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

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Dear Family,
The first week of this new transfer was a week that will lead us to many new adventures. We saw the blessings of being obedient to the Elder Ballard's council for each missionary to talk to 10 new people every day. Last week we made it to 7 each a day, on average. This week we taught 17 lessons, 5 more than the week before! We were so excited to see the fruits of our labors, and we are inspired to revamp our efforts and talk with as many new people as we can. Missionary work is quite rewarding, but it can be heartbreaking to meet some of God's children who need Him so badly but who are so caught up by the world they feel they have no escape. Some see no need for an escape from the world. Others are ashamed or discouraged and aren't ready to face it. It's hard to see people choose to reject what would be the best thing in the world for them, living the gospel and accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. I can't imagine how the Savior feels when we choose not to make changes (in other words repent) to come closer to Him when he has paid the ultimate price for us. This week I was reading in Alma 34. I feel a renewed drive and inspiration to teach people about the amazing gift of repentance! I love verse 32: "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." When I read this I started thinking about all the people in the world who are making no preparations to see God. They are going to be tormented when the day comes to face Him. They need someone to tell them! And that's where missionary work comes in. Doctrine and Covenants 88:81-"Behold I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor." I never want to forget the amazing gift I have been given, and I hope to never forget to share it! Alma 34 also got me thinking about my own preparations for meeting God. Just like I only have so much time on my mission to be a full time servant of the Lord, we each only have so much time on the earth to prepare to see our Heavenly Father again. I am pondering what more I can do to be prepared.
I did not forget that Mom's birthday was this week! In fact, Heavenly Father gave me a great blessing on her birthday. We went to help Sister Hopkins make jam, because she has a bad back. It was a fun adventure to make delicious raspberry jam with her. Before we left, she showed us her sewing room and embroidery machine. (She makes amazing quilts). It's filled with oodles of good stuff! I thought it was so fitting that I could spend the morning of Mom's birthday doing things that Mom likes to do! It was a tender mercy of the Lord. It made me think about how much I love my mom and all she has taught me, from making jam to saying my prayers! I also love Sister Hopkins. It is always so wonderful to go visit her. We are going to start teaching her husband soon, too!
We had some awesome lessons this week, most of them on people's doorsteps! We are getting good at those! We are teaching a young man who lives across the way from us in our apartment complex. He is awesome! He has the best questions and a sincere desire to learn. In the middle of teaching him about the Book of Mormon, we taught him a mini Plan of Salvation lesson. We were also teaching another young man in a different apartment complex. We just taught him on his steps outside. My favorite moment from our lessons with him was getting him to pray. He first thought I asked if I could say the prayer and he readily agreed. Then I explained we wanted him to pray, and he had to rethink it! But he did pray and it was great. That is one of my favorite things, helping people to pray who usually do not. The Spirit is always so strong. I love seeing people begin to become connected to their Heavenly Father. It always makes my day to help others pray. There are so many other people I want to tell you about, but I'm about out of time! Oh, but we also had some great service opportunities this week! We helped an old lady clean her house and we helped one of our members paint her basement. I love service!
Anyways, sorry this email is all over the place. I love you guys so much! Happy 4th of July! Watch some awesome fireworks for me!
Sister Mecate

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24, 2014

Dear Family,
"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." Matt 13:45-46. I was just watching the Bible Video called "The Kingdom of Heaven." It hit me as I listened to Christ's words, that the kingdom of Heaven is worth the sacrifice of anything else we could obtain in this life. It is worth more than our worldly comforts, our bad habits, and our wasteful luxuries. It is even worth more than the good things we do in order to have fun or entertainment. Any sacrifice we make in order to come closer to our Heavenly Father is worth it. And in the end it ends up not being a sacrifice at all, because we are all the more blessed for it. That is how I think about my mission. of course, I do feel as though I am making sacrifices. It's not an easy task at all to be a full time servant of the Lord. There are moments that are quite the opposite of "easy." But this is really no sacrifice at all in the eternal scheme of things. I came here to serve the Lord, but really He is doing me a service by allowing me to be here. I only have 6 months left, which is crazy! And I've been contemplating more what I want out of the rest of my mission. Yesterday, 2 missionaries from our zone went home, Elder McDonald and Sister Loyd. It was so hard to see them leave! It was a weird feeling to think that that day will come for me as well. And it made me think about, as I often do, what I want to think and feel at the end of my mission. And really the most important thing to me is to make sure I am right with my Heavenly Father, to make sure that I am connected to Him spiritually, and to never lose that connection! Just like Christ taught about the kingdom of Heaven, our connection to our Heavenly Father is worth more than all the world can offer. I am so grateful to have the tools I need in order to build that relationship: prayer, scriptures, my baptismal covenant!, the sacrament, the temple, and the list goes on and on.
This past Sunday we had a New Convert Fireside. It was AMAZING. We got to sing in the choir again. The Spirit was so strong as the recent converts bore their testimonies of the restored gospel and the priesthood authority. One man spoke of how he used to be a drug dealer and how he had been baptized multiple times in different churches, but that when he was baptized by the priesthood authority of God it was different. He could feel it counted. He had such a strong spirit about him! Another woman bore her testimony about the Book of Mormon and the role it played in her conversion process. She has a strong testimony of how we have a living prophet on the earth today. And one musical number that I loved was "Come Unto Christ." Sister Kirschner was a part of the group that sang in it, and there was even an elder who played the cello in it. You can watch a version of it
"Come unto Christ: 2014 Theme Song (4:48) | Come Unto Christ"
Also at the fireside, one of my dear friends from Maple Valley came-LaChelle! She came with Sister Peterson. It was amazing to see them! A part of my heart still lies in Maple Valley-I love that place! I am so excited for the day when I get to see the many people that I was able to meet there accept the gospel and be baptized and be happy from all these wonderful blessings!
Yesterday, we got to be in a trio companionship, because Sister Walker's companion, Sister Loyd went home. It was a most fantastic day. Sister Walker is one of the most bubbly, exciting, and absolutely wonderful sisters I have met. We spent the day in laughing fits. She really brings out my goofy side. Sister Walker just has an excitement for life! We had some awesome lessons yesterday, too. My favorite miracle of the day was when a less active young woman told us she loves it when we stop and that she would like us to come more! And we thought she hadn't wanted to talk to us! During that visit we sang "Lead Kindly Light" and the grandmother was in tears. Sister Walker brought an awesome harmony. There was just such a beautiful Spirit in their home as we visited with them. I am so excited to get to know them better and to teach them about the gospel. Sadly, I don't think Sister Walker and I will ever be companions, because we would always be in laughing fits, and we'd just want to shop for our entire P-day. But that's ok, we will be friends after our missions and we can shop and laugh all we want then! Also, I forgot to say that Sister Evans-Bottoms and I get to stay together another transfer in the White river Ward! We are so excited! Auburn is just a most glorious place to be! I love the people here, and we are expecting many miracles this transfer!
So time is up as usual. I love you!!!! Have a wonderful summer week!
Sister Mecate

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Dear Family,
Sadly, we don't have a whole lot of time to email today, because we had choir practice today and we have a dinner appointment in 20 minutes! So I'm sorry if my email isn't very long this week. But it's been a great week. We talked with a lot of people! Every day I get more comfortable with awkward situations as we truly try to talk with everyone we see. In fact, some of the best moments come as we stop and talk with people who are riding by on their bikes or who are way across the street or who are out gardening or who are up on their balcony. I am learning to love talking to strangers! People's lives are very interesting!
This week we had a baptism in our ward! The elders, Elder Tibbits and Elder McDonald, were teaching a couple, Charlotte and Gary. Charlotte was already a member, but wasn't active for a while. And Gary wasn't a member. Gary and Charlotte got married this last week and then Gary was baptized on Saturday. The Spirit was so strong at his baptism! Anyone could tell that God approved of the decision that Gary was making to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God. During the intermission, Elder Tibbits taught a short Restoration lesson and then showed the video "Sanctify Yourselves," a powerful video that teaches about priesthood power. You can watch it on! I have been reminded this week over and over of my testimony of the restored Priesthood on the earth. We taught a lesson about the priesthood to our investigator, Jim. I learned about the priesthood in Alma 13 in my studies this week. And in church on Sunday, we talked about the keys of the priesthood. And I just feel blessed as I reflect on how the priesthood has blessed my life. Especially since this last week was Father's day, I am so grateful to my wonderful dad who has worthily held the priesthood so that our family can have those specific blessing of priesthood power in our home. I am so grateful for the Restoration, for the prophet Joseph Smith who sacrificed so much to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, and for the Savior who sacrificed ALL so that we can be redeemed from our sins. I love the gospel, and I love the priesthood!
Also, we had an awesome lesson with a sweet Filipino couple this week. At the end of the lesson, the husband, Alex, prayed in Tagolog about the Restoration. The Spirit was so strong during his prayer. After the prayer, he and his wife said  they felt that Joseph Smith really was a prophet. And before we left, Alex said that we made their day. It was a wonderful experience!
I love you all so much. Have a glorious week! Oh and this is an awesome video for Father's Day on"Earthly Father, Heavenly Father." Oh and you can visit Anyways, have a good one!
Sister Mecate

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

Dear Family,
This morning I read a talk by Elder Christofferson called "The Resurrection of Jesus Christ." It was a powerful witness that he bore that Jesus Christ truly did live, died, and then lived again, that He truly is the Son of God. Then I watched a video that was up on the home page about the Saints and missionaries in Europe, where Elder Christofferson again bore that Same witness that Jesus Christ was Resurrected and that He is our Lord and Savior. I am so grateful to know that we have Special witnesses of Christ-the Apostles and our dear prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. Their testimonies strengthen me and help me keep the most important things in sight. I was thinking "what does the resurrection mean to me in my daily life?" Well, I know that We all will live again once we die. I know that without a doubt. And I know I can repent daily, be reborn spiritually, even for the little things that bring me down and farther away from Heavenly Father. Christ's sacrifice and resurrection help me every day!
This week we had 2 investigators to church and two less active women that haven't been to church for a long time. I was so happy inside for them! One lady we have been meeting with every week. I just adore her. This past week we taught her about the sacrament and how she can feel clean every week if she has a humble heart and a contrite spirit. It was the best thing to have her there with us at church! She's the one that quilts and sews and makes cakes. We found out she rides a motorcycle too. She's cool. This area has so many women that have just stopped coming to church for one reason or another, and we have been able to visit with them and get to know them. One other woman, I just love her. She kind of reminds me of me in 40 years. This week she was joking with us about if she had to escape from a natural disaster she would have to pack up her cats and run to higher ground! And she also considers herself a hippie. She is just so cute. We love her. She joined the church in her 50's and used to be very active, but something is keeping her away now. There is another woman we have been helping with her yard work. She is a tiny 83 year old Japanese lady. Her husband is sick and has always stayed inside when we come over. It is sad the trials they are having to go through. But I was inspired by her this week as she told us that she is never lonely, because the Lord is with her. She has such a positive attitude. We love going to work with her in the yard. She has a mini forest of flowers, grass, and trees everywhere! The last two weeks we have pulled A LOT of grass/weeds from the ground. It's been great fun! And this sister, though older and very tiny, is not afraid to use her weed wacker! She cracks us up. And when we are done, she always lets us pick strawberries from her garden to take home. I am so grateful Heavenly Father put us here to get to know these sweet sisters and to be able to serve them. I love them, and I hope we can help them to come to church and feel the Savior's love!

We've still been trying to talk with everyone we see! It can be intimidating at times, but we see miracles as we do it! (We also have some interesting stories to reminisce about later, because we run into some interesting situations!) There was one moment this week where the Lord really taught me a specific lesson this week. We felt prompted to go visit a sister who might have needed some service from us. She ended up not being home. We were both so disappointed, because we felt we really needed to go there. I felt a determination to find the reason why Heavenly Father wanted us there. So I really tried to talk with literally everyone as we headed back to our car. In one instance I hesitated-there was a young man up on the third floor, and I didn't really want to have an awkward moment, but I decided to shout up to him anyways. He was polite, but didn't want to hear a message about Jesus Christ. After our conversation with him, a young woman and her baby passed by us. We said hi, but she kept going. Not feeling that that was enough, I asked if we could share something with her. She said yes. We introduced ourselves, talked about our message, and ended up finding out that her best friend is LDS. We were able to set up an appointment to come back and teach her more. This experience helped me realize that if we are diligent in all situations and just give our best, the Lord will not let us fail. We will be able to find those He wants us to find.
Well, it's going to be another great week. I hope that each of you have a wonderful week as well!  Oh, here is the name of the video I watched "Unto All the World: Building On Ancient Roots Europe." And then I watched this one too "Despoina's Story: A Light to All Nations" So inspiring! I love you guys so much! Thanks for all you do to help keep me going. Try not to have too much fun this summer without me! ;)
Sister Mecate

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014

Dear Family,
It's been quite an interesting week. If there is one thing I know, it's that my skin will be thicker when I return home! And hopefully my heart will be softer. I am grateful for the trials that have helped me to grow. One sister shared a spiritual thought this week in church about how adversity is meant to make us stronger. In the last conference, Elder Anderson gave a talk called "Spiritual Whirlwinds." Here is an excerpt from his talk: 
"In nature, trees that grow up in windy environment become stronger. As winds whip around young sapling,forces inside the tree do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, theforces in the tree start creating cell structures that actually make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexibleto the pressure of the wind. These stronger roots and branches protect the tree from winds that are sure toreturn.4 
You are infinitely more precious to God than tree. You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strongand capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life. The whirlwinds in your youth, like the wind against ayoung tree, can increase your spiritual strength, preparing you for the years ahead."
So this week hasn't been awful or anything, but it was a bit rougher at times, and I know that Heavenly Father has made us so that disappointments and trials will not tear us down but make us stronger as we rely on the Savior. He is continually preparing us for the future and aware of us and the things we go through. 
Possibly my favorite miracle from this week: one of our investigators prayed after refusing for weeks to do so! His wife is a member, and we absolutely adore her. They have been going through a rough financial time, and so he decided he would turn to God, because there wasn't much else he could do. He is praying and hoping for a miracle, and we are praying that he will recognize the answer when it comes. One of the most important parts of missionary work is to help people become connected with their Heavenly Father through prayer. When that happens, the Spirit can come into their lives, and they can experience the peace of the gospel for themselves. I know that trials are not always taken away, but it kind of goes back to that principle I was just talking about. When we pray in our trials and when we rely on the Lord, we are made stronger for future experiences and we can gain a greater conviction that God loves us from the peace that He gives us! (John 14:27-Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you...)
Another wonderful miracle: we have been teaching a less active woman and she is considering coming back to church after many, many years. She is such a neat woman. Just some of her talents include cake decorating, quilting, sewing, book writing. She is just awesome. She's having a hard time picking up the Book of Mormon and reading it, but we are getting there! She once had a beautiful testimony of the Savior that she shared with us, but she feels that she has lost it. I know reading the Book of Mormon will help her to come to know her Savior. I am so grateful for her humble attitude in wanting to come to know Him again. I just love her!
This week in my studies I was reading in Mosiah 24. Verses 13-15 talk about how the Lord eased the burdens which were put upon the backs of His people because of the covenant they had made. But what stood out to me most this time when I read the chapter was verse 21: "Yea, and in the valley of Alma they poured out their thanksto God because he had been merciful unto them, and eased their burdensand had delivered them out ofbondage; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it were the Lord their God." This makes me think about how many of us are in some kind of bondage-we all are! We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We face spiritual bondage, emotional bondage, physical bondage. Whatever it may be we all have weaknesses and trials to face. And we cannot be delivered from it without Jesus Christ, "the Lord [our] God." Sometimes I just wish I could make people understand! They can't be free without Him. What  wonderful message we have to share, that Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, lives. Here is a wonderful video about the Savior that I invite all of you to watch-I love it! All the bible videos are awesome!
I love you all so much. Have a great week!
Sister Mecate

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014

Dear Family,
It has been one great week. It was kick started with an amazing zone conference on Tuesday. I was sitting in zone confernce thinking about how I used to go to EFY for a week to learn about the gospel and have a good time, and Mom and Dad paid so I could go have a great week. As a missionary, this is my life! I get to learn about the gospel every day and live it! And President Eaton is a top quality teacher. We had an amazing discussion about the Atonement at the beginning of the conference. There were about 50 missionaries in one room, all studying and sharing about the Atonement and what we had learned about Christ on our missions. It was a powerful discussion. One scripture that was shared that I loved was D&C 3:9-10
Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.
 10 But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work;"
The Lord tells Joseph that he has made mistakes, but because of the Atonement of Christ, Joseph can repent, and he is still a chosen servant. Each of us are the same. We will not be called to be prophets of God, but we each have a role to play in God's kingdom, whether it be as a teacher, leader, missionary, friend, or a mother! And we are not perfect and we make mistakes, but we can always repent. We never lose value in the eyes of the Lord. I love the talk by Brad Wilcox "His Grace is Sufficient." He talks about how Christ's grace doesn't "make up" the difference. It makes ALL the difference. You can find it on if you just put it in the search box.
The rest of the week was great as well. We are working on talking with everyone we see. We find miracles when we do! But sometimes it can be discouraging, when people don't want to talk with us, appointments fall through, or people just aren't as committed or honest as they seem. But it's all in good fun. We "just keep swimming!" as Dory did. Sister Evans-Bottoms quoted that this week to a lady who was recently baptized. I think that's fitting. But anyways, we had a lesson with a man this week who wasn't at a previous appointment. We saw him walking down the road one day, parked and jumped out of our car, and talked with him. He said we caught him and that he would meet with us again! He seems to be holding a lot of weight about the things of his past. He believes in Christ, but is having a hard time allowing Christ to help him. He lives alone, and he is on oxygen. We taught him on his doorstep about the Restoration. We invited him to church, and he said we would come, but we weren't sure if he would. It got to be Sunday, we were sitting in church, and Sister Evans-Bottoms tapped me and told me to look over, and he came! He had to leave early, but he told us to stop by on Tuesday! It was so exciting! It's the best thing ever when we try so hard to help them understand how Christ can help them, and then to see them enjoying church, or reading the Book of Mormon, or praying with us, especially when they are going through a lot of trials. Best feeling ever. The gospel is just so awesome!
We had two awesome opportunities to serve this week! One, we helped move a family into their new apartment. It was so fun to get to know them and help them and to see their burden be made just a little lighter. We love to help people do physical labor, but we don't get a lot of opportunities to do it. I think people don't realize we have pants we can change into and that we don't always wear skirts! Something that touched me was that the oldest daughter in this family thanked us for listening to her talk about her art hobby as we took a short break in the moving process. It feels good to know that we can help others just by listening to them. Sometimes that means the most to people! Another opportunity we had to serve came from the downstairs neighbor of one of our investigators. This lady's name is Lori. She has an amazing story, and I feel ok sharing it, because she says she likes to share it to help others. The reason we were helping her was because she just had knee surgery! it was funny how we met her too. We were just coming out of a lesson with our investigator and this dog came running at us, barking. Lori told us he was harmless and then we started talking with her and found out about her knee and we offered to come help her with stuff. She readily accepted! It was awesome how Heavenly Father placed her in our path. We came over the next day and helped her clean a little bit, and she shared her story with us. She is 31 but has been through enough stuff for 3 lifetimes! She suffered different kinds of abuse when she was young. She left home at the age of 14 and was homeless for a while. She used some pretty awful drugs in the process. And she was atheist the whole time. She had had some pretty bad experiences with church. Then she started to wonder what she was missing that her friends of faith had that she did not have. She said the last thing she turned to was God. But when she did she really turned! She has such strong faith now in Christ and has become a completely different person. Her face was glowing with happiness even though she had been through so many awful things. She truly has become a "new creature in Christ," she told us. (2 Cor. 5:17) She told us she has many atheist friends that are so upset with her change, but that she keeps telling them of Christ. I shared with her the story of Abinadi in the Book of Mormon, and how he was preaching to people who wanted to kill him! But he kept preaching, because he knew that's what Heavenly Father wanted and needed him to do. And because of that Alma heard the message about Christ and went on to teach and baptize hundreds. She appreciated that story. She said that her door is open for us if we ever need anything. She is such an awesome lady! By the way Mosiah 12-18 might just be my new favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. They are so awesome! They tell Abinadi's and Alma's stories. And they are all about the coming of Christ!
Well, I've got to go! Love you all sooooo much!
Sister Mecate