Monday, July 28, 2014

In a sweet, yet simultaneously frightening “ Psycho" style way...

I am really glad I'm training right now. It is stressful to have everything riding on my shoulders and on my decisions, but at the same time it is really awesome. I am very happy with how Elder G is doing, and we are really doing work. Our teaching pool is really good, and we have three investigators set to be baptized this upcoming month! 
First-J. He is the step-nephew (is that a thing?) of L our recent convert, and he is 9 years old. His mom is S, the sister of V, who, like V, is also excommunicated. So the family is back and starting to come out church, and we have set him with a date for the 16th! We’re pretty pumped, he's a 9 year old kid but he is really sharp and excited to get baptized. We're just making sure the family has enough support to keep him active after he is baptized.
Next we have M! Her baptism is the 23rd of August. So she is Bro G's mom, Old Catholic lady and really nice. But just not very comfortable with new things so it has been a big struggle to get her to church. But she has been reading the B of M and praying and even fasting (which was bad, we had to kind of teach her the right way to fast when we found out she had been doing it, because she was doing it multiple days in a row and if you’re an old lady that will probably kill you.) But she has a really strong desire to know if what we teach is true. We were teaching her on a park bench last week and an old lady comes up to us, in a sweet, yet simultaneously frightening “ Psycho" style way, "So, I see you're learning from these nice young men about their FALSE RELIGION!!!!!!" The she just flipped out, telling us we were on the fast track to hell because we didn't believe in the Bible and Jesus and tons of stuff. If you know how the Spirit feels, it's potent to feel the influence of the adversary as well, because it was the opposite of a peaceful warm feeling, it was like ice daggers emanating from her. Anyways that's when M gets up and just bears a super powerful testimony to her that she knows what we've taught is true, that she doesn’t understand everything, yet but she knows that we are sent from God. The crazy woman got the hint and left.
Finally, we have to pass her on because she's not in our area but S is our investigator getting baptized on the 30th. She was a close friend of the C family and she has really felt the Spirit as she's come to church and read the B of M. She's also a pyro so we've been using a lot of fire object lessons as we've taught her. It's pretty legit. 
Elder Wright
P.S.  It must be way awesome to have Damo’s job, she has CONNECTIONS! She sent me an awesome package last week, with a NICE white shirt that Roger on the show actually wore! I was way stoked; it was super nice of her. She’s getting a thank you card, don’t worry. 

Street Scene in Lancaster

            He's missionary of sorts for his own church, but he has huge respect for us.
Elder Gates and I!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Okay. This also makes sense to me and I believe it also.

Here's some exciting things that happened this week:

What started with a bus conversation with a random dude turned into an awesome new investigator. His name is S and he moved from India two weeks ago, he's way cool and very open. He invited us over, we taught a lesson about the Godhead, and after every point we said he would say "Ok. This also makes sense to me and I believe it also," in his cool Indian accent, all sharp and precise. He came to church yesterday and was way enthusiastic, he enjoyed it a lot. Yeah!

Also the coolest family in the ward ever is the C fam. They are relatively recent converts; they were baptized about 5 years ago after missionaries knocked on their door. They were baptized 4 weeks later. They love the Church, are dedicated, and are so excited to study and work and be awesome member missionaries. So a few months ago we went to the 8th birthday party of their oldest son. While there I met S, a good friend and classmate of Sister C. A few weeks ago, Sister C texts us to say, "So I was talking to S about the church again, and she says that she would really like to meet with you guys just to learn more." So we set up a lesson at the church. It was awesome. We gave her a church tour, ended in the chapel, taught her there, and the Spirit was so strong. She was very willing to read and pray and wants to know if it's true. Sister C was so helpful, being easygoing and encouraging and bearing testimony. She's already shared so much with S that we were really just filling in the big picture. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. She came to church this Sunday and really enjoyed it, she read 3 Nephi 11 and felt the Spirit very strongly throughout as well. It was so cool. Brother C referred us to a lady he works with at physical therapy named M, she is very nice and we have begun teaching her as well, she has also accepted the invitation to be baptized if she learns this is true. This family is such an example to me, they are great members and you can see how clearly the gospel has shaped them in their lives. 

Things are going well here! The area is really moving these days. Lots of lessons, lots of progress. It's really good for training. I'm making Elder G lead out a lot this week, his completely solo day will be this Thursday when I'm on exchange in Elizabethtown. 

What has really made things click here has been members. For example, we had dinner with this great member family and an investigator. After the dinner (Hawaiian Haystacks) we taught a lesson about the temple. The members bore testimony about how the temple was a blessing to them, why it was such a good goal to have, the Spirit they felt there. After, the members invited her to come to the Washington DC temple visitor’s center with them next time they went, and she accepted! It was a spiritual powerhouse! That more than anything was really cool to see. 

So many cool experiences this week! The Gospel is true! Being a missionary is awesome! I love it! 
And I love you too!
Elder Wright

Monday, July 14, 2014

Some deets about the week...

Let me give you some deets about the week, I guess. We were very busy! The work in the area is doing really well! We are teaching this older lady named M; she is the mother of Brother G. She is old, Catholic, and really nice. Her Spanish is rapid and slurred. She is really interested though, and I think she will be baptized! The only thing holding her back is that she is has some memory problems. So we really have to teach for retention with her. Then the other day Bro G was cleaning a lot and he fell down and somehow ripped his back up. We went over to give a blessing, and his mom was there as well. So we were able to comfort her and help him out, and really build their trust in us as missionaries. 
Yesterday we met Brother J, who's this LA dude who's met with the missionaries forever. Last week, and actually a lot in the past, we had committed him to set a date to come back to church. He'd always just pulled a James 1:6 and wavered a ton about it. So we talked about the baptismal covenant and when we felt the Spirit really strongly invited him to set a date to come back to church. He said,” Ehhh... why not?. OK, I will set a date to come back to church!" And he did! It was way legit. I have a strong testimony of re-extending commitments because of this!
In other news, we were out with Brother D on Saturday and it was one of those days when the best laid plans of mice and missionaries were going astray. Everything was falling through. After our 5th backup also was no good, we were about to go back to the car, when we hear a loud screeching of tires and a police car comes barreling around a corner, overcorrects, and misses a telephone pole but crashes through an air conditioning unit. The cops climb out, looking dazed, one immediately grabs a baton (oh, and by the way, he’s got a bulletproof vest on) and even though it looks he’s really hurt his wrist, takes off in a dead sprint down the road. So we stood around for a bit to see if anything else happened, then we got back in the car to go to our next backup plan. (If you're counting, this is #6. But who's counting? I'm not.) Anyways the road we take actually leads us the way that cop was heading, and a few blocks later we have to park because there are tons of police tape and cop cars. So we proceed on foot along the sidewalk, and the area is just swarming with bears* standing around, looking for something, talking authoritavely, etc. We do some talking to some street folks and we find out that there were three shots fired, the runner was hit and killed, and he's already been taken away in the ambulance. Now they’re looking for some of the bullet casings. So this was pretty shocking obvi, especially because this is probably one of the nicer parts of our area. Not what you'd expect. So our back-up wasn’t there, but I felt that the Lord had probably brought us to the brink of a crime scene for a better reason than to gawk, so I started talking with this one lady. She was way nice, name of N by the way. Then, (and this is not one of my smoother missionary moments) I ask, "This is potentially a inopportune setting, but have you ever met missionaries from our church before?" And she was like, "Actually, yeah! My brother's meeting with them in Lebanon right now!" Short story shorter, we are seeing her this Tuesday to teach her! YEAH!
Well the work is true. You're the bomb. 
Elder Isaac Wright
*Convoy reference if you’re reading this, Dad.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Popsicle maker

So the Popsicle maker thing showed up Saturday! The 5th of July! I immediately set about to making them, despite our limited kitchen supplies. I found a pack of Kool-aid mix and a pack of berry drink mix, so I mixed them with water, poured them in the trays, and froze them. Sunday night, after a hot day of proselyting, busted 'em out.
Unfortunately I discovered that maybe I should have added sugar? The Kool-aid was incredibly potent and actually just so concentrated and tart that it was almost impossible to eat. Elder G tried one and immediately retched, it was actually pretty hilarious! Anyways, we'll be trying again in the near future I suppose.