Friday, January 31, 2014

                                    I made Thai Chicken! Turned out surprisingly okay.
                          Some of the street signs won't even stand up on this weather.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Called to Shovel

Called to Shovel

So first, we have a gator set for baptism. His name is E, he's 20, and we've been teaching him for a while. He's the De La C's nephew and he lives at their house. He has always had a desire of sorts to be baptized but he just hasn't taken things seriously at all, so he hasn't progressed at all. But he calls us up early last week just needing us to come by. So we biked over Monday night and just talked for like an hour and a half. He is going through a majorly rough time and just feels like no one understands him or even cares. What a glorious feeling it is to be able to testify that God loves all of us! He does care! And we do too. E was really humbled by everything he's been going through and is now seriously committed to learning. He's quitting his UPS job and getting a different one so he can start coming to church and he is getting baptized March 7th. We are stoked. So is he!
It snowed a bunch this week, so we basically went around with our shovels one day and shoveled a bunch of snow for people. It was nice to just do some service and feel good about it. Seriously, if everyone did more service they would just be happier people!
We also went out with a ward member named Brother R on Wednesday. He lives in Harrisburg part time so we haven't really gone with him before, but he was awesome. We visited this part member family that doesn't go to church ever, and he just got bold! We could really feel the Spirit as he basically told them that the church needed them to be there and serve. He told the kids they needed to get the priesthood so they could be blessing and passing the sacrament, and the dad (who isn't even a member) that he could be serving the Lord with a calling! It was awesome.
Final little story. So we were out Saturday night in the sketchy part of our area, and this guy is walking next to us on the sidewalk. He's holding a knife and I can smell alcohol on his breath, but he just comes up and asks if we're the missionaries. We tell him yes, and he asks if we can give him a pamphlet, then thanks us profusely and walks off. Freaky? Yes. But you learn to not judge folks I guess. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Strictly because of my poofy hair...

We are just teaching tons of kids these days. It's awesome. For one, yesterday we taught sharing time in primary. We acted out the parable of the Good Samaritan and showed them all how Jesus Christ was the perfect example. It was pretty fun. As we left, this one little Sunbeam named T bolted off her chair, ran over, and just clamped herself to my leg in a big hug. Last night, we had dinner with their family (who are awesome) and the girl announced I was her favorite. Strictly because of my poufy hair. I asked if I would still be her favorite when I got my haircut tomorrow. She said no.
We are teaching a bunch more families besides that. It’s good, because it is teaching me to teach simply and clearly. No dabbling in deep doctrine, just teaching for a kid's level. It's awesome. You can see these kids just loving it. We were explaining the Plan of Salvation to three grandchildren of some a less active lady. N, who's 7, was just super into it. I asked what they thought Adam and Eve did when Satan tempted them to eat the fruit. They thought they didn't eat it. When I told them that they then did eat the fruit, she was just devastated. "No! Why would they do that?'' it was pretty awesome. And the oldest grandchild should be set for baptism in the future. We've already got parental consent. So that's awesome. I'll let you know when M gets dunked.
We also are teaching three siblings named PJ, P, and J. PJ is the oldest and is 12. He’s seen us on the streets a lot and just wanted us to come by to teach. So we stopped by this Saturday. It was tragic. These kids live in severe poverty. They are really scrawny and thin, but tough. We've talked to some neighbors; and the mom has raised them really on survival mode here. They look out for each other, will fight for each other, but they don't have any kind of sense of right and wrong. So they will steal if they have a chance and stuff, it's the way their mom has beaten it into them. But they really touched my heart by being so open and sweet. I think that if we can keep teaching them that they will really experience incredible joy and happiness through the gospel. It's awesome.
And speaking earlier of teaching simply, there's nothing like teaching kids in Spanish, super simply! That's about the level my Spanish is at anyway, so it works out. The kids love us, and so the adults love us because of that, and we love them because we are filled with compassion and charity, which is the pure of Jesus Christ! Yay!
 Also, this old lady on the street yelled at us one day. Told us she was a member, wanted us to come by so she would come back to church. We were like, “ OK." So we stopped by on Friday, only to discover that Sister L (or L?) is totally toothless. She just mumbles and cackles at us and chain-smokes, so we haven't really been able to learn too much about her. Mainly we're just trying hard to understand her, trying not to laugh, and praying for the gift of tongues. Man she cracks me up, it's hilarious. Well, that’s all I have time for, love you bye!
Elder Wright

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

National Argyle Day

Well I will just tell you guys a few quick highlights. 
Mike. Gotta say, that was the most confusing package I have yet opened. Where did you get the Monster's University pillow? Was it a cereal box thing? I gotta say, I love it and I now use it on my bed. Forgot to take a picture but I'll get one for you next week. It actually featured in my dream last night, I dreamt that I kept getting more and more Mike pillow cases every day. Vivid.
Basically, this week we met L and her family. They were referalls from J, another lady whose family we teach, and L is actually her sister. She is super pumped up for us to come by. She is from Peru, speaks only Spanish, and wants to have us over for dinner and be taught a ton. Her kids are really bright, they do make fun of my grammar mistakes though. One time I accidentally called L’s sister, Flor, "Flores". The kids were in hysterics. I don't know why. Anyway that was pretty fun.
So we found this pic in the Ensign. It basically is what we think Elder Packard looked like as a kid. Here's another pic of him as comparison. 
And this is what I wore Wednesday, for National Argyle day. Everyone was pretty astounded that I knew. (or cared.)
Elder Wright

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Church guy, I think I love you."


First off, Freezing Rain.
Basically, when temperatures get low enough, the rain begins to freeze as soon as it hits the ground. This is scary. The bishop cancelled church after sacrament meeting, which was a huge bummer because two of our gators, a father and his 8-year-old daughter, showed up. So, of course she thought church was pretty boring because she didn’t get to Primary! But yup, the work of the Lord moves forward anyway. 

We left our apartment pretty quick on Sunday on our bikes to try and beat the rain, but unfortunately after our first lesson we got caught in it. By the time we finished our second lesson with Brother L, it was way bad so we had to walk home. (And slide, because the sidewalks were icy.) Basically you can tell it's icy when you look behind you on the road, which you thought was clear, and there's actually a trail of footprints. That's when you realize you're walking on a layer of ice! By the time we got back, I had icicles coming down my helmet and a big sheet of ice on my coat. Gnarly! But it was a good time. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. That's what we tell the people we teach, and it's super true. When we show God we're willing to do as much as we can, that's when we see miracles. And we have seen a lot of miracles this week. We met J who was a referral from a former church member, who also played one of the twins on I Love Lucy. Random. But anyway we stopped by because he was so impressed with us the first time we talked to him that he had us over for dinner. Then we taught his whole family about the Restoration; he has two daughters, S and E, and a 4-year-old son J Jr. We used an object lesson with some nails that I always thought was pretty cool, but this family was just enchanted. It's kind of hard to explain but it's basically a cool physics trick that lets you balance 12 nails on a single one. The kids address us as "Church Guys." After the lesson, we gave J Jr. a pass-along card and he told us, "Church guy, I think I love you." So that was fun. And this family was the father and daughter that came to church Sunday! They are also learning from the Jehovah's Witnesses, and they told the JWs about our nails object lesson. They didn't believe it was possible to do.

Also I wanted to tell you about another new family we're teaching. Y is a less active member we recently met, and she has started coming to church. Then two Sundays ago she brought her grandchildren, M, D, and Nevaeh (heaven spelled backwards). They LOVED Primary. Seriously, if you want to convert a family, just get their kids to Primary classes and they will love it. So anyways then we stopped by Saturday, and now we’re teaching them! I'm super excited. And the dad D gave us the OK, so we're clear on the parental side of things too. It is so exciting! 

Missionary work is the bomb!

Love, Elder Wright

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Caroling Experience

Pics from PA

 Elder Packard lugs his bike up some random stairwell that didn't show up on GPS.
                                                     A nice park in our area!

How The Senior Couples Saved Christmas...

                         (Or, why you should not mail packages through the mission office...)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Skype


Irradiating Love

December 30, 2013

So it's the post Christmas aftermath and things are back to the usual. They're great though. It's been a tough transfer because our number of lessons has slipped a lot, but what can you do? People’s agency can be frustrating sometimes, and biking around a ton in the cold from appointment to appointment only to find that everyone forgot can be a bit annoying.

But here's what's been up this week! Well, there's this family who I can't remember if I mentioned before, the Cs. (Pronounced like the fancy nice smelling stuff, not the bodily organ.) We met the son a while back through one of the D L C family's sons, and taught him, but then he disappeared. But we found out where he lived and visited the family. They were super stoked on our message and have been reading the Book of Mormon. The mom and one of the sons want to get baptized too! We've set them with a date for the end of January, on the 25th. They were also very gung-ho to go to church too, so we got a member of the ward out to pick them all up but when we got there, no one was home. That was frustrating, but we'll see them tonight and help them understand why church is so important, and everything will be amazing again.

In other news, I gave a talk in church yesterday! It was on missionary work, so that was pretty fun. Shared some experiences, and wore the tie the ward gave me and it was all pretty cool. I talked about why receiving revelation from the Holy Ghost as we teach is so critical. Also Elder B spoke about missionary work as well. So that was cool.

We were teaching C the other day, a recent convert who had dropped off the radar for a bit. She works for the Girl Scouts and is just a very friendly person and loves the gospel. So anyways we were talking about sharing the gospel with others and she says, “Well, I've felt the goodness and irradiating love of Jesus Christ and it's just changed me so much." I think she meant to say radiating, but irradiating is also a fairly unique way to describe the love Christ has for us too. It immediately conjured up for me the image of love mutating people like some sort of toxic waste deal. But when you think about it, if we are truly converted then we should be CHANGED by grace and should actually be different people. So that was accidentally pretty insightful, I thought. 

We also had a great testimony builder of seeing how the Book of Mormon can change lives as well. When I've looked back on it, those investigators who actually progress and get closer to baptism are those who read the Book of Mormon. If they don't, then they just stagnate. That's how it was with B. We received a referral from the McConnelsburg elders for a young girl, J, who had been going to church with her grandma up there. The grandmother had passed away so they thought it would be a good time to go over and see the family. B's the dad, and he's a pretty hardcore Baptist, so our first two lessons weren't too great, the last one was basically a Bible bashing fest. (On a side note, one of my favorite quotes from Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Twelve Apostles is "We don't bash, we don't bash, we don't bash! But when we do, we win! That's why you study so much!") But anyways. We stopped by last night, and he was way different. Respectful, kind, pretty humble, so I asked him, "Did you read that chapter from the Book of Mormon that we left with you last time?" He told us he did, and he now knew the Book of Mormon was just as true as the Bible was. It was really incredible. I thought it was amazing to see his transformation. He felt the irradiating love!

I love you all!
Elder Wright