Monthly Archives: November 2013

11/25/2013

Greetings from ‘Bama!

Yesterday, I got a taste of winter. I am going to need to do some shopping for some warm clothing. I am going to be doing a lot of layering too. This cold is very different from the Utah cold… this cold cuts pretty literally to the bone! But I LOVE IT! 😀

Now, before y’all think I am crazy… oh wait, y’all already do! 😉 Anywho…. I love the cold because I love wearing layers and bundling up! My white rain coat has been getting lots of use and a great number of compliments! Thank y’all for sending it!

I need to be better about taking and sending y’all pictures, I apologize and will surely repent!

How wonderful to hear the new about the Black family! That must have been one spiritual Sacrament meeting!

I got to play my violin with Sister Lacky on the flute and sister Striklin on the piano during our sacrament meeting. We played Love at Home and everyone just loved it! Many members were crying…

We had amazing talks on tithing and the law of consecration that were very well done, then I had the opportunity to teach the gospel principles class consisting of our two branch missionaries, our branch mission leader, our recent convert, R., and my companion, Sister Smith. The lesson was on the plan of Salvation, but the spirit directed it to where it needed to go and we ended up talking about Revelation and the Spirit’s role in conversion and Salvation and also about patriarchal blessings and temple work for our families and linking our ties beyond the grave! What a powerful lesson! I am so grateful that I was able to invite the spirit and that He truly taught all of us! We were all edified, enlightened and uplifted!

That is the best part of being a missionary, being a tool to invite the spirit and watching Him teach as I am able to testify!

After church, Sister Smith and I went around to visit everyone here in Talladega that she wanted to say goodbye to. Yes, my dear companion is leaving me and Talladega. : ( We have been able to get really close and truly enjoy the last few weeks together and I am sad, but relieved.

She told me this morning that she has learned more from me than she has her whole mission. I know that she didn’t learn anything from me, but that my love and service toward her allowed her to learn what Heavenly Father needed her to learn to help her become an even better and more successful missionary!

I am very humbled and grateful to have been able to assist in the work of building the kingdom the past two transfers by building my sister! I thank y’all your all of y’all’s prayers on our behalf! I have learned a great deal as well and I am grateful to Sister Smith for allowing me to learn from her!

It is difficult for me to remember everything that happened this week. There is so much that happens, it is hard to keep it straight. I have tried to use my journal, but by the end of the day, I am so tired that I don’t keep a record of everything that happened, I just write the important things such as the miracles and blessings or how the Lord helped me to overcome a hard thing.

This week we were able to begin teaching a part member family which our branch missionaries visited and set up an appointment for us! Our branch missionaries are AMAZING!! This family says that they are not learning like they need to at the church they have been attending and the church which the husband just recently was baptized into. He is a “new Christian” as they call him and he wants to learn all he can about Jesus Christ and His doctrine!

They like to talk a lot, so we didn’t get too far in the actual lesson, but it was important that we listened to them and their needs. They set up another time that we could come back and really start teaching them the lessons. I am so excited and I pray that we will be able to help them to feel the spirit and have an experience with Him so that they may come to know for themselves that what we are teaching them is true and that they will chose to act on it!

They have two children who have not been baptized. The mother has not been to church for a long time and is almost equivalent to a non member, so we will be teaching her as well.

R., our recent convert is so stellar! She is on fire and she encourages me to be better! Every time we go see her she has a new experience where she felt the spirit testify to or through her to someone else! I have never been able to see a recent convert except for Bryce from the YSA ward and it is so powerful! I get to work more closely with R. than I did with Bryce, but he was such an inspiration to me! Now R. is as well! It only took her about a month to join the church and she is strong in it.

I am excited to be staying here in Talladega and Lincoln for another transfer and over the holidays! We were invited over to the Branch President’s house and possibly a part member family’s. K., an investigator whose father is a member, just had her baby shower and she invited us. We got to do service for them (finally) and help set up. She is looking more mature every time we see her. I see a lot of progress as we have been teaching her, but I still don’t know if she really understands the urgency and importance of getting baptized. She is so close, she just needs to come to church and have some more of those spiritual experiences and pray to know.

She could be such a force for good in this world, especially for her son and the babies daddy. Ka….. sigh…. we haven’t seen her in a little bit. We decided to let her have a chance to exercise her faith and to think and decide if this is something she wants. She knows it is true. She prayed and got her answer, but she has family and other forces trying to pull her another way. I pray that she will be able to recognize the difference and that she will chose to fight. She is a very strong young woman and she would be so powerful!

I pray every day for inspiration to know how I can best invite and help her in this battle. We are hoping to go see her this next week so that Sister Smith can say goodbye.

That was good mom. I am sure Jordan appreciated your offer! 🙂 I will probably be doing a whole lot of raking and house/yard work when I get home. It has been interesting serving with a sister who will be going home soon. We have been working on keeping her mind focused on the work and far away from anything to do with trunks 😉 She is doing well and actually teaching much butter and more! I am very pleased with the progress that she has been able to make.

I am so pleased with you Andrew! Como un heffe! I want to see pictures! I have played Killer Bunnies, and will be so happy to play anything that y’all want to play when I get home! I will be so happy just to spend time with y’all!

What?! sisters in Utah?!!!!!! AWESOME!!!! Tell them that I give them permission to use y’all! Tell them thank you from me for sacrificing to serve in my home town! And they will have a member missionary out of me when I get home! 😉 That is so exciting!

I love y’all so much and I am so pleased to be able to claim y’all! Steadfast in Christ!

Love forever and eternity,

Sister Anna Wright

11/25/2013 – Mission Pres. Letter

My Fellow Missionaries,

I hope you enjoyed Zone Conference as much as I did! Thank you to all who participated and taught and provided wonderful musical numbers. Also, would you please be sure to thank the Relief Society sisters in your Stakes who provided the delicious food for us. (Unsung heroes, right!)

By now, you should each have had the opportunity with your companion to practice the role-plays on the Baptismal Commitment – early and often. Thank you for doing this as promised.

Have you had a chance to teach about the Holy Ghost earlier in your lessons? I hope so. Remember John 15:26, followed by John 14:26, and DC 8:2. Then point it out if you feel it during the lesson.

And finally, have you had a chance to reflect on Alma 7:11-13. He overcame our (1) death, (2) sins, AND (3) sicknesses, infirmities and inadequacies!

Bless you here in the South! We love you so much and are so grateful for you and frankly, we are in awe of you and what you accomplish, and what you are becoming. Thank you for your goodness and hope you are providing the world. Sister Hanks says, “If I’ve got a biscuit, you’ve got half!”

With much love,

President Hanks

11/18/2013

“Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, Thy sweet message now impart. May thy Spirit, pure and fervid, enter ev’ry timid heart; Carry there the swift conviction, turning back the sinful tide.

Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, May each soul in thee abide. Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, We are weak but thou art strong In thy infinite compassion, stay the tide of sin and wrong. Keep thy loving arms around us; keep us in the narrow way.

Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, let us never from thee stray. Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, Though wild bind the broken heart. Let not sorrow overwhelm us; Dry the bitter tears that start. Curb the winds and calm the billows; Bid the angry tempest cease. Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, Grant us everlasting peace.”

As I finished reading your very uplifting email, this beautiful hymn came into my mind. I was working on learning a piano arrangement of this hymn before I came out the Alabama. Such a beautiful and calming hymn! I am so grateful for the hymns as well as the ability which our human minds have of memorizing things that are precious and that we want to remember!

President Hanks always says that we should memorize things that are beautiful to us because that makes them ours, that makes them apart of us! He has memorized so many beautiful poems that have changed my life!

This week has been quite improved from the past. R. , a very amazing, very faithful miracle of a young woman was baptized and confirmed on Saturday and Sunday. The Talladega branch is just loving her! We have all been praying and fasting and working for growth here for several months and she is the answer to our prayers! Her faith is so inspiring and she makes me want to be even better, more faithful!

We had some complications with filling the font, and it was cutting it pretty close, but it all worked out and her family was able to make it in time and the font was able to fill up just in time. The water heater wasn’t working, so we had to boil some water in pots and pans and try to warm the water that way, but still it wasn’t very warm…

When she came out and I wrapped the towel around her, I asked her how she felt and she got this huge smile on her face the laced her eyes and she said, “Wonderful! I feel AMAZING!” The next morning when she was confirmed was incredible!

This work is so important! This work changes lives! Don’t hesitate to share with our brothers and sisters! Every time I don’t stop and talk to someone, I think about something I heard once, What do you think that person will say to you after this life? maybe something like “Why didn’t you share this with me? You knew this precious truth, you had this gem and you were too selfish not to tell me about it or offer it to me?!” How terrible I would feel.

The other day Sister Smith and I were just walking down the street on our way to a member’s house to teach them a lesson about the temple. As we were walking I saw a lady working in her yard and I thought “we should talk to her” but sister smith was talking to me and then I thought, “well you already passed her and it would be rude to interrupt sister smith” then I KNEW that I had to go talk to her. I immediately stopped, turned, waited for a car to pass before crossing the street and then crossed without even speaking a word to sister smith.

We approached her and offered to help her. she refused, but we got talking and actually had a conversation for about 10 minutes. She has a big family and she actually knows about the missionaries, she knew a member who they used to live with who has since moved. We were able to set up a time to go back and teach her and her family! I am SO grateful for the spirit and that my studies that morning prepared me for that moment to show the Lord that I will obey!

K. didn’t come to church this Sunday, her aunt wanted her to go with her to her church and see if she likes it. It is so hard that she doesn’t really have the support of her family. We are going to keep trying, we will have to set her baptism date back to next month, but she really needs y’all’s prayers! She knows this is true she needs the strength to act on it.

I love y’all so much and I pray for y’all every day! I will let y’all know next week what is going on so you know where to send my package. Did I ask for a Sudoku book? and stamps? that would be great! But if all you can send is pictures, that is perfect!

Take care my dear ones!

Love your daughter, sister, friend, and fellow servant of the Lord! Steadfast in Christ and Forever Strong!

Y’all are AMAZING!!! I hope y’all know that! y’all are my heroes and I brag about y’all all the time! 😉

Still need to hear from ya!

Sister Wright

11/4/2013

Mom,

Yes a stand and music would be wonderful! If y’all could find a book of arrangements of hymns that would be fabulous! Also if the solo books are not being used, like Suzuki book 6 and solos for young violinists, I would love those as well.

My memory is fading. My ability to play by ear is a blessing because I will get requests of other songs that I don’t know – I just have to get the tune in my head and figure it out on the violin.

The Lord has helped me very much, but I would love to be able to broaden my library of things to play. I go and play in the park and we tell people to look up Lindsey Sterling on mormon.org and I offer my abilities to play for someone’s birthday or whatever.

Thank you so much! I love the fiddle book! That is perfect! People down here like the fast, fiddle stuff. 🙂 I don’t know of any stores here that I could get music at.

For Christmas I need warm clothing, or money to buy warm clothing for winter and boots. I don’t need too much, but there are a few things I need. There are tonz of thrift stores here and that is how we do it! I would really like a puzzle over 1000 pieces or more if possible. Pictures and letters of and from everyone! Spider cookies!!!!!!! 😀 I am working really hard not to eat sweets or sugar except what is sent to me or fed to me by members. I have lost weight and am slimming down, but I would love to have a little bit of comfort from home! It is more for the memories than the sugar or taste. MUSIC!!!! Is there any way to get me some Disney music and August Rush has some missionary appropriate music! October Sky maybe, the Book of Mormon video soundtrack just on CDs.

How hard would it be to send tapes back and forth? I think that might help me a lot. If y’all could just take a minute and say something encouraging or tell me something exciting that’s happening. Maybe for Christmas or my year mark or when Andrew gets his mission call? I don’t know…

Thank you for sharing your testimony with me! I love hearing you testify and share what you know and your experiences with the spirit. As Nephi says, it gives me a desire to know for myself or to experience what you have!

Yesterday in Relief Society, the lesson was on not judging or gossiping and we got to write something positive that we think about everyone on a piece of paper that had their name on it and at the end we got to take home our paper with our name on it. I loved it! One of the sisters said that the light of Christ shines through when I talk.

I bore my testimony in fast and testimony meeting. We are so small that there can be a lot of silence in those meetings. Everyone who shows up had time to share their testimony pretty much. Even visitors. 🙂

I love the priesthood holding men in the branch! They are so stalwart! They never complain even though they have such a load to carry and much more responsibility than those in a ward, because there is significantly less of them. The members in this branch care so much about each individual and they truly take care of and watch over one another! I have learned so much from this branch!

Thank y’all for your prayers in behalf of our investigators! We now have 3 of them with baptism dates. Kaleigh needs to come to church one more time and be interviewed and she can be baptized! She is progressing beautifully! We have other investigators who aren’t far behind!

This area is just blossoming and I am grateful to be able to help reap the fruits of the seeds planted by previous missionaries as well as Sister Smith and myself! This also means that Satan is working extra hard to stop this growth and progression and so we must be faithful and diligent in all things and with the Lord! I know that without Him I am nothing and I can do nothing of myself as to my own strength I am weak. But with My Lord and My God, nothing shall be impossible! I continue to trust in Him and His timing!

How are Uncle David and Aunt Michelle? I have been thinking about them a lot lately! I don’t think I have their email address. Could y’all send that to me? I also need Uncle Tyler and Aunt Christine, and all the Aunts and Uncles addresses.

I received letters from the Stapf family and even a friend of theirs that simply brightened a difficult day for me!

I would love to be able to keep contact with other family members! Especially Katie Smith! When is Kylee our cousin getting married again?

It is more difficult for me to print pictures off of email so if y’all could send prints to me that would be fabulous!

I hope the Blacks are all doing well! I am so excited for them!

Now for an experience from the week as written in Sister Wright’s journal:

“November 2, 2013:

Today I feel kinda like a failure as a missionary. We were told by a man to “take a hike” because we are the mormons and not Jehovah’s witnesses. It took literally all of my strength to hide the tears about to buldge out of my eyes.

Then we went to the library and worked on putting together a calender for one of our investigators progressing towards baptism, and as we were getting up to leave, I decided to give a mormon.org card to the woman sitting at the table next to us.

We gave it to her and she looked at it, turning it over in her hands while we told her about it. she asked “What’s a mormon?” We told her and she said she had never heard anything except the guys in white sirts and ties on their bikes.

She is going to school and had two kids. We asked if she wanted to know more and she said yes, she would. We exchanged phone numbers and she asked if there was a church here. We are going to call her and go teach her and her kids.

We told her the gospel is centered on Christ and families are an essential part of the gospel as well. We helped her get her keys out of her locked car and she told us to call her!”

Sister Smith was able to help me laugh about what that man said later that night before bed and I was super grateful for the wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with that woman we met!

I love how merciful the Lord is and how He leads us to the elect and those who are prepared to hear the gospel and to change their lives to live by Christ’s teachings! I know the Lord lives and loves me! I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is good news and that if we but have a desire and we act on that with faith that we will recieve the help and enlightenment that we need! If we will pray and sincerely, humbly ask for help, we will receive clear guidance in our lives if we are living in harmony with the teachings of the Savior Jesus Christ!

I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God! I know that the prophets and authors and people written about in the Book of Mormon are true because I have read every word myself and I have prayed with a sincere desire to know that they were true and I did receive an answer. Not as a voice, but rather a feeling that swelled in my heart and ran down through each of my limbs, warmth and love coursing through me and I knew that the Book was true because anything that made me feel so much love and peace and warmth and joy could not be evil, it must be good and must be of God!

I invite each of you all to accept this challenge. Experiment, read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and mind and then ask God the Eternal Father in the name of Christ if it is not true, believing that He will answer you. I know that if you do this that you will receive an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, and if the book is true, then you must act. You must live its teachings. I promise that you will have added peace and joy in your live that LAST FOREVER and to which there is no end!

This is my testimony and invitation to y’all! Once you know for yourself, invite and share with others to do the same that we might all be glorified together in our Lord and Redeemer!

May the Lord draw near unto you as y’all draw near unto Him, may he strengthen y’all as y’all rely on Him and resolve to do what y’all know is right. This I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Have a blessed week!

Sister Wright

Firm in the Faith