Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sister Melanie Gets in Touch with her Theater Roots and Gets Ready to Welcome New Transplants to the Cornfield

Dear Family,
Love you!
This last week has been absolutely amazing!
To start off, last week after I emailed you last, we headed to downtown Omaha for a tour of the Rose Theater, an old theater which houses one of the largest children’s theater companies in the nation. Sister Maldanado, a woman in the Millard ward, is holding some workshops there right now, so she was able to take us on a tour. We saw their costume storage and costume shop, all the backstage areas, dressing rooms, etc. I jut felt right at home and Sister Belka was pretty funny, she was so excited. After that we had sushi at a restaurant in Old Market for Sister Coats's birthday. We had fun.
A lot of time this week has been devoted to making the blanket for that man that we met at the fabric store a couple of weeks ago. It has turned out to be quite a project. The biggest problem that we ran into was that we lost his phone number, so we had no way to get into contact with him and couldn't remember his name, so we weren’t sure what to do. On Wednesday, we had Specialized Training with the Omaha and Papillion Zones and in between some of the trainings, Elder Powell from the Skyline Ward told us that the guy had come into his church building looking for us and had talked to some of the members of his ward, but they hadn't gotten any contact information for him, so we were still at a loss of what to do, but I just kept working and figured that it would work itself out eventually. On Saturday, we got a call from him. We had written our phone number on the back of a pamphlet and given it to him. He said that he had read the pamphlet but that after he read it, he lost it for a while, but he found it between the seats in his car that day and then called us. We were so relieved! I finished the blanket this morning. I don't have a picture of it right now, but it has a cat embroidered on it and little hearts quilted every so often and is very soft and cozy. I may have a hard time giving it back, but we are meeting him on Wednesday for lunch and then hopefully we can get some other missionaries over to meet him since he does not live in our area.
The other highlight of the week was the musical fireside that we put on on Sunday night. This was the first of a series of 4 firesides called "Pioneers Past and Present" that we are doing for the Omaha, Papillion, Lincoln, and Council Bluffs Stakes. Sister Coats and I narrated and then we had about 15 musical numbers- mainly solos with some group numbers- performed in the cultural hall. President Kunz recorded it so; hopefully I can get you a copy some time soon. The first one was for the Omaha stake. We had a lot of people from our ward there, including many of our recent converts, but best of all was that Aliyah and Walter (two of our investigators) were able to come! Aliyah we met a couple of weeks ago. She is 15 and just really needs to find some direction in her life. She came to church and loved it and then came to the fireside and really felt the spirit. She is so great! So trusting and humble and ready for some good changes in her life. Now we just need to get the rest of her family on board. Walter is the husband of Julie, who was just baptized a couple of months ago. He is so supportive of her and he says that the only things that are holding him back from being baptized are that he doesn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and he says he has felt the Spirit before in his life, but not yet in the Church. He is expecting it to be an overwhelming, cleansing feeling, so we are continually trying to help him understand that what he is feeling is the spirit, because we know that he has felt it, including at the fireside.
I have really come to realize what a unique and special opportunity that I have to serve in this mission and at the Trail Center. We have so many talented sisters and being here together allows all of our talents to combine so that we are able to do all of these neat, neat things. My view of missionary work is completely different than what you would probably hear from most other missionaries, but I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to participate in these great things. Almost everything that has meant the most to me on my mission has come as a direct result of serving at the Trail Center. It just reminds me that there is not just one way to do missionary work that different people are touched by different things and need to different experiences for their testimonies to develop.
The Lord just keeps putting a lot of awesome people in our path lately. There are so many people that are prepared for the gospel living in the Millard area. We also keep finding awesome people for other missionaries to teach. I feel like the experiences that a couple months ago I would qualify as great miracles are now becoming almost commonplace. They just happen all the time!
Oh, also, I met Katie and Cody’s new ward mission leader from their Minnesota Ward. He came into the TC last night on their way down to Arizona for the summer.
But, this is President and Sister Kunz's last week. They leave and the Westons arrive on Friday. It makes me a little nervous, especially with all the things that we have going on right now. I feel like we are doing some really great things now and I hope and pray that he catches the vision of what we are trying to accomplish. But, President Kunz keeps telling us, the only reason we would not feel completely loyal to President Weston is because of our own disobedience. So I am sure that everything will be fine in the end.
Love you! Have a good week!
Sister Melly

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