Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sister Melly Battles Cold - Germs and Cooler Weather in the Cornfield

Hello family!

Love you!

Now I am a little confused. I am guessing that this means that Ryan is with you in Minnesota. For some reason I had thought he was not. But, I hope that you are having a wonderful time in Minnesota! I hope that the weather has not cooled down there as much as it has here, but from what I heard so far, it sounds like we do things a lot the same weather wise. I can't help but laugh at myself talking about the weather.

Anyways, this last week has been not too exciting. Last Tuesday (p-day) when I woke up, I was feeling a little like I had a sore throat and by the next day, I was feeling pretty sick. So I spent most of Wednesday in bed at the Trail Center and Sister Brown went with one of the other sisters to our area. That right there is one reason that I am very grateful for the trail center. It makes it much easier for us to take care of ourselves when we are sick because it is usually pretty easy to just borrow someone for the evening. Otherwise, I probably would have just gone. Thursday morning, I was feeling worse, so we had district meeting over the phone while sitting in our living room, which was actually pretty nice. It was interesting because I was not feeling good at all, so I went to sleep about an hour before district meeting and then woke up right as it was starting and thought that I was feeling fine. As soon as I stood up, I was not feeling that great again, but it was enough to get me out to the living room so that I could listen in to district meeting, which was on our purpose. We talked about how the more we are able to understand and use the atonement, the greater our desire to share the gospel will be. That is why recent converts tot he church are more excited to share the gospel, because they have recently felt the powerful effects of the atonement in their lives.

Sister Brown went out again that evening with another sister. It funny, sometimes seeing someone else being sick and getting to sleep can make a missionary jealous because we are always tired, but really being sick is not as much fun as it looks like.

By Friday, I was feeling mostly better, which was good because it was temple day! Hooray for the temple! Sister Brown and Sister Coats and I did initiatory and then got to sit in the Celestial Room for about a half an hour before the other missionaries were done. When we walked in, it was just the three of us in there for a minute and it was a neat feeling because as we walked in, whispering to each other about what we had learned today, it really felt like we were walking into Heavenly Father's living room. It just at home, which is neat to think that we could feel at home in a place that is so fancy looking. :)

On Thursday, Sister Kusnerik (Kate) who was my trainer, moved back to Omaha and was staying with the Watsons for a few days. It was so weird to see her but she is so excited to help with the missionary work. She will be a good resource to have, especially because she wants to help out in West Maple because that was one of the areas she served in (for something like 9 months!). So that will be nice, although I will admit that I am still a little bit intimidated by her. I am sure that will dissipate once she comes on a few team ups with us.

So, I am doing just great! 99% not sick anymore. And I hope that you are doing great too!

Love you!

Sister Melly

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sister Lamb Slips into Iowa and the Cornfield Gets Golden

Hello Family!

Love you!

This has been a great week :) So many good things are happening!

Today, we had a Watson Wagon and went to the Joslyn Museum and the Walking Bridge in downtown Omaha, which connects Nebraska and Iowa. It was fun. I don't know what else to say other than that.

Now to the really exciting stuff. Last Tuesday, we had a mission tour with Elder Nash of the 70. The Omaha and Papillion zones met together to hear from him. (President has been packing a lot of missionaries into these zones lately, so there were a lot of us there- probably around 60 missionaries covering 2 stakes. That might be a little low). We were in the chapel. The first thing that we did was Elder Nash, his wife, and the Westons stood at the back of the room and one row at a time, we went to greet them. I shook Elder Nash's hand and he complimented me on my strong handshake, ha-ha, and then looked at me for a second and said "You have a beautiful spirit." I thought that was pretty nice compliment from a General Authority. After we all greeted them, the meeting started. Previous to the meeting, President had all the missionaries prepare 3-five minute talks on subjects that he had assigned. Then, 3 missionaries (one for each subject) were asked to present their talks. I was called up to give the first talk, on working with members. When the assistants announced my name, my heart didn't skip a beat and I calmly walked up to the stand, gave my talk like there was nothing to it, and then went to sit back down. For me, it was just a neat reminder of how much I had changed. Giving a talk in front of a group of fellow missionaries and a member of the 70 was no big deal, even if I didn't think that I knew very much on the subject. The rest of the meeting was great. Elder Nash spoke about the atonement and gave us a couple of hours at the end to ask him questions.

The little girl is Julie’s granddaughter, Madison. I mentioned her a couple of weeks ago. We still haven’t been able to see her again.

Let’s see, other really awesome thing that happened this week was that Madison was baptized on Saturday! Sister Belka and I left our companions at the TC and headed out together, just like old times :) The baptism was good. A priest in the ward was able to baptize her, which I am sure her family thought was really weird. Our bishop boldly invited all of Madison's extended family members to come to church next Sunday for her confirmation and to look more into the church. Madison was excited to see us and we were really glad to be able to go. What was really amazing was all of the miracles that happened surrounding the baptism. Madison's mom, Kate was there. I talked to her afterwards and she talked about how much Madison has changed in the last few months since she has been coming to church (Madison struggled with depression and bipolar disorder) now, she is no longer taking any medication or having any therapy. I reminded Kate that those same blessings are available to her as well and she said that she and Madison have been talking about that. I think that Kate will get baptized within the next few years, at least. But Kate wasn't the only one who has noticed the difference in Madison. One of her grandmas was there and slipped in to the chapel after the service, where she sat in the dark for half an hour. When she came out, she was crying and overcome with emotion. She is not religious, but Sister Belka and I talked to her and shared scriptures from the Book of Mormon and she gave sister Belka her phone number so that she can stay in contact with her. Another set of Madison’s grandparents were also there and it turns out that they know the bishop, who is a patient in the medical clinic where she works. They talked to both Bishop Applegarth and Brother Jensen for quite a while. Madison's best friend and her dad were also there as well as some other grandparents and an aunt and uncle. It was a good turn out.

We had stake conference on Sunday. Sister Brown and I sang in the choir. We sang a song called "Refuge and Rest" that someone in the stake wrote a few years ago for the Bicentennial. It was good. Elder Deschler of the Seventy was the speaker. He had all the full time missionaries in the stake come up to the front and had us all sing the first verse of Called to Serve. Then, he talked about the power of missionaries. He said that the power of missionaries is great, but it is greater when they have the support of the members. He then had everyone stand up and sing the second verse of Called to Serve. It was really powerful.

Ah! I need more time! I haven't even said anything about our investigators yet but they are doing great! We have a lot that are progressing and 2 set for baptism in October, with more to come! Great things are happening!

Love you! Have a great week!
Love, Sister Melly



Monday, September 10, 2012

Sister Lamb's West Maple Dream

Dear Family!

Hello from Omaha! Haha Love yoU!

This last week has been a dream. I still don't feel like I know what is going on completely in West Maple, but I feel like I am starting to get a grip on who everyone is and what is going on. The biggest problem is that there are a bunch of people that the sisters have met and taught a little in the recent past, but who we have not been able to contact in the last while, so I keep seeing and thinking about these names that still don't have any faces to go with them.

It’s so funny how the Spirit works. I think that I am just starting to recognize that feelings that I have felt many times in the past but wasn't sure exactly what it was that I was feelings were actually the Spirit trying to tell me something. Yesterday, we were at our church building eating lunch after church when I started to feel really strongly that we needed to go to an apartment complex where some of our investigators live. It’s hard to describe, but it was like feeling really excited, but also a little nervous at the same time. We headed to where we thought we should be going, but the lady we were looking for was not home. We talked to some other people and knocked a couple of doors. We also talked to a Muslim man outside, which was really interesting to me because he wanted to give us a copy of the Koran and talked about it the same way that we would talk about the Book of Mormon. He said that if we would read it, that we would know that it is true and that we could pray about it to know the truth from God. We had an interesting conversation and decided to respectfully not agree with each other.

One of those names that I mentioned earlier (a name without a face) was a lady named Faith who we have tried several times, but have not been able to catch home. After we talked to the Muslim man, we went to try her and she was home! She was so funny. She is African American and talks at a million miles an hour, but somehow we were still able to teach her the restoration and about the Book of Mormon. I shared with her Helaman 5:12, where it talks about building our foundation in Christ and she immediately asked if she could have a copy. Turns out, her fiancée also has a copy of "the blue book" and she has really wanted to read it because he has been reading it. In the end, I don't really know what it was that Heavenly Father wanted to accomplish or if there was even one specific thing that we needed to do, but it always feels good to be able to receive and then follow the promptings of the Spirit and know that you are doing God's will.

We also met with another investigator, Tatiana, a few times this week. She is a single mother of one and has a second son on the way. It’s hard to know how to explain her. She is very depressed and a lot disappointed in herself because she has had both of her kids out of wedlock.

Another neat thing that happened this week is that someone chased us down to talk with us. We were in an apartment building, going to knock on the door of Andy, a girl that they met a couple of weeks ago. As we walked to the door, her mom came in, talking in the phone. We tried to talk to her, but she ignored us and went inside. We continued down the hall and upstairs, knocking on doors and began talking to a man named Doug. As we were talking, Andy's mom poked her head out of the stairwell from downstairs and yelled to us "Hey! Were you trying to talk to me?" we said yes and she said to come knock on her door when we were done. We did, of course and went to knock on her door. She let us right in and we got to know her and taught her the Restoration. She liked everything we said. Her name is Lynette and she is so funny! She told us that she had seen us while she was talking on the phone and something had told her to finish her call and go talk to us, so she did! She had gone up and down the hallways and outside looking for us before she found us upstairs. She is so in tune with the Spirit! It is awesome. She is an older black lady and so sassy. We are going back to teach her and Andy this Friday.

Another great thing that we did this week was that we got to go do service at a medical clinic. One of Elders Watson’s friends from Kiwanis is a doctor and holds a free medical clinic for the uninsured once a week in downtown Omaha. They have enlisted our help, so each week four sisters go and help by counting pills to fill prescriptions for the people that come into the clinic after they have seen a doctor. It was a lot of fun. It was in a school of some sort and we were just using some of the extra rooms. We were in an office counting pills and when the prescription was filled, someone else would call the patients in one at a time to give them their medications. I didn't pay much attention most of them time, but there was one little, older man, medium height and skinny with glasses who came in with his wife. They had to explain to him that the medications that he needed for seizures were too expensive for the clinic to have, so they could not give them to him. Right then, I just felt a huge surge of love for this man and his wife imagining them in a small, worn down house and trying to courageously deal with his medical issues. I had a hard time keeping myself from crying for a minute. But it made me grateful for the good we were able to help do, even if we couldn't do it all.
So yeah! It’s been a pretty neat week.

I don’t' have a picture of Sister Brown because my camera ran out of batteries, but you can probably pick her out of a picture. She is the one with really short hair.
Could that be Sister Brown in the lead arriving in Omaha?

Love yoU!

Sister Melly
Sister Lamb answers a few questions:

We just started volunteering again at the Catholic retirement home- Seven Oaks. I have not been yet, but I think I will be going in the next week. with so many sisters, we only do it once every couple of weeks. it seems like it was more often in the fall last year, but that is probably not really true.

We do still do mormon.org chat. I have seen two baptisms so far come from the people that we have chatted with- one named Eric who lives in London and one in California named Brent.

We ate a lot with the members in Millard, but not so much in West Maple. it all depends on how willing the members are to help out. The members in Millard were also a lot more willing to help with things like team-ups. I think it mostly has to do with the demographics of the ward. Millard was a lot younger with husbands that have recently been on missions, etc.

The quilt show just started this last weekend. There are all kinds of quilts from all backgrounds and sewing capablilitles. There are some that were loaned to us that are from the late 1800's and early 1900's. I really haven't had much time to look at all of them yet.

We haven't started working on the Christmas fireside, or at least I haven't heard much yet but I do know that they have set up many performances in November and December. I think that they are going to be keeping us very busy. It will be good to keep all of us that are nearing the end of our missions excited and focused. We are going to the Walking Bridge and a museum downtowm next week for Watson Wagon and the temple next Friday! Love yoU!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sister Melly Battling Bugs, Moving Mania and Celebrating 366

Dear Family,

Love you!

This last week has been pretty crazy. It is kind of a stressful experience going from an area where you know everything and everyone and what is going on and where things are, to not knowing anything at all. The last week has kind of been like a dream. On top of that, I really have not had much time to be able to put away all of my stuff in our apartment, so I feel even more like a mess. I got a lot done during lunch time yesterday and hopefully I can get the rest in it place this afternoon. Right before I first moved in, I got a whole lot of bug bites on my legs that we thought were bedbugs, so we washed all of my clothes and did a whole bunch of stuff to get rid of the bedbugs, but we later decided that it was not bedbugs but that it was chiggers or mosquitoes. But at least all my clothes are clean! They itched really badly for a while but now they are just a bunch of little scabs on my legs. There are probably about 20 or them. Maybe more.

We are living with Sister Proctor and Sister Arnold. We don’t see each other too often though. We get home at night, plan for the next day, get ready for bed then may have a few minutes left to talk about our days. Last night I decided to dye my eyebrow so everyone joined in and we all looked pretty funny. In the mornings, Sister Brown and I go running while the others go to the Trail Center to exercise. Then we study while they get ready and we get ready while they study then one of us is usually out the door. Yesterday, we were all there for companion study at the same time, so we decided to sing a hymn together. It was fun!

The work in West Maple is different from Millard. It always amazes me how different areas of one place can be, even if they are just a few miles away from each other. Our area is bigger- probably about 15 square miles, but at least lately, the missionaries have been spending all of their time in about 1 square mile of it. This area has a lot of apartment complexes, which are usually good places to find people. The biggest problem is not that people don't want to talk to us; it is that even those who really want to learn are too busy to have time for us to come teach them.

At the same time that I came into the area, we also got a set of elders in West Maple. Before, it was just sisters, so we have been trying to help them get settled and give them some of our investigators to teach. We have one man, Ryan, who is set for baptism in two weeks, but still has a lot to learn before then. It seems like that is the typical way of things - a rush to the finish line. I have not even met him yet, which is a little scary, and we will probably have the elders finish teaching him since they have more time than we do. We are also teaching Holly, who is set to be baptized in October. She really wants to learn and believe the things that we are teaching her, but is really struggling because she just cannot trust people or even herself really. She has very little self confidence and is just miserable. On Saturday, we watched "Your Happily Ever After" with her - a talk from President Uchdorf from YW conference last year I think. I think we really made some progress with her in the lesson. I read something a little while a go that confidence comes from keeping the commandments because when we are obedient, we feel God's love for us. Hopefully we can use that to help her build some confidence in herself and recognize that she really is a child of God!

We have been teaching a lot this week and getting a lot done. On Friday, we helped a less active and her sister move. The less active was just moving her stuff from one apartment to another in the same complex. Her sister was moving from Alabama, so we got to drive out to Bennington (which is about 5 miles outside of our area through cornfields and such) and got her stuff, then moved it into he apartment as well. Luckily, we had two sets of elders there to help and we got quite a workout from all of the moving, but it was fun!

On Friday, it was also my year mark of going in to the MTC, se we went to dinner with our roommates at Village Inn.

It was a good week, although crazy!

Love you!

Sister Melly