Thursday, November 21, 2013

A hot wings eating contest....

So a rite of passage we have in Harrisburg is the Buffalo Wild Wings challenge. It's 12 blazing hot wings in 6 minutes, and it was pure concentrated misery.

Pretty terrifying, right?

Here’s some exciting things that have been happening this week.  
So, in zone training, we learned that we should be inviting our investigators to be baptized in the first lesson.  Seems pretty terrifying, right?  I think that too often, though, we think of baptism for our investigators as the last step.  Really, though, it is the first step into the Kingdom of God and they need to realize that.  

Anyways, I was in Harrisburg, but we were helping out the “drive” elders because all of our night appointments fell through.  So I was with Elder B.  He is really awesome, just friendly and generous and super personable.  We were trying someone they’d met, a 20 year old named J.  He wasn’t home, but his mom was.  She invited us in and was just super impressed that men of our age would be out doing what we’re doing.  We spoke to her by the Spirit and she was really touched.  She has seen the hand of God in her life when she survived a gnarly car wreck, and she was discontented with her church because she feels like it is corrupt and the Bible has been changed.  We shared the message of the restoration, and invited her to baptism.  She just said, “If it’s right, why not?” Then J came  home We briefly talked and extended the same commitment, and he wanted to too!  It was so cool.  I had such a big grin on my face because of them, it was just a great experience.

So have I told you about the N family? We really love them. They're members of the ward that we have set up a weekly appointment with. Brother N is active, he is super enthusiastic about missionary work and he comes out with us on team ups. Sister N is less active, as well as the rest of the family, a 19-year-old son and two younger daughters. It's been really miraculous seeing how they've changed in the last few months. We started trying to see them weekly, and at first you could tell, they weren't huge fans of us coming around so often. (Except Brother Nl.) But we've gotten to know them better and they've opened up to us. They are super warm and friendly now, and they've been to church every week so far in November! Getting them to stay is what we're working on now. We taught them last night, with the Atonement pushup lesson. It's a cool one. First we showed a Bible Video, basically about Christ's Atonement. It was called For God So Loved The World. Then we talked a bit about the Atonement. Then we changed it up. Elder Lozano told everyone they would be offered a piece of candy that they could accept or not. So he offered it to the first daughter, she took it. So he tells me, "Do 10 pushups." The second daughter declines, but I do 10 more pushups. Sister N doesn't want one, but I do 10 more. Brother N takes a chocolate, but I still do the 10. The purpose, as they were led to realize, is that it's like the Atonement. It's always there, Christ suffered for every one of us. We have to accept that, and really use his sacrifice to change for the better. The Atonement is limitless. What is limited is only how much we choose to apply it in our lives. They were really affected. They're going to start staying for all of church, and really kick some bad habits. And I got a nice arm workout from it. It was a great lesson!

So we had a ward activity this past week, the Hoe down! It ended up being a smashing success. We were pretty worried at first though because when it was about to start, there were like two families there. Needn't have worried though. Mormon standard time was in effect, everyone showed up at like 15 minutes after. We played the stick pulling game a bunch and I went bobbing for apples. Also had some intense games of checkers. But what was really great was how many less actives were there! Sister M has been coming out to church a lot after not being even on the radar for years. She is so nice and positive, and I think that once she is fully active then we can begin to teach her children, who haven't been baptized yet. IT's so great to be a missionary! I love it!
~ Elder Wright

Monday, November 11, 2013

So, I just boldly testified....

Dear Family,

So email time is pretty reduced.  So odds are you’ll get more letters.  Yay!  But anyways, this week has been pretty good.  Busy, for sure.  It’s also been unexpectedly warm, which has been super nice.  But that’s over.  Today is cold again.  Anyways, here’s some adventures that have happened.

I gave a blessing in Spanish!  That was pretty intense, it was for this less active lady named M, who is the sister of Sister D.  She just had a baby and was pretty wiped, but the blessing definitely brought in the Spirit, all her kids stopped screeching, and it was pretty intense.  Definitely need to increase my Spanish vocabulary though, I had a stupor of thought for a second where I couldn't think of anything and no words came to mind.  But then, the Spirit took over, which was neat.  

So we also got a media referral this week.  The success rates with these are abysmal, I guess people are pretty surprised missionaries actually show up when they request a visit.  But we contacted this lady who did, and arranged a time to come back.  So we came back, and the first thing the lady says is  “Nope, I’m not interested anymore.”  Some person at her church had told her a bunch of crap about our church, that we didn't believe in Christ and some nonsense.  So, I just boldly testified of Christ, and she was like “oh, you can come in.  I don’t want any pamphlets or your book though. “  So, we came in, and we just kept teaching and testifying until she took a pamphlet.  She wouldn't take a Book of Mormon though.  So we bore testimony of Joseph Smith, how he really was a prophet of God, and she felt the spirit.  So she said, “Okay, I will take a Book of Mormon,” it was super awesome!  Definitely glad for the Spirit’s help in softening her heart, she went from straight up rejecting us to saying she would come to church.  (She didn’t, but we’re working on that.)  It was great.

In other news, we followed another great prompting and got another new investigator.  It’s for the other elders though because she is just outside of our area.  But we had several appointments fall through, and I was leading that day.  I got this strong prompting to visit an investigator who lives pretty far away, biking.  But we trekked out there, only to discover that she was, as usual, not home.  So I was feeling pretty discouraged, but Elder D suggested we ask a neighbor if there would be a better time.  So we did.  This lady answers, finds out we are missionaries, and invites us in.  She’s awesome!  Just starting to go back to church and she was super interested in the Book of Mormon.  And she was saying some questions she had that were so well answered by the Book of Mormon, like about infant baptism and other stuff; it was pretty perfect.  I invited her to be baptized and she said she would if she found out that what we had told her was true.  So it was awesome! Yeah! 

Something I have been thinking about recently is how much the gospel can really change people if they let it.  Like K - when I first met him, he was shy, pretty reserved, not much of a smiler.  But at church last Sunday, he was grinning, talking to people, really enjoying other’ people’s company and coming out of his shell.  And R, a guy who was recently baptized by the “drive” elders.  He’s diabetic to the extreme, super big with a full time insulin pump.  But, he’s really loving church, he comes every week and brings his kids.  He is so eager to be there.  Last Sunday, Elder L and I were int he foyer when the sacrament was being passed because we were responding to a phone call.  Halfway through the prayer, 300+ pounds of R come barreling in full steam trying to make it on time.  We had to hold him back and explain he should make a more dignified entrance after the sacrament was completed.  It’;s pretty great though, just seeing people’s lives improve and brighten as they learn about Jesus Christ.  

Keep up the good work, help the missionaries, and read scriptures together!

Elder Wright

Friday, November 8, 2013

Spoiler, it went awesomely!

     I sent a letter to you on  Wednesday with the thing for Sister E, and how our Halloween went... Spoiler, it went awesomely! But you'll have to wait for that till it gets there. I’ll be writing more letters in the future for reasons I'll explain:
      So a new thing that's happened is that we cannot email at the library anymore. Probably because of disobedience things, but now we can only email when we have supervision at the family history centers. So there are only three computers and 8 elders, and at least 4 elders at any given time. So I’ll be writing more and longer letters.  Really hard to know if I'll have a lot of time or not. 
     That's all a result of last MLC, which the Zone Leaders went to. There was another sweet announcement that we heard about as well but I will wait a bit to tell you that one...HAHA!
     Guess what, I'm basically a chef! We made it a goal to start giving our team-ups something when they go out with us. So I have made brownies, snicker doodles, and red velvet cake. It’s pretty awesome!  We don’t really have tons of supplies so full-on meals are tough, but I have been making rice and beans and eggs and things too. And inventing some cool meals as well.
     Ok. Also to answer your question from a while ago, Yes, I am playing a decent bit of piano. Usually in priesthood when Brother C is out, which is a lot because he has some rough shifts with his medical program he's in. So I get to play the piano a fair amount. It's cool.
     This week has been really good. We’ve been just talking to everyone and it's paying off, we've got four new investigators and a bunch of potentials! 
Love Elder Wright

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beautiful Pennsylvania

                   Pink water in the fountain at the Capitol building for Breast Cancer Awareness.
                                                                Fall in the parking lot.