Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sister Lamb Feels Forgotten and Gets Sheared

Sister Melly actually called this a HAIR-RAISING day but I call it her Spring Shearing
(From Sister Lamb's mom - I did not forget to write an email to Sister Melly - I actually wrote her three but they were clogged up in our email out box and did not send. I lost my motherhood award for the week.)

Dear Family,

Love you!

I hope that I don't have an email from Mom this week because the week has gone by so quickly that you forgot that it was Tuesday already. This week has gone by quickly for me; in fact the last couple of weeks and the last month have gone by very quickly. We were looking back at our records of people we met recently and need to go back and check up on and I was shocked when I started looking at when we met them. There were some of them that we met over a month ago and have not been able to go back to see them yet. It is amazing how sometimes it feels like we are really having to search for things to do (other than tracting) but then we realize that there are a lot of things that we need to do that we have not been able to get done yet. (It is not lack of trying, but not being able to be there at a good time).And now I feel like I need to justify something about why it has been so long. Anyway, moving on.

I don't know much what to say about this last week. I am trying to steal ideas off of Sister Bergeson, but she turned her computer screen away from me so that I cannot see what she is writing. I hope that doesn't mean that she is writing anything that she doesn't want me to see . . . well I guess that it what it means, but not so much in a hiding something type of way as a I feel awkward type of way, if that makes sense. It sounds like something I would do. This is probably why right after she did it, I did it too.

This last week, we have been focusing a lot on visiting with members and encouraging them to do missionary work and also visiting less-actives. As we visited with the members, they were very excited to tell us about the friends and neighbors that they are working on inviting to learn more about the Church; in fact they did so without us asking anything. It was neat to be able to spend more time sharing the gospel with the members this week because not only did we get to have lots of fun, spirit-filled lessons with them, but it also made me a little more excited about missionary work as we talked about what they have been doing. I go through phases with the Oak View Ward (yes, it is two words). Sometimes I love it and I am excited to help strengthen and build the ward and sometimes I feel like I am ready for a change. So, we will see what happens come tomorrow (transfer calls!) Sister Bergeson and I are trying to figure out an excuse to be at the Trail Center in the morning when President Kunz will be there so that we can find out what our new assignments will be a few hours earlier than we would if we waited until we get a call from our District Leader. It shouldn't be too hard.

On Sunday night, we stopped by the home of a less-active in the ward. She had a headache and told us to come back the next night, Monday. When we got there, she was the only one home of a normally packed full house of people. Dad had sent me a copy of his most recent High Council talk, one about Job and dealing with trials. After I read it, I knew that it was exactly what she needed. So, we shared it with her, talking about the many trials we have in life and how we choose to let them affect us. In the story of Job, his situation finally changes when Job prays for his friends. When he does this, Heavenly Father returns all of his losses to him two-fold. Most especially, there was a question from the talk "Do your trials make you bitter or do they make you better?” She loved it and just kept agreeing with what we said, which surprised me a little because it seemed kind of bold for sharing in a one-on-one situation. And suddenly, she was telling us everything that she was feeling lately. Things that she wasn't telling anyone else. The spirit just cracked her right open like an egg. She apologized several times for crying and for unloading all of this on us, but I know that it was the Spirit that prompting her to tell us. It was amazing. And as we testified and shared experience from our own lives there was just this connection of trust building and building. I don't feel like I have ever understood a person so well before. For a long time, I hadn't gotten it. I tended to think on the side of "what are we going to do with her?" It almost felt beyond hope. But suddenly, everything clicked into place for me. I could see exactly where she was coming from. I could understand why I have seen her act the way that she does. And I felt a great love for her. I have felt that way a few times before with people, that great feeling of charity for them, but I never expected that I would feel it with her. It was a really good experience. By the end, she committed herself to really praying and explaining it all to the Lord and then letting it go. Right before we left, one of her sons and his girlfriend arrived home. The girlfriend is Catholic and had lots and lots of questions about everything in the church. We are going back in the next few days to see them all and answer a lot of her questions. We are excited! There are lots of good things starting to happen in this home and I am already starting to notice that the home feels a little different that the first time that we met them.

Well, that’s all the time we’ve got for this week folks! I love you! I hope that you re having a great week!


Sister Melly

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sister Lamb Weathers her First Tornado and Goes Gas Green

April 14 Rain in Omaha

Dearest Family,

Love you!
So, I don’t know about you, but this last week has gone by very slowly for me. I am looking back through my planner for a week ago and last Monday just seems like forever ago. I think that this is mainly caused by not being able to do a whole lot this last week. Through a series of circumstances, we were only able to spend a few hours in our area this last week, and the time in between has just slowed right down.

On Tuesday night, after p-day ended, we had a few hours to knock on some doors before the end of the day. We went up and down a few streets only finding homes with no one home, or where the people were not interested, or where they only wanted to argue with us about our beliefs. So, it wasn't going too well. Right as we were going to head for home, Sister Bergeson and I looked at each other and said "one more." We surveyed the area and both of us settled on a house across the street with a maroon door. We knocked on the door and a twenty-something year old named Savannah answered the door. She lives in South Omaha but was visiting her mom for the evening when we knocked. She told us that she had been in Boys Town a few years ago (the kids are required to go to church while they are there) but had not been to church either before or after that. She had been having a terrible day and as we talked about the joy of the gospel and knowing that we have a Heavenly Father that knows and loves us each individually, she told us "I am so glad that you stopped by here tonight. I really needed that." She is interested in learning more about faith and we are excited to go back and teach her again soon. Like I have said before, it is always the last house, the last person, the last try, that always ends up being the one that you were looking for. We have to prove our faith and our commitment before we can reap the reward. Not always the most fun, but the most rewarding.

On Wednesday, I was on exchanges with another sister when she started feeling sick and needed to lie down. We had the Elmwood Sister's car for the day while they were working in the Trail Center. We realized that we were only a little ways away from Elmwood's apartment and the keys to their apartment were attached to their car keys. What a miracle! We were able to head over to their apartment, get her some rest, and make it back to Oakview that evening for an appointment without using up too many miles. It just really reminded me how inspired everything about missionary work is, down to what car we are using.
Friday and Saturday were the most exciting days of the week, and probably the ones that you are looking to hear about as you read this email. On Friday morning, we got a call from one of the Trail Center leaders in a panic that there was a tornado on its way towards Omaha. We were not really sure what to do about that, and headed up to the Trail Center for interviews with President Kunz. While we were there, Elder Watson told us that any tornado would not be expected until Saturday evening (the next day). So, the rest of the day we spent at the temple and weekly planning, but that night, we received a text instructing us to make sure that we had water, food, a change of clothes, sturdy shoes and anything that we could not live without together, in case the tornado watch was raised to a tornado warning and we would need to get quickly to a shelter (aka the basement of the Trail Center). It was a weird feeling. I have always heard stories about people having to grab what they could or what was most important to them in just a few minute before running to avoid a fire or some other natural disaster and have been asked the question "What would be the most important to you to take with you?", but I have never actually been in the situation of having to seriously think about what "I couldn't live without." I quickly realized that there were only a few of those things. As much as I like a lot of my stuff, most of it is not that significant. I would be sad to loose it, but in the end, it really wouldn't be a big deal. So, in the end, I packed up my mission blanket, an Obi Wan Kenobi that Ryan sent me for my birthday, my camera and flash drives, some pictures, a couple of notebooks, a box of letters, my scriptures and my journal. Fortunately, it didn't really matter in the end. They kept us all cooped up in the Trail Center all day Saturday. All we saw was a lot of rain, but no tornado came anywhere near to Omaha. Maybe another day. I keep hearing that because we didn't have a very cold winter this last year, we are going to be seeing more tornados. But maybe I shouldn't be saying that :).
Well, that's all for this week!
Love you!
Sister Melan

Sister Melanie's Corny Easter Lamb made from corn husks

Sister Melly's customized lamb

Sister Melanie's Easter baskets
Bip, Sister Lamb and Carol on Easter
Sister Lamb and Carol on Easter

Beautiful Sisters

Sunday, April 15 in Omaha

Sunday, April 15 in Omaha

Sister Lamb is still our Melster - probably too many peeps

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sister Lamb Joins the Watson Wagon and Uses her Sewing Skills

Dear Family,

Love you!

Apparently there is a quilt auction in Omaha to do with something or something and Elder Watson has decided that it would be a good idea for the Trail Center to make a couple of quilts to donate to the auction. So, this last Saturday, Sister Wright enlisted all of our help with one of the quilts. She is having us each embroider a square for the quilt. We were a little surprised that President Kunz was allowing this, but were all excited about it. We picked up our squares on Saturday morning and were all working on them in between tours all day. Between working at the Trail Center Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, mine is already finished. So that fun, although I will admit that sometimes I hoped that no one would come in to the Trail Center for a little bit so that I could work on it. But, now that it is done I guess that I don't have to worry about that any more.

This last week, Sister Proctor (1 transfer older than me, stays with us a lot because of Trail Center things, knows lots of the same people I do at the BYU, etc) had surgery because she had a hernia in her belly button. This meant that she and her companion, Sister Davis, have not been able to do a lot in the last week. They had expected that she would be up and ready to work within a couple of days, but that plan didn't end up working our for them. We ended up working two extra shifts at the Trail Center for them on Wednesday and Sunday so that Sister Proctor could rest. Then yesterday, they had a few appointments in the evening, so after our shift at the TC, Sister Bergeson and Sister Davis went to Bellevue to the appointments and Sister Proctor and I headed for their apartment. They live in the basement of a members home and Sister Proctor told me that she is sure that we will be companions next transfer. She has already started making plans for it, so we will see what happens. Ha ha.

On Sunday, it was Easter! We spent the morning at the Trail Center. Then, off to church. At the end of the block, Sister Young asked us if we could come over to her home for Easter dinner. The only problem was that dinner was not going to be ready until about 6, so we could not go unless there were investigators or potential investigators there as well. So, Sister Young told us that she would see what she could do and promptly went home to call all of her nonmember friends and get someone there to have dinner with us. By the time we got there, one of her neighbors and 14-yr old Clare's Jewish friend were there. So, everything was great. We had dinner and showed them the video "He is Risen" that is on lds.org, and then talked about Christ and the individuality of the atonement, that Christ did it for each of us individually. The gospel is an individual thing. We often pray as individuals, baptisms are performed undividually, we do home teaching and visiting teaching to make sure that each individual is taken care of. (Of course we have to rely on other people as well) But Christ performed the Atonement for each person, not all of us as a group and he cares about us individually. Today, we got a call from Sister Young. Clare's friend, Debbie, had been talking to Clare and said that she loved having dinner with us and listening to our message. She also said that she wishes that she was Mormon so that she could go on a mission.

Last week, we were talking to Elder Whidmer (our district leader) on Sunday evening. He asked what he could do to help us and we expressed our desire to find some new investigators. He promised us a blessing that if we would make an extra effort in our planning on Wednesday night, check on potentials from our area book, and then tract around them, we would find 5 new investigators. I knew that what he said was true because I knew that was what he was going to promise us before he said it. So, Thursday came and we did everything just like he had said. We prayed with faith and pleaded with the Lord, then spent the whole day tracting, talking to everyone we saw, trying our best to follow the spirit, and doing everything we could to find those 5 people. We refused to stop until we absolutely had to go in. By the end of the day, we had no new investigators, but we knew that we had done everything we could have. It was disappointing not to find those 5 people that day, but we both learned something very important. We felt what it is like to truly have given everything to the work. There was a feeling of peace and accomplishment because we knew that the Lord had accepted our effort for the day. We learned that at the end of the day, having that feeling is more important than having good numbers. You can have good numbers and still not feel like your effort was enough, but when you know that you have done everything you can, you just have to leave the rest to the Lord.

Today was day 1 of the "Watson Wagon". About once a month, the Watsons organize a field trip for the missionaries in Omaha to go to sites around Omaha to make sure that we get an opportunity to do some of the things that are available. Today, we took a trip over to the Kanesville Tabernacle. I have been there once, on the first day in Omaha, but really don’t remember anything they said, Elder Scott, a service missionary from Omaha, talked to us for several hours about the history of the Mormon Trail and then Elder Wright took us on a tour of the tabernacle. It was great! You may think that the Wrights are the only senior couple here because it seems like they are the only one I talk about, but there are actually 5 other senior couples and two service missionary couples as well.

Well, I love you! Have a great week!

Sister Melly

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trail Center Triplets

And then there were TRIPLETS

Sister Melanie the Grime Fighter

Spring at the Trail Center

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sister Lamb and her Twin Sister Throw Themselves into Tracting

Sister Melly and her Almost Twin Sister B

Dearest Family,

I love you so much!

This may be a short email, I feel like I just don't have much to report for the last week.

So, conference this last weekend? Yes please! The only problem was that hearing all the talks about families made me want to have a family. Ha ha.

We watched the Saturday sessions in our church building and on Sunday, we were at the Trail Center, so we watched conference in the director's office and took turns sitting up at the front desk and listening from an iphone, hoping that no tours would come in so that we could continue listening to conference. There were a few that came in; luckily I didn't have to take any. Wow that sounds terrible. I just don't understand member s that come in and want to listen to us talking when they could be listening to the prophet. But, it’s what they do sometimes.

Lately, a lot of our investigators have just kind of disappeared. I think I said that same thing last week, but the same is still true. We have been doing a lot of tracting this last week with not a whole lot of success. But, I also know that this is exactly what Sister Bergeson and I need. We both are a little scared of tracting, so we just have to throw ourselves right out there.

Travis, the man we met last Sunday when we were out walking after church (that sounds like we were just out for a nice little Sunday evening stroll), was supposed to meet us at the church on Thursday evening this last week. About an hour before, we called him to remind him about the appointment. As it turns out, he had given us the wrong phone number. We kept our hopes up and headed to the church to wait for him. About the time that he was supposed to meet us, we got a phone call from him, saying that he would not be able to make it that night, but that he wanted to reschedule for a different night. He apologized for giving us the wrong phone number. We were pretty excited! We learned that just because something is starting to look unfavorable, don't give up hope! Just keeping going, keep pushing forward. It's not over until it’s over.

Other than that, we have been doing lots of tracting. The one thing that I like about tracting is that I love meeting new people! I have really been learning just how to get a conversation going, which is something that I have never been very good at in the past. People are all so different and unique. I love learning about them and their views on the world. I just worry sometimes that after I am not a missionary I will not remember how to talk to people again. That is probably what will happen since I am mainly just good at talking to people about religion. But, I will get to that when I get to that I suppose.

It is starting to get rather warm here. We have the air conditioners on in our apartment and we often come home at night feeling awfully sticky. I keep hearing predictions of massive April snow-storms, but I have yet to see any real signs of that happening.

Well, that's about all that I can think of to say right now other than one last I love you.


Sister Melly

Springtime in Omaha
Sister B is happy to have her picture taken!
Best Sister Missionaries in the World - pirated from Sister Kunz's Blog 
 Sister Lamb is on the backrow, second from the right