Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Joys (Bayley)

Hello yall!  hope yall had a very merry Christmas that was full of junk food and wearing pajamas all day, and then of course reflections upon the life and ministry of our Savior.  Over here in THE mission, our Christmas was a little different, but truly one of the best Christmases I've ever had.  Of course, as is missionary Christmas tradition, for Christmas we got to skype our families, which is truly the best gift we get for Christmas, and for me it was extra special because I got to skype my brothers as well, who are also both serving as missionaries.  It has been my favorite thing on my mission to know that I am serving side by side (except across the ocean) from my brothers in preaching the gospel and bringing others to Christ.  But then aside from our Christmas calls, our Christmas consisted of sharing Christmas dinner with our Bishop and his family, delivering treats and making visits to a number of recent converts, investigators, and members, and then, last of all, visiting a local nursing home and going room to room singing Christmas carols.  That last activity truly set apart Christmas to me as a very sacred celebration of our Savior's life.  After all, when he was here on earth he could always be found among the sick and needy, and so it was a very sacred experience to be doing the same.  And there was such a special spirit felt as Sister Mulivai and I knelt by the bedsides of so many of the aged and sickly, and sang "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger" with them.  Often they would sing along, their voices sometimes barely audible or cracked and raspy, but full of love for their Savior.  When we returned home that night, our hearts were full of love for our Savior and for our Father and for His children.  There truly is nothing quite like service.  It brings joy like nothing else.

Lastly, we ended Christmas day by watching "On the Lord's Errand" which is the biography of President Thomas S. Monson, and seriously is one of the greatest movies ever.  In it, President Monson shares so many experiences he has had in receiving, recognizing, and acting upon promptings of the Holy Ghost.  And at the conclusion of the movie, he makes a comment that is something along the lines of this: "I want the Lord to know that if he ever needs an errand run, he can always count on Tommy Monson."  And I just thought that was so amazing, and was thinking a lot about that for the rest of the night and into the next day, wondering and praying about how I could be that same way.  And so I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me be able to recognize and respond to prompting like that - no matter what they were.  So the next day, Friday afternoon, we were driving down the street and I saw a woman waiting at the crosswalk.  And as I saw her, the thought crossed my mind that I wanted to talk to her.  And as soon as I thought that, the logical side of my brain was like "yes, that would be great, except you're in a car and she's walking on the opposite side of the street" and I was about to agree with that sensible thought when my own prayer came back to my mind - asking God to help me be about His business.  And I knew that I needed to talk to that woman.  So I told Sister Mulivai and she turned the car around and as we were driving back we saw that the woman had gone into a CVS pharmacy store.  "What do you want me to do?"  Sister Mulivai asked me.  I told her we should just go ahead and go into CVS because I needed to fill my water bottle up anyways.  Once in there, we went back to the drinking fountains as I said a silent prayer, telling God that I knew he wanted me to talk to this lady, but that I didn't know how to go about it or where she even was, so to please help me out.  And as we left the bathrooms, there she was right outside the door.  Coincidence?  I think not.  We were able to have an amazing discussion about the gospel and about how to draw closer to God, and we left her with a pamphlet and information to look up back in Missouri, where she was from and going back to the next day.  What will happen with her, I do not know, but I am immensely grateful for that opportunity the Lord gave me to run an errand for him.  Because obviously, though I may not ever know the reasons for why, he wanted me to talk to that woman that day, and even if it was just to test me and my willingness to act on promptings, I am grateful for that chance.

In addition to Christmas, this week was a week of miracles in itself.  Saturday morning we were able to go to the temple with our recent convert, Robin, to do baptisms.  There she was baptized for her mother, and a young man there did the work for her father.  Without fail, every time I have accompanied a convert on their first temple trip, they have made some comment about how the temple is what heaven is like.  And it is so true.  And at the Houston temple, whenever someone is coming for the first time, a member of the temple presidency comes to speak with them.  And as the member of the president sat with Robin and shared with her the significance of the work she had just done, she said "I can't believe I get to be part of something so important."  The spirit was so strong, and she expressed the urgency she feels to return often to the temple to do the work for so many of her family members.  I absolutely love Robin.  She has such a strong testimony of this work and as we drove home she told us all about how she wants to both serve a mission and be a temple worker.  She has truly been prepared by the Lord to accomplish great works here.  She also kept talking about her living relatives as people who "she'll be taking to the temple later on."  Haha!  Love her.

And then another miracle of the weekend was that our investigator Rose had her baby!  Little Harmony was born Saturday afternoon, andSunday we were able to go and visit her at the hospital  (though not able to hold her - agghh torture).  It was so amazing to see her and know that, less than 24 hours ago, she had been with Heavenly Father, preparing for her life in mortality.  We shared those same thoughts with Chris and Rose, and they agreed.  I am so excited for that little family, and for them to be able to go to the temple and be sealed together - because I know it is going to happen.  I know that Harmony truly has been sent here to help them as much as they are here to help her.

And then yesterday my dear convert Diane gave a talk in sacrament meeting.  She shared her testimony, and expressed how much joy she has found as she has come to know her Heavenly Father again.  She said something about how for so long she felt like he had abandoned her, but that in discovering the gospel of Jesus Christ she realized that he had always been there for her, she had just never sought him out until now.  As I sat there in the congregation grinning like an idiot (seriously, my face hurt by the end of her talk) I felt a confirmation of the importance of this work - *this* is what it is all about, bringing the gospel to others is not about increasing membership in the church or raising numbers, it is about those individual people finding the unique joy and sense of purpose that only a covenant relationship with their Heavenly Father can provide.  How great is our purpose - not just as missionaries, but as disciples of Christ, to bring others to Him.

I hope yall have a happy new year!  It is so exciting to be able to look forward and set goals and make plans for our futures, and envision what God can make of us in the next year.  This past year for me has been my missionary year - in which I was a full time missionary from beginning to end.  And though 2015 will not be that, I know without a doubt that the Lord has plans for me for this next year, and that through Him it can be just as rewarding as joy-filled as 2014.  And I hope the same for yall!

Love yall!
Sister Bayley Enright

 Christmas Skyping!

 ​With Robin at the temple :)

 Holly berries!

​baby harmony :)

Christmas in Argentina (Rhys)

For those of you that don´t remember this little piece of information about Argentina, Christmas doesn´t get celebrated here like it does in. . . well Home Alone or other Christmas movies. Aside from the lack of dumb thugs trying to break into your house (jajajaja, classic) there´s no snow, there are only little tiny christmas trees, and there´s no snow. Even though there´s no snow and the weather is much warmer (supuestamente, i heard from several people that on CHRISTMAS DAY, it was about 120 degrees with 80% humidity. . . oh yeah) one would think that Christmas could still be celebrated the same way, after all, Arizona and California don´t get killer cold weather and they still pull it off. But no, the classic Argentine way of celebrating Christmas is with fireworks. 

But not fireworks as in, "lets all go to a spot and watch a firework show" way. We´re talking fireworks in every single house, on every corner, in every 2 year old's hands. Everyone and everyone´s parents, neighbors, cousins, grandparents, and long lost friends were all selling fireworks since monday last week. So that last minute shopping spree that you usually see on the 24th was also seen here in your friendly neighborhood Argentina, but everyone was rushing to buy as many fireworks as possible, which is a lot. This all happened while Elder Correa and I were heading to Resistencia for a small district activity that turned out to be pretty darn bomb. As a district (us 6 missionaries; Diaz, Ulloa, Allen, Garrard, Correa, and I) we all headed to Walmart (the only one in the entire mission) where we met up with a member and his non-member friend who is investigating the Church, set up boxes with "Él Es La Dádiva" posters on them, and proceeded to sing carols for about an hour to all those who entered and exited Walmart. It was super sick!! We handed out a TON of "Él Es La Dádiva" cards and smiled and waved at lots of people that ignored us, but that happens everyday. The best part was how much the member (Gabriel) and his friend (Brian) enjoyed it. I loved it too. Afterwards, to show our appreciation to Walmart for letting us sing to all their customers, we put away all the carts in their places in the parking lot as Walmart was closing early. Then, we raced back to the pensh before 7:00, our Christmas Curfue (how do you spell curfew/curfue/curfuw???) rushing by people buying a ton of fireworks

That night, I let Elder Correa go to sleep first (after we made a pie) and then I wrapped his presents and put them all under. . . . The Festivus POLE!!!! We may not have a tree, but we have a festivus pole. After going to bed, we were woken up at 12 when all of the previously bought fireworks were shot off. . . and again and again and again. The fie works stopped after about an hour and fifteen minutes, not even kidding.

The next morning, CHristmas(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), Elder Correa opened his presents and after I got out of the shower, found that he had decided to get me some stuff too and I had to find them (one in the oven and one in my suitcase). I got a DVD (Junto para Siempre) and Elder Correa´s basquetball jacket from Bermejo, Bolivia!!  The rest of the day was filled with trying to talk to Elder Correa´s family (unsuccessfully), eating lunch late, talking to my family late, and trying to talk to ELder Correa´s family (unsuccessfully). So we´re going to get that fixed.

All in all, not a bad christmas. This past Sunday, we got a buttload of rain and we had about 3 families and four missionaries in church. . .

We have transfers this wednesday, I´ll keep you guys informed.

ELder Enright

Me with the festivus pole

Bautismo para la Navidad!!! (Kegan)

It was great to see you guys this christmas.  Thanks to the Familia Marambio for providing the computer and Skype (the oldest daughter of the family actually served in temple square and must have been there when you guys were there for Sarah's wedding)

I was very worried before we actually skyped that I would be made very trunky by the Skype call, but I was very wrong, seeing all of you guys made me want to preach the gospel even more and work even harder to baptize, which is what happened this weekend!!.

Just last week we worked for a LONG time helping Rodrigo move from his Media Agua with his Pareja and into a small little bedroom we helped him finish up the hill a tiny bit so that he could live the commandments and be baptized this saturday

That Saturday he was calling us what must have been every hour of the day because he was so nervous and excited.  

We were very happy to see him baptized, since the day we met him in the street he has wanted desperately to be baptized and finally he has been able to do just that.  

I am not a great english student like Bayley and so would not be able describe with such presicion (spelling??) everything I felt nor every highlight of the baptism,  but when Rodrigo got up in front of all who had come to accompany him to his baptism and said first that he felt so happy to be baptized and second that he never wanted to leave the Church, the spirit was very strong and Elder Santillan and I just felt SO happy for him.

I have actually read your emails this time. It sounds like Christmas was awesome.  Elder Santillan and I have saved the canned Snow you guys sent me for today, in order to make it for both Christmas and New year's, I trust you´ll see fotos next week about how it turned out.  

Just remember that I love you guys, and hope that you all love your disneyland trip, send pictures please.

Love ELder Enright


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Fionnula!!! (Kegan)

This past week we had our Christmas conference in Los Vilos, the beach-y part of our zone. it is an hour and a halfish away from here (very spread out here in Illapel) but we got there in time.

I never told you guys several weeks ago, but in my last Consejo de Líderes they told us that other than indicadore claves (key indicators) of Baptism and Confirmations the rest of the key indicators will be done with in our Sudamerica area next year, we will report weekly only on Baptisms and Confirmation and now the assistance (total) of sacrament meeting.  This may or may not be big to you guys, but it was for us (it would be for you too Bayley, but it doesn´t affect  you. Because I was worried that Rhys´s mission would do the same and they told us not to tell anyone I didn´t say anything. It was confirmed in the meeting on Friday) that it would be all of the area South America South and they told everyone, so there we are.

I am very excited to see you guys on Thursday.

Love Kegan

  Thanks for the ties


 La rama


El Distrito



Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad (Rhys)

This Christmas is so far all lined up to be the least-Christmasy Christmas in my entire life. Our pension is barren of decorations and due to the complete lack of money ( I´m still without those reimbursments- bear with me on the spelling - for having paid over 800 pesos in electricity bills for some previouis missionaries) we haven´t been able to purchase any decorations of our own. I also might as well mention that despite the several days of rain, the weather still reaches degrees of impressive heat that I don´t really appreciate. However, I believe that this is a good oportunity to remember my Savior and how he celebrated the FIRST Navidad. . . and there´s a little place that sells little heladitos de chocalate for like 3 pesos, I think that I´ll live.

       BUT, This last MOnday, instead of doing a big mission conference, every zone of the mission had a small zone Christmas party. Our party consisted of snacks and a white elephant gift exchange in which I got a budin, cookies, and Dragonball Z trading cards... . . in case you guys don´t know, Dragonball Z is HUGE here, so it´s kind of an Argentine thing I guess to give those for Christmas. Better than the Hot dogs that Elder Fuentes got.

       Also this week, I went on divisions with our district Leader, Elder Diaz, who went to my old area in Reconquista after I had left, so we talked a lot about Reconquista and. . .stuff. Also, I found out that despite my earlier suspicions (is that how you spell it??) I don´t seem to have any allergy to mangos. The night of Divisions, Elder Diaz and I ate an entire Bag of mangos that a nice old lady had given to us during the day and The only thing that I woke up with was an intense desire to go to the bathroom that told me it would be best to skip out on the abdominal excercise part of my daily routine. 

       ONe other piece of interesting information. In our little baby rama, we have two return hermana missionaries, one who just recently got back. We also have one return Elder missionary that has been back hace mucho and is currently our branch mission leader. Well, the other day, while I was in Resistencia on divisions, My companion and ELder Ulloa talked with Maxi (the return Elder Missionary) and he announced to them that he was going to ask someone to marry him or something. Some one with whom he ´s been going out for sometime and blah blah blah. My companion asked him if it was an ex missionary and he said yes, but he wasn´t going to say anything else. . . . even though with just that information we already know who it is. If we had any reason to doubt, that was blown away when our  branch missin leader interrupted our (successful) attempts to ask for references from the recently returned missionary and her family. So we´ve been doing lots of teasing of our branch mission leader and I find myself often quietly singing that one "True" song from Sky High (you know the one) to my comp whenever we see tham together. It´s pretty fun.

I hope that you guys have a lovely Christmas and if it´s cold where you are, be appreciative.

Elder Enright

Merry Christmas (Bayley)

Merry Christmas yall!  I can think of no better way to celebrate Christ's birth than wearing His name and preaching His word, and I am so grateful that I got to have two Christmases in the mission field.

This past week we got to once again help out at Humble Area Assistance Ministries (H.A.A.M) with their seasonal food (and this time toy) drive.  It is definitely my favorite thing ever to be involved in service, especially around Christmastime.  Sister Mulivai and I were in the storage room sorting toys, and by the end of several hours Sister Mulivai exclaimed that she would be perfectly happy never seeing a Barbie again, haha.  I was kind enough to let her sort the dolls and Barbies and all sorts of various glittery, pink-packaged toys while I sorted through Lego sets and dart guns.  So many people we are visiting at this time of year have expressed to us just how much they can't stand Christmas and can't wait for it to be over, and it just makes me so sad to see how a celebration of our Savior has been transformed into a celebration of shopping and reminder of financial setbacks and shortcomings.  Many of the families we serviced at HAAM were so worried about having enough toys for their kids, and the kids worried about other kids having more toys than them, and it just made me so grateful for the way in which a mission completely shields you from the world and all you can think about on Christmas is your Savior and His life and His Atonement.  Granted, that is largely because that is all you think about *all* the time...but you get the point.

The Humble Ward has been just top notch though in keeping with the true Spirit of Christmas.  For our Ward Christmas Party just this pastSaturday, instead of Santa and gifts and turkeys, we had a "Night in Bethlehem" in which we all dressed up in Bethlehem garb and sat around in the gym on blankets and ate food from various marketplace "stalls" - the one thing that differed from Bethlehem tradition was the food, since our Bethlehem was blessed with chocolate chip cookies and roast beef sandwiches.  But let's be honest, that just improves the whole scene.  You can never go wrong with chocolate chip cookies.  It was pretty neat.  And then there was a live nativity acted out at the end, in which yours truly got to be the angel and mostly I just botched up my line but tried to remain elegant looking even though I was wrapped in sheets and scarves.  Nailed it.  And then because the ward Christmas party wasn't enough, we had a Christmas program in church yesterday that basically was the best Christmas program I've ever seen in a sacrament meeting EVER.  The primary children stole the scene (as usual) when they sang a song that I think was called "Heavenly Choirs" and was all about how Jesus loves the little children, and so of course they sang at his birth, and our primary president who is a top notch vocalist was the soloist with all the primary children around her as the choir and it was absolutely incredible.  The Spirit was just so strong, and I'm grateful that I've never exactly been a church-crier because if I was I probably would've been bawling.  It seriously was an AMAZING celebration of the love of our Savior.  And then Sister Mulivai and I got to teach Sharing Time yesterday.  I just love the primary children, and love being in Primary, and feeling their sweet spirits and seeing them acquire those righteous habits and testimonies that I know are going to develop into their most precious possessions, as mine has.

Another blessing this past week has been our continuous work with a part member couple, Chris and Rose.  Rose is due to have a baby basically any day now, so every time we set up a lesson with them it is with the understanding that, should Rose go into labor, it probably won't happen.  But as we have been teaching them, they have expressed just how much they want their baby girl to have a strong relationship with Heavenly Father, and in one particular lesson with them this last week, Bishop bore powerful testimony to them of how much God wants their family to be eternal, and wants them all to be together and to all be close to Him, and in that moment I received such a powerful confirmation of the love our Father in Heaven has for this family.  It was such an amazing reminder of a reality of this work.  Hands down, one of my favorite things I have experienced out here in the mission is being able to feel the love God has for His children.  I wish everyone could feel that and recognize that - not just the love God has for them, but for all around us as well.  If we knew how much God cared about those people, especially those people like the slow driver or slow cashier or loud neighbor, I think it would greatly affect our behavior and our reactions towards everyone, especially in their weaknesses.

Most importantly today, in this season of Christ, I want to share with yall my testimony of my Savior.  He truly is our Redeemer, the Son of God, our perfect exemplar, our eldest brother, and my dearest friend.  There is nothing in this life so sacred to me as my testimony of my Savior.  I know that He is the only way for us to not only be redeemed from our mistakes and transgressions, but changed and refined of our weaknesses and shortcomings.  I love Him, and I am forever indebted to Him.  What a blessing to know that through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel which He gave us, we can develop within ourselves those attributes of godliness that He so perfectly demonstrated, and through that gospel we can prepare ourselves to enter into His presence, and feel at home there.  How grateful I am not only for that sacred night in Bethlehem so many years ago, but for the matchless life that followed.

Merry Christmas yall,

Love,

Sister Bayley Enright

 sister mulivai buried in barbies

 our haam group! from left to right back row, elders combrink, young, martinez, huff, hna hull, elders knebel, mccown, sarchet, dean - in the middle sisters crump, turpin, moi, and elder six, with sis mulivai, elder nonu, and hna carling in the front

​missionaries are weird

Monday, December 15, 2014

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Bayley)

So this past week we had our mission wide Christmas conference, in which all the missionaries in the Texas Houston East mission gathered together in a single chapel to listen to inspired messages from our mission presidency, to hear the incredible musical talents of so many of our missionaries, to watch a Christmas movie together (Silent Night - super good, look it up) and of course to take our mission picture.  That last activity probably took the longest amount of time, since despite our proven ability to help bring others to Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end - turns out that collectively we as missionaries seriously don't know how to pose for a picture.  And trying to fit us all into a single frame just made it an extra challenge.  And then one sister fainted smack in the middle of all of us, so that threw things off a little bit just as we were finally getting it together.  Luckily for her, the best place to pass out is at a mission conference, where she was surrounded by a good 130+ elders, the mission president, and the mission doctor.  So she was perfectly fine in the end.  And eventually the picture was taken, for better or for worse, and hopefully most of us were looking at the camera for at least one of the shots.

One of the speakers at the Christmas conference was President Pomeroy, former member of the mission presidency and a sealer at the Houston temple.  I seriously LOVE just listening to people teach the gospel - for those who have such incredible knowledge of the gospel, I could probably sit there all day and just listen to them teach.  And President Pomeroy has INCREDIBLE knowledge of the gospel.  And something he said really struck me.  He spoke about the importance of scripture study, and told us that especially after we go home "if you stop studying the scriptures every single day you will lose your testimony - never do that."

That comment made me think a lot about the importance of studying the scriptures, and the power of the word of God.  And since we have a few people with whom we are working who have that exact problem of not reading the scriptures, I was able to spend a bit of time studying that particular topic this week.  And of course I found myself in the story of Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon, in which the prophet Lehi has a dream of the "tree of life," the fruit of which is "most desirable above all things" and which is accessible only to those who have reached the tree by holding onto the iron rod that guides travelers through the mists of darkness.  From later revelation to Lehi's son, Nephi, we learn that the iron rod is a symbolic representation of the word of God: "And whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish, neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction" (1 Nephi 15:24).

Throughout the scriptures we find NUMEROUS references to the power of the word of God.  God himself repeatedly exhorts us to "give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow" (Hebrews4:12).  Alma 31:5 teaches that "the preaching of the word had a greater tendency to lead the people to do that which was just - yea, it had more powerful effect upon the people than the sword, or anything else."  When Alma went to preach repentance he did "preach the word of God" unto the people of Nephi to "stir them up in remembrance" (Alma 4:19). The righteous Lamanites sought after the Gadianton Robbers and did "preach the word of God" among them "insomuch that this band of robbers was destroyed" (Helaman 6:37).  Boyd K. Packer seconded the truth of this when he stated that "true doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.  The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior."

"And thus we see," Helaman writes, "that whosoever will...lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked - and land their souls, yea their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven" (Helaman 3: 29-30). 

Clearly their is POWER in the word of God - so why in the WORLD do we struggle so much to read it?  Why in the world do we sometimes neglect it?

In asking myself that question, I thought of the story in the Bible of when Moses is instructed by God to make a brass serpent and put it on a pole, that whoever would look upon the serpent would be healed.  And yet despite this simple solution, many people still perished.  Why?  Nephi explained that "because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished" (1 Nephi 17:41).  Similarly, Alma explained that "the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them" (Alma 33:20).

Do we sometimes, like these Israelites, doubt the power of the small and simple things like reading our scriptures?  I believe that sometimes we do.  That sometimes when we face challenges, especially, we expect some sort of grand quest or miracle or experience as a solution.  We don't really believe that something as simple as scripture reading would solve all our problems - just like the Israelites didn't believe in the power of the brass serpent to heal them.  We lack faith!  Too often we think that *real* faith means trusting in God enough to work mighty miracles like parting the red sea or moving a mountain.  However, I would contend that *real* faith is trusting in God to be powerful enough to bring forth great things out of the small and simple.  True faith is seen in the easy and simple things.  True faith is looking at the brass serpent to be healed.  True faith is daily scripture study, and daily prayer.

"Oh my brethren," Alma plead, "if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly?  Or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish?...but if not so, cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God" (Alma 33:21-22).

My whole mission, I have had experiences that strengthen my testimony of the small and simple things.  This week I've have plenty of experiences that strengthen that testimony.  We found new people to teach because we simply spoke to everyone.  Because we did that, we are teaching this awesome man from Montenegro who knows the Book of Revelations better than anyone I've ever met.  Because we did that, we are teaching the sweetest Muslim family who has SUCH a strong testimony of their Heavenly Father and the power of God.  Not of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, no, but we'll get there!  Because we did the small and simple thing and said a prayer yesterday when our dinner appointment cancelled and we were positively STARVING (ok that might be an exaggeration - but we were quite hungry!) a member of our ward came right up to us and asked us if we had dinner that night and if not, would we like to come by their home.  Because of small and simple things, our recent convert Robin has a temple recommend. Aljae is getting his patriarchal blessing.  Diane was asked to speak in church.  Lives are changed, and eternity is determined, by the small and simple things.  So please, I beg of all, to never, ever, EVER neglect the small and simple things.  Never neglect the scriptures.  There is power beyond comprehension in the word of God.

I love yall so much.  I am so grateful for all of yalls prayers and efforts to further the Lord's work wherever you are!

Love,
Sister Enright

 ​Texas skies!  They never fail me.

 ​Christmas Conference reunion with sistah mcqueen!

​and elder sully

 ​Christmas conference reunion with sisters roberts and asay

 and elder lacusta

​our loverly nativity and Christmas tree at our apartment

Legal (Rhys)

Normal missionary work for this week was interrupted in the middle by a surprise vacation to Uruguay!!!

       When they first told us that we would be going to Uruguay (Last Monday) I imagined that it would be fun and every missionary that I talked to was convinced that there would be things in Uruguay that don´t exsist here in Argentina, like Root Beer. We recieved that instrucciones for where we had to be (Barrio 1, Centro de la misión) and when (at 4:30 in the afternoon) and we were told that we would be returning Friday in the morning. So we had P-day on tuesday (because of a Zone COnference on Monday) and a really short time to workTuesday Morning (contacting and showing Hermano Soto "Él Es La Dádiva". . . he wants a copy to show to all of his neighbors) followed by studies and lunch, and then Elder Correa and I met up with ELders Garrard and Allen in the train so that once I left, Elder COrrea wouldn´t be on his own.

       We arrived early to the chapel to find that there were plenty of other ELders (about 45 en total) that also needed to be NOT illegal and would be going with me to Uruguay. We all were told where our assigned seats would be in the bus, said bye to our companions, and were all shuttled INTOOOOO. . . . .the chapel. . . to recieve instructions. Basically we were all told the horario of the trip which included personal study, study with your seat buddy/the guy next to you, stops to eat, time to sleep (on the bus, and crossing the border stuff, and repeat. And that´s pretty much what happened. We sat, studied, stopped for dinner (at a super nice restaurant to eat, milanesa con puré de papa), slept, woke up, stopped for snacks, sat back down crossed the border (considering that all we had to do was get a stamp and sign something, it took a LOOOOOONNNNG time, like two hours), ate lunch in Uruguay (where *psych* root beer doesn´t exist still) went back to the border and crossed again (TWO HOURS of waiting) got on the bus, studied, slept, and got back to Resistencia.

      Oh yeah, for that little interval in Uruguay, we had to wait for some paperwork type thing to get done, so we went to a chapel in Uruguay to wait and I got to hang out with ELders Smith, Cannon, and Ware!! 

      At the end of the week, none of the new investigators came to church (not even many members came) and so we´re going to keep teaching some of them and continue the search for more.

       One of the cool things that our mission is doing for Christmas is a little 12 days of christmas thing. Hermana Franco (mish prez.´s wife) made every missionary a little carpeta thing that has little slips of paper for the 12 days before christmas that we open each day and there´s something that we have to do for that day, like yestarday we had to give some one a gift (investigator, member, menos activo) and so we gave some pan dulce to our ex-branch mission leader whose wife gave us in return, a huge bag of mangos. Hallelujah!!

ELder Enright

P.S. I really love Mangos, but I may or may not have an allergy to the ones that I eat here (they´re not the same as the mangos I remember eating in Colorado). But I like them too much to stop eating them.



Photo: me and ELder Ware in Uruguay (on the way to Uruguay we passed through Reconquista and I got see my old area. . . part of it)

Tanto Tiempo (Kegan)

It has been a good long time since I have emailed much to all of you, sorry about that.

I really need to learn to manage my internet time here in the mish because I right now have very little time.

A few stories I have to share about this week.

The first was a lesson God decided to teach me about scaring young children, okay, 14 yearolds.

Franco and his mom are less active, Franco even less than his mom and we have been trying to activate them for a while.  They live on the side of the mountian and we have to climb a good few flights of stairs to get there.  When we finally arrived this past Monday after p-day they weren´t home.  As we turned to leave I got a brief glimpse of Franco reaching the stairs that lead up to the house before the ridge covered him up.  Somehow deciding to be very immature in the moment we hid behind the house in the narrow alley-like space between the back of the house and the steep rock wall that is the mountain.  We waited breifly before my companion took a peek and saw Franco who discovered him instantly.  Being stubborn we still wanted to give him a bit of a scare so my comapnion distracted him while I took the other way around the house to come out behind Franco. In my short journey around the house I ducked to move underneath the open window, but i didn´t duck enough and at a somewhat rapid speed the window banged up my head.  The results of what it left on my head are in the foto attached.  It was a very humbling experience made even more humbling by the humor my comp found in the whole story.

Later in the week a less humbling but more exciting and miraculous vist was made to Daniela and Marcelo.  We have continually been inviting them to church and they have always been very iffy about the church subject, but we keep inviting and inviting them. they read and do everytihing but come to church.  Just in the middle of the week we were once again trying and trying to commit them to come when their little 9 year-old sister (adopted, kind of) walked into the room and we invited her as well.  She instantly replied that she wanted to go, surprising the rest of her family.  Following her footsteps her mother and brother (Marcelo) commited as well, and Daniela was almost going to have to go with her sister and said it was more than possible.

So I have learned not to trust windows nor to scare little kids this week, only to trust in their unwavering faith.

Love Elder Enright

P.S. I´m sorry the only picture this week is an ugly one.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Temples and Nativities (Bayley)

Technically it was only one temple - Houston for life! - but saying "temple and nativities" just isn't as catchy, so we're just going to go with the plural.

This past week was amazing!  What with meetings and temple trips and service and everything, it has been absolutely draining, which is the best feeling ever when you collapse into bed each night, knowing that you have used absolutely every OUNCE of energy you could in the work of the Lord that day.

Not to mention the fact that my daughter has proven herself capable of not only falling off bikes, but falling down stairs as well.  And also accidentally gluing fake nails to her fingers.  There certainly is no shortage of entertainment in our companionship.  

Let's start with the temples.  Or temple, that is.  Still just one. 

Wednesday morning bright and early the missionaries in the Kingwood, Summerwood, and Pine Trails Zones (so roughly 60 of us) drove to the temple to be there at 6am for our special missionary 6:30 session.  When we arrived it was still dark out, and immediately upon passing through the front gates the peace of the temple just washed over us.  I have come to love and appreciate so many things on my mission, one of which is the temple.  When I go to the temple, I feel like I am going home, and nowhere in the world can we find the same degree of peace and comfort as we can within the walls of the Lord's house.  Since the temple was opened early just for us, there was no one there but missionaries, and it was an extra special feeling to be there and to look around and see the house of the Lord filled with members of the Lord's army. 

Leaving the temple, both Sister Mulivai and I felt like we were so spiritually full that if somebody bumped us we were just going to tip over and lose a whole load of revelation.  We even had to turn off the conference talk we were listening to because we felt like our minds just couldn't hold anything more on the drive home.  And so what better thing to do than go directly from there to teaching God's children! 

That afternoon we had a church tour scheduled with a part member family we are working with.  Our whole purpose in showing them around the church was to help them feel the Spirit that was there, and so as we stood outside the doors we talked to the three young kids (ages 9, 7, and 4) and told them about how they would need to whisper and be very careful in the church because this was God's house.  We had with us a member of our ward who happens to be the organist, and we had decided beforehand that as part of the tour we would all enter the chapel together and she would play "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" while we and the family just sat there and felt for the whisperings of the Spirit.  Now, I'm sure that our being in the temple that morning had greatly increased my spiritual sensitivity, but even without that extra temple-prompted-Spirit-radar, there was something very eternally powerful felt in that room as we sat quietly and listened to the organ.  In that moment I saw this family as an eternal family in the walls of the temple.  I am confident that the Spirit that was there - and felt by all - enabled us to get just a glimpse of the love God has for his children.  It was felt so clearly, and so strongly, that by the time the hymn finished playing we all just sat there soaking it all in.  That experience taught me several things.  First, never underestimate the power of song and music to invite the Spirit of the Lord.  Second, always remember that the chapel is a sacred place.  And third, God truly does love all his children all the time.

In addition to temples and Spirit-maxed lessons, this week was extra special because of the Christmas spirit.  In the Kingwood Stake, for the past 17 years, they have put on a community wide nativity exhibit and music festival which displays over 400 nativity sets from around the world and features musical performances from many local and school choirs and orchestras.  And lucky us, every year the missionaries get to help volunteer there.  So for several hours on both Friday and Saturday, Sister Mulivai and I got to smile big and use all our best manners to welcome people to the nativity and direct them around the building and answer questions about the nativities and the event.  I will include some of the pictures I got of the many nativities, but sorry - you really and truly needed to be there to feel the incredible spirit of the event.  I absolutely LOVE Christmas.  It is such a unique time of the year where everyone's eyes are turned back to the Savior, to think about Him and His birth and His life.  There is no better time of the year to be His representative than now.

I hope that this Christmas season, all of yall take the time to apply the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter, who said: "This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicious and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love, and then speak it again."

I love yall!

Sister Bayley Enright

​With my daughters :) Sisters Mulivai and Crump


​Sister Mulivai, me, elders kalilimoku, and brewer


​elders huff, knebel, martinez

 ​With the zone leaders - elders mitchell and huhane


 ​with president and sister drake :)


 ​colorado springs east stake represent!


​with my loverly daughter


And some of the nativities:



Not Ground Zero (but close) (Rhys)

So, we have investigators!!

YAAAAYYYY!!!! 

None of them came to church!


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :(

Seriously, of all the things that we do as missionaries, the hardest thing is getting people to come to church. 

However, other than the sad 0 investigators at church, the hunt for investigators during the week proved quite fruitful and we have several people that we´re going to pass by to see in this coming week. . . or better put, Elder Correa, is going to visit them. Because I´m off to Uruguay.

Yesterday we had a zone conference in which I was informed that several missionaries (including me) are going to be leaving Wednesday for Uruguay. We are the missionaries that are currently. . . illegal, for lack of a better word. I don´t have the identification card from Argentina that most missionaries in the mission have. I`m part of a group of about 40 missionaries that don´t have this card and for some reason that is still not entirely clear, we must leave the country temporarily in order to get this precious card that must not be too important if I´ve been here for more than a year without it. We´ll all be coming back friday morning, hopefully legally. . .  The good news is that several other missionaries that I know also have to take this trip, including Elder Ware and ELder Smith, two of my past companions. So we´ll see how all this goes. In the meantime, I hope that everyone has an awesome Holiday season and that it snows wherever you are because it´s not gonna snow here.

Elder Enright

Don´t know how long it´s been since I´ve sent a picture, so here´s one, that´s me with my zone t-shirt from last transfer.

"Estoy en Bolivia de nuevo ehhhhh"

The shortest one yet (Kegan)

Today is some sort of saints day here in Chile, so nobody was open, except one Hermana that is really nice and stayed open for us.  However her computer has been pesimo and really slow, I just want you guys to know that I am very happy, tanning (ish) with the super hot sun here and eating a good amount of ice-cream.

It is weird to think that all of you up north (er) are freezing.

Just yesterday I was able to contact this guy from Pakistan! he and his wife is muslim (I never realized how sexist muslims are though, his wife couldn´t shake my hand, always had to be behind her husband and everything) how ever, contacting him was fun because first, he didn´t speak spanish, only a heavily accented english, but he wants to read the book of mormon (he also wants me to read the holy Kuran) we are going to communicate a little bit more by email.

Love  ELder ENright

P.S. That He is the GIFT video is awesome. we have shared it with several people in the street (several have yes been drunk, but their freinds at least felt the spirit)

Can´t belive it´s christmas! Feliz Navidad Les Amo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ground Zero (Rhys)

Well out of all of our investigators, none came to church. . . again. and they´ve basically all stopped progressing and me and my comp are kind of fed up with people saying that they´ll do one thing and then doing another. . . sssooooo. . . .we´re back to zero progressing investigators and dropping the ones we have. 


Yay.


This is always *so much fun*.
But, the good news is that we already found some new "Gators" this past week with a lot of potential and we have some contacts from last week that we´re going to be passing by this week and a few of them (two in particular) show a lot of potential as well. 

Some of the news we found actually found us. We were on our way to visit a gator and we passed by this one house where a guy and his wife were sitting outside drinking mate. The guy told us to wait and ran inside, put on a shirt, and ran back out, giving us two chairs to sit in. Ricardo (the guy) then told us that he had been wanting to talk to us for a long time and he wanted to know what we do and what not. he had said just momnets before to his wife (Flavia) that the next time we pass by, he was going to talk to us. ANd he did. SO that was cool. we left a Book of Mormon with them and they want to read it and they seem great.

Some bad news. Remember Hermano Soto?? the guy that I baptized here with Elder Smith who is super awesome??? Yeah, someone robbed his scooter this week and so he has no modern mode of transport. We passed by and we found him searching through papers and that was when he told us that he´d been robbed. He was searching for hours then for a paper that proved he was the owner that he needed to take to the police to be able to start a look out for the Moto, or something like that. After a few minutes in which he insisted that we couldn´t help because we didn´t know what the paper looked like, we offered to say a prayer and then help look. We said a prayer and not 2 minutes after saying the prayer all of our eyes were drawn to a nook under his tv where a little black bag was hidden, We asked him what was there and pulled it out and in that little bag we found everything that he had been searching for for hours. Proof that God answers even the littlest prayers. He still doesn´t have his moto though, so he walked to church this Sunday, something that I don´t think hardly anyone else would do, if they can´t get there by moto or auto, they usually don´t come. So yeah, I really love Hermano Soto.

Well, other than all of that, this past week was a bit of a dissapointment, but to those of you who haven´t heard the good tidings of great joy that my family told me, there is a trailer for the next Star Wars movie and that brightens things up, even if  I can´t see it.

Merry Christmas!!

Elder ENright

P.S. this coming Sunday, the 7th, is my comp´s 19th birthday.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Gratitude (Bayley)

So I have decided to spend my pday today organizing all the many, many, many talks that I have acquired over the course of my mission (considering library printing fees, these are probably my number one expense on my mission, next to sticky notes and Chik-fil-A shakes) and I seriously couldn't be more excited.  Sometimes I reflect back upon what I did for fun back at home before the mission...and I'm sorry, but reading and sorting talks beats it all.

I hope yall had as wonderful a Thanksgiving holiday as we did over here.  But before I get to that, something else significant happened this week - TRANSFERS!  And my dear Sister Stofferahn went home :( along with three other of my previous companions!  Sister Johnson, Sister Boam, and Sister Killian.  So yeah, that was fun. NOT.  All of them will be sorely missed, but I am excited to see all the great things they do with their lives back at home.

And as more my new companion - I am training again!  Her name is Sister Mulivai and she is from Hawaii and says I love food as much as a Polynesian.  ​I am so so excited to get to end my mission training a new missionary - even though I think it's so unfair thinking of all the time she has left ahead of her!  She is awesome though, and we have a lot of fun.

As for Thanksgiving...Whereas last year we had an all day pday for Thanksgiving, this Thanksgiving was a proselyting day!  So we got to go out a visit with a number of people before having Thanksgiving dinner with a super sweet family in the ward that fed us well and sent us home with leftovers.  We then were able to go over to our Bishop's home for a pie party - a Thanksgiving tradition which I highly approve of.

But my favorite thing about Thanksgiving was the time Sister Mulivai and I took to study the attribute of gratitude, and to really incorporate it into our day and into our work.  I absolutely love President Uchtdorf's quote, that gratitude is "the catalyst to all Christlike attributes."  And it is true!  As we truly are grateful for what we have been blessed with, as we acknowledge the hand of the Lord in our life, we are more able to feel his love in every aspect of our lives.  As we are grateful, we are less selfish, we are less disappointed, we are less prideful.  We are simply able to worship our Father and Savior more wholly as we recognize and acknowledge Them.

With that in mind, here are just a few things I am especially grateful for at this time:
1) the opportunity I have had to serve as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints.  That hardly does justice to the way I feel about my mission - to say I am grateful for it is just the beginning.  My life and my eternity will never be the same because of these sacred months.

2)
A Texas fall...in December, yes, but a Texas fall nevertheless!

3) my family.  Yesterday at church we had a mission farewell in the Humble ward, and watching the family of this young man as they prepare to send him out, and their love and their sacrifice just really stood out to me, and made me realize how much my family has sacrificed for me to be out here.  I'm not saying "I know my family has had to sacrifice being their with me - because let's face it being with me is just such a great blessing," but I know that it really wasn't the nicest thing of me and my two brothers to all ship off the same week on our missions, but I am infinitely grateful for the fact that my family has given me nothing but support and help the entire time.

4) The fact that the Spirit inspires us in so many ways - like prompting me to make sure my little first aid kit was all stocked this last week - and then look what happened

​But thanks to a newly stocked supply of cleansing wipes and Monsters Inc. Bandaids, my baby survived her first bike crash.

5) "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" be in Vocal Point, be it Piano Guys, be it my own less inspiring rendition while we bike - I absolutely love that song.

6) The sacred ground of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Pasadena, Texas; and Humble Texas.  Those places are holy ground to me now and forever, and the people in those cities will forever be in my prayers.  God sends you where he needs you - on your mission, in your career, with your family, wherever.  He knows best, and as we seek to love where we are at, we will come to love those places and people and situations and whatever more than we ever thought possible.

7) my companions - Sister Barton, Sister Johnson, Sister Boam, Sister Crump, Sister Killian, Sister Bolton, Sister Stofferahn, and Sister Mulivai.  I love each and every one of these sisters so much.  I have been changed by each and every one of these sisters so much.  And I will be forever grateful for what they taught me, for the time we had together, for their tolerating my occasional soapbox sermons on obedience, and never judging me for the amount of Bluebell I am capable of putting away.

8) but most importantly - I am grateful for my Savior.  I hope yall have had the chance to watch the new video the church recently released, called He is the Gift.  If not, repentance is real and available for you - go watch it!  It is amazing, and it is such a sweet and powerful reminder of the ultimate gift - our Savior Jesus Christ.  He has always been my Savior, he has always been my Redeemer, but on my mission I have truly come to know Him as my brother, and as my friend.  For his matchless life and infinite Atonement I am endlessly grateful.

I love yall so much.  I hope that at this time of year especially, we all think more closely on our Savior, and come to know His voice more perfectly, and live our lives in such a way that He recognizes us as His own.

Love,
Sister Enright

 ​Saying goodbye to Sistah Stoff :(

 ​And then also Sister Boam

 And also Sister Killian (Hna Stiles is still here, thank goodness)
Missions seriously can be unnecessarily traumatic, if you think about it

Our new district for Thanksgiving!  From bottom left, sisters turpin and crump, with sis mulivai and me up top, and elders huff, dean, sarchet, and knebel