Monday, September 15, 2014

A Cute little poem to switch things up :)

I was just swinging in my hammock last night thinking about how crazy the emotions are that one feels during the mission. It´s seriously nuts!! I was reminded of a poem that the wonderful Sister Katie Toolan posted on her mission blog a few months ago and it explains my thoughts exactly. I´m glad I copied it down and brought it with me :))

A mission is a strange experience
It is a trial and a test.
A mission throws at you the worst
yet, teaches you the best.
I´ve never been so happy, 
I´ve never been so depressed.
I´ve never felt so forsaken,
I´ve never felt so blessed.
I´ve never been so confused,
Things have never been so clear.
I´ve never felt my Heavenly Father so distant,
He´s never been so near.
I´ve never been so discouraged,
I´ve never been so full of hope.
I feel I could go on forever,
I think I´ve come to the end of my rope.
I´ve never had it quite so easy,
I´ve never had it quite so tough.
Things have never been so smooth,
Things have never been so rough.
I´ve never traveled through more valleys,
I´ve never ascended more peaks.
I´ve never met so many nice people.
I´ve never met so many freaks!
I´ve never had so many ups,
I´ve never had so many downs.
I´ve never worn so many smiles,
I´ve never had so many frowns.
I´ve never been so lonely,
I´ve never had so many friends.
BOY, I hope this is over soon,
GOSH, I hope this never ends! 

Anyone who has served knows that this about summarizes it. The good always outweighs the bad though. The hard times or negative thoughts only last a couple seconds when we´re in tune with the Spirit and striving to do the will of the Lord. 
I love the mission!  Many exciting things happening this next week, will include details next Monday :))

Hermana Melody Maki 

P.S. The second picture, the one with the water jug..was such a nightmare! We walked like 9 blocks to fill up our water jug and didn´t have enough to carry it all the way home so we rolled it, kicking it with our feet, taking turns for a good 30 minutes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Full on Fruitttt

Hello from Mérida! Something hilarious happened last week! Since we moved houses, we now live closer to the Bishop, who owns a fruit store like 30 minutes away. We very nonchalantly asked him where is the best place to buy fruit near our house, since we´re new in that part of town and don´t know where to buy our groceries. "Don´t worry sisters, we´ll bring you some fruit tomorrow from the store. Don´t go buy any!" Yes, our plan worked! He takes care of us. So he showed up the next morning with a box of fruit so big, we couldn´t even pick it up! a watermelon, 3 canteloupes, 3 dragonfruit (my favorite) 3 bunches of bananas, apples, pears, cucumbers, a pineapple, and grapes. Seriously? And then yesterday before church he dropped off like a 50 lb. bag of oranges so that we can make fresh orange juice. It´s those things that just make my day and make me grateful for the members who go out of their way to help us. It was a small blessing I saw this week :)

and a big blessing that I saw this week?! The baptism of Juliana! It was so beautiful, and she cried as she walked into the baptism font, because it has been a long time coming. She knew and understood the importance of this covenant, and was so overcome with joy to enter the waters of baptism. I felt so strongly the love that our Heavenly Father has for her and felt very priveleged to be part of her big day!

Also, I wanted to share a quote that another missionary shared with me this week. I immediately fell in love,
"You and I can put Christ at the center of our lives and become one with Him as He is one with the Father (see John17:20–23).We can begin by stripping everything out of our lives and then putting it back together in priority order with the Savior at the center." -Elder Christofferson

This isn´t something easy to do, that´s for sure. But it really made me think. It made me think about everything I think, say and do. If all of my thoughts, words, and actions are Christ-centered. And for those that aren´t, what I can do to strip them out of my life and do everything I do centered in Christ. I know it´s possible to do this, althought tough, it´s possibly and necessary to do so. It is something I am going to stive to do better. Strip negativity out of my life, fear, judgement, etc. and replace all of this with positive thinking, with more faith, with more love, with more hope, etc. I know that as I do this and you all as well, we will develop a more Christ-centered life, focused on Him more and all He has done for us. 

that´s all for today, after a long week, I think I´m in need of a little nap today :)

Until next week! 

Hermana Melody Maki

Friday, September 5, 2014

Guess whattttt? This week, on Tuesday, 5 of the lessons we taught were with members present! Little by little, our ward is getting excited to teach with us and come to lessons with us, and it is helping sooooo muchhhhh.

I´m starting to think more and more everyday that I am a Yucateca. I wake up three or four times everynight because with our air conditioner, I get so cold! This morning I woke up with socks, a sweatshirt, and two blankets. My companion sets it super low, and then I wake up like an ice cube and turn it off, and then she wakes up and turns it on again, and it´s a constant battle every single night. All I can do is just laugh :) anddd be grateful that we have air conditioning..

This week we are preparing a baptism for Hermana Juliana. She is the mom of a recent convert, and she is so wonderful! She is probably one of the most humble people I have ever met. She has hardly anything and doesn´t make much money at all, but already pays her tithing and is so excited to be baptized. Last night after our lesson, she made us empanadas :) Although she doesn´t have much, she´s always willing to share with anyone just about all she has. Such a great lesson to me and a great example. 

Other than that, not much news. It has started to rain just about everyday, and it makes the work hard because nobody leaves their houses, but we have had lots of lessons nonetheless and the work moves forward. I´ll attach the picture of my companionon Friday walking through the street in the rain, it was almost up to our knees.

Another perk of our new house is that we live near our Bishop, and we save money on Sundays. Instead of taking the bus to church, we ride in the back of his pickup! (Nacho Libre voice) It´s the besssssst. He takes care of us and is helping us get the ward excited about missionary work and find referalls for us! woohoo. 

That´s all. I´m happy and grateful to be a missionary. I´m grateful for the Gospel and to have it in my life, without it, who knows where I would be. Certainly not in Mexico! 

Much love!!

Hermana Melody Maki 

Nueva Casa, hooray!

Lots of good news from Hermana Maki this week.
First thing first, we moved into a new house on Saturday! I attached a picture of our bedroom, it has air conditioning! I feel super spoiled. It´s much nicer than our other house, buttttt it has a lot more cockroaches. 

Yesterday, I spoke in church about missionary work and how members can help us more. Because of a crazy busy week, I wasn´t able to prepare anything until 9:40 pm Saturday night, always happens that way, right? Anyway, as I sat in my hammock wondering what to write, I had the impression to begin with a prayer. I kneeled down, said my prayer, and asked for guidance and inspiration as to what the members in our ward needed to hear. Almost immediately afterward, I began to think of many different ideas, and many different things I had read in Preach my Gospel that apply specifically to members. Within 25 minutes, I had my whole talk planned, scripture references and everything I needed, and I was able to sleep soundly, my first night with air conditioning :) I was sooooo excited. It was a testimony builder to me. We can try to do things for ourselves, or we can say a prayer and turn it over to the Lord, asking for help and guidance, and I know that when we do so, he helps us. He gives us the words we need to say.

Cool experience. This week on Saturday, we had a lesson with one of our new investigators, Giner. He is the twin of one of other investigators who is preparing for baptism. Their brother passed away this week, and Giner feels lost and says that he really wants our help. He wants to know what´s going to happen with his brother...
Anyway, we arrived at his office and had a lesson planned, but he began to talk..and talk...and talk more..and at first I started to get frustrated because i just wanted to teach! Be quiet, i was thinking, we want to teach youuuuu.. But as I began to just listen, I realized that by doing so, I could really find what he needed and we could better learn how to teach him according to his needs. We learn as missionaries and are taught the importance to teach PEOPLE, not LESSONS. If what he needs right now is to learn the Plan of Salvation, that´s what we´re going to teach him, even though the Restoration would normally come first..
Later that night, as I was prepearing my talk actually, I thought of what Elder Holland says in Preach my Gospel about listening to the people we teach. 

 Elder Jeffrey R. Hollandtaught: More important than speaking is listeningThese people are notlifeless objects disguised as baptismal statistic. They are children of God, our brothers and sisters, and they need what we have. Be genuineReach out sincerely. Ask these friends what matters most tthemWhatdo they cherish, and what do they hold dear? And then listen. If the setting iright, you might ask what their fears are, what they yearn for, or what they feel is missing in their lives. promise you that something in what they say will always highlight a truth of the gospel about which you can bear testimony and about which you can then offer more. … If we listen with love, we won’t need to wonder whato say. It will be given to us—by the Spirit and by our friends” 

I have always loved this quote! We must listen before we speak, and we must listen with love. Some people have nobody to talk to, because nobody listens. Everyone has needs, and if we open our hearts and listen, we will know what it is we can do to help them! 

I love this Gospel, I love the mission life. I know that the Lord watches over his missionaries. I know that this Gospel is true! 

I send my love from Mexico to each and every one of you!

Hermana Melody Maki