Monday, May 11, 2015

The last letter...

Dearest Familia,

Where do I start? 

I feel like trying to express how I feel is impossible and won´t begin to do justice for the reality of my feelings. 

So rather than try to express everything that I am feeling, I feel like it´s appropriate to share a few scriptures that might express a little of how I feel. 
This week Alejandra got baptized. She´s 10. 
Her biggest dream is to serve a mission. Praying for that in the future. 


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Alma 30:9
"Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him."

It truly has been a privilege to serve as a missionary for Christ in these last 18 months. A real privilege that I don´t want to end.

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Helaman 12:1
"yeah, we can see that the Lord in his great and infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him."

Alma 27:18
"Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness."

I know that if we trust in the Lord, then he will help us prosper. It´s a promise from him. As we are obedient, keep the commandments, and seek His will, the joy and happiness and blessings that come are unreal. 



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Helaman 7:29 
"Behold now, I do not say that these things shall be, of myself, because it is not of myself that I know these things; but behold, I know that these things are true because the Lord God has made them known unto me, therefore I testify that they shall be."

Alma 26:16
"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yeah, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yeah, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."

I know this church is true. And I´m ever so grateful for the chance to serve as a disciple of Christ. I can´t begin to express how I feel, but I am grateful for the chance the Lord has given me to be here serving Him. 

Thanks for your love and support through it all. 

I love you all dearly. See you so very soon.

Love,

Hermana Wright (for the last time)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

crazy week...

Dearest Familia,

Hi. How are yàll doing? 

I`m doing well. Thanks for asking. 

This week, so much happened. 

Here`s a brief recap:
-my companion does not have appendicities. yay.
-my companion was confined to the house all week until saturday. boo.
-tuesday we went to San Salvador to enter the temple as a zone for the last time. Love that place.
-I left and visited when I could find members to help us out. I was very grateful for those hours to be out of the house visiting
-friday we had a reunion para todas las hermanas in the mission. They asked me to speak. It was really great. 
-Then I got all sad when Hermana Spjut was speaking to us and after speaking in her broken spanish said, "Hermana Wright, will you come translate for me, for the last time?" (She just had to say "for the last time" didn`t she...) 
-Roberto started drinking again saturday, so naturally couldn`t get baptized sunday.
-our family that got married a few weeks ago told us they are going to another church and are disinterested
-But somehow we have had many miracles and I still feel super animated and ready to rock this last week. 

Funny comments from peeps:
We got to Ana`s house I told her how my companion is sick and so that`s why I`m leaving with members and other companions. And she said, "Ahhh, y usted es inquieta, no puede estar adentro de la casa por sus ultimos dias aqui." haha... Yo le dije, "Ya me conoce hermana." Love that woman. 

Oh, and another hilarious story is when we went to visit la familia Orellana. Well we shared a message with them and hermana Marlene said the final prayer. Well in her prayer she said, "Padre, por favor bendicela hermana Wright que al regresar a su casa puede encontrar un buen esposo que la ama y la cuida y va a ayudarla todo su vida." hahaha...I was trying so hard not to laugh. And after she finished the prayer I turned bright red and we all had a good laugh together haha. But it was really sweet actually that she asked for that in the prayer, but also just so funny.

"photo bombing at tis`best..."


The story for the week:
Sunday night we had a miracle. We were on our way to visit a family we`re teaching when my companion started feeling super sick like she was going to faint. She almost fainted about 3 times as we walked there. We got to the house of la familia Alvarez only to ask them to take us home in their pickup as we were at least 30 minutes away walking. We arrived to our house and the hermana helped my companion inside to lay down. 

Then as we stood there on the front porch I asked them why they haven`t been to church in this month (as they got super disanimated these last 3 or 4 weeks). We stood there chatting a bit and I felt like we needed to teach them. So I gave them a chair and started teaching them trying to see what they were feeling why they were feeling desanimada, what`s been going on this past month, etc. Basically all the gente talking is what has been affecting them a lot. We mentioned some rumors that the people say about the church and one of the ones we mentioned was that "we`re baptized in the name of a dead person." (which is not true...we`re baptized in the name of the father and the son and the holy ghost). And that called their attention and they wanted to know. So I asked them if they had time, they agreed, so I sat on the floor and pulled out my plan of salvation things and started explaining. My companion was on the bed with her eyes closed and recovering. And for about an hour I sat there teaching Giovanni and Carmina the plan fo salvacion, baptisms for the dead, and how to listen to the spirit and not focus on what others say. It was amazing! Seriously, I loved it. I feel like tonight changed them. They were able to remember their feelings. They were able to feel the spirit so beautifully without 800 distractions that are usually going on in their house. And they were able to trust in us a little more and try to come out of the doubts that they had. I feel like we were able to help get them back on the train again. It will still take a little more, but I think we are on the way. I know God works in misterious ways, but I think my companion had to get sick so we could teach them on the porch of our house rather than in their house with a million distractions and people. Miracle. 

I loved it though. I just love teaching people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I didn`t have my companion to help me, but I was so excited and tried hard to focus on the spirit that I felt fine. I love teaching the people. I love it. I love teaching them about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It gets me so excited. And it fortaleces my testimony, and it fills my soul. It was so much fun sitting on the floor and teaching and explaining so many things, trying to do so in a manera so simple that they could understand. I am going to miss this when I leave. 

Love this work. Really I do. 

Love you all as well. Really I do. 

Love,

Hermana Wright

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The time continues to fly by...

Dearest Family,

Happy day! How are you all doing? This week was another eventful one, full of surprises, some good, others not so awesome. 

So here´s a quick update on the not so awesome part. My companion started having pain in her right side on saturday afternoon...they think it might be appendicitis. So President picked us up yesterday and we´re in Santa Ana right now, and possibly going to San Salvador. If she does have appendicitis, it means she´ll have surgery and will be returning home to recover. Hoping it´s not appendicitis. These next few days will be interesting. 

The good news is that we have two people that are going to get baptized next Sunday. Yay! 

We also are seeing lots of progress in Ana. Her daughter, Sandra (who´s 11) is super awesome! They told us that every night Sandra goes down to visit her grandpa and read the Book of Mormon with him. Ana also told us that the only thing Miguel Angel talks about is us. The hermanas this, the hermanas that, etc. etc. Haha. But they are all super animada. 

Funny story for the week:
Today we went with Miguel Angel and Ana and it was really great. Ana told us that she came to visit Miguel Angel this afternoon and he was on the ground and halfway under the bed. She thought, Oh no, he probably fell or is injured or something bad happened. Well about 2 seconds later he pulled himself out from under the bed and said, "Got it!" as he had a cream in his hand. He said his cream fell in the crack of the bed, so he decided to go after it, so he lowered himself down onto the dirt floor and went under the bed after it. Haha, I love this old man. But this is a huge miracle, because he has so much strength and health and is recovering like a maniac. Ana told us that she is amazed at how well her dad is doing. She said just about two months ago he couldn´t even sit up. That he was constantly trembling and shaking and could barely eat. That just to go to the clinic and back would cause him so much pain and difficulty in his body. That he never got out of bed and only slept all day long. Well now he sits up and gets up and walks with his crutches outside. He goes under the bed, he is re'learning how to read and write, and feels amazing when he goes to church and back. It seriously is such a miracle. And it´s because God is blessing him for his faith and his faithfulness in following this Gospel. 

Also, on Sunday I went and visited Miguel Angel with Morelia while my companion rested and it was so cute. Miguel wanted to know how to pay tithing so we explained the tithing envelopes to him and he just pulled out 20 dollars and gave it to me. He told me that someone gave him 20 dollars and he knows he has to pay 2 dollars for tithing but he doesn´t have change. So he told me just to take the 20 and bring back the change in a few days when I can. So cute. He trusts us completely and the fact that he knew so clearly that he had to pay tithing first thing was awesome. Love that viejito.

Well, another week bites the dust. My next two weeks could be really interesting depending on what happens with my companion, but I´m praying for our investigators and our area that we will be able to help them progress and will be able to work. I know God has a plan and it will all work out. Trusting in Him.

Love you all to pieces. 

Love,
Hermana Wright (for at least a little bit longer)


Monday, April 20, 2015

A wonderful week...

Dearest Family,

This week was lovely. It rained pretty hard. The rainy season is starting. I lost my umbrella and discovered that my rain jacket no longer keeps me dry. But loved it. 
"Miguel Angel. Love this old man."


This week Miguel Angel got baptized. Things he has told us in these days is that when we first met him, he had been praying super hard that day for guidance and inspiration and to be healed and be better and lots of stuff and about an hour later we showed up. Miracle. He has diabetes and only one leg, so he has some health difficulties. But he told us that when he went to the temple in San Salvador, he felt like he was healed in that trip. He said he has never felt better since that day and he´s got energy and all is going well. He also told us that when he goes to church and comes home he feels energy and feels healthy in his body. Whereas in the past when he would attend other churches he said he would come home and feel sore all over with his knee swollen and everything from leaving the house and resting. Such a miracle! He really has so much faith and trust in God and it´s an inspiration.

This whole week before his baptism this old man received lots of criticism and persecution. He has 16 kids, and about 10 of them and his wife all called him and told him he was going to be condemned and that he was going to go to hell if he got baptized in the Mormon Church and all that jazz. His daughter Ana even was trying to convince him not to do it. But he didn´t care. He told us, "I´ll be the only one saved, but salvation is individual". And he went forward with faith because he knew he had received an answer from God that this was true. And after his baptism he was so happy and the light and joy filled his eyes. His daughter Ana told us Saturday that she has never seen her dad so happy and she feels really bad for how she was opposed and tried to tell him not to do it. We saw some HUGE changes in her as a result of her papa. This church really is true. Satan always tries to attack and put doubts and fears, but if we trust in God, He will always win. 

Miguel's family


Funny rumor for the week: Ana told us as we picked up her papa to go to his baptism, that some friends of her daughter told her that in the church we are baptized with cat pee. Yep, that´s right. Cat pee. When I thought I had heard all the rumors, that one might be one of the best I´ve heard. We laughed. Good times.  

.........

Yesterday we shared a message with Cristel, the daughter of a member, because she´s going to turn 8 year´s old this week and she´s going to be baptized. But she expressed to us her concern with being baptized so we told her we would teach her.

This poor little girl. She is scared to be baptized because of what her friends at school say to her. She said that all of her friends at school tell her that if she gets baptized in that church she´s going to be serving the devil and that that is the church of the devil and lots of cosas feos. She said one time her friends had a couple pamphlets from the church and they tore them up in front of her and threw them on the ground. Cristel asked them why they would do that to the things of God, and her friends said that it´s because the pamphlets talked about serving the devil and not God. Then Darlene was there (13 years old) and we asked her if she experiences the same thing and she said yes, that all of her companeros de su clase always say stuff like, "Darlene is a Mormon, she serves the devil" and lots of cosas feos with swear words and all that stuff. 

As I sat there listening to these little girls talk about the bullying and the things they experience in school every single day, my heart went out to them. I never had to pass through any of that at that age. And who knows how I would have reacted if I had to pass through that. But after talking about prayer and their relationship with God they both explained to us how they have prayed and asked God and that they feel peace and joy and comfort and know that this is true. Cristel talked about how she asked God if she should be baptized and she felt peace and happiness and knows it´s what God wants. 

It was amazing to listen to an 8 year old testify that she knows God lives. That she knows this church is true. And to talk about how she has a relationship with God where she knows He answers her prayers. It strengthened my testimony. 
"Stephen...this kid is HILARIOUS." 


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Christ, the perfect son of God himself, was also rejected, mocked, scorned, spit upon, and crucified. He, being the perfect and literal son of God suffered. And sometimes we have to go through that ourselves. But He promises us, that if we serve Him, and we take up our cross and follow Him, we will be able to return to live with Him again someday. 

I know this church is true. I know God lives. I know Christ loves us. And I only want to serve and follow Him. And I hope to do that as I finish the mission and with life after the mission. Because I know that is what brings true joy and happiness. 

It truly is a privilege to be a part of this work. About 2 years ago I thought it was a big sacrifice. But now I have learned that it´s not a sacrifice...but rather an honor and a privilege. 

I love you all lots and lots. Keep fighting the good fight.

Love,

Hermana Wright
"Pancake! Giant and delicious."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Crazy week...

Family,

Well not sure how many details mom and dad have shared with yàll...but it`s been quite the eventful week. Not anything like I had planned.

Monday I tested positive again for parasites and bacterial infection...then started medicine to kill the little beasts. Long story short is by Thursday I had some big time problems in my neck when I woke up I couldn`t move and had an intense pain in my spine and neck. The pain was unbearable and my hands started going numb at one point and so they took me to Santa Ana in the afternoon to see a doctor who gave me an injection for the pain since it was unlike anything I have experienced before. (And I consider myself to have a pretty high pain tolerance). Then President Spjut and Hermana Spjut had to take me to San Salvador around 8pm at night to do some more tests. The good news is that everything came out clean in the xray and MRI, and they told me it was an intense muscle spasm. So, the good news is that I`m recovering and all is going well. Just trying to know how much to rest and how much to work. 

Miguel Angel. He`s getting baptized this Saturday.
So prepared this viejito. Love him!
Oh, and yes, I straightened my hair, for the 3rd time
in 17 months. Go fight win.
 During the whole day Thursday and the whole experience of pain I thought of the Savior. I was going through so much pain at that very moment I could not bear it. I couldn`t move or talk or swallow without an excruciating pain in my spine and neck. And I could not even begin to imagine how the Savior completed with the Atonement. Just all of my pains alone are more than enough. But then you add all the pains of every single person that ever lived...and it`s impossible to comprehend. I would never want anyone to have to pass through that pain that I passed through, but in that moment I knew that the Saviour understood my pain and knew what I was going through. I knew that He passed through the same and that He would provide me with the comfort and help I needed. I gained a stronger testimony and greater appreciation and amazement for what He did. And I came to understand a little bit more that I will never be able to comprehend it. But my gratitude and appreciation will continue to increase as I pass through the trials of this life. And I committed to forever serve Him. 

Aside from that, we had a wedding Saturday, and I was able to attend. So that went well. 

The church is true and I know it. Christ lives and He sacrificed for us. 

Love you all dearly. Gracias por sus oraciones!

Love,
Hermana Wright

Monday, April 6, 2015

Feliz Easter!

Familia,

How`s it going on the home front? What`s the latest and greatest for each of you? Just because I`m about to come home doesn`t mean you don`t have to write me anymore...just so you know, that`s not how it works. :)
 
Birthday Party (yes we did teach them after
breaking apart the pinata...don't worry!)
How was general conference? What were some of your favorite parts? They talked a whole lot about family and marriage, which was pretty good. But especially saturday, they hit that subject pretty hard. It shows the importance of the family in God`s plan. Thanks for being a great family. I sure do love each and every one of you. I pray for you daily and am grateful for the family that God has given me. 

This week was pretty crazy. My companion got pretty sick and was sick most of the week (and still is sick), so we didn`t have much time to leave and visit. Then I got sick for a day or two. Then we also had general conference, and friday we had our annual trip to the temple for investigators, which was a success. Kind of a crazy week. 

This week we have a family that is going to get married on saturday. They`re still trying to decide on the whole baptism thing, but I feel like they are going to do it...they just want to take it step by step. 

And we have a viejito that we`re teaching who is an angel and I love him dearly. He is the dad of Ana (the one who had the crazy sweet dream) and he only has one leg and so he`s in a wheelchair, but we`ve taken him to church twice, and he went to general conference and the temple trip to San Salvador, and he has LOVED it all. So grateful for viejitos and ninos. (old men and children)

Temple trip with Sandra...she's 11
and she's adorable!
General conference yesterday was fun to see a bunch of members from my first area and to be able to visit with them a little. Obispo Sanchez invited us to eat lunch at their house. It was really great. I love that family so much and it was amazing to be in their house again and platicando con ellos (chatting with them). He told me that Sofia has about 3 months in the mission, and that things are going well for her. She had some desafios with her companion, but that she`s doing well. He also thanked me for my work in the ward and he told me that I had a big influence in Sofia going on a mission. He told me that Sofia told him that I was a big reason she wanted to serve a mission. Well that really touched my heart. I had no idea...and I don`t really know what I did. But I sure do love her and that family. 

Not much else to report this week. But things are going well. Just working to help these people accept the invitation to be baptized and take this next step that God wants for them. Prayers accepted. 

Aside from that, this week I`ve learned to trust a little more in the Lord and let Him do His work. He is the one in charge of this work. It`s not me. And I have come to understand that a little more and trust more in Him and in His timing. I am working to let Him guide me and guide my companion as we try to do what He wants us to do and as we try to help these people come unto Christ. This week my goal is to better my prayers and to really confide in Him and let Him guide me. What changes are you all going to make this week?

"I`m king of the rock, and there`s nothing you girls can do about it" (name the movie)


Love you all dearly,
Love,

Hermana Wright

Monday, March 30, 2015

A new week...

Familia,

How`s it going? I hope yàll have had a good week and are ready for the Easter Bunny to come. As well as General Conference...seriously so excited! I hope yàll are thinking of some good questions to take to conference, some revelation and things that you`re looking for right now so we all can prepare and come away spiritually strengthened and edified.

Today is my 17 month birthday in the mission. October 30th, 2013 I left my home. The first few weeks of the mission felt like an eternity for me. When I only had 5 days in El Salvador to be completely honest the only thing I could think to myself was, "What did I get myself into? This is going to be the longest 18 months of my life."

Making pupusas.

 Then I made the decision to forget myself and lose myself in this work. And that is what I have tried to do. Now 17 months have passed by and I am a little scared to come home. The time seems to have flown by and I am grateful that I have one more change left in the mission and not wanting to count how many days until I have to leave the mission field and I will no longer be a full time missionary. 

Why? Well, because this work is amazing. Because I have nothing to worry about except teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it`s beautiful and amazing to watch people learn and make changes in their lives and see the light of Christ enter and see them transform right before my eyes. I love this work. It`s truly amazing. I know that God is real. That Christ lives and that they both love us dearly. They are part of our every detail of our lives, we just have to let them in. And when we do, our lives change drastically.

If you still haven`t seen this new video for easter, then here is the link:

Aside from that, here some events of the week.
- two of our investigators left to go visit with us...that was awesome. They both want to serve missions. Hoping for their baptism this month.
- we dug some more of that dirt hole for the bathroom
- I got some big time diarrea Saturday...good times.
- We made pupusas with a bunch of investigators...delicious...getting good practice for when I come home. 
-I`ve relaxed a little and just decided to hand it all over to the Lord. Doing my best and knowing it will all work out. 

Love you all to pieces. Thanks for your love and support always. Seriuosly, my family is the best. 

Love,

Hermana Wright
Futbol

Monday, March 23, 2015

Brainfreeze...

Dearest Family,

To be completely honest I have no idea what to write home. I´ve been online for about 30 minutes and still unsure what to say. I didn´t even write that much in my journal this week.  

I think I´m unsure what to write home as a result of stress and anxiety if I´m completely honest. 
I´m not good at expressing my feelings. Never have been. But here is a little how I feel...



Journal:
16 Marzo

I only have 7 weeks left. Panic sets in from time to time as it did a little bit this morning. Mostly because there is so much to do before I leave and I want more than anything to baptize all these investigators like a crazy person before I leave. We are teaching some really great people and I  seriously love them so much. I plan on coming back and visiting them as I feel like they are my family. So wanting them to accept the restored Gospel and wanting to see them be baptized is the greatest desire of my heart. So, feeling pressure and nervous and a whole bunch of stuff. But I´m just trying to trust in God and put all my confidence in Him. 


 I feel like Alma in Alma 31:34-35
"Oh Senor, concédenos lograr el éxito al traerlos nuevamente a ti en Cristo! He aqui, sus almas son preciosas, oh Senor, y muchos de ellos son nuestros hermanosñ por tanto, danos oh Senor, poder y sabiduria para que podamos traer a estos, nuestros hermanos, nuevamente a ti!"

("Oh Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.  Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.")

All group pictures are a bunch of our investigators. All of which I love dearly and with all of my heart. 
All of which I would love to see baptized before I leave. #stress

I don´t know how to describe it but this week I felt this burden and anguish as a result of my desire to see this area progress, and specifically by seeing these people come unto Christ.

I feel better now and I feel like my burden has been lifted. I know I need to have more faith, hope, and trust in God. Trust that if I do everything that I possibly can and do my best, then I can hand it over to the Lord and let Him make up the difference. And that is what I´m trying to do. And I´m feeling better tonight. Eternal salvation is stressful sometimes.



Apart from that. I love you all. I am grateful for the support and love that you all send me and always give me. Thanks for everything. I love you all dearly. 

Love,
Hermana Wright

PS since I don´t have much to say I am sending pics. 


Bathroom Building Again
And chicken feet soup...yep, I ate that. 



service project...building a bathroom. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Amazing grace...

Familia,

Today will be short. Not sure what to write to be honest. Various thoughts and feelings.

But what is on my mind is what I learned this week in my studies. I studied about the Atonement, but specifically focused on the enabling power of the atonement...which also can be called grace. It really helped me when I was feeling desperate and overwhelmed. 

I read and studied a talk that my mom sent me by Sheri L. Dew called, "sweet above all that is sweet." to be honest, she sent that to me a few months ago. And I read it back then, but still didn`t really dive in and didn`t really get it. But this time, I felt like I got it. 

To be honest I`ve never understood the word "grace" or really what it meant. Every one sings the song "Amazing Grace" and we hear that word constantly, but I just never understood what that meant or what people were trying to say. But this week I understood for the first time what grace means. So many scriptures that I had read or heard with the word "grace" I finally came to understand. And it was amazing. 


 Grace is really a power, that enables us to do things we simply could not do on our own, which comes as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is the enabling and strengthening power. It is the power that will carry us throughout life and the difficulties, if we will let it. And it is the power that will permit us to return to live with God again some day, if we do our part.

When we struggle or go through difficulties, sometimes we pray to have the circumstances changed and that things will be better. But really, our prayers should consist of praying for the strength and power to change the circumstances, not simply for the circumstances to change on their own. 

My eyes were opened and I felt like I came to understand more and feel closer to Christ and His sacrifice. He truly gives us power and strength and He will carry us. But only if we let him.

I just want to finish with a couple parts from the talk that were great. I mean it really is all amazing, I encourage everyone to read it. And then please do share. I would love to hear your thoughts. Or we can just chat about it when I get home ha. But this is what I liked:

"...in contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something. Our access to divine power hinges upon who we are becoming."

2 Nephi 25:23 "It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."

"Doing all we can do about the direction we`re headed and what kind of people we are becoming. Doing all we can do is about discipleship."

"Discipleship is not easy, but it is easier than not becoming a disciple...if our lives are centered on Christ, nothing can ever go permanently wrong, but if they`re not centered on Christ, nothing can ever go permanently right."

"As disciples we can ask for more energy, more revelation, more patience, more self'discipline, more hope, more love, more healing, more happiness. We can ask for miracles, for freedom from pain, and for the desire to forgive. We can ask for more faith and for help in becoming better disciples. And we can ask for angles to walk with us."

"When disciples do their best, whatever that is at a given moment, the Lord magnifies them. Doing all we can do is about becoming and behaving like true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is our part."

"What one thing would you be willing to give up, starting today, to put the Savior even more at the center of your life? What one thing would you be willing to do, starting today, to unlock more of His power? The Savior`s grace is what will enable us to do what He is counting on us to do."

Because "the path of discipleship is actually the easiest path because the Lord`s love for us has no end ' which is why the fruit of the tree is sweet above all that is sweet."

--------


"My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27)

I know that I am nothing. And I have never been qualified for the tasks in front of me. But I don`t have to be. I just have to confide and rely more on the grace provided through Christ.

And that is what I`m trying to learn at this time, believing it will help me throughout my life. 

I guess that turned out to be longer than I thought, ha.

I love you all. And I know this is true. Thanks for your love and support and friendship. I truly love you all dearly.

Love,
Hermana Wright


Monday, March 9, 2015

Breakdown...happiness...joy

Querido Familia,

Wow, this week flew by. I can`t believe it`s already Monday again. But it was a great week! Full of some big time downs and ups..but that`s what makes it so great.

Last Monday we played soccer for about two hours with the Elders. When I woke up Tuesday morning I was SO SORE. Seriously. Every muscle hurt haha. I felt like I did some super intense WOD, but yet I didn`t. So pathetic haha. But seriously so funny. 

"Meet Jose. He`s 5. and hilarious."


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I had a breakdown this week due to various situations and investigators and such. I feel like here in Los Naranjos I have fought harder than I have had to fight in any other area. Not literally, but I have come to learn that this is literally a war between the good and bad, the righteous and unrighteous, that is a war occurring every day and I have literally felt that here in this area. But as a result of our fighting and not giving up, we have seen amazing results and huge miracles and God will always pull through. 

It`s hard to express and explain it all in a short letter home to the family. Ask me more when I get home and I am sure that I will be able to talk for days until you`re bored. 

I love this work. I love this area. I love seeing people change and grow and coming to know that this Gospel is true. It`s seriously incredible the felicidad (happiness) and joy that it brings into the soul. 

Honestly, I feel so much paz (peace) and happiness and joy that it indescribable. I am so honored to be a missionary and to be a representative of Jesus Christ. This work is truly unreal. To watch people change and grow and accept this Gospel...it fills you with a joy that is unreal. And it is everlasting, and it is a joy that comes from no other source. 

You could say that I`ve had a pretty successful life. And there have been times when I was extremely happy and excited from things in my life. Winning a big time tournament game in soccer is an incredible feeling. Scoring the winning goal after working so hard is something that is impossible to describe and feels so good. And I felt happy and joy and stoked beyond stoked. 



But that type of joy and happiness is fleeting. And while it was amazing one day. The next day when we lost and were done with the tournament, the joy and happiness left and wasn`t ever lasting. 

And that is the difference between the joy I feel now and the joy I have felt other times in my life. The joy and happiness that God gives, and that comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ is everlasting and does not leave. Yes we have trials and difficulties and moments of afflictions...there`s no doubt about that. But amidst those difficult times God provides a peace and joy that stays and comforts and is everlasting. 

And that is why I am here serving a mission. Because I have felt it. Many times. And I continue to feel it and continue to be more and more amazed and marvel at the wonders and power and glory of God. It almost seems too good to be true. But yet it is true. And that is what is so amazing.

I can`t express my feelings, although I do try. And I will never be able to express sufficiently my gratitude to God for sending me here on the mission...even when I didn`t want to. Oh how selfish I was. And oh how blessed I am. I have way more than I deserve, and I hope to maybe give a smidgen back in gratitude...but knowing whatever I do give it will never be enough and I will always be in debt to God. But that is what I want, to always serve Him, here and now, as well as continue after the mission. Because serving Him and trusting and confiding and following His will, will always lead to joy and happiness that will last for the eternities. 

"a pic of my parka...long overdue"


I know this is true. And I love it with all of my heart. 

Alma 29:10
"And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."

Love you guys to pieces.
Love,
Hermana Wright


Monday, March 2, 2015

Only 10 more letters to write...

Familia,

Well today I realized that after today I will only have 10 more letters to write home...yikes. I guess I better make them some good ones. 

Hilarious moment of the week:
The greatest thing happened today. So here it is totally normal for men or young men to make a bunch of cat calls and say creepy things to women walking in the street, and it always happens to us. My whole mission I`ve gotten it (mostly cause I`m gringa) and the best move is to always ignore them completely, which I always do. 

Well today we were walking by a group of jovenes that always yells or says things to us when we walk by, like "mamacita linda, te quiero" (pretty mama, I love you) and stuff like that. They do it for attention from their friends and cause they think they are so cool. Well we had to walk by this group of jovenes twice within like 10 seconds. We walked down and passed them, so they yelled at us, (like they always do and have for the last 3 months), well then we decided we actually needed to go down that passage way to visit someone so we turned around and had to pass them again 5 seconds later. Well they yelled more cat calls but one of them said, "mamacita bonita cuando va a invitarme a la iglesia?" (Pretty mama, when are you going to invite me to church?) Well, not being able to ignore that invite, I immediately turned around to go over to chat with them and invite them to church...cause that`s clearly what they were looking for...right? So when I turned around and started walking towards them, the one who yelled that got a look of terror on his face and immediately turned and booked it down the street running full speed away from us, haha. His friends just got real quiet and kind of all huddled together looking ashamed and not sure whether to run or stay and talk to me. I kinda of chuckled and asked them why they didn`t want to talk to us. Then my companion and I walked away laughing pretty hard. I don`t think we`ll be getting any more cat calls from that group.  Good times on the mission.

We are visiting these two viejitos (old people) that are just about the cutest thing ever. The abuelita is like our grandma always telling us where we should and should not go to visit because she's worried about our safety. It`s adorable. They are actually super positive and committed to going to church, so I`m excited about that.

 
Los viejitos super lindos.
(The super cute old people)
I don`t know why, but this week I felt like I had so much less patience for all the crazy people saying that we worship Joseph Smith and the anti Mormon crap. It just is so ironic that everyone that talks so much about the church and says all these rumors and such have never in their life stepped foot in a Mormon church nor talked with missionaries to know what we actually believe. It`s such a huge problem here in Los Naranjos as well, and while I`ve usually had quite a bit of patience, this week I felt like my patience was leaving and I did not have much. Who knows. Excited for a new week and praying for patience and to know how to help people understand. 

But I know this is true. I know that God lives and loves us. I know Christ was sent to suffer and die for us so that we have the chance to return to live with Him again. He truly is our Savior and I know that He directs this church through a living prophet and it`s an honor and privilege to be a part of this work. I will forever be grateful for this chance I have had to serve. 

Keep up the good work back at home. Be good examples to those around you. And turn to the Savior to get power from His Atonement that will sustain and carry you if you will let it. 

Love you like crazy! Thanks for your killer support and love. 

Love,

Hermana Wright
"One of these things is not like the other...can you find it?"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cambios...

Dearest Familia,

Cambios happened this week as yàll know. Mi nueva companera is from Honduras, she`s 20, (but looks like she`s 16 ha), but she`s great! She has a strong desire to work and is ready to go and I am excited to be her trainer. She`s a good one.


This week we had 3 dogs attack us. Dirty rotten scoundrels. It was on Wednesday, day 1 in the mission field for my companion ha. They were so chill until we passed by them and then they attacked us con todo los poderes (with all their powers?). My new comp has a fear of dogs...poor thing. But I think this helped break her in a little bit. The good news is the dogs didn`t get my legs and only managed to grab and rip my skirt...so no big deal, I`m totally fine. (sarcasm). Adventures! Large sticks have become my best friends.

President & Hermana Spjut & Hermana Guzman
from Honduras.

Yesterday was a glorious day in church! We had 8 people that came to church with Giovanni, Carmina, Rocio and Ivon all came, as well as Antonio and Ingrid and Sara. I was seriously so happy! Hermana Evans and I worked like crazy the last 3 months and we are just now starting to see those fruits. And it brings so much joy to my heart. Sometimes we just have to have patience and trust in the Lord`s timing (which is sometimes the worst ha...but yet always really the best). 

La comida es una restaurante...super rico.


We went with Giovanni and Carmina yesterday and had a really great lesson with them. We taught them about the Restoration and it seriously was so great. The spirit was really strong and they really saw the blessings and felt great in church. They told us how they had been wanting to serve God and find a church where they could worship and dedicate time to God. They also said that they never would have imagined themselves in a Mormon church, but for us insisting constantly is how they ended up there. And they thanked us for insisting. It always makes me so happy when the people thank us for insisting. Because basically they are saying, "Thank you for being so obnoxious in inviting us to church..." But yet they are grateful for it and it gives me more ganas (incentive...motivation) to be more insistent and keep working. They said they want to keep going to church and have the desire to serve God and see miracles. Excited for their future. I sure love them.

my comp and I haciendo tortillas por una investigadora :) 
This week I read in 1 Nephi 10:17-19 and I loved it. It talks about diligence, faith, repentance, and more diligence. Things I always want to have in my life...diligence, faith, and a constant desire to change and be better. 

Love you lots!

Love,
Hermana Wright


Monday, February 16, 2015

Sister Evans Last Week in Los Naranjos

I had a great final week in Los Naranjos! I love seeing the happiness that this gospel brings into the lives of the people and I am so happy to have the opportunity to participate in this great work of eternal happiness and to help´people grow closer to their Savior, Jesus Christ. One quote from the article "Why is Jesus Christ important in my life" in the Liahona from January 2015 that I love and  that really helped me this week is "Jesus is important to us because through his atonement, teachings, hope, peace, and example, He helps us change our lives, face our trials, and move forward with faith as we journey back to Him and His father...and with Him as our friend, we have the courage to cast our fear and move forward with faith." I really love this because the Savior really is our faithful friend and wants what is best for us, and with him as our best friend we really can move forward with faith everyday because our Savior is always there for us! 

  Also, This week on Wednesday I will be changing to another part of El Salvador! I do not know what part I will be changed to but I am really excited to find out on Wednesday! I am going to miss it here in Los Naranjos and I am defintley going to miss my fabulous companion Hermana Wright!

   We have a couple of investigators here that are progressing and finding more happiness through coming unto Christ, their faithful friend! Sulma, and her 2 little kids came to church for the first time and they were so happy and content in the church! The little kids loved it and Sulma said that she felt the spirit really strong and felt a lot of peace. After church she just seemed so happy! It makes me so happy to see people become happier as they start to do little changes in their lives! Also, we have 2 new investigators, Antonia and her daughter Ingrid, who are both great! The missionaries visited them both before, however only Ingrid accepted the visits of the missionaries. However, she stopped visiting the missionaries for a while because she did not have support from her mom, Antonia.  Antonia did not want anything to do with the church, however, she has had a change of heart and feels so bad for not accepting the missionaries and she really wants the peace and happiness that comes from this gospel now in her life! Her and her daughter came to church yesterday and they are both starting to come unto Christ and it makes me so happy!

   Also, Sara did not get baptized this week, however we still have faith in her! She wants to get baptized but she still feels guilty for some things she has done in the past even though she has repented, and she wants to be sure that she is worthy in the eyes of her Heavenly Father. She is going to continue praying this week to gain that confidence that she needs to be baptized! 

     We had our activity on Saturday and it went pretty well!We did not have as many people at the activity as we had hoped, however we did have a couple of our investigators come and they said they felt the spirit and had a good experience! A lot of the members from our little branch came and they all said they loved it and they said that their testimonies were strengthened!  While we were watching the different videos and listening to some of the members of the branch share their testimonies about the different videos I felt so much peace knowing that Heavenly Father has a plan for this area and that in His time miracles will happen for the people here! The little branch here is strengthening and we had a lot of people at church yesterday! A lot of some of the less active members came to church for the first time in months and the members were all animated from the activity the night before! They all just want to see this area change and to see people unto Christ! I am really going to miss all of them and their strong testimonies! 


   I have really loved it here in Los Naranjos and I am going to miss it here and I am going to miss my amazing companion, Hermana Wright! We have had some good experiences together from running through the mountains to try and catch a crazy full bus , hiking to our different appointments with huge sticks in our hand to keep away the crazy dogs, or singing hymns with a crazy man who loves to play air guitar and make the sounds of the drums on his little picnic table while we sing, and many more! Also, I have found great joy serving and walking side by side Hermana Wright! As we walk and  look up at the stars at the end of each day,  I feel so much peace knowing that there is no place I would rather be than here In El Salvador spreading happiness and hope with Hermana Wright, no matter how hard the day was. I have enjoyed experiencing the joy that comes from seeing people start to do little changes in their lives to come unto Christ. I have learned to much from Hermana Wright and I am so grateful for her and the great times I have had here in Los Naranjos with her!  Todo esta bien! I am happy! 

Con amor, 

Hermana Evans

Happy Vday!

Familia!

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope y'all had a great day filled with lots of chocolate and love from loved ones. On my V/day, we bought cotton candy from some random guy on the street. It was super sweet and sugary but also awesome. 

 This week I was talking about burning CD's when I realized my companion has never made a playlist or burned a CD before. I felt old. Especially remembering that I used to listen to cassette tapes and make those for friends. I'm a total abuelita.(granny)



This week...not sure what to share this week. 



First, my convert from Ahuachapan is going on a mission! He's sending in his papers this week and going to have his call in a few weeks. Seriously the best feeling ever! His mom is super depressed and sad, and I talked to her a bit this week to try and animate (gotta love her choice of word) her and everything and she knows it will be good, but she's just sad to see him go for 2 years. 

Aside from that we had some good ups and downs this week. 

But something I learned is that this is the Lord's work. It's not ours. It's not my work. He is in charge. He knows who is ready and prepared to hear the Gospel. And He knows who He needs to start preparing por medio de nosotros (through us). I cannot direct and command this work. Although sometimes I think I would like to. But the only thing I can do is to trust in God, do the very best that I can do and know how to do, work to always improve and become better, and then leave the rest up to Him. And that is what I'm trying to do. 

Me & some investigators.


The church is true. I know it. And I love it. 

Love,
Hermana Aycht (How Valentina pronounces my name...she's 2 years old.)                 

PS We got news about changes, I'm staying here in Los Naranjos and I'm going to train again...which means I'll be terminando mi mision aqui (finishing my mission here), which I'm super happy about. Which means Hermana Evans is leaving. I will miss being her companion, but I'm excited for her to continue and take the next step in the mission. (I'm guessing keeping the hot water is a nice thought as well...I hope Hermana Evans heads to a warmer area if she has to go back to cold showers.)


Monday, February 9, 2015

Grilled cheese and bathroom building

Familia!

This week we had a noche de hogar (family home evening) with Beatrice, the grandma of los naranjos, and about 6 little girls. It was simple but really great. We made them grilled cheese sandwiches at the end and they all loved them! Grilled cheese...gets èm every time.


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Sara had her baptism interview this week and passed and is excited and has lots of peace for that. She`ll be baptized this Sunday. She`s one who`s visited with the missionaries for ages, but had various doubts and such, so it`s been a long process for her, but we`re excited to be part of it now.

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Bathroom building number 2 on the mission. Saturday we went to help Sulma start digging the hole to build a bathroom. It was definitely a success. We enjoyed it, they enjoyed it and were very happy with the process. We got maybe 2 meters deep...maybe a little less, but we did it quickly as we could all help and switch off.  


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This week we planned a huge activity we`re going to put on here this week. So here in los naranjos there are so many rumors and anti mormon stuff and lots of people are scared to listen to us or even talk to us because of rumors or things they have heard. Presidente Spjut asked us what we can do to change that...and we got thinking. So we came up with the idea to rent out the cancha and do an activity there. La cancha (the park or court) is right in front of the entrance to the colonia, and it`s in the middle of everything. They often have big political events, or cultos (worship events) or activities there and tons of people go. Plus it`s in the middle of the city so anyone can easily walk by and see it and stay for a second and then leave.

So this saturday we reserved the cancha and we`re going to have a night with mormon mensajes and speakers and testimonios. We picked the videos and who is going to speak and we made the program yesterday. The idea is that anyone can walk by, watch a 5 minute video, feel the spirit, and feel a desire to know more. It is so that the people can see what we believe and rather than be opposed, they can have a desire to learn more and feel it. We`re relying lots on God and the spirit to touch the hearts of these people and that it can be a success. But we`re really excited about this. 

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Ana was almost impossible to find this week. (The one who had the dream) We literally passed by every single day this week looking for her and have failed to find her. We weren`t sure if she really wasn`t there, or if she was hiding from us (welcome to the mission ha), but tonight we were able to find her and it was glorious.

The first thing she said was, "Oh, why have you guys abandoned me?" And I was so happy to hear those words, as it meant she wasn`t hiding from us. We explained how we had passed by every day this week looking for her and she was pleased to hear that and happy that we found her again. We shared a little bit about prayer and about el dia de reposo (the Sabbath Day) and she didn`t want to really commit to church, she was very hesitant and said vague comments like oh we`ll see, and in the future and such. Then we finished the lesson, and her and her daughters were chatting with us a little bit and asking us a few questions and such and then as we left Ana yelled at us and said, "I`m going to church this Sunday. And I`m going to bring my two girls, esta bueno (is that ok) ?" And we were stoked as the spirit was working in her and she promised us to come next week. The best!

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I love this work so much. I can`t begin to describe even an ounce of how I really feel. It`s impossible. But I am happy. Really truly happy. And I truly love being a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ himself, sent forth to preach the Gospel and share this with everyone. Despite all the desafios (challenges) and difficulties, it truly is a marvelous work and wonder. Do I have to come home? (You bet she does...:))

Love yàll lots and lots. And even more.

Love,

Hermana Wright (Hermana "Ride" in El Salvador, the way I explain the pronunciation of my name)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dreams

Familia,

I hope all is going well for yáll in all the parts of the world. I´m praying for you always.

It was seriously frigid for about 4 of the days this week. No joke. A cold front came in and I would only describe it as frigid. In the morning for my personal study I had on 6 layers of clothes up top and 4 on bottom and it was still cold. Adventures in El Salvador. I never thought I would be this cold here. But I guess it´s preparing me for when I return home. The last couple days warmed up nicely here, but seriously someone look up what the temperature was in Los Naranjos, El Salvador for the 28th and 29th...I´d love to know. (I tried but couldn't figure out how to look up past temperatures but for tomorrow it's between 66 -89 degrees F...so it couldn't have been that cold?  I think she's getting soft.)
most people would pay big bucks for a view 
like these people have...


The highlights of the week:

Today in church there was a 2 year old wearing a shirt that said, "Pimpin´ain´t easy". That was definitely a highlight of the day. 

Then during sacrament meeting that same kid came up to his mom to ask for "chiche" (breast milk from him mom, cause everyone breast feeds here for years), then he looked at me and pointed and asked me for "chiche". Yep. The best.

but instead they just live in a shack in the
mountainy jungle. The best.

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We went to visit Ana last monday...and here´s how the visit went...

26 Enero 2015
We sang a hymn and prayed and then asked her if she´s been able to pray and ask God if this is true and she immediately said, "You know what, yes I have, and the craziest thing happened to me. I have to tell you. I had a dream." And she started to tell us the dream that she had...

She said that in her dream it was just this big, vast sandy area...she saw lots of white sand and she saw me and Hermana Evans. She said us two were there with her. Then she said in the air, above us, she saw God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, above us...they were in the air a little bit above us and me and Hermana Evans were standing below them reading the scripture or something like that. She said that God spoke to her and said, "Ana, don´t reject them. This is true. I will show you the way and the truth. Don´t reject them." And then she said she woke up. She said it was short, maybe 10 minutes at the most, but she was longing to be back in the dream when she woke up. 

Since that day she has been wanting to tell us. She said that since her dream her husband told her not to listen or to receive us as well as a lady from her old church told her that she shouldn´t receive or listen to us because she´ll get confused. Ana said she thought they were probably both right, but she couldn´t get the dream out of her head. 

She asked us why she dreamed what she dreamed...we asked her what she thought, and as it´s a pretty clear and obvious answer from God, she recognized that. But she´s scared. As this colony is packed with anti'mormon stuff, she at one point put her face down in her hands and just said, "What are the people in my church going to think? What are they going to say? What am I going to say to them?" 

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I just wanted to cry when she told us that. Because the spirit was ever so strong and tears came to my eyes. 

Now we´re praying lots for her because she hasn´t come to church and she´s really scared to follow because of what the dumb people say. There´s so much anti mormon stuff here in this area and colony and so every person we start visiting gets attacked, but I know she´s going to keep learning more. Prayers are appreciated for her. 

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 Aside from that we had a boda (wedding) and a baptism this week from the Elders. Hermana Evans and I were in charge of decorations, and let me tell you...it´s amazing what you can do with a few balloons and crepe paper. We made that church look so good! ...well with our limited resources of course. It really was cute and fun to be a part of. I seriously love watching people change their lives and see as the light of Christ and joy and happiness fills their eyes and their beings. It´s amazing! 

I hope all is going well for yáll. Thanks for the support and love. 


Love you!

Love,

Me
Our amazing decorations...