Tuesday, February 28, 2017

(Erin)

Okay, so I really love you all, but I can´t think of a whole lot to write you guys. There´s pictures!
Today we had a distrcit activity and we palyed futbol and volleyball, shocker. Afterwards though we ate tacos, that were AMAZING! AL pastor with queso and I really could have eaten like 3 more, but only asked for one. Thankfully Hna Badger shared her second one with me beacuse they were kind of big. But oh so good. 

The thing I´ve been working on most is catching up in the Book of Mormon. I´m a little behind on the challenge that our president gave us (To start the Book of Mormon in october and finish by April conference, concentrating on stories of repentence). I´m in Alma. And it´s super funny because for some reason I can follow and understand the stories better in Spanish. I really never analyzed the scriptures before the way I do here in the mission. It´s kind of my favorite. The way Sariah repents of her murmuring when her sons return unharmed. The way Alma decided to give up being the high judge so he could go preach to all his people who were being wicked. Alma 5, really is amazing and I´m working on applying it in the way I teach. It really is an amazing book. We´ve been reading with the recent converts here and it´s so much fun. We only read like a chapter, sometimes less, but from the littlest verses, we can find answers for our investigators. One time when I was on intercambios in Libres, we visited one investigator who literally prayed over the Book of Mormon, asking to find an answer to something and then opened randomly and read a few verses and could find an answer. It was pretty cool. 

I´m also working on reading the new testament and all about the life of Christ. I really want to understand more about his ministry because it is so amazing. Also we´re working with our Hermanas on developing attributes of Christ. And really, is there a better way to learn about those then reading about His life? I think not. 

I love you guys lots. I love this gospel and I love my Savior. I am eterenally grateful for  His sacrifice that gives me the oppurtunity to repent and change, because I need it every day. I love the Book of Mormon and I truly believe it was written for us. For our salvation. I am eternally grateful that a boy of 14 had the faith to pray and the courage to persevere to bring us the restored gospel. And I testify that now is our time to change and prepare because like every book of scripture says, the time is not far distant. We must be better every day, we must change. I want my family forever and I know that it is my choices every day that will determine who I will become and where I will end up in the eternities. 

Love and miss you guys lots!
Hermana Enright

Here are some photos. One is of a giant hunk of meat. Thats how they cook it here, on almost every corner. They cut off slices and give you tacos. SUPER GOOD. The rest I honestly don´t remember. I think one is in a combi and some in a park. HA








The Palm Springs tram and two new investigators,and other stuff (Amik)

This week was awesome!! It started out really on a Tuesday, when we got a referral that morning.  We had the day already pretty packed, so we set a time to contact him by phone at four.  Soon that time arrived and we were able to call him.  He had ordered a free bible, since he said he was a collector of bibles, anyway, he got called by salt lake and had talked a bit with a sister missionary.  So when we called him, he said that we could go by right then. So we did, our lesson at the time fell through, and we called and moved back dinner a bit.  We got there and taught the Restoration and he liked it so much that he wanted us to come back later that night to show the Restoration video, the twenty minute one, to him and his wife who would get home at that time.  Anyway, we did that and set up a time to meet Saturday night. The lesson got cancelled because he said he wanted to read first and had so far not been able to. Also, his wife was going out of town for a bit.  Anyway, his name is Bobby.  So that was a good start to the week.  

We also, I forgot if I told you or not, spoke in sacrament meeting.  I talked about the Restoration, while Elder Layton spoke about the Plan of Salvation.  We were asked to do it because:  one; I think because getting us to speak is easy, it is not like we will say no, which happens a lot by the way, and two; because the ward is doing an initiative to have each member, adult, youth, and snowbird invite two people to hear the missionary discussions this year.  So I also threw in a lot about how we teach as missionaries.  And how we know that everyone we teach is different.  The thing is that as Sunday crept up I started not feeling so well.  I put it down to being nervous, but I never have gotten nervous enough to actually make me as sick as I was.  The cool thing is that I felt perfectly fine while giving the talk, not even the least bit shaky.  And then after that I felt a lot better.  The spirt was definitely involved and it was just plain cool.   However, later that day I started feeling sick again.  So I am just jotting it down as because of the food I was eating last week.   

Shawn got the priesthood that Sunday.  He was carrying around little Benjamin, his five month old, for all three hours.  Also, he shaved off his beard so at first, while I was on the stand, I had some trouble recognizing him.  Also, Sean, a different Sean who was baptized the second last Saturday before I got here, passed the sacrament.  Next week he is going to bless it.  Also, a sad thing, remember the lady who was going to be baptized in the hot tub at her house? Her husband passed away Saturday.  He went into the hospital the day before he was going to baptize her due to an infection.  That was about three weeks ago when he went in.  So that is sad. 

Anyway, today we went to the tram in Palm Springs.   It was awesome, the mountain range looked like the Misty Mountains from the Lord of the Rings.  And then we went up and there was snow!! It was so awesome. Also, there was a totally decked out fake Christmas tree light display still all set up. So one of the people up there was totally dreaming of a white Christmas.  I was actually humming that song a couple of times up there.  Next week We are looking into seeing some of a big tennis match for P-day.  

Also, while I was preparing my talk I decided to put in two great quotes by President Boyd K. Packer: 
"We all make mistakes in life, and these mistakes create feelings of guilt and shame. These feelings cannot be relieved without repentance and forgiveness. They can be fully healed through the Atonement of Christ." 
Another fantastic quote by President Packer is:  "The Atonement leaves no tracks, no traces. What it fixes is fixed. … It just heals, and what it heals stays healed. The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars, and can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated.”  This is what the lord promised us and he settled it when he atoned.

-Elder Enright-











We're Only Nineteen But Our Minds Are Older (Aislin)

 OK sometimes it actually weirds me out that I'm a missionary now. Sometimes I still feel like I'm in primary, singing I Hope They Call Me On a Mission, knowing that there was no way I was going to grow two more feet in my entire life but wishing it nonetheless. But sitting in class or in the cafeteria and looking around at all the other missionaries I'm just so in awe of all of us, and simultaneously proud of every other missionary in the room. We're really just a bunch of kids, 18-25 years old - the age-group of kids who are considered by the world the least trustworthy, most selfish, I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing-with-my-life-and-I-don't-care kinda people, but the fact that we're also the group that God trusts with His most precious work here on the earth, kids or not, just blows my mind. How cool is that??? 

  Anyways. This week was pretty great, even though it started out rough. Monday morning we had service - which is always a good thing. I was in charge of vacuuming and as I was vacuuming, every time I'd come close to a classroom, someone would get up and close the door on me, and after this happened about 3-4 times, I just thought, "So this is what it's like to be a missionary." 

  The rest of the day was pretty terrible. Sister Rivera left early that morning and I missed her like CRAZY, I was feeling really sick, AND I hadn't eaten much the past couple days because I was sick and nothing sounded good. Plus, I was just feeling pretty down about myself. Before coming to the MTC, I guess I just assumed that Satan would have no power in such a spiritual rich environment like this. Boy, was I wrong. What I realized on Monday was that when when you're where God wants you to be, Satan tries even harder to bring you down, because he realizes that you're becoming one of God's most powerful assets in this world and he just can't have that. I actually talked to somebody about it, about how I was feeling like a terrible, horrible person and that even though it was my greatest desire to be on a mission, I couldn't imagine that I was good enough to be one of God's representatives (which I know is STUPID because I knew that wasn't true at all, but I felt like it was true, and those are two very different things, ya know?), and that I was feeling pretty hopeless. When I said that, he told me "Don't EVER feel hopeless! As long as you have faith in Jesus Christ, you will never be hopeless, because He is your hope." and that was when I realized - DUH. Christ is our hope. MY hope, and I will never have to feel hopeless because Christ will never be absent from our lives. We can only be HOPEFUL. So, yeah. WRITE THAT DOWN, PEOPLE. And always remember, the harder Satan throws things at you the more proof it is that you are where God wants you to be and doing what He wants you to be doing. Oh and when you're feeling like you can't hold on much longer, get a blessing because the priesthood is amazing. I got a blessing from Elder Bringhurst and I felt that wave of awe that God trusts this 20 year-old kid to have that amazing power. I'm so thankful for all the elders here and for their strength and worthiness to have the priesthood. 

 Tuesday was much better. Also, I really started to gain a testimony of Ether 12:27  ( "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto me nweakness that they may be humble; And my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.") One of the best feelings in the world is when someone trusts you with their feelings, opinions, and testimonies. Before coming here, I was really bad at comforting people. I had no idea how to comfort someone, and felt really awkward about hugging people and everything. The only thing I could offer was Nutella and lame puns, but here I've really become a the confidant in our room. When any of the other sisters are having problems with their companions or just aren't happy they talk to me. And I talk them through it, and pray with them, and talk to their companion if I need to. It's pretty great. I'm like the district psychiatrist or something, haha. But really. I always feel so much better after I know that I helped them and that they feel like they can trust me. A real self esteem boost, there.

  On Wednesday I got my first package! It was freakin' HUGE. Walking back from the mailroom - with a dozen Strawberry rolls and a ridiculously big smile on my face - I had a couple people wish me happy birthday. I just said, "Thanks! It's not 'til October but thanks!". We still haven't finished them all the rolls. They're sitting on my dresser for late night sugar craves, I guess. Also, remember that one district I bonded with over Star Wars? I just call them the Star Wars District and they call me Sister Star Wars and give me high fives every time we run into each other, hahaha!

  Oh yeah, we had a medical emergency on Wednesday. THAT was exciting. We'd just come back from gym time and Sisters Sage, Haughawout, and I were all waiting for Sister Horlacher to be ready so we could all head to class together. We were just sitting in our bedroom waiting for her to get out of the shower when she came limping in with her leg dripping blood. Turns out she decided to try and shave her legs - with a brand new razor, by the way - in a 3 minute shower and just ended up cutting her leg. Really bad. I don't even really know how she managed it. She basically shaved off three inches of her skin. So we ran into the bathroom with her, she sat on the counter, I grabbed some paper towels and applied pressure to her leg while Sisters Sage and Haughawout ran to the nurse to grab some bandages. We got her wrapped up and I wiped all the blood off the bathroom floor. That was fun. NOT. She's gonna have a pretty sick scar though. And I'll probably never shave my legs again because that was a traumatizing experience for all of us.
  
  Thursday it snowed AAAAAAALLL DAAAYY. It was the BEST DAY EVER. Oh also, Friday it snowed all day. So that was ALSO the BEST DAY EVER. It was hard to sit inside and watch all the fluffy snowflakes fall from the sky. We were watching it fall when Elder Leavitt said, "wouldn't that be cool if snowflakes actually look like they do in drawings?" and we all looked at him and said, "Elder. They do." HAHAHA. He's from Vegas and says he's never actually seen snow. He even made up a song to the tune of Just Keep Swimming: "It just keeps snowing, just keeps snowing, WHAT DO WE DO IN VEGAS??? It never snows in Vegas!"

  Friday, we had in-field orientation. Which means we went back and forth through a couple rooms, going over the stuff we've learned in the past three weeks and listening to talks from Elder Holland and Elder Oaks. All day. It was fun, but after a while I felt like I really needed to get outside. I'M SO EXCITED TO GET TO THE FIELD but I'm also really gonna miss the MTC. I'm not ready to my district. Especially Sister Haughawout and Elders Wadsworth and Leavitt. We all sit next to each other in class and I feel as close to them as I do to Abby. It's kinda weird, since we've only known each other three weeks but we're all best friends and I'm gonna miss them so much! They're all abandoning me for Portland! But that's fine I guess, 'cause we're all going to be at BYU-I together and so we've planned to have lots of sick District reunions. 

  This week was the last time we got to meet with TRCs! But that's ok, 'cause now we'll have REAL investigators! One of our TRCs was named Leila. She was from a part member family and had just moved to Utah from Hawaii. She was so sweet and basically my favorite person ever. Our last meeting with her, we asked her to say the closing prayer and she agreed to. In her prayer she asked Heavenly Father to watch over us on our missions, and watch over our mothers and to please let them know that their daughters were OK. It was so sweet I wanted to cry! And then she got both of our emails so that she can tell us when she gets baptized - which makes me think she really definitely was a REAL investigator and not just a member volunteer. Aaawww I loved her!

  I miss you all tons!!! I wish I could show you how awesome it is here, and how wonderful our district is! I wanted to tell you about all the running jokes we have in our district but it's hard to describe why they're so funny so I guess that'll have to wait 'til I get home. I leave for Canada early Tuesday morning! AAAHH! I'm so excited!!!!!! Love you all! 

- Sister Enright

These aren't my pictures because the computer doesn't like my camera so these are some of Elder Willoughby's photos:





Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shawn's Baptism (Amik)

This week Shawn was baptized!!!! We also had Jackson the recent convert from Alaska baptize him! And the water heater broke!!! So the water was cold!! We have been working with Shawn for the last two months. He actually referred himself and read the Book of Mormon, then he got onto the chat and told them he wanted to to baptized.  In fact the iPad Elder Layton is holding right now is skyping the sisters who he actually talked to.  They got permission from President Dixon and their mission President.  The confirmation went well and now we will start teaching him the new member lessons.  The whole week was really just leading up to that and making sure nothing was forgotten,  or left behind.  Also, Jackson, the recent convert from Alaska that baptized Shawn, brought three non-member friends to the baptism.  We were able to give two of them (one of the three was late) a tour of the church building and gave each a Book of Mormon and restoration pamphlet.  One of them has actually come to church three times, yesterday was his third, and is interested in being taught. But, wants to wait another week or two before we start. 


Another thing I have been thinking about is the story of Lehi's dream and how it is filled with so many doctrines and principles that can bless our lives.  President Dixon actually talked about it in one of his recent letters. 

In verse six and seven of chapter eight Lehi was visited by a man that bade him follow him leading him into a dark and dreary waste.  Lehi traveled in that darkness for the space of many hours.  Before my mission I hadn't thought very much about that darkness.  But, Why would the angel lead Lehi through the darkness if the end goal was to have him partake of the fruit of the tree? Shouldn't it be all bright and happy like the rainbow road in Mario Kart? The darkness is the temptations and hard things and in Ether 12 we are told why we face them. "27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." And that is what Lehi did! in his vision.  "And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies. And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field." Shawn, the one who was just baptized, has faced a ton of things that he has now overcome.  The repentance process is so awesome.  

Walking through the darkness caused Lehi to desperately need the Lord. The darkness led him to pray and seek for God's help. I have found that if people control their attitude and be optimistic about life than darkness, trials, and hard times are what often drive people to deepen their relationship with the Lord and to seek him more earnestly. That is exactly what happened to nearly everyone that I have been able to teach.  Others I have worked with that did not progress did not do what Lehi did. 

As soon as Lehi reached out to the Lord in faith he was able to behold the tree of life. In verses 10-11 it says, "And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted."

The tree represents the Love of God as manifest by his son Jesus Christ. Lehi experienced the atonement and grace of Jesus Christ when he partook of that fruit. I think the symbol of the fruit is very insightful. It was not enough for Lehi to just look at the tree. He had to actually act and partake of the fruit. The fruit of the gospel had to get deep down into his soul. As it did he was filled with joy!

In vs. 12, after Lehi partakes of the fruit, it shows us what a person that is filled with joy does afterwards.  He seeks to share it, that is missionary work! 
Anyway, this is disjointed because I have written at different times, but hey, happy president's day. 

Anyway, we got pictures, one was a bush/plant/thing that looked like it needed a hug, one is Elder Layton with a mohawk that the wind was causing. Zone pictures and baptism.    Also, Jackson, the guy in white on the left , is happy he just does not smile in pictures.  













(Erin)

So this week Michel and Juan got baptized! WOOHOO! It was awesome. Have I told you guys how much I love baptisms? Well I really do. They are just heavenly, literally. The other sisters in our ward had a baptism on Saturday as well. 3 new youth in the ward, yay! because there are like no youth. 

On Sunday Michel, who got baptized on Wednesday, brought her friend to church, who went to her baptism as well. And then another member who has been bringing his neighbor with him talked to us about getting his neighbor baptized, so my companion and I split with some members and taught both Michel´s friend and the neighbor during second hour and they both accepted baptisms dates! It was amazing.  I talked to Max, the neighbor. he´s pretty hilarious. An older guy, like 70´s, who lived in New York for forever, so when he talks he goes back and forth between Spanish and English. I was trying to talk about the restoration, but he wasn´t really focusing, so I brought up the confirmations for the three kids that were baptized and out of the blue he was like "me gustaria bautisarme, que necesito hacer?" Haha. Go Max!

We also had a noche de hogar with two of our investigators. Calet and Angel. They are 9 and 7 years old. And are pretty much the cutest things ever. We asked one of our young adults in the ward to accompany us, Hno Paul, who´s actually pretty great, especially since he bonded with Calet and Angel pretty fast and now they always ask if he´s coming with us for lessons. And then after the lesson, their mom served us hot dogs and ice cream. I love noches de hogar. 

Today I washed basically all my clothes by hand, because I have like no money (reembolsas tomorrow!) so that took up a lot of my p-day. But I also got to dye Hna Valdez's hair. My companion wants me to dye my hair. I told her if things get worse between America and Mexico with Donald Trump, I´ll dye my hair dark to make it a bit less obvious that I´m from the states. 

Whelp, I´ll send you guys some photos. My companion is beginning to plan for life after the mission and Hna Valdez too, since they both have very little time left in the mish. It´s a little weird because I prefer to not think of what I´m going to be doing in like 8 months, because I have absolutely no clue, ha.
Love and miss you all lots, stay sweet!
Hermana Enright




  Messing around with all the hats scarfs that my companion´s family sent her. 


 Me and Angel

Me and Cale



Monday, February 20, 2017

The Happiest Place On Earth (Aislin)

OK, no disrespect to Disneyland and all, but it's got NOTHIN' on the MTC. Except maybe Space Mountain. . . ANYWAYS. I love it here. So much. I can't believe it's already been another week! We got our flight itinerary yesterday! I have to be at the travel office at 4:50 am on February 28. Our plane leaves for Toronto around 9:30, where we'll have a three hour layover and then get on another plane to Halifax where we'll arrive around 9:20 pm. I'M GOING TO BE IN A PLANE NEARLY ALL DAY. Ugh. They better have cookies.

By the way, my camera isn't connecting to the computer correctly so I might have to send you pictures of my district later on. My district is seriously the best. It's comprised of missionaries heading to Portland, Oregon and missionaries going to Halifax, Canada. Oh and then there's Sister Sage who got reassigned last Friday to Pittsburgh! I'm pretty sure she was assigned to go to Portland in the first place just so she could be in our district because I can't imagine it without her. Funny how things work like that, huh? She told us all later that night about how when she first opened her call she was kind of upset because it just didn't feel right to her. She didn't feel like she was supposed to go to Portland, but she prayed and basically told Heavenly Father that she trusted Him and would go wherever He sent her. She's one of my biggest role models here. She's just so amazing and has a beautiful testimony. She's the only member in her family and I am so ridiculously proud of her. So there's Sister Sage and Sister Horlacher (pronounced like Horlocker). The first couple of days I could never remember Sister Horlacher's full name, I just knew that it started with "Hor". . . But that sounds bad by itself, so I just called her "Sister" for the first three days. Sage and Horlacher are our district's Sister Training Leaders. They're pretty awesome. Sister Horlacher talks almost as much as Fionn does! She's so funny though, we just have to keep her on topic and remind her people are sleeping after 10:30 pm. The other night, she was showering in the stall next to me and just talking non-stop. I told her three times that I was going to go brush my teeth but I don't think she ever heard. So I just slowly started backing towards the sinks while she kept talking. Haha! Good times. 

Sisters Ward and Ceron are the two other sisters in the district going to Halifax (Sister Haughawout is abandoning me for Portland! *Sniff*). Sister Ward's been having a hard time getting used to the MTC but she's gotten so much better this week. And Sister Ceron is such a good companion to her. Sister Ward told us about how stressed she gets just being around people, so sometimes during class, she'll get up to head to the bathroom and tell Sister Ceron that she doesn't have to follow her 'cause she's just heading to the bathroom but Sister Ceron just gets up without a word and follows her. Sister Ceron is amazing and you can really tell just how inspired the companionships are. 

Elder Wadsworth and Elder Leavitt are the elders heading to Portland. Elder Wadsworth is such an amazing missionary already. He's always so focused during study time and reminds everyone else to stay focused as well. We all know to turn to him when we have doctrinal questions. he's kind of the dad of our district, which is why he's the perfect companion for Elder Leavitt too. Elder Leavitt is the district leader and is basically like 5 year-old Howie. He's so ADD and random, and gets distracted by EVERYTHING. He's hilarious but also really distracting for the rest of us sometimes too. I wish I could get my camera to connect 'cause I have a couple funny pictures of him to send you. The other day he just randomly started telling us about his love for cheese. He said, "dairy actually makes me sick but cheese is so worth it." But he also knows when to be serious. On Saturday, Sister Horlacher had asked Elders Wadsworth and Leavitt to give her blessing. We were all sitting in the classroom joking and laughing (mostly at Elder Leavitt's random comments) but when Sisters Horlacher and Sage walked in, Elder Leavitt jumped to his feet and asked them, "do you want us to give you your blessing right now? Do you want to do it in here?" then he gave her a blessing and I was so awed and proud of him in that moment, 'cause he's like my younger brother (or the 5 year-old I used to babysit) and he has the Priesthood and the Priesthood is just so cool. I love hearing priesthood blessings, they're always amazing. 

Elder Bringhurst and Elder Willoughby are the elders going to Halifax with me (YAY!) and they're AWESOME. Elder Willoughby reminds me a lot of Amik. He's so sweet and funny and sometimes a little awkward but he just goes with it. He's also amazed at my whistling skills (I mean, who isn't?) and can't believe I've never taken singing classes before. *Ahem* but I'm humble. Edler Bringhurst is the nicest elder ever. The first week he was so stressed that he was making himself sick. He barely ate anything and anything he did eat, he just threw up. So he's lost some weight, and he just always looked so sad, even though he was trying to hide it. I could tell that he still wanted to be out here, and he didn't want to have to go home, but also knew that he couldn't continue his mission of it was gonna make him this sick. I just wanted to give him a hug but I COULDN'T! I've never really been a huggy person, but dang, that poor kid needed a hug. We've all been praying for him constantly. Then Wednesday night, during dinner I noticed he was eating again and he was joking with us and he just seemed much happier. Thursday, after class he told us that he had something to say to us all. HE'S STAYING!!! Yay! There was much rejoicing. I couldn't stop smiling! I'm so happy 'cause I really wanted him to be in our group when we all left for Canada together. So that was the highlight of my day. I gave him high-five 'cause I couldn't give him a hug, haha.

So that's our district. They're the best. I love them all so much. The other day (I realize I say that a lot), Elder Leavitt said, "We've only known each other for a week! How are we all so close already!?" and Elder Wadsworth turned to him and said "Are we. . .?" haha! But yes. We are. Sister Sage and Sister Haughawout and I have already agreed to room together when we go back up to BYU-I. And Elders Wadsworth, Willoughby and Leavitt will all be there too! Well, six months later

OK, now you kinda know my district. I'll get on to some other stuff.

Sunday here is super busy. We're in meetings all day long. Also, Relief Society was AWESOME. AND since our ward is just our district, Sister Rivera is in my ward! Look at that. Tender mercies, guys. 
  
Monday morning we went and did service and I saw Raechel! (cousin)  Ah! That was cool. I don't think I've seen her since I was maybe 11. . . Anyways. We just had to sweep and mop. The elders were on bathroom duty. HAHA suckahs (sorry, Mom. I won't say that again). 

Tuesday was Valentine's day! All us sisters went to the classroom early and put candy on everyone's desks and wrote "Happy Valentine's Day!" on the board and then Sister Sage and I found a bunch of scriptures about loving one another and God's love for us, wrote the references on my handy sticky notes and stuck them all over the room. It was pretty great. ALSOOO. Tuesday night is devotional night and GUESS WHAT. Elder Ballard came and spoke to all of us! AAAAAAAHHH IT WAS SO COOL. He talked about making and keeping righteous (and attainable) goals and just being the best that you can be, which was really awesome to hear because before coming out here, I just kept praying that I would be a good enough missionary, 'cause I knew I wasn't going to be the best, or the most spiritual, or maybe not always the most obedient, who knows? I just knew I had to be good enough. Good enough for my investigators in Halifax. So that was awesome. Elder Ballard's awesome. He kept pausing to wave at us as he was walking out. Oh! And I sang in the choir! Not to brag or anything but uh. We sounded pretty SICK.

Wednesday was my week mark! Which also means that there were new missionaries coming in WHICH MEANS that it was our turn to get to yell "Welcome to the MTC!!!" at everyone wearing the red dork dots. We also taught our TRC on Wednesday. TRC stands for Teaching Resource Centre and it's where we practice teaching investigators. Sometimes our "investigator" is actually a member volunteer, but sometimes they're real investigators. But they don't tell us. Sister Haughawout and I taught a woman named Barbara this week and she's so sweet. She and I bonded over our mutual love for history. And Harry Potter. And the Beatles. Which was basically the BEST. Her parents were Holocaust survivors! We got a little distracted on our first meeting, talking about WWII. Oh and Joan of Arc. ANYWAYS. Barbara's awesome. And was so blown away by the fact that God has a physical body. We talked about the Godhead at the very beginning of the lesson, and during the rest of our meeting she'd pause us every five minutes or so and slam her hand against the table and say, "WAIT A MINUTE. God has a BODY??? For REALS???" YES. Yes, he does. We shared with her some scriptures from the Old Testament about prophets talking to God "Face to face", and she'd just give us this really confused face and say, "He'd have to have a face to talk to someone "face to face." And a mouth to say things. . . " Yup. MIND-BLOWING. Kind of funny about how crazy that sounded to her, because I've known that my entire life! I just never really thought about how weird it would be to someone who's always believed God to be some all-encompassing universal power/spirit. Our second lesson with her, we finally convinced her to pray with us and it was so sweet I CRIED. It hit me then that I was good enough. And whether Barbara is a real or "fake" investigator, her prayer was evidence of my abilities as a missionary. I can do this!

  On Thursday, we taught our PI, which just means Potential Investigator (I think. . . ), which is actually just our teacher pretending to be an investigator that she knew on her mission. Her name is Dani, and I love her. It's weird because when Sister Fulton is in character as Dani, she IS Dani. They're completely different people. It's bizarre but also AWESOME. So anyways, we taught Dani in an OBSERVATION ROOM this time. So that the rest of the district could watch and evaluate each other as missionaries. It was kinda weird at first but not bad. And Sister Haughawout and I did pretty well, I think. We already invited her to be baptized and are now just working on through the other lessons with her, and helping her prepare for baptism. Hopefully I'll have investigators like Dani on my mission *crosses fingers and wishes on a star*. Actually, Friday was our last meeting with Dani, and it went pretty well but was also a little funny because Sister Fulton is pregnant and so Dani is too. But Dani isn't married, and Sister Haughawout and I kind of forgot about this little bit of information the other day, while we were discussing baptismal dates with Dani. I don't remember how it came up exactly but we were discussing the requirements and worthiness aspects of it all, and briefly mentioned the law of chastity and Dani asked about how that would work since she wasn't married to her boyfriend and my mouth just fell open and there was this short silence for a bit while the whole "boyfriend = not husband' part processed in our brains. But Sister Fulton said we handed it really well. We just talked about repentance and the importance of marriage and told her that she could still get baptized. So yeah, that was fun.

FRIDAY! As Sister Haughawout and I were walking to get some water, we walked by a classroom and I saw a bunch of missionaries drawing Star Wars characters on a whiteboard. So of course I had to stick my head in and say, "Uh, hi. I saw you were drawing Darth Vader and I think we should be best friends now." So we bonded over Star Wars. I was practically jumping up and down while we were discussing The Force Awakens and then I had to run to back to my classroom to grab my sketchbook so I could show them my Star Wars drawings. One of the elders took a picture of my Rey drawings because. Well. They're GREAT. And they told me I'd been raised well and I like "YEAH, I KNOW." So I don't remember any of their names but we had a good ten minutes of bonding time before I had to head back to class. Ah, Star Wars. Bringing people together since 1977 (I hope that's the right date because mission amnesia is already starting to set in BUT IT SOUNDS RIGHT).

Oh and funny story. As we were getting ready to head out to dinner, Sister Haughawout said quietly to me, "Hey, let's head to the bathroom. Then I can ask you a really important question I've been meaning to ask you." And so of course I'm thinking, "OH NO, what's wrong? What have I done? I KNEW I was a terrible companion." but then as we're walking down the hallway she turns and asks, "What would happen if you put cookie dough in the microwave? I had a dream about it last night and I've been wondering all day what would happen!" so of course I burst out laughing because THAT WAS YOUR IMPORTANT QUESTION??? Hahaha! So then we had an in-depth conversation about cookie dough and microwaveable foods and came to the conclusion that you could probably eat microwave cookie dough and come out just fine. Man, I love my companion.

ALSO, really important news here, guys. Last Saturday, do you know what I did? I USED A VENDING MACHINE. Sister Rivera was so proud of me. Sister Haughawout insisted on talking a picture to commemorate the momentous occasion BUT MY CAMERA WON'T CONNECT. So next time. I volunteered to go buy Sister Horlacher some gummy worms the other night, JUST so I could use a vending machine again. Sister Haughawout just laughed at me the whole time 'cause when the gummy worms fell I gasped and went "ooh!". 19 years old and I've used a vending machine twice in my life. I feel a little like Arthur Weasley would.

Well. Now it's Saturday. We went to the temple this morning and it was FANTASTIC just like always. Sister Haughawout and I just did initiatories again so that we could head back to our residence and I could grab some Dayquil 'cause Sister Horlacher gave me a COLD. Ugh. 

Now we have to go grab some lunch before I die of starvation. Or dehydration, that'll probably come first. 

I love you guys lots!!! I miss you more and more every day! Send me lots of emails! You guys are the best! Byyyeeee!!!

- Sister Enright







Thursday, February 16, 2017

An Eventful Week

We have had a very eventful week, the Highlight of which was Saturday when we were taught by Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Gong.  Since we are in the part of the mission, the desert, where Redlands is an hour drive, the majority of our Saturday was devoted to the meeting and the accompanying travel time.  The whole mission was there.  We were told that the count was 165 full time missionaries.  Because of that the opening Hymn was amazing. We all sang "Behold a Royal Army" and it just felt powerful.  Also, right after the picture, we all shook hands with Elder Oaks and Elder Gong.  Then Elder Oaks basically said that by shaking our hands he was able to discern us and our lives.  That was interesting.  He said that he did not have a thesis or talk prepared for us so he was just going to throw fragments at us.  He covered a few points and one of my favorite quotes was "It is better to be ten miles from hell going away from it, than one hundred miles away from hell heading towards it." He told us that the greatest difficulty as  an apostle is  trying to measure up to the expectations that missionaries and members have of him. He explained that he was just an ordinary man with a very big mantle put on top of him. He emphasized being honest a lot. In interviews with president and with all other people. He mentioned that the missionary department heard about a mission that had developed a culture of dishonesty.  This story led to another thought that  "The devil has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all."   He also mentioned, like Elder Anderson did in last year's missionary conference, about always having the name of Christ on our lips and focusing on our purpose of helping others receive the restored gospel. To go with that he mentioned a funny/true story. In some mission conference in some mission the mission president challenged each companionship to knock 200 doors in 2 days.  A few weeks, or days, later he checked to see if anyone had succeeded.  Only one pair did and he praised them and held them up and basically put them on a pedestal.  Then he asked them how they did it. Which is when the senior companion said something along the lines of "we could have done more, but people kept wanting to talk and so slowed us down" That just showed how we should not get confused about what our purpose is. We are not here to knock doors, but to teach repentance and baptize converts.  We are here to convert them to Christ,  not the church.  He also told us that the most common mistake that he ever did while teaching, whether law or the gospel, was to assume too much.  In other words, starting at step 4 and skipping steps 1-3 because you assume they know them already.  Like thinking that investigators already know how to pray. He also mentioned that The Lord does not grade you on your prayers.  A thing that I wish a lot more people know.   

Anyway, others things happened as well this week.  Like SundaySunday was hard. Remember, the mom and son that I mentioned that walked into Church off the street a few Sundays ago? Well they came to church this last Sunday and stayed only for Sacrament.  We went hiking with them  my first  Monday here and she told us then that they didn't want to be taught yet, because she did not want to force her son to participate so they would just come to Church.  Right after the meeting ended she told Elder Layton that they were going to look at other churches because there was nobody their age at our church. So we speedily worked on getting a lot of people her age  to talk with them. Including someone to tell her son about the YSA, young single adults, in the area. But he told him about how bad the area's YSA was and how there was no one around to do things with! So I do not think they will be coming back.  

On another note we do have a baptism this upcoming Saturday and so we are working on getting all the final preparation done for that. The other people we are working with are still having health problems.  Also, we were able to get  Carlos, a recent convert preparing to go on a mission, to a YSA meeting on Saturday with Elder Oaks after a ton of calls.  We had given up hope, but then we got a call from a member who arranged a ride for him. We got the call half an hour before we got to Redlands.  It was a miracle and he really enjoyed it. Also, this Saturday we are having a ward party,  with part of the evening being a showing of the old  Johnny Lingo movie.  

Also, today for preparation day this morning we went to the  Palm Springs air Museum. Which was great, because I like museums and Elder Layton is all about flying.  There were going to be two other Elders, but they ditched us to play soccer so it was just us. Also, we were about to pay to get in when the desk guy, who was in his seventies, turned out to be member and let us in for free.  Then when we were going to leave he asked us if we had had lunch and when we said "no" he then told us to go eat and give the cashier guy a note about how he would pay.   He was an awesome member as are many of the people in the surrounding stakes. So we got pictures.  
-Elder Enright-













Monday, February 13, 2017

Yeah for Baptisms!

My week was pretty good. I´m loving it here in the city. It´s a little weird, cause I´m not used to having everything super close or things like walmart and burger king. Yeah those didn´t exist in my other areas. But here, smack dab in the middle of the center of Puebla, there´s pretty much everything. I went to Burger King for lunch, and I don´t think I´ve eaten there since I was like 5, but I was in desperate need of a greasy hamburger. Although it did not have pineapple, which I´ve learned is a necessity in hamburgers and tacos. 

We have baptisms this Wednesday. Two kids, who are pretty great. Their mom got baptized awhile ago and missionaries have been teaching them for I think almost a year, pretty crazy. We have some pretty amazing investigators. One of them, Janet, left today for Michuacan, so we won´t be teaching her anymore! :( Darn, she had a fecha and everything. 

With all the changes with the indicadores claves and what counts as a nuevo, the way we work is changing, but I really like it. It allows us to concentrate more on the people and the people we find have more potencial. It´s pretty awesome. Right now to count as a nuevo, we have to have taught them in their home. So if we taught anyone in the street, they don´t count until the second visit in their house. It´s a lot harder to find nuevos, but the ones we do find are pretty golden. 

We had a district activity today and we played futbol and volleyball. Our district includes the secretaries and we play in the chapel where the offices are, so we get to see a lot of other missionaries when they come in from different parts to get material or have interviews. It´s pretty cool.

Being an hermana lider is getting a little easier. It´s a heck of a lot of work, but I like being busy. For sure it´s a lot easier now that I know what the heck I´m doing. 

um.................I don´t know what else to tell you guys. I´m still reading the the Book of Mormon with the assignacion that our president gave us (repentance). I love the Book of Mormon. Some of the stories really are like soap operas. hm....We have a recent convert here that always likes to give us food when we go over. A lot of the times he buys us tacos and they are so good! My favorites are tacos al pastor, cause they have pineapple and I am deeply in love with pineapple here. So, so good. 

Well, I´m just gonna send you guys pictures now because I´m out of things to say. 


 My companion, me, and Janet, yesterday. Her first and last Sunday with us :(


So, I found a facewash that has carbon in it or something like that and conveniently is a mask too, because why buy two separate things when you can have both in one right? Well anyways, we all decided to try it. 

The four of us one Sunday. Me, Hermana Valdez, my companion Hermana Burgos, and Hermana Badger.

Love you all lots!
Erin

Saturday, February 11, 2017

MTC!!! (Aislin)

GUYS, (I can't call people "guys" here - which is a really bad habit I have - but you GUYS don't count so I'll take advantage of that while I can) OH MY GOSH THIS IS THE BEST PLACE EVER!!! Seriously. It's so amazing, I love it so much. And if I think this is so great I can't even begin to imagine how amazing the field is going to be!

So, first things first. I already told you a little about my airplane experience but I didn't get to all of it. Entering security was fun 'cause I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I put my stuff in the grey basket and set it on all the rollers thinking that the rollers were supposed to move at some point but then the guy behind be had to go:  "... You've got to push it onto the conveyor belt." Whoops. Sorry. I knew that. After that I stepped through the metal detector and told the security that it was my first time so i might need help and he said, "oh cool. No worries - wait are you at least 12?", 
"Um, yes."
"Are you 16?", 
"Uh. . . I'm 19." 
"Oh. . . Well, stand on the yellow footprints."  Hahaha fine. So I don't look much older than 12, whatever. Finally, I got on the plane, which was a lot smaller than I expected. I still don't know if I like flying. Good thing I've got another flight coming up in just a couple weeks right!? One thing I thought was really cool was when I looked out the window (when I got a chance at least, HA. Thanks Random-Guy-Next-To-Me for finally moving your head) and looked down at the cities as we flew over, and it was funny how different they look from hundreds of feet up (I know. DUH). When you're on the ground, driving or running, or walking around there's always those few streets that seem so randomly placed or there's a turn where you didn't expect and the streets seem crooked or
whatnot, but when I was way up high I noticed just how uniform and neat everything looked. Nothing looked out of place. So (I'm gonna get cheesy-spiritual here so just bear with me for a second) I was just thinking about how sometimes, no matter how messy or disordered your life might seem right now, sometimes it's good to take a step back (or an airplane up, haha) and notice that everything in your life is there for reason, even if you don't see it from the ground.

 ANYWAYS. It was so great seeing Bayley and Dion after I landed. It was like I just came to visit them for a couple hours! I just tried to not think about the fact that eventually, I'd have to leave them too. After food and a walk around the temple, it was time to go to the MTC! Everyone's so friendly here, it's almost bizarre. The first thing I noticed was that it's a lot like being at school but there aren't separate groups or cliques, like the
nerds/jocks/princesses/freaks/etc. Even though we're all different - and most of us fit under one or more of those categories - we're all here for the same reason and the desire to serve the Lord trumps every other "worldly" trait. We're like the Lord's Clique! Ha!

Our first day in the MTC, we had a welcome fireside and the coolest part was when we sang The Army of Helaman and they had changed the words from "we will be the Lord's missionaries," to "we are now the
Lord's missionaries." That was when it first hit me that I'm actually a missionary now! Even though at first it still weirded me out that when someone would say, "Missionaries, follow me!" that that included me now.

Prior to coming into the MTC, I was really nervous about talking to people and my hands would shake when I had to give a talk, or even speak-up in class and I thought that once I entered the MTC, all of that would disappear and I'd be completely different person, like having a missionary alias or something but in reality, they're all
still here, it's just become so much easier to overcome those fears and be stronger than them. I share things in class all the time, I answer question, I even SAT IN FRONT once. I hope you're proud of me. And the other night, as my companion and I were preparing to teach our investigator, the firs thing I noticed was that my hands were rock steady. THIS PLACE IS THE BEST!

My companion is sister Haughawout (pronounced "How-Wowt". BEST NAME EVER, right???). She's so sweet and tiny and has the smallest voice, but the biggest testimony. I love her to death. Our district is basically the best. I would send you a picture but I forgot my camera! There are 6 sisters and 4 elders and they're basically the closest I have to family up here. We all get along really well. Our first day of class, guess who peeked in to see the new missionaries??? SISTER RIVERA!!! There was a lot of screaming and hugging and laughing and a
group in the hall stopped to look in, probably to make sure no one was being attacked. AH it was the best day ever! Not only do we bump into each other all the time, we're in the same zone and her room is only two doors down from mine!!! So she and I and our companions get to hang out with each other most nights, while we write in our journals or brush our teeth. Also, sister missionaries always have chocolate or cookies in their rooms and it's the BEST. The first night I was here, I walked over to see Abby - I mean, uh, Sister Rivera - and before I
could even open my mouth all her roommates asked, "Hey you want a cookie? You want a York? Please help. I have so much food." So yeah it was great.

The first night we met with our zone leaders and they asked us how everything was going and if anyone was homesick, and one of our elders said "it's so busy!" and our zone leader responded, "Yeah, they just
keep you busy so that you don't realize what you just did." 'Cause yeah, leaving home was hard. I miss you all so much, but I'm getting used to it. I know where I'm supposed to be. It helped me teach an investigator about the Plan of Salvation, and to really connect with him. His wife died in the 70s and he wanted to know if he'll ever be
able to see her again, how, and if she's being taken care of in heaven. I told him that even though I'd never experienced a trial like that, I'd just left my family this morning and that was SO HARD, but I know they'll be ok because of the blessing President Smith gave me. He told me that I didn't need to worry about you guys because Heavenly Father would take care of you while I was off serving him. I told him that it was a lot like the promises He makes to us in the temple, that we can get sealed to our family for time and all eternity and Heavenly Father will watch over them until we can make it back to them.

Teaching investigators is the best and I'm so glad I have Sister Haughawout to teach with me. She's the best companion I could've ever asked for. I always worry that I'm talking too much, so I make sure I give her time to add things and especially share her testimony because she's so good at connecting with the investigator through that. She's so awesome.

I'm running out of time! Ah!


It snowed today! We walked out of our residence buildings and we were all so happy to see the snow that we burst out laughing, it was so great.

Also, one thing they tell us in class about teaching is to remember to "talk less, listen more." and EVERY TIME I can't help but sing Hamilton.

OK I've got to go now. Man, an hour goes by too fast! I love you guys so much! Thank you for your letters!

 LOVE YOU! Bye!

- Sister Enright


Hey look it's me and my adorable companion!