Tuesday, July 14, 2015

If I had a dollar for every...

The great and dreadful day is at the doors! Ha-ha it is so weird. I am excited. I can look back on my mission, knowing I wasn't perfect but also with no regrets, because I tried my hardest. And that makes the coming home easier. I remember talking with one of friends in the mission who had been pretty disobedient, and just being able to tell he knew he had shortchanged the experience. He didn't outright say it but you could just tell.
I had to laugh when I heard your trek woes bemoaning flakiness, I hate to say this but if nothing else the last two years have taught me that people are flaky! If I had a dollar for every appointment that just completely bailed on me, I could probably finance my whole mission out of mission pocket. Ha-ha that's life! Gone are the days when a man's word was his honor!
Well, I will pray for you regarding trek, that sounds stressful. I am feeling a good mix of nervous, frightened, excited, and nostalgic. The mission is such a grand and important chapter of life that really is about to terminate! It's a thrill a minute
Elder Wright

Monday, July 6, 2015

I Have Been to Three Temples Out Here

                                         The Second Nose Cauterization
                                         The Third Temple
                                          Ward 4th of July Party
                                         Spanish Group barbecue

Then, in that very moment, I knew I'd been played.

This week was just amazing; we went to the Columbus Ohio temple with M. He had dug up a giant family history chart, and had put some of his names onto familysearch.org. [We ended up having to log on with his account to fix all the names, as he'd entered in all of his deceased relatives as "living." (This is why youth need to be involved in family history work: they're just better with computers!)] but anyhow, we took a three hour drive to the temple, and it really was a wonderful experience. Elder W and I did the proxy baptisms, and M was able to be confirmed for all of his ancestors. He has back problems, it was hard enough to baptize him in the first place and we felt it best to not try and repeat that multiple times for proxy. Then Elder W and I got to participate in an endowment ceremony for some deceased persons, which was as always a very spiritual and learning experience. I am so grateful for the temple, and the opportunities I have had to go there. I have really gained so much from the experience, not to mention I have been to three temples out here now- the DC, Palmyra, and Columbus.
Well, Fourth of July was a blast! For lunch we went to the ward barbecue at the P's, which was a lot of fun. Lots of good friends there, our investigator A also came, delicious grilled food, and plenty of corn hole and Frisbee. So it was really nice. We also had the Spanish group barbecue, which was delicious, if a little amateur. That was at the church, the "grill masters" set up the barbecues in a little alcove and so it just filled with fumes and smoke. But we had a good turnout, tons and tons of meat, and delicious food. I am not sure exactly how patriotic it was for Independence Day, the tablecloths were red white and green, the colors on the Mexican flag. But oh well, it all works out. The part of 4th of July that was a little better than last year was that we got special permission to stay out late and watch the fireworks. We happen to live on Mt. Washington, which has an overlook of the whole city, and very close to M, who lives in a spacious apartment building with the best view in Pittsburgh. So President Johnson (on condition that we didn't brag to the other missionaries) let us hang out with M, eat more food (ugh) and watch the fireworks. And I'll tell you this. Pittsburgh puts on a darn good show. Our view was a little obscured by an inconveniently placed tree, but what was really neat was being able to look out over the entire horizon and see multiple displays going on simultaneously amidst the different townships in the surrounding area. Just an overall fun experience.
So, I had an experience getting totally schooled this week. I was on exchange with Elder H, my district leader, and a big portion of the day we were at a senior center helping teach about family history. There were a lot of snacks around, including water bottles. Elder H was opening his fourth water bottle when he asked me, “ Elder Wright, how long do you think it would take me to drink this water bottle?" I responded I had no idea, and he asked if I thought he could do it in 30 seconds. Then he asked, "What would you give me if I could do it in 10 seconds?" Not really sure, I responded I would give him a tie of my choosing. Then he asked, "How about three seconds? How about a tie of my choosing, plus you have to do 10 push-ups?" I didn't think it was possible, and I told him so. He raised the bottle to his lips, looked at me, and winked. Then, in that very moment, I knew I'd been played. The water shot down his gullet like a fire hose in probably two seconds, if that. So I did ten push-ups. And gave him a sock tie. Man, he played me. But it was pretty hilarious.
Elder Wright