Friday, April 18, 2014
Week 3 in el CCM has officially begun for this girl. Do I still love it? What do you think..yep (: Is it still really hard (some days)? yep..
night we had a devotional and none other than Elder Neil L. Anderson walked in with his adorable wife! What a great talk..We discussed the Doctrine of Christ. He talked about the importance of knowing the scriptures well and the doctrines so that we can teach them effectively and with power to our investigators, pretty simple concept but it was good for me to hear because I have a hard time sometimes understanding the scriptures and something I'm working on is reading slower and really pondering what I read and then applying it to my life and my investigators' lives.
I say "investigators" (we have 3 right now)..but we all know their actors. Pretty dang good actors though. I should probably tell you about my favorite, Kevin. This week, we knocked on his door (he's an 18 yr. old senior in high school) and introduced ourselves and then asked if we could share a message with him. He said no and slammed the door. Kevin (our teacher in disguise) stuck his head out the door like 30 seconds later and said "Sisters! Go back to the classroom, try again, and come back in 5 minutes." So we laughed it off, tried a different approach, said a prayer and went back to his door. Again, Kevin slammed the door in our face, at least this time he listened a little longer before he decided nope, not interested. Not sure what exactly to do, we went back to our classroom, prepped a new introduction, one that Kevin (who is not interested in religion) might be able to relate too. We were told we had 2 minutes to prep and then try again. SO...the 3rd time we knocked, we took a different approach, and after convincing him we weren't crazy and didn't want to shove our religion down his throat..he let us in. The lesson was...ok..he didn't talk much and didn't ask very many questions, but he opened up toward the end, and we've had 3 more lessons since then. He's opening his heart and asking many more questions. He's especially interested in the Plan of Salvation and knowing that he can be with his family FOREVER! It's great. It was a lesson to me that every person/every investigator is so different. One approach might work great for this person, but not so great for somebody else. What a day. While at lunch that day, we were telling one of our favorite sisters about our experience that morning and she had no sympathy. Her response, "Sisters, that ain't nothing. Our first lesson with Andre..was atat night, in the dark because he couldn't afford his heating bill. The second lesson? He was hungover, laying on the ground under a blanket, and last night he was smoking a doobie (don't know how to spell that) during the lesson...." So yeah, lemme just tell ya I'm excited for Mexico and the many different people I will blessed to teach...For real though, I am!
Guess who's coming to the MTCfor Easter! An apostle (: Two in one week! Not sure who, but I'm banking on Elder Holland. Oh P.S. night's devotional was broadcast to 15 MTCs worldwide so you can find it online, I sang in the choir so I was on there! Hopefully I don't look too dumb, it's a requirement from our branch president for everyone in our zone to sing, and I literally have no idea what he's talking about during most of the pratices with his choir lingo, so I just smile and act like I know what's going on (:
Today my companion and I got up early and went to the temple and now we're hanging out on Main Campus..We're pretty jealous of it up here and their yummy food! We like to come up to their campus, print our emails, grab some lunch, and hit up the bookstore! P-day is fun, busy..but fun.
Also, I saw Kiersten Ness in the temple today, she just got here, leaving in 8 weeks for South Korea!! How cool is that? We talked for a little while.
Thank you to mom and Aunt Celeste for sending dear Elder letters! Apparently the website is a little confusing, so don't worry about it.. I like handwritten letters even more (: Preslee, I haven't checked the mail yet today but I will check and see if I got yours.
The elders in our zone are all leaving for Argentinaand it will just be Hermana Keaton and I in our zone until ..hopefully we got some new missionaries next week!
There's a picture in the west campus cafeteria with 3600 missionaries from last August in the Mariott Center for devotional. Right now, there's only 900 missionaries total between both campuses. They say numbers are going to go up when summer hits, but it's kinda nice to not have it super duper packed. I love how many sisters there are too!!
If there's one thing I've learned during my studies and many prayers this week, it's that as I put other people's needs before mine and think about others before myself, I feel happier and closer to my Father in Heaven. When I study, I study for my investigators and find things that they need to hear. When I pray, I pray for them and their needs. It's crazy how much I love them and most of them are just return missionaries who pretend to know nothing about the gospel. As I do more for others and strive to develop Christlike love for others, my heart is being softened, my attitude is changing, and my perspective and purpose are clearer than ever before. I'm grateful for this gospel, for the many blessings it's brought into my life. I'm grateful to be a representative of the Lord and wear his name on my nametag at all times.
I love each and every one of you! Have a fabulous week and take a minute this weekend to reflect on the meaning of Easter and the blessings that have come into your life because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Whoohoo, first week in the MTC! (CCM as we call it over here on west campus, which is where I'll begin...At the MTC, because there asre SO many spanish speaking missionaries, we have main campus. (where I was dropped off) and west campus. The only missionaries who live and study over here are spanish speakinig, which is soooo nice!! All of the teachers/leaders/missionaries on this campus speak spanish..and everyone else is up on main campus. We have our classrooms, apartments, chapels, cafeteria, bookstore, etc...and we LOVE it! We go up to main campus on the bus (about a mile drive) for devotional, conference, etc..only a couple times this week. Kinda like our own little world over here..
night, the acapella group "Vocal Point" from BYU came and performed, holy wow. It was phenomenal. Mom, Caroline, and Preslee, I recommend looking it up, (or just watching the devotional online) that would be even better, because a few of them talked about their missions which was sweet. All 9 are return missionaries! So cool.
Ok, so that's that.
I found out yesterday I won't be able to call home on Mother's day from the MTC but the next day is when I fly to Mexico and I get to call from the airport, so be waiting for that early on..We've got some time (:
My companion? So great.. I just love her! She's from Gilroy California and is such a saint. We get along well (:
So, kinda odd...On my 3rd day here I got a letter in the mail (as well as everyone else in my district) saying that I would be going to Las Vegasto get my visa..so 11 of us got up at about , went to the airport, flew to vegas, waited around ALL day, went to the Mexican consulate, they took our picture, scanned our fingers, boom. DONE! Got my visa. And then we flew back later that night. It was a longgg day but we met the skeleton olympian girl who's mormon! She ran over and started giving us all high- fives and then since she was on the same flight, she sat with us and talked to us for a while. We all took pictures with her, and she loved it! She put pictures with us on her facebook and now we all feel famous haha. She even let us hold her silver medal (; I'll send a picture. She was the one they talked about in general conference who wore her YW medallion the whole time! She was AWESOME! Loved it.
(This is super long, sorry!!) So much happened this week!
My zone is great. 5 elders, 2 sisters. Elder Cragun and Elder Reynolds are the bomb. They say hi (; and lots of love.
I'm the sister training leader for our zone, kinda like a zone leader but a female, so fun! I interview the new sisters and give them an orientation on their first night, and help the zone leaders plan and conductmeetings.
General conference, WHAT?! So good. Muy bueno. It's different as a missionary. For real. We were all like a bunch of little kids on Christmas, everybody scribbling notes and such. Good thing my zone leaders have girlfriends, (they get boxes like everyday)! So elder Trotter got a boxwith homemade cinnamon rolls, a bag of icing, oreos, pb m&m's, starbursts and cookies. In between conference sessions, you can probably guess what we were doing! Let's just say I felt sick for a day...or two...
Dear Elder--Please use it!! You can get on the website, type out a letter, enter my info, and they will print it out the same day and put it in my mailbox...for FREE!! Please do it, it's uber convenient and letters make missionaries happy (:
I love you all so much! Thank you for your support. This week has been amazing. Hard, long, strenuous, but so great. The Spirit is so strong here, We've taught 5 lessons to our investigator, Angel so far. He's wayyy cool, (and a good actor, too!) haha.
I love this gospel. I LOVE being a missionary. I love the power of prayer and have a testimony of it..We pray like 500 times a day (in Spanish) and it gets me through the tough days (there's been a few just in the past week)..
I hope this wasn't too long and scattered, there's just so much I want to tell you guys! Love you so much.
My address is
Sister Melody Maki
2023 N 900 E Unit 801
Provo, UT 84602
Dear Elder, it's the best (: Check it out.
Love you all,
until next week..