Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Dover Silo and more...

                                      Selfie of us in the car.
                                     Cleaning the font.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bittersweet Week.

I am sure you did a great job with the training. I really like the quotes you included. A lot of them are quite applicable! There was a point in my mission when I was trying to focus on getting in all the details, making sure everything was nice and neatly tied in. But then I realized that was teaching lessons not people, and that it is really so much better if you can solidify their testimony of a few principles rather than scampering through all of them. Obviously you have to teach them all the doctrine but it never says do it all in one sitting. That's been something I have really tried to change in my own teaching. The other point, asking questions, is perfect. Any lesson where we do most of the talking is not a good lesson. That ties into the other quote, helping people discover their answers. This not only builds their ability to receive the spirit of revelation but also builds their self confidence that they can learn this on their own and be ok without a missionary to guide them every step of the way. Too many times I've seen an investigator give an honest and true, if not complete, answer to a question, only to have a companion expound on it for another 2 minutes. Too much of that will lead them to doubt their ability to give good answers and feel like there's no way they could learn all the things we've told them. Building them up is how to do it. If not, in the words of Elder Bednar, "You are teaching neither people or lessons. You are talking to yourself in front of investigators."
Anyways. This week was wonderful but also really hard. Z and A had a wonderful baptism. The attendance was great, the branch was excited, and we had several investigators there. However, they were not there on Sunday for their confirmation. T, their one-year-old son, was bitten by a brown recluse spider and they had to take him to the doctor on account of the swelling and grayish pus that was oozing out of his arm. So that was a big downer. They were so devastated as well. We went over with their new home teacher to provide a blessing for T, and A was really worried it wouldn't be possible for her to receive the Holy Ghost. They will be confirmed this following Sunday. So that is a bad thing but we are just glad that they are okay. To quote our branch mission leader, "The thing about Z and A is that if anything bad can happen in their life, it will."
A big thing that we are excited about is C, our neighbor. She is progressing really well and had her baptismal interview Sunday before church! She passed! She really wants to be a member of the church because she knows it is true. What's tough is just that she has no support at home. She lives with her niece of whom she has custody, her brother, and a roommate. We've only ever seen the latter scampering from room to room to avoid us, but he doesn't like us. The brother, according to C, thinks we are "full of it." But this is from a guy with a mouthful of broken brown teeth, a criminal record, and a belief in aliens. C is still on track regardless. What makes this branch so great is that they reach out- Brother S and family are having her over for dinner Wednesday to get to know her better and teach a lesson with us. So we're pretty stoked on that. Anyways. Bittersweet week.
Elder Wright

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Church Cake

 The field is white, already to harvest!  And he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store, that he perisheth notbut bringeth salvation to his soul.
 Quote: "I've met with Elders like you for years. I've seen everything. All the arguments, scriptures, I've heard them all. There's nothing you can do that hasn't been already tried." Well, with that challenge in mind, we baked him a church cake. We'll be dropping it off tonight.

Elder B was insistent about cooking "gator".  We cooked it. My comments? Pretty gamey. And it all gets stuck in your teeth. Honestly, not too big of a fan.

It's God's Hand.

Well, you guys must have been praying for me or something, because this was a really good week. Things are looking up a lot, we are very happy with how things are going. It was a pretty dark time last week with the whole Z situation, but everything has improved. He is actually kind of sick right now, but is ready and prepping for baptism! He's been reading the scriptures a lot more, he is always asking us for new chapters in the Book of Mormon. A is still going strong. She has been clean since Sunday and she has committed she's never going back to cigarettes. In her words, "I've come too far." That’s pretty cool, right? We are gearing up for their baptism- the hymns Z chose (and was actually kind of adamant about) are “As I Went Down To The River To Pray” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. If you don't know what those are then I would direct you to the South, like back in the early 20th century. Ha-ha but it should be fun. They have come a long way and have come through the worst of it.
Well, when service opportunities are hard to find, just keep trying! We have now found ourselves with tons of ways to give back to the community! Even though it started off a bit frustrating, we have been able to get around the lady who didn't like us at the food bank and now help there every Thursday. We also shelve books at the library weekly, which is actually really nice too! (Though I get a little trunky. Also Elder B. doesn’t really like it at all.) And we have started helping a part-member couple in the ward with outdoors stuff, splitting and stacking wood, moving gravel, anything. They live in the deeps of the woods. It's pretty fun too. So we're doing great! It shows that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers! That was sweet!
Also on the whole prayers thing, I am glad for all the prayers you offered up for Z and A recently. A especially recognized a lot of miracles that made it easier for her to quit, and I have seen a lot of them as well. What's funny is that I could see myself looking at these things a year ago as just kind of random chance and good luck, but now I know it's more- it's God's hand. It's like something the director of 17 Miracles mentioned when he was asked what the exact 17 miracles were- he said, “There's way more than 17. Some people look at the film (read: life) and see only half a dozen "miracles". Others see 5 times that.” Cool thought, right?
Elder Wright

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Missionary Halloween

                                 Brother F  has a big John Deere tractor!

Plus here are the three benches we built and installed for Ws eagle project- what an ordeal! 
Well, this was Halloween!
In the short time that these mustaches were worn, I was told twice that it looked natural on me. I'll leave it to you to know if  that was insult or compliment.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Gamble's Folly

It's funny that you should mention that about answered prayers this week because I have been focusing on having more sincere prayers and have felt a dramatic difference. This week, we were having a lot of hardships and so we were praying for strength. One of our less active members, K, ran away from home. We were pretty worried about him. He came back though! Yay answered prayers! Our investigator A was having the absolute worst day of her life on Sunday- she called us to tell us that she couldn't make it to church. We talked with her and prayed silently, but she was still really hesitant. But she came! She came! And she was in tears in the beginning (from stress and stuff) but by the time sacrament meeting was over, she had a peaceful smile on her face. So that was really cool. I couldn't find my notebook, so I said a prayer. I didn't find it. Maybe an hour later, as I walked through the bedroom, I got a feeling to flip over my Frisbee and there it was! Prayer answered! So to answer the question, yes! Prayers do get answered and it's pretty cool.

We helped with an eagle project this week. It was painfully under planned. This kid was going to make three big wooden benches for his high school, with the assembly during the week and installation on Saturday. The first day we helped, we had all the supplies laid out to work at our branch president's house, while the kid told us plans and stuff. He hadn't specifically asked anyone to come so we were the only other ones there. Then we asked where the screws were and he realized he'd forgotten them-even though they'd been at the store that day to pick up all the supplies. Then he dropped the electric sander, which belonged to the branch president. The branch president works in construction and VERY particular about his tools. I believe his beard may have begun to steam as he suppressed his anger and left to buy screws...
Anyways that set the tone for the rest of the project. When we carried the benches in for installation we had to carry them further because the kid had forgotten to arrange for the main gates to be open... Then it was tough because we had no auger and only one iron pole to break up the earth. Man! Ha-ha as missionaries we were trying to keep everyone focused and positive but boy was it frustrating! What should have been two hours of labor ended up being 5 or 6- though we left after three. What I'm trying to say is, planning! Preparation! Way important! How did I do with all that? I'm trying to remember, I feel like everything for my project ran pretty smoothly but I guess I may have forgotten some parts.

 For our Halloween, we went to the branch trunk or treat, where there were like 15 different types of chili to try. It was excellent. A lot of fun. Elder B and I had to be in by 6 on Halloween (so we don't run over any kids trick or treating) so it's not like we were out that night, but we wore the matching ties that mom sent. Plus we wore mustaches. All day. Just kidding, just for our dinner appointment. Then I had to collect District information for the Stake for like an hour because no one had it prepared. Then Elder B and I sat down on the couch that a member had given us the day before, microwaved some chili (more chili yay) and watched 17 Miracles. We borrowed it from our branch mission leader’s wife, Sister S. She wouldn't let us borrow it at first. We had to promise her that we would do 17 miracles that week in Dover.
Then we gave the couch to the West York elders because we have two others and they have like no furniture. We made Elder Gamble give us two ties for it though. The funny thing is, they got the couch on Saturday and Elder Gamble got transferred, he's leaving today. So he got gypped! We have named the couch Gamble's Folly in remembrance of his sacrifice.