Monday, October 27, 2014

My Week in Pictures (Bayley)

​Today, since this past's week activities were remarkably similar to last's week (with a few exceptions, which I will get to in a bit) I decided that for this week's letter, I'd just make it photo-essay style.  Everybody likes pictures best anyways, right?  And for a stunning turn of a events, my companion and I were actually decent about taking them this week!  That said, due to the fact that you can only send several pictures in an email, this letter is going to come in parts.  Deal with it.


Part 1 - My Birthday! My 22nd birthday turned out to be positively fabulous.  We had president interviews (which I always want to write out as "presidential interviews," but that is something different entirely) Sister Stofferahn surprised me with a Princess and the Frog card and made me avocado toast for breakfast, and then we saw BIRTHDAY MIRACLES all day long.  And then, for the exciting finale, we had dinner with the Elzingas, the absolutely sweetest members ever who feed us all the time, and Sis Elzinga did some sneaking around (you forget as a missionary that though you are mostly isolated, your family is still totally alive and your mom can totally pass along recipes from Colorado to Texas with like no inconvenience whatsoever.  Clever technology) and made me my favorite birthday foods.


Including peanut butter pie.  Which I then sat on.  But only barely.  So it's all okay!  It had plastic wrap on and everything, so we're all good.

Part 1.2 - the TEMPLE!


So Wednesday morning we were *supposed* to go to Houston for my doctor's appointment...but then our recent convert Ron and his fiancee Trudy called us and they were going to the temple that morning and wanted to know if we could come.  So we did some phone calling and finagling and instead of going to the hospital, we went the temple.  Much better choice ,if you ask me.

Part 2 - the Temple (contd.) and Random Fun


Going to the temple never fails to bring me absolute JOY.  I'm pretty sure I would 100% content just sitting outside the temple even, and staring at it all day long.  There is no place on earth that compares with the spirit and beauty of the House of the Lord.


After Ron and Trudy (second and third from left - far left is Sister Kelley, who raised six boys and always has the most hilarious stories to share) were baptized, the temple president, President Crane, came down and spoke with them and he said something that was really powerful - he quoted Elder Callister, in saying that ordinances unlock the powers of godliness within us, and that as we continue to take part in ordinances the more and more we become like our Savior.  It was so amazing to be in the temple, to get to hear that counsel, and to get to feel the spirit as Ron and Trudy took part in those sacred ordinances.

Upon returning from the temple, we got to go "blitz" the elders area, which means we all went out j-dub style to work the streets of Atascocita.  There is something special about blitzing, about being able to feel the support of other missionaries and support them yourselves.


​One thing about TX is that, quite often, the Halloween decorations go a little out of control.  And sometimes going up to knock on someone's door is the equivalent of watching a horror movie.  For this particular door, Sister Stofferahn point blank refused to go any further than the front step, and was content to stand back as I knocked on the door, which nobody answered.


Also this week we got to have a lot of wonderful opportunities to be in members homes and share messages with them.  At one dinner, the seven year old girl, Clara, asked us (when we were leaving) if we were going to another dinner, because obviously that is all missionaries do is go from one meal appointment to another all day long.  She also, in the middle of our conversation about family history with her parents, declared "Dad used to have hair, but now he doesn't."  Hahaha, children are my favorite.  This particular throne, however, is at a different members home - the Moniz's, who just happen to have a throne in their living room.  Right next to a giant bowl of Reeses Cups.  Because why not?

Part 3 - the Pumpkins


So today is zone pday, which means today is the pday in which all 24 missionaries in the Kingwood Zone get together and participate in some activity preplanned by the zone leaders and Sis Stoff and I.  And today, it's going to be a pumpkin carving contest.  Which means that in anticipation of today, somebody needed to purchase 24 pumpkins and bring them to the stake center.  And for some reason, Sister Stoff and I volunteered.  And thanks to both of our extensive experience with Tetris, we were able to fit all 24 pumpkins into a single shopping cart.


​And then also into the back of our car.  Let me tell you, as missionaries, we're used to getting weird looks.  But the looks we got for carefully pushing around a cart of 24 pumpkins were of an entirely different breed.  But we have them all!  And our car only smells mildly weird with them all in there.

So there you have it!  My week in pictures.  Thank yall again so much for all your birthday wishes and for all your prayers - a special shoutout to Brittney for my birthday package (which arrived ON my birthday, double points there) and to my family, of course, for theirs - yall are the best.  The biggest birthday haul this year was...general conference talks!  Which made me so so happy :)

Love yall!  And have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Love,
Sister Enright

Illapel (Kegan)

This week was very, very hot.  It made me really miss the wind that came in from the beaches to make very cool days in Quintero. It seems that this summer in Chile I will not be as lucky as I was last year. Thankfully they sell Ice cream literally everywhere here.

Illapel, my new sector, is an awesome little town dumped in between a lot of mountains, basically sitting in the depression of land where the wind DOESN¨T reach,  if you want to feel the wind you´ve got climb up some giant flights of mountainside stairs or hike the steep dirt and paved paths up the mountain.

Elder Santillan and I are really enjoying it all though.

Certain and specific moments that have happened this week have decided to kindly exit my memory...entonces...I am left with very little ideas of what to say.

Last P-day we completely reorganized the pension to be comfortable in the uncomfortable heat.  We´ve also picked up the habit of listening to General Conference talks in the pension again and again, because who could ever get tired of those thing right?

Wait! That´s right, I had interchanges this week with Elder Fuentes (Argentina)  during which we were able to have a very spiritual lesson with Valentina. Valentina is the 15 year-old daughter of a recent convert named Carolina.  We´ve been teaching Valentina since my second week in Illapel.  Her mother is a very good convert from just this past september.  Unfortunately, her very Catholic Grandmother is the one who holds custody rights until about mid next year.  So we´ll need her permision before the baptism because Valentina is under 18.  

None of that matters at this point, however, because even thought Valentina comes to church most weeks when she is with her mother she does so out of obligation to her mother and even though she knows many of the gospel truths we´ve taught her are indeed true, she doesn´t feel any desire for HERSELF to be Baptized a member of the Church.

So interchanges with Elder Fuentes came and that night we taught Valentina at the doorstep, because there wasn´t any other man in the house. It was a fairly short lesson, but she committed to be baptized should she recieve an answer to her prayers.

Elder Santillan and I since then have fasted and prayed (And listened to a lot of General Conference talks)  I firmly belived she will be Baptized this month of November.

Oh yeah, and then Saturday night our Branch president called and asked us to each give talks in sacrement meeting the next day, so that happened.

Other than that, I could not put into words the week I have had,  Thank you all so much for constantly praying for us missionaries (I love feeling included when I hear ANYone pray for missionaries, it´s a great feeling)

Que les vaya super bien

Elder Enright

(Rhys)

So, this past week, Lorena baptized herself!!!!! YAAAAAAY!!!

       Even though there were complications over the past weeks, Lorena was super excited that her baptism had finally arrived. Of all the people that I´ve baptized so far, she was probably the MOST excited and other than the slight complaint that I dunked her under water too hard, she loved it.

       In order to arrive to the actual baptism service, Elder Correa and I had to lie down on colorful mattresses in the back of the second counselor´s little car.  But we all got there. 

       The following Sunday, yesterday, Lorena recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost and is eagerly awaiting a calling in the branch.

      Speaking of callings, and the branch, and Sunday, and converts. Hermano Soto (the convert of me and Elder Smith) gave his first talk yesterday!! His talk was about temples, not a fair topic considering that he´s never gone, but he rocked it and bore a powerful testimony about Temples even though he´s never gone. ¡Aguante Soto!

       In other news this week, I´ve not yet died due to a certain dog bite. So that´s good. Elder Burke informed me just last night that his dad has informed him of a trailer to Avengers 2 and if any of you know anything about this particular tema, está bienvenido a contarme todo lo que sepa.

       My comp and I are still trying to work things out so that he can talk to his family for this past día de madre. If any of you can speak in spanish and would like to email my comp to inform him how awesome he is, his email is acorrea@myldsmail.net. . . I think. Try it

Elder Enright

Again, no photos due to the computer. Thanks tech industry of Argentina.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tender Mercies (Bayley)

The beautiful thing about missions is that you get to be tested and tried in all sorts of ways, to stretch you and refine you and make you stronger and stronger than ever before.  And lately, Sister Stofferahn and I have been having some patience refined into us as we have have now had three weeks straight of not finding a single new person to teach!  And let me tell you, it's hard to teach people about the restored gospel if you simply don't have anyone to teach!  However, we have been working so hard and praying so hard and doing our best to serve the Lord as best as we can, and in doing so, regardless of the challenges we are encountering, we are seeing blessings.  

Without people to teach, and in being so desperate for miracles, we have become very aware of the tender mercies that surround us.  As Elder Bednar puts it so well (as usual): "The Lord's tender mercies are the very personalized and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving kindness, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ...One of the ways whereby the Savior comes to each of us is through his abundant and tender mercies."  Here's just a few of the tender mercies we have seen this past week:
  • We biked all day long on Saturday, all over the Humble highways and didn't die or even come close! (mostly)  And did I mention that, for some unknown reason, the day before I had done approximately 3 million lunges in morning exercise so that my legs already felt like they had been run over by a truck, but we biked all day long sore legs and all and then I was still able to walk the next day - definitely a tender, tender mercy.
  • While out and about on our bikes, we were cutting through a parking lot home when we met a blacksmith, hammering away on his anvil, all dressed up in blacksmith gettup.  There's Humble for ya!  Turns out he had been to Utah before and loved Mormon temples.  And he showed us to make an iron plant hook.  The blessings of biking - you get to explore all these little shortcuts and paths where blacksmiths are tucked away.  NBD.
  • Earlier this week we had dinner at Panera (for the second night in a row - no complaints here) with our Relief Society President, Sister Currie, who is super awesome.  In saying the closing prayer for our Hour of Power, she prayed not only that *we* would have success in finding people as we knocked doors, but also that *she* would be able to help us out by finding people ready to receive the gospel and would the courage to speak up.  That's my favorite - when people pray not only for the missionaries, but for their own missionary work.
  • Yesterday in sacrament meeting, Dr. Rose, a senior missionary who leaves for home today with his wife :( spoke in sacrament meeting, and as part of that talk read a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip over the podium.  Classic.
  • Aljae passed the sacrament yesterday!  For the first time.  And he was all fancied up in a white shirt and tie the bishopric and bought him.  Favorite.  I love Aljae, and I loved seeing him yesterday participate in a priesthood ordinance - how incredible to see where is now and the blessings the Lord has given him!
  • Yesterday morning the elders called us to ask if they could come study on our porch, since their apartment wasn't exactly habitable anymore, due to the sewage having backed up into their kitchen sink and spilling out all over their floor.  Yup.  So there's yet another tender mercy I am grateful for - that our kitchen sink is nice and clean and sewage free.  The things you learn you take for granted on your mission.
Anyways, so those are just a few of the tender mercies we have seen this week - and those really are just a few!  The Lord is really so kind, and even when things aren't going according to *your* plan, it's so important to remember that they are going according to *His* and His really is so much better than ours.

Love yall!  Thanks for all the birthday wishes.  Feel free to mail me some cake, Harry Potter style (if you can manage the owls even, that'd be a plus :)
Love,
Sister Bayley Enright

 ​Texas sunsets! Always a favorite.

With Dr. and Sister Rose.  Love them so much!

Dog Days of Summer (Rhys)

 Hey, so a few of you (from the northern hemisphere) may be wondering what the heck summer has do with the month of october (oh yeah, it´s october, is Halloween still a big thing up there, because I almost forgot it existed with the absolute lack of celebration here of Halloween. . . except for the Disney XD halloween countdown thing that I caught a glimpse of before a lesson with an investigator whose son was watching TV). Well, here in the SOUTHERN hemisphere, it´s summer. Actually, that´s not even the best part, even though it´s hotter right now than it ever reaches in good, cold Colorado, it´s technically "spring." But, take my word for it, it doesn´t feel like it. Since during the summer months of the southern hemisphere the earth is actually closer to the sun, we have the privelege of an even hotter summer than anything in the Northern hemisphere. a few months back everyone was assuring me that the indescribable heat would be countered during the winter months with a freezing cold winter (ya know, cause we´re actually further from the sun during winter down here), but I was dissapointed by the "cold" and really miss it. 

Basically all of this talk of hemispheres and hot and cold is driven by the fact that we don´t have air conditioning. There!

Dogs are an essential part of Argentina. There are enough dogs in Argentina that should we suppose that their intelligence was suddenly increased to cause un uprise, Argentina would be a dog driven country in a heartbeat. They literally outnumber humans at least 3-1. So, we see lots of dogs everyday and always receive words of warning from our leaders in cuanto a dogs and not provoking them and doing your best not to get bit and whatnot. The dogs are often if not always aggressive towards us missionaries, but crazy obnoxious barking is usually the worst of it.

Well, the other day (Míercoles/Wednesday) Me and my comp were running late to a cita when we decided to actually RUN so as not to be late. We ran by a house with lots of foliage in front, from which burst about ten million dogs. Between ten million and ten, somewhere around there. They barked and chased us and one of them must have been really worked up because he bit my leg. Yup, classic missionaries running from dogs story.

Well I looked back to get a good look at the one that had torn my pants and the owner of the house opened his gate/garage door thing and let all the dogs in, and then quickly hid from the dangerous Mormon missionaries. Must have seen the Meet the Mormons movie and seen that we can kickbox. After checking to make sure that the bite had really broken the skin (yup, and THERE WAS SO MUCH BLOOD!!!!!. .. . okay, not really, just a bit) Elder Correa and I made our way back to the house. The owner was a little reluctant to come out and answer our question about whether the dogs already had their vaccinations or whatnot, but he responded way too fast and way too positively to let me honestly say I believe him. then we contacted the crap out of him, but he didn´t want to listen. We´ll be passing in a few more days to make sure a certain dog hasn´t kicked the bucket.

Other than Dog bites, this week went alright, Lorena came to church 100% on her own account and is excited to get baptized this fin de semana and we have lots of help from a return sister missionary(!) in the branch.

Además de eso, this past. . . yesterday was Mother's day in Argentina and I got to speak by Skype to the greatest family in the world, mine. Missed you guys, Kegan and Bayley. I was happy to get to see everyone else, including my big sister, Erin (sorry I didn´t say much directly to you, I could hardly hear you due to the double skype thingamajig) and the rest of my YOUNGER siblings that all appear to be growing too much despite my warnings and, in some cases, prayers. Looking at you, Noah.

Hope you all had a wonderful Argentinian Mother's day, and for Bayley and Aislin, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!

Elder Fecthin´ Enright

P.S. Sorry, another computer that won´t let me send photos, oh well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Baptisms! (Bayley)

This past week was crazy!  We had baptisms, we had transfers (but not here thank goodness!) we had missionary movie showings, and musical chairs.  And then we also had a Texas cold front so that I wore a hoodie this morning in morning exercise - ya hear that, a sweatshirt!  In Texas!  It's a beautiful thing.

But anyways, onto other things.

This past week the missionaries here in the Texas Houston East Mission had the privilege of watching Meet the Mormons - and as a matter of fact, we got to see it before it was even released theatrical.  Yup, a special VIP missionary viewing.  That doesn't happen all that often, you can be assured of that.  We watched it in a local chapel, and all snuck in whatever snacks we managed to forage from our apartments (one elder came with a giant bag of Cap'n Crunch) and were, as missionaries always are, the ideal audience - so media starved that everything in the movie was the absolute best thing we'd ever seen.  And for those of you who haven't seen the movie, it starts out with a bunch of clips from well known movies and shows portraying the Mormon image in pop culture - which included clips from South Park and the Simpsons.  So now of course we can all honestly attest to having watched South Park and the Simpsons in a chapel on our mission, at the direction of our mission president.  Haha.  But anyways, the movie was amazing - and I'm not saying that just because the only other movie I've seen in over a year is the 20 minute Restoration video the church puts out, because that's an incredible movie too (and it's also fun to quote in a group full of missionaries, since most of us know it verbatim by now.)  Meet the Mormons is just plain good.  

Then on Friday we had our monthly Zone Meeting, which we have been planning for for weeks now with the Zone Leaders.  It has been truly humbling to serve as a leader on the mission, and to be able to receive revelation for other missionaries which God has given me stewardship over, even for a short period of time.  With the Zone Leaders, we would kneel in prayer about commitments we should leave, topics that should be addressed, and just the needs of our missionaries over all - and he really does answer!  And with what?  Musical chairs.  Yup, that was the activity that Sister Stoff and I came up with to use for our session addressing selfishness.  It was a lot of fun - we played it at the beginning to demonstrate how, naturally, we tend to think of ourselves.  And though one elder *almost* ploughed over a senior sister, that was as close as we got to anyone being injured.

And then of course this weekend was Diane and Aljae's baptism.  And, of course, it was INCREDIBLE.  I absolutely LOVE baptisms.  There is something so special about seeing these people that you have come to love SO MUCH enter into that covenant with their Heavenly Father.  Both Aljae and Diane had family come to the service, and so Sister Stofferahn and I took the time after the baptisms (while people were getting changed) to share the Joseph Smith story, which is a surefire way to bring the Spirit.  It is my absolute favorite thing when you are sharing the Joseph Smith story and everything gets so completely STILL.  It's amazing.  And as soon as Sister Stofferahn finished reciting the Joseph Smith story, we all sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and with that my testimony of the restored gospel was just pressed even more firmly into my heart.  The whole service was beautiful, and we had a primary girl in our ward named Alicia sing "I Love to See the Temple" for the musical number, and little primary children singing is a no-brainer Spirit-cannon on it's own.  I am so excited for Diane and for Aljae and for their futures - God truly has led them here, and it's so amazing to get to look back and realize that you have been an instrument in His hands.  He really put us right where we needed to be to help bring these two children home to Him.

Though this past week was transfers, Sister Stoff and I are staying together, and we couldn't be more happy about it.  Both of us have birthdays this upcoming transfer, and so we are calling this the "Birthday Transfer," and are looking forward to all the miracles we know are waiting us in the streets of Humble.

Love yall!

Sister Bayley Enright

​Diane!!!  She has the cutest Southern accent - she's from Mississippi and is seriously one of my favorite people in Texas (along with so many others)

Aljae!  With his mom, Jeannette.  His hair didn't even get wet going under the water - seriously, his fro is waterproof.  He's getting the priesthood tonight, and we are so excited for him!!!

​Sistah Stofferahn, me, elders leftwich, sarchet, huhane, and roundy

Me and my mom!  She went home today :( sad day.

Pday adventures, with elders leftwich and sarchet

Pday adventures, with elders leftwich and sarchet

Bee-Movie (Rhys)

Yesterday, we visited one of our investigators in the morning who gave us lots of facturas (like donuts) at the end of the visit. They were all wrapped up in plastic and we brought them back to the pensh in the afternoon. Due to the new horario, we have studies during the ciesta, cause it gets hot around that time. . .who knew? Anyways, so we decided during these studies that we wanted to eat these facturas. Reaching over to grab my second factura, I had to stick my hand underneath to get it unstuck from the factura next to it but that`s when something poked/stung/stabbed me. I startled my companion then with a high pitched scream. As I pulled my hand back, I saw what had caused the. . . pressure. There was a little accursed bee right between my pinkie and ring finger of my right hand, with it`s little barbed butt in my skin. Needless to say the bee was dead, but the barb stayed in and I ripped it out ust before rushing to the bathroom and washing the surprisingly large mortal wound with water and soap, cause that bugger HURT. I don´t know if it`s due to how long it`s been since I´ve gotten stung, but it seemed like it was an abnormally strong sting. after washing it and squeezing out what I´m sure was all of the evil poison, my hand swelled up (just in between the two fingers) and though the initial pain left, what remained was a really strong sore feeling like you get after getting hit really hard. However, I wish to assure you all, that I´ll live.

Other than the Bee incident, this Week was fairly un exciting.That`s not to say that nothing happened, but nothing really out of the ordinary. As far as transfers goes, I´ll be with Elder Correa for at least one more transfer and our zone-sito is no longer a zone, but a district and we`ll be part of a bigger zone with none other than Elder Smith (The Elder Smith, my companion ELder smith, there are three others in the mission at this point) as one of my zone leaders. So that`s cool.

Well, see ya.

Elder Enright

Tmnt photo from several weeks ago, we ate completos with the Zone leaders.

The second photo is from la semana siguiente, we played 25 (with a basketball, kicking it like a football. . .) with the zoneleaders and Elder Allen and Burke showed up last second.

District meeting right before transfers, after transfers, the zone didn´t change too much, except now we´re a district and part of a bigger zone and ELder Smith (My comp anterior) is our Zone Leader!!!


Me. . . last week. . . with a large duck. Yup

Monday, October 13, 2014

Illapel! / Ciao Placilla (Kegan)

I have very much to say and very little time to do so, so I will do so very fast...

To my and everyone else´s surprise I have left Placilla after a very fun and short single change in the sector, I will miss dearly everyone I had gotten to to know in Placilla and hope to see them again.

I have been changed to the North of the mission into a sector called Illapel, it is a small country town filled with sun and dry weather.  We are surrounded by mountains and the beach is NOWHERE to be seen.  My new Companion is Elder Sanchez, one of the Best missionaries in the mission and we are very good friends already.

I will send regular updates on my time here but I really have very many things to say also to my family in particular.

Thank you so much for praying for the missionaries, we really and truly do appreciate those prayers

Love Elder Enright


Fransisco and Vicente, Despedida!  :(


Saying bye to Daniel

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference (Kegan)

Elder Oldroyd and I were super excited for his first General Conference in the Mission, we started this week out and ended it just the same, by commiting everyone else we know or got to know to come,  whether they actually came is a completely less exciting and successful matter to talk about, just remember we had a lot of fun inviting everyone.

Among the single person we invited to come who did show up, was Daniel, who passed his baptismal interview this week with flying colors (somebody please describe that phrase) and was excited for his Baptism that same General Conference Sunday.  

He invited various friends who accompanied him in the stake center in a small and packed room as Hno Lopez guided what ended up being a very spiritual baptismal service.  

Daniel has impressed every member he has come in contact with for being such a great and devoted investigator of the Church,  he will be confirmed next week in sacrament meeting.  One very cool "perk" of the baptism was that the Bishop, who was going to baptize Daniel orginally, couldn´t make it that Sunday for family reasons        (" Reasons") and so delegated to a priest from the ward named Benjamin.  Benjamin did perfectrly and everyone enjoyed the service.  

Daniel´s friends happened to have investigated the church many years ago, we are going to pass by later this week.  Just a great example of what David A Bednar discussed in his closing talk at the End of an awesome General Conference, (it goes some what like this) our excitement as members of the Church to share the Gospel with our friends is man´s natural reaction of sharing what has blessed our lives and made US feel better when we were hurt.)

One more short story, We found a young man this week named Javier, who has heard a lot about the church and even recieved a Book of Mormon from a member friend.  He appraoched us at the beginning of the week to introduce himself on his home street just as his mother told us " Mi hijo se quiere hacer Mormón"  Javier´s friend was also sharing what had been a blessing in his life, and as a result we have been blessed with the trusted care to help Javier be Baptized the 26th of Oct

The Church is True, anyone who says different hasn´t experienced that good for themselves and just has to be given that oportunity.

Love Elder Enright

 Bautismo de Daniel

La Zona de Achupallas (de la izquierda a la derecha, Atrás: Elder Pinillos, Elder Amiratti, Elder Solorzano, Elder Kozy, Elder Gardel, Elder Smith, Elder Brown, Soy Yo, Elder Larson, Elder Oldroyd, Elder Tinney; Sentados: Hna Barros, Hna Hansen, Hna Smith, Hna Garbel, Hna Mickaleus)

Lunch on Saturday, terrible pizza

The district

GenCon (Rhys)

For those of you who are mormon, you already know that this past weekend was GenCon. For those of you who aren´t, you may probably also know that this past week was GenCon. But whoever you are, I hope that you watched it , or if you didn´t, that you WILL watch it in the near future on www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2014/10?cid=HPSU100514465&lang=eng 

Basically we all had a chance to listen to the Prophets and Apostols of God and some of them spoke in their native languages (WHAAAAAT!!!!!). SOme of the talks are always a little more Tocante tha others. Like Holland´s, Cristofferson´s, Bednar´s, Scott´s, and this time Eduardo Gavarret gave a REALLY good talk.

SO basically, even if you DID watch it, watch it again. because there are those of us who wish that we could but can´t.

Because of the aticipation of GenCon during the week, me and my comp were passing for lots and lots of investigators, menos activos, and random people in the street to remind them of the conference. 

Also the anticipation that me and my comp felt led us to celebrate a little with the few minutes that we have between planning and bed-time by eating milanesa. A little too much to the point where we both felt like we were getting the cane form Jorg Klebingat. 

Well, that´s it. In the end, due to fetchin´Albedrio, we didn´t have as many people at the conference as we would have liked, but I loved it. Favorite Quote, "Deja Vu in the Latter Days". I´m going to be using that in my scripture marking, jajajajaja.

Elder ENright

Spiritual Epiphanies, Conference Joy, and More (Bayley)

 So earlier this week Sistah Stoff and I decided that we really needed some power finding time.  And by "power" finding time, I mean that we needed to find new investigators, and to make our finding time all the more Spirit-led we came prepared with some spiritual thoughts to share with each other and prayed hardcore.  And as we left the car and started knocking, we were so pumped to conquer the world and save every Texan soul.  We had been on the street for a little while, having had nothing but rude comments and unopened doors, and we both felt like we needed to backtrack a little ways and go up the other side of the street.  So we did so, and as we were knocking doors and talking to people we once again felt like we needed to go elsewhere, so we took a left and walked down a little ways, knocking and walking and having doors either slammed or left closed.  But we were DETERMINED.  We had studied all about how God prepares souls and either we're going to be placed in their paths or them in ours, and we refused to be discouraged.  2 hours and 0 successful contacts later, we ended up on the street right next door to where we had parked, and as we were walking I spotted a man outside on his porch.

Now, here's the thing about spotting people outside.  As a set apart full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I and every other missionary out there are under the divine mandate to talk to everyone.  Whether they're mowing the lawn, walking the dog, gardening, smoking, you name it - they're a child of God and they need to know about the Restoration of the Gospel.  That said, it's not exactly mine or most missionaries most favorite thing to walk up to people and invite them to hear about the gospel.  There is definitely room for awkwardness there.  So as soon as missionaries spot a person outside, we look really fast at our companions to see if they saw the person too, and if so if they would be the one to make the awkward approach, or if it's all on us.  So this is exactly what I did when I saw this guy outside, but glancing at Sistah Stoff it was clear that she hadn't seen the guy, and so I was left to make to decision to talk to him or not.  And for a split second, I had the thought "oh...nah. He's going back inside anyways.  Keep walking"  but then every page of Preach My Gospel, the White Handbook, and every scripture on opening our mouths and being obedient flashed before my eyes and I made a sharp 90 degree turn to cross the street and approach this total stranger.  We talked with him for about 30 minutes and told him about eternal families, about Joseph Smith, about God's plan of happiness, and as we left him with a prayer, Sister Stofferahn and I had the most incredible spiritual epiphany.  All of those 2 hours of walking and changing direction and knocking on doors and awkward contacts - ALL OF IT, had been perfectly arranged by Heavenly Father to put us right there at that precise minute to talk to this man, Derek.  If we had been by earlier or later, we would've missed him.  It was all divinely organized, a master plan, that ultimately hinged on that moment where I saw Derek and made the decision of whether or not to talk to him.

And you see, that's where agency becomes so important.  Yes, God is in control.  Yes, God plans and coordinates and runs and directs and is the master planner of worlds.  However, all his planning and organizing is directed towards moments of choices - choices made by us.  To just think of all the planning that had gone into those 2 hours of me and Sistah Stoff tracting, and how much they would've been completely frustrated had I just decided to be disobedient to my counsel to talk to everyone and walked right by Derek.  And really, that is the same for every choice we make.  God has a plan, but the key players are us, and the key moves are determined by the choices we make.

So yeah.  That was obviously a pretty grand moment of realization.

And the spiritual highs of the week just kept going from there.

We had powerful Spirit-of-Elijah testimony-of-family-history moments with both Aljae and Diane (whose baptisms are this Saturday!)  With Aljae, after teaching him about why and how we do work for our ancestors, he responded "yeah, I've always wanted to know more about my family - and like I tried to go on ancestry.com but then they asked for credit card info so that was as far as I got."  Seriously though, how many 17 year olds have just randomly decided to look up their ancestors on ancestry.com?  *cough*prepared*cough*  Aljae is seriously amazing.  As for Diane, in between conference sessions yesterday (more on that in a minute) we set her up with a familysearch account, and after we discussed how she would probably just need to add her family in name by name, she typed in her father's info to find that his mother's line has all been filled in and found and updated and all that jazz all the way back to Adam!  It was incredible, and I have never seen someone so excited about family history as Diane as she looked and discovered the names of her ancestors.  Moral of the story: don't take family history for granted.  Go do it.  Baptize souls, living and dead.  We're all children of God no matter when we were on the earth.

And then of course there was conference.  And yall know the spiritual high that is every time (or at least you should - if you didn't watch it...that's what repentance and the internet is for.  Go, watch, and sin no more).  

Here were some of my favorite moments:
1) The Sunday Morning session's abundance of talks on following the prophet.  With that kind of repetition, it sounds like somebody's trying to make a point...
2) Neil Andersen's challenge to the youth to listen to the Joseph Smith story in their own words to strengthen their personal testimony of the prophet Joseph.  And I'll tell yall, that works.  Every single time I recite the Joseph Smith story, my testimony of him and of the Restoration is pressed more deeply and deeply into my heart.
3) Christofferson starting his talk out with some Shakespeare.  Henry V for the win.
4) MoTab singing "And If I listen with my heart."  Primary songs sung by the choir are always my favorite.
5) Dallin H. Oaks' talk on civility.  'Nuff said.
6) The recurring theme of developing and strengthening our personal testimonies - Helaman 5:12
7) Jorg Klebingat's (spelling?) entire talk - calling us out on our physical wellbeing while I downed the Peanut Butter M&Ms Sistah Stoff and I had for lunch that day.  Not really...but kind of.  

And then of course, a million more things.  And now, for the most exciting part of conference, we get to take what we learned and APPLY it each and every day to become more like Christ.

Love yall!  I hope you had as stellar a week as we did here in Humble.  Keep on praying, go rewatch conference, and next time the missionaries come by - feed them pancakes.

Love,
Sister Enright