Sunday, August 31, 2014

So pray for a miracle here.

I do not have oodles of time today, I apologize, and I will explain.
So the first thing is that M was not baptized on Saturday. Brother G never returned, and so it was postponed. It was pretty frustrating. She was at church on Sunday though, which was a very good thing. And she really wants to be baptized! But we finally have a timetable on when he is back, and it's not till the 5th! And she leaves on vacation on the 4th for two weeks! This is very very VERY frustrating. You’d think that this would be a relatively easy request to have happen, but surprisingly it's not. And I am just worried that this will give the devil time to work against the testimony she has gained. So pray for a miracle here. We could definitely use one.
Other news, well, we went to the Washington D.C. temple this Saturday. We went down with the C family, a really awesome family from the ward, and we got to go through an endowment session. It was such a spiritual experience. It's been a long while since I went to the temple and I definitely needed it. I was able to clear my head a lot and it has helped this week especially given the craziness going on with M. So that was cool.
We found a really awesome family 2 weeks ago. We talked to the wife just off a feeling and then she invited us over for a lesson with the family. She's E, he's C, and they have just gotten into church or religion at all very recently. He was actually involved in some very heavy stuff back in New York, he has all sorts of Satanic tattoos from his old life. But now he's really changed for the better and they are both very prepared for our message. They have been reading the Book of Mormon and we have really seen a lot of excitement in their lives. We invited them to be baptized yesterday on October 4th and they accepted, and we are going over today to finish talking about the Plan of Salvation. The big thing is they need to get married; we are going to be talking to them about that today as well. 
So things are a constant challenge. Missions aren't easy, that's for sure. But I've definitely come to understand more about trials and why they're placed in our lives and how to receive the strength to endure them rather than praying for them to immediately vanish. Elder Bednar talks a lot about that and that's been able to give me a lot of knowledge and guidance. 
So that's the good stuff! The church is true! Don't let anyone tell you it isn't!
Elder Wright

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

People would yell out "Mormons!' as we passed at high speeds.

So first, what I've observed from the different mission presidents: President T. was very big on exact obedience. He had to be; the mission was straight apostate when he first arrived. He shouldered an enormous burden on himself and he added many rules to ensure that missionaries stayed in line. President J. is more focused on us using the Spirit and the White Handbook to determine what we should or should not do. This means many of T's rules have been done away. There are significant differences because of this-on the one hand, you have the trust and accountability to the Lord, and really that means some missionaries will take that to heart, follow the Spirit more, and be better. There are also those, and I have already begun to see this, that take these guidelines and run like the dickens with them. In the end though, it is their agency anyway and their decisions. Other things that President J. has done are allowed us to got to the temple! If you're within 2 hours driving, you may take your Pday to go do it! Lancaster is just within that limit. So we might go this Friday if our ride is able to go! So pumped!
The big news is that M is getting baptized this Saturday! She is Brother G's mom, and it has been such a miracle teaching her. When we first met her, she had memory problems and our first few lessons went in one ear and out the other. So we focused on her needs, prayed for her, and she began reading the Book of Mormon faithfully. She received strength and memory, and it was a true miracle. She was able to gain such a testimony and really remember and retain almost everything we taught her. She gained a true desire and testimony and passed her baptismal interview with flying colors. The only hang-up right now is that she really wants her son to back for the baptism. And he has disappeared. In a very sketchy way, he has been gone for over a month now, and every time we try to figure out where he is, he's somewhere else. We're talking Miami, Santo Domingo, and last we heard Argentina. So pray please that he returns so we don't have to postpone.
The other big news is that Elder Wilford Anderson of the 70 came on a mission tour yesterday (that's why I'm emailing today.) It was an intensely spiritual day. We received a lot of good training from him and his wife, he really counseled us to start with the end in mind, e.g., the temple. That should be the vision our investigators have when they learn from us. He talked about why baptism was so essential, and the difference between forgiveness and remission of sins. Simply put, we can forgive. We do all the time (it's a commandment actually). And God can forgive us. When we repent, even not as members, we are forgiven and His anger is turned away. But remission of sins, the cleansing and purifying of our impurities and sins, happens only through baptism of water and the Holy Ghost through the proper authority. So that is why baptism is really essential. That was a cool tidbit I learned and something that I actually realized really applies to our investigator family, the Ms. So I'm looking forward to our next lesson now. 
Funny Story: I haven't been running recently just because it's too much on my feet with all the walking as well. Then last week we had a dinner appointment. The lady is pretty mad if you’re not punctual. Then this less active lady we teach texts us with an emergency 10 minutes before dinner, asking us to meet her at the library. We're like "crap." So we get things sorted out with her, and then ran probably a mile and a half to dinner. We were just booking it, ties flapping, shoes pounding, running up the sidewalks and stuff. People would yell out "Mormons!' as we passed at high speeds. Then we got to dinner, and I think the sister felt bad we’d sprinted so hard to get there so she excused our tardiness and extreme sweatiness.
Things are good here. I feel like I've learned a lot about myself, God's plan for me, and the divine organization of the Church. In particular, the way "Ask and ye shall receive" applies to a lot of things. When you think about it, that verse really means be humble and ask for help. The church is supposed to work in a return and report type way. Most times when that doesn't happen, we just sit and stew instead of doing something. If our Home teachers aren't coming, what's to stop the home-teachees from calling them and saying,"Hey, we want you to come over"? If something needs doing, sometimes we need to kind of step up and work with people to do it through the right channels. Something that I wish I’d had a bit of a better grasp of before the mission.

Elder Wright

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


                                           Here's J, he is reading a whole chapter a day!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

And by the smell I’d assume the previous occupant was the Marlboro Man...

Things are going well here. Tough week but we're enduring it well. The big killer was our bikes getting stolen. We locked them downtown and they were gone next time we came there. So that's going to hurt things here.  Bikes (in my opinion) are the key to a "walk” area's success. They give you a lot of moving power, you aren't dependent on buses, but you can still talk to people and are accessible and versatile. Though apparently, a new city ordinance means that we have to ride in the streets or we will get rebuked? Arrested? Yelled at? (Not really sure) by the police.
The other day, I was basically deep in the heart of the city and had to use the bathroom. It was bad. We knocked on this guy’s door, and I asked him if I could use his bathroom. I did so, trusting in the power of Elder G to get him interested. He did, and we did. The guy was way chill, his name's D and he's 16. We had a really awesome Restoration lesson where he could feel the Spirit strongly; he accepted baptism on the spot. He felt like things really clicked for him and it was actually really awesome! Things were great! There were a lot of bright spots this week, making up for the major rotten patch of J moving away this week, meaning that we will not be able to baptize him. So that's a big bummer. But M is way on track. Cool thing this week was that we had her at church. She's this Spanish lady who feels really uncomfortable with all the English folks. We were really trying to help her out and she was being stubborn and eventually I just asked, "What do we have to do to get you to come to church?" That didn't seem too inspired to me but it worked! Her heart softened and she said, "I'll come. Just get me a ride." We volunteered on family and she said "No, that man talks too much." We volunteered another and she said that would be just wonderful. So she came and had a great experience, felt the Spirit really strong, and basically loved it. MISSIONARY WORK!
Here's a weird story I'll tell you. So here we are walking down the street and this guy comes up to us, he’s like, "I need to talk to you guys. I'm so glad to see you here." And we're feeling pretty stoked, so we sit down and start talking to him. He is basically crazy. He would make several logical points followed by a huge incongruous jump. For example: " This is a triangle. Triangles have three sides. Ancient Egyptians and Mayans would build pyramids, which have four sides {I did not point out at this point that pyramids have 5 sides}. When you look at them from the side, it's a triangle! Triangles are on our dollar bills! Our founding fathers put them there. When you put the shape of a pyramid and a triangle together, you get an obelisk!" I could go on but there wouldn't be much point. We tried to gently extricate ourselves from the conversation, but he would do anything to keep us talking to him. So we had to basically shut him down and run away, because he started chasing after us. Also, he implied very heavily that he was Jesus Christ. Man, you meet weird people on the mission.
So if there's anything that I've learned on the mish, it’s that it's a really good idea to live the Word of Wisdom. Elder G and I were walking the streets, as we’re wont to do, and a lady comes by carrying a baby rocker thing, and she is struggling. So we asked if we could help her out, and she accepted. So I'm carrying the thing, and it's bit awkward because it's a big contraption, but it's not THAT heavy. So as we're walking to her apartment she begins to tell us her life problems, and she starts right off the get-go by telling us that she has a serious marijuana problem. So we walk up 4 flights of stairs, and she’s basically dying. She has to stop, wheezing and panting for breath. I was seriously considering if I should pretend to be out of breath too, so she didn't feel as bad. So we get to the apartment, and by the smell I’d assume the previous occupant was the Marlboro Man. But we talk to her a bit and she seemed to show a legitimate interest in the church so we asked if we could set up a return appointment on Wednesday at 8. She tells us that'll work fine, as there aren't any really good programs on then anyways. So we were pleased to know that the word of God rates a little below Hell's Kitchen with her. What was the point of this story? Just live the Word of Wisdom and don't put crap in your body. Seriously.
Elder Wright