Monthly Archives: June 2013

Jello Popcorn Recipe

Mom,

This is a  delicious recipe that a sister in my ward here sent to me.  Her daughter made these for us (the missionaries) and they are delicious!  I thought it might be a fun treat to try for the summer.  Caleb and Miriam might enjoy a different way to eat their popcorn….  Love and enjoy!

They could even make some and send some to me if they wanted…..  a nice birthday treat! 😉

Note: If you don’t have access to an air popper you can also cook the popcorn in a big pan with a lid.  Add a tablespoon or two of oil and  about 1/3 cup popcorn.  Cook on medium high heat with the lid slightly cracked to let out the steam.  When the popping slows to about 3 seconds per pop you know it’s done.

MICROWAVE JELLO POPCORN

Ingredients:

  • 8-12 C popcorn ( a big bowl)
  • ½ C butter
  • 1 small box (3 oz) Jello powder ( you can use brown sugar to make caramel corn)
  • ¼ c corn syrup (could probably use honey too)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda (optional if using Jello)

Directions:

Start with a big bowl of popcorn in a microwave safe bowl.  Remove ALL the old maids (un-popped kernals.)

In a medium size microwave safe bowl melt butter.  Add jello powder and corn syrup.  Stir and put the bowl in the microwave for one minute. Stir. Microwave another minute. Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds. Stir. Whenever the mixture is still boiling after you stir, its done. Your microwave may vary. So keep doing 30 second increments as needed.

Add baking soda and stir into mixture. It will get frothy and lighter in color. Pour this hot (be careful) mixture over your popped popcorn and stir to generally coat. It’s hot and can be a bit messy. Just try not to have any big pockets of the jello mixture.  Put the whole bowl of popcorn into the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.  (It’s actually easier to stir at this point and the jello coats the popcorn better.)  Another 30 seconds. Stir. Another 30 seconds. Stir.

Now this is where I stop but you may have to experiment with your microwave and personal taste.  At this point it’s a little sticky and you can form it into balls.  The more you microwave it, the crunchier it will be, but you run the risk of burning it.  When you feel you have pressed your luck far enough, let  it cool and enjoy.  You can spread it out on parchment or the counter if you want to separate the pieces.   I usually just let it cool in the bowl.

6/17/13

Hello dearest family!

How y’all doin? I am just letting you know that transfers were great! I am actually still in Capitol ward (Yay!!!!), but my new comp and I have been blessed with a new apartment in a very nice part of town and a new car (beautiful white).

My trainee is Sister Lewis, a real sweetheart! We are getting along so well. Sister Houston and her companion we will be working closely with as we are in the same ward. We also now have Elders in our ward! It is a great time to be a missionary!

My new address is:

7824 Taylor Park Rd Apt C

Montgomery, AL 36117

Love y’all so much! Keep the faith and stay strong ya hear?!

Your daughter, sister, friend, Sister Wright

My dear mother. I have a few stories from this week that I will share, and a few pictures.

First off. I will be sending dad’s Father’s day card in the mail today. Sorry it will be late! I want dad to know that I love him so much and I am so grateful for him! He taught me how to work, work hard, and work hard till the job was done the right way. I love him for that.

My dad is the best dad in the whole world. He taught me to trust in and to develop my relationship with my Father in Heaven. He continues to teach me and remind me to enjoy life and to respect people, their property and to think of others! That has served me so well out here in AL.

Dad taught me to appreciate sports and being active. He taught me to clean up and be organized, to create an atmosphere where the spirit can dwell. I Love my dad because he taught me so much. Because he loves me and I know that he always will. I know that my dad is here for me and I can count on him.

Thank you dad! You are the GREATEST! I love you and I am sending you a bazillion HMS right now. I wish I had remembered to bring those pictures with me. I want the one where we are hugging and I have my eyes closed and you are kissing my forehead. That is how I feel about my dad. I am excited to be able to receive your hugs again. Right now I am working hard to be able to feel worthy, and to deserve those hugs! You should make a mormon.org profile! Maybe they will make a movie about you! 😉 I would!

What an amazing week! I am so sad President is leaving us, but way excited for the new President and his wife and also for the announcement this next Sunday!

I know that the Lord is with me and is strengthening me! The fact that I wake up every morning at 6:30 and last all day until it is time for bed is a miracle! My hypothyroidism makes it really difficult, but I know that the Lord is helping me and I am so grateful! With the Lord, ANYTHING is possible!

Watch these videos on mormon.org: Ness (aerial performer), Ingrid (amputee), Patrice (Australian singer) and more. They are addictive. Ask Bishop Vinker is y’all can get mormon.org cards at the church and then write down a video you like and the number of the local missionaries and tell them about it.

You can say something like this, “Hey have you heard of mormon.org? It is a website that the church puts out and you can go there to find out more about our church, but they also have these really cool videos about members of our church from all over the world who talk about how they live their faith and keep high standards in a world of diminishing values. I really like this one and I think you would enjoy watching it too. If you have any questions you can call this number and two missionaries will come and talk to you about it and answer your questions.”

It is so simple and everyone likes to watch videos! It is better than YouTube and they will come away feeling great! Or you can even pull it up on your phone or laptop or whatever cool technology y’all have! This is an amazing tool that probably isn’t being used enough! You can invite nonmembers over to the house for dinner and then watch a Mormon message and talk about it.

This is a time when the Lord truly is hastening his work. We all have a role to play in the gathering of Israel and the time is now! Open your mouth. The Lord will not allow you to embarrass Him, or His church. Now is the time to put fear behind us.

Highlights of the week:

I invited this lady to be baptized in the first lesson and she accepted! That was my first baptismal invitation to a real investigator (that came out of my mouth).

Sister Lewis and I talked about it after and she said that she felt impressed that we needed to invite her to be baptized too and that if I didn’t do it than she would have. I love experiences like that where we can see and know that the spirit told us to do something and we did it! Such a great feeling!

That happened later that day too. We went to try to visit a less active member. They weren’t home, but there was a lady across the street, so we went over to talk to her. She believes in Jesus Christ and we talked about Him and how some people just say they believe in Him and that they go to church, but they are just doing it for the praise of man. I asked her how she shows that she is truly following Christ, not just going through the motions. She cares so much about people and she loves them no matter what they do. She is very forgiving. I was so impressed with her!

We didn’t teach her a lesson or anything, I just opened the scriptures and shared one with her about letting our light shine. Mathew 5:14-16 and then we asked her more about herself. We got talking about sports and found out that she plays soccer and softball. We asked her when she would be playing because we would love to go to a game and see her play. She lit up at that and she looked pleasantly shocked. We got her number and gave her ours on a mormon.org card and told her about a video on there about a young man who is a member of our church and who plays Rugby.

Later in the evening, We got a few texts from her letting us know about games and stuff. Later, we got a text that said, ” Can you explain this…?” and she quoted the 10th article of faith. We set up a time that we can meet with her and answer her question.

I was so amazed! I have given out so many mormon.org cards, but never had anyone get back with us. she is the first person I know of that actually checked out the website! We studied this morning how we can best answer her question and also begin to teach her. It is so exciting to actually have investigators to study for!

This is the only true church on the earth today. Jesus Christ died for me, He died for you. Only through Him can we return to live with our Father in Heaven again. President Monson is called of God. I follow what he says. I align my will with his and his will is aligned with God’s will. Repentance works because of the Atonement which is personal and intimate and eternal! Agency is an eternal principle and commandments keep us free, they bless us and allow us to use our agency. Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God. He saw God the Father and the Son. Christ’s church was restored through Him. The Book of Mormon is true, it is the word of God and man will get closer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book!

I love y’all so much and I just want y’all to know that I know that families can be together forever. FOREVER!!!!! I want all of my brothers and sisters to be with me. I want Brandyn and Bronson and Hollie and Jennie and Vincent and Kathy and Elisa and Melissa and Bethany and all y’all!

Let us share the gospel with those that we care about. Let us always be spreading and giving love. Let us every be kinder and softer and more forgiving with our words. This is God’s work and it cannot be frustrated. I love Him and I am so grateful for the knowledge which I have! Love y’all so much! Enjoy your week!

Thanks! All my love and congratulations!

Sister Anna Wright

6/13/13

Dear Family,

I decided that it is a lot easier for me to just tell you things from my journal entries. It will help me to cover stories and everything that happened during the week and not rant so much, and give a little more structure; so this is my week:

You better hold onto your seats because there is some crazy news in this email that might BLOW YOU AWAY!!!!!! 😉 See if you can guess before you actually read it. ;P have fun!

Tuesday 6/4/13

I played the piano at zone training meeting. I have been practicing playing for meetings and slowly getting better. I know the Lord is helping me. I am not perfect, or even really good… but I am getting better and I am grateful for the opportunity to improve that talent which the Lord has given me.

One of our Zone Leaders is going home this transfer. I am sad because he was a big part of helping me to feel comfortable and feeling part of the zone. I am excited for him though and hopefully will be able to keep in touch. He is an awesome missionary, and just a cool guy. He is a black man from Detroit. He is supposed to draw me a picture before he leaves. Hopefully he will remember. 😉

Wednesday 6/5/13

We biked about 9 miles today and saw ~5 families. Tonz of people let us in their houses and offered us water or lemonade. That was such a blessing because it was so hot outside and our water was quite warm.

We went to the church to work on the missionary bulletin board and the bishop offered to take us (all four sisters) somewhere to eat and talk about the people we are working within the ward etc.. we went to Golden Coral. He asked us each about ourselves and asked if there was anything about boys that we needed to tell him.

He is so funny and super sweet! Just a jolly man. We got to hear about him and his wife and how they met. He used to be less active, and now he is a bishop after serving as an area 70 and stake presidencies and many other callings!

It poured rain while I was writing in my journal, the hardest that I have ever seen rain fall. I got to fall asleep to that rhythmic, soothing sound. the Lord is so good to me!

Thursday 6/6/13

One of the families that we visited and taught has 6 children and we taught them the story of Ammon and how he cut off the arms of the Lamanites.

We told all the kids that they needed to do service to be missionaries. We challenged all of them to do an act of service that week and tell us about it when they saw us on Sunday.

They are so cute! The oldest is 10, she is super sweet. She made us delicious popcorn balls Thursday night and dropped them off. We decided to write her a thank you note and then to make her and her siblings “future missionary” name tags. I love how excited the little kids are to see us and about missionary work.

The members thank us all of the time for the influence and the example we are for their children. I love it!

Friday 6/7/13

We went to the Birmingham temple (which is actually in Glendale) to do a session with our zone and our mission president and his wife. We had to drive about 2 hrs to get there. It was gorgeous! The temple was so wonderful! I loved being able to feel the spirit in such abundance.

I feel so grateful to be on a mission, to be called of a prophet of God and to know my purpose and to have the Lord’s help in fulfilling that purpose!

Saturday 6/8/13

We had a Relief Society, visiting teaching training/conference for the stake (Montgomery) this morning (9am – 12pm). I met and talked a little bit with Paris’ mom.

Paris is a young man from Tuskegee who has had a video made about him on Mormon.org. It is so cool. We tell everyone to go look it up. His mom (whom I met today) is in it too.

The sister training leaders were going to go out with us today but they didn’t end up doing that. Sister Houston and I wet and raked a less active’s (part-member family) front lawn. They made us some burgers and they were the best I have ever tasted.

We went to visit less actives with sister Blanco who was just called as a ward mission leader. She is in the military and leaving soon. But it was fun getting to know her and she was a big help in our visits. She introduced us to her friend who is not a member and who she is trying to get to meet with the missionaries.

We went home to eat and then we worked on the bulletin board for the ward. We had to use the Aston’s (the senior couple in our complex) computer and printer to print off our pictures for the board.

Earlier in the day at the relief society meeting Sister Houston and I got a call from one of the assistants and they asked me if I would play prelude and postlude music at transfer meeting, that President wanted me to. I accepted quickly and very joyously! They gave me the number of the missionary who currently has the mission violin so I could arrange to get it form him. He is the only missionary in the mission who plays besides me.

The assistants called later that night and I thought they were changing or just giving me more information about transfer meeting, like me playing, but they actually called to tell us that Sister Houston will be staying in Montgomery in Capitol and will be training a new missionary and that I, Sister Wright will be leaving to a new area and that I will be training a new missionary. I was kind of shocked! I feel ready at the same time, or rather calm and confident in the fact that the Lord has chosen and prepared me for this and that He will help me!

I am way excited and ready for change although I will miss Capitol ward greatly! Especially Sister Colquett! She has been so sweet to us and she and I had a special bond I feel like. There are a few other women that I feel connected to in the ward especially after Mother’s day and I wrote them all a little note thanking them for being so welcoming and loving and helpful!

The Lord truly knows me and He knows that I will trust in Him. I am so grateful for this incredible opportunity and excited to meet my new companion and I know that I will love getting to know her and that together us and the Lord can do great things if we do what He has asked us to do and get to work.

I know this church is true! I challenge you to go to Mormon.org and to watch the videos and find one that you think would help someone you know, and then share it with that person!

Let your light so shine before men that they may glorify our Father which is in Heaven!

I love you all dearly! Have a splendid week! Remember the Lord your God and that you can ask Him for courage. He is all powerful, if He can call an inexperienced, far from perfect missionary to train a new missionary, surely He can calm your heart and speak peace and clarity to your mind and give you the courage that you lack or strengthen the courage the you already have.

Yours truly,

Sister Wright (Anna)

(P.S. Thank you so much Grandma and Grandpa for your letter that you sent! You have no idea how much that helped and how much that meant to me! You were listening to the spirit and you followed through with it and you blessed a life! I have tried to learn that from you and I love your continuing example. Will you read Jarom and Omni and let me know what you get from those chapters, why do you think they are important to the Book of Mormon? If you wouldn’t mind writing down your testimonies and sending them to me I would appreciate it! If you are ok with me sharing them, let me know ;D Thanks so much! You are the best grandparents ever and I love you so much!)

The mission is preparing to receive a new mission president. President Holtzapfel and his wife will be leaving in a few days and President Hanks and his wife will be arriving! Exciting times of change. The big announcement that is supposed to change missionary work forever is going to be on the 23rd of this month… super exciting!

Oh can you tell everyone to send mail to the mission home until I can get you my new address? Thanks! Love y’all!

6/3/13

Dear Family,

Those pictures are so wonderful! I love how both Ben and Kyli are both positively glowing and most obviously radiantly happy! I am so blessed to know such faithful, obedient, incredible people! Every day of my mission I look at their picture and I try to imagine them on their missions, and I ask myself what they would do if they were in my situation.

I am so relieved to finally have Kyli bonded eternally to our family! We always had a special bond before and she felt like family, she was already “my sister”, but the morning of their sealing, I felt the strength of those eternal bonds. I know that Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are so pleased with the decisions that Ben and Kyli have made in Ben waiting for Kyli and in their being sealed before them in their Holy temple!

I am so pleased with Kyli’s example. Before my mission I was talking with her about wedding plans and what not, and I felt like she wasn’t making as big of a deal about the reception and colors and decoration as I want to in the future, but when I felt that connection, when I felt those eternal ties being made, I knew that none of that really matters. The simplicity that I see in these photos y’all have shared with me is so much more beautiful than any of the colors or flowers or worldly decorations or traditions that I had been focused on.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple y’all. Beautifully simple, and simply beautiful. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. The Family is central to the creator’s plan. We are God’s children. We all have the light of Christ in us which comes to us naturally because we are His children. These are the things that really matter. These are the things that we will take with us and these are the ties that allow us to be with our loved ones forever!

My worst fear for the longest time has been to be separated from my family or loved ones without knowing if they were ok, without knowing what was going on, not being able to see or hear from them. I know that I don’t ever have to worry about that as long as we continue to tie our family together and to keep our covenants so that they stay strong, so that “…when the devil sends forth his mighty winds, yea his shafts in the whirlwind it shall have NO power over us to drag us down to the gulf of misery and endless woe BECAUSE of the rock upon which we are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fall.” (Heleman 5:12)!

We visited a less active family this week who is really struggling. We had a great visit with them and shared our testimonies of the plain and precious truths of the gospel. They have one son (15ish) and three daughters (9, 4, and 1) who are the cutest, sweetest girls I think I have ever met! Sister M, the mother, is especially having a rough time and teared up a few times as we were visiting, I leaned over and asked if I could give her a hug, because I am a hugger. She let me embrace her and she held me tight and for a while. I just stood there and held her and felt so much love for this precious, beautiful daughter of a loving Father in Heaven.

We continued chatting and then we ended with a prayer, which the oldest of the three daughters offered. I was impressed with the way she spoke with God, as well as the things she thanked Him for. After she finished, the 4 year old announced that it was her turn, so we all bowed our heads again and listened as this little girl quietly mumbled what she felt was a prayer. I wanted to cry at the beauty of such an experience. She kept going on and so her father quietly whispered to her how to close, but I thought this was such a sweet experience and I felt so blessed to be able to be called to Alabama to be there at that moment to hear that tender prayer.

As we were leaving, we shook everyone’s hands, but I felt like I needed to give Sister Mullins another hug, so I did. I held her as she began to tell me that she was grateful for us and that she trusts the missionaries. I told her that if they needed anything at all just to call us. She explained to me as we released our embrace that she didn’t feel like she could, or she would feel guilty for asking for anything because she is less active. I told her that we were there for that purpose. We were there for her and her family, that we loved to help less actives most of all!

She was so grateful for us and she thanked me for my hug and my love. I felt so full. I knew that I was doing all I could to help my Father’s children, I was fulfilling my purpose and using my talents to bless someone else’s life who needs to feel the love that I know how to give to help her come closer to her Father through her Savior!

I know that I am where I need to be, where the Lord needs me to be, and I am so grateful that He knew that way before I did and that He saw fit to call a small, insignificant, insecure, humble, but obedient girl from PG and to trust her to watch over and care for His precious children in Alabama! I learn and realize a little more every day that this work is not about me, this is not MY mission, it is the Lord’s and He is in charge.

You are so right Mother! My job is to get out of His way and just do whatever He asks me to do. I see miracles every day, enough to know that I can’t do anything, it is all Him!

I love you all so dearly and thank you so much for your incredible love devotion, faith, and courage!

Forever yours,

Sister Anna Christine Wright (HMS)