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 miracle...so 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!

Ern 

 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


PICTURES:

 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

PICTURES:
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

August 14, 2017 (Erin)

Okay, well I don´t really have a whole lot of time to write all of you, but love and miss you all. This week it has been super hot and I feel like have sunburn on top of sunburn on my face. And it´s not raining in the evenings anymore which makes me super sad. The only time it did was with Hurricane Franklin which apparently hit Veracruz or close and since we´re the next state over we had a good day and a half of super cloudy, rainy weather. Rather a disappointment what with the calls from the elders to tell us that we needed extra water and food just in case. But I guess I´ll get over the lack of a hurricane experience.

Oh so the other night we had a family home evening with some members and the branch president´s wife was giving the message and talked about the Brother of Jared and that he saw the finger of Christ and then eventually Christ showed himself completely to the Brother of Jared. I´ve never thought of this before, but she talked about how he saw Christ with a body of flesh and blood, which at this point Christ hadn´t been born, so the brother of Jared saw Christ as he would become. Interesting no? Still thinking on this part and how it all worked.  

Um............guess that´s it for today. Not super entertaining, but I love you all lots. I´m gonna go home and put my nice new washed clothes away. And I think I´ll go make a pineapple slushie, yum.

Hna Enright

Michael gets the priesthood. (Amik)

Hi family! This week has been pretty good. Sunday was pretty busy. In fact the gospel principles class was the biggest class we have had in a long long time.

We had exchanges Friday with the zone leaders and the first thing we did that morning was go to Muscoy and do service for this less active lady.  We had actually  got in contact with her the week before and previously had no info on her.  But one of the first things she said she needed done when we contacted her was some help getting her yard under control.  So Friday morning we went on over and started using a pair of weed whacker's to start clearing out the yard.  There was much dead grass, which was the main thing that we were taking care off. It took two hours and we still did not get everything.  However, the best part was that she actually made it to church on Sunday Nobody in the ward knew her at all.  So now we had another less active the ward could start working with.  

Anyway, another thing cool thing happened Wednesday.  Normally on Wednesday nights we do our MCM, missionary correlation meeting.  But this time, we had a special kind of MCM  with much of the ward council and we went through the ward list.  We found about 70 names that have moved out and now the ward is
taking action to remove the names from the ward list. Another, thing we noticed is that a lot of people seem to be moving to Texas. About 80% of people moving or have moved went to Texas. Also, this Sunday Michael got the priesthood!  He was the one that got baptized right before Elder Schmid left at the end of last transfer. So he will be baptizing his son next Tuesday.  

Anyway, I also finished Myplan yesterday. It is kind of weird that I will now be moving on into the next stage of my life.  Myplan was such a cool idea, it must be helping so many missionaries.  Also, on a side note, since my Mission president is in the Myplan videos every time he goes to the airport to pick up missionaries.  The missionaries going home, who just watched Myplan, recognize him and he has been asked several times if he would be able to have his pictures be taken with them. He is a missionary celebrity!  Also, I just remembered that in the last email I mentioned how Elder Brown hit his head and was kind of out of it for a while.  Anyway, now he is feeling a lot better and today we went to a grave yard where one of his great grandfathers was buried.
So that was cool.  Anyway, this last week is getting pretty full of appointments, and I still have not written a letter to myself.  I got a departing email a few weeks ago that asked me to write a "heartfelt" letter to myself. And I am supposed to take that in with me to the mission home this Monday.  So I better start get that started soon. 

Also, a few weeks ago we got a referral for a family of four from a visitors center, I think it was the one at temple square, but I am not sure, but it said that they were Spanish speaking so we sent it to the Spanish sisters that covered our area.   However, on Sunday there was this lady that just walked in and was there for all three hours.  Anyway, we talked with her and found out that she was one of the members of that family.  One of the questions, she had, which was confusing her was where her husband was since he  apparently said that he would be coming to church as well.  However, after calling the Spanish sisters after church we found out that her husband went to the Spanish ward, which is at a different building.  So that
was cool.

Anyway, as with must Transfers.  The area seems to be launching right before I leave. But, I am so happy that Michael is going to be able to baptize his son.  That really was one of my main goals this transfer.

Anyway, I just want to leave you with my testimony.  It is short and simple.  I know for myself that the church that Jesus Christ himself established during his earthly ministry is back on the earth. That church was restored by the Joseph smith, a prophet of God and is the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Joseph Smith was given the very same priesthood that Jesus Christ used to establish his church.  The Plan of Salvation, which gives us the purpose of life and the knowledge of what we have to do in this life to return to Heavenly Father is true. That we all are able to change our lives and become who God knows we can be by repentance.  And central to this is Jesus Christ who established his church, took upon himself the role of Savior and suffered for our sins when he performed the atonement which allows us to repent. And  I know this to be true in the name of Jesus Christ amen


-Elder Enright-

 Farewell temple trip with departing missionaries

And lunch!