Monthly Archives: May 2014

5/26/2014

Dearest, strongest, most faithful family,

Thank you for your informative email!
This is the email I sent to Dad, and after reading your email I decided I could send it to you as well.

What a joy it is to hear how great things the Lord is working and doing in all of our lives through seemingly small and simple means Alma 37:6-7. This is a scripture we have been sharing with many families in the ward who are a little shy or nervous to share their testimonies with non member friends and family.

I really appreciate your long email! This was so great to read and to get a better picture and feeling of what is going on at home.

Andrew is one of my hugest heroes and best friends on this entire earth! I pray for him every day and I just desire the opportunity to be able to build him up to be the greatest missionary there has ever been whom the Lord needs in His vineyard! I know without a doubt that Andrew has such an incredible calling to fulfill. That is why there is so much opposition to his growth.

Just like Joseph Smith was just a 14 year old boy without money or influence, yet men and women of both money and high position and influence in the world felt threatened by him and therefore heavily, and cruelly persecuted and fought him and his simple, pure testimony. That is one reason that I know without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church on the earth today and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet called of God. If there weren’t any truth to this church/gospel and to what Joseph Smith says he saw, there would be little, if any force against it. I know that Joseph Smith is not a liar. I know that he saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is the only way back to our Father in Heaven and that we will all live again with Him, the question is How.

I pray that we will all continually, consistently strive to live worthy and study to increase our understanding and seek and follow the will of the Lord, giving ours to Him. That thereby we may win the prize, which is eternal life with our family!

I’m sorry that this email is a little bit all over the place.

Mom, I am so pleased to hear about your experience with Sister D., what a tender mercy of the Lord! He truly does loves His children and is so aware of their desires and their needs. I love how He uses those of His children whom He knows he can trust to reach out to those who need to feel that He is aware of and loves them. Thank you for teaching me to be available to the Lord as you are!

I know that the Lord is aware of our situation and that He will continue to look after y’all while I can’t be there in the way that I wish I could be. Y’all are my whole world!

Oh, did y’all get my email?! Hey that is so crazy that I am only about 2 hours south of Aunt Elsie! I have been wondering how they are all doing.

Can I just say what an incredible family I have!? Y’all are all my heroes, for real! I look up to all y’all and strive to be more like y’all each and e’ry day! I decided when I get home, I’mma dedicate one day to each of y’all, just catching up. Y’all are my very best friends and I am excited for all the fabulous things y’all are doing and how y’all are influencing each part of the world that y’all are in!! How incredible to see how the Lord is using each of us to be beacons to others who don’t know (fully) His love and His plan for them….. yet. Let’s go get’em 😉

Zone Conference was so inspired, as usual. The spirit really touched my heart and taught me some very important things. Probably the loudest message I got though, was feeling love from my Father in Heaven and encouragement to continue doing and being what and who He needs me to be.

ENDURANCE. This is the real test of life. We were taught before we came and we are taught while we are here and the real test is if we will cling to the truth and the way we have been shown how to live, or if we will forsake or abandon and flounder around because we are proud. Truly, the only thing we can give to Heavenly Father that is really ours, is our will just like you said in Zone conference. I know from experience that the more I give my will to my Father and follow humbly, trusting Him completely, the more peace and hope and joy I have in my life and the better able to cope with each situation or curve ball that is thrown at me. This is what the gospel of Jesus Christ has done for me in my life. The knowledge of the Restored gospel allows me to be flexible and resilient to the storms and waves and winds that beat upon me. The more I can flow with them, trusting in God, the less injury or damage is actually done to me and I actually become stronger.

I am sorry if you have ever felt worried about me. I have striven to be a giver and not a taker. I know that I am here to serve, not to be served just as the Savior came to minister, not to be ministered unto. I want you to know that you do not have to worry about me. Yes, I get exhausted faster and easier than my companion, but it mattereth not, because the Lord sustains me and He has taught me how to ENDURE WELL.

Any struggles I go though are to make me stronger and to prepare me for the future. How can I be the wife and mother that I envision myself to be in the future if I can’t endure well what I have been given to experience now? This is a question I ask almost every day. My vision is to become a stripling warrior mother who can raise champions for the Lord, who can lift others burdens and comfort everyone who needs help from me.

Thank you for teaching me how to keep moving forward in faith and hope. The future is bright and God is so righteous! His perfect love for me is incredible to me. I am not sure I will understand until I have children of my own, but I know that even then I will be very humbled at the notion that I have a Father who knows and loves me personally, who organized me and wants me to succeed and be happy and to become as He is! He cares more about where I am headed than where I have been and that is why repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ works!

In my personal studies, I found a new favorite chapter in 2nd Timothy. Verse 3 of the 2nd chapter says, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Then in verse 11, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:” and last but not least (that I will share with you in this letter) verse 19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

Oh wait! Sorry, one more verse that I wanted to share. 2 Tim 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” This reminds me of the scripture mastery scripture, “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” I love the Lord with all of my heart and I am grateful for your example of love and gratitude for the Lord.

I want you to know that I am happy and the Lord is taking good care of me as I am giving Him my all every day. I go to bed simply exhausted with nothing left to give and I wake up in the morning ready to do it all again, thanking Him for the opportunity to waste and wear out my life in His service and the service of His children!

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim 2:3)

Love your relation,

A good soldier of Jesus Christ

Sister Wright

P.S. Ha ha! Honestly, it is a little weird to think that Mark is home and dating already… I am very glad that he is dating lots of girls and that he is looking for a companion who has her priorities straight. I am so glad to hear that he is able to serve in and help the ward back home. I am not even going to recognize it when I get there, but I am way stoked to be able to serve in any and every way that I can!

It was kinda freaking me out how much this ward in Madison is like Utah, I wasn’t quite sure where I fit in because I don’t have to help them out as much as I have in all of my other areas, so now I am finding the balance and trying to continue to strengthen the relationship between missionaries and members (especially ward council) . I am sure that this is helping me with being able to adjust better when I get home as well as being able to serve to the best of my ability in the ward and stake in which I will reside in the future. Fun stuff.

Oh! Our apartment complex has a gym and we actually got to use it this morning because no one was in there. I worked my arms pretty good and it felt way good. Sister Downs and I go running almost every morning and then we do abs and I finally go to do some lifting today. I feel so good and the Lord is helping me!

Funny thing: I had the first guy ever hit on me this past Saturday, it was weird and I didn’t even realize what happened until my companion told me… way awkward, but that is what I live for right now. 😉

We also got by the grace of God, 4 new investigators today!


STEADFAST IN CHRIST

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5/19/2014

Honestly, I don’t really know what to say, there is so much that has happened this week and not enough time to type it. I think what I am going to do is write y’all a letter explaining this crazy week! For now, I will send my email to President. I feel terrible for doing that, but I just don’t have enough time. Don’t hate me or be mad. I promise I will write yall a letter explaining everything.

I want y’all to know how proud I am of y’all! I haven’t had time to write to Caleb yet but that will happen today.

Oh! We got a very nice new apartment and we love our neighbors. There is a cute little 19 year old who lives next to us and she helped us move some of our furniture in and the Zone Leaders were helping too. She commented that they are “really cute” which made me laugh and my companion explained that they are off limits for 2 years… we made her cookies and thanked her for helping us. We are planning on giving her a book of Mormon and inviting her to come to church.

There is also a young lady who is graduating from high school today and she wants to be baptized. It will probably be the 30th or the next weekend. If y’all want to pray for her, her name is Mia.

Wright, Anna Christine

President,

You were right, I do love this new area and companion! How can one not love being fed every night and having members teach their friends in their homes? This is quite a different experience than I have had in any other area, yet it is what I have striven to help each of my areas to become. What a blessing! That is all I see around me, mounds and bundles and barrels full of blessings!

Sister Downs and I feel especially blessed with the very nice new apartment! Wow! All of these blessings motivate me to work even harder and show my gratitude through my fruits (actions). Every night when it is finally time to lay down and fall asleep, I am so exhausted that I am amazed that I am able to wake up with such energy as I do in the morning. I know however that it is the Lord’s blessing for my dedication, hard work and perseverance.

Thank you President for following the inspiration which you receive from our Father in Heaven and for sending me here. I am also grateful for the time which I was able to sped in Jasper. I am confident that the Lord knows me and my heart and that He is in control. I trust Him with all of my heart!

This week I have been studying chapter 9 of preach my gospel again, as you asked us to do. I love the sentences, in the section about using/working with members (pg. 161 bottom of the page) , that say, “Strengthening their understanding of the doctrine of Christ will do more to increase their trust in you and to build their excitement to do missionary work than anything else you can do. Help them understand that offering the restored gospel will flow more naturally out of relationships where they are seeking to love and serve their family members and friends.”

Sister Downs and I have been sharing “Hastening of the work” messages with members of the ward and we have been sharing Alma 37:6-7 which is the small and simple things scripture mastery scripture. Then we share how we felt very small and simple before coming out on our missions and how the Lord helps us, then we read a quote by one of the apostles how one testimony can change someone’s life for eternity and we invite them to bear simple testimony in some way in the coming week. (a note, in person, online, etc…) This has been very powerful! I am so grateful to be able to work with such incredible members!

We are tracting every day. Our district leader, Elder Curtis, invited each of us in the district to prayerfully plan out tracting first every night. We have had some small, yet obvious signs that the Lord is directing us in this effort to seek His will in EVERY part of His work.

Yesterday we felt we should go to a certain neighborhood where a part member family lives and tract. I offered the prayer before we began asking to be lead to the home and family that needed us. Immediately after, Sister Downs said that she had a number come to her mind so we worked our way to that house, talking with others who were outside and knocking a few other doors on the way, and when we got there, it was an older woman who answered. Right off she knew that we were from a church and kindly turned us down for any service that we tried to offer and quickly shut her door before we could ask if she knew anyone who could use our message. We shook it off and decided to finish the 3 houses left on the street.

The next house we went to and knocked on, there was no answer and then that awkward moment happened when the resident drives up and you are standing at their door…. totally happened and it was so awkward, but I determined to defuse the awkwardness and we greeted her and explained that we are missionaries and were in the area leaving prayers with people. She invited us in and we talked for a few minutes asking if there was anything specific she would like us to pray for. She told us that her daughter was struggling with a recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. We offered the prayer and there was a nice spirit there. We asked if she felt anything while we were praying and she said she did, that it was very nice. We asked if she would like us to come back and share a message about our Savior and how our families can be strengthened through him. She said she did but they didn’t have time and then nicely said she didn’t want to know more, but thanked us for the prayer and I assured her that we would remember her daughter in our prayers.

The next door was a quick, firm no as well, but we were able to have a nice conversation with the lady who answered and show her that we are kind and friendly and that we care. I feel that we helped her just by listening to her talk.

I love the Lord and I am choosing to remain STEADFAST IN CHRIST TO THE END!!!!

Love, Sister Wright

 

5/14/2014

Hey ya’ll!

I am now in Madison serving with the one and only Sister Downs! Super excited!

Apparently this is a ward (1/3 in Madison) and they have it together doing missionary work! This transfer is going to be FABULOUS and I can’t wait to share all kinds of adventures with y’all! oh!

It started to pour rain while we were in transfer meeting and then I got to drive us here to Madison (1hr and 30 min) in the rain. I am the senior companion that is why I am the designated driver… I am SO grateful for gps!!!!!

I got to see all of my companions except for two and it was wonderful to see and hear how well each of them are doing and the great work they are all doing throughout the mission!

Love y’all so much talk to ya soon

244 Kyser Blvd #2004
Madison, AL 35758

Sister Wright

5/5/2014

“Okay Good News- Kaliegh got baptized on Saturday and was confirmed on Sunday. It was a crazy, sudden baptism, but one of the sweetest things. She is doing wonderfully, her face is practically shooting the Light of Christ. All of the junk she went through has really given her a relationship with God, and it is beautiful to watch her. She is amazing, and now she is an amazing member of the church! Whoot!!! All of the hard work you did with her, and all of the wonderful things really paid off. Thank you so much for everything. You truly changed her life. Thank you.”

The above was sent to me by a sister who is currently serving in Talladega. Kaleigh is a young girl whom I taught while serving there and also helped work toward baptism.
There was also a baptism here in Jasper this past weekend. My heart is full of gratitude. How can I be anything but grateful and humbled at all that the Lord has done and continues to do! One of the best parts of being a missionary is being able to see more clearly with spiritual eyes (sharpened by daily study) the many many miracles which the Lord works each and every day.

DENNIS WAS BAPTIZED THIS PAST SATURDAY AND CONFIRMED IN SACRAMENT MEETING ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!
He has been attending church with his member wife for about 19 years and was never baptized, but he had a stroke and decided it was time to get baptized. The elders taught him the lessons and he was baptized. It was fast and miraculous and inspiring! Dennis asked me to play my violin at his baptism for the special musical number. One of the Sisters who had served here before and is in a close area got to come to the baptism and she and her companion and my companion helped me with the musical number.

We did #270, I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go and we all sang acapella the first verse, then I played my violin and another played piano and the other two sang. One of them sang #270 and the other added in ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ just on the second verse, then on the 3rd verse they sang the regular song until the chorus where the sisters stopped singing and it was just instruments then we repeated the chorus with words then repeated the last line with just voices and me on violin.

It was so powerful and I am so grateful for the help of the other sisters and the spirit in helping it all come together! I was so honored to be able to play. What a blessing this is!

What an example! There is an investigator and his son who have been coming to church and whom we are teaching with our branch president and also one of our recent converts. They were both at the baptism. Sister McLaughlin and I were asking they what they thought afterwards and asked them if they would want to be baptized. Tim (the father) wants to finish reading the Book of Mormon. He was in Mosiah at the time. We asked his 11 year old son if he had a Book of Mormon. He didn’t, but wants one, so we are going to give him one of his own to read. I believe that Tim and his son (and hopefully his wife) will be baptized soon.

Jasper was not touched by the storm. The closest damage was in Graysville on the way to Bessemer. No one here was hurt. There were tornadoes all around us, but were were untouched and unharmed. All of the missionaries are safe as well.

President and Sister Hanks were with 48 missionaries in the Tupelo stake center where the tornado was “birthed” and it destroyed the hotel that president and sister hanks had stayed in the night before, but they were all safe.

Yes, I was calm the entire time. I know, because y’all have taught me, that if we are prepared there is no need to fear. I know that it is important to be obedient and when you are there is no need to fear because the Lord will take care of you. We should be organized here soon to help the areas that were affected. What a great opportunity to show these people that we care because our Savior cares. Service is what softens people’s hearts.

I thought about Uncle David and Aunt Michelle and their boys during the storm and wondered when they will be softened enough to receive the fullness of the gospel.

I am working out what time will work for us with my companion. Her dad won’t be able to talk until later, so I think maybe 7pm my time which will be 6pm y’alls time right…?

I love having everyone there, it is a little overwhelming when everyone is talking and I get worried that I won’t get to everyone and I can’t hear, so if there is some way that we can take time it so I can talk to everyone (with the most time for you mom of course) that might help. Don’t worry too much about it. I am just excited to talk to everyone and see y’all! Y’all are the greatest and I love y’all so much!

We are doing a lot of finding right now and less active work.

When is Caleb Veenker leaving for the MTC? Or when did he leave?

Y’all I know that this work is true and SO important!

I love y’all so much and look forward to skyping y’all on Sunday! 🙂 Keep the faith and fight a good fight!

Steadfast in Christ,

ETT3

Sister Wright