Monthly Archives: May 2013

5/26/13

Sister Anna Wright’s letter:

Hey y’all!

Another week has gone by in Alabama. The work is as important as ever, the need for urgency along with it! Every meeting we have when we get together with other missionaries we are being reminded of how we need to be urgent missionaries; we don’t have any time to waste.

6-11-13-montgomery-district

Apparently there is a big announcement coming up that is going to “change missionary work forever”! My companion and the other sisters in our ward (Capitol ward) like to speculate or guess what it is going to be… it can be fun and is a common form of entertainment as we drive together to appointments.

My companion likes to listen to music a lot. We have been using my CDs and CD player quite a bit. Honestly, I am kind of going insane. I am turning into Ben and Nate.

Sister Houston and I had to teach a Sunday school class of teenagers (13-18 yr olds) because they were short on teachers (which is common for this ward). Because the classes were combined, there were a good number of youth of varied ages and they were all very talkative. I was having a hard time with all of the noise, they wouldn’t be quiet and focus and I was getting a huge headache. I felt like my companion totally took over and forgot that I was even there. I love how she is able to teach and get kids involved, but I don’t get to contribute very much. We need to be better about really planning out our lessons before we teach them because she pretty much teaches the whole thing like she is a one-woman show and I have to just try to add my testimony at the end and then I always get asked to pray and we aren’t very balanced. I feel like this takes away from the spirit. I know that as I work with my companion and ask the Lord for help that he will strengthen me in this trial and help me to love my companion and deal with this “issue” (as silly as it may be) in a positive way that will allow both of us to grow and become better missionaries and hopefully become more united and have the spirit more.

Please note that these are my feelings and that the situation is hardly as extreme as I have described it to be. I share these things not to complain or harp on my companion (whom I love dearly) but so that you can all see what a mission is really like and we can all see how the Lord can take our weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

In some ways it is easier down here in the south, because almost everyone already has a knowledge of, a foundation or belief in God and Jesus Christ so we kind of have a head start, but the hard thing is convincing and persuading and helping them to make the steps and commitments that will allow them to have the FULL blessings of the Atonement in their life. There are so many different faiths and interpretations of doctrine out here and people are firm in the traditions of their fathers, it is difficult to help them to see when they have been blind for so long. There are so many good people out here who have a faith and who live it and they feel perfectly happy in their religion and life style, our mission is to find those who are searching for truth, or something more in their life who are open to and seeking the truth. This is hard because it means that we have to look harder and talk to more people before we find anyone like that.

go-to-church-sign

I know that this is a celestial work and that there is nothing greater I could be doing at this point in my life. Alabama has become my home and I am doing everything I can to become immersed in the culture and get down in the dirt and truly love and serve these people, my Father’s children and my brothers and sisters. Almost everyone I meet, after I meet them I feel like I have met them before, I know that I have. We knew each other in the Pre-mortal existence where we lived with our Heavenly Parents and where we decided to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ and come to earth and get bodies and be tested.

I sometimes stop and wonder or ask myself, why is it important to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Why is it so important that there is only one true church? If people are living a good life and doing the best they can to do what is right, why am I out here trying to convince them to do the same thing in a different religion? Why bother if we will all be resurrected and have an opportunity to receive the gospel when we remember and get our memory back?

Without baptism by immersion, by someone worthy who holds the proper priesthood authority from God, we cannot even make it onto the path that leads to eternal life and celestial glory (the tree of life) which is where God, our Father dwells. Our first inheritance is that we will be resurrected and become immortal after we die because Jesus Christ overcame death and we chose to follow the plan, so we will all be resurrected all who came to earth and received a body, but without making and keeping the proper covenants through the proper authority, we cannot make it back to our Home, which is dwelling with our Heavenly Parents. For example, I have left my mother and father to come on a mission, which is like a mini life, I can’t imagine not being able to see them again. I don’t have enough time to make that an awesome analogy, sadly, but think about that. Families are given to us for a reason, everyone wants a happy, functional family for a reason and it has to do with the fact that we are the literal children of God and we have inherited His traits. I love thinking about things like this. I love the spirit and how He can speak to me through the scriptures!

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true and I LOVE it! Keep the faith and know that I love and pray for and worry about y’all every day! Read Jacob 4! I studied it this morning and I highlighted just about every verse! It’s great!

Love the pictures! Send more if possible! Oh and you can actually send packages to my mail address, you don’t have to send them to the mission address F.Y.I… 🙂 thank you for your letters love support etc…! I am so freaking excited and kinda wierded out by Ben and Kyli getting married in 3 days. I am so glad that it won’t be awkward when I get home and we will be able to do and watch and say things that we couldn’t while Lovely Kyli was on her mission…. 😉 Love ya! I will repent and be better at responding. Sorry!

Ta ta for now,

Your daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, aunt, niece etc…

Sister Wright (HMS)

Smile BIG 😀

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Out in the Feild

Sister Anna Wright                                                                                         May 6, 2013

Did y’all get my message?  I am in Alabama safe and sound and I have my first assignment and companion.  I am serving in Capitol, Montgomery and my companion is Sister Houston.  I love her so much!  She is actually younger than me and only been out 12 weeks.  Oh hey you can check the mission blog and see pictures of me and read about what is going on there.  This is my address that you can send letters and regular mail to 

 2845 Zelda Rd apt. P4

Montgomery AL 36106

(packages go to the mission office address) I will get you this address at a latter date.

We are an hour away from the mission home.  We are going to go tract for about half an hour before we go shopping for food and whatnot.

Love you tonz!

Sister HMS

Dear family and friends,

Preparation day is actually on Monday, President just wanted us to get on and send our new address to our families.  Supposedly it takes about 3 days for us to get mail from Utah.  I love my companion!  She is so awesome and obedient and sweet.  We have gotten comfortable enough to joke around and have a good time.  We always say two things we love about the other person before we go to bed after we turn off the light.  This is so great because it helps me to love her and to know that she loves me even though I might feel like I messed up or did something wrong or the day didn’t go very well, it helps me to be able to sleep feeling loved and like I did my best and I can get up again tomorrow and give it all I’ve got.  I have been so blessed!  Heavenly Father answers prayers!  I know this because I was worried about being able to get up at 6:30 every morning and exercise and have enough energy (because my hypothyroidism makes it difficult)  and every morning the alarm goes off and I have to use the restroom so I get up and once I am up and get moving and then I kneel down and pray and dedicate that day to the Lord, I have the energy to keep putting one foot in front of the other and soon I have a hop in my step and I have just enough energy to do the work with a cheerful attitude and true joy.  This work is so great and so important and brings such joy!  I am recording everything I can in my journal before I go to bed too.  I can testify that when we give all our heart might mind and strength to the Lord and turn our WILL over to HIM, He gives us the strength to do all things!  He reaches our reaching, he pulls us up and then He lifts us up. The Lord prepares a way for His servants to accomplish that which He has commanded them to do.  I love my Savior with all of my heart!  I serve Him and His children every day and I am so happy!  Nick Strong was right.  “Your mission is the easiest thing you have ever done when you forget about yourself and you serve everyone else all of the time.”  That is what a mission is… serving all of the time.

There are two sets of sisters in the Capitol ward.  Three of us came straight from the MTC and one has been out for 3 months, but never served in this area.  We are literally starting from scratch.  We feel lost sometimes but we keep working hard and the Lord is blessing our efforts. My companion and I were able to find a new investigator, Kathy Goldman.  She is so sweet!  We showed up to her door looking for someone else and all we said was “Hi” and she invited us inside.  She talked with us for 45 minutes just getting to know each other (my companion couldn’t tell if she was a member or not)  and then we started to teach her and she said she wants to know more.  she had questions and had read the Book of Mormon with her husband before and remembered that she had recently seen stuff on TV about the Mormons (all good stuff)  that she thought was really cool and that gave her great respect for our church.  We set up a return appointment!  I couldn’t believe it!  I was so excited, I felt like Elder Calhoun from The Best Two Years!  The sad thing is, she and her husband are moving so we want to teach her enough before she leaves so that she will keep taking the lessons from the missionaries in the area they are moving to and eventually get baptized, or that she will be able to do so before they move.  We also have two sisters, Tasha (who was supposedly already baptized into the church)  and her sister Kim (not a member) who smokes.  We taught them (all four sisters since the other companionship are both as new as me) and we invited Kim to be baptized and she accepted!  She said she has some personal issues she has to take care of, such as smoking, before she is baptized but she accepted and we challenged her to quit smoking and she said she would try.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and a little note of encouragement and offered our help.  We are praying for her to not have the desire to smoke anymore.  She seems very interested in the things we are sharing with her and she seems to understand pretty well.  We taught them the doctrine of Christ and she asked us to go over them again so that she could remember and understand.  I am so excited for her!  Tasha is very well versed in the Bible.  She has been baptized into tonz of other churches and she asks so many questions and just has a desire to know the truth.  She told us that she asks her Pastors and Preachers her questions and they pull out a verse that doesn’t answer it and makes no sense.  We read in 3 Ne. 11 and asked both of them  what they would ask Jesus for if He came down to earth.  I was surprised by their answers.  Kim said she would ask for peace (we had a lesson on that in Relief Society in church like an hour before this lesson) and Tasha said she would ask “Why?  What is the purpose of this life? Why were we sent here? Why did you have to suffer for everything?” That got me so excited and I wanted to share and testify about the plan of salvation, but my companion kept cool and redirected the lesson back to the doctrine of Christ and said that the Book of Mormon answers those questions and challenged them to read it (again)  and then we finished the lesson.  Next time we will address her questions. That is why I am so grateful for my companion.  I am learning a lot.  Especially that the less I speak the more the spirit can work in their heart and the more they speak the more I can find out what we need to teach them and help them understand that will meet their need.  Often times as the Spirit works in them they will end up telling us exactly what we need to teach them.  I love to see how the Spirit works in the hearts of men!  I love to see people coming to REMEMBER the pure and simple truth!  The point we focus on is the restoration because there are so many other religions and everyone already believes in God and Jesus Christ and they know them, what they are missing is the priesthood and the restoration of the church and the Book of Mormon.  Once they see that they jump right in.  I have heard so many people say that they believe that the LDS church is 90% true, they just don’t know about the other 10% and they want to make sure that it is or they go to other churches to make sure that there isn’t anything else that is more perfect or more true.  We try to tell them that they need to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and ASK GOD IF IT IS TRUE and they will know for sure and for themselves!  I know that I am called of God to come to Alabama at this time!  This is wisdom in my Heavenly Father and that He will use me to reach His children if I am living my life in line with His will and following in the footsteps of His son! 

Please tell everyone to email me! It only takes a moment and I don’t have anyone’s email address.  I want to be able to communicate with and keep in touch with all y’all! 

FUNNY!  yesterday sister Dormer, a sister from the other companionship in Capitol ward, told me that I sound a little southern already!  heck yeah!  I find myself adapting to how they speak down here.  It is pretty funny!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about the South!  I love the people, I love how they talk, I love their culture (what I have seen of it)  I am soaking it all in and believe me, you will be welcoming home a southern lady in 18 months! 🙂

Mother’s day!  Mom!  I am SO grateful for you!  I love you and think about you everyday!  Especially when I accidentally say something like they do down here and I think how you would react.. ha ha! 

Please have Sarah tell Hollie to email me!  And tell her to tell people from Wal-Mart (Chris Hughes, Bronson, Brandyn, etc…)  to email me!  (anna.wright@myldsmail.net)

Well G2G, much love and blessings!  Don’t worry about me.  I am being very well fed and looked after! I got to do yoga this morning and it rocked! 

I hope dad’s trip went well and mom is getting all the quilts done and that life is a little less crazy!  I want to see family pictures when you can send them and I will work on sending some your way too. 

Remember that I am just an email away!

Talk to y’all on Sunday :D!!!!!

Mother’s Day letter

Riding bikes with her companion Sis. Houston
Riding bikes with her companion Sis. Houston
Showing off her new bike :)
Showing off her new bike 🙂
Sis. Wright!!!
Sis. Wright!!!

Dearest Mother and family,

Happy Mother’s day and thank you so much for all you have done in raising and teaching and loving me!  Every day I labor out here as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I labor for you and for us.  I am dedicating my life to the Father’s work and glory so that we may be together sealed eternally in the Celestial glory of our Father with ALL of our brothers and sisters who will accept the gospel!  Thank you for your love and prayers and letters and emails!  It was so good to see and talk with all of you yesterday (including Grandma and Grandpa)  You all look so good and it is always good to hear and see that life goes on without me and you are all still working hard at live on that end as well!  Please remember to always show love and share this incredible gospel with all around you!  Stop worrying about what they will think of you and start caring what they think of and what their relationship/understanding of their Savior and Father in Heaven is!  I am learning that that is all that matters.  Our relationship with our Father who organized us!  Everything we say and do should invite others to come to know Him through our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance  baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.  We are here to exercise our faith in Him and to help others to find/ recognize and exercise that faith!  I know you can all do this and as you do this more, the Savior will be able to draw nigh unto you and He will help you and fill your mouth so you have no need to be afraid!  If you don’t believe me, just read the Book of Mormon!

Sorry I sound a little preachy…. I love you all and you are AMAZING!

I have an hour or so to read and write on my email.  This still doesn’t feel like enough time to me, but that is cause I am a slow reader and a slow typist and I am pretty scatterbrained and random, as you all know…  the mission is helping, but it is something I fear I will always struggle with and I am grateful for those of you who put up with and love me anyway!

Ok so I finally am able to send pictures!  sorry it has taken so long, but here you go.Inline image 2
This is her good friend Sister Lindsey Del Castillo going to a French speaking mission in Canada. They saw each other several times while Anna was in the MTC.

5/13/2013

Anna’s letter:

Hey y’all! How y’all doin’? Sounds like life is crazy as usual, which makes sense with so many people all under one roof and spread out over so many different stages of life. I was just thinking the other day about how before the mission I just wanted to get out on my own and be independent, now I kind of wish the opposite. ha ha! I mean I love the independence and I don’t want to give that up, but I miss the big crowd of people. I love Zone activities because it is closer to what home feels like for me.

Last Preparation day we waxed our cars and ate pizza (I had 4 slices Sarah will be surprised to know 😉 and then we went to a park and we played kick ball! I was a little nervous at first about playing with the elders, especially because I have been feeling a bit chubby and haven’t really run a lot lately… but I had my Alabama shorts and my Auburn T-shirt on and I felt awesome!

park

I always feel way bad at sports until I start playing and then I realize/remember that I am actually pretty good… I had some great kicks and runs and helped my team out a bit. I also couldn’t resist quoting Brian Reagan like the whole time, that made some people, especially my companion, laugh. Then I was standing in line to kick next to a Samoan elder who is from Orem and he said “run home!” and I thought of Hook and started quoting that, “Run home Jack! Run home jack!” then he quoted the part that captain Hook says “No stop you idiots, Switch! Home run jack!” “Home run Jack!” etc… It was so great! I was surprised but so pleased that he knew that movie! That is kinda how I connect with the missionaries out here… we talk about and quote movies… don’t judge me! Mostly we quote church movies like the Best Two Years. It is so great!

There were a bunch of water balloons that we could throw after and that was fun, then we had to pick them all up… lame! But it was good! As an end result you had a large group of young men and women who stunk from sweat, were sun-burned (even though they didn’t know it yet) and soaked (ish) all walking across the park to their newly waxed cars. We stopped and took a picture (I am sorry I didn’t get one with my camera but I am sure you will live).

park-2

We have an awesome zone! I found out a few days later that there are little tiny bugs down here in the grass and in the bark called chiggers who bite you and nestle in your skin and lay eggs. I got a few of those on my legs. They are not fun! They look like regular bug (mosquito) bites, but they get big and hurt and they don’t go away after a few days like the other kind do. I just put some nail polish on and it looked like I had huge moles or freckles for a while.

Sad news! Cathy called us this week right before we were supposed to finally meet with her and told us that she can’t meet with us anymore. Her husband told her that they weren’t going to do this again, they met with the missionaries last summer but they didn’t understand the Book of Mormon very well and then they moved here (they were in another part of AL) He husband said that it wouldn’t change anything. She sounded so sad on the phone. I wanted to cry, I was so crushed! I wanted to serve her. I told Sister Houston to ask her if there was anything we could do to help her and she said that was very sweet but they were fine.

In our training, president told us to write a letter/note to anyone who drops us and thank them for the precious time that they took with us and allowed us to get to know them and to teach them and then to tell them that we respect their wishes but hope that they will be able to listen to the missionaries in the future and that the missionaries will always be here to help anyway that we can. I told Sister Houston that we needed to do that for Cathy, so we wrote a letter and we mailed it to her. I hope and pray that her husband’s heart will be softened and that he will allow her to take the lessons and meet with the missionaries in the future because she is so ready!

All of our appointments fell through this week. We are able to meet with people more by just showing up then by setting appointments! It can be so frustrating and just sad. I am sure all those who have served a mission know what I am talking about! I am very grateful for the tender mercies that He gives me every day that help me keep my head up!

Yesterday we went and saw an older member who is now in an assisted living facility. He was one of the original members who helped start the church out here. He is the sweetest man I think I have ever met! We talked with him about peace and he shared with us that people ask him if he is afraid to die, since he is so old, and he tells them that he is not. He knows where he is going, he is just filled with peace and keeps living his live and still shares the gospel and helps all who he talks to, to be happy and cheerful! Being there felt so great and it made me miss my job as a CNA, especially all of my residents who I got to know and love while working there!

I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the peace that it brings to my life! I am so grateful that I get to share it with these wonderful people! I love the people down here! We are starting to get more dinner appointments and are being fed quite well. I love the food down here too!

driving

It poured rain this week and there were areas of the mission that had mud slides and flooding, but we were fine. We biked for 7 miles the other day in the rain, it was awesome! I could not believe how hot and sticky it was! I can’t even describe it, except that you are wet all of the time and it feels like you are in a sauna or in the car with the heat going on a warm day. I almost stopped ridding, threw down my bike and ran around screaming, but I didn’t. Good thing. The work is great! I love it!