thursday before that) we knocked on this lady's door and were all like "Hi. Missionaries. Book of Mormon. Please?" (that's not verbatim, but you get the idea) and she told us to come back, so Monday night we go over there, Book of Mormon in hand, armed and ready to teach her all about the Restoration.  At the conclusion of our appointment, we asked her if she'd pray to know if it was true.  She looks at us and goes "well I already know it's true.  It just makes sense."  And we just sort of sat there for a minute and stared at her, wondering if this was real life, and then I asked her to be baptized and she agreed.  It was truly incredible.  Probably the most powerful first lesson I've ever been at, hands down. She then asked us to come back on Wednesday, and after our second lesson all about the Plan of Salvation, she told us that she's really seen God working in her life since she met us.  We asked her what she meant by that, and she told us that she has been wanting and trying to stop smoking for a long time,  but just hasn't been able to do it.  But then the Monday after she met with us, she was out shopping and got to talking to this man who's had all these horrible health complications due to smoking and that listening to him just really made her want to re-commit to stop smoking.  So she decides "okay, I'll buy just one last pack and this is IT."  So pack in hand, she goes home, only to realize that she really has no urge to smoke anymore.  None.  Even with her brother smoking next to her, she just doesn't want a cigarette. But, she reasons, she just bought one last pack so might as well have this one last pack and then she is DONE.  So she goes to get this pack only to find that it has completely vanished - gone.  But she's told herself that she's just going to have one last pack, so she goes to the store again and buys a second last pack, gets home, goes to get a cigarette, only to find that this pack too has completely vanished.  Gone.  At this point, she told us, she realized that God must just really not want her to smoke, and she doesn't even want to even more, so she is done.  Yup.  She pretty much taught herself the Word of Wisdom lesson.  That, my friends, was a miracle.  She came to church on Sunday as well, and if all goes according to plan will be baptized in just a few weeks.  MIRACLES, people.  They're everywhere.

Story #2: The Power Outage
So earlier this week, we were at the home of our investigator, Barbara, this old lady who lives by herself, reading out of the Book of Mormon together when all of the sudden the power goes out.  So we get up to try and find some light, but despite the approximate four million candles in the house, Barbara doesn't appear to own any matches.  So after like 30 minutes of looking around for matches, I remember that we have a member who lives just down the street, and we tell Barbara to wait and we'll go run and get a flashlight or matches from him or something.  So we grab our Books of Mormon and out we go, and we get to where our car is parked (in the parking lot of the apartment place where Duncan lives) and see two people with flashlights walking around our car and looking into it and being generally sketchy.  "What are y'all doing?" Sister Johnson yells, and we walk over to our car where the man proceeds to tell us that we are parked on private property and the police have been called and they're going to tow our car.  At this point I saw the rest of my mission flash before my eyes, and also I may have suddenly developed an ulcer.  I do that to myself a lot.  So the guy said we better get our keys and get our car out of here, and he and his buddy go back into the apartment place.  And at this point Sister Johnson tells me that she left the keys back at Barbara's house.  And that was when fainted.  Not really.  But if this had been a movie and I the fainting type, this would've been where I fainted.  Instead I just sort of had a mini panic attack and we sprinted back to Barbara's and grabbed the keys.  Note: sprinting in flats is HARD.  But we did it.  And we got the keys, and we moved the car, and Sister Johnson turns to me and goes "they were totally going to break into our car."  And I was like *unintelligent mumble* and we get back to Barbara's, where we park the car, and ta-da!  The power comes back on.  And I stand 100% convinced that that power outage was a blessing from God, a way of sending us back to our car so it wouldn't get broken into or stolen.  I had Nutella in the car, after all.  That just couldn't happen.

Story #3: Preston's blessing
So Preston is this guy we've been teaching who is pretty much my favorite.  This week we taught him the Word of Wisdom, and in reading through the pamphlet we came across the suggestion for "get a priesthood blessing" for help and he asked what that was and so we explained it to him and he asked if he could get one - he's been going through a lot of hard things, and just wants to be baptized but can't get Sundays off work, and you can't be baptized if you're not coming to church.  So we arrange with some of our elders for them to come with us to his appointment the next day and to give him a priesthood blessing, and let me tell you, that blessing was like the most incredible thing ever.  It was so powerful, and at the end of it Preston was tearing up and thanked the elders so much and told us afterwards that he had never felt that way before, and that he knew that blessing had come from God, and that it was all true.  It was one of the most incredible spiritual experiences I've ever witnessed - hands down.  Priesthood blessings are real, guys.  Preston told us he "felt it in his heart."

Story #4: the Primary Program.
Yesterday was the Lake Charles primary program.  Always my favorite sacrament meeting.  This particular primary program should've counted as a member present lesson if you ask me - they pretty much taught the whole first lesson out of Preach My Gospel except much cuter and with more songs.  Fact: primary is magical.  True story.  But anyways, the highlights from this particular primary program were the little boy in the front row who waved literally NONSTOP the entire meeting (seriously) and also the little boy who ended his brief little blurb on the creation with "my favorite thing that Jesus dinosaurs."  Yup.  Best sacrament meeting ever.

And now, without any attempt at a graceful transition, since it *is* my 21st birthday, and since I'm obsessed with lists, I wanted to share 21 things I've shared on my mission so far.  So here goes.
1. Miracles are real.  Obviously.
2. Mission calls are inspired.
3. It's entirely possible to live off peanut butter and tortillas.  Not ideal, perhaps. But possible.
4. We can't really do for others as Christ would do, until we love others as Christ does.
5. Listening and following the Spirit doesn't always mean pausing your life to listen and follow, but to live you life in such a way that he is guiding your every step.
6. Any awkward situation can be de-awkwardized by bringing brownies.
7. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and the truest most correct and perfect book on earth.
8. Gym shorts are a tender mercy of the Lord.
9. Everything tastes better either on rice or deep fried.  Or both.
10. Having faith to move mountains isn't so much about believing that we can move mountains as it is about trusting God, with whom all things are possible, and who could easily move a mountain through you.
11. Yogurt lids make great plates.
12. If you live in the south but have no interest whatsoever in football...don't tell anyone that.  Keep it secret. Keep it safe.
13. You can't look classy riding a cruiser bike in a skirt and helmet.  You just can't.
14. People are amazing.
15. Crunch berries work as a fruit serving.
16. Priesthood power is real.  Obviously.
17. Primary songs are the best.
18. God ALWAYS answers prayers.  ALWAYS.
19. Everybody everywhere should read "Our Search for Happiness."
20. Sticky notes are among man's greatest inventions, next to the postal service and deodorant.
21. The greatest work we can do here on earth is help others find that path that will take them home to their Heavenly Father.  Whether in full time missionary work, member missionary work, temple work, parenthood, whatever work we may be involved in - the work of the kingdom of God on earth is the most important, the most difficult, and the most rewarding.

I love you all.  Thank you for your birthday wishes, for your prayers, and most especially for your work and help in aiding the Lord's work.


Sister Bayley Enright

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

He recibido mi visa! (?) (Rhys)

(Ok, so this email explains Rhys's previously posted email and why he seemed unsure about his visa at first. But I got this one after that other.)

Hey everyone, so supposedly I have my visa.

       Saturday evening, my companions and I were on our way back to our car after knocking on a few doors of people we had met before just to check up on them. A companionship of sisters in our area had texted earlier, just before we went a-knockin' and asked if I had heard anything about my visa to which I responded, "No," because I hadn't. Then the sisters let me know that two of the Elders I had come out with had received their visas. I didn't really know how to comment on this and we started knocking so I didn't. Back to when we're on our way to the car. I see that there's a missed call from the sisters and I call them back, but It's Elder flick on the other end (one of the Elders that got his visa) and he tells me that he and Elder Exstrom got their visas on Wednesday and I also got mine, but don't go around telling everyone until I get a call from President and that we'll be leaving the 28th. That was it. Oh yeah, he also told me congratulations, which was nice, but as excited as I am for Argentina, I'm not ready to leave this mission yet! We have so many awesome people we're working with and such an awesome ward and such an awesome zone! Also, I don't want to (maybe I do a little bit), but everyone here loves me, just saying.

       I decided that I didn't want to disrupt the mood of the evening and our lessons or get our minds off of what we should be doing, so I decided to tell my companions that it was nothing and didn't tell them until after our daily planning and they both went really quiet for a bit when I told them. As I kept thinking over it that night, the circumstance kept seeming more and more suspicious. I was thinking that Sisters Christensen and Harrell (Sister missionaries from earlier) may be thinking that I was really wanting to leave for Argentina and may have been pulling my leg. What the heck was Elder Flick doing on the Sister's phone anyway? I kept thinking about it and the situation was making me very suspicious that they had all gotten together to play a trick on me.

       Next morning, Sunday, after Ward Council Meeting and before Sacrament meeting, I texted the Sisters from our phone to try and verify that I had been told the truth, because if so lots of members are going to want to know if I'm leaving or not (every visa-dub, every Sunday gets asked at least a hundred times if they've gotten any word on their visa, I had already been asked by several people in WCM about it and just told them that I'm staying here for now because I didn't want to lie). The sisters texted back that they had been at a baptism the other evening and Elder Flick and his companion(s) were there as well and he told her that he had seen an email that the Mission President had shown him and it said Flick, Exstrom, and Enright have gotten their visas. So I'm pretty sure now that I have my visa, but still no call from President, make that 95% sure that I have my visa, just waiting for the call from President. If I haven't heard from him by District meeting tomorrow, I think I'm still going to tell everyone in our Zone because, "a 95 is still an A."

       This means that I have roughly two weeks left here in Vegas and lots to do. This coming week, we have a lot lined up including a lunch with Andre and a potential investigator, Joe which I'm stoked for. Also, there's an awesome family named the Wachs here who have a son on a mission (he's actually in Fort Worth, Texas and when I told Sister Wach that I know an Elder Daley down there she insisted on telling her son to find him) so Sister Wach is crazy nice to us. We were trying to get a blender because Elder Stowell and I were craving smoothies and we've been asking people around the ward if they knew anyone getting rid of one or somewhere we could get one used/cheap/both(?). We got a call a while ago from Sister Wach that she had found one and she had it for us to pick up. We were psyched to get a smoothie and scheduled a time when we could pick it up. When we went to get it we realized that what Sister Wach meant by "found" a blender was that she had bought us a new one and also someone must have mentioned that we don't have an ironing board because she got one of those for us too! Members here are amazing to the point of being almost too nice. I'm really excited for Argentina (95%) and the awesome work I'll get to do and to get to be in the southern hemisphere, but I'll be really sad to leave (95%) the Las Vegas West Mission and the awesome people here, definitely coming here again after my mission. And for my family, there's a place in Vegas called Flippin' Out that's actually in the East mission and not ours. But it's owned by the Eliason family (Ee-luh-sin) in the Coppercrest ward here and they're awesome and Flippin' Out sounds awesome and I'm sure it is and if you're ever passing through Vegas, stop by because they have lots of trampolines and laser tag and stuff and I wish I could go. Make sure you say hi to Brother Eliason too, he kind of looks like Martin Sheen.


Elder Rhys Enright

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hola Mi Familia! (Rhys)

So, by the time you read this email, you'll know about the visa news/lack of news. I have to say that I'm super psyched, but this means that with a limited time left in the states, while You can still send mail cheaper (those of you in the states) take advantage and send me lots of mail!!  Mom, I am very open to getting an early pack-away Christmas present, I'm not sure how well I'd fit a Porsche into my suitcase, but I will find a way. 
(Note from Rhys's Mom--we heard nothing about a visa prior to this email, so this first paragraph is a little confusing to us too.... presumably there is a 'real' letter in the mail that explains it?, But given the next paragraph, whatever it is, it is old news now)

AAAHHHHAAAAHH! Just got a call from Mission president that My visa is through and I have to contact a Sister in charge here to know what to do about fingerprints and stuff! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I'll be gone in just a few weeks! I'll be surrounded by people speaking only Spanish in only a little while!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!!! Scary!! this is going to be the scariest Halloween ever.

Back on track, sorry, but I literally missed a call and had to call President back and I got my visa and they said that they were sad I was going and that they wanted to get the church to delay my leave by at least 6 weeks and it was really nice and sweet and I can't believe I'm leaving Vegas it kind of makes me sad.

NOW, back on track. I've been able to read your letters (some, I'm actually reading them right now so I can respond to them while writing, multitasking!!!!) and I am saving Noah's talk for tonight, but I'm super excited to read it. I'm probably just going to have to make one big one for all of you because apparently lots has been happening. First off, I miss fall. I know it's still fall here in Nevada and sometimes the air kind of gets that Autumn smell, but it's the flippin' desert out here and I really really really really miss Colorado in the Fall, especially when Fionn mentioned playing in crunchy leaves. I am super jealous of our apparently recently pimped treadmill and Conference Jeopardy. I really miss Conference Jeopardy, but it sounds like my team did well, "High five! Oh, yeah." All of the pumpkin sounds amazing and I love the Italian Job. Every time I see a Mini Cooper I always think of the Italian Job. But you want to know the car that lots of people drive here? Fiat, lots of fiats here. I've never even seen them until I came here and they seem to be everywhere. Also, lots of shopping carts on the sides of roads and people taking them home and everywhere. It's weird. we play a game of seeing how many we can spot within the shortest amount of time on the road, so I'll definitely get some pictures next time. I didn't do a very good job of getting outside pictures this week because it's weirdly hard to get them. We're not really supposed to take pictures while proselyting and that makes it difficult to get some of me outside. Also, with a car, we don't get a lot of time outside. We're either in our apartment, driving, or teaching most of the time, lots of teaching. Anywhoo, sounds like things are improving at the YMCA, I can't tell you how many times I had to fix/reattach that stupid inflatable slide, so I hope that all of the improvements are for the best and that the slide gets burned.

Now, about the Habanero. Yes there is a video, but I'm hardly in it at all, Stowell is the star of the video and let me give you a bit of advice, never ever eat a fresh habanero! I meant to tell you guys that story a while ago, but forgot and eventually realized I wasn't sure if I wanted you to know about it, it's kind of embarrassing. One of the members of our stake presidency offered them to us to try and he looked all nice and innocent and we took them home and tried them there. I have had habanero sauce before and it has been hot, but this was like nothing ever ever before. Habanero is up there with some of the hottest things ever. Normally when I eat something really hot, my nose runs and my eyes tear up and it hurts my mouth. Nuh uh, not this one. It hurt my mouth, it burned, but the worst were my ears, it made the inside of my ears burn like nothing I've ever had before and it felt like my head was burning. Luckily, we had bananas and milk which helped reduce the burning a bit, but the amount of banana and milk is what made me feel sick afterwards.

There, you have your filthy habanero story, don't eat one ever. We also heard that fresh orange ones were the fully matured ones, that's what we had. Good luck on your Eagle, Amik and I hope that everyone has an awesome Halloween, hopefully I'll be able to call you on my way down to Argentina! I have to send pictures now.

Elder Rhys Enright

El Hombre Araña!!! (and no pictures :( ) (Kegan)

Apologies for the bad spelling, as Noah has said my own Mother has, apparently, pointed out, my spelling does indeed seem to be getting worse.  However, I don´t have spell check, English spell check that is. Almost every word I write has the squiggly red lines underneath them because my computer appears to be trying to tell me, ¨¿Que Esta Haciendo?  Este Es Un País De Español, No Mas Ingles!!!!¨ but hey, if I wrote emails only in Spanish they would have to be translated by Fionnula, or Google.  Actually, that really isn´t the problem.  The problem is the time limit.  Sometimes I have no idea what the heck I´m writing anyways, just remeberflhgusdogdsagjsdavbdjadrfggl

The longer I stay here in Chile the more things I have become accustomed to.  Because of this there are still several things I still have forgotten to tell you guys about the change in culture.  One of my favorites, and one that I became accustomed to too quickly, are the gas trucks.  People here in Chile use a lot of gas, that´s right GAS, laugh it up Noah and Ronan.  But seriously, if you ever hear what sounds like an ice-cream truck driving up your street playing, oh I don´t know, here they like to play Christmas music and the birthday song. However, just when you think you are about to see a truck full of helado drive around the corner you see a violently orange or yellow truck, possibly with an ugly little dog painted on the side, vending canisters of gas. We were actually teaching a menos activo once when we heard the birthday song playing outside.  As soon as we heard it the young man´s nephew ran into the room and out the door yelling, Ït´s my turn, my turn, I want to!!¨ Weird

A recent change has been in mission rules.  I remember Mom emailing me in the CCM that rules on bags had changed.  Well when I arrived here this mission was an exception, or something, to that rule.  NO MAS, guess who has to get a satchel bag now?  I want one like Indiana Jones but I don´t know, maybe I´m going to be running less from murderous-ancient-native-tribesmen or giant boulders than I have so far.  Back to good news though, unless you really like satchels, according to one of our members here I no longer sound so much like Tarzan when I speak Spanish.  I´m still unsure what to think of that, but I have a pretty good idea.

Instant topic change,  In our ward there is a family from Columbia, possibly the best family in our ward, but don´t tell the rest that.  Anyhoo, the dad´s name is Hebert and is super awesome, he actually served in this mission years ago and loves to visit investigators and inactive families with us.  His 5 year-old son, Mateus, is the nicest kid in primary and absolutely obsessed with el Hombre Araña, Spiderman.  I have never talked to him without the conversation changing into, or having begun as, a conversation about Spiderman, and he talks a lot.  This last Sunday he was rolling around the ground after church and jumping over every single object on the ground.  Elder Call and I pretty much think of him as Spiderman and he always gets us to try and punch him so that he can dodge and/or shoot ¨web¨ at us.  He makes me think of Liam, but I´m sounding a little trunky here (we use trunky to essentially mean home-sick)

Love Kegan

No pictures sorry, forgot my cord!!!

That one time my companion threw away our keys (Bayley)

I'll get to that in a minute.

But first of all, let me explain something to you: miles.  As a missionary with a car, we are given a certain number of miles we're allowed to use each month.  As such, we have to budget our miles, since sometimes we have to go to like zone meetings and whatnot that are approximately all-of-our-miles far away.  So pretty much we try to ride bikes or walk as much as we can, and only drive when we must, in order to save miles.  Since we have such a huge area here in Lake Charles, we get 1350 miles a month, or approximately 45 miles a day, which may seem like a lot, but really it isn't.  With our investigators so far spread out, we can honestly bike all day and then drive to one appointment and back and still use 30 miles a day.  So we have to be careful.  So, keeping that in mind, this last Monday - our p-day - we as a district had decided to go down to the Gulf.  Since miles are precious, I asked the elders how far the Gulf was, to which they responded about 30 miles.  We're pretty good about budgeting our miles, so we had some saved up, and figured yeah, we could totally do that.  So Monday came and off we went down the Gulf, which was much more like 60 miles away than 30.  Yes indeed.  Which was why, after arriving home, 125 miles down the drain, we had to go to the church and get some priesthood ice cream, because ice cream is one of the only three proven methods of helping lower my stress level (the others being Dove chocolate and intensive lap swimming).  But anyways, 125 miles aside, our day at the Gulf was a lot of fun.  We had a missionary beach party, which essentially means that we parked the car on the beach and blasted "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" while drinking fruit soda, eating sandwiches, and staring wistfully out at the ocean.  And then also poking at dead jellyfish.  Just because.

Anyways, the whole companion-throwing-the-keys away thing.

So last week, Sister Johnson and I had just gotten home after a long day and were tallying up our miles for the day, and then Sister Johnson - who had been driving - took a bag of trash we had to go toss it in the dumpster by our apartment.  A few minutes later, I hear: "Um, sister?  I threw the keys away."
"You what?"
"I threw the keys in the dumpster."
"You threw the keys in the dumpster?"
"Um, how?"
"Well, I was throwing the trash away, and the keys were in my hand, and I threw the trash in, and accidentally I threw the keys too."

Keep in mind that this is a BIG dumpster, not some little trashcan, but a DUMPSTER.  And it's like 9pm.  And it's dark.  So I ask Sister Johnson if she can like see the keys at all, and where she threw the trash, and she said that the keys were probably at the back of the dumpster.  "I have a flashlight." she said.  "I'll go get it."
"Where's your flashlight?" I asked.
"In the apartment." she said.
And then I just sort of looked at her for a minute.
"Oh, right." she said finally.  "We'd need the keys."
So to make a long story short, we went and knocked on our neighbor's door, who was asleep and didn't answer (fact: everybody here goes to bed at like 8 and wakes up at like 12) and so Sister Johnson says she has her camera with her, and there's a flash on it, and maybe if she takes pictures of the inside of the dumpster she'll see where the keys are.
And you're not gonna believe it, but that actually worked.
She found the keys, we fished them out, and the whole thing ended up not being nearly as bad as it could've been.


Another story.

This past week we were on exchanges, and I was here in Lake Charles with our Sister Training Leader, Sister Kulu, who is pretty much the bomb.  Love her.  Anyways, we went to go teach this guy, Duncan, and his friend, Sean, was there.  Now, Sean is a really nice guy, but he spent the whole lesson kind of rocking back and forth in his chair.  And then he interrupts and goes, "um, excuse me, I don't mean to cut you off, but you know what really aggravates me?  When you're walking, and people just keep saying 'hi' to you.  I don't understand why people do that!  I'm walking!  I don't want people to be talking to me, they just interrupt my thinking.  Why do they gotta do that? Say hi?  I just don't understand!  It makes me so angry!"  Yup.  As missionaries, we must aggravate so many people because we just say 'hi' to everybody all the time.  Haha.

Sister Kulu and I also went and saw our investigator Mary, who is living in a rest home while her hip heals.  Her roommate, Nell, is like the cutest little old lady who is a little senile but just at the point where it's funny - like she laughs all the time.  Non- stop.  No joke.  And she likes to push Mary around in her wheelchair (can't you just see them? These two  little old ladies, menaces of the nursing home).  Anyways, Mary was telling us about how the nurses have to keep a close eye on their room cause they're troublemakers.  For example, apparently they're not allowed to have curling irons in their room, but Mary always likes to look really nice and always does her hair and everything, so in the morning she gets her curling iron out and she and Nell booby trap the door to their room so that if a nurse starts to come in, they have a hard time doing so, giving Mary enough time to unplug and hide the curling iron.  Yup.  Nursing home lawbreakers.

And now, allow me to share with you a little epiphany I had this week.

This week, appointment after appointment after appointment fell through, usually when we had members with us, which made it especially horrible as we're standing on the doorstep forever.  And we seriously did so much to make everything work out every day, and then it just didn't, because that's life for you.  But then I was reading in Matthew one morning during personal study (we are doing a mission wide reading of the New Testament, now that we all finished the Book of Mormon) and I read Matthew 14:17-18, which is the story of Christ feeding the five thousand.  I was especially struck by how he looks around at the huge crowd, and asks what food there is, to which they say "we have but five loaves, and two fishes."  In other words - we've only got a little bit.  It's just not gonna cut it.  But then Christ says, "Bring them hither to me."  So they gave him all they had, and somehow, miraculously, all five thousand were fed.  Now, could the five loaves and two fishes have made it anywhere if they just handed them out?  Nope.  Maybe like ten people would've been fed, but not five thousand.  But when they gave it ALL to Christ, he made it work.  Five loaves and two fishes is just a little, all we have to offer is just a little, and if we try and do things on our own it's just not gonna cut it.  It's not gonna feed the five thousand.  But when we give it all, as little as it may be, to Christ, he can make it so much more, and everyone is fed.  So yeah.  Pretty remarkable.

I love you all.  Thank you all for your prayers, for your support, and for your love.  It means so much to me.

Sister Bayley Enright

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

General Conference Link

Bayley and Kegan and Rhys all mention conference in their posts this week.  The link below will take you to all the talks from last weekend's conference, they can be read or watched/listened to and you can just search down the list if you want a specific one mentioned by one of our missionaries.

Conference weekend! (Rhys)

       Hola, I don't know about the rest of you, but here in the Las Vegas Nevada West Mission, Conference was the bomb! Even when we had to go to the stake center for the Saturday sessions because no one had invited us. There was one small family there, but the rest were a few missionaries from our zone. Because there weren't many people there it was almost like a private theatre. Especially when I went and sat up front so it was just me and the greatest celebrities ever, The General Authorities. For the Sunday sessions, we went to the morning session at our Ward mission leader's house and to the Dinino's house for the afternoon session where, as we had all known would happen previously, sister Dinino once again attempted to feed us to death.

       Obviously, I loved all of conference, but there are always a few talks that really stand out to me and more than a few this last conference. First off, Dieter F. Uchtdorf's "Join With Us!" talk, boom. I love Uchtdorf and his talks. Every. Single. Time. D. Todd Christofferson, I think I like him more and more every time I hear him talk. He just comes across with such clarity that his thoughts are communicated perfectly. Bednar, stick it to the man. When Bednar spoke of those who don't pay tithing, we were all expecting a "try to pay it" or "pray about it." Not because it's Bednar (I wouldn't normally expect something sugarcoated from Bednar), but because that always seems to be the case when talking about not paying tithing, "you really should, but if you can't/won't, that's up to you." When Elder Bednar said "Repent and start paying it," it was just like, "oh, snap!" You could hear every missionary in our stake center going, "ooooooooo." Elder Holland always speaks super realistically (not sure how else to explain it) and this talk wasn't his usual fire and brimstone self, but more calm and sensitive. Edward Dube Rules, that's all I have to say, they need to get that guy up to talk more often. Every single time that Monson got up there was brilliant and in the Priesthood session, once our Prophet said the words, home teaching, heads were popping up everywhere and you could see the "uh oh" in almost every face there. I really love Thomas S. Monson.

       If I keep going on about Conference, I could forget to tell you anything about this week, so I'll have to stop talking about conference. Before I mention anything else, at dinner just this past week with the Cuffs, I was enjoying my pizza when some disgusting words that I never really wanted to hear made their way to my innocent ears. "Tom Clancy died." NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! so much NNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! To make it worse, my companions then went, "who?" (lots of quotation marks in this email) NNNNOOOOOO!!! How do you not know who Tom Clancy is? Isn't his name on books, movies AND video games? So yeah, that was sad, and I also choked really hard on my pizza. Earlier in the week, before Tom Clancy apparently died (are we sure he's dead and he's not actually hiding in an African desert? or maybe an African dessert? English is goofy.) We've been trying to get back in contact with Kalijah about the commitment we left her with while trying to have a mindset of waiting for her to come back to us, we don't want to scare her. That's kind of tough though. After one attempt of knocking at the door to no success following a dinner appointment with the Cruz family next door, while walking back to our car, there was a man and his son setting out Halloween decorations in front of their house. We walked right up and asked if they wanted or needed any help. The man said no, he was just having some quality time with his son, Noah. I mentioned that I had a younger brother named Noah and we kind of got to talking with them. The man (who, no kidding is built like Gimli, short and I'm not sure is an actual dwarf, but looks like he could be and also could rip your head off with his bare hands, maybe a little more than a Gimli build) we learned was named Pete and was Catholic and is also super awesome. he invited us into his open garage to talk and he let us know that whenever we feel like it, we should just drop in cause he likes missionaries even if he has no interest in converting (yet). So yeah, Pete's awesome and also showed us that he has a piece of wood on the wall in his garage for throwing ninja stars at and let us have a go at it. Nailed it (I should say "starred" it) all three tries. So whenever we're back around the Cruz's area, we like to try and find a chance to talk to Pete. Even if he doesn't want to convert, what missionaries call planting a seed is always good.

       Speaking of that area where we were knocking on Kalijah's door, or maybe speaking of Kalijah (I'm not that great at segues, apparently), a potential investigator named Josh actually knows Kalijah! Josh currently lives with some members of our ward while he's looking for a place to stay and for a second job. He's my age and really skinny and really funny. He goes to the Canyon Ridge Church here that is Christian and apparently teaches anti Mormon classes, fun. Josh says that he met Kalijah at a church camp he went to a long while ago, but we're hoping that we can kind of get to teaching both of them, maybe Kalijah could talk with Josh even though I feel like it's her mother who's more interested than she is.

       One of our earlier investigators, the one who was in Canada for job-training, let us know a few days a ago that she got back and we're now working with her to find a time to meet her again because she says that she wants the second lesson, Yay! speaking of investigators, Andre, the Coppercrest ward's awesome recent convert, rents a room in a house where two other guys rent rooms. One of them, Joe,  has kind of slowly been listening more and more to us every time we visit Andre and just recently, Andre told us that Joe's is interested in learning more and is going to come with Andre to church next Sunday!! After all or our extra fasts (seriously, the week before Fast Sunday my companionship fasted for our Ward mission leader who's been going through surgeries, then we fasted for investigators on Fast Sunday, and just this last Saturday we had a Zone fast for more investigators) it looks like investigators are popping out of the ground, like daisies!! Not quite, but hopefully soon.

       This has been a very skewed email, but I just want to let you all know that being a missionary is the best (all of you who are currently missionaries know that already) and I missed my family a lot over conference weekend (which started at 9:00 here, I miss Mountain Standard!!), but it was cool that we were watching the same thing at once. As much as I love it here, and as nice as it is that some people are saying they hope I never get my visa (not sure if that's cause they like me or they want me to be miserable, but I honestly do love it here!) I am still going to be excited to go to South America, it'll just be hard to say bye to some people here. Vegas (not the strip) rules and I really hope that this makes sense when you read through it 'cause I'm not typing it all again. Love you guys (and girls)!

Elder Rhys Enright
Elders Campbell, Linn, Stowell, Jack and Enright
Red balloon over Las Vegas street
Giant cactus
Sunrise at the park we play ultimate frisbee at every morning.
Awesome playground at park
Ultimate frisbee field.
Anderson's Dairy chocolate milk!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference, Conference, and Conference (Kegan)

Hola!  First off, Conference was epic, was it not?  I want to just say that it was made very obvious to me that the Apostles, Prophets, and all other leaders of this Church are divinely inspired.  I have been studying for weeks about the different types of Shame (Uchtdorf), The Articles of Faith (Perry), the best way to encourage and inspire member missionary work (um... all of them) and on, and on.  I was blessed, very much so, to hear conference in English.  All us Greengo missionaries holed up in the high council room with the English version on a small, very nice, flat screen and scribbled and scribbled what the leaders of this Church were telling us.  It was like finding a Wikipedia page with everything you need for an A essay.  It was awesome, genial, it was Sombombasso. 

I really needed it too because earlier this week had been tough.  We had Diego´s baptism scheduled for this Wednesday, but when we went for his parents firme, he´s ten and so we needed it (so there) his dad wanted us to come by the day after because he wanted to talk to us about the baptism with his wife.  So we went the next day, his wife didn´t come that day, or the next, or the next, or the day of the baptism (actually they were both gone that day).  The situation is that Diego´s dad (Enrique) is an inactive member whose wife (Monica) has been brought up Catholic.  She is also, apparently, very persuasive and likes Die Hard (good taste, bad timing as we were suppose to be talking about her son´s baptism that time), Race to Witch Mountain (bad taste, terrible movie, and bad timing again because this was suppose to be the meeting Die Hard took the place of the day before), she also, it seems had been warned by her family not to listen to ¨those Mormons¨ (Hey! that´s me!!)  So what it came down to was that she told us, over the phone on the day we had scheduled for Diego´s Baptism, that she didn´t want him to be baptised Mormon because she wanted him to attend a Catholic school in the future and was afraid Diego was being too rash after taking lessons for about 3 months (as soon as you guys find a disappointed emoticon, put it here).  What was really bad was when we had to tell this to Diego.  He has been excited to be baptised for a long time.  He also wanted to be very sure it was what he should do and so prayed after his baptismal interview and decided he definitely wanted to be baptised.  He nearly cried when we told him his mother had not given permission.  I felt a lot of things after that,  but over all of that I realized Diego´s baptism would mean a whole lot more to him and to his mother if it was not something that he was merely permitted to do, but was his first step to becoming prepared to be sealed in the temple to his family.  If we argued the permission from his mother, if he was baptised only with her consent and not with her desire to follow him into the font soon afterwards, I would have been actively separating Diego from his mother in the eternities and I will never do that anyone.  Until they are prepared to work together as a family to be sealed in the temple I feel we cannot help any one of them individually.  Sooo... Families are important, at least a little.

A couple things I have not yet told you guys about the environment changes here in Chile.  One, the majority of the population here have Hobbit doorknobs, as in Hobbit Doorknobs in the center of their door.  Two, they have whomping willow trees, well they look like whomping willows, I have yet to have the guts to tempt one into throwing me an uppercut.  I don´t have pictures because my battery is dead, the camera one that is. However, expect awesome pictures the following week, until then, Ciao.

Kegan Enright

P.S. I finally got some letters this past week!!! Aislin, you rock and make me feel so guilty for not having written a letter yet, or maybe I have, let´s not dwell on that.  Plus.  Elder Call and I totally walked through a drug deal this week, with watchouts, metal briefcase and everything.  I guess they didn´t think taking on Spiderman and Superman was a good idea.

Exclamation Point (Bayley)


Allow me to tell you how transfers work, here in THE mission (sorry, but that is never gonna get old).

Transfers are six weeks long, and "calls" come the weekend of the sixth week.  "Flush" calls (when both missionaries are getting transferred, or flushed, from their area) come Friday night.  Sister Barton and I totally did get a flush call, but that was only because we had pranked the zone leaders and they wanted to prank us back - luckily, our district leader had given us a heads up about their intent to prank us back, so we knew when we got the flush call that it wasn't actually real.  But that's kind of a long story.  But then on Saturday night, in our nightly phone call with our district leader, he has learned from the zone leaders, who have learned from the assistants to the president, who have learned from our mission president, who is getting transferred, and so tells us who in our district is leaving.  So Sister Barton, on Saturday, was told she was getting transferred.  Then on Tuesday morning, all the missionaries who received transfer calls drive to Houston and meet up in the stake center there.  The missionaries who are staying in their area (me) sit on one side of the room, the missionaries who are getting transferred sit on the other, and then new missionaries sit in the middle.  And then President Crawford gets up and goes zone by zone, announcing the area, and then what two missionaries will be there.  When your name is called, you stand up, look around to see who your companion is going to be, and then you are both supposed to go to the front of the chapel and hug each other awkwardly because you don't know each other yet and then go sit down.  Once everyone has their assignment, then comes the chaos of tons of missionaries trying to get their stuff from the car they rode up in to the car they'll be driving back in, trying not to lose your new companion, saying bye to your old one - so yeah, pretty much chaos.

But so I have a new companion now!  Her name is Sister Shelby Johnson, and she is from - get this - Colorado Springs!  Pretty crazy.  We've been going through our Colorado Springs connections to find some mutual acquaintances - we're Mormon, there's gotta be some.  But so yeah!  I'm excited.  She's little bit older than me in mission age (5 months), has a Captain America bedspread, and is gluten free, which means when I make brownies they're all for me.

But anyways.

Oh, so, quick story - this last week I had someone say to me: "What is up with your hair?"  Yup.  And I was like "um, I don't know.  But I showered.  And I brushed it.  WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?!"  People told me a mission was going to be a humbling experience.  I didn't realize it was going to be because you were going to look terrible - because you never sleep, live off captain crunch, and get eaten alive by mosquitos - and everybody was going to comment on that fact, by offering to bless your face, for example. So yeah.  That was nice.

But anyways.  So General Conference this weekend.  That was pretty sweet.
Allow me to share my favorite things about this last conference, in no particular order:
1) Bednar's discussion of "significant but subtle blessings," those blessings that can only be seen with the "eyes and ears of faith."  I love Bednar.  And whenever he comes on I like to mention that I've shaken his hand, which is pretty cool, I think.  Of course when I mention this to Utah missionaries, they're like "oh yeah, we'd have apostles come to our stake conference a lot, and I got to go to all these temple dedications and see the prophet, and I used to eat lunch at this place where all the apostles came, every day, all the time. Then we would go get slurpees together."  Okay so maybe they didn't all say all of that all the time.  But close enough.
2) Edward Dube's accent.  Yup.
3) Uchtdorf's talk, and call to Come Join With Us!  I think for all our missionary efforts this next week we're just going to set up laptops on street corners and rooftops and play his talk for the whole world to hear. Seriously.
4) The Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "I Wonder When He Comes Again."  I love when they sing primary songs.  LOVE IT.
5) The fact that all the ice cream leftover from the Priesthood session's ice cream social is in the church fridge and free game to us missionaries.  Thank you, Priesthood session.
6) That moment when President Monson started talking during the Sunday morning session, and the investigator we had with us just starting sobbing.  Missionaries are always excited when people they teach start to cry.  It's just one of the reasons it's difficult for us to readjust to being normal people after our mission, where it's not okay to high five when somebody starts to cry.
7) S. Gifford Nielsen's game plan.  I hope you all took notes of that, and are set to go out and follow through (do you follow through with game plans?  Is that the right terminology?  Oh no...a sports metaphor.  I don't understand.)  Exclamation point.
8) Russell M. Nelson's: "each day brings opportunities for decisions for eternity."  'Nuff said.
9) The family choir in the Saturday Afternoon session, more specifically all the little kids in the family choir, fidgeting around and making faces.  Best. Choir. Ever.
10) The number of times Matthew 11:28-30 was used.  When something like that happens, when a scripture is repeated so often by all different speakers....You better believe there's a reason for it.

I hope you guys all loved conference as much as I did - exclamation point. I love you all - exclamation point. Thank you for your prayers, and for your support, and for all just being so awesome.


Sister Bayley Enright

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Awesome week (Rhys)

       Hola, if you read my last email then you know (mas o menos) what we had lined up for this week, we wanted to be able to just teach more people and altogether overachieve. And I think that, "we did a pretty good job" (say this in Dennis the Menace's voice). Not even kidding though, this week was awesomely filled with work so much that it really sped by like nothing, but it was way more than nothing. We had a few people (I think two, to be exact) cancel on us partway through the week for one reason or another, but we still kept up teaching plenty of lessons and visiting with plenty of people. Overall a good week, up to yesterday, that is. When it became an awesome one. I feel bad about this, but Stowell, Jack. and I slept in until 7:00 this past Sunday. Considering that usually we all feel like apostates when we sleep in, you could tell it was going to be a good day just because we felt great, despite sleeping in (okay, some of it really may have come from the extra few minutes of sleep). We've been trying to make it to church earlier than we have the few weeks before, so when we pulled in to the church parking lot five minutes before the meetings started (much worse timing than we've had before), I haven't a clue why we still felt good. But maybe it has to do with a few of the following.

       During fast and testimony meeting, I got all three of us to go up and bear testimonies (which scared the pants off of me, but it felt cool afterwards). I want to be able to bear my testimony every fast Sunday of my mission and I've already missed my first week, so I'm not going to miss another one. Anyways, apparently I mentioned during my testimony that I have a twin on a mission in Chile and lots of people came up to me afterwards to tell me that they had no idea I was a twin (really?, I was sure I was at your house for dinner the other night and this same topic came up at the dinner table. No? Okay, never mind, you're all still awesome "irregardless"). While this was going on, Brother Olave came up and grabbed us to tell us that he had had a non-member come with him and his wife and that he wanted us to meet her. We met her and her name is Lily (though maybe with two "L's") and we're not sure if she's in our area yet, but she stayed all three hours and even announced during the third hour that she loves it and she loves Mormons. So that was cool.

       Earlier on (during second hour [?]) we talked with Sister Cruz about visiting one of her neighbors with her who had expressed some interest in learning about the Book of Mormon. So, after church, we missionaries headed to the Cruz house ready to visit and teach, only to find upon our arrival that Sister Cruz had taken her son, Damon, out to collect fast offerings. Brother Cruz had not arrived home early enough to take him, but shortly after they had left  apparently, and so invited us in to wait. It turned out that Sister Cruz and Damon would be taking about an hour to finish up, so we offered to teach the next member lesson that we were on with the Cruz family as they were one of the families that had to cancel on us during the week. So we taught a lesson which went well, but when we finished we still had a little while to wait. We had been waiting and planning and cancelling to visit this neighbor of the Cruz's, so we stuck around until Sister Cruz did get home and then we walked over to visit.

       First time, first and only time that we visited so far, her neighbor was not at home, but her daughter was and said that she'd tell her mom we'd visited. Feeling only a little down (like I said, it was just a good day from the start and when we would normally be feeling down, we were far from it. Did I say that already? If not, I'm saying it now), we drove to the Dinino household where we had been invited to break our fast with them because Sister Dinino is trying to kill us by feeding us delicious food. Only five minutes after arriving, we get a call from the Cruz family that their neighbor's daughter had asked if SHE could visit with the missionaries as soon as possible because she wanted to learn more. Elder Stowell laughed out loud at my face when I heard the news, I was incredibly and superbly, joyfully surprised. Nothing like this had ever happened before and I was super pumped to go teach someone who had requested that we come and teach after only seeing us at her door. Maybe it's a prompting of the Spirit, maybe it's from seeing three very good looking missionaries on her doorstep. I like to think it's a mix of both. We apologized to the Dininos for having to leave quickly, but they understood and were awesome about it and Sister Dinino sent us with food, naturally.

       So we made it back to the Cruz house to teach a lesson to Kalijah (Kuh-lie-uh). She was really receptive and accepted the commitment to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and just as I was about to suggest the book of Enos, Elder Stowell beat me to it and that's how awesome our comp unity is. Kalijah is also fifteen which makes it perfect for us to get the young women involved. Other than the two Cruz girls of about the same age, our ward mission leader's daughter is only slightly older and one of our recent converts now works with the young women, so we're hoping to introduce her soon to more young women in the ward and we're super excited for her!

       We had sixteen lessons lined up at the beginning of the week, two cancelled, but at the end of the week we had taught eighteen! I don't know how much that is elsewhere, but it's awesome for us, when only a week ago we were struggling to get into peoples homes to teach them. We can search and search and search, but we're really the most effective and alive when teaching. And it's super amazing when someone asks you to come to them. I love being a missionary, and I've never felt more like I'm spending my time the best I can until coming out to teach and preach and learn and I'll be super excited when my visa comes, but I won't be ready to leave Vegas.

Elder Rhys Enright

P.S. Speaking of Vegas, there's a local dairy here called Anderson's Dairy that has the best milk I've ever had. You can buy their stuff at Wal-Mart like anything else, but their chocolate milk is soooooooo gooood.