Monday, October 28, 2013

A Friend, A Calling, and Spiritual Nourishment

Sorry about last email session, I was pretty bummed out. I'm more cheerful today…And in general. The mission is really tough because Satan's going after us every step of the way, but I've got to be more positive and keep my head up even when it's difficult. 
So basically this week was also pretty tough. I led all week, which was majorly stressful, but definitely a learning experience. We had a lot of dropped appointments but the lessons we taught were pretty powerful. Nothing's more discouraging, though, than teaching some great lessons and then watching people not show up to church. 
So here's the lowdown: Last week, K got baptized! That was super cool, he's still doing awesome. He's just really busy because of his work schedule. K also got baptized! That was great, the Spirit was there, and things were awesome. But no one in the family was in church last Sunday. We tried all week, no communication. But on Saturday we were finally able to see them! We were pretty nervous; we weren't sure what the family reception was going to be like. But he high-fives us and the first thing he says is, "So when am I getting the gift of the Holy Ghost?" Last Sunday, E really put his foot down and wouldn't let anyone go to the church. He's really "anti" right now. So that's what we talked to L about and she said she was really going to try to get out there. She's also fine with us to keep meeting with the family. They weren't in church yesterday- disappointing. But we just need to be patient and trust the Lord. I know that He'll provide a way for this all to work out. We just need to trust a little more that it'll happen.
There are so many less actives on the rosters, and it is really hard tracking down if they've moved or not. Man, it's rough! Gordon B. Hinckley says: Every new convert needs a friend, a calling, and spiritual nourishment, and that's so true. They need to be fellowshipped so much!
Yep, I got Nathaniel's letter. Cracked me up! He is such a stud; I knew he'd do great out there. I'm really impressed that there are baptisms going on!
I know trunk or treat is on Tuesday for us. We are not going, I think. That's too bad. I think I'll put out that little pumpkin that I got sent for my birthday. It's not carved but I drew a face on it. And I'm actually not sure about trunk or treat, I think it's allowed but the people wouldn't be in our area anyway so the drive elders probably will. I'll let you know if we do though! On Halloween though, we've got to be in our apartments by 6! And we can't leave. So that day's shot for proselyting. But don't worry; in order to celebrate the spirit of Halloween we're "weekly planning" that night. Should be FUN. Fun like a shot in the mouth.
Man, it is getting cold here! The days are getting darker and it is certainly chilly out. I've been doubling up on socks and I might buy some other gloves today if I can find cheap ones. It was especially rough this week because we weren't having any success with our appointments, so we were biking around all day in the cold, and biking a LOT. (Though that could have been my poor planning skills.) A quick thought about boots. That elder who said they weren't necessary was almost certainly a DRIVE elder. They have nice and cushy cars, like Ford focus's or Legacy's or whatnot. Our zone leaders have a big truck. But we're biking and walking, so I will most certainly need boots. 

Elder Wright

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Three Missionaries walk into a font...

                                                         Using the mirror to take a selfie.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

You can't be a man until you've served in "Harrisburg Walk".

So it was my birthday on Tuesday. That was pretty cool. I wanted to thank the many many many people who sent me cards or packages. We have enough assorted snacks to feed us a month and sugar us into a coma. And all the cards meant a lot too. My companions and the ZL's bought me a nice tie and also the “Challenge Accepted” shirt you saw in the pic. They're really awesome. So anyways as a "birthday present'' Elder L had me lead for the day. Also, we had exchanges that day with the Zone leaders, so I was with Elder B and Elder B. Let's just say it was really hard and stressful. We had plans that fell through and back up plans and I definitely messed some things up. Specifically, directions. But I didn't fail, we taught some really great lessons, and it was pretttty cool.  So that's my birthday! I'm 19 now! And a true man, we've decided, because you can't be a man until you've served in "Harrisburg Walk".
As you saw in the pic, I got a bed! Yay! So for a while, I was just sleeping on an air mattress. That wasn't too bad but sometimes my companions would steal it while I was in the bathroom and I'd have to find it. So we were waiting for Pittsburgh to get one in for me. So then this family we teach- a less active and an investigator husband- randomly asked us if we needed a bed after our lesson. So we were like," SWEET! " So we called up our Zone Leaders, they took the truck out and grabbed my bed, brought it to the apartment. Only problem? It was huge. Like, probably a queen, box spring and mattress. So my sheets didn't fit and it didn't fit. Then, like the next day, we got the call that my bed had showed up. The ZL's had some business down in the area (they had to make reports and stuff) so they drove and picked it up. We built it and it fit, but now we have a giant extra bed in our living room that we don't know what to do with. And Elder B, after serving for 6 months here, finally got his visa to Brazil! He got the call on my birthday! He's leaving us the 22nd, which is wonderful! (And sad.) The only thing is, after he's gone we will have TWO extra beds. Oh well.
 It's been a bit discouraging this week. We've had to push N's baptism again because he's struggling with the Word of Wisdom. I think it could be a good thing though. I think he's been humbled by the difficulty of this addiction, and he fasted the other day to help break the smoking habit. What's tougher is K's date. His dad E is really trying to thwart us, he wouldn't let the Zone Leaders in to interview him and then he kind of cold-shouldered us last night when we went by. So we need to get all that sorted out. 
But K is on for Saturday! He is a golden investigator; he's such a BOSS! There'll be pictures!
Love you a ton,
Elder Wright

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pics from this week.

                              Elder Brady's red pen leaked, so we pretended he had been shot.
                                                     With Elder Brady and Elder Lozano

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Conference was so special this broadcast. I wrote a lot about it in my letter I'm sending you, but I'll tell you that every talk had so much spiritual power behind it. Elder Uchtdorf was phenomenal, but I actually also really enjoyed Ulisses Soares, a 70 from the first session. His talk on meekness was really good.
So there's some bad news. We have to delay N and K's baptisms a week. So instead of the 12th, they'll be on the 19th. The reason, most simply, is that they don't have the church attendance they need. So frustrating! But accepting the Lord's will (and the zone leaders will) is what we're doing. And they're so prepared. When we were explaining to K about why the delay of his interview was happening, he was bummed! He was like, “Man! I stayed up last night memorizing the things you can't put in your body because of the Word of Wisdom!" So he's set. And N is really excited about his baptism still too, he came out to Priesthood session on Saturday. Said he thought it was super cool. 
Oh yeah and the other baptism we have on the 19th is K. Can't remember if I've talked about him, but basically he's the definition of a golden investigator. Comes to church and ward activities almost every week, and is very accepting of what we teach. He's a podiatrist, doing his residency actually, so he's super busy with all the odd jobs they give him. But he's really great. It's pretty incredible looking at how God has prepared him for us. He grew up with some Mormon friends, and he would have moved to Texas had he not gotten denied from the program there. So he came to Harrisburg, where he saw the church building and decided to stop in. So that's how he met the missionaries! And that program he wanted in Texas just got shuttered, so you can really see how he's been blessed to be here! Man, missionary work is so cool!
 So Wednesday was crazy! We had a bunch of team ups with the ward, so I was out with another member (Brother T) but not my companions. So we taught B (a less active) about Christ like attributes, and she wasn't really getting into it. She then told us about a lot of struggles she was having right now, and that she had a tumor on her neck. Not cancerous, but giving her crazy migraines. I immediately cut the lesson short and we gave her a priesthood blessing. She had faith in it, and said immediately that she felt better, and more at peace with herself. So that was pretty cool. Our next appointment was W, who is married to a less active, S. They both speak Spanish. Brother T doesn't. So I was understandably nervous. I really had to trust the Spirit as I taught the lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was amazing though. I was filled with inspiration and words and sentences, even verb conjugations, flowed out of me that I certainly could not have remembered on my own. I then invited him to be baptized later in November. He said that he would, and that he would pray about the date. That was so cool. I felt spiritually exhausted by the time the night was over. It was a testimony builder for me of the power of the Holy Spirit.
Elder Wright

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pics from PA

                       Arriving in PA with the other missionaries from the Mexico MTC.
                      The beautiful mission home in Pittsburgh (this is not where Isaac lives)
                                                    Ready to make a run for it any minute.
                                 The missionary closet: "Gee, what shirt should I wear today?"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 30, 2013 letter

Hey family!
Man that is great that you won a pie! Blessings through service right there! Trust me, I can now say from experience that there are few feelings worse than seeing the meal calendar passed back almost empty. There are a couple families who feed us every week, but I think a lot of people really don't see how much we depend on members to do missionary work. So help the missionaries however you can! I think it's so great that you're doing so much for them already. Trust me, they're grateful. Reach chapter 13 in PMG, it's pretty clearly laid out by President Hinckley. Pretty rebuking! 
So our district taught a ton of lessons this past week. That is really really good. It's the best in the district history and it's because everyone is really stepping it up big time. I know that we've been squeezing out every hour of productivity that we can from our day!  
N is such a solid investigator! I just wish he'd be able to get to church but part of that is that he doesn't have a car and depends on L for a ride. But he's quit all his addictive behaviors, he's fine with all the commandments (though surprisingly  monthly fasting is the hardest for him) and he is so eager to get baptized. To prepare him for baptism, we asked him the baptismal interview questions. One was, Why do you believe the Book of Mormon is true? or something like that. He just shoots back, "I don't believe it's true. I know it is, with every part of my being." Goes on to bear incredible testimony. It was great. Also, he refers to Christ and his disciples as JC and the Boys. It's pretty hilarious.
Ok fine a quick story.
So K is N's nephew, he's the son of L(a less active) who's living with E (a kind of investigator.) Clear? Anyways, he's getting baptized on the 12th, and there are still some of the big commandments we needed to teach him. So, Friday we taught Word of Wisdom. E kept coming in and trying to bash us with the New Testament, but I shut him down by explaining how his scripture actually supported our statement instead of his. So he left, which was good. AND we taught Law of Chastity to him, a 10 year old kid, with his mom (who's not living it) in the room. Aca-awkward, right? But he totally felt the spirit like a boss, and straight up asked his mom why she wasn't living it? She sputtered out some excuse about not knowing about it, and he was like, "Well, you know about it now!" He's so cool! I love him! 
Picked up three new investigators this week! I'll briefly talk about them. First was D. We'd taught him once but then he went off the grid. Randomly saw him on the street, wearing a dress. He said it was a joke but didn't elaborate any further. But anyways. He is interested in every academic way, which is nice because he will listen and try to understand, but frustrating because it's hard to pinpoint where his real desire comes from. He felt like it was a sign from God, though, that he asked to come to church on the week where Gen Conference was scheduled and we could hear the prophet’s words. So that was cool. Also, H, an ex-con who wants to change his life. Really enthusiastic to learn about Christ and took a Book of Mormon first time we talked to him. So that was great. We're meeting with him twice a week. Finally M, who's N's cousin. It's miraculous to see how that family is being influenced by the Gospel and is strengthening each other. So many small miracles throughout the week! 
I wish I had more time! But also I popped my tube on my bike, and then the brakes stopped working on the back and the seat fell off. So there are some repairs that need doing. But the work is good! 
Love you, Elder Wright