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

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

4/28/2014

Dear President Hanks,

I can’t even come up with the right words to express how much I trust and love my Savior and my Father in Heaven and the gentle, yet powerful way in which they teach me how to become the best version of myself which they intend for me to be which is more like my Savior.

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Right now, my companion and I have received inspiration for how we can help the branch members who are suffering from not having the spirit in their homes as much as they need to be as happy as the Lord knows they can be and wants them to be. Last night during our planning, we had this wonderful, spirit lead conversation about how we can help these precious, wonderful members and their families so that we can all then “go forth” and spread and share the gospel TOGETHER!!!!

Yesterday in our sacrament meeting, I gave a talk on member missionary work. I started by trying to capture their attention by sharing an experience which my mom sent to me (which I sent to you) in which she related my home ward’s winter trek experience. My mom explained how difficult the circumstances became when things didn’t go as planned and they quickly became potentially dangerous, making this “winter trek” more like any mock pioneer activity my family had ever been apart of. The youth from my home ward who were involved on this trip really reached out of themselves (arrows out) and helped, strengthened, comforted, served the others who were suffering worse than they were. As I read this story from my mom, I was shocked at some of the instances where this was shown. Never would I have imagined some of these youth to be so kind and selfless.

Anyway, I shared this experience and then I expressed to the congregation how we must reach out to each other and lift and strengthen one another on this journey that we are all on. The spirit really helped me in expressing how we can all be a little better at sharing the gospel, not only with non members, but with each other. Preach my Gospel helped me as well as I read from the section on member missionary work (pg. 84) and shared the importance of praying for opportunities to serve and share, emphasizing the promise which the Lord gives each of us who engage in His work. “The Lord promises to help members know what to say and do as they share the gospel.” (PMG, pg 84 last sentence)

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The Elders and us are kind of both teaching a family. we kind of take turns, we don’t teach them at the same time except in gospel principles class. Sister McLaughlin and I taught that yesterday and Tim and his son (this family) came to church and stayed for all 3 hours! Tim is really soaking up everything and seems so comfortable at church and with everything that we have taught him. He is very smart and asks tons of questions. He understands that the end goal is the temple with his wife and son. We are working on meeting his wife who seems to blame God for her father’s death. There is so much positive happening here.

The lesson in gospel principles was about The Lord’s covenant people. We had a recent convert in there too who is going through a rather rough time and he kind of broke down and opened up and Tim, the investigator really reached out to him and contributed a lot to the conversation and soaked up everything that my companion and I said. I invited each of them (including myself) to offer prayers of mostly gratitude and keep a record of the good things, the tender mercies from the Lord in their lives. As I was extending the invitation, Tim seemed like a little child on Christmas Eve who was asked to put the star on top of the Christmas tree. His eyes were big, he was leaning forward, fully engaged and he accepted the invitation and then, the best part was: when I asked for a volunteer to offer the closing prayer, Tim was the first to accept. His prayer was beautiful and full of gratitude. He truly conversed with his father in heaven and I felt very honored to be included in this conversation. This man is so sincere and honest and true, striving to lead his family in the right direction and to do what is right. He has much knowledge, yet he is so humble and willing to learn.

Sister McLaughlin and I helped in primary during the 3rd hour. I played the piano and she did the sharing time lesson and helped with singing the songs. Tim’s son was in primary and he seemed to really enjoy it. He is one smart kid, very respectful and kind. I couldn’t help but think that he must have been really enjoying primary, because they are catholic and he usually sits through some very boring meetings I am sure. I am so grateful to be able to get to know Tim and his son and hopefully his wife as well and to see them progress in the gospel.

The BEST part of serving the Lord on a full time mission is by far seeing people “get it” and to see the physical change of their countenance and they allow the light of Christ more into their lives! I have a testimony that it is not about the numbers. While numbers are important and they push us to work hard toward a goal, the thing that matters the most is that we love and serve and guide our fellow brothers and sisters to come closer to Christ, and we leave the world and the Father’s children better than we left them. This is the best thing I have ever done in my life! I am going to sprint to the end and work harder and harder every day! The Lord can count on me, I am proving it every day. Can he count on you? Make sure that you are proving it.

I have been struggling lately feeling ill, but I have been able to receive needed strength from the Lord and push through. The Lord has blessed Sister McLaughlin and I with help from the wonderful members to give us rides and feed us when we were in great need of it. The experiences we have gone though, are helping us to see how we can help the Jasper branch get back to the basics/ fundamentals of the gospel : having family prayer, scripture study and family home evening, showing love and respect for one another in their homes and also for fellow members.

I received a priesthood blessing last night from a member of the branch presidency in which the Lord let me know that He appreciates my efforts and hard work, that I will be healed from whatever illness has been ailing me and that I am heavily needed in the Jasper branch. I know the my Father in Heaven loves me and that I please Him (my life’s goal) when I strive to be obedient and work hard for the salvation of His children. I continually strive to strengthen, lift, love and support everyone around me and the Lord is strengthening me as I do so.

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I have never been happier President. Every day we ask ourselves, did we seek for, and follow the spirit? Who did we help today? Did we give our best effort and allow the Lord to expand our capacities. Yes. As we have grown together and increased our studies and lifted one another, we have been able to see all of these and then some every day!

Remember, the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about DOING! Therein lies true joy and peace!
It’s true. It’s all true, then what else matters….?

Love your ever faithful Sister missionary serving in Jasper,

~Sister Wright

4/21/2014

Dearest family,

I hardly know what to write y’all this week. My heart is overflowing with joy and gratitude! How have I been so incredibly blessed to have such a steadfast, strong, faithful family who love and support me and care about me and what I am striving to accomplish in my life. The past few days were a bit difficult for me to be so far away from all y’all, but I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice of our Savior and His resurrection which we celebrated (and continue to celebrate) because I have been filled with peace from knowing of a surety that we will all be reunited once again. Whether first in this life, or the life to come, it mattereth not as long as we continue faithful and diligent to our covenants.

Mom, thank you SO much for your compliments and thanking me for who I am and what I strive to do and who I strive to become! You succeeded in making me cry… 😉 For real, though, Thank you for following the spirit and lifting me up! I have been striving to be and do all of those things and sometimes it is difficult to see the results and feel or know that I have gotten anywhere or accomplished anything….. good. Y’all are the best family in the WORLD!!!!!

We ate Easter dinner with some members last night and they took a picture of my companion and I and sent it to mom’s phone. Also, there was a member whose sister and brother in law were visiting from Utah and offered to take a few of my things back to yall for me. I gave them our address and the home phone number. Let me know if they got through to y’all.

Everything sounds so exciting! I love hearing about all of the great and wonderful things that y’all are doing and how y’all are all growing up! I don’t think I will recognize y’all when I come home….

OH! Mother’s day is coming up! Can yall believe that one year ago, we talked over skype?! So much has changed since then! I’m still geeking out about it! 😉 How about y’all tell me the best way to work that communication?

I am doing well, our teaching pool is kind of dwindling, and no one seems to want to listen to what we have to say, but there are a few who seem promising and actually there is a family that we are now teaching with the elders and here is kind of an explanation of that….

Yesterday was one of the best days of my mission! My companion and I received quite a few invitations to eat an Easter meal with members of the branch, but if all had been accepted and attended we would have been with members all day and got nothing else done. I felt very prompted that we needed to go see a referral which we had received right after church and so we did that instead of going to eat with members (until later in the evening). As we arrived at the home associated with the address which had been given, we recognized the neighborhood as one we had been sent to before for a different referral who apparently had moved years ago. (That past referral had a completely different name than the one we were currently trying to visit.)

As I stopped the car and put it in park, we noticed a gentleman on the porch and when we saw his face, we recognized him as one of the Elder’s investigators who had come to the church for one session of conference and also had come to sacrament meeting the next week. Apparently, the referral was his wife who wanted to meet with sisters. This man’s wife whom we were trying to visit with was asleep, but her husband had some questions for us about the Plan of Salvation.

This guy has really been researching, though my companion and I testified of simple truths and invited him to continue reading the Book of Mormon beginning and ending with a prayer and also to pray to know if all of this is true for himself. We were able to answer some of his questions which scholars, whom he had asked, were not able to answer for him. We had a very positive experience and my companion and I offered a prayer of thanks as soon as it was appropriate to do so (meaning we were alone).

Later in the day, this guy texted us and asked if he could ask us a question. He asked about being sealed to his family in the temple and seemed to understand that his wife would need to join the church to be able to be sealed to her and his son. We ended up calling him and talking with him over the phone. We called the elders after and told them all that was discussed and we are planning how we can all work together to help this family come to the church and be taught the principles of the gospel and how we can involve the branch president, council and members so that we can help this family come into the fold. It was such a neat experience to have followed the spirit expecting one thing and then to be blessed to see a miracle, the Lord’s will actually unfold as we were obedient and where the Lord needed us at that precise moment!

Yesterday as we were going to see a part member family who are black and actually as we were leaving, we drove past this large family (all black) and as I was stopped at the stop sign and preparing to go after checking the intersection, one of the black guys looked over and yelled, “What are yall two white folks doing in this black neighborhood” The volume of his question scared me more than anything and made us both jump. Then almost immediately, he laughed and said, “I’m just kidding!”

Honestly, sometimes I forget that I am white. We haven’t had much problems with people pointing it out and so that shocked me. We got out of there quickly, don’t worry. I don’t think there was any real threat because it was a nice big family with women and kids in playing football. We have heard about some black panthers here though and there are some KKK still round these parts, but don’t worry, we are obedient and safe and the members take real good care of us! (We have the coolest stake president! He is black and actually served his mission here in Bama and also lived in Utah round our parts!)

I was able to play my violin a little bit this week for some sisters in the branch who are going through cancer treatments and other health issues. That has been so precious!

Well, I got to go. My companion isn’t feeling too well today and we need to go get some things to take care of her. Please pray that the people of Jasper will be receptive to the message of the Restoration and that we will be able to teach it simply and correctly in a way that they will desire to have it in their own life!

Keep the faith and strive to be ready to share the gospel at anytime and anywhere. Also, strive to be worthy of and keep a current temple recommend!

I will be sending pictures here pretty soon hopefully!

ETT3(endure to the end) STEADFAST IN CHRIST

(I asked sister hanks about the quilt. Sister Hanks couldn’t decide on any colors really, she just said no purple)

Sister Wright

4/14/2014

Dear family,

I am doing so well! The Lord is so good! I love being a missionary! I love the sun and the spring! (did y’all ever think y’all would hear me say that… ? Neither did I…. ha ha! 😉

This week was quite the adventure!!!

Sister M’s bike tire went flat as we were riding to go see a referral (who ended up being a less active member living with a non member) her tube had a hole or something and wouldn’t hold air, so we waked to a member’s house who was nearby and she helped us. We had correlation meeting and then we had dinner and a lesson with a part member family. We watched 2 Mormon messages about The plan of Salvation and temples and then we talked about the importance of temples and the plan of Salvation. The spirit was so strong. As I was explaining the celestial kingdom, the spirit gave me an idea. I explained to the non member, that the temple is a window into the celestial kingdom. The spirit testified to John(non member) that what we were saying is true and we invited him to read and pray to know if it is true. It was incredible! That is what makes a mission worth it, those precious moments where I don’t teach, but the spirit teaches and I just helped to invite him and create an atmosphere where he could come.

The Lord answers prayers! We went contacting in the mall and we prayed very specifically for him to help us reach our goal of talking to 7 people in a certain store in the mall. You know, we talked to 7 people before we even reached the store!!! I love the Lord SO MUCH!!!! I testify that He answers prayers!

After the mall, we went to try to see S. because I couldn’t get her name out of my mind. She wasn’t home, but as we were driving other there, I thought of a less active sister who lives close to S., so we called and asked if we could go see her. When we got to her house she told us that she was having a rough day. She explained that she had just had to end a very long friendship with someone. We sat there and just listened to her for a while and I prayed that the Lord would help me know what to say. Finally, when she had finished, and I opened my mouth, all that came out was that I asked her what song she really liked, what song made her happy. At first, she said she couldn’t think of any but then after I explained that we had gone and played for an elderly lady and that I had my violin with me, she remembered what song she loves, How Great Thou Art. So, my wonderful companion grabbed my violin for me from the car and I proceeded to play that beautiful song which soothes the soul as well as some others.

This sister’s neighbor and her grandson were out and they came over to listen as well. My companion pulled out a scripture to help calm her heart and then we offered a prayer. This sister expressed to us how grateful she was and told us how perfect our timing was. That is how perfect the Lord’s timing is and how aware he is of His precious children.

Our organ player is getting married and moving to Virginia, so I am learning how to play so that I can help out the branch who now has no one who knows how to play the organ, and only limited piano players. The organ is actually pretty sweet and I have always wanted to learn to play it. It is so cool! For real y’all!

I don’t quite know how to summarize this, from my journal, so I will have to quote it for y’all….

“Epic day! I’m not quite sure how to express or explain all that happened, but I will say that Sister M. and I have a pretty great relationship. One of our referrals ended up being a member. One of the members went all the way out to Perish to see an older, semi less active sister with us and we got to know her more. This Sister told us about a second marriage she had and how she helped the children in that family. She is so faithful and converted(she recently come back into activity and went through the temple for real) Love her so much and look up to her a ton!
This morning I studied about enduring and was reminded of one of my favorite children’s books “Going on a bear hunt” because I feel like I’m running through deep mud but I can’t go over it, I can’t go under it, I have to go through it, but I am not alone. What a gorgeous day it was today! Sister M curled my hair and I did hers.
I know w/out a doubt, that the Book of Mormon is true, it is the word of God.”

Saturday we had interviews with president Hanks. He told me he is proud of me and kind of reviewed with me where I have served and who with and pointed out that I have affected/influenced the whole mission because of the sisters whom I served with and helped and trained and how they have gone all over the mission and influenced countless others. He told me that he is proud of me and I should be pleased when I look back on what I have done with certain companions. That was neat. I am going to work harder and strive to find even more people to teach!

I am studying in 3 Nephi about all the destruction and the voice of the Lord coming to the people. Wow! If only they would have repented BEFORE the great and terrible day of the Lord…

I did get my medication. Thank you mom and Sarah SO MUCH! I loved the cute little package with the candy (my favorites) and the letters! Y’all are the best and seriously life savers! 😀 Sarah, I am going to be writing you back, don’t worry. where is Zack going on his mission?

The work continues to progress and move forward here in Alabama, yet there are a lot of people who are still so hard hearted against the message of the restoration. Something that I have found is that members are VITAL and ESSENTIAL to the work of the lord! I invite everyone to wear their religion on their sleeve and be prepared to answer questions that non members may ask or be prepared to refer them to the missionaries in the area. Many people judge us because they don’t know what really goes on inside our buildings and homes. Invite them to come and see as President Uchtdorf told us to do in a previous conference. Help them to feel the spirit and it will be familiar to them and they will want that in their own life!

This last week my companion and I were in the park, and I had my violin and was playing hymns. There was an older gentleman who stopped and asked me what my favorite religious song was. He introduced himself and asked me if I wanted to be on TV. This man and his wife record and produce episodes on a TV channel about Special places and people. This last Saturday, they met us at the park again and recorded me playing the violin and my companion singing and also interviewed us about who we are, what we do etc… I testify that the Lord has given us talents for a reason. We should be looking for ways to improve and to share them for the blessing of others lives. Y’all will be able to watch the episode online at http://www.walkerwebtw.com. We don’t know when it will be on yet, but when I find out I will let y’all know so y’all can watch it. 😉

I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that President Thomas S. Monson is His chosen prophet on the earth today. I so testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thank y’all so much!!!

Keep going strong and always repent and trust in the Lord!

Love, Sister Anna Wright