Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello de nuevo (Kegan)

Hello de nuevo to everyone

Thank you soo much to all of you for your emails and for the prayers said everyday for any missionary anywhere in the world, every one counts.  I can tell you from experience that they do, that they really are blessing the lives of missionaries out here in the field because I am one of those missionaries and this past week I felt those blessings a whole bunch.  

We started off this week just last Monday ( as most people are forced to do by nature of it being the first day of the week)  and had an excellent, Noche de Hogar with the family of our ward mission leader and a family from Ecuador. All in all it was good because we were able to watch a part of Together Forever (no not the song by Rick Astley).  It is a short slightly cheesy movie that centers on three stories about how two couples and one very lonely guy fixed their problems with the Gospel of Jesus Christ (when I say slightly cheesy I mean on the scale of nachos).  It is actually very good and from what I can tell hugely popular among the members here.
We were able to get another visit with the same familia put in the agenda, but it fell through, we´ll see how it goes with them.

We have seen a huge amount of progress with a family we started teaching this week, Andrea and her two kids, Ezekiel and Samaris are very receptive.  Andrea sometimes has problems with depression.  Last time we passed by we were only able to talk for a short while with her at her gate, but we got to excite her a little bit and told her to look at the blessings she has in Ezekiel and Samaris, because they are both super good kids to have suffered what they have emotionally and physically, in some cases (Samaris has complications of the bones in her legs and has a cast on one and a frame thing on the other ankle to be able to walk) They really are amazing and have honest desires to find the truth for themselves.  It just really, well, stinks to see that the family is really being ATTACKED ON ALL FRONTS. The best part is to know exactly what they need, or at least to have the guidance of the spirit to know what they need, and to be able to help them recuperate and even one day be sealed together (Forever and never to part..) in the temple.

In other news. I finished the Book of mormon again this morning and as a mission we will be beginning again in two days with different subjects to mark and study.  What struck me is that this time around we will be marking every mention of satan and his tools in order to better recognize the adversary when we are affronted by him and so that we can study and find the solution. 

Finishing the Book of Mormon this morning it really struck me how sad the story of Mormon and Moroni is, it is SUPER sad guys! But,sin embargo, everyone needs to read that book.

Oh I forgot, we helped move the other elders in my district from their apartment because the owner is crazy and deaf, and mute, and cuts the water and electricity off and on and enters whenever she darn well pleases, they are super happy in the new apartment.

I really love you all, sorry for the lack of a subject and better ending, but that´s how it goes.
 

Elder Enright
Awesome sandwich, yes I am posing with my food, but it really was amazing

Awesome tie knot I learned

Funny english marketing here in Chile on a lego box

Door Knocking (Rhys)

Hey guys,

I don´t actually have a lot of time this week (shocker), but also not an actual huge amount to talk about either. First off, the main reason that not a lot happened this week is that we´ve been trying to work in a part of our area this past week where not a lot of missionaries have worked before (because there´s a bunch of rich people in this area, that´s why) and so we have our MLS list and also our folder of Investigadores antiguos that we like to use, but we have no old investigators or members in this area, so back to the basic Door Knocking. Unfortunately, it doesn´t seem that a lot of people want to let two white guys (like really white, I don´t know if I don´t tan, or if I don't tan in Argentinian sun, or a little bit of both, cause we are talking WHITE) in to talk about eternal salvation.

But not just door knocking, I´ve become really really really really more shameless than ever at following, tracking, and just staring people down to get to talk to them about Jesus (maybe that sounds bad the way that I put it, but I promise that it´s not. . .). In fact, just this last week me and Elder Renfro went to talk to a shirtless old man sitting outside (literally about 83% of the population here) and we got to talking and we´re all like, " so we´d love to be able to sit down and talk if you have some extra chairs or something. . ."
Old Guy´s turn; "yeah that´d be great, but you see I´m really busy and I have to leave real soon, in fact right now, can´t talk"
And he stood up (shirtless and bare foot) and walked into his house as fast as he could.

And that´s the best story that I could think of from this week, that may give you an idea of what the week´s been like. SO I´ll just go now and this is a photo of a dog that I found in our area during divisiones with our District Leader.

Lovely, just lovely.

Elder Enright
Stray dog.

Cool carousel.

"How great shall be your JOY" (Bayley)

SO MUCH JOY.
This week, guys.
This. Week.
So many miracles.  So many joys.  I don't even know what to do with myself.  But guuurrrllll let me tell you - God is GOOD.
Here's why.
Joy #1
We had 5 investigators at church yesterday.  FIVE.  You will hear about each and every one of them in due time, but the best part of it was that we sicced (siced? syced? sic-ced?  whatever) members on them PRONTO and so every one of them had members at their sides the whole time to help them feel comfortable and understand what was going on.  But seriously, to have 5 people at church was such an amazing MIRACLE.  It doesn't matter that two of them followed us there so as to not get lost the first time driving...and so of course I got lost on the way to church (doh!) and it doesn't matter that in the middle of sacrament meeting Sister Crump and I had to run out and steal toys from the nursery because their baby was crying, and also one of them had to take smoke breaks, and that doesn't matter either because you know what?  THEY CAME TO CHURCH! 
Joy #2
Blanca and Agapito.  This would be the couple I accidentally got lost having them follow us to church :D but that's okay.  Blanca and Agapito are AMAZING.  We found Blanca a while ago, just a street contact (which means she was standing outside and we just went up to her and were all..."Hi. Missionaries. Church. Come over?" and then she actually did let us come back) and she has always been super awesome, and this week we started teaching her husband, Agapito, as well.  As we shared the Joseph Smith story with Agapito, he began to cry and told us how he had had a dream two years ago in which God had come to him and told him he needed to leave some old habits behind for his family, and that the way God had spoken to Joseph Smith was exactly how God had spoken to him.  What's more, as I recited Joseph Smith history with them, I could envision them and their 3 boys being sealed in the temple, and it was such an amazing moment.  How wonderful that God lets us be part of this great work of creating eternal families!
Joy #3
So as a Sister Training Leader, I get to go on exchanges with the other sisters in my district, and so this week I got to go to La Porte with dear Sister Martin.  Here's what I found there: A HIDDEN BEACH (don't worry - we're gonna go pday that up today) (and by hidden beach I mean it's just a normal beach that nobody ever told me existed like RIGHT THERE) where we ate Subway for lunch.  So much joy in beach picnics, and also in pretty biking trails.  I love the opportunity I have to get to serve with these sisters and work in their areas - even if it means being out of precious Pasadena for a day.
Joy #4
Another gator we had at church yesterday was Gabriel.  Let me tell you about how we met Gabriel - it's a little unreal.  We had just left an appointment and were unlocking our bikes, when this guy just walks up to us and asks how we're doing.  Sister Crump and I kind of looked at each other thinking "this is a little weird..." but you know that's probably how we make people feel ALL THE TIME so it's all good.  We talked for a little bit and introduced ourselves as missionaries, and after a little small talk Gabriel asks "so - what's the news?"  Sister Crump and I look at each other again, and I finally say "um, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored!" to which Gabriel goes "oh wow - that is *very* good news.  What church are you from?  I would like to go."
Seriously.
This is real life.
That actually happened.
And seriously, if that could happen everyday to missionaries everywhere, that would just be great.  Usually we have to go hunt people down and stalk them to get them to let us teach them - and you wouldn't believe the lengths we go to to get them to come to church.  So a guy just coming up to us and telling us he wants to come to church and wants us to teach him more?  Yeah.  I'll take that.
He came to church, stayed the whole 3 hours, stayed for a lesson afterwards, and then a baptismal service after that.  Even better, up to this point, he's been a Jehovah's Witness...but that'll change soon.  He's preparing for his own baptism the end of next month.
Joy #5
During our Hour of Power this week (for which I was super sick - there's another miracle: didn't barf all over a door contact.  That would be the day) we were talking to this guy all about Jesus and whatnot, and he goes "have you guys seen that movie?  What's it called..."  Now, as a missionary I am not exactly well versed in current pop culture, but I do know that apparently there is this new movie called Son of God that recently came out, and the only reason I know about it is because seriously EVERYONE and their dog ask us if we've seen it.  And so when he asked us "have you guys seen that movie?" we sort of sighed and Sister Crump offered "Son of God?" because that's the movie EVERYONE asks us if we've seen, but the guy was all "no, no, not that one - um...Machine Gun Preacher."  
Haha!
Yup, we had to say no to that one as well.  But apparently we should look into it, it's a great movie about missionary work.  Or so we hear.
Joy #6
This week we also had quite the experience with the Book of Mormon.  Don't we always?  We had an investigator call us and tell us we needed to come over because he'd been reading and had some big questions.  When we hear things like that, it's either really good, or really *not* good.  So we went over that night, and he explained to us how he was confused because there seemed to be a lot missing from the BOM, and he couldn't find all the answers, and God wasn't answering any of his questions and he just felt a bit abandoned and like he didn't know enough.  As we listened, the phrase "line upon line, precept upon precept" came to my mind, and I remembered that that morning I had read that verse in 2 Nephi 28 as part of our mission wide reading of the Book of Mormon, that has us reading a chapter every day (and so that day's chapter had been 28).  I pulled it out and asked Bro Waltz to read it.  As he did so, he responded that that verse answered him directly - that he would learn little by little.  He then asked me about how I had found that scripture - and said "you knew that I was going to ask you these exact questions, didn't you, so you had that scripture all ready?" to which I responded honestly that I had had no idea what questions he was going to ask, and that in fact I had read that scripture this morning as part of a reading program that had been prearranged months earlier for us to read that exact chapter on that exact day.  After I said that, Bro Waltz sat there for a long time and finally started to tear up and said "and I didn't even think He knew my name."  The whole experience was amazing to me - that God answered his son's prayers and demonstrated His love for this son in such an incredible way.  And to think - if we hadn't been doing what we were supposed to do when it came to our daily reading and were even just a chapter off, we would not have had that amazing opportunity to see the way that God works.  Lessons of the mission: EXACT OBEDIENCE MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  True story.
Joy #7
And perhaps, one of my favoritest joys of this week came from little Malachi, a 6 year old boy who is basically my favorite.  While listening to "I am a Child of God" being sung at the women's broadcast (where he was with his mom) he leans over to me and whispers: "even old people are childs of God."
Can't say much more than that.
I love you all!  I hope your week has been as joy filled as mine, and that you'll always remember the most important things in life: the gospel, family, and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
Love,
Sister Bayley Enright

A missionary car with a CTR license plate - best thing evah

Hermana Duffin. She loves Doctor Who. We're friends. And Hermana McCormick is creepin' in the background.

Malachi, Sister Crump and Me

Pelican mail box in La Porte

With Sister Martin at the Hidden Beach!



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

please please please come to church! (Rhys)

Alright, just to start off, I think that I should explain real quick what I´m doing writing on a Tuesday instead of a Monday (and you may figure out something about the title a little bit). So Elder Renfro and I kind of had a bummer Sunday as we had not a single one of our investigators at church and we just kind of felt bummed and that´s all I have to say about that. But part of the reason that that happened is that we´ve spent a butt-ton of time this week looking for some new people all over our area to teach and bring to church and also eventually. . . . you know, Baptize. So we had quite a few news and we also contacted a lot and really really tried to get everyone to come to church. So after a big fat zero amount of people at church, we spent most of our time Sunday also finding new people to teach and actually had some fun doing it. And we were walking back to the pensh and then we see Elders White and Thomas walking too and we say hi and everything manly that big tough representatives of Jesus Christ do, but White was not looking happy. So then he gave us that bad news that P-day was cancelled due to the fact that Monday was a holiday (not sure why, everybody just said that it was a holiday and so they didn´t work or go to school) so because some places where we might normally find some food to trade for paper with people's faces and also some numbers on it (money) would be closed, we were just going to do it today (Tuesday) instead. Makes sense, but we all learned about this the night before after trying to make all of our follow up appointments for Tuesady because we couldn´t do it Monday and then we had to plan for a full day of work (basically finding news again) and basically the whole day felt weird, but now we get write so Yay! (lots of run on sentences, sorry)

But, we did have a few fun experiences this week . . . .Let me think of some for a bit while I say really really thank you to my awesome seminary teacher from years ago for the awesome emails and stories. I also realized that I may not have been sending my emails before to said seminary teacher and now I feel kind of bad, but now you should be getting this one Hno. Christensen, so thank you.

Still thinking. . . .

I guess there was this really neat thing that happened yesterday. We were looking for some news and contacting homes from the list of members in the ward that we didn´t recognize and must therefore not be too active in the church, and if they weren´t there, we talked with they´re neighbors, so mostly neighbors. BUT!! there was this one house we went to where we talked with the Abuela and her care lady (person who takes care of her, can´t think of an English word for that) and also the dad of the family (son of the abuela) and they´ve obviously seen lots of missionaries over the years, just haven´t gone to church in a while and also haven´t read the Book of Mormon in a while so we shared scriptures with them and talked about church and yada yada yada. Fast forward to the evening when we went to another menos activos house and talked with his non member daughter and his daughter´s niece. SO we talk, and it turns out that the guy from the morning, Ariel was his name, is the brother of the menos activos' daughter and father of the other girl and we were just saying stuff in Spanish a lot, but the gist of it was "oh my gosh! we just talked to your dad this morning!! and that old lady was your grandma!! aaahaaahhhh!!!" and the daughter is a pretty die hard Catholic, but she agreed to let us come and talk to her more at the menos activos' house where we found her. So that was neat.

And now I need to get off and email my wonderful family and so I´m kind of sorry about the bummer email, but this next week is going to rock and I´m sure I will have great stories for next time. 

Elder Enright

Our new District Leader (Elder Murphy) and his Comp (Elder Fuentes) and the glasses and hat that the companionships have to wear to rendir cuentas during District meeting.

Sorry about the lame TMNT pic, we didn´t do much this P-day, but I made chocolate pancakes for lunch and Elder Thomas made himself some mac and cheese and so we ate lunch together and that´s when I took the pic.


Monday, March 24, 2014

First full week as a District Leader, Feelings of supreme power fading. (Kegan)

Hello my dear and adoring fans, as I am sure you all are. I have just had my first FULL week back here in the zone of Achupallas in Chamiza as a District Leader. 

The title reference to supreme powers is really just a joke, even more so now that I have come to realize how little control I have over my time as a District leader. I never thought nightly calls and baptismal interviews would take too much time from my regular schedule. But that´s just proof of how little attention I paid to Elder Call and his work as a DL.  To me it´s just another sign that I now need to learn to control more tightly the little time I have here to serve the Lord.

This Week in Chamiza we´ve seen a few miracles, and since it just doesn´t make sense that way I´ll start at the end of this week.

Saturday we visited a less active family that Elder Ramirez has been working to reactivate.  The Familia Parra Nilo.  We got along very well and even better when they told us they were going to bring the Duke family (family of investigators Elder Ramirez taught for the first and only time a few weeks back) to church the next day.  Even though we were a little worried when they didn´t show up right away, they ,along with what appeared to the entire ward, showed up only about 10 minutes late with the Duke family in tow just like they had promised.  Proving at the same time that anyone but me can get my investigators to come to church, all of the other 5 or 6 investigators who had promised to come never showed.

Earlier in the week we found a new investigator (because the spirit was definitely poking around in my head) who works in a negocio (de nuevo, gas station store minus the bathroom, personal bubble, and the actual gas station = negocio) Her name is Johanna and her work makes it hard to teach her but she really is honestly interested, you can usually tell when they read the Book of Mormon chapters you leave them when they said they would read them.  In about a week it should be easier to find time to teach her in a better atmosphere and maybe with her parents!!!

The other two investigators we found that day are a little less interested...and that´s all I have to say about that

The better miracle was that night when I was calling the >>District I was able to see that God was certainly answering prayers because every companionship had found new Investigators that day, That´s one of the parts of being a District Leader that I love the most. Seeing the Miracles.

Elder Ramirez and I have been teaching much better together recently and we are still getting to know one another a little better, but everything has been getting better.
  
Love (unless that comes out weird, in which case, um, bye?)
Elder Enright

Hermano Christensen :  Really cool email,  I want to thank you for you support and amazing stories, just as much now as when I was dead tired in seminary.  My last companion and I prayed a whole lot together every day and we saw huge changes in the people we were teaching.  Unfortunately when I came here to Chamiza I had almost forgotten to pray so much. Thank you for the reminder, thank you so much. 

Lots of cool fog and mountains ( this is one of many pictures)

My favorite garden decoration

The Real Deal (Bayley)

This week has been QUITE the week.  Seriously.  One of those weeks where Monday comes and you look back and the last Monday seemed approximately 5 hundred years ago.  Ok so actually that is kind of how every week goes out here, but this week especially.  Possibly because of our appointment that ended up being our member calling an ambulance for our investigator who was then rushed to the ER, or maybe because of that one guy we met who told us God spoke to him and renamed him Jesus, or perhaps because of that one day where our innocent plan to try some people ended up with us comforting a hysterical girl who had just gotten thrown out of the car by her (hopefully ex) boyfriend...yeah.  More on those situations in a minute, maybe.  If I'm feeling it.  But first of all, let me tell you about how we had Stake Conference this past weekend, and they had a missionary and youth choir which sang a medley of "True to the Faith," "Army of Helaman," and "Called to Serve."  It was so amazing.  The spirit was so strong and I was grinning like an idiot standing there with my tag on, part of God's army.  And then I thought of how one day - in some far and distant future I am not thinking about - I will have to take that tag off, and I will sing "Called to Serve" without it on, and as soon as that thought came to me...well, I don't want to say I started crying, but I definitely wasn't emotionally sound for the remainder of the meeting.  With that said, I think I'm finally realizing that I'm hitting my hump day (halfway point) this transfer.  No matter how much I've been in denial and telling everyone I've been out for just a month - it's actually coming, and I am not okay with it.  My mission is seriously the best thing ever, and to think of leaving it behind breaks my heart.  So with all the love in my heart to everyone: NO MORE TALKING ABOUT HOW LITTLE TIME I HAVE LEFT ON MY MISSION, OK? Ok.  I'm perfectly content living in denial, so I'm just going to stick with it.  17 more months to go, right? Right.
Anyways - on to the whole ambulance and also crazy girl-thrown-out-of-the-car stories.  Actually, the ambulance one has already mostly been explained - this last week, our investigator Shawna started having some major medical problems and was rushed to the ER.  We visited her there with some of the elders so they could give her a priesthood blessing, and she has since been released and is home.  However she is still far from well, and if you could all keep her in your prayers that would be much appreciated.  Shawna is seriously the most amazing woman in the world, and I know she'll get through this all just fine - but it never hurts to have some extra prayers headed your way.

Now, as for my other crazy story...yeeaaahhh.  So Sister Crump and I were at an apartment complex (basically every day in Pasadena) and we heard this woman screaming hysterically.  And that's bad.  So we went to go see what was going on, which ended up being her boyfriend trying to leave her.  Except here's what it looked like - her screaming and sobbing and grabbing him and trying to get in the car, while he yelled and cussed her out and kept trying to pull her out of the car while she clung to him and yelled and threw things and then he threw things and basically that continued for a little bit until he finally managed to shake her off, lock the car doors, and then that's when she took the knife to the car trying to pry the doors open, but eventually he managed to drive off still yelling really not nice things while she chased him down with a knife still sobbing hysterically.  Yes, yes indeed.  Words don't manage to quite capture the whole thing, but you can try to envision this as you will.  It was so, so, so sad.  We went up to her and sat with her and told her that she was a daughter of God, which made her just cry harder.  We prayed with her and took her inside (after helping collect all the bits and pieces of her phone which were all over the concrete - don't know who threw it, him or her) and left her with our phone number after talking some more about how she has a Heavenly Father who really loves her, and doesn't want her to be treated like that or to feel like she does.  It really broke my heart.  So many people here don't realize who they are - they don't realize that they are children of God, of a loving Heavenly Father who cares about them SO much.  If only people realized that about first themselves, and then about those around them, there would be so much less hurt and sadness in this world.  That is something I've seen a lot on my mission - people who are facing such sadness and such pain that I really have no idea what it feels like.  Sometimes I ask myself how I can POSSIBLY help these people, but the truth is - we can't.  Me, I'm just 21 years old.  Kinda clueless about a lot of things with perhaps the exception of useless British history trivia.  I was blessed to be raised by two parents who love each other and love me and my siblings.  I have brothers and sisters who are certainly punks at times, but who I love and who I know love me.  I grew up knowing I have a Heavenly Father who has a plan for me.  For so many of these people out here - I really cannot at all empathize with their situations or pain or have any idea how to help them through it.  Honestly, most of us missionaries can't at all.  But we're not supposed to be able to.  Because there is someone who can - that is where Jesus Christ comes in.  That is why it is so, SO important that people come unto Him because He and He alone knows EXACTLY what they feel and EXACTLY what they need to do to find healing.  Our purpose as missionaries is not to help these people heal, but to show them to Christ so that *He* can heal them.  Gosh darn it, that's not just the job of full time missionaries - but of EVERYONE who has found Christ - who has a hold of that restored gospel that so many people don't know about.  One of my favorite quotes of the week is from President Thomas S. Monson: "the mantle of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort, but rather a robe of responsibility.  Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God." 
I hope you all realize how serious this work is that we are involved in - not just me with my tag on, but each one of you.  Pray for missionary opportunities.  Be an example of the believers.  Love everyone.  This gospel is real.

Love,
Sister Bayley Enright

Monday, March 17, 2014

Elder Renfro and the Missing Photo from Last Week (Rhys)

So you all may or may not remember that this last week that I emailed you (meaning the last time I emailed, not too sure why I worded it that way) I was unable to get photos on here, but we had a baptism. SO if I´m lucky, I´ll be sending a bap photo with this email.

Shout out to Chile where I want everyone to know that my twin brother (e.g. the slightly blind version of me who also looks ridiculously tanned) is now a district leader in Chile #DLsrule #Chile #Argentina´s better.

As for my transfers here in Argentina, I am thankfully still here in Reconquista. Quite seriously, Reconquista here is the nicest little place in the whole mish, my area to be exact, I love it and I don´t think that I´ll ever be able to leave it. I did get a new comp though, as Elder Ratliff went off to work in Resistencia and left me here to kind of be sad that he left, and show Elder Renfro around the awesome little city of Reconquista. 

I was sad to see Ratliff go, but I´m not going to lie that we were bad influences with one another. we spent way too much money on ice cream and I think that if you saw the me from Formosa who lost about 15-20 pounds from the crazy sun and slim fast of only things that didn´t cause diarrhea when mixed with the sun and then saw the me now, you could count the kilos that are straight from the ice cream place across the street. But don´t worry, it mostly made my face a little fat. But now I have Elder Renfro who´s a sick little guy (sick as in the same definition as "bomb" and "cool" and english makes no sense) and we´re working a little harder and eating a little less ice cream #slimfast # :(

Renfro and I are working with some people here to get baptized the 29th and we also met this really sick (same definition as"chill") guy named Andres who lives on his own and didn´t really know if there was a God but wants to find out and is willing to pray and talk to us, so we´re alright with that. Also, one of the people to be baptized the 29th is named Mario and Ratliff and I worked with him all last transfer to try and help him realize that he already had an answer to his prayers because he still wasn´t sure that God was answering his prayers (cause he didn´t think God really cared too much for him) and he didn´t want to act until he got an answer. Just last night me and my comp visited him and I asked what was it that made him decide to get baptized and he told me that he was tired of waiting around to do something until he got an obvious answer to his problems from God, but decided instead to act first and trust that God will provide what he has asked after showing his faith. BBBAAAAAAAMMM! right out of nowhere, the way the Holy Spirit changes people amazes me and makes me want to see miracles like this everyday for the rest of my life. The other baptism is going to be the grandson of Betty and Luis who´s name is Sammy and I love to talk to him and teach him- --but just a side note here, people who talk to kids in that little I´m-talking-to-little-kids-in-this-voice-so-they-can-understand-me voice need to realize that kids aren´t stupid, that they´re the frickin´smartest people in the world, it´s the older people that won´t give up a church they know not to be true just cause they don´t want to change that are dumb. #caseclosed

Elder Enright

A ciber, where we do our emailing.

Elders Thomas, Enright, White and Renfro (with my cup on his head)

Baptism pic of me, ratliff, and Soledad!!!

Goodbye Quintero (¡¡¡¡¡¡¡NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!) (Kegan)

Entonces....to explain the title of the email, I am no longer in Quintero.

This week was changes and as such Elder Correa and I spent the first two days of the week anxiously waiting to at least know what the heck would happen when Wednesday would come. With everyone we talked to or passed by those first two days we implemented a little bit the fact that it would maybe, possibly be the last time we talked for like a year and a half. So we went running with Christian Wednesday morning for exercises as we had been trying to do for about a week, knowing that that morning was the last morning (and the first) that the three of us would be able to go running very early in the morning before the sun was even up.

While we were running the Zone leaders called us and it´s a little obvious from my current state of ¨Not in Quintero¨what exactly they told us.  But, while I was packing my bags we got another phone call from the assistants in order to ask us if we would accept the respective callings as District Leader (me) and trainer (Elder Correa). 

For those of you who don´t know what the heck a district leader is, I am basically now the supreme ruler of a small kingdom here in Chile.  But not really, it means I get to do baptismal interviews, call the district every night, give trainings in district meetings, and work with the district pretty much to keep baptizing.

We were super excited and super surprised by the new responsibilities  even though it meant less time to say good bye and that we would be separated.  We lost a little more time to say good bye when Elder Correa ripped his pants open doing a high kick and we had to return to the pension so that he could change, but we were laughing hard enough that I think that the time, and Elder Correa´s pants, were worth it.

In the changes meeting I was able to see Elders Santillan, Evans, and Otterson again, all of which were in the CCM conmigo but I wasn´t able to get a picture, Oh well. 

I have been reassigned to Camiza in the Achupallas zone, (The same zone where I started but in Gomez Carreño¡¡¡Happiness!!!)  and my companion is Elder Ramirez, he is from Argentina and is super tall and talks with what sounds like a transylvanian accent.

I´m still getting to know the area here but have already been able to do two baptismal interviews, and intercambios with my new zone leaders to find out how the heck I should do those interviews.

I don´t really know how much I could say about my new sector seeing as I am just getting to know it myself.  I can say that there are some serious hills and heat here (thank goodness for deodorant) and that Elder Ramirez and I are going to enjoy our time working here together.

Sorry for the short email, but the guy here in the ciber is going to charge me for the 20 minutes I had to spend waiting for the computer to work and I really don´t have too much to say since I have only gotten here so recently, but enjoy the awesome pictures of my beautiful face and I will do better in a week's time.

Love Elder Enright

Elder Enright, Christian, Elder Correa

Elder Enright (me), Elder Ramirez

Awesome bridge and rickety stairs in my new area

Shortest email yet...sorry (Bayley)

Soooo with this past weekend came the dreaded transfer calls - but, with the exception of missionaries in my district leaving, this time I was unaffected!  Sister Crump and I get to stay together for at least one more transfer in Pasadena, thank goodness!  Just thinking of what leaving Lake Charles did to me, I dread what will happen when President tells me its time to leave this place.  I have such an amazing love for Pasadena, and for the people here.  I think it's so funny that I got called to serve Texas, but have so far had a Cajun and now basically Little Mexico experience.  But this transfer will bring something new - I got a phone call from President yesterday asking me to serve as a Sister Training Leader!  (actually we had like 5 missed calls from President after getting out of an appointment, which, let me tell you, as a missionary, that is NOT something you want to see on your phone - but it's all good, crisis averted!)  Anyways, I am really excited by this opportunity to get to work with other sisters and help them reach their full potential as missionaries.

In other news, our investigator, Shawna, came to church yesterday!  She tried coming last week too, but then somehow accidentally ended up in Houston while looking for the chapel.  Good effort, good effort.  But then yesterday she managed to actually find the chapel, which was a nice bonus.  And what's more, she only had to leave for 2 smoking breaks during church this time! (Shawna, you may remember, is our investigator who gave up smoking in favor of an e-cig, but she's out of oil right now so has reverted to cigarettes until she can get more oil...yeah, we're working on that).  It was funny, actually, because yesterday some of the elders had a gator at church too, who also needed a smoking break, so if you had arrived at our church building just after the first hour finished, you would've seen all the missionaries out taking smoking breaks in between meetings - and by that I mean our gators were taking smoking breaks, and we were with them encouraging them as politely as possible to put it out because Sunday School was starting.  And hey, it worked!  I love Shawna.  She sits there with her little Book of Mormon highlighting every scripture we read, her little pamphlets are all highlighted and sticky noted to death, and she brings candy in her bag for us to snack on during sacrament meeting.  Yesterday one of my gummy worms fell to the ground tragically, and she leans over and says "you're good, pick it up - this is holy ground."  Haha!

Anyways, so I know this letter is horribly short this week, but it's been a weird one - full of thunderstorms and door knocking and awkward law of chastity lessons, but then also multiple nights with fried chicken for dinner, so I really can't complain.

Love you all!  And Happy St Patricks day!
Love,
Sister Bayley Enright

YOLO!!!

Hermana McCormick and I on exchanges

Ditto!



Monday, March 10, 2014

¡¡¡¡¡Hello everybody!!!!! (Kegan)

It has recently hit me just how hard it must be to read my emails, I do believe English is continuing to exit my mind while Spanish just sits it´s butt in there.  It doesn´t support an image of good mental health that I have received frequent complaints from my companion and other missionaries (intercambios) that I often talk in my sleep, and that when I do, I speak in Spanish, and am planning for the next day or, yet again, asking for the correct Spanish pronunciations.  Elder Tholen, I couldn´t help but think that my companion in this situation has now taken my place while I have taken yours with respect to the insomnia I seem to cause for him.  Oh well, I can practice English again in about a year and a half, fetch, less than that.

This week Elder Correa and I have been determined to find new people to teach while we continue to help Gonzalo to try his faith and find out for himself that YES, Joseph Smith was a prophet of GOD (in whom he still hasn´t ¨declared¨ belief) and that the Book of Mormon really is true, because it is, you know. (but if not grab a copy of the Book of Mormon, read the introduccion and pray, # thumbs up# ) (Erin- The pound signs are there because they don´t have little star thingies on this keyboard, how else am I going to explain an accion, #Spanish keyboard #missionary problems )  

Anywhoo, we have been searching desperately for more people to teach but nothing has really happened yet (minus one, in a sec) because everybody doesn´t happen to have their own planner so that they remember appointments they make with two foreign men (who look rather dashing in white shirts and ties) in the street, people seriously need their own planners.  Until of course everybody does start using planners, I have written a lot of appointments on the back of  ¨Jesus Resurrected¨ cards, my personal favorite because it has a cool little place to put notes, unless your a Testigo de Jehova, then you´re going to get a ¨Christ in the Americas because the Book of Mormon is true¨ card.

But, about that one success, She was a reference from the primary president and her name is Silvana.  We taught her for the first time Friday morning in the negocio where she and her sister work. A negocio, just so you know, is a small gas station store without the gas station or the bathroom. That´s the worst part, public bathrooms don´t exist here.  But more about Silvana, we taught about the restoration, but it wasn´t as spiritual as it could have been because it was in a store where people began to freely enter just at the end of the lesson.  It made me understand a little more about the theme the youth had a little while back that was Stand ye in Holy Places and be Not moved, because the spirit was invited during the lesson but couldn´t stay because of foul mouthed customers and really the presence of the customers in the first place.  

The rest of this week has been full of walking, so much that I literally at one point had a blister growing on a callous that had grown on a callous that had grown on another callous that had, yes, grown on a gigantic callous (I counted), of course that was until the blister broke.  You're welcome for that description, I´m sure it will come in handy later in the week. 

But, when you are working the mission, it is all worth it, so if you can go on a mission, DO IT (UNless you are Amik, wait until I get home first.)

Love

Elder Enright
Lunch, this lady always makes us wear these

The District!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The amazing lemon meringue pie we bought from a member, it still isn´t gone

Concrete and Soledad (Rhys)

Whew!, so first of all, I´m going to explain the cement story because it just happened this past Tuesday, early in the week, but I also have to apologize because I realized just this Saturday, when we had the baptism of Hermana Soledad, that I haven´t really mentioned her in my emails up to this point, which I feel real bad about especially considering how cool she is.

So Concrete. this past tuesday, Elder Ratliff and I leave a little late from the pensh (pension/apartment) which we kind of felt real bad about actually, but there´s a reason I told you that. Because we left that morning with plans to hit this one part of our area that we haven´t worked in as much because apparently last transfer people were always yelling at the missionaries to leave and since there´s still other parts to work in they did. BUT! we´ve worked in there a bit to try and reactivate some members and also find some news (because we´re always looking for news), and we honestly want to be working in it more, so we went to do. .  that. But the only issue was that we basically had no plans, except to find news that morning, we had names from MLS, references that we still hadn´t been able to find, and lots of praying for news ( I just realized that it sounds like I´m talking about news news, I mean new investigators to teach, that kind of new). So we´re kind of ready and going to work, but just a little desanimado because of the feeble plans that we had (seriously, bad plans are the worst thing ever!!). But we´re walking down towards the first appointment that we hope will be thare, and after stopping to talk to three homes on the way and getting very seriously rejected two of those times, we walk by a house and see lots of people sitting outside drinking matte and one guy prepping ground in front of the house to place concrete. We stopped and offered service like we always do, and to our surprise the guys says, "no, no chicos. ¿pero sabe? De verdad, Sí." Cool!, so then the rest of his family is all sitting there kind of thinking it´s funny that Cesar (the name of the guy working) just accepted the help of guys wearing slacks and white shirts, but then we put down our bags and started asking what to do. We got all the stuff together to mix the cement, started mixing and then laid down the first load of cement. Then some more guys decided it was a good idea to help and then neighbors come and try to get pictures with the concrete-laying-gringos and basically we helped lay concrete and talked to the family all morning and eventually taught them all about the restauración and it was real sick!! And they want us to come over for asado some time. 

So that is the sick concrete story, and now for Soledad, the cousin of our recent convert Danilo. They both live with her dad (old catholic guy that I may have mentioned before who thought that Jesus handed stones to Peter to build his church, as in actually stones!). We´ve been teaching her for a little while now and I really wish that I could get pictures to send, but I can´t hook anything up to this computer to send pictures, so that´ll kind of have to wait. But what has been real amazing is the change that has happened in Sole. I realize now that I want to talk a lot more about this than I wanted to talk about the frickin concrete story and I regret taking that long to tell it, but when I send pictures I´ll tell more, for now, I have to email my fam.

Elder Enright

Pasadena Miracles (Bayley)

For realz tho.

This week, guys.  This week.

Let's start with Maria.  We just met a girl named Maria.  (Side note - why is it that everyone I teach here has a song or movie quote or some sort of pop culture reference that pops into my head whenever I think of them?  Delilah, Shawna, Maria...it's kind of the best thing ever).

Maria is yet another Hour of Power miracle story.  If you haven't noticed, that thing brings miracles like nothing else.  Hers was the second door we knocked on, and her dad answered and assured us he didn't speak English (for a stunning turn of events in Pasadena, TX).  But we understood that he had met with missionaries before, a while ago, and then as we were all stumbling around in Spanglish, he asked us if we'd talk to his 18 year old daughter, and of course it's not like missionaries are ever going to say no to any invitation to talk to someone, so we went in and sat down with Maria, who basically is the most adorable person ever, not to mention the goldenest of golden investigators.  The entire lesson she was like "really? oh my goodness that's so cool!" or she had all these perfect questions and was so involved and interested - did I mention that both Sister Crump and I had forgotten our bibles in the car because we're stellar missionaries like that?  Yeah.  And the only bibles in Maria's house were old Spanish ones that nobody had touched in forever.  Yeah.  But that's okay, because her parents don't speak hardly any English but were both sitting in and so we were able to help them with the Spanish bible and then they helped Maria understand through the Spanish bible and basically if that wasn't a gift of tongues moment, I don't know what is, because somehow we taught the whole lesson using English, Spanish, and a lot of the Spirit, and then when we committed her to be baptized she kind of freaked out and got super excited and was like "really? I can be baptized? Like by that priesthood?  When?!"  Really.  That actually happened.  Sister Crump turned to me in the lesson and was like "is this real life?"  I don't know my child, I don't know.  God truly is great.  The next day when we went back, we had barely sat down when Maria told us excitedly that she had done as we asked and prayed about Joseph Smith the night before, and had "gotten the weirdest feeling - but in a good way.  A good weird."  This is real life, guys.  God led us right to Maria, who is like 500% prepared to receive and accept this gospel, and because Sister Crump and I were doing what we were supposed to be doing (with the exception of forgetting our bibles in the car, like winners) God sent us right to his daughter who needed us.  Coincidence?  I think not.  These are miracles, people.
Miracle numero dos.
Remember Shawna?  Her-pastor's-wife-threw-away-her-Book-of-Mormon Shawna?  Yeah, well, Shawna is a chain smoker, and since we've met her we've been worried about teaching her the Word of Wisdom because we know that is going to be a bit of a hurdle to jump.  So we've been saying a lot of prayers for her heart to be softened and prepared to accept and live the Word of Wisdom when we finally teach it to her.  So anyways, the other night we had like 10 minutes left and decided to drop in on Shawna since she lives in the same apartment complex as us, which is awful convenient for those we-only-have-10-minutes-left-in-the-day times.  So we stopped by and she is like super excited about SOMETHING and is being awfully vague about what that THING is, but keeps like asking us "do you guys notice anything different?" and stuff l like that, and finally she just comes out and tells us that she has quit smoking.  Seriously.  As in went from 2 packs a day, to now only puffs occasionally on an electronic cigarette (we'll work with that).  But yeah.  E-cig aside, she just tossed out all her cigarettes and is done - and we haven't even taught her Word of Wisdom yet!  Seriously.  We may or may not have both just sat there with dropped jaws while she laughed at us and said things like "you should see your faces!"  We asked her what made her decide to quit all of the sudden, and she told us it was something she's thought about doing for a long time, but after meeting us decided she could do.
So yeah.  A week can't really go wrong with moments like those.  And then besides that, we had a member take us out to dinner two nights in a row because we're popular like that, and plus Sister Crump and I have set a companionship goal for having chocolate chip waffles at least once a week, and by that we mean usually like once a day.
Life is good.  Missionary life is better.  The gospel is best.
Love,
Sister Bayley Enright


Monday, March 3, 2014

Mixed up asistencia and Carnival (Rhys)

Bueno bueno bueno bueeeno!

Just thought you should all know that it is fetchin´ crazy here right now. We got a call from our zone leaders this past Sunday (ummm.. . yesterday) that for today (that would be Monday) and for tomorrow (I think you get the idea now. . .Tuesday.  In case you didn´t) we have to be in our pensions sí o sí no later than seven and we have to be completely shut into our pensions during the ciesta because if we´re not, people will be throwing garbage, food, toilet paper, rocks, babies, and even poop (yep that´s right) at anyone and everyone and we even heard from our recent convert that in Brazil, people get killed in the streets every year at carnival and basically we have been warned that it´ll just be crazyyyyy!!!!!!!

Which is why it was so deadly quiet this morning on our way to the ciber to print out emails to read, that it was just very deathly quiet (I don´t really know what else to say). Needless to say, we were a little disappointed, but apparently carnival is not so much a big thing here in Reconquista as it apparently is in other parts of the mission, like Corrientes or Resistencia. But the rules are for the whole mission and so we just do what we´re told like the nice little missionaries that we are.

BUT! (yes yes yes, imagine the little kid from Kid History describing the completos, and if you haven´t seen that, please do and you will understand) I really want to tell you guys a really frustrating story from this week that really encompasses all of this week which then makes me wonder how it is that I also feel like it was kind of a good week, still working on that part. Sunday, my comp is sick and so I go with Elder White and work in our area for a bit while his comp is with my comp and then we come back and I stay with my comp while the other two work in their area. BUT! (again, see the above thingy to explain) while doing these weird little division thingies, Elder White and I find a guy named Alejandro. Martes, Elder Ratliff and I go to visit this guy again and we find him with his wife and two of their four kids and invite them to be baptized after a bomb lesson and also invite them to church. Thursday/Jueves, we talk with just the wife, Cecilia, seated outside of her house with all of her kids, we talk about baptism and the Book of Mormon and church. Saturday, we have a baptism in the ward and invite the whole family to go, but when we invited them Cecilia (the mom) wasn´t there and so we just talked to the dad guy named Alejandro who forgot to say anything to us about work even though we asked him about whether he had to work that evening and he told us no and so we passed by later and he hadn´t told his wife anything, she was just having some people come over and didn´t want to leave and so we had nobody with us at the baptism and that made me kind of sad. Whew! Forgive me, parents for the run on sentences. And finally, Sunday, when we had four investigators show up to church, but none of them were from this family!!!  (we visited those that had attended church later in the day , at least those that we could find). But basically, we always work with people so that they can attend sacrament meeting and all of the jazz and whatnot, but the one family with whom we were working the hardest to go to church, didn´t show up in the end even though we woke up and were out the door early to walk all the way to their house and the houses of others to get them up and walk with them. So that is basically my stressing week story that wasn´t so bad, but it was, if you know what I mean. 

And now I don´t have too much more to say, but here´s a picture of a big rainstorm (one of like three) that hit us during the week, You can´t really tell in the picture that it´s raining, but hey! what a ridiculously good looking Elder!! (fact, the rainstorms here, unlike Formosa, aren´t so much huge and heavy, end of the world storms, so much as rain that lasts for days on end, yep, pretty much)

Elder Enright


 Me and my comp eating delicious pancakes and vanilla syrup that I made (as in the pancakes and the syrup, I"m quite proud)


In which a thrown away Book of Mormon is an answer to our prayers (Bayley)

Sometimes on the mish you get to Monday and feel like it's been approximately 1200 years and also just like 1 day since you emailed last.  That's kind of how this past week has been.  Missionary time is seriously the weirdest thing ever.  I think I've said that over and over again for the past...um, however long I've been a missionary - forever, a couple weeks, who knows, but it's still true.  I'm not okay with how fast my mission is flying by, and Sister Crump and I actually have this running joke of just telling people I've only been out a month, because I don't like to think of how little time I have left out here - it's not okay.  So not okay.
 
But anyways, that said, let's talk about Pasadena.
 
I love Pasadena.  Have I mentioned that before?  Because I really do.  With all its millions of chihuahuas and pit bulls (seriously seeing a breed of dog other than those two is like seeing an alien) and the loud Spanish-music parties that last all night and the streets covered in garbage bags because nobody here uses garbarge cans to take the trash out (fo realz), this place is a place of miracles, and I love it.  I don't know how God does it, but he manages to send us out to not just specific missions where we are needed, but to those specific areas that will touch our hearts forever.
 
Let me tell you about Shawna.  Hers is a miracle story.  We met Shawna several weeks ago, she was sitting outside her apartment and we just went up and started talking to her because we're missionaries and we're trained to not recognize any social boundaries.  We got to talking and she told us all about how she attends a local non-denominational Christian church and just positively LOVES it.  But she was willing to listen to what we had to say, and we've been by several times since then to teach her, but she has always wanted to stay loyal to her church.  But then she took her Book of Mormon with her to her Bible study class , and accidentally left it there.  Upon realizing she'd lost her Book of Mormon, she called up her pastor's wife to see if she had left it at the church.  The woman answered by laying into her about meeting with those Mormons, those crazy cultists with a million wives and husbands, to which Shawna responded that the Mormon girls she had met with were quite nice, so please don't talk about them like that, and they don't have a million husbands - they're not married and "probably don't even have boyfriends."  Haha.  Yes, she did say that.  But then she asked where the Book of Mormon was, and her pastor's wife told her that she had thrown that garbage away.  And Shawna was not happy with that.  When she told us the story, she told us how she couldn't believe that any Christian would say such horrible things about anyone else, and how dare they throw away another person's book, and the word of God at that!  She told us she never wants to go back to that church because it just can't be where God wants her if things like that happen there, and can she come to our church instead.  Yes, yes indeed.  It's not everyday that we kneel and thank our Heavenly Father for a Book of Mormon being thrown away, but that day we certainly did.  God works in mysterious ways!  Shawna came to church yesterday and loved it, and is excited for her baptism which is set for the end of this month.
 
Another tender mercy of the Lord came when all of our appointments had fallen through - for a stunning turn of events - and so we were walking in this apartment complex in the rain and decided to contact the only person (other than missionaries) who was apparently crazy enough to be walking in this weather.  So we got to talking to him and he agreed to let us come teach him and we were getting his name, which was James, and we asked for his last name, which he said was Sullivan.  Sister Crump and I exchanged looks and were like "James Sullivan?  Like...Sully?  From Monsters Inc?" and he nods and goes "yep - and my middle inital is even 'P'."  And that's the story of how we met James P. Sullivan in the middle of Pasadena, TX.  We have every intention of baptizing him (well, we do with everyone we meet) not only because, well, because everyone needs to be baptized, but also because it would be the greatest thing to have someone say the baptismal prayer for "James P. Sullivan."  Yes indeed, there are tender mercies all around us.
 
One last story.  Yesterday we had at church one of my favorite families here, a woman named Lacey and her two sons, Camren and Logan, who are just a wee bit crazy - just enough to be my favorite little kids.  Well, mostly Camren is crazy.  He's like 3 years old and never ever ever EVER sits still.  So in the middle of sacrament meeting yesterday, actually in the middle of the actual sacrament (you know, when everyone is being as quiet as possible) Camren decided to crawl under the pew in front of us so Lacey dives down and grabs his legs and pulls him up and Camren yells as loud as he can "MISSIONARIES! HELP ME!"  Basically it was the greatest thing ever, and it was a good thing the whole Stake Presidency was there to see me and my companion bust out laughing in the middle of sacrament meeting.  It's fine, fine.
 
But anyways, I love you all!  We have like five meals lined up for this week, so you all must be doing your part to feed the missionaries wherever you are :D
 
Love,
Sister Bayley Enright