Thursday, September 14, 2017

*Insert Clever Title Here* (Aislin)

 Well, well, well. It's P-day again and I'm struggling to come up with a clever title for my email. Hmm. . . I'll think of one later

  This week was pretty awesome. I love Wolfville! This area has progressed so much since Sister Barlow and I first got here, and now transfers are coming up in a couple weeks and I'm scared I'm going to leave. I love our investigators so much and a few of them are just weeks away from baptism! I really, really, REALLY want to be the missionary that continues to teach them and helps them into the waters of baptism but I know that there's a high possibility that I won't be. I shouldn't be a selfish missionary and I know I should be happy as long as they're being taught by someone but that doesn't stop me from wishing with all my heart that I stay another transfer in Wolfville! I've just been praying for the strength I'll need to leave them behind if I am transferred, because I know that no matter where I go next, it'll be the place I need to be, whether or not it's here in Wolfville - but if I do leave I know it's going to be HARD.

  Let me tell you a little bit about these amazing investigators. 

  MADDY - Maddy is the sweetest little 11 year old who is on date to be baptized on September 23. We taught her 3 times this week and it's so awesome to see how she just soaks it all up! My favorite thing is how she just lights up whenever she talks about her baptism! She's so excited for it! She's been telling all her friends at school about it and even wants us to make invitations that she can hand out! She missed church this week because she was really sick. We were worried that we would have to move the baptismal date (it's recommended that investigators attend church at least 3 times before they are baptized) but we called President Pratt to ask about it and he told us that it sounded like she was progressing really well, and gave us the OK the go ahead with her baptism, as long as we thought she really understood the importance of church attendance! 

  MANDY - Mandy is the girl we met at the ward activity a couple weeks ago and she is AMAZING. We had our first sit-down lesson with her this week. Going into the lesson we didn't really know what to plan for because Sister Silvenoinnen and I had taught her so much already. But we knew she would have a lot of questions so we planned to answer all of her questions and teach an in-depth Restoration lesson as a back-up. We drove an hour to Middleton, picked up a member from the branch there (she's the granddaughter of Sister Wade in our ward here and so we met her and her family when we went over to sister Wade's for supper once), then had the coolest lesson with Mandy. We got in there and she whipped out her notebook and the Restoration pamphlet we gave her and started bombarding us with questions about prophets, revelation, and priesthood authority. Luckily, I'd recently been studying the book , A Marvelous Work And A wonder (which is FANTASTIC by the way) so I felt confident when answering all her questions about the priesthood and church organization. She and the member, Rebekah, know each other from school so it worked out perfectly. Especially since she would be in the Greenwood branch so we wouldn't be able to be there with her on Sundays. But now she already knows someone there and Rebekah is totally up to inviting and driving her to church! Member fellowshipping is so important, especially in the CHM because everyone in the Maritimes is very friendly but they're all recluses too. So getting people to church can be hard if they don't know anyone there. 

JOCELYN - Jocelyn is this sweet little old lady we met a couple weeks ago when we knocked on her door. At the time she said she was really sick but that we could come back in a week or two. So we've gone back 3-4 times and she's never been home, but I'm a firm believer in persistence (Spirit-led persistence at least)! So we went back yesterday and she invited us in, we shared the restoration and invited her to come to church. She explained how she had been baptized in the Baptist church and believed that every church was the same. So we explained to her priesthood authority and how her priest had authority given him by men, not by God. Then we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She told us she would get her friend to drive her to church on Sunday so she could "see what it's all about". She's so cute and I can tell she has so much potential! I'm excited to teach her!

  Anyways. This week has been fabulous. We've knocked into members a couple times which is always awkward but hey, it's a good way to accidentally get to know the members! We got ice cream (twice in one day!) to celebrate my 7 month mark, we played volleyball with a member and all her nonmember friends for FHE, we taught lots of lessons and talked with lots of people. . . Basically it was a good week to be a missionary! I love you all and pray for you every day! Stay awesome!!!

p.s. I'll come up with a better title next week :)

- Sister Enright
 Me and my companion

 Smarties! They're way better than American Smarties

Sister Bush!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Miracles in Wolfville (Aislin)

 Happy September, y'all! 

  This week has been so good and so full of miracles! I don't usually do my emails like this but I might have to use Liam's strategy and give you a day-by-day :)

  TUESDAY - Obviously, P-day. Proselyting hours after P-day are always great because you've had your break and you're anxious to get back to work and when a missionary has the desire to work hard, miracles happen! We had a dinner appointment with a member named Sister Welton and when we showed up, she introduced us to her friend and next door neighbor, a less-active who would be joining us for dinner that night. Halfway through the meal, the less-active got up and left to go get her granddaughter and daughter from next door. Her daughter's name is Maddie and as we talked with her, we found out that she wasn't a member but she was very curious about religion and had spent a couple weeks this Summer at a Bible camp. So, long story short, we decided to change our plan for the spiritual thought and share the restoration with them instead. The whole time I was thinking we should invite Maddie to be baptized but I kept pushing the thought away and telling myself that we should do it next time. So we ended with a prayer and then right after we said amen, Maddie turned to her mom and said, "I don't get baptism. . . " That was when I thought, "OK, sorry, Holy Ghost, I promise to follow you next time." I'm just glad Maddie felt inspired to ask about it or else we wouldn't have said anything! After we explained baptism to her I just asked, "Do you want to be baptized, Maddie?" and she nodded! The best part was how excited her mom seemed about it. Her mom (Tanya) hasn't been to church in probably 15-20 years I think and after Maddie said she wanted to be baptized, Tanya just kept staring at her in awe and then very excitedly started telling Maddie her own conversion story. So anyways. We've had 4 lessons with Maddie now, she came to church on Sunday and LOVED it. That also meant that we got to go to Primary with her! Literally the highlight of my week. 

  WEDNESDAY - Wednesday was Zone Conference and it was spectacular! Probably my favorite Zone Conference I've been to on my mission thus far. Sister Pratt did a training with us and shared a whole bunch of stories from recent converts in the CHM. My favorite was the story of a young woman from Mexico who was in Newfoundland for a few months and was found by our one Spanish speaking missionary (no joke. Only one in the whole mission, ha ha) while he was on exchanges. Elder Huaroc taught her over Skype a few times but then she left for Mexico. A couple months after she left, Elder Huaroc got an email from her with a picture of her and two missionaries in Mexico. She told him that she was getting baptized next week and that she had also invited her sister to listen to the missionaries! The best part was when sister Pratt said, "And - since it's Mexico - her sister is on date now too!" Haha! 
  Also, funny thing from Zone Conference. Sister Hird and Sister Silvenoinnen did a roleplay with us in which Sister Hird was our investigator and Sister Silvenoinnen jokingly said she would be the Holy Ghost. Halfway through helping Sister Hird understand the process of receiving answers with Alma 32, she started to nod and say, "So. . . You're saying that maybe the Holy Ghost has already given me my answer. . . " and then Sister Silvenoinnen leaned over and and patted her arm. We couldn't stop laughing after that!

  THURSDAY - OK, Thursday wasn't actually very exciting (except that we got to teach Maddie!) so we'll skip that one.

  FRIDAY - Friday was crazy busy. We had our STL, Sister Hird and her companion Sister Silvenoinnen come stay with us for exchanges. Usually, we would've gone to our STL's area for exchanges but they switched it this transfer, which also meant that I was the one who got to plan the exchange. Planning for four sisters is a lot of work! But it was fun and it all worked out great! We had a ward activity that night and there was supposed to be a huge turn out of members and non-members so we planned to do some finding there. Lucky for us it worked out, because our back-up plan was to go knocking around the neighborhood but when we got to the home of the members who were hosting the activity, we found out that they had no neighbors within a 3 mile radius. (This is why it helps to have maps in your apartment). I was one Splits with Sister Silvenoinnen that night who is super awesome. After eating supper we started making the rounds, talking with lots of people. One of our members, Sister Donnahee introduced us to her granddaughter Mandy and we ended up talking to her the whole night! We taught her the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and even briefly covered the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Then we gave her some pamphlets, a Book of Mormon, and invited her to be baptized to which she said YES! She lives in Middleton which is actually in another area but Sister Hird gave Sister Barlow and I permission to travel there so we can teach her! We have a lesson set up with her this week and I'm super excited!

  SATURDAY - We had Skype interviews with President which are always awesome. I'm always amazed at how well her remembers each and every missionary, not only their names but also the names of their investigators, their companions and the trials and successes that each missionary has experienced. That's how you really know he's called of God! 
  I got to spent most of the day with Sister Hird who is basically my favorite person ever. I love her and look up to her so much. STLs are the best!

SUNDAY - Obviously, Sunday was hoppin'. We got to go to Primary with Maddie and I've never laughed so hard during church. Primary was CRAZY. Bryson, a little boy with down syndrome kept turning around in his seat to look at me all while holding his nose and humming very loudly. Another kid was shooting small objects across the room with a rubber band. Three of the older boys were engaged in an intense memory card game while the music director tried to get everyone to sing. I love primary!

  Anyways. Those are the many highlights of my week. I hope you guys had an equally awesome one. From your emails, it sounds like you did :) To end this email, I wanted to share a quote from Elder Nelson's last conference talk. He said, "There is nothing easy or automatic about becoming such powerful disciples [of Christ]. Our focus must be riveted on the Savior and His gospel. It is mentally rigorous to strive to look unto Him in every thought. But when we do, our doubts and fears flee."
  I love you all! Don't ever forget to look unto Christ. No matter who we are or where we are, He will never leave us. 

God is good!
- Sister Enright

  Coolest yard decoration

 My cool Canadian socks I got from Sister Kilmer

  Sister Wade!

A card and a picture from the cutest Sunbeam (well, former Sunbeam I guess)

Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4. 2017 (Erin)

Hola familia!

This week was full of awesomeness.

On Friday we had a baptism, Hermana Kusi. First thing you all have to know is that it was raining ALL WEEK LONG! Like crazy. Hermana Kusi even mentioned to us on Thursday if maybe we could postpone her baptism, but with some thought we decided to go ahead with it. Friday morning it drizzled. My companion and I got up early and went to the church building to cook a cake since we don´t have an oven. It continued to drizzle all day, even through our RS activity we had (crocheting) which was at 5pm, but by the time we were getting all ready for the baptism at 6pm, the drizzling had stopped. It was still super cloudy and a little cold, but we all drove out to the outdoor swimming pool en the pueblito where the branch president lives. I´m pretty sure we looked goofy all in coats in the cold, heading to the swimming pool with soda and cake.  Kusi changed into the overalls which she hated and ended up having a nervous breakdown, but we got her calmed down. We had a small devotional and a pretty good amount of members showed up. It was really an amazing experience. At one point I was sure it was raining nearby, but we weren´t getting wet at all, haha. Kusi was so happy and yesterday she got confirmed. She´s such an amazing example for me. She was so prepared for the gospel. So many things her mother taught her (even though she was catholic) helped her understand the commandments and begin to obey them immediately. I hope with all my heart that she will be an amazing example for her family and for her boyfriend who is kind of less active. And of course for her son, who attended the baptism and told his mom that just maybe he would like to be baptized too.

Another miracle happened yesterday. Somehow we always end up having investigators at church. Sometimes it´s not at all who we expected, but they do show up. Yesterday we passed by for our 3 investigators that have baptismal dates. One was sick, the other couldn´t make it because of her father, and the other one wasn´t at home. We were super bummed. BUT, in the course of waiting for members to show up, one member brought one of our investigators, one member brought his nephew, and another recent convert showed up with his girlfriend. And then after sacrament meeting ended, one of our investigators we had found in the week showed up by himself and another family showed up in which the husband is not a member. It was super awesome! One thing I love about being in this tiny branch is I know everyone and all their stories. I also know who is super active, who is really not and who is having some problems. And sometimes I actually know what those problems entail. But it´s super cool because it was fast and testimony meeting and some people bore their testimonies who haven´t in a really long time and it was just so sweet and amazing to listen to their short little testimonies. 

And then, to finish, we try to have family home evenings as a branch every sunday night. It´s a little hard because some people live super far away. Anywho, we made plans with the branch president to have a family home evening with a couple that live in another pueblo about an hour away. When we all got there we had an amazing little lesson about the plan of salvation with this couple and like 10 other members of their family who are not members. we played a game and ate sweet bread with rice pudding. It was so much fun. I love these moments when I feel like I´m actually helping people, bringing families and church members closer together. Then, when we finished, the branch president took us back home. He has a little girl, Abish, and we all ended up singing and laughing the whole time. I really feel like they are part of my family. I have come to love so many people here on the mission and especially here in Grajales. 

okay, well I think that is all for now. I have to go finish my plans for salientes!

Love you all lots!

Hermana Enright

Friday, September 1, 2017

Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood (Aislin)

. . . And metal. And plastic. And literally anything that even slightly resembles a door. Seriously, this week has been full of knocking. That's basically all we've done! We don't have a lot of people to teach right now so we spent as much time as we can outside talking to people. But that's good! Sister Barlow and I have had a lot of opportunities to improve our contacting/doorstep skills.

  I don't have too much to tell but I do have one story

  Friday night we were out knocking and we met this cute little German couple! They thought we were JWs at first and when we corrected them, the wife said, "Oh Mormons! Yes, I like how sweet Mormons are." and then her husband said, "yeah! And I like that I can have five wives!" then his wife hit him on the arm and said, "You want 5 wives!? At your age!?" haha! Then we explained - to his slight disappointment - that we didn't actually practice polygamy.  Anyways. The husband wasn't very interested but his wife was and I wanted to share more with her, so right before he was about to close the door on us, I recognized a Jan Vermeer painting on the wall behind him so I said, "Hey! I know that painting! Can I come see it?" and so he let us in! THANK YOU, ART HISTORY CLASSES. We learned that the husband wasn't religious at all but his wife went to school in a convent and was still very religious herself. We ended up talking about the Plan of Salvation and how we could be sealed to our families forever. When I bore my testimony of eternal families, the wife glanced at her husband and said, "Yes. I'd like to believe that too. . . " That made me so sad! :( I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation! I love my family more than anything and I don't know what I would do without them. I'm so glad I get to live with them forever!

  Anyways. Sorry this is so short. . . This morning we played Spike Ball with the elders which was actually a lot of fun. Then Sister Barlow and I went clothes shopping because we needed winter clothes. Yeesh, I hate clothes shopping but I also love being out in the snow, so I've got to be prepared when that day comes. Honestly, sometimes I pray for it to snow soon. 

  I love you all! Stay awesome! P.S. I finished reading the Book of Mormon this morning and I was reminded of what an amazing book it is. There is no way on earth that it could not be true! Read this awesome talk from Tad R. Callister (my main man. Seriously, he's one of my favorites). 

OK, now for reals. I think that's all. Love you!!! :)

- Sister Enright

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 28, 2017 (Erin)

Okay, so I have now started my last first week of a transfer...AH! And this has resulted in trouble going to sleep at night, which is just great. I hope it doesn´t last long because this girl needs to sleep if she´s gonna funcion. 
The best news for this past week is that our investigator, Cusi, passed her interview so she´s getting baptized on Friday!!!!!!!!!!WOOHOO! She´s seriously a miracle and I love her so very much. And my goal is to get her son baptized as well. 

Um, one of my favorite things in this area is that some members (less active) own a panaderĂ­a (they sell sweet bread) and they always let us take some home, free mind you. Tender mercy of the Lord because I am absolutely addicted to the sweet bread here and they sell it on practically EVERY corner. It´s also a miracle that I don´t weigh like 200 pounds at this point. 

Oh another the branch president is a convert and no one else in his family is a member. We go to their house for lunch every sunday (he lives with his mom and sisters and their kids) and for a awhile we simply ate, shared a message with the branch president and his wife and then left.  A few times we asked the branch president if his family would like to listen, but they were always busy. But about two weeks ago we asked to speak to his mom and set up an appointment to meet with her during the week. The day we had the appointment the branch president messaged us to remind us, all super excited and told us that it was the FIRST official appointment his mom has ever had with missionaries. The appointment went really well actually and we set another for yesterday to teach them how to do a family home evening. That ended up being super fun and now we´re teaching the branch president´s Mom and like 5 of her grandkids. 

So yeah...I don´t know what else to tell you guys for this week...I´ll just send pictures. LOVE YOU ALL!


 These two cuties are Uriel and Jose. Their twins and sons of a less active. I´m super proud of myself because I can totally tell them apart. We taught Primary yesterday because like 7 kids showed up and usually it´s just 2 and there was no teacher. So yeah, I hung out with them because my companion tends to get frustrated with the kids who are a little rebelious and want to do their own thing.

 I never get tired of the pretty landscapes here. 

My companion and I. My nose is SO sunburnt, poor thing. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

"It doesn't matter, because our message is true!" (Aislin)

 Hello, everyone! This is going to be a short email. Sorry! 

  After our last two weeks, with the New Missionary conference and Moroni's Quest, we're kind of back to square one here. Which means lots of knocking! It poured rain all day Saturday and so of course, we got pretty soaked! It was actually the best knocking experience I think I've ever had, just because I was so happy through it all. I love knocking in the rain! Every house we knocked on, we testified so boldly and even though no one was interested, we didn't get discouraged at all. We smiled asked for a referral and went on our way. House to house. There was one lady who answered the door and said what a pity it was that we were getting so wet! But we just smiled and said, "Oh it doesn't matter, because our message is true!" To be honest, she was much warmer to us after that. Still wasn't interested but I think we made an impression. Ha! Two soaking wet girls on her doorstep, grinning like lunatics through the downpour and proclaiming the truthfulness of the Restoration. I'm sure that with the Spirit that I was feeling that night, we impacted her somehow.
 Hello, everyone! This is going to be a short email. Sorry! 

  After our last two weeks, with the New Missionary conference and Moroni's Quest, we're kind of back to square one here. Which means lots of knocking! It poured rain all day Saturday and so of course, we got pretty soaked! It was actually the best knocking experience I think I've ever had, just because I was so happy through it all. I love knocking in the rain! Every house we knocked on, we testified so boldly and even though no one was interested, we didn't get discouraged at all. We smiled asked for a referral and went on our way. House to house. There was one lady who answered the door and said what a pity it was that we were getting so wet! But we just smiled and said, "Oh it doesn't matter, because our message is true!" To be honest, she was much warmer to us after that. Still wasn't interested but I think we made an impression. Ha! Two soaking wet girls on her doorstep, grinning like lunatics through the downpour and proclaiming the truthfulness of the Restoration. I'm sure that with the Spirit that I was feeling that night, we impacted her somehow.

When it was about 8:45 and we had to head back to the car in order to make it home on time, we started walking back down the street when I had a distinct impression that we missed someone. Honestly, Sister Barlow probably thinks I'm insane because I just stopped in my tracks and turned to stare back at the houses behind us, having a mental battle with myself, trying to decide whether it was a prompting from the Spirit or if I really was crazy (I feel like a lot of missionaries have experiences like those. I'm slowly learning to act on them no matter what because more often than not, it really is the Spirit). When Sister Barlow noticed I wasn't next to her anymore she asked what was wrong and I said, "We missed someone." So we ran back and knocked on one more door (trying not to seem out of breath), met Nancy, testified of eternal families, got her phone number and then ran all the way back to the car, laughing in the rain! I've had so many experiences where I'll act on something just because I think, "Well, what if that's the Spirit?" and then nothing comes from it, so I was worried that this might be one of those instances, and then I would feel bad for making Sister Barlow run through the rain just to get another "No, thank you." But! I can testify that 1. the promptings of the Spirit really are smaller than we believe. I've been told my whole life to listen for the "still small" voice of the Spirit but I think, unconsciously, I was still expecting a ghost-voice-of-Obi-Wan sort of experience. So remember! The general authorities aren't kidding when they describe the promptings of the Holy Ghost as being barely recognizable. 2. when you don't question it and just go for it, you will be blessed, and you'll bless others in the process. And. . . There was going to be a 3. but I can't remember what it was. . . Just remember to "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith," and strive to always be spiritual first responders! 

  I love you all more than I can even begin to describe! Thank you for your emails, your prayers, and your testimonies. Stay safe on your adventures! Love you!

- Sister Enright


 Knocking in the rain!

 The biggest blueberries I've ever seen

 That awkward moment when you write "Alma 3:2" instead of "Alma 32". . . Very different scriptures (don't worry, I fixed it afterwards.)

Funny FB post from our Mission nurse (btw the eclipse here was super lame. Couldn't see anything!)

August 21, 2017 (Erin)

Holis all you wonderful people. 

I finally can send you pictures! WOOHOO

Today I´m going to teach my companion how to make cookies...It should be fun. Also I hope you all got to enjoy the eclipse. I found out about it on Saturday and I´m super jealous because we don´t get to see anything here. Everyone is watching live on their computers or cellphones, 

Let´s see...The baptism we had planned for this coming Saturday we had to move. 1. Because all the members are going to the temple that same day and won´t be back till 7 or 8 and 2. because Kusi (the woman who is getting baptized) got sick and we haven´t been able to see her the last 3 days. But she is really golden. She quit drinking coffee, turned down a request from her sister go to a bar, and is currently going strong.  The other day we met her in the park to go over the restoration because, even though she´s been going to church for like 5 months, she still had some questions about Jospeh Smith and the Book of Mormon. Anywho, she told us that the other night she had a dream where a young man was talking to her about a book that she had to read because it was super important. When she woke up she told her Mom about it and her mom (Catholic) told her that the book was the Bible and she needed to read it more carefully. But Kusi told us that she knew that the young man was Joseph Smith and the book was the Book of Mormon. She feels like the church is true and has found more help and guidance from the Book of Mormon than from the Bible. I love her so much. There have been very few people in my mission who really actively try to learn about the gospel, who always listen so intently and complete every request. These are the people that I know are really ready to receive the gospel, that have been prepared by God. Now we just have to get her boyfriend to be more active so they can get married (because that hasn´t happened for some reason) and prepare for marriage in the temple. Kusi also has a 10 year old son and we´ve started trying to teach him as well. Hopefully we can get him to come to church. 

Welp, we had a good experience yesterday with one of our investigators. Well, kind of good. He´s living with a less active (yet again not married) and 3 kids (twins that are his and an older girl that´s from a different relationship). ANYWHO, we had a family home evening with them and the Branch president and his family. THis guy´s name is Heriberto and we´ve taught him a couple times. He´s told us that he knows he needs to get baptized, but doesn´t feel ready yet and has too many questions. Of course. Anyways the branch president has this long story of how he got baptized. It took awhile and all because he was super rebelious and took 2 years to get baptized, even though he knew it was true. SO yeah. We talked about eternal families for the family home evening and like always Heriberto had lots of questions and the branch president and his wife were perfect because they had gotten married when he wasn´t a member and it had gotten to the point where they almost got divorced before president finally decided to get baptized. But yeah, Heriberto told us that he feels the need to get baptized but isn´t ready right now because he doesn´t want to disrespect his mom and everything she taught him relgion wise. So I was sitting there during the whole lesson trying not to bawl my eyes out because I have no idea what to do to help him. 

I love you all lots and miss you like crazy. But I am so glad I chose to come on a mission. I have learned so much. I have learned so much about myself, about my Savior, and have come to truly understand the gospel. I know that I believed in it before and I read my scriptures and went to church and everything, but I feel like there were things I didn´t quite understand or know how to apply in my life. 

OH! Yesterday in Relief Society we were talking about temple work and when all the keys were restored to make it possible to seal families and do work for the dead. We read in Doctrine and Covenants where it talks about the importance of this work and how the dead cannot live forever without us, but we cannot live forever without them either. And Hna Sonia asked us why it says that we cannot live for eternity without them. I sat there for a good while trying to think of an answer and I thought of the talk by one of the member of the seventies in the last general conference and how families are like a big chain and we can´t be the weak link. So, I thought about the power that eternal families have, when they are linked together by the power of the priesthood through covenants and the importance that the church makes in family history and work for the dead so we can create the links between generations. In Doctrine and covenants it talks about these links and how in the end there should exist these links from Adam until the end of time. Which is pretty cool on it´s own, but think of the power that comes from covenant keeping people linked together for generations. I was thinking yesterday that this power could be essential after the millenium where there will be a final battle between good and evil. Obviously God wins, but I feel like these links we have with our families, the power and protection we receive through covenants, will be necessary to fight against Satan that last time. So yeah....those are my deep thoughts for today. 

Love ya!
Me with one of our members, Jazmin. She´s awesome and always is willing to come to appointments with us.

Jazmin, me, my companion, and little Abish.

Waiting around for the other missionaries to show up for district meeting. 

Still waiting

Yeah, I completed 16 months a little more than a week ago.

Our standard of liberty that I think I told you about. We created it in one of the lidership councils when I was an Hna lider. It´s one of the president´s old shirts. Purty awesome.

A lonely Panda I found on the wall, haha.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Moroni's Quest (Aislin)

Well, folks. This was the week that basically all of my dreams came true. We had a road trip across beautiful Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and listened to General Conference talks the whole way; I got to see my favorite little town of St. Stephen again and got to have sleepovers with Sister Kilmer, Sister Lefler, and Sister Barlow; I got to see some of my favorite people from St. Stephen who were excited to see me again and made me feel good knowing that I'd made a difference in their lives before I left; I got to be the official photographer for Moroni's Quest and experience the Book of Mormon in a way that I never imagined I would. 

So for people who don't know what Moroni's Quest is, it's kind of like Trek but with the Book of Mormon. There were roughly 140 youth there who all dressed in Nephite-style tunics for 4 days, and participated in various reenactments of Book of Mormon stories together. Basically a dream come true, am I right or am I right?

 After a late night spent binding Books of Mormon up in leather to give to all the kids (and by late, I mean we stayed up 'til 1 AM to do that. WAY past regular missionary curfew), we got up bright and early on Wednesday morning and headed to the campground to help everything get started for the day. I won't give you a play-by-play of the week because that would just take too long. A lot happened! I'll just sum up some of my favorite experiences/thoughts/inspirations/etc.

LEHI'S VISION - So the first day consisted of a few reenactments from 1 Nephi, my favorite being Lehi's Vision (of course). We led all the kids to the Iron Rod (AKA the PVC Pipe Rod) and then presided to tempt them to let go and come get some candied apples at the great and spacious building. The funny part was, we started too early, before they ready for all the kids to make it to the tree, so after we had been trying to get all these kids to let go of the rod we then had to tell them "OK for reals, you gotta let go and head back to the beginning because we have to start over." Obviously, there were a lot of kids who didn't believe us (I don't blame them) and so they stood firmly where they were, with their hands grasping the rod, looking very confused and refusing to budge, no matter what we said to them. At first it may have been a little a little frustrating but then I was like, "Well, it's good to know that these kids have a pretty solid testimony of the Iron Rod." Eventually we got it all figured out and started to let the kids move further along the rod, confusing them even more when we started offering them bright red candied apples if they'd only let go. I felt like a pretty apostate missionary. The whole time I just kept looking behind me at the tree that had been lit up by spotlights and wishing I could be over there instead. I feel like I learned a lot more from being the "bad guy" then I would've if I had been one of the kids holding onto the rod because now I know what it feels like from both sides (even though it was really just a game) and let me tell you, the great and spacious building is so not worth it.

NEPHITE HOUSE PARTY - Wednesday night, after the reenactment of Nephi building the boat, we had a "Nephite House Party" (Brother Cartier, the CES director who was in charge, refused to call it a "dance party" because "there are missionaries here and they're not allowed to have dance parties." haha!). They blasted music from one of the cars and the kids danced and partied for an hour. Then Brother Cartier followed it up with the verse from chapter 18 of 1 Nephi which says,"And after we had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many days, behold; my brethrenand the sons of Ishmael and also their wives began to make themselves merryinsomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudenessyea, even that they did forget by what power they had
been brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness." He gave a talk about the need for the ability to "bounce back" from having fun to spiritual matters. Everyone felt guilty for partying after that, haha! But it was an awesome lesson, even if it was a sneaky one.

CAPTAIN MORONI - So even though I was the official photographer, I still didn't know what was going on the whole time. I just went wherever Anita told me to go next! On Friday, Anita told me to head down to the main field because that's where the next reenactment was going to take place. So I walked down there with a few of the other missionaries and when we headed over the hill, I saw Captain Moroni and nearly DIED. OK, not really, but I did yell, "HOLY CRAP, is that Captain Moroni!?" and then ran down the hill as fast as I could to get a picture of him. AH it was so cool! 

THE SAVIOR AND THE LAST BATTLE - The highlight of Friday was, of course, when they did the reenactment of the Savior coming to the Nephites. They had all the kids gathered in the field and then they blindfolded them all. Over loud speakers they played sounds of fire and explosions and thunder and screams and the kids were all freaking out. Then Brother Cartier read 3 Nephi 10:1
"..there was silence in the land for the space of many hours" and then everything stopped. Nobody spoke for at least 5 minutes. It was amazing because you could tell that all 140 of the youth who, only a few moments before were screaming and laughing as they stumbled around blindly, were starting to realize what was coming next and the silence that descended on the field was very powerful. After the moments of silence, the Stake President (the only one Salt Lake would allow to play Christ) started walking up the hill dressed as the Savior. The leaders started taking the blindfolds off the kids who all stood there watching and waiting. He walked up to each one of them and gave all 140 kids hugs. Everyone was crying! I was crying mostly because I knew that I wasn't going to get a hug but also because I knew that when the Savior really does come, I won't be forgotten. After the Savior had hugged all the kids, he called up a young man from each of the "tribes" (the kids were all split into tribes for the whole 4 days, just like trek families) and they all knelt in front of him as Brother Cartier read about the Savior calling His disciples. When Christ left, all the young men headed back to their tribes and bore their testimonies of the Savior and (if they had them) read their mission calls. It was so cool to get to hear the kids' testimonies. One kid was talking about how amazing it was when he first took off his blindfold and was blinded by light until his eyes adjusted, and then the first thing he saw was the Savior walking towards him. 
After the reenactment, I was sitting with a group of kids, listening to their testimonies when Lindsey, a girl from our ward that was until recently a less active, sat down next to me and gave me a hug and cried. After a few minutes she let go and said, "Well, I'm 95% sure now that I want to go on a mission." AH! That made me cry harder than when the Savior came over the hill! Seriously, I punched the air and yelled "YES!!!" and then we both just cried and hugged some more, haha! I'm so excited for her though! She almost didn't come to Moroni's Quest but Sister Barlow and I kept bugging her about it, and now she's preparing for a mission! She got straight to work and talked to Bishop on Sunday.
The biggest testimony builder for me was the last battle that takes place in Mormon. This reenactment happened on the last day of camp, the day after the Savior came. We watched the reenactment of Mormon hiding the plates and we listened to the verses. I had just read Mormon right before Moroni's Quest so I had been thinking about it a lot. Mormon's story is just so sad. I was taking pictures of the kids as they split into groups of Lamanites and Nephites. After a few minutes, music started playing and then kids all started screaming and charging at one another, attacking each other with their foam swords. While I watched them battle I thought about Mormon 3:12;
"Behold, had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness had led them many times to battle, and had loved 
them, according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them; nevertheless, it was without faithbecause of the hardness of theirhearts." 

That was when I couldn't take it anymore and just straight up started sobbing. Even though in real life, that battle didn't take place until 400 years after the coming of the Savior, to me, the Savior had just come the day before, so it really put that battle into perspective for me. And the fact that Mormon loved those people so much and continued to pray for them, he knew that it was hopeless. I can't even begin to imagine what that must've felt like. And we know from Mormon 1:17 that Mormon had been forbidden to preach to the people, because God too knew that it was hopeless. Mormon really was a prophet for our day because God commanded him to write down his testimony not for the Nephites of his time, but for us. For me and for you and for all the people I talk to as a missionary. 
 After the battle, Moroni took the plates and started writing down Moroni 10:3-5, Moroni's Promise. We use these verses all the time as missionaries and after watching the battle scene, I asked myself, "How am I extending Moroni's Promise? Am I being bold enough about it?" Look at what Mormon and Moroni went through to get the Book of Mormon to me, a missionary in 2017! I hope that I can be a more persuasive testator of the Book of Mormon now. 

OK, this is a long email, and I haven't even told you half of it. But here are some of my final thoughts.

I absolutely, positively LOVE the Book of Mormon. It's true. It's SO true! It's meant to help me and you and everyone. It's everything we need to know and we just have to read it! I learn from it every time I open it. I wish I could say more, but time's already up. Please, continue to read the Book of Mormon every day! I love it so much and I love all of you :)

Talk to you later!

Sister Enright

I gave my camera to one of the elders one day so he could take pictures of me because I knew mom would be sad if there weren't any :)

 Me with my fancy-pantsy camera (I know what I want for next Christmas!)

Same thing

When Lindsey told me she was going on a mission!!!

Me crying because the Book of Mormon is too amazing

Me and Sister Lefler