Monday, November 25, 2013

From Blessing to Breaking in!

Hey everybody!! Another fantastic week in the Tri-cities!! And as funny as it is, today marks 20 days in the actual mission field. And no, I'm NOT counting. I just know that I got here on the 5...and now it's the 25, crazy the math involved in that one...XD
Following the pattern of the past 20 days so far, I have not had a "normal" day for a missionary yet. But I guess that's what happens when you have a crazy District leader as a companion!!

First off, we had to move from our apartment into a members home. We are now living with the Blodgetts. A fantastic couple! The wife is an amazing artist, and has a studio in the room next to us. Really amazing works of art. One of her pieces is actually a 4ft X 3ft Jesus that's on my desk. So he always makes sure I'm doing my morning scripture studies in the morning!! XD
But funny thing with the house so far is that we have had to break into it two times!!! And amazing things happened each time!
The first time was at like 9:30pm, a pretty cold foggy night. When we found out that the bottom lock of the garage door would not accept the key. I don't know if it was cold, or what, but there was no way that it was working. So we said a prayer. Immediately after we closed it, I randomly and instinctively reached into my wallet, pulled out my Smilth's card, and started to pick the door. It really wasn't working, but something happened and the door just swung wide open. WHAAA!!!
The next morning we forgot the key in the room!! I feel bad for our Father in Heaven, he helped us the first time, only for us to lock ourselves out of another door. This time it was the second door in the garage to the house. And this one had a trim in front of the side crack of the door. With the bobby-pins not working, we said another prayer. When I looked up after it, I noticed a crack of light at the top of the door trim. I told my companion to find a thin sheet of metal, and we found behind us, a puddy knife. We moved the crack of light down over the door lock, pulled out my battered Smith's card again, and just slid it in, pushing the door open.
It's amazing stuff like that, that make this work so much fun!! And my companion is like a magnet for crazy stuff!!
This week was the week that we rotated into eating with the English members. I have heard that they were infamous for serving mainly pizza and funeral potatoes. But they were SO wrong!!
Don't get me wrong, I love the Mexican food here!! But I was really craving some American cooked meals. Just a little variety from the beans, rice, and tortillas. We had things from amazing potato soup, ham with the Ham family, and Korean Egg Drop soup. But after the week was over, it was great to go back to Mexican food. But yesterday, we actually had dinner with a Peruvian family. And they have the BEST food!! The father was experimenting with cooking home grown pork on a different type of wood charcoal. Really really really good!!
Our small Hispanic branch had their Thanksgiving activity just two nights ago. There was a great dinner and a really good program. I was able to sing with one of the Hermanas, singing "No Ordinary Man," both in English and Spanish. Then after the program, we pulled out a bunch of games, one of which was pictionary. And I have to say that these people were REALLY fun with pictionary! I have never seen that much competition and excitement for that game! The members here are just really amazing people!!

This mission has been getting quite a bit of attention lately! Just a week before I arrived into the field, the mission was visited by Elder Ballard. Then just this Martes (Tuesday), we had Elder Roberts, from the second quorum of the 70. His devotional and message was really good. And he also gave us challenges such as a baptism a week, different than our Mission President's baptism a month. I really feel that if we really push ourselves to just OYM'ing (open your mouth), the work will really grow. Because there are SO many people who are preparing or are prepared for the message, but they or we don't know if we don't open our mouths.
The work is really growing here in Washington! I love the work! It's crazy and exciting, with turns every day! About 128 of our investigators here are on date mission-wide. And each day, we work and pray to raise that number.
The Spanish is still tugging along. I am getting more and more comfortable speaking in the language, but it's still a very hard struggle. But my companion has gone through the same thing, and is helping me along the way!! I am determined to get this language down! And I'm excited to really start speaking it!!!!
 Thanksgiving is going to be pretty weird without all of you! ...and I thought that Halloween was weird in Mexico! Miss you all! And you all are in my prayers! Eat a piece of turkey for me!!

Elder Glen Wright Washing Kennewick Mission 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What a Week Working in Washington

Hey everybody!
Everything is fantastic here!! I have survived the next week here in the beautiful Washington Kennewick area!
This week has been CRAZY!! A lot has been happening!! I actually realize that I havent officially had a "Normal missionary day." Just an insane week. So much I will write, and others I'll hold for another time.
We have had the opportunity to do a lot of service through out the week. One everyday, fit somewhere here and there. I absolutely love service, and the people here love to offer their desire for it. We painted rooms, landscaped, sorted houses, and much more. My personal favorite was painting. Really enjoy that, and it was pretty fun. But we painted a whole Tagged room bright Yellow...then I heard that they painted two of the walls purple as well, to help hide the Tags. ...Purple and Yellow...some Hispanics have a pretty fun color scheme.
The work is really progressing here. The Hispanics are really prepared to hear the message. It's pretty amazing just how things fall into place.
We have been working a lot with members to help them grow and share the message by going to their home and teaching them how to use the different pamphlets. Then to invite them to go on splits with us. Almost every time, the member is able to connect with the investigator so well. Something the I have learned: No concordances!!
A small trial that we have had to go through has been the anti-churches. Many would set up situations with the members and missionaries to bash with them, but we have avoided anything like that so far. But one of the churches got a Ward Directory and sent out anti-material. One of our relatively new converts was one that was targeted. The stuff that that pamphlet made her go through and feel was horrendous. But we met with her and blew all of it out of the water. It's just so hard to see a church do that to other people's faith. But with that member, her testimony and knowledge was strengthened to amazing heights.
My companion is still super awesome! We have gotten along famously so far, and he is helping me a lot to be the missionary that I need to be.
With all the amazing Mexican food that we eat, we really have to take advantage of the hour of exercise that we have in the morning. My companion was on the BYU track team before he came here, and is determined to get right back into it when he returns, so he's pushing out 700 push-ups or so every other morning. Then all different types of other stuff every other day.
I figured that while I have two years, why not improve in a bunch of areas! So we are both working for the companion 8-pack! SO ready for that!! XD

I am so grateful for this gospel, I do know it is true with all my heart! I am having the time of my life! and wouldn't trade it for the world!! I am grateful for all the support that I feel and read from back home! Love you all!!

Sorry for no pictures yet.... My camera isn't working at the moment. And the funny thing is that the exact same camera I have is the same as another hermana that had the same exact problem with it in the CCM....:P

Elder Glen Wright Washing Kennewick Mission

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week 1 in Washington

Hey everybody!!!

Today marks my first full week here in the mission field! What an exciting time that it has been!
The first half of the first day was filled with meetings and an interview with the Mission President, who is one of the funnest people to be around! But then I met my companion.
Elder Abbott. Really awesome guy!! He's a runner for BYU, so he's constantly trying to remain in shape to ensure a spot on the team when he gets back. So the morning workout sessions are full of 700 plus push-ups and whatnot. So he's pretty confident that we will get some rad companion 8-pack, WHAT NOW!! XD
We shopped, dropped my stuff at the apartment, then bounced (left to go teach). We had a number of investigators to meet with. One being an awesome old couple. We had a really good lesson on the Plan of Salvation, then we got on the subject of Halloween and pumpkins. They then offered us this sugared pumpkin. Both the texture and taste did horror to my gag-reflex. I felt bad because I was trying to hide it and fight it. It wasn't too bad....XD

The work here is amazing! We are in the city Kennewick, in the only branch found there. And the work is growing pretty well. Just this last week, the spanish missionaries had about 17 new investigators. The branch is the moment! And we have plans to help build it to be a ward and individual zone.
We are also working hard to help the members work to having more opportunities to share a gospel message. So we teach them the topic out of for example, the pamphlets, then help them understand how they can share. The work is just exploding on both sides of the callings. "Every Member a Missionary." Never is that more true than now. And it's still progressing.

The food is absolutely amazing! The people just love to eat and help others eat. When we are finished clearing a pan of BBQ carne, another full pan comes out. :P

At the moment, the language is SUPER hard. But I feel that I have really improved. Some of the lessons, I'm pretty quiet. It's hard to hear and understand what is being said, but that will come the more that I practice. I have though, started translating the Book of Mormon from Spanish to English, which has REALLY helped me!!

SO much has happened, so hard to say it all. The spirit is strong here, no matter how hard the moment may be. I have the strongest desire to help as many people as I can to find what they may be looking for. I just know that this gospel can bless their lives in so many ways. "Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, our tool is language."

Thank you all for the love and support that you all give to me. Moments may be hard, but I absolutely love my mission!!! You all are in my prayers!

Elder Glen Wright Washing Kennewick Mission