Monday, August 26, 2013

It's a Wonderful Life

Hello my sweet momma! 

My week was wonderful!  I don't even know how time goes by so fast here!  I can't believe it is Monday again.  This week was a little crazy because we got our own apartment!  Yay!  And it used to be an Elders apartment.....not yay.  But we have an apartment, so it's awesome!  I think it is one of the more expensive in the mission.  It is further up in our area.  But if you go one street down, you are back to the ghets.  Our area doubled and so we have a lot more work!  It is awesome, but it is a little stressful because we are on bike and I feel like we don't have enough time to get from appt to appt... but we will figure it out.  There is the next subject... I'm on a BIKE!  YAY!  I am trying so so hard to have a good attitude about it, hahaha.  The first time we went out to ride, we had been going down the street for about twenty seconds.  Well in the matter of that time, my skirt got stuck in my back break and it made a hole... and it is my blue skirt that I literally wear every day of my life!
I just sat there and stared at it for a minute and then all I could do was laugh.  That's pretty much all I ever do is laugh, cause if I don't.. I cry haha.  I sweat like crazy, but I have come to learn on my mission, that no one cares.  Oh, another funny bike story, so we had just gotten out of a lesson with this woman named Rosa, but we went to go get on our bikes and my tube was just done for.  It had a hole in it.  So we had to wait for the Elders to buy a tube, bring it, and then put it on.  We were seriously dying, it was so funny.   My bike is really old.  So, to answer your question, don't worry about sending a bike.  We are going to go look for one today.  But if it doesn't work, I will let you know next week.  Don't worry about it though :)
Question 2:  I have heard about book bags, but I heard that if we weren't brand new missionaries, we don't need to worry about it.   And I cannot ride a bike with a side bag  #sorrynotsorry. 

Question 3:  Yes, we are going to start our Spanish program here! It is incredible!  (See below):

Come learn about the free English classes taught by our missionaries in the Los Angeles area! 
Visit to learn more.

4:  I got your package!  You are AMAZING!  My companion loved what you sent her, thank you so much!  I died and went to heaven with your cookies... seriously.  I hope I have the recipe for them!  

Jackie and Joseph are amazing!!!! Jackie has been fellowshipped really well in the ward and she goes to RS activities every Tuesday!  Joseph loves church!  He is the sweetest boy in the world.  Jackie always says during lessons, "Joseph, are you listening so that you will be able to teach someone this one day?"  Okay, I just died and went to heaven hearing that!  They are amazing.  Please pray for them!  We have been working with some really amazing less actives as well.  I wish I could go through every lesson and tell you about it..... but I can't.  I will take pics of my journal entries like Bryan did.  But this week has been amazing because I have tried really hard to focus on how special it is when I am with these people.  I felt so, so much love for the people we have taught this week.  I have been able to sit there during lessons and truly see these people for who they are.  That we are here to help them in what they need and that Heavenly Father loves them with an infinite love.  It is amazing the work that I am able to do.  I truly feel so blessed to be here at such a special time and I know that I am supposed to be here. 

I don't have time left, but I just want you to know that I love this! I hope that others are able to catch the love for this as well and work.  It is so special to be here.  I love you so much and I hope you have a wonderful week!
Life is so good!  Michelle with her District

Hermana Michelle

Hello daddy!
I am so happy that everything is going well, it sounds like things are great at home :)   How is biking, work, and just everything going?  I have been thinking about you a lot this week.  I had to go to the bike shop the other day to get stuff and it made me think of you a lot!  In fact, I think of you every single time I get on my bike.  And then I think that you are crazy for biking for fun!  My bike is ancient and the chain breaks a lot, so I am going to buy a new one today!  But everything is going so good here :)  I am so happy, it's kind of weird.  My area is craziness!  But it is awesome.  Thank you for your sweet inspiring words, they mean so much to me.  Keep praying for me, I am so tired, haha.  I love you so much!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

When you Lose Yourself, You find Yourself

Hello my sweet family!
It sounds like your week was good, I am happy for that!  I told dad that you two should go to the temple together at least once a month. That is me as a missionary extending and invitation to you, you have your free agency to choose ;) haha okay, just kidding.  This week was good!  It was exhausting.  I am physically and emotionally drained! My feet hurt... like all the time.  And my shoes are losing their comfort and they aren't even white anymore.  But hey, it's all good! It doesn't bother me too much. We got transfer calls and we are staying together, but our area doubled!  It sounds like a lot, but it was really small in the first place. So now we need bikes which is going to be fun! And I think I might approach the President, because I feel incredibly scared at 8:30 when I am walking the streets here. Anywayyyy, no worries with that :)  So things are going great here! 

We have some really, really amazing people we are working with right now.  One of them is Jackie and Joseph. Jackie is the mom and Joseph is her son, he is 11.  
They had a baptismal date but it didn't exactly work out because we weren't able to teach all of the lessons by then.  We told Joseph yesterday and he was sooo sad. We went to the Visitors Center with them this week! There was such a special spirit there with them. We focused on families. They are so, so special mom.  I feel the spirit so strong when I am with them. Pray for them!  They are going to get there, I know it.
I have told a few people about President Monsen living in my home ward! It is such a blessing that I can share with other people!  I miss having that spirit of him at church, I really do.  Don't ever take advantage of it :)
P-Day zone activity at the ward!
We lived in an apartment with two other sisters (they slept in the living room... yeah our apt is tiny), but one of them is going home today!  I realized that I have soooo many things to do before I go home and that I still haven't accomplished -  a lot of things that I am hoping for.  So in other words my whole week has been revolved around how I can become a consecrated missionary.  It is so hard! I have read a bunch of talks about it and I have some really awesome goals for this transfer.  That is something that I have realized about a mission, it kind of slaps you in the face (okay, that sounds rough). But through every moment -- investigators dropping us, people ignoring a simple hi, doors in our face, I am becoming that person that I have looked for.  I love seeing it.
A mission is so special because you get to look at everyone in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, and that includes yourself.  I love my mission.  I love who it is shaping me to be. I love the hard times! They make me want to try harder. I don't think that I could put into words how amazing a mission is.  I have never regretted my decision out here!  Sorry my email is all over the place, but all in all things are going well here :)  I am happy and alive!  You are always in my prayers!  I love you so much!  
Hermana Warner

P.S. I need to explain mail... our District Leader picks up mail on Wed. or Thurs. and then we get it on Friday. Sorry, I always forget to explain it
Hermana Warner and Elder Williams 
(a good friend of a family member, 
who is serving in her same mission!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Welcome to Melrose, in Hollywood California!

Hello Beautiful!  How are you doing?!  I am sorry that my email was short last week and wasn't too detailed, I wasn't sure of every detail of why I was transferred.  I still am not, but just some things that happened in another area I guess.  I don't have a lot of specifics about it, but it happened!  It was a crazy week.  On P-day last Monday, I seriously just sobbed.  Before we got out of the car, I took 20 minutes just to sit there and let myself feel selfish for a minute, haha.  It was hard to leave, but I tried looking at the reasons for it.  I have an awesome companion!  Seriously, she is great. 
Her name is Hermana Wright and she is from Utah/Colorado (that is where her parents live right now).  I have wondered a lot why I am here in this moment of my mission, but it has been amazing.  I have seen so many reasons why.  One thing that I have learned more than anything on my mission is that everything happens for a reason.  This transfer is so inspired.  I know without doubt that every transfer is inspired no matter what the situation.  So I will tell you a little about our area.  We are in Hollywood in an area called Melrose. 
The area up from us has the Hollywood sign in their area so we are really close to it.  And if anyone is thinking that this is the Hollywood where it's glam and fame everywhere well... They are very wrong, haha.  I have never seen so many weird things in my life than I have here.   We are in a walking area.  And let me tell ya, our area isn't super small.  I kind of want to die sometimes walking so much and I am starting to get feeling back in my legs.... okay that was dramatic :-)  But leading from that, I need shoes.  I only have my white shoes to walk in and I need something comfy.  So if you happen to find anything good for walking please please send it to me :)   I took a million random pictures this week.  But it has been a good week.
I don't have much to update you on because it has just been me getting to know this area better.  But one thing that I do want you to know is this, I love my mission.  I never thought in my life that I would love it this much.  Especially in this situation where I am physically exhausted all day!  I have never had so much fun.  I love being here, I love learning Spanish, I love the members, and I love watching my testimony grow from others.  I have learned so much from others that I have been around in my mission and I love it.  And I have watched my testimony grow and I hear others doubts.  Because I know that it is true.  And that is what is really important to me.  I am just happy here.  And I cannot believe I have almost been out for 1/3 of my mission!  It has gone by so fast and just keeps getting faster.   But all I know is that I will enjoy the time that I do have here.  This is the hardest thing I have ever done!  But it is so awesome.  I love meeting crazies everyday on the street.  I love it.  I talked to Hma Sorto on the phone last night and she is having a hard time, but she got your package, mom.  She said to me in her sweet little accent and was telling me all about getting it, and she said, "I have never felt so loved before.  I just know that your mom loves me."  She just told me what you sent her and it made my heart so happy.  You are so special to her Mom.  She truly feels the love of Heavenly Father through you, so thank you for that. 
We have some really cool people we are working with right now and I know we will start to find more.  
Life is good momma!  Share the Gospel, seriously!  It doesn't have to be a BOM or a huge testimony meeting, but just share something with someone about how the Gospel has blessed your life.  You will feel the joy of missionary work!  I love you with every ounce that my heart holds!  xoxox
Hermana Michelle

Hello Daddy!
Yes, I live in Hollywood!  I am in a Spanish area.  Our ward is amazing and I love it.  It has been hard, but Heavenly Father knows better than us and he has sent us here to grow and learn.  I love my new companion!  I have already learned a lot from her.  I have heard a lot of blessings in Spanish and it is amazing to me to hear the words that come from our Father in Heaven to a missionary that doesn't know Spanish that well.  I have grown so much in my Spanish, I love it!  All I can ever do is rely on the Lord, and I'd say it's working pretty well. You are amazing daddy, thank you for your emails and prayers.  Send me some pics please!  I think about you all the time.  I am doing well and I am really happy.  I am going to write you a letter about stories because I never have time to email them.  I love you so much :)  xoxo

Monday, August 5, 2013

Transfer to Hollywood!

Hello my sweet mother!
This week we did a lot of contacting and a lot of less-actives.  We have a baptismal date, but it isn't super set.  Also in my email today, I am feeling a bit melancholy.  We received a call this morning and because of some circumstances in another area, we are having a transfer.  So, my sweet Hermana Sorto is staying in Lynwood and I am going to Hollywood!  I am just sad to leave her.  I really thought we would be together another transfer!  But missions are just that way, and as much as I don't want to realize it.. every call is for a reason!  I know that it will be good and I will still learn a lot. 
We have planned a little workshop that we are going to do in our branch because our branch is pretty weak.  We are going to do a missionary workshop and talk about ways that members are able to share the gospel, and what members can do or say in lessons.  We had a lesson the other week and we were teaching the restoration, and the member started talking about tithing and how babies don't need to be baptized... so it's a good thing.  As members of the church we want to share our testimonies, but sometimes we just don't know how!  And missionaries we are still learning, but we had to have training.  So my friends, I invite you to study 'Preach my Gospel' and invite people to church things with you :)  Yes I sound like such a missionary, I know!  But seriously the Gospel is so easy to share!  Talk to non-members about it, share a simple testimony because that is what is going to touch their hearts.  We held a little workshop for the leaders before we do it again with all of the memebrs, and they loved it, which was awesome!!  It is awesome doing things like this so that I will be able to take it in to other areas and be able to help those areas grow and progress.  
My Mission President sent me a text the other day that said he saw me in our [Oly Titans Missionary] video online!  He told me that he was glad that I am here.  That has been something that I have been reflecting and thinking about a lot this last week, are the reasons that I am here, and how I am going to grow through those experiences.  I remember when I received my answer as to why I should go on a mission and I doubted it forever!  I felt like I couldn't do it, even after I had received my call.  But, I knew that I was supposed to do it.  And I am so so happy that I did.  Because I have changed so much.  And I still have so much room to change as well.  That is the one thing about a mission, is being able to humble yourself and allow that change.  Because sometimes I think that I am doing great and there isn't anything I need to change and then - bam - pride strike!  Haha, every time I feel comfortable, a change happens.  But I have really seen the tender mercies from Heavenly Father through those changes.
I think the best thing that happened this week is that I learned how to better work with members.  I am working on how to see others as our Heavenly Father would see them.  So once I am able to love my members, then I will be able to help them grow and progress!   There was a lot of laughing and a bit of crying today, but all is well, my dear :)  I am still working!  I am so, SO greatful for this chance that I have!  I have been so blessed to be able to be on a mission and I am thankful for the tender mercies that reminds me of that. 
Happy 35th anniversary!  You two are so old!  I am happy that you enjoyed your day!  Don't kill me but I didn't take any pictures this week... ah!  But next week I promise!  Okay my dear, well you are always, always in my thoughts and prayers.  I love you more than words can express!  Have a wonderful week!  
Love,  Hermana Michelle

Hello daddy!
Sounds like you and mom had a great week together!  Bryan sent me pictures from the ride. Things are crazy in the real world.  I sent you the email I sent to mom, so it has kind of been a crazy ride this morning!  I am sad to leave my companion, I love her so much.  But for whatever reason it was, I am supposed to be somewhere else right now.  I have really learned how to better deal with rejection, it sounds silly but it truly is a tender mercy.  I have really learned about agency, and as much as I dislike it, everyone has it.  And all I can do is offer what I have to them.  I really think I am doing well, I can't think of anything I might need.  Oh I lied, I need my running watch!  The one that you gave me for Christmas the other year, I want to use that in the morning when we run.  And pictures... send a lot of pictures please!  Things really are going well and I am happy!  I love you so so much!  Michelle