Monday, January 27, 2014

Untitled (Kegan)

I am low on time so please forgive spelling errors, lets admit it you´ve thankfully already been ignoring them because I know I make more than a few every time.

So I´m going to start with Monday, because Monday was pretty weird, ok not weird but complicated.  To begin, you should know that in order to get our clothes washed we have had to haul our bags of clothes over to an hermana´s house to have them washed every Monday. But two weeks ago she got pretty sick and so hasn´t been doing that for a while now. The next week the bishop told us he could wash our clothes, but he couldn´t have our clothes ready until that Saturday, which was something of a disaster for us near the end of the week so we kept looking.  Then an hermana from the ward finally offered us her washing machine, as in we could go to her house P-day to wash our clothes. 

So this monday I hauled my gigantic Batman bag to this hermana´s house where we started making completos (hot dogs with tomatoes and avocado) and washing our clothes.  However there were some complications with the amount of time it was taking and we ended up carrying grocery bags of wet clothes back to our pension and hanging them around the pension to dry, making it look a bit like we celebrate the end of January by plastering our walls with wet clothes, but why not?

Sudden change of subject

Natalia is an investigator we have who´s family are almost all members, minus her mother (but I´ve never met her, literally she doesn´t even want to see us) anywhooo, Natalia lives with her grandmother who lives about a 55 minute bus ride that includes two buses from the Chapel.  Meaning I have spent a fetching lot of money on travels this week because the buses charge too much.  Natalia originally had a baptismal date for this past Sunday (26) but she kind of left us for a while until telling us this week that she wants to baptized now.  So we met with her earlier this week and moved the date to the 2nd, even though she has assisted church more than the necessary 3 times, in order that we would have time to prepare her for her baptism. 

Let me just throw in some highlights of the week.  

Meeting with less actives.

Confirming with an investigator who is adventista del septimo dia that he actually hadn´t read what we left him and re-commiting him to complete with his commitments


Finding three new investigators who all are actually not in our sector but lie on the other side of Quintero.


Elder Enright

 I felt a ridiculous amount like Hiemlich the Caterpiller but with good reason, those leaves are ginormous!

We´re the only ones on the bus!!

Not my baptism but it is in my Ward here, Elders McDaniel and Wadman and familia Aguilar

Winter Storm - Texas Style (Bayley)

So I may or may not have spent last p-day engaged in a highly intense game of Risk, that ended with Elder Poplin and I standing over the board yelling and throwing the dice in a frenzied attempt to finish the game, while all the other missionaries commented on how ridiculous we were being.  Haha.  The funniest part was when we set the game up at the very beginning and were all "ooh, ok, we only have 3 hours, this is going to be tight" and Sister Boam kind of laughed as if we were making a joke and Elder Poplin, Monson, and I all looked at her and were like "no, Sister Boam, this is serious business here."  Very quickly the majority of the players trickled out until it was just Elder Poplin and I locked in battle for world domination.  I have played many intense games of Risk in my life, but let me tell you, everything is more intense as a missionary.  Oh, and for the record, we did manage to finish the game in like 3 hours on the dot.  Missionary time management skills for the win.
Anyways, after that exciting start to the week, not too much happened.  We knocked on doors, we awkwardly stalked people missionary-style (nothing quite like having the person you were planning on dropping in on drive up to their house and sit in their car for like 15 minutes while you and your companion stand awkwardly behind a tree watching to see when they get out of the car so you can time your coincidental run-in just right - oh and did I mention that during this time your zone leaders drive by and see you awkwardly stalking someone?  Yes, yes that may have happened, and yes, I did just use the word "awkwardly" an atrocious number of times in that sentence, but whatever) we taught lessons, we got dropped like rocks by people who just don't want to inherit Celestial glory, apparently.  Just living the life.  Oh, and we also survived a Texas winter storm.  Hahaha.  Let me tell you about this.  So Thursday is a bit chilly, and everyone we go see, be them member or investigator or whoever, warns us about the winter storm that is about to hit.  We get text messages from concerned members about our well being during this "winter storm."  We get advice about how to stay warm.  And then the "storm" hits.  Now here's the thing - when I think "winter storm" I think blizzard - snow, ice, wind, the works.  That's not what happened here.  Our winter storm here is just cold.  Like cut you to the bone, freezing, freezing cold.  And on top of that, it rains.  Like icy daggers falling from the sky sort of rain, so that we are out knocking doors and our faces are so numb that our voices are slurred.  Yeah.  But here's the real problem with the cold here - everything ices over, and nobody in Texas knows what to do with ice apparently.  So like that night, while it was raining, they cancelled school the next day simply because they didn't want anyone out driving because someone out driving meant like four million accidents apparently.  Our mission president kept us in our apartments for several extra hours Friday morning even because he didn't want us out on the roads.  The best part, though, was seeing people here trying to deal with the ice and all after the storm had passed.  My favorite was the guy using an entire box of matches to melt the ice on his windshield.  Oh, the South.  You gotta love it.
But anyways.  So this week we did have one awesome miracle - we taught Celia.  And she is amazing.  We found Celia actually several weeks ago, when we were out walking and turned down a street to see swarms of j-dubs (Jehovah's Witnesses) allllll over the place.  One or two of them approached us and were like "are you Jehovah's Witnesses?" and we were like "nope! we're the Mormons!" (at which point the older j-dub literally reached out and pulled the young girl away from us - seriously) and so we wished them well and kept walking and then I was like "Sister Boam, we should knock the other side of the street - before the j-dubs get there" and she's like "Sister Enright no you've got to be joking" and I was like "LET'S DO IT" and that's when we found Celia.  She's amazing, and she talked to us for a while but then asked if we could come back another time, but then when we went back she said the same thing, and the same next time, and the same after that, but I just really felt like she was awesome and we needed to teach her - and this week we were finally able to!  Thanks to that winter storm, she didn't want to stand outside and talk to us.  She is really incredible though.  We were talking about God and about who he is to her and she says "well, I know it may sound kind of weird, but to me I think of him as a parent."  That she already has that understanding of her relationship with God is incredible.  If there's anything I've learned on my mission, it is of the importance of our personal relationships with our Heavenly Father.  SO many people don't realize that he's not just almighty God - but he's their Father, and he loves them and is looking out for them and wants the best for them.  But when people realize that, and feel that, *then* God can really work miracles in their lives because they finally are close to him.  It's pretty incredible.
Whelp.  This weekend is transfer calls - there is a lot of excitement in our mission right now over what is happening because we are losing so many missionaries this transfer, there are going to have to be some organizational changes to make up for it.  Guess we'll see, but I'm pretty sure I'm staying here in Pasadena for some time.
Love you all!  Say your prayers.  Read your scriptures.  Give the missionaries cookies.  All that good stuff.
Sister Enright


First off, I really want to say thank you to all of the wonderful people that responded to my last email and thank you for your emails so fetching much!! I love hearing from all of you. Also, sorry because I don´t really have a lot of time and that´s why I am just doing one email to everyone, maybe one day I´ll be able to send some more personal emails if that´s what you´d prefer, but still, thank you all.

Regarding the subject of the email, I am feeling somewhat giddy (and yes, Giddy, not happy or euphoric or another english synonym that I can´t think of right now cause I´m speaking spanish all the time, Giddy, I insist). The cause for my giddyness happens to be what happened this past Saturday and Sunday, but first I´ll start with a little bit earlier.

Monday, the beginning of the week and my Comp. Elder Valle se fue for Resistencia to participate in a a big mission leader thing, I work with Elders Batt and Mudrovich in their area.

Tuesday, Now with my companion, we have a big zone training thingy that takes up all of the morning and so after a late lunch, I go with my comp. to the cyber because now he has to write his family too, and the colectivos insist on being really slow and so we end up starting work in our area around 6 in la tarde.  And now that you kind of have an idea of what happened at the beginning of the week, I think I can speed ahead a little bit to saturday, when we were struggling to meet with our investigators and find news because, hey, that´s what we´re here for and also because the mission is pretty number pressured (I don´t know how to say this exactly in english, they like numbers) at times and as we basically lost two days of work, we were really trying to work like beasts, with very little success.

Something seems to be happening in our area, because people are being more and more unreceptive to the missionaries (us) and more and more. . . well we´ve basically gotten mangos thrown at us by  kids, how's that? But we continued to work harder and harder everyday with a good atitude, because as representantes de Jesucristo, I don´t think that we should throw kids into open sewers. Saturday was the best and worst day of the week, because up to a certain point, we had nothing, all day. We walked and talked and shook hands and passed cards and invitations to the church and really tried to sit down for  a lesson because none of our investigators were at home. Even so, until about 7, nada. But, at 7, we tried a house where we knew lived an older lady who told us to pass by another time (something that usually means we don´t pass by for a long while because some people here say no in different words), and when we clapped our hands like maniacs, out came a boy named Emir. Emir has 14 years and lots of questions and basically we had the greatest lesson that I can remember in my mission, and the best part?? the next day (remember, Sunday?) he came to church with us. YYYYAAAAAAAAYYY!!!! We also went with a boy named Julio who loves the church, but his whole family is inactive. He comes sometimes on his own, but we like to pass by and walk with him to church Sunday Morning. And we all road home after church in the back of a member's truck, a service that is super awesome when we can get it.

Basically, when You think that you´ve gone as far as you can, as far as possible and nothing happens, don´t you dare e discouraged, because all it´ll take is a few steps more for God to step in and show you how it´s done.

Elder Enright

Julio y Yo

The return of the TMNT cup 

The result of an experiment called "Elder enright is only going to wash his own fetchin´dishes for a while"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Part of the Club (Bayley)

If I remember correctly, both of my brothers have beat me in having thrown up on their mission already.  Or maybe it's just Rhys.  But nevertheless, I have joined the club.

This week was a little different, owing mostly to the fact that Thursday morning I woke up to the sound of my companion barfing her guts out, which is always a good sign.  Now, in missionary life you are up at 6:30 and out the door for exercise.  So I go hesitantly over to Sister Boam, knowing that puking is not a good sign and wondering how we were to get our daily exercise in, and she sees me and first thing she says is "I can't go out today" and then commenced throwing up some more.  So yes, I had my first sick day on the mission, in which my companion was violently ill and I was obsessively Clorox-wiping every surface while spending my time as productively as I could (color coding all our maps and records and ward directories) until, not too many hours into the day, I too was barfing my guts out.  Really, not a pleasant experience.  But I was glad to have gotten it over with and be sick at the same time as my companion, since there are few things worse than being in the same tiny enclosed apartment as a sick person, just knowing you're next, and wondering when it will hit and should you like write out your will or something.  But anyways, the best part was that the next morning our alarms went off and 6:30 and out the door we went to get to work.  Of course, we were a bit slower that day since we hadn't eaten anything and were still feeling pretty sick, but we were determined.  Funny thing, sort of, well actually not really, but anyways, that next day we had our district meeting, after which our district leader, Elder Bock, declared that we would have lunch at Freebirds, a burrito place I've been wanting to go to in forever.  Of course.  And so I thought about it, thought about how I hadn't eaten anything and was only just getting down some juice and crackers, and would it really be smart to get a giant burrito?  But then we walked into the restaurant and I was just like "whatever I'm getting a burrito," and about four bites in I realized: I've made a huge mistake.  So yeah, one time I spend all day throwing up and then ate a burrito.  I wouldn't suggest it.  That night Sister Boam and I had to make and emergency trip to the store to buy juice and crackers since that was all we could hold down, and as we stood at the register with three giant bottles of juice all I could think of was: unlimited juice?  This party is going to be off the hook.

Despite the sick day, this week we saw some truly incredible miracles.  But what else is new?
So on Saturday we had our missionary correlation meeting with the ward missionaries, which was running a bit late and making us late for our 12 appointment, but for some reason we were like "yes, but we should stay for the whole meeting."  Usually our appointments take precedence, but we both felt like we should stay, so we did.  As soon as it got out, we hurried over to our appointment to find that he was not home.  A little put down, we were headed back to our car when two men sitting on the porch waved to us.  We waved back and decided we might as well go over and talk to them because, you know, we are missionaries after all.  And they are just amazing.  They told us about how they want to have a better relationship with God, that they need their lives to change.  And we, of course, were like "WE CAN DO ZAT!" because even though we can't change anything about anyone, the gospel can - and we do have that.  After we finished talking to them we were headed back to our car and bumped into Richard, the guy who we had a 12:00 appointment with but he hadn't been home.  He apologized for not being home and told us that he'd had to be over helping his grandmother that morning, but we were able to set up a return appointment to go back to see him.
Now, let's think about this.
If the meeting hadn't ran late, we wouldn't have gotten to the apartment complex just in time to meet Jose and Johnny, and to then be able to run into Richard who wouldn't have been there had we shown up right on time at 12.
Coincidence?  I think not!

One of the most amazing things about being a missionary is that God is 100% involved in 100% of the work we do.  No question about it.

Another story.
So we've been teaching this 13 year old girl Delilah who is absolutely AMAZING.  I love her.  And on Sunday, she came to church!  Which is super exciting. But anyways, so after church we went over to her house and took Sister Macias with us.  Now here is the catch about teaching Delilah.  She speaks English, but her parents speak Spanish.  They both understand the other language, but don't really speak it.  So when teaching Delilah and her sister, we can't really talk with their parents, which we like to be able to do as missionaries.  Enter Sister Macias, who can speak both.  Saved.  She and Delilah's mom talked FOREVER and basically she is super supportive of Delilah and her sister (Nicole) and loves having us meet with them and she just loves the missionaries and also her family in Mexico is being taught by missionaries and they love the missionaries, and pretty much it was super great to be able to talk with her.  But anyways, so Delilah starting telling us about how much she had loved church and wanted to go to mutual and girls camp and everything, and then she started talking about how much things have changed between her and her sister since we've been coming over.  How there's just been more peace, how Delilah is happier, how Nicole is nicer.  That, my friends, is the Spirit.  That same spirit that Delilah has had the hardest time feeling like she feels or has in her life.  So as soon as she told us this, we right away whipped out our scriptures and showed her how that *is* the Spirit, that she is feeling it in her home.  And when we asked her what that meant to her, she said "well, that God is real.  That he really is helping me.  And that this is what he wants me to do because it's true."  BAM.  It was so amazing.  I was grinning like an idiot because that's what I do when the Spirit is that strong, and when I can feel just how much Heavenly Father loves his children - how much he loves Delilah.  Hands down, that is one of my favorite things about being a missionary.  We get to see people the way God sees them.  We get to feel the love He has for them, even those of course His is infinitely more.

God is amazing.
This gospel is amazing.
Missionary work is amazing.

Yesterday the elders were teasing me because I was talking about how I didn't want to have to ever take my name badge off, and they were saying I was like Gollum - "my preciousss..." but seriously it's true.  This work is the best thing ever.

Keep praying for the missionaries, I know you guys all are because I can see it every day.
Sister Enright

District at the Battleship Texas

Most of the zone

Drama shot

Elder Poplin, Hermana Tonga, Sister Enright

So the Hermanas took care of us while we were we heart attacked them

Proof that I'm an artist really

7 weeks without asistencia!!!! (Rhys)

As you may or may not have guessed from the title of the email, I am a litte bit more than a little frustrated right now, and my companion with me. Asistencia (for those who thought the word meant assistance in spanish like I did for a long while) means attendance, in this case, attendance at the church building. We have several very cool investigators, but that only makes it all the worse when they don´t come to church. I want to talk/write about two in particular real quick because my family has been lacking an email of their own these past few weeks and the guilt has built up quite a bit .

       Graciela and Lucila are two of our investigators, Graciela lives with her daughter, Lucila, right next to the house of a less active member. One night about two weeks ago now, Elder Valle and I were trying to get in contact with the member Paloma who we decided wasn´t at home after clapping our hands in front of her door for about two minutes. Her neighbours were sitting out, drinking mate and chatting and obviously wanted nothing to do with the two mormon missionaries furiously trying to sit down and teach someone, so obviously we went and talked to them. At first, they were a little wary of us, but we kept talking to them until they let us into their front little patio thingy and got us chairs so we could sit and talk. And boy did we. They had lots of questions about what we do and what´s the church like and Elder Valle and I answered questions until eventually it led to teaching the first lesson. We left them with commitments to read and pray and a pamphlet about the Restoration. Two days later we visited again and Graciela (the Mom) told us just how she felt when she first met us and that normally she would have told people like us to beat it (in spanish) , but that when we came up she felt completely fine and peaceful and just wanted to keep feeling that way, so she let us in. Now we visit and teach them when we can find them and they are easily the coolest investigators that I have had. Just the last lesson that we had (Plan of Salvation, we don´t always teach in the same order here) I asked Graciela if she remembered who it was we lived with before being born and she responded, "with our father (in spanish)" and who´s that? Graciela looked me in the eyes and said very seriously "Joseph Smith." Needless to say, she was joking and we all had a good laugh before she responded seriously, but she´s just so Mormon already and that´s what makes it all the more frustrating that she and her daughter still haven´t made it to church (the first time was because Graciela had to rush to the hospital for her sister, understandable) so we´re going to work with Graciela and Lucila and our other investigators so that they can understand the importance of commitments and commandments.

A quick comment of  something that has freaked me out this past week. The amount of people that have asked me to leave my eyes behind or switch my eyes with theirs. I appreciate that you like them, but I need them.

Also, something I forgot to explain last time, Elder Pendrive is one of the many names that people say here in place of the name on my plaque.

ELder Enright

P.S. Hi Dinino Family!!! I cannot begin to describe how much I have been craving ginger caramel recently.

Let´s admit it, I never put a subject because I can never think of one. (Kegan)

Obviously the subject title is atrocious, but I am having a really hard time forming any sort of thought at the moment so I´ll just start writing.

This week has been super hard, very hard.  Elder Correa and I have walked the entirety of our sector here in Quintero but thanks to the beach fronts that happen to surround us, and to which we are not allowed to go, nobody has been home.  No investigators, references, members (actives or inactives), nobody, kaput. I have obtained a bit of a bitter opinion of summer here in the mission, okay, not summer in general, but the way summer is here in Quintero, yes, definitely.

To keep descriptions brief I´ll just say I realized a couple days ago that I had come to associate the smell of alcohol with men in swimming trunks.  At one point I began to doubt it could really be alcohol and thought that maybe every single man in this town was trying some new sort of cologne.  Alas, it´s still just alcohol.  At least there is the occasional drunk man who will tell you straight up he´s hammered, but would love to listen to the missionaries when he is a little more coherent, right before he tells you how much he loves you and smooches your companions hand.  Soooo yeah.

BUT!! in other news.  My companion and I, as well as from what I hear many others, have learned a good deal about the power of honest prayer.  We have begun to think very hard in our decisions when work is seemingly nowhere to be found before asking in prayer what is it we should do.  Just yesterday it felt like another day that would be without a single lesson taught.  In that moment my companion reminded me to think and to pray.  Soon we were walking to the house of a less active sister (Hermana Jocelyn) whose husband (Juan-Carlos) isn´t a member...yet.  We shared ¨once¨ (elevensies) with them and two friends (Javier, member, Ivan, not member) who were visiting.  Later we shared a little about the Book of Mormon and we will continue teaching Juan-Carlos and Ivan tomorrow night.  What was even better was that the Hermana told us later after the lesson that she had felt very strongly that ¨...Ahora es el tiempo a poner las pilas para bautizar su esposo.¨ It´s a weird way to say it, (time to put in the batteries in order to baptize her husband) but it means Baptism for Juan-Carlos even if his mom is as scary and anti-Mormon as I have heard.

Another very awesome moment of yesterday (?! my english stinks) was when Victor received the Aaronic Priesthood.  He has been feeling a little unprepared but has been reading and studying a lot.  What makes me the happiest is the faith and trust he has in us and as our role as representatives of Jesus Christ here to help him.  He felt more than unprepared for baptism when I first met him months ago,  the same went for when we told him he was to receive the priesthood.  But he has very real faith that ¨Whom the Lord calls he Qualifies¨ and those acts of faith have put him where he is now.  His brother who isn´t a member visited him this weekend and came with him to church.  At one moment he came to me and to our Ward mission leader (Hno Bascope) and thanked us for where Victor was now.  He said that he has always worried very much about his older brother but from what he saw in three days visiting just this weekend, he was more than happy for Victor and the changes he has made in his life.  And that made my week.

Oh, and if you are one of those people always searching for free WiFi?  Matthew 16:4

Love Elder Enright 

Quinterito!!! another picture of the awesome peninsula I live on and the beautiful and torturous ocean that fetching surrounds me.

 NEW YEARS ( I just forgot to send it when it actually was new years).

Monday, January 13, 2014

In Which we are Cooler than Jedis (Bayley)

So to start everything off, let's briefly go over the way a misson is organized (for reasons that will soon become apparent).  So each missionary is in a companionship with another missionary.  In a certain area, there are like 3 to 5 companionships that make up a district.  And then like 4 or so districts make up a zone.  Capiche?  (is that how you spell that?)  Anyways, here in Pasadena, my district is the only English speaking district in our zone - the others are all Spanish speaking.  Every so often, each missionary switches places with other companionships - an exchange - for like 24 hours, in order for the missionary to learn from their mission leaders and gain experience and whatnot.  Since we are the only English speaking district, when we go on exchanges with our zone, we go to Spanish speaking areas.  Yes indeed.  Which means this last weekend I had my first opportunity to work in Spanishland, as they call it.  Which of course was quite the adventure since I, uh, don't speak Spanish.  Here's how the majority of our appointments went.  Hermana Seely would teach the entire time, since, you know, she can speak Spanish, and I would sit there and smile and offer sticky notes when Hermana Seely needed them, and maybe hold up a picture and smile some more and then there was always a moment in every single appointment where the person being taught would gesture to me and Hermana Seely would look at me and say "no hablo espanol" (or something along those lines) and then she and all the Spanish speakers would all smile sympathetically and nod and say "ahhhhhh" for a long time.  It was grand.  But it's okay, because you know what else happens in Spanishland?  PEOPLE JUST GIVE YOU FOOD LIKE ALL THE TIME.  Seriously.  We'd knock on the door and they wouldn't be interested at all but then would give us a bag of pupusas and wish us well.  It was unreal.  And it was handy, because then at appointments I could just eat and pretend that I wasn't talking not because I didn't speak any Spanish, but because my mouth was full of tortilla.  The amazing thing, though, was that even though I couldn't communicate at all, I could still sort of understand what was being said - and I don't mean that by "I could pick out the occasional Spanish word, thanks Rosetta Stone" but I could understand the conversation.  Why?  Because the gospel is exactly the same no matter what language you're speaking.  True story.  Could I understand word for word what was being said?  No.  But could I understand that they were talking about how you feel the Holy Ghost when reading the Book of Mormon?  Yes.  Because this gospel is amazingly true, and it transcends any language barrier.  That was truly an amazing opportunity for me to see the power of the Spirit in that way.
Anyways, let's talk about how amazing faith is.  Really and truly.  I've gained a much deeper understanding of faith on my misson than I ever had before.  I think before my mission people would say something like "faith can move mountains" and I would imagine someone moving mountains in a Jedi-esque fashion with a hooded robe and outstretched arms.  I thought faith was like the force, and if you just squeeze your eyes together really hard like Luke Skywalker does you could just move it like with your mind or something.  Wrong.  What I've learned on my misson is that we have no power whatsoever to move mountains - not even Luke Skywalker (except let's switch to Obi-Wan as my Jedi example here because let's face it nobody likes Luke).  But God does - he has ALL power, right?  And so that's where faith comes in.  It isn't our power at all, but it is our complete and utter trust is God and in his power to do all things.  When we have faith, we don't Obi-Wan ourselves an answer to a prayer, we just know and trust God so completely that we hear and recognize every answer to prayer we know He gives us.  Pretty amazing, huh?  And this last week, Sister Boam and I had a truly awesome experience with faith.  Our day was basically over, it was like 8:30, and our appointment had just fallen through so we were heading back to our car (which was parked in a park parking lot) (which was the parking lot where people parked their cars to go to the park which had a parking lot) (seriously Sister Enright, get it together) and there was a woman in the parking lot with her little VW beetle which had obviously broken down.  So we went up to her and asked if she needed help and she said she didn't know her car just wouldn't start and she'd called her husband but he was a long way away and she didn't know what to do.  By the way she spoke Spanish.  Reminder: I don't speak Spanish.  Also, I don't know a thing about cars other than you hit the brake and they stop and you hit the gas and they go.  So we start talking to her in fragmented English/Spanish and we talk about her and her family and of course we start talking about our church and all that (because we're missionaries, remember) and we get her address and stuff to send the hermanas over (since they conveniently speak Spanish) and finally we ask her if we can pray with her.  So we pray that her car will work so she can get home, and then after we finish she thanks us and we talk a little bit more before finally she thinks it's been long enough to try it again, so she puts her key in the ignition and...her car starts.  And she starts jumping up and down and clapping and praising God in really fast Spanish and basically it was a miracle.  And as she drove away and we got in our car, I realized the power of faith.  Do Sister Boam and I have the force like Obi-Wan to make a car start?  No.  Did this woman?  No.  But could God start a broken car if he wanted to?  Of course he could.  And as long as we understand that, and firmly believe that, that is where faith can work miracles.
Whelp.  I love you all.  Thanks for everything you do.  Including praying for the missionaries - ESPECIALLY praying for the missionaries.  You're all my favorite.
Sister Enright

I'm Elder Pendrive too.... (Kegan)

Ho boy!

The week started off pretty stressfully so I´m just going to write really fast and hope it comes out okay (please never quote me and apply that phrase in any other circumstances).

So this Wednesday was scheduled to be our day of interviews with the president, this time, in the pension.  One of our Zone Leaders, Elder Marriot, told me on Sunday during intercambios that the president expected the pensions (I don´t know if I´ve ever explained this but the pensions are our apartments, that´s what they call them here, in our case a cabin) to be perfectly clean. That kind of freaked me out because the Elders who have lived in our cabin in the past had obviously never taken to cleaning it regularly.  To explain I´ll just say there is gunk (good word for it) centimeters thick that covers half the kitchen at the end the oven sits in and that I have been able to clean just a little bit of it every P-day since I got here.  Now that it needed to be spotless, or the complete opposite of what it was at the time, I spent a good two and a half hours cleaning just that part of the kitchen  and lost four green scrubbies and almost a good kitchen knife in the process.  

The next day ( a lo menos me parece así) we had to go to the other Elder´s pension to pick up our lunch for that day.  While we were over there I received a phone cal from an Hermana from our Ward, Belen, who told me she had met someone who ¨...wanted to receive the charlas (lessons) from us and be Baptised.¨ Short, sweet, and to the point.  We went that day to visit Javier who has 9 years  and  whose situation is actually a little complicated. It don't know that we should Baptize him because he will leave in the beginning of February to live in the south with his inactive mother for the rest of the year. That kind of deadened my excitement, but he really and honestly wants to be baptised, we are going to do for him the best that we can. 

Come Wednesday and the President doesn´t even glance in the corner by the oven, I was at least expecting exclamations of astonishment, ridiculous praising of the cleaning I´d done, and a nice big golden-star sticker,  but oh well.  The interviews actually went really well, we forced the president to take a picture and post it on the blog to  discourage the ¨physical, and fatal beatings¨ he had threatened us with. 

At the end of the week we picked up another investigator whose parents are inactives, her name is Natalia and she is currently living with active family members who live pretty darn far from Quinterito, but are still in our area (it is like an hour east of us if you take two busses but go figure)

She really and truly has the desire to be Baptised and just understands the doctrine that we teach her.  She is evidence to me that God is preparing people everywhere to receive his gospel.  As members of his church it is our responsibility to realize when someone has been prepared, to watch and listen (and smell, if that helps you I guess) for opportunities to share the gospel, if you aren´t part of the conversion of these people, you´ll be part of their preparation, which is actually a part of their conversion.  Ya, Olvide me.

CCM!!!:  Elder Stewart!!  Congratulations on the success!  It was great to hear from you man! I can´t fetching believe you guys got an hour and a half to call your families, I got forty minutes! However I´m not going to get jealous because of that or how beautiful I hear the south of Chile is, or that you guys are allowed Zone activities at the beach, you can´t make me.  

Rhys:  Is the title of your email Elder Pendrive because they call you that in Argentina? Because I have had that same thing happen to me, I am now, depending on who you are i'm Elder Pendrive too....,Elder Pendrive, Enrique, Henrich, Enricht, Henrikt, Endry, Henry, and Henrique.  Yeah they all are pretty similar, but the real name is definitely missing.
Elder Enright (or one of the above mentioned, I answer to pretty much all of them now)

Elders Correa and Enright with President Heyman in a really, really clean pension.

Elder Pendrive.... (Rhys)

 Hola hola long list of people in the "to" box, including family, friends, fellow missionaries, and teachers, and don't  worry I just separated "friends" and "missionaries/teachers" to be more specific. 

Hi to Elder Cipriano and Hermana Long (two of the missionaries from the greatest zone that ever was in Vegas) and I think that´s everyone new (Stowell was in the zone too, but you´ve been getting these for a while, Stow-ell). 

 I really don't have a lot of time, but we´ll see what I can fit in since I say the same thing every time and end up writing a lot (mas o menos). This week we had interviews with our mission president, President Heyman (if you´re new to the list of people reading this, then you may not have heard that I have a fetching awesome mission president, but I do, my mission president is fetching awesome). So the week started out like every other week (visiting our investigators and figuring out why they didn´t attend church this past Sunday while desperately searching for new investigators. All. The. Time.) But this time everything was done with the anticipation of interviews and the food that that would mean for lunch on Friday (the day that we had interviews and one day out of two in the week that we don´t have lunch with members) and also there was something else that kind of had our whole district ruffling it´s feathers (why not?). Not too long ago, one of the assistants to the president told us that he would be seeing us soon. . . because he was going to do divisions in our area. BUM BUM BUUUMMMMM!!  Just a heads up, these things aren´t normal here.To have the APs do divisions in your area, obviously you´d have to be a ZL first to anticipate this. But they were talking to us, as a district, and that is what we were kind of scared of for most of the week. Okay, more excited than scared, but slightly scared. The day turned out to be Thursday, the day right before the interviews, when we got a call from the assistants that they´d be in our area ready to do divisions at 7. Oh yeah, the call came at 6:10. So Elder Valle and I had a real quick lesson with the mom of one of our investigators who is never at home (hey, but usually her mom hides from us, so this is something) and then booked it back to the pension to wait for the APs. As it turned out, the APs went on splits with the two senior comps, Elder Valle and ELder Mudrovich and ELder Batt and I went and worked in my area together. Kind of dissapointing and relieving at the same time that we wouldn´t be the ones doing the actual dplits for the night (mostly dissapointing). But while walking with Elder Batt, after all of our plans kind of fell through, I saw a pink house. Meaning that we had to try it. Turns out that an old man lives in said house who had contact with the missionaries twenty years ago and then lost them and really really wants to know where our shurch is. So I am really out of time now, but I guess the moral to this story is that you should always hit up the pink house, something like that. Sorry for this email and it´s jumbled-ness (also for all of the spelling mistakes, this Keyboard is super weird to type on and English is starting to escape me).

Elder ENright

Rhys is still camera-less (working on it) but I found this pic of interview day on President Heyman's blog, Rhys really is in it, see if you can find him.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

NEW YEAR!!!!! (Kegan)

Well, it´s oficially 2014.  2013 came and went super fast ,too fast if you ask me and I´m sure, from what I have yet heard, everybody else.  

Just about six months ago I had just arrived in Mexico and had no idea what I was about to do (literally those of you who are preparing for missions or maybe just thinking about it, you should really start preparing as soon as you can)  

Now I have been serving in Chile for a little over five months and learned so much more than I ever thought I would,and some things that never seemed to valuable or sensible to me either, let me explain

This week I´ve learned how to fill up a baptismal font with trash bucket, vases, cups, and a slightly functionable firehose.  I´ve learned that the entertainment quality of a movie about a missionary talking to some guy on his plane home can be multiplied almost an inumerable amount when it´s New Years, and you really have nothing more to do after midnight.  I´ve had some bad experiences with the buses here in the past but I now know that I have never seen the worst, or most awkward that could happened, for example, butt pinching women sitting on the bus (Don´t fetching objectify me) and bus conductors who are willing to kick missionaries off to fit more and new people on. I have learned to check chocolate packages before eating them, you know in case a recent convert decides to gift alcoholic chocolates to the missionaries.
Amoung all of these well-learned lessons I have been able to take part in this week I have also learned how helpful the members of this church are willing to be, how strong the power of the Book of Mormon and the Holy ghost really are, so much that I know how much it can change people.  

Just one example is Fernando, the husband of a member who lives about a ten minute bus ride and a 15 minute walk from Quintero.  We first visited with him last week, when he couldn´t understand the verses or teachings of the Bible and had no interest in Baptism.  Just this past week he has read just about two chapters and some of the introduction of the Book of Mormon, add the fact that he now praying and he has changed into a man who wants to be Baptised the 2 of Feburary and can understand God´s plan for him here in this earth (Despite what his wife sometimes says, I´ve also learned some member lessons just don´t help)  However, while he is in Santiago for 15 days we will keep in contact and help prepare him for the 2nd of next month.  

I forgot to add, fasting can be a pain and can certainly make fever worse for at least 48 hours, but it definitely works.

Plus, time limits stink.

Elder Enright

New Year's Miracles (Bayley)

Welp.  It's 2014.  And I am 200% not okay with that.  2013 was a good year to me.  It was a HUGE year for me.  A lot happened.  Where I was and who I was just one year ago is very far away from where I am and who I am now.  Seriously, one year ago I was getting ready for my final semester at CSU, stressing out about textbooks and classes and grades, and then what happened?  I graduated.  Like, from college.  That was weird.  And then I went through the temple with my brothers.  And then...then I left on my mission.  And now I'm a missionary, and have been for 6 MONTHS.  How crazy is that?  Being a missionary is seriously the best decision I have ever made.  The things I have learned, the miracles I have witnessed, and the people I have met have changed my life forever.  So, understandable so, I think, I was a little sad to say goodbye to the year.  You did good, 2013.

But anyways.  Onward ever onward, right?

This week has been a week of car troubles.  Seriously.  One day earlier this week, we went to get out the car and Sister Boam just couldn't - the passenger side door had randomly decided it was on strike, and so everywhere we drove I would have to get out and then go around and let her out.  Usually there was a lot of drama added in - bowing on my part, waving and thanking the imaginary adoring crowds on Sister Boam's part (if you haven't learned it yet, allow me to tell you: missionaries are weird) - but finally we got in contact with our mission vehicle guy and he said "yeah, that happens to those cars a lot" and told us what little auto shop we needed to go to to get it taken care of.  And let me tell you - I hate going to auto shops.  I feel like an idiot.  And especially as missionaries, we just go in and are like "hi you are supposed to have an account for us and please just fix our car ok we'll just sit here."  And so anyways we drive to the place to get our car fixed thinking it is just a little door how long could it possible take, and finally the guy is like "ok so it'll be done by probably 2:30, make sure you call before picking it up" and we are like "oh right um, so we don't have a car" and then we had to awkwardly pretend that of course we hadn't been planning on having our car back right away, we're not dumb, and walk away calmly before frantically calling around to get a ride because we had people to teach and souls to save.  But it all worked out.

Anyways, so let's talk miracles, shall we?  We had our fair share of them this week.  The first one happened on New Years Day, which was honestly a very very long day for missionaries since everybody was hungover from a night of partying and so had no desire to keep their appointments or answer their door or talk about God at all.  But you know what?  There are lots of days like that on the mission, but the most important thing is that no matter how many appointments fall through or no matter how many people slam the door in your face - you KEEP WORKING, because so long as your feet are actually moving, God can guide them.  So anyways, with all of our plans no going as planned, we decided to go check up on this less active member who neither of us has met.  And when he didn't answer the door, we decided we might as well tract his little apartment complex.  We learned very quickly, however, that with the exception of the little old drug addict who thought we were health inspectors, the entire community was Spanish speaking.  And yet for some reason we kept knocking doors.  When all of the sudden this crazy dog comes tearing past us, pursued by a woman yelling after it in Spanish.  We went up to her and volunteered to help catch her dog, which didn't actually happen because as soon as the woman saw us she got super excited and started talking in very fast Spanish.  When she stopped to take a breath, we were able to tell her we didn't speak Spanish, and she nodded her understanding and instead starting pointing at our Books of Mormon and speaking slower, with some broken English.  Essentially, she used to meet with Mormons before, and she was so excited to see us again, and since we didn't speak Spanish we got her name and address and promised to send the Spanish missionaries.  Anyways, fast forward to that time where we were stranded at the Ford place, and it was the hermanas who were able to come and give us a ride.  One of the sisters, Hermana Tonga, had served in this area a long time ago, and as soon as we got in the car she was all "OH MY GOODNESS YOU FOUND THE TUSCANOS!" and proceeded to tell us that the woman who we had met before was actually a member of the church who they had been working with for a long time helping her come back to church, before she had moved and they had completely lost contact with her.  This was like a year or more ago.  And ever since then, Hermana Tonga told us, she had been praying and praying for the Tuscano family to be found.  And tada!  They have been!  What amazing evidence of the way God guides us, and uses us as His instruments.  There was no way we bumbling English missionaries in a Spanish neighborhood were to have any idea how important that contact was, but we were there, our feet were moving, and so God put us where he needed us to be, to answer prayers and to help His children.  That's pretty incredible.

A similar story took place on Thursday, during our Hour of Power.  When we select our Hour of Power street in the morning, we pray, pick two streets, pray again, and then have our one.  Anyways, so that night we go out to our street and as soon as we get there I just know that we need to be at the other street we had originally picked instead.  I told Sister Boam and she was all "yes, definitely" so we hurry up and drive over the other side of town and get knocking.  A few doors down, we meet this super nice baptist lady and her son, who had no interest whatsoever in anything we had to share.  We asked her if she knew anyone we could go see, and she told us no and off we went on our merry way.  After we'd knocked like two more houses, her son comes running up to us from down the street to tell us that there is a girl who lives nearby who has been through some hard things and would we go see her.  Um, yes.  Of course we would.  As we walked over, the boy told us that his girl had used to receive visits from the "guys in our church," but that she had always brushed them off and maybe because we were girls she would listen to us.  Worth a try.  So he points out the house to us, we thank him and say goodbye, and knock on her door.  And that's the story of how we met and began teaching Delilah, her sister Nicole, and her father.

Here's the moral of the story.

God has a plan.  And by saying that, I don't just mean like THE Plan of Salvation, which he also has, but he has plans for each and every one of us.  We have such amazing potential to do such amazing things, but we really have NO IDEA what those things are or how we could possibly accomplish them.  Which is why it is so absolutely crucial that we turn to God, and that we live our lives in such a way that He can speak to us and guide us, to reach our full potential.  To reach out and find those Delilahs and those Tuscanos, who are ALL AROUND US, but only God knows where.  

Love to you all!  I hope you all had the happiest New Years and I know this next year is going to bring SO many good things to all of us.

Sister Enright

¡¡¡FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!!! (also this keyboard has those little upside down exclamation mark thingys) (Rhys)

¡Hi everybody!

          If you understood the reference, you likely responded instantly, if you didn´t, than you should feel bad, very very bad. 

          I don´t know about the rest of you, but I was only just getting used to writing 2013 into the date of. . . pretty much everything that I do here. Journal, planner, teaching records, etc. And now it´s not even 2013 anymore, meaning lots of things, including the fact that Bayley will be home by the end of this year. I´m sorry about that Bayley, it had to be said, just don´t think about it. I don´t know how the rest of you celebrated your new years, but in our pension we celebrated the night before without electricity. Something that happens to us a lot is we have our lights cut. We don´t always know why, but every once in a while, our lights go out and we open every single window we can possibly find because no lights means no air conditioning. Yes, we have little boxes of air conditioning-ness in two rooms of our pension and even though one of them doesn´t really work so much as air conditioning as it does as a white noise (this just so happens to be the one that me and my companion get in our room, go figure), they´re still nice to have. But the night that the lights went out (new year´s eve) we had bought everything early on and made plans to eat what the two chilenos in the pension call completos (apparently a highly popular food in Chile, Hot dog, bun, guacamole, not bad). So we just ended up cooking everything while holding flashlights in our mouths to see and make sure that the gas wasn´t leaking too much (just kidding, Mom and Dad). and we kind of had a picnic on the exercise blankets in the middle of the floor of the pension, using our flashlights to look at all of the huge spiders on the ceiling that obviously hide during the day in any nook and cranny (an english phrase that I must admit I miss using, so I´ll use it when I can) that they can find. So yeah, my new years was pretty bomb, especially since there was a huge lightning/rainstorm outside during this (oh yeah, that´s what happened to the electricity) and the lightning that we got that night was way better than the fireworks that our neighbours were ready to shoot off before the storm. Disclaimer, we didn´t have fireworks, but basically how every holiday is celebrated down here is with grills and firerworks, think fourth of July, people.

          One other thing about me and my new companion (Elder Valle, falta solo tres meses para terminar). I said earlier that I couldn´t guess how you were celebrating the new year, but for a good deal of you (all of you that are actually getting this email, I think), I can probably guess how you spent the first Sunday of the year. Trying really hard not to think about food. Yep, this past sunday was Fast Sunday, one of my favorite days to be a missionary as well as one of the most agonizing. Usually we fast together as a companionship, but for this sunday, me and my companion fasted for different reasons and after we broke the fast, sometime later we could tell the other what we fasted for. Well I fasted and prayed for us to find those in our area who are prepared to hear the gospel. This is something that we´ve really been needing because we have very few investigators and contacting everyday to find news and we always find someone, but the trick is to find those prepared to hear the gospel and if necesary, change their lives. So we fasted and searched for investigators or less-actives in our area to walk to church with us and went to church (sadly without any of our investigators, getting people to church is the hardest thing here) and did all that jazz and returned and eventually broke our fasts and ate and studied and went back out to work in the afternoon. So we had plans for every half-hour and back-up plans and the very first of these was an older investigator from a few months back that had attended Church one time but not much else had happened ad far as we could see. We went and visited Silvia Vasquez (oh yeah, that´s her name btw) and we ended up having an awesome lesson about the Book of Mormon and I learned at least as much as she did. SHe´s been visited by lots of missionaries before, but ahe´s always had doubts about the Book of Mormon and why it´s necesary. For this, we bore testimony, read in both the Book of Mormon and the Bible, and she accepted the commitment to read and pray about the Book of Mormon every night this week and we´ll be visiting her when possible, but ohmygosh it was awesome and I can´t wait to teach her more and I know that this is exactly what I was fasting for. BAM the Church is true.

Elder Enright/Henricht

I think that everyone here believes me to be german, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a name that is apparently impossible to pronounce. I should see if I can get a plaque that says Henricht.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas in Pasadena (Bayley)

Well hello there everybody!
I have quite a lot to say today so I guess I should just dive right in.
Story numero uno (see - I'm practicing my Spanish, in hopes of my awkward Spanish door approaches becoming a wee bit less awkward)
So earlier this week Sister Boam and I were arriving home from a very long day of walking and knocking and more walking and more knocking, and we open our apartment door to see a little Christmas goodie bag on Sister Boam's desk.  As in, a little Christmas goodie bag that had not been there when we had left our apartment earlier that day, locking the door behind us.  We inspected it thoroughly, but there was no note at all, nor any trace of where this package came from.  Our reactions were as follows:

Sister Boam: oh how sweet of somebody to give us a Christmas present
Yeah, basically.

Seriously though.  There are exactly 2 other people who have keys to our apartment: the apartment people, and mission people.  So we first called up our fellow missionaries to see if they had received mysterious Christmas packages, to which they all said no.  Then we went around to visit a number of our neighbors (our apartment complex is home to 2 other sets of missionaries, as well as 2 of our investigators, several less actives, and our recent convert, Brian, so we had options) to discover that none of them had received little goodie bags.  So it wasn't the apartment, or the mission, so basically the only logical conclusion we've come to is that somebody broke into our apartment through a window to give us a gift of Doritos and Oreos and then escaped.  Yup.  We don't know how alarmed we should be about the whole thing, but since the Doritos, Oreos, and sodas all remain unopened, I think it's safe to say we're still a little concerned about someone trying to poison us - because seriously if there wasn't any poison-threat, those Oreos wouldn't last another second.
Except honestly it was probably some super nice person doing something super nice for the missionaries, and all my years of watching crime dramas have just made me paranoid and impossible to surprise due to the fact that whatever the situation I'm just going to think it's an assassination attempt.  True story.
Moving on.
Oh yeah - this week was CHRISTMAS!  Merry merry Christmas everyone, I hope your Christmas day was full of joy and delicious food.  Over here in THE mission, we had both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, so both days were spent eating excessive amounts of candy and other healthy things, and lounging around the church building.  Most of the other missionaries played volleyball, except I played chess.  Because that's just the way I roll.  Then actually on Christmas day we all went over to a members house, the Johnsons, where we were fed turkey and potatoes and all that goodness, and I spent hours playing Khet against an elder in our district - Khet is a board game that is basically chess with lasers, doesn't get much better than that.  So I guess you could say my Christmas was pretty wonderful, especially since I got to Skype my family home.  It was SO AMAZING to see them, especially to see my missionary brothers, the little punks. 
Pasadena is wonderful.  I love it here.  And honestly, one of my favorite things is our area names.  Basically, the area we cover has been split into little mini areas so like we can keep track of where everyone is and whatnot, and the northernmost part of our area is where all the plants are (like industry plants not tree plants) and so of course there's like hardly anyone who lives there, and so that particular area is called Mordor.  There's just something so wonderful about those days where we have people to see up there and we can say things like "we're off to Mordor" and actually mean it.  On those days I like to draw a little eye of Sauron in my planner, because I have problems.  The area where our apartment is is called the Shire, and for some reason the Shire is right next to Beverly Hills.  Don't ask.
But seriously, Pasadena is incredible.  We have seen so many miracles already, and have been truly blessed as we've gone out and worked.  One of our blessings is our new investigator, Hollis.  He is amazing.  He is 79 years old and was taught like 20 million (roughly) years ago by some elders, but then completely lost track of them, but now that he has found the missionaries again he just wants to be baptized.  I love him.  He has such an earnest desire to be baptized and to learn more.  Even though he was taught, he has forgotten most things, so pretty much everything we teach is new to him, and when we were teaching him about the Book of Mormon he looks at the copy we've given him and said "so this book is very, very important then."  Yes, yes it is.  Our lessons with him are always fun too, like yesterday during our lesson we were talking about families and he asked if Sister Boam and I had husbands, to which we responded that no, we weren't married, and he started telling us all about how God had commanded us to marry and multiply and replenish the earth and we were breaking one of God's commandments.  So that was nice.  And then of course he engaged our member who was with us in a lengthy discussion of Jesus's ethnicity, which is actually a conversation topic that comes up a lot down here.  He is set to  be baptized in January, and is really excited about it, and brings it up everytime we see him.  I love seeing the excitement people have about the gospel - like with the Book of Mormon.  Hollis is just so excited to read it, and seeing his excitement about finding this book he's never seen before, makes me realize how blessed I've been to have it my whole life - but also it makes me realize how much I have taken it for granted.
Another fun story.
Yesterday Sister Boam and I were out checking up on some people in an apartment complex, when all of the sudden out of nowhere this four year old girl appears and she is just hugging Sister Boam's legs and won't let go.  And there seriously isn't an adult in sight anywhere.  Sister Boam is all alarmed, and tried to like shake her off, but she wouldn't go.  Finally we just like start walking away and the girl just chases her down and won't let go of her.  At this point, I'm basically dying because it's the funniest thing ever, and finally Sister Boam gets down and is all "can I give you something?" and reaches into her bag to give the girl a picture of Jesus.  She gives it to the girl, who shakes her head and says "I don't want this" and then begins to root through Sister Boam's bag and pulls out her notebook and goes "I want this."  So Sister Boam tears out the pages of her notebook that like she has things written on, and then hands it over.  And that's the story of how my companion was robbed by a four year old, while I just stood by laughing because seriously how often does something like that happen?  And then as we went about checking up on people we were having to peer around corners and sometimes hide so as to avoid the little thief in her Disney princess jacket.  Missionaries lead weird lives.
And lastly, to end this on a somewhat spiritual note, I just want to tell you all how absotutely AMAZING this gospel is.  We have a recent convert here, Brian, who is so wonderful, and it is my favorite thing to hear him pray.  Because when he prays, it is so sincere - he really is speaking to his Father, and you can hear his love and his sincerity in the way that he prays, he'll say things like "well, that's all I have to say right now" and it is just so REAL.  It's an amazing reminder to me of how real this whole work is, how everything is.  We are children of God.  He loves and knows us, and especially around this time of the year I think we can all feel his love a little more acutely, because we are celebrating that greatest gift of all - our Savior Jesus Christ.  And it is amazing to see people come to know that, to develop that love and that relationship with their Heavenly Father.  What an amazing blessing I've been given to be out here and to witness and feel His love each and every day, not only for myself but for everyone around me.
Love you all, and Happy New Year!
Sister Bayley Enright