Monday, April 28, 2014

Transfers (Rhys)

First off, I made it safely through transfers and I´ll be staying here for another transfer in Reconquista with Elder Ware, now the bad news:


As of May 1st, there will be no more packages received from outside of the country of Argentina, not for our mission anyways, because I guess it´s too much of a pain to get them or something. So anyway, only slightly disappointed.

Unfortunately, Elder White left this last transfer, that was kind of sad to see him go, but since he and Elder Ratliff and I are all part of the same group, we´ll see each other at the very least at the end of the mish [meaning they all came to the mission together and will all leave together]. The way that transfers happened though were thoroughly (you´ll have to forgive my spelling on that) rapid and all to anti climactic. Me and my comp dropped by a recent convert's (Danilo's) on the way home to pick up the clothes that he had washed for us, and then and there, a good half hour before we were told we would get the call, we got a call from the sisters who connected us to the conference call that the Zone leaders started. And I was supposed to call our district leader and so on and so forth. This all happened while we were walking back to the pensh, and they started reading off what would happen as we got into the pensh. The whole thing was confusing and hard to hear and way too fast, but we got the drift and then everyone cut and me and my comp just sat there feeling very un-animated about the whole thing. Then we hear White and Thomas booking it up the stairs and find out that no one had ever called them and so they had no idea what was happening and White was annoyed that no one had called him , but then we cleared things up with the District Leader and we knew how it would all play out. White left to Formosa to be Zone Leader with Elder Slangerup, other than that, we have pretty much the same zone, minor shancghe no más.

A real disappointing fact about this Sunday was when we went to find/walk to church with Oscar and his family, they weren´t really wanting to come, making me feel like I was obligating someone to come to church when they finally came, something that I was both happy about, and sad that they came not out of a sincere desire to come, but me possibly forcing them to, didn´t like that. What made it worse was when Oscar told us after Sacrament meeting that this all may be too much for him and there are other things that he wants to get in order before getting baptized. I also have been really disappointed this week by everyone else falling through, with the exception of one family. A husband and Wife (without the marriage part, we´ll work on that) and their two hilarious little sons that were references of teenagers laughing at us whom we talked to in the street. We had a lesson explaining the Book of Mormon with them just last night and it was the highlight of the week. When we got there, the littlest boy, Tisiano, was passed out on the ground in front of a TV playing the Chamber of Secrets. But the actual lesson was the best part, we were just answering lots of questions that they were throwing at us. The spirit of that lesson helped it not be just answering questions, but we were actually all laughing and having an awesome time while teaching these two awesome people about the gospel. Too often I find myself falling into a boring rut of teaching and I always have to fight to try and get better, but in the end it´s always just teaching by the spirit that helps me out of a rut.

I hope you all have an awesome week and anyone who knows or might be related to a Brother Bennion from the 6th ward, my family has informed me that he performed a "House of the Rising Sun" cover/parody about pancakes, if that´s not worth recording to listen to a thousand times, I don´t know what is.

Elder Enright

TMNT cup picture: me in my vest and there´s an egg from Easter in there somewhere

 District photo from the last zone meeting before transfers.

Taking pictures around the Catholic cathedral here, got to give it to the Catholics, their cathedrals are pretty cool.

I would sing the ¨Changes¨song by David Bowie, but I´ve done that before (Kegan)

Buen Día to everyone!!

I am sure you have been anxiously awaiting my email this week, although I´m not sure why, because although the possibility of changes between my companion and I existed at the beginning of the week, nothing really ¨went down."

That´s right, I am going to stay here in Chamiza with Elder Ramirez for another 6 weeks!

As what seems to have been a start to our next change as a companionship we´ve found a rather larger amount of success this week.  The first of which being that we will now have not one, but TWO baptisms this next Saturday (The 3rd).  The first of which is, and has been for a while, Jaime.  Jaime has 68 years and is super prepared to be baptized.  I haven´t been able to imagine the man he once was that his family has described to me as rather filthy mouthed and alcoholic because since I have been here he has been working towards his baptism.  It is only an example to me of how much people are really changed by the Spirit

The other Baptism will be that of Jose.  Jose is the grandchild of our newly called ward mission leader and we have been teaching him since the weekend of Conference.  However, we walked into his house at the beginning of this week, ready to invite him to be baptised ourselves, when he told us immediately that he would be baptised the 3rd of May, having so decided with his mother (inactive member) and his grandfather ( the before mentioned ward mission leader who also happens to make amazing bread).

This week we have also found a new family of investigators who are super friendly and we have been approached by Baptist preachers claiming to ¨ know our religion and our need to know Jesus Christ¨ ( the best part may have been when he was professing that the evidence of Joseph Smith's falacy was his death in a jail when in an instant we professed that Jeremiah was put into jail for preaching the truth, he quickly departed after that).

Really great week and very short on time, but

Thank you all for you prayers and help to local missionaries

Elder ENright

"For the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest" (Bayley)

Dear everyone,

First of all - the important news: transfer calls came this past weekend, and I am staying in Pasadena!  I could not be more thrilled that I am lucky enough to get at least one more transfer here.  Pasadena is so special to me, just as Lake Charles was and will always be, and I am so excited to continue getting to witness miracles here in my Little Mexico.  With that said, I am really sad because Sister Crump is leaving me :(  My little baby, all grown up and saving China.

Now that that is out of the way, it is time for a sad story.

Remember Becky?  Becky with the five little children and the amazing experience of sharing the Joseph Smith story and feeling the spirit?  Well, we have had a hard time getting back in with her, and earlier this week we went by and were knocking on her door when a guy in the parking lot yelled out to us that they didn't live there anymore.  Pasadena problem #1: investigators getting evicted and never being found again.  True story.  Because if you can't afford your rent, it's not like you can afford your phone bill either, and so the missionaries lose you and it breaks their hearts.  So we ask the man what happened, and he looks at us like we're morons (missionaries get that more often than not) and asks "didn't you hear about the stabbing?  That was them. Don't know where they went." Now even more confused and concerned, we asked a few more questions.  Turns out, there was a stabbing behind the apartment where Becky lives just earlier in the week, and the person killed may or may not have been Becky's boyfriend, or Becky's sister's boyfriend who also lives there.  Either way, they had been involved, and had vanished.  It really did break Sister Crump and my hearts - to think of that little family, how amazing they were, and to have them suddenly disappear, not to mention thinking that perhaps one of the boyfriends who we had met had possibly been killed  What brings me comfort is the knowledge that the seed has been planted - and someday, somewhere, God will guide them again to this knowledge.  I have learned many, many things on my mission, but my testimony of and gratitude for the Plan of Salvation is strengthened every day.

Another sad story.

Yesterday, we were supposed to have the baptism of Gabriel, our Jehovah's Witness investigator who honestly was probably one of the most serious students of the gospel I have ever taught.  However, beginning Saturday morning, we knew something was up when one of our members (who we had had dinner with her and Gabriel) called us and told us that in talking with her after we had left, Gabriel had expressed worries about the baptism, and was wondering if maybe he should postpone the service.  As soon as we heard this, we hurried over to Gabriel's house and though he certainly behaved oddly about seeing us, he said that he was still planning on it and would see us the next day - but something wasn't right, and so we called our ward mission leader and he and couple of elders went over to give Gabriel a blessing, which he refused, but he didn't bring up with them a number of concerns he had expressed to us before, but which he had already resolved through prayer.  Specifically, he had always been worried about leaving the J-dubs, and wanting to know for sure which church God wanted him at.  He had this concern a while ago when we were teaching him, but, like I said, he had received an answer by prayer and had told us he knew this was true, and so we were surprised to hear from the elders that this had gotten brought up again by him Saturday night.  They told him to pray, and he said that he would call us in the morning with his final decision.

Well, Sunday morning came, and after Ward Council we received a phone call from Gabriel informing us that after praying and also after meeting with some elders from the J-dub church, he had decided that he needed to stay with them and would not be getting baptized.

There are few experiences more painful, I have learned, than seeing a child of God turn away from Him, after having received a witness of the truth.  We as missionaries can do all we can to teach them the truth by the Spirit, to give them the means to receive their own answer and make their own decision, but ultimately it is their agency that makes the difference, and as we serve and teach them and come to love them, it truly is the most painful thing in the world to see them receive an answer, know the truth, and then - for whatever reason - to turn away from it.  I've had this happen to me several times out here, and each time it is the hardest thing.  But what brings me comfort is the knowledge that these people are in the hands of their Heavenly Father forever, long after I and my companions are gone, and that he will always be there for them to guide them home.  There is a quote by Orson F. Whitney that I think is so powerful, it reads: "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted.  It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility.  All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our character, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God...and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we came here to acquire."  How amazing is that?  The knowledge we have of the enabling power of the Atonement, and of the knowledge we have of the growth and learning that we receive as part of God's plan.  Just think of the people we are destined to become, through Him!

To end on a more positive note - yesterday we did have two baptisms, belonging to two sets of elders in our ward.  And it seriously was like my favorite baptismal service of all time.  Not only were there an excessive amount of brownies afterwards (one of which had Oreos in the middle - IS THIS REAL LIFE) and not only was the service seriously one of the most uplifting and spiritual experiences of my whole life (we have an elder here who has like THE best singing voice, and he sang "Savior Redeemer" as a special musical number, a song which - if you don't know it you need to go look it up RIGHT NOW, the Vocal Point cover, because it seriously is the most amazing thing ever) but also, one of the baptismal candidates, James, is TERRIFIED of water.  He has spent months preparing for his baptism, trying to overcome that fear, and finally yesterday he entered into the water, shaking and scared to death, and was baptized.  Unfortunately...his foot popped up.  Even more unfortunately, he proceeded up and out of the font so quickly that they didn't have a chance to tell him before he was out of the water that he had to back in and be baptized again.  After that, the whole congregation sat in reverent silence listening to James throw a fit in the men's bathroom, exclaiming - quite loudly - "I REFUSE TO GET BACK IN THERE!"  It took about 15 minutes, but finally, shaking even more, James got back in the ward and was baptized by full and complete immersion.  See?  God truly does give us strength to overcome all things.  He truly "giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

Love you all!  Make cookies, trust God, have joy.  You can't go wrong.
-Sister Bayley Enright

Saturday, April 26, 2014

No Packages to Argentina

The Church has requested that no packages be sent from outside Argentina to the missionaries there.   The Church has been paying the customs fees to retrieve the packages and the fees are ever increasing.  So, Rhys can no longer receive packages.  If you send something it will sit at customs unclaimed by the mission office. Letters are still ok though, so feel free to write him, he would love it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Miracles (Bayley)

Happy belated Easter dearest peoples!  Yesterday was "San Jacinto Day" in little ol' Pasadena - a holiday that necessitated the closure of all libraries, despite the fact that nobody I asked seemed to have any idea exactly what the holiday was for.  And so once again I am emailing a day late, but the exception of perhaps a few of my younger brothers, most of you should still have Easter candy in your possession so we'll just pretend that it's basically still Easter, alright?  I celebrated Easter by consuming a ridiculous amount of jellybeans the day before to hold me over for our mission-wide fast on Easter Sunday.  It was only mildly torturous when a member showed up Easter morning with a basket full of Oreos and Reeses, especially since I was already painfuly aware of all the chocolate tucked away in my Easter package (thanks family!) I'd received the day before.  But it was all good.  Easter as a missionary is pretty amazing.  I feel like in just the few months I've been out here (it's been what, one? Two? something like that I'm pretty sure) I've come to know my Savior so much more than before, and I've come to love him not only as my Savior and Redeemer, but also as my brother.  If you have not yet seen the Mormon Message "Because of Him," you should go fix that right now.  It is because of Christ that everything is possible.  If it wasn't for him, there wouldn't be any point to anything we do in this life - or even to this life at all.  And I love that we have Easter to celebrate that fact (even though in all honesty we should be celebrating that each and every day).

That said, this last week was an absolute MIRACLE week.  I feel like I say that each and every week, but seriously guys - MIRACLES.

To begin, allow me to share with you some wisdom I've gained on my mission.  Too often I think we expect to feel the Spirit as like some sort of intense-feeling-lightning-bolt-of-emotion, which don't get me wrong, I know happens on occasion, but the truth is that if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and living our lives in accordance with the gospel of Jesus Christ, every single thing we do is guided by the Spirit - is us acting on a prompting because he is prompting us in everything.  True story.  Take, for example, an experience Sister Crump and I had earlier this week.  We've been engaged in a prank war with our Zone Leaders (which we are winning by like 5 million points, for the record) and so after going to check on a less active member whose address took us to an empty lot, we decided to send that address as a referral to the Zone Leaders (we and them work the same area basically - except we're English and they're Spanish, so we send referrals back and forth - meaning that when we find someone who wants to be taught except they're Spanish, we give the elders their contact info and vice versa).  So we call the elders up and tell them about this awesome family that just moved here from Mexico, their names are Juan and Maria Valdez and they met missionaries before and are super awesome and so excited to meet elders (*Disclaimer* some of you may be thinking that this is just such a horrible rude thing of Sister Crump and I to do...and it kinda was, but that's okay.  We're in a prank war. We're missionaries. And just wait I'll get to the point in a minute) so anyways the next day we get a phone call from the elders saying that they went by that address and there is not a house there...there is one of either side, but in the middle there is just an empty lot (which we expressed great surprise over, after all, Juan and Maria lived in a trailer and we had totally talked to them there the other night! Right? Right) and anyways, so apparently they decided to go around and ask the neighbors if they knew of this mysterious family, to which nobody knew what the poor confused missionaries were talking to, but in the process of searching out the non-existent Valdez family, they came across this little tucked away trailer which is the home of Ginamarie, who has been taught by missionaries extensively in the past and would love to see missionaries and come to the Mormon church again.  And also she's English, which means the elders sent us her info and we went and taught her and she's basically amazing.  Moral of the story?  Pranking by the Spirit is a totally real thing.  Ginamarie's little trailer was so tucked away there was no way we would have ever found her if the elders hadn't been tramping around the empty lot looking for the family we prank referred them to.  If that's not the greatest finding story known to missionaries, I don't know what is.

Other miracles.

Remember Gabriel?  The j-dub (Jehovah's Witness) who randomly came up to us on the street and asked us what our message was?  Yes, well, he's getting baptized on Sunday, and we are so excited for him.  This last week we went and taught him a crash course commandments lesson, and when we showed up he held up the Word of Wisdom pamphlet we had left (and barely discussed) before and exclaimed "this! I love this! This is wonderful, and true, and I love it."  Pretty sure that will be the one and only time on my mission that the Word of Wisdom is somebody's favorite lesson, and actually is what solidifies their testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet.  But Gabriel is awesome.  During lessons he thanks us basically every time we say something - "thank you, thank you for saying that."  I love him.

We also found several new investigators through member referrals this week, which, if you're a missionary and reading this, you will know how big a deal that is.  A member referral means that a member of our ward comes to us and asks us to teach their friend or relative - and it is SO amazing how much a difference that makes, because as soon as we start teaching this person they already have a connection to the ward and we don't have to play that awkward missionary-matchmakers game of finding the ideal fellowshipper among our members.  Anyways, one of these referrals is Mary, the sister of a recent convert who actually lives in the elders area but whom an elder in the past offended and so she won't let the elders teach and instead asked us to
see why it's so important to always be on your best behavior?  As missionaries, we really and truly are representatives of Jesus Christ, and how we behave and speak and everything really does matter.  Mary is amazing, and I just think that if that one elder a while ago hadn't done what he'd done, Mary's sister would have trusted missionaries with her sister much earlier, and Mary could already be baptized and enjoying the blessings of the gospel.  But that's okay, because now we get to be teaching Mary, and I love her to death.

With both Mary and another one of our new investigators, Cece (who is also amazing) we had the opportunity this week to help them recognize the Spirit as we shared the Joseph Smith story. Hands down, that is one of my favorite things on my mission - learning about how the Spirit speaks to others.  Both of them had powerful spiritual experiences as we shared the Joseph Smith story - Cece said "I feel chills all the way down my back" and Mary told us she felt like she wanted to cry, and also that whenever she looked at the picture of the First Vision, she "felt like herself". Favorite.  Both times, we were able to testify that that was the Spirit, that that was their Heavenly Father speaking to them, and to see what that means to people when they come to that realization...priceless.  These really are children of God, He really does love them, and helping them learn that and know that for themselves is such a privilege.

God is real.  The gospel is real.  The church is true.  I hope you all spent some time this last weekend, what with Easter and all, to really think about how profound and amazing that knowledge is, and how blessed we are to have it.

Love you all,
Sister Bayley Enright

P.S. Yesterday, in honor of a special p-day for special purposes, our zone got to watch the Saratov Approach, which is a movie about missionaries getting kidnapped in Russia.  I'm not quite entirely sure what President's intentions were in showing us this movie (I mean, I don't think he wanted us all to become paranoid about door contacting, but I don't know) but it was incredible and left only a couple of missionaries traumatized.  You seriously should all go watch it, and think of how much joy it brought a little group of missionaries whose highest quality cinematic entertainment usually comes from a thrilling miniseries documentary of missionary life...yeah. It was amazing.0

Our Easter Picture!
Belated baptism pics - me and Eva :D
Sis Crump, Eva's baby sister Vida, Eva, me, and their momma, Marisol

Monday, April 21, 2014

JIF!! Easter, Fire Cleanup (FUERZA VALPO!), District Activity, etc (Kegan)

Happy Easter to everyone, because I most certainly forgot to say so last week, you know, Before easter had already passed,  But that´s ok, as I tell myself, because they don´t really celebrate Easter here in South America (Well I can´t really say that for a fact)  How about this part of Chile they don´t really celebrate Easter.

But that was the end of the week, the beginning of my week started with a terrible attempt to make pancakes using the wrong ingredients, so we´ll skip that part.

Actually the same night (As the day we had made said terrible pancakes, o sea Monday) we received a call that we would be rising bright and early the next day to go and work on cleanup in Valparaiso WOOOHOO!

So on tuesday we rose early to get exercises done and all and headed to the stake center from which we left to Valparaiso.  After what was like a half hour of orientation we were handed all the materials we would need (Manos Mormonas que Ayudan shirts, shovels, gloves, glasses face masks, and a lot more) we followed the leader, literally up about a million stairs to where the fire had left a scar on the mountainside.  That´s not an exaggeration either, everything was BURNED burned,  the whole area looked a little bit apocalyptic.

We spent the day removing rubble and sledge-hammering more remains into rubble to then remove that rubble, it was very rewarding work. tHE BEST PART OF THE DAY WAS WHEN i SAW HOW MANY OTHER PEOPLE THERE WERE Woops Caps, that looks like a sudden burst of emotion but it isn´t.  Anywhoo, everyone for miles around was there in Valpo removing rubble or handing out bags of food.

It was terribly sad how many people there were sitting in the exact spot that their house had stood days before, but the amount of people helping those people made it much less sad.  Chile really has made me feel super patriotic sometimes, in the sense that I become stupidly proud at times how easy it is to find JIF peanut butter or a water fountain (Don´t exist here) in the land of the free (And the home of the brave) but I became very proud to be in Chile on tuesday when I saw what seemed like the whole country comforting and helping those in need.

Yes, getting covered in ash is very rewarding at times.

The next day (Short on time I´m going to focus on highlights) I got letters and JIF PEANUT BUTTER from my awesome family.

Today we had a District activity in which we headed to the Botanical Gardens ¨Nearby¨ and spent the majority of the day there, the only problem being that we had forgotten the food in the chapel.

Sorry for the lack of much better information, but it is late....

Que Sigan Orando por VALPO!!

Love Elder Enright

Not all of these pictures are Kegan's, I took a few from here
They are from the day Kegan was working there and show more of the fire damage.
Me and Elder McDaniels, about half of his sector is now burnt, it being Valpo and all.
Some manly Mormon men ready for service all bright and early.
Find Kegan (he is there)

Found him in this one too.

Elder Ramirez y Yo en Valpo

And Some P-Day pictures

Terrible pancakes we tried making (hint: if you are trying to bake in south america Cuña is NOT baking powder)

 My District

 Elders of my district

 La Laguna

Jif from home

¡Feliz Pascua! (Rhys)

  May you all celebrate the resurrection of the Savior with painted eggs, ducklings (preferably in their marshmellowy and sugar coated form), and bunnies (preferably chocolate). I may not have gotten to go Easter egg hunting nor did I receive a basket full of chocolate and jelly beans, but in our pensh, we did hold a little quick egg dyeing thing before going to bed. First I´ll just tell about how cool our week was and then we´ll get the details on the egg dyeing

       The whole week had me and my companion kind of bouncing around our whole area, working with the small barrio where we have most of our investigators and also working to spread out. I also acquired more than enough pomelos on the way. One day, we were just kind of frustrated with the fact no one wanted to talk to us and I got a pomelo, peeled it and munched on it unhappily (my comp doesn´t like pomelo, so we found an orange tree). But of the investigators, or as I think the term that I may adopt from my sister is, 'Gators,' that we´ve been working with, Oscar and his hopefullly soon to be wife Gisela were those with whom we probably worked the most. They´ve been needing to assist (attend) church and they´ve had moto problems and it´s all very crazy, so we talked to a member with a truck and got that fixed by riding in the back of a truck to church. Though we actually left Oscar behind because he insisted that he was fixing the moto and five minutes after we got to church, Oscar decided to show up, that was cool. So he and his family got to go to church for the first time. we also talked to one lady by contacting (and my noticing that her tree has insanely large pomelos, the majority are only a little bigger than an orange, these are on the verge of Noah´s head sized pomelos- for those of you a little bewildered, that´s Noah, my brother, not the prophet). she insisted that really she´d love to maybe talk to us, but gosh darn it her daughter had left to hacer mandados and had taken the key and left the gate locked. Me and my comp were all, man that stinks are you sure? I lightly tried to open the gate as if just to check that it was really  locked and lo and behold the gate swung open and me and Elder Ware looked up at the woman who looked a little embarrassed and then threw up her hands and said (in spanish) well honestly that´s great but I have no interest in talking to you and I never will, bye. And then we made our exit, me with a large pomelo that was hanging over the gate. So recently I´ve carried Pomelos around with me a lot and a lot of times leave them with people we teach. Usually it goes like this

(after the lesson and everything is all set)
"¿Hay algo más qué podemos haver para Ud(s)?"
"no, no no no, Todo bien."
"¿Quiere un pomelo?"
*hands over pomelo*

Then I go and while we´re walking, acquire another one, it´s fun.

The night of the egg dyeing, the whole thing was actually the idea of Elder Thomas and then Elder Ware jumped on and so did I, only Elder White didn´t really think it would all play through well. So the whole day, when we´d talk to people, be it contacts, members, investigators, (or this one real rich guy that lives in our area to whom we taught the first lesson and left a Book of Mormón and he travels all over the states a lot, including Disneyland with his kids) if they had any references or if they knew where we could find food coloring, because it was literally not in any of the stores that we went to. in the end the whole thing was going downhill and we weren´t going to be able to do it, but on the way back to the pensh, passed by this little art/craft/food store that just so happened to have orange and red food coloring. So the whole night played out and we even made an egg of a missionary, a little clone of Elder Buhler from our district who has flaming orange hair and we gave it to him as a gift and he really loves it and I wish that I had pictures of the little photoshoot he had with it, but we´ll have to stick with the photo that I got of just the egg.

I hope that you all had a Happy Easter and I really want to hear about this supposedly new movie of the restoration story that I keep hearing about, not a single missionary here can believe it nor wait for it, more than Captain America.

Elder Enright

Eggler Buhler (yes, like the movie)

 Here's the pic with the Rodriguez family. the oven is a gas oven, so it leaves all of the 'Chicken Corn on Blue' blackish on the outside (like a grilled or barbecued black). But it wasn´t bad.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A day late :/ (Bayley)

So yesterday we arrived at the library to email only to find that the server was out for the entire library district, which meant that all over Pasadena there were frantic missionaries running from branch to branch in an attempt to find a functioning computer, and also calling each other to try and find out if computers elsewhere were more functional (which meant there were a bunch of annoyed librarians who had to keep asking the missionaries to be quiet, since I don't know if you knew this or not but missionaries have to talk on speaker phone, so when we call each other - even if we are trying to maintain whispered tones - it's not exactly quiet library voices) but no such luck - and so we had to email a day late instead. 

But anyways, we had a baptism on Sunday!  Hip hip hooray!  Dearest little Eva, who is seriously the cutest little thing ever, was baptized by her uncle, Brother Guevara.  A few wonderful things about this particular baptism (because of course, all baptisms are the best things ever):
- Earlier this week we sat down with Eva and her mom and went through a whole list of people who she could invite - be it family, friends, neighbors, teachers, anyone (this whole practice, known as "making 'the List'" is something we were taught by Elder Aidukaitis when he came and visited, and it basically has you being as obnoxious as possible until the baptismal candidate comes up with at least 15-20 names of people to invite) and the results from the List were wonderful - the baptismal room was PACKED with family and friends - to the point where all the missionaries just stood at the back since there wasn't enough sitting room.  Which is basically the best thing to happen to a missionary at a baptismal service.
- For the "in between" time (which is that time when the person getting baptized and the person who baptized them are getting changed after the baptism, and everybody else is just sort of milling about wondering what they should do, and usually those leading the service are making desperate attempts to maintain the spirit by plunking out hymns on the piano or putting a Mormon Message on) Sister Crump and I shared the Joseph Smith story - so we like summed up our whole little Lesson 1 in like t-minus 2 minutes up to the restoration, and then I recited the whole Joseph Smith story, and after I was finished we had everyone sing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" with us.  Basically, the Spirit there was AMAZING.  So strong.  But the best part of all was after I finished the recitation, Sister Crump and I were still standing up there waiting for the Spirit to like sink it, and this little boy in the front row goes "oh snap."  Haha!  So funny.
- After the baptism, Eva's family provided hot dogs and cookies and chips and sandwiches for everyone.  So that was a bonus.

So yes, that whole experience was magical.
But anyways, other stories.

This week, honestly, was one of those weeks where everybody and their chihuahua cancelled their appointments with us, or didn't bother cancelling and instead just didn't show up, which is just as nice, if not more so.  But that's okay, because that meant we had a lot of time to check on everyone we don't usually get to see, and we also had plenty of awkward contacting moments (more so than usual that is).  We had one guy who grilled us about the timeline of Jesus Christ, and if he had in fact been before the neanderthals (this same guy kept trying to get us to tell him what year Adam and Eve had come to earth, which is not something included in Preach My Gospel) and then another guy kept pulling out all these Bible scriptures about the Restoration telling us there needed to be a Restoration, and every time we were like "yes, that's us!" he'd be like "but no - there has to be a Restoration!" which was great. But honestly the best contacting story of the week would be from Hour of Power, in which we knocked on this guys door and were talking for a bit about Jesus and God and all that good stuff, and out of the blue he goes "would y'all like to see some naked pictures of me?"

Yes.  Yes indeed.  Thanks Texas.  We said no, in case you were wondering, and then did our best to keep ourselves together walking away, but we didn't make it down the driveway before dying of laughter.
But I want to share something with you I learned this last week - in which I had the opportunity to really work with the sisters I care for as a sister training leader, and that is this: forget yourselves, but know that God has not forgotten you.  It's amazing to me how much love God has granted me to have for SO many people - seriously I didn't know I could ever love so many people as deeply as I do out here - and even more so it's amazing to realize that the love we feel is but a fragment of the love he feels for us.  He just wants to help us.  He just wants to be close to us - and he always is.  If we ever feel like there is distance between us, then it is our fault.  And too often that distance is created because we think of ourselves - of who we want to be, of who we see ourselves as, and what we want.  Because the truth is - we have no idea.  God knows us perfectly though, and knows exactly who we can become if we only give ourselves up entirely to him and let ourselves be changed.  There's this quote that I love that says (paraphrasing here, bear with me) that to say "that's just the way I am" or "that's just my nature" is to deny the entire plan of salvation - because to say that is to give up, to say we are unchangeable, and to not realize the changing power of this gospel and of Christ's Atonement.  That is the joy of this work - to help others BECOME, and in the process, to become ourselves.
One last note.  This past week, a precious little family here in my ward lost their 3 year old daughter in a tragic accident.  Please keep them in your prayers.
I love you all.  
Sister Bayley Enright

Monday, April 14, 2014

AWE-scar, Élder, and Pomelo (Rhys)

First off, thank you to all of you in vegas that are keeping in contact with me, and I can´t believe that Britton is already headed to FLorida!!

Also, remember that other pair of parents that I had from way back in pioneer times???? well thank you Ma and Pa Bailor for more Bits-O-Honey and some of the best Saltwater taffies ever!

And finally a quick explanation to everyone who had sent me letters/packages/delicious candy. I am a little behind on responding to letters and really backed up on birthday cards (Dad and Liam, You´ll  be getting yours most likely at the same time, don´t ask me when) so sorry that that I have yet to respond officially, but know that I love and appreciate the  candy. . . and the letters are nice too

And now to explain a little bit. Awe-scar would be our investigator, Oscar and because he´s so awesome, I just was too lazy to write Awesome Oscar and decided on a shortened version. Some reasons why Oscar is so awesome A) because we are now teaching his mother-in-law también as a reference from our pal Oscar, 2) because I cannot even describe the way that he gets around everywhere with one leg and his crutch and yet appears to be walking as if he had his leg, I can´t, it´s mostly that nothing phases him really, D) we may be the first Mormon missionaries that he´s ever talked to, but he´s been deeply religious his whole life, knows that he has a Heavenly Father, and loves the gospel so much and for so many reasons, one of which he always reminds us of is that it just makes sense. You want to know if your investigator has read the Book of mormon you left them? what if they just go into a full on testimony about how it´s not just true, it´s credible and explains how people got to the americas in the first place, and his wife told us that after he got back from General conference, he wanted to go right back and watch more (he couldn´t stay for the second session due to work) and wouldn´t stop talking about it.

The Pomelo. Real quick explanation. Bayley, I also love mangoes, in Formosa, we could just pluck them off of the trees and eat them. They were a different type of Mango than I´ve ever had before, but they were good. Here in Reconquista, the Pomelos (grapefruit, but the name actually makes sense, never going to call them grapefruit again) are starting to get ripe and I found one while out proselyting  which was obviously not ripe, but I ended up giving it to Oscar and his family. Super excited for the next few weeks when they´ll be ripe enough to eat.

Élder is how many of the ELders here have Elder on their tag if they came in from Ecuador or Colombia, no one else has them, but me, ELder Ware, and Elder White scratched in a little accent for ours too. :)

ELder Enright

 Me and my pomelo - currently missing and assumed dead, also nameless :(

My awesome "Élder" tag, thanks to those super sharp sewing scissors that mom got me to bring on my mission, works perfect.

3 Nefi 9:3 ---No it`s not a joke (Kegan)

"Behold, that great city Zarahemla, have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof."

Hello to everyone who should be receiving this email (I`m fairly content that I have now addressed all of you)

This week here in Chile has been another very exciting, if less successful, week of missionary work.  Although we have been a little discouraged for the amount of appointments that have fallen through we are even more discouraged by the recurring fires that have been spreading across the mountains.  This makes the third year in a row that the mountains and forests where I am living, or at least Close to where I am living, have been burning to the ground, a three time streak I´m not exactly proud of, especially because I swear ninguna had anything to do with me.  (Kegan is referring to the Colorado fires the past 2 summers and now the wildfires in Valparaiso)

I´ll describe recent events in case that paragraph left you with questions.  This Tuesday we had our District meeting because the Zone leaders wanted to be present and would have to attend theirs on Wednesday (The meeting was actually very good because of how expertly a nice and extremely handsome blonde stud led the meeting,) Anywhooooo, that day a gigantic fire started in the south east of the  mountain ranges here and spread to make another, the two lasted a couple days and recently an even larger fire started and spread to hit Valparaiso.  It has so far destroyed a rumored 700 homes and killed 11 people.  We have all been praying fervently for those that live and serve there.

Many people here in our sector have family who have been affected by the fire. But, our week here in Chamiza hasn`t proven too exitoso en el caso de appointments falling through.  But I had an awesome intercambio this past Friday and have enjoyed very much to be the companion of Elder Ramirez.

I can only ask that we all pray for Valparaiso and support the missionary work where we currently are.

Not a hugely positive email, sorry.

ISAAC:  Your old sector looks like Fetching Spirit Paradise!!

Love Elder Enright

PS  Real quick something super weird, the guy next to me in the ciber is looking up how to separate a couple using witchcraft WEIRD!!!
Said ¨Extremely handsome blonde stud¨ the background to the right that appears to be Rohan under attack is Valpo

No thanks to YOU Dora (Que simpática la señora)

 Awesome hill, book, face, companion, stairs, and mountains (It looks a little bit like I am creeping)

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference (please say this in the voice of Elder AIDUKAITUS!) (Rhys)

Hola, jews and gentiles (don´t ask me why, but that came to my mind as something funny to start out with)

This last week was General Conference!! As you probably already realized, one thing that you may not have realized is that there was a one legged man here in Argentina by the name of Oscar who got to hear the voice of the Prophet for the first time in his life.

Elder Murphy (our district leader) and I found Oscar during a division once and taught him the plan of salvation. We´ve returned a few times since (me and Elder rENFRO AND NOW eLDER wARE. . wow sorry about the caps lock, but I´ll explain the ELder Ware thing in a bit) and this whole past week, we´ve been trying hard to teach people about conference and what a great opportunity it was even up to the very Saturday of General Conference, when in between sessions, me and ELder Ware (like I said, I´ll get to it.) walked really fast for about 45 minutes to get to a lesson with Oscar and his wife in which I had the first lesson my whole mission that ended with a man crying and letting us know that he just wanted to be the man that God wanted him to be. Best. Lesson. Ever. and then we ran back as fast as we could (okay, not that fast, as fast as we could without dying of dehydration) to the chapel to not be late for the second session and eagerly awaiting the first session on Sunday when Oscar promised to come and listen to the prophet. 

And sure enough, at about 1:02, Elder Buhler (Buhler. . .Buhler. . .) walks in a little rushed and not wanting to miss any of conference and an anxious Me asks if he saw a one legged man on his way (we were going to walk with him to conference - I would have carried him if I had to - but had to dash those plans when he told us by phone not to pass by because he wasn´t at home, but he´d see us at 1:00) and Buhler says, kind of exasperatedly, "the guy with the crutch?, yeah, he just walked in." I jumped up and whooped and, sorry to my primary teachers, but I must admit that I ALMOST ran in the church to look through the little window of the main chapel to see our man Oscar, listening intently to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. That made my day. (oh, quick explanation that may make things a little  ore clear, Oscar has a moto)

Oh, and the reason that I wasn´t in the chapel was because I and the other Gringos were  listening in english in a little tiny slightly air conditioned room with all of our notes and snacks that we had bought in the pre-conference excitement the day before.

I loved Conference, loved all of the talks (#aidukaitus/doofenshmertz) and can´t help but wish I had always taken as good General Conference notes as I tried to take this time. Oh Well, I guess I have every conference in the future to make up for falling asleep when I was younger.

Elder Enright

Quick Elder Ware explanation, got a call thursday Morning from our District leader that Elder Renfro would be going to Resistencia that day at 1 and that I would get ELder Ware as a new comp.

All the gringos in the gringo room. Left to right. Elder Christianson, Elder Ware, Hna Davidson, Elder Parsons, Sister Baker, Elder White, Elder Buhler (in front), Elder Brough, Elder Enright.

The TMNT cup picture of the week.


Hello everybody

Obviously from the title, the fact that I am Mormon and a Mormon missionary, I spent a good couple hours this past weekend watching and listening to God`s apostles and prophets on the Earth today.

I honestly hope you all had the same opportunity and that you enjoyed it as much as I did, which I actually somewhat doubt.

Here in Viña del Mar we enjoyed the Conference a little too much.  The night before it began it all started for me with a ¨Fear-of-God-Envoking temblor¨ that made my companion run to every window on our floor watching the nearby lamp posts shake and the listening to the earth LITERALLY fetching move underneath us.  Disclaimer:  all of those earthquakes you`ve been hearing about in Chile have either been to the North or South of me, but the Tsunami sirens and temblores (earth shake without the quake, hey that`s catchy) still have been present and now frequent in my area.
I haven`t yet told you guys,... but there are earthquakes sometimes here in Chile

I have so far felt about 5 temblores here in my time here and four have been in the past two weeks (I felt one and slept through another, as my companion informed me, while I was in Quintero)  I am 100% fine and enjoying it, temblores are very fun.

For every one of you who has been worrying about my very special self with the threat of tsunamis, you shouldn`t be.  My area is a good level above the sea in the mountains.  You should pray more for the help I need from the muscle aches in my legs.

Jaime, who has been an eternal investigator for about three years told us friday that he was ready to be Baptized the 3rd of may

Despite the exciting events before Conference started, the best moments happened after it had started.

Because Jaime is now assured of his decision and not only that, but that God spoke through Thomas S. Monson

We had a new investigator brought to the priesthood session by his member friend (who just happens to be our Ward mission leader) and he thoroughly enjoyed the words of God`s prophet and apostles.  His family were unable to attend the next day and their time is limited, but we will be going to see them tonight and, with faith, be baptising them in three more weeks.

We found a new investigator this week who is 15 years old and is named Josè, he is friends with his uncle who is a member and 12 years old.  Weird. However he was able to assist [he means 'attend', but 'assiste' in Spanish is attend, so he gets them confused] both sessions Sunday and we taught him a little bit between the two sessions.  He is honestly super shy, but that hasn´t yet stopped his curiosity.

The Apostles and prophets, every single one, spoke personally to me this weekend, I left my notes at home, but I still can tell you what I liked the best.  It was the affirmation of not one, but two apostles and the prophet of God that the verses 6,7,and 8 of Numbers chapter 12 speak the truth.

Plus, Elder Aidukaitis is fetching hilarious.

At the beginning of the week we taught a family of investigators for my first time and my companion`s second. One thing was very clear to the two of us in that lesson; this family is going to be baptized. We had sat down for about five minutes and they began to question us about the family and answer our questions with relation to theirs, which came down to the fact that they had problems as a family and have been improving, but with God`s help. wE TAUGHT THEM VERY SIMPLY TO PRAY (OOPS caps) and then we all kneeled down and the father gave the most honest and heartfelt prayer in thanks for his family and praying for blessings over them.  The Spirit came very strongly in that moment and I know that every member of that family in that moment knew how much their father loved them.  We tried hard to help them attend conference but for the difficulty of time they couldn`t.   Chuta.

With all the prayers that you can give and help to the local Elders Sè que alcanzaremos todo que El Señor tiene preparado para nosotros.

Elder Enright

Fetch my companion is tall

Oh yeah, I forgot this story,  Well, I finished my prayer to begin personal study looked out the window and well, ¨Holy Fetch està quemando!¨

 I present to you the High Council

Bananas are so weird

Eldercito Mickey, and a balloon with a funny hat

Ghosts, Aliens, Miracles, and CONFERENCE (Bayley)

SO much to say, SO little time in which to share it.  So I guess I just better get going.  First of all, this week has brought us many, many things, including more questions regarding my belief on the matters of aliens, ghosts, and Satan, than I have ever before received.  No joke.  Apparently, in addition to being recognized as "church girls," here in Pasadena, Sister Crump and I have a growing reputation as ghostbusters and X-file agents.  In sitting in a Lesson 2 (the Plan of Salvation) earlier this week, our investigator interrupted us in the middle of talking about life after death to ask our opinion on if aliens are real.  Multiple door contacts have asked us the same question.  At least 3 members have told us about supernatural experiences they've had seeing ghosts, and asked for our advice on what to do (which, in case you're wondering, is to pray.  I have no idea how legitimate these ghost stories are, but I do have a firm testimony of the fact that you can't go wrong with prayer).  And on more than one occasion, we've been asked if we've ever felt bad for Satan, because, don't you know, he's just largely misunderstood and really just teaches us to be ourselves and stand up for ourselves, like he did to God.  Yes. Yes indeed.  I actually had to say these exact words in a lesson: don't worship Satan, he's evil.  Yeah.  Kinda thought that was a given, but apparently not.
Ghost stories aside, we have seen a lot of miracles this week.  Let me share with you one of my favorites: Becky.  Becky was a referral we got a while back from a street contact (a woman with several kids I may have insisted we stop and talk to largely because the oldest boy was carrying a giant Marvel notebook that I had great respect for).  Though that woman wasn't herself interested, we asked if she knew anyone and she immediately gave us Becky's name and really confusing directions to her apartment, since she didn't know the number (the directions were something like this: "it's the complex off Burke across from the old peoples home, except not that entrance the next entrance after El Ahorro, and then go to the back and then to the right but really just to the back because it's the last one facing the street, if you are headed right" keep in mind that Pasadena is basically nothing but very confusing apartment complexes with building 1 next to building 23) so really it was a miracle in the first place that we found Becky at all.  We managed to contact her a couple weeks ago, but then every attempt we've made to go back and teach her hasn't worked out.  However, earlier this week we had a member with us and our scheduled appointment fell through, so we decided to knock on Becky's door.  And she let us in (cue hallelujah chorus).  The lesson that followed was one of the most spiritually powerful lessons I have ever been part in.  Becky has five little kids (the oldest is 8, all of which are ADORABLE), and they all were gathered around her paying attention to us as we talked of Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel.  Our member, Hermana Rios, bore powerful testimony of how this gospel will help Becky raise her children and strengthen her family.  And then at the conclusion of our lesson we asked Becky to say the prayer.  Though she was hesitant at first, she finally said the prayer, and after saying "Dear Heavenly Father" began to cry, thanking Him for the things that she had heard, and that it was "so good," and that she felt so amazing.  Afterwards, she told us how she felt warm and like a huge burden had been taken off her shoulders.  We bore testimony that that was the Holy Ghost testifying that these things were true, and she teared up again.  Just before we left, Hermana Rios asked Sister Crump and I if we would sing "I am a Child of God" for Becky's children.  And then we told them about conference, prefacing it by telling them that though Joseph Smith was a living prophet, he had since passed away, to which Becky's oldest son exclaimed "aww man!"  Hahaha.  Seriously, the cutest thing ever.  We went back the next day, and all the kids came rushing out to the living room with their Restoration pamphlets clutched in their hands.  Becky told us that they had not put them down since seeing us the night before.  I am so excited for them to learn more about this gospel.  It is going to bless their little family so much. 
Another miracle is the fact that we have a baptism on Sunday.  I KNOW RIGHT.  Her name is Eva, and she is the nine year old daughter of a sister in our ward who has only just recently returned to activity in the church.  Basically, Eva is adorable and perfect in every way possible, and she is SO excited to get baptized.  When we went over last time to talk to her about it, we mentioned the word "baptism" and she raised her hand and said "speaking of baptism...I'M SO EXCITED!"  What's more, they feed us every time we go over.  Bonus.  Something I've learned in Pasadena is that the best way to eat a hot dog is with diced tomatoes and onions on top.  FACT.
But anyways.  So conference was this past weekend.  Have I told you how much I love conference?  Because it's a lot.  A lot a lot a lot.  And I'm ignoring the fact that it being conference means it's been 6 MONTHS since last conference, which I'm sure happened just like yesterday SERIOUSLY TIME WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME OKAY JUST STOP IT.  Let me share with you some of my favorite conference moments:
*note - these quotes are probably not 100% accurate, since most of them are taken from my bajillion pages of conference notes, in which I was basically trying to write down EVERYTHING THAT WAS SAID word for word while simultaneously eating excessive amounts of Reeses, so that my writing was largely illegible to anyone else and my hand hurt from writing so fast.  Conference problems.
Obviously, Jeffrey R Holland makes the cut: "People, if they want Gods at all, want comfortable Gods, Gods who will pat them on their heads and then send them off to pluck marigolds."  Quite possibly my favorite apostle quote of all time.
And then of course there was Uchtdorf - he never fails either.  Not like any of them do, but you know what I mean.  "We are made out of the stuff of eternity...In God's plan there are no endings, only everlasting beginnings."

Personally, as I'm obsessed with the principles of trust and obedience, L Tom Perry's talk was a winner: "Obedience is a choice between our limited knowledge and power and God's unlimited wisdom and omniscience."  BOOM.
And as always, our beloved prophet.  "We cannot fully love God if we do not love others, and we cannot fully love others if we do not love God....Every person we meet is a portion of mankind God has given us to love and serve."
So basically here is what I got out of conference:
Trust God
Stand strong in your beliefs
And really, there's not much more I can add to that.  I love this gospel.  I love my Heavenly Father.  I love this opportunity he has given me to be out here amongst his children, to bring to them this glorious message that His gospel has been RESTORED, and that we know the pathway home to Him.
Love you all,
Sister Bayley Enright

P-Day at the beach!

our district - from left to right elders meyer, six, brewer, sisters martin, crump, mcqueen, me, elders taylor, sarchet, yeates, and henrie

So this one time we didn't have a car because some of the bike elders needed it for their dentist appnt in kingwood, so the zls were gracious enough to let us borrow their car, so they gave us their keys including the keys to their of course we had to prank them by pamphleting the whole place.

For Rhys!