Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Dear Family,
It has been a great week! In all honesty, a lot of stuff fell through that I wish had not fallen through. A lot of the people we are teaching have not been progressing. They don't like to commit to things. So I'm not sure how much closer to Christ we were able o help them come. But, the great thing about the gospel is that we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and just try to be a little better this week! And that gives me hope and makes me happy. I have been studying about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and President Eaton has counseled us to really focus on that with our investigators. My testimony of it has grown in just these few past weeks and I am so excited to share those blessings with our investigators. In the Doctrine and Covenants, we are told that if we keep the Sabbath Day holy we can be kept "unspotted from the world" and that "the fulness of the earth is yours." (D&C 59:9,16) What wonderful blessings! On my mission, I tend to let the Sabbath Day be like other days, because I still dress and act pretty much the same on every other day, so I am still trying to figure out how I can make it more special for the Lord. But I am so excited for when I go home to really make it a special day! I want those blessings of being unspotted from the world, to receive strength from temptation and to have more peace with me throughout the week! It seems to me that when we brake the gospel down and look at all the specific blessings we receive from keeping specific commandments, it's like opening gifts on Christmas morning, except all these gifts are free! The scriptures are filled with ways that we can be happy in this life with no temporal price. 2 Nephi 2:4 "And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even asthey unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And theway is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free."
This week we had a most fantastic lesson with a young family. They go to their church every week and the husband, Shayne, is more interested in talking than his wife, Vanessa. We had talked to Shayne a few times before, but this time we had a member with us and we asked if we could come in and we were able to teach the Restoration and the Spirit was so strong throughout the entire lesson! His two little girls were running around and laughing and playing the whole time, but I felt such a strong Spirit, I think because they are so committed to their family. The Spirit is strong when families are committed to living the gospel together. It's part of God's plan, so of course, He lets us know that by sending His Spirit! After that lesson I was so happy the rest of the night! I hope we can help them gain their own testimony of the things that we shared. I know that strong testimony comes, not from all the facts we know, but rather from the spiritual experiences that we have with our Heavenly Father, with His Spirit. John 15:26 "But when the Comforter is come, whom will send unto you from the Father, even theSpirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"
Goodness, these time limits always get me! I'm a slow story writer! If you ever have any specific questions, let me know and I will try to write about them! I love you all so much!!!! Here is an awesome video you should check out this week "The Hope of God' Light."
I know that the Savior, Jesus Christ, lives. I know that He loves us and that He is aware of everything that we go through. I know that because He died for us, but then lived again, we will live again as well, and a way has been provided for us to be families forever. And I am so grateful.

Sister Mecate

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

Dear Family,
Another week gone by. It's been a good one. We've been talking, teaching, and even helping someone sand down and old piano. It's been neat to have Sister Moore as my companion. It's interesting to see all the differences in her experience here in the states and in Brazil. I am so blessed to be able to serve in the states! I don't have to worry about walking an hour to get to church on Sunday's like Sister Moore had to do!
One really awesome experience we had this week was contacting at the local police and fire station open house. We thought it would be a good opportunity to get to talk to all those people! But we were nervous that we wouldn't be welcome there. So we thought we would ask one of the policeman if it was ok for us to talk with people. We were lucky to have picked the right one! He looked at us and said with real sincerity, "Of course!" Turns out, he was a member! We spent 2 and half hours talking to as many people as we could, and it was great fun. One instance that really stands out in my mind was of a man who told us he was firm in his beliefs but thanked us for approaching him to talk with him. My heart filled with gratitude as I realized that he realized that what we were doing is not always easy and he appreciated the discomforts we go through to share our beliefs. Another lady told us she was really interested in learning about family history work, and that she would call us. And we got to do a small act of service at the end by helping someone take down their tent. That day in particular made me happy. I tried to focus on not the things I did right or wrong that day, but on how many people I could love, and it brought a great satisfying peace at the end of the day.
The Lord is blessing us to find people who are truly prepared in heart. We met a girl last night who let us teach her the message of the Restoration sitting on the lawn at an apartment complex. She said she always likes to listen to people who teach about Jesus Christ. It turns out she is truly searching for peace and relief. Her prayer at the end, asking for forgiveness, invited a powerful and strong Spirit. She spoke to us after, with tears in her eyes, about how she truly felt something in her heart. Those kinds of moments make all the hard stuff worth it! I hope and pray that we can find others who are truly looking for the peace and relief that they can only find in their Savior, Jesus Christ.
I love you so much family! I am out of time, and I wanted to share a Bible Video, but I don't have time, so just go find a good one on Have a great week!
Sister Mecate

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

Dear Family,
I love hearing about all the adventures you've had this summer. It just makes me happy to think about all the experiences we share in this life. I love you guys so much! I couldn't help but chuckle to myself when reading what Mom wrote about all the fun you guys had in Utah and at the Beach in San Clemente. One thing she didn't mention, Brooke and Cassady!, is the story about you both putting a live sand crab down my swimsuit and me almost killing you for it! I think you guys kept a 20 foot distance from me for the rest of the evening. But I certainly don't love you any less. AT least you both can't do anything to me while I'm away here in Washington! All the time we spend together as a family and all the communication we have are priceless to me! It's those things that prepare us for eternity. We better learn to get along down here, because eternity is a long time! I am so grateful to know that this life is not the end. Since our mission has really been focusing on family history for the last month, we have been trying to think of ways that we can talk to people about family history. As we were role playing in our companionship study yesterday, a new thought came to me! Even though our ancestors have passed away, we can develop "relationships" with them by doing family history, just like we develop relationships on earth by getting to know each other! When we get to the other side I hope I can know who many of my ancestors are by doing my family history work here on earth. Malachi 4:5-6
 ¶Behold, will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the childrenand the heart of the children to their fathers, lest Icome and smite the earth with curse.
I want that Spirit of Elijah in my life, so I need to get my heart turning to my fathers!
So, this week is transfer week...and I have a new companion! I am sad to for Sister Evans-Bottoms to leave. I never really like endings. (President Uchtdorf says that we as human beings don't like endings, because we are made of the stuff of eternity!-"Grateful in Any Circumstances") But my new companion is great! Her name is Sister Moore. She actually is new to our mission, but is not a new missionary. She served in Brazil for 11 months, but had to come home for health reasons. So now she is finishing her mission here in the Washington Federal Way Mission! We haven't had much time together yet, but I feel that this will be a great transfer! She's had to make a lot of sacrifices to serve. Her heart is definitely in the work. And she is from Chambersburgh, Pennsylvania, PopPop and Grandmom!
I feel that the greatest success we have seen in this are so far is working with all the less active women. There are so many wonderful women in this ward who don't come to church for one reason or another. One sister had the hardest time saying goodbye to Sister Evans-Bottoms and it was the sweetest thing! She usually doesn't like to pray with us, but after Sister E-B said the closing prayer, she asked if she could say one more short prayer. She prayed with so much gratitude and for Sister E-B to be safe in her travels. And she was crying like she always does. She is just such a tender person!
Aaaah, I'm out of time again! I love you soooo much!
Sister Mecate

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Dear family,
It has been a wonderful week! President Eaton spoke in our sacrament meeting yesterday and to the youth during the third hour of church. It was fantastic, as usual. He has such a way of making missionary work seem as easy as pie! I love how he talks about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how when we experience the blessings of being forgiven and feeling clean, when we have that kind of personal experience with Jesus Christ, it makes it easier to love those around us, to see them as children of God, and to realize how much more important it is to open our mouths and share the gospel than to avoid a possibly "awkward moment." Christ's Atonement makes ALL things possible! We also had interviews with President Eaton this week and I asked him about how I could better have experiences with the Atonement and then be able to testify with more power to those we meet on the street. He said one thing that helps him is to try to say something that will help them get just a little bit closer to Heavenly Father, even if they say they are uninterested. One example that I loved was that of Michael Jordan! (President is very creative.) He said if Michael Jordan's son was on a basketball team, he would have a lot of potential to become an awesome basketball player. But he wouldn't reach that full potential unless he attended practice, ran drills, worked out, etc. That's the same way we are spiritually. We are God's children and we have this great potential! But we must live the gospel, go to church, pray and read daily, so that we can reach that potential. I love that analogy! And I Have really enjoyed trying to be a little more sensitive to the Spirit and saying what I hope will bring people just a little closer to Heavenly Father.
I love hearing every week about my awesome wonderful family. I'm glad that you are having some wonderful family vacations! And it sounds like church has been great these last couple of weeks. There is not much better than going to church and feeling the Spirit. The longer I am on my mission the more I realize how much the gospel should be everything in life. Nothing else is a guarantee in this life. But the Plan of Salvation never stops! There is no better plan. We will always be God's children and He will always want us back. And the Atonement of Jesus Christ is ever-present for us to come and drink from the "water of life" freely.
One miracle we had this week was when our plans fell through at 8:15 at night. We didn't quite know where to go, so we said and prayer and we felt like we should go contacting on the Inter-Urban trail. When we got there we said a specific prayer about finding someone who would want to learn about the gospel. We talked to a few people, but no one was super interested. It was almost time to go in, but there was one more Mom and daughter across the street that I really felt like we should talk to. So we went, and they were so happy to talk with us! The little girl, Kaily, loves learning about God! The mother, Mallory, wants to learn so that she can know what her daughter is learning about. They both wanted to come to church on Sunday! I love feeling like we are where God wants us to be. And I love feeling like we are helping those who really want to learn about Jesus Christ. I hope and pray that this mother and daughter will want to keep learning! Sadly, they haven't been in contact with us and they didn't make it to church, but I have hope for them!
Wow, I need to learn to type faster. I am always running out of time! I love you guys soooooo much! Almost as much as I love and miss going to the San Clemente Beach...Just kidding! I promise that my love for you way surpasses the beach ;) Here is an awesome video about the plan of salvation that will probably make you cry...but you will like it!
Sister Mecate

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Dear Family,
I am happy today. There is so much work here to do in Auburn! One of the highlights of this week was meeting a young family at a park who said we could come to their home and share our message with them. We went on the day of the appointment and they weren't able to meet that day, but BJ, the father, said he really wants to sit down and talk with us and so we are going back this week! This family lives in humble circumstances and have already experienced the pain and sadness of losing loved ones. I am so grateful and excited to go back and teach them of the soothing balm of the restored gospel! This week in our Zone Meeting we learned about family history and how we can better use this wonderful blessing in our finding efforts and with our investigators that we already have. I was blessed to be asked to share my testimony of family history work and how the Spirit of Elijah has touched my heart. I talked about how Mom has given me some stories from my ancestors and how as I read them I felt a love and concern for them and a desire for them to know the great blessings of the gospel as well! I have always LOVED knowing that those who don't have a chance to learn about Jesus Christ and His Gospel here on this earth will have the chance to learn about it on the other side! And the scriptures teach us so clearly that this is really part of God's plan. Peter teaches us that those who were disobedient at the time of Noah were taught by Christ in Spirit Prison. (1 Peter 3:18-20)
 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjustthat he might bring us to God, being put todeath in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
 20 Which sometime were disobedientwhen once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noahwhile theark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
And my favorite scriptures come from the Doctrine and Covenants, section 137, given to Joseph smith concerning his brother Alvin who died before he could be baptized into Christ's church.
 Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, whowould have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
 Also all that shall die henceforth without knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts,shall be heirs of that kingdom;
 For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their worksaccording to the desire of their hearts.
 10 And also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in thecelestial kingdom of heaven.
Talk about a hopeful gospel! Now is the time for us to prepare to meet God by keeping His commandments and living His gospel. But for those who didn't have the chance, there is always hope. I am so grateful for this knowledge and for temples where we can be sealed as families for all eternity. I watched this video called "Temples are a Beacon," and the Spirit really touched me. It's a story of what one family sacrificed to be able to go to the temple and be sealed together.
I cannot believe how quickly my mission is coming to a close. I only have 3 transfers left. But I do feel that these will be some of the best transfers of my mission! Oh, I forgot! This week I got to go on an exchange with my companion from the MTC, Sister Alder! It was one of the most fun days! She is my new Sister Training leader. I learned so much from her and her bubbly personality. It was such a neat experience to see how much we have each grown since we first came out on our missions together! Sister Evans-Bottoms and I are hoping to stay together another transfer, but we will see!
Here is a short but favorite scripture of mine from this week-1 Cor. 15:22-"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Every day we can have an experience with Christ. I testify that it is only through Him that each of us can be made alive and can find the greatest joy and peace.
I love you all thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much! Well actually more than that, but I figured you wouldn't want a whole page of the word "this." Have a great week!


Sister Mecate

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

Dear Family,
It has been a wonderful week! We had 4 investigators at church on Sunday-what a joy! When we go to church and we don't have anyone come it is so sad! It's like if you play a piano piece and no else can hear it or if you bake cookies and no one else eats them or you see an awesome movie and no one else watches it! When we go to church and no one comes it feels a bit like that, except more disappointing. The talks were really awesome. Two of the young men got up and talked about their experiences at Camp Helaman, a pre-missionary camp that they do up here in the North-West. The Spirit was strong as they bore their testimonies of the gospel and of the Spirit they felt as they strengthened their brotherhood. I just love church. Third hour was especially enjoyable. It was about Baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I loved the discussion we had about following promptings of the Spirit! The Holy Ghost is such an amazing gift. Just the other day we were driving somewhere and I had the thought/feeling that we should go invite a couple in our apartment complex to church. I almost didn't listen, but I did and we went. They ended up being asleep, but while we were in that area we ran into a young man that we met a long time ago and haven't been able to get in contact with. We now have an appointment to go teach him! I love how Heavenly Father works! He might tell us something that we don't completely understand, but He will always lead us to where we need to be if we listen. I love the video that was shared "Feeling the Holy Ghost," on Feeling the Spirit = Feeling peace = Being truly happy! I love the gospel and I love you all so much! But I'm out of time, so I will talk to you next week! Just know that I love the White River Ward! And that I am meeting some wonderful people! I feel so blessed here!
Sister Mecate

July 7, 2014

Dear family,
This week has been filled with busy day after busy day! What a wonderful blessing for a missionary! The greatest happiness comes when we work our hardest and allow the Savior to take over. I have seen how when we set goals and make plans to improve on certain things, the Lord blesses us with things we didn't even expect! His work is all connected. He is aware of all that we do, and He knows the desires of our hearts. This week I had an eye opening experience about the Atonement and that has made such a difference. It's easy to be bright with hope when you know the Savior has suffered and died for you personally and that He has it ALL covered. We were teaching someone yesterday and he said something that really touched me. He said that we all need to let the hope of Jesus Christ in, and that is so true. Christ will never force us to change or to be happy, but He is always there for us to open our hearts to Him and let the hope and light of His Atonement change us. I am so grateful that we have this lifetime to learn how to do that!
We had an awesome church tour this week with one of our investigators. She is 19 and has a lot on her plate to deal with. She is possibly one of the funniest people I have met, though. I just love her. We had a young couple in the ward come with us to the church tour, and we were able to talk about the ways in the which the church has blessed each of us. It has helped us to build a foundation on Christ so that the adversary cannot knock us down. It has helped us to develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father so that we know who we are. It has helped us, because we get to experience the power of the Priesthood! And many other things. This young woman is such a neat person. Earlier that day we were able to read the Book of Mormon with her. She described feeling the Spirit as we talked about what we were reading. She said feeling God's Spirit is kind of like feeling wind go through you. When we would read the Book of Mormon she said she could feel this Spirit going through her. And when we stopped to talk she wouldn't feel it so much, and then when we would start reading again she felt the Spirit. This girl is so prepared and has such a great heart! She is always asking what more she can do to be like Jesus Christ. 

We also got to help an older lady, nicknamed Tuti, with her garden this week! She is quite the character. I feel like we would be great friends. As we pruned her bushes and trees, she told us of how much she loves camping and fishing and all that good stuff. I enjoyed talking with her. Then before we left we sang her a hymn and said a quick prayer. I love being able to do small service for people. It keeps me happy!
There is a video that we showed to quite a few people this week that is possibly my favorite Mormon message. I cried 3 out of 4 times. It's called "Mountains to Climb." You need to watch it! And then share it with someone who might be going through a difficult time. It is AWESOME!
Anyways, dear family, I've got to go! We missionaries have too much to do on Pday! But that's ok! I love you guys so much! I'm glad you had a good 4th of July.
So much Love,
Sister Mecate