Thursday, November 28, 2013

MTC

Inline image 6Hola familia! First pday. Woop woop. It seemed to take forever to get here haha. So let's see. The first week in the MTC was awful. I know that's not how I should be but that is how I felt. Satan really just worked on me every way possible. I felt so unworthy to be here, I couldn't understand the Spanish and most of my district was getting it, and I wasn't used to having to focus for so long in a classroom, and companions are tough! So mi companieras are Hermana Vea and Hermana Schuitz.  Vea is Tongan from Bountiful and reminds me soo much of Sione. I love it. Schuitz... let's see where to begin there. She is a vegetarian from Eugene, Oregon and is really quiet and wants everything to be just perfect. Well here at the MTC everything is kinda rushed and definitely won't be perfect the first week. So yup. By Sunday I had prepared all these things I was going to tell her during companionship inventory and we went in and she was just like "I'm blessed to have you as my companions and never wanna hurt you and started crying" and I was like... well there goes that. And it's gotten better since then. I've actually learned to love her despite our differences.Our districto consits of Hermana Manning and Hermana Lybertt, us tres companions and Elder Adair and Elder Winger. Hermana lybertt actually had Elder Brendan Lee as her mission prep teacher so that's pretty neat. Us cinco hermanas share an apartment. Five girls, one shower. You do the math. Yeah, it's been quite the adventure so far! Elder Winger is super random as well as hermana Vea. Elder Adair is pretty serious and Hermana manning is quite girly and ditzy. Our district is the bomb. It's really like your own little family here. So back to the MTC being horrible for a moment. I wanted to go home soo bad and then Elder Adair gave me a blessing Monday morning and said every little thing I needed to hear and since then it really has gotten so much better! I've had more tolerance and patience for my companions and have been able to focus more on what I'm doing here rather than what all my ex boyfriends are doing ha. :) And my Spanish has come along A LOT!  By the second day we were praying in Spanish and had to teach a lesson to our Investigator in Spanish. I was losing my mind. By Monday, I had the craziest thing and was just able to grasp so much and I went in our lesson without notes and said all of my parts in Spanish and it came. We are in the West Side and it's only Spanish speaking. So that helps A LOT Our investigator is Fransico. He's moving along pretty well. We are inviting him to baptism tomorrow so we will see how it goes. He's pretty receptive and we do well in the lessons other than one of my companions wants it all to be so perfect and congegate perfectly so it kinda comes out as uhm... jesuscristo... uhm... amor... while staring at the ground. So hopefully that goes away soon so the Spirit can be stronger in the lessons. All of Hermanas are in the choir (lol at me singing, right?) anyways. Music can seriously have such a great impact and invite the Spirit. Last night we sang Jesus, once of Humble birth during the devotional and to just imagine him going into the tomb and then Mary pulling the rock with light peering through was soo powerful! Tomorrow morning we are singing "Holy ones of Israel" and an Apostle is coming. Which one, we don't know yet. But nothing is better than having words of how powerful we are as an Army to take away all the sins of the earth. And we get front row yay! :)Along with all the good stuff, there is funny moments in the MTC. 

You might be in the MTC if.....

Elder Teu compares the MTC to Prison
Hermana Manning leans over during devo and tells you that guys in suits is like lingerie to men. 
Elder Winger eats a banana without peeling it to explain that we can't understand the gospel all at once. It comes with peeling it all back at different times.
They ask everybody who got Dear Janed/John this week to stand up in the devo. 
Staying awake takes so much effort. You really do not get enough sleep. 
Gym time is hilarious to see all the Elders go from men in suits to little boys in gym shorts.

Also for a closing spiritual thought. In Nephi it talks about the fruit of the tree and how we can partake of it. Even though Elder Winger's example was awful... you can partake of the fruit of the gospel in the simplest way and when we do, we are able to have the spirit with us and will feel peace and love like no extent. And since it's Thanksgiving and tradition is to say what we are thankful for... I am so thankful to have you all as my eternal family. I am thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for his sacrifice. I can't even begin to imagine all the pain he went through. I am thankful for the power of prayer. Never have I ever prayed this much and I can honestly testify to you that he is always there! He will answer our prayers and he will supply us in richness beyond comprehension. 

Yo se Jesuscristo es mi y ustedes Salvador. Yo se la iglesia es verdadera. Yo se familia es eterno porque el expacion. Yo aggradecidio estoy el misionera en el tiempo!

(Uncles don't examine all my espanol. It's a work in progress haha)
Have a lovely week darlings.
 Love you all!! Hermana Veater

Districto. aren't we adorable?

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Farewell Talk.

Buenos dias hermanos y hermanas. Well that's about all the Spanish you are going to get out of me so don't expect a Mason Orton here cause I am definitely not bearing my testimony in spanish today. I'm excited to be here with you today and I hope the spirit can guide me through this talk because I'll be honest, I'm freaking out. But, I was asked to speak on three basic principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which are the Power of Prayer, the atonement, and love.
              When I was a little girl it seemed like I always would lose my ballet shoes on Monday's right before class. I'd often pray in front of my closet and ask Heavenly Father to let me find my shoes so my mom wouldn't be upset for being late or losing my shoes. It definitely wasn't the correct way to rely on prayer but, as I grew older I learned how important praying really is and how we can receive answers in ways other than just granting us a shoe.
              Pretend there is a gift right in front of you and with it, you can be granted almost anything that you need. All you have to do is reach up, unwrap it, and you can have whatever is inside of it. This is exactly like prayer. Prayer is a gift to us from Heavenly Father. He loves each of us so much that he has given us a line of communication that can't be disturbed or cut off if we but only put forth the effort to use it. Isn't it wonderful that our Father in Heaven, being a supreme being in perfection, wants to hear from us weak, sinful, children of his? This demonstrates just how much he loves us! No matter how insignificant we feel, prayer is always there. I've heard so many times that people don't feel worthy to pray as I have felt this myself. The truth is however, when we feel that we aren't good enough to pray, is when we need it the most.  D & C 10:58 states; "I am the light which shineth in darkness and darkness comprehendth it not." Those darkest hours of our lives can bring us the greatest light through sincere prayer, faith, and hope. There are many ways that prayers can be answered but I'd like to focus on three of them.
           The first way is through other people. There was a 19 year old boy on his mission in Cancun, Mexico. His family had just bought a ranch and was struggling financially. They weren't exactly sure how they were going to pay for the mission that month and the father knelt down and prayed for an answer on how to do this. They found out that somebody had paid for him for the month and didn't find out until later that it was the Missionary's now wife's father. I am sure we have all had similar experiences where somebody says or does something for us that we needed right at that moment and we are in bewilderment and how they knew but, it is because of the spirit that we are able to receive this type of answer.
              Second way is receiving comfort through scriptures and words of prophets. Every six months we are given the opportunity to listen to Prophets and apostles speak to us and every time, there is something specifically for you and I to hear. Before one of my friends left on her mission she told me how a talk by Elder Holland had an effect on her life. She was struggling as she was just getting into college, had broken up with a young man she quite liked, didn't have many friends, and wasn't sure if she could keep going. A part of the talk said "  don't give up. don't you quit. you keep walking, you keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Keep your chin up, it will be all right in the end. Trust in God and believe in good things to come." With tears in her eyes, she explained to me how it had kept her going and was EXACTLY what she had needed to hear. When we aren't able to receive new messages from them at the moment, look up old ones in  times of need and read your scriptures. There are so many answers for us within the pages of the Book of Mormon, Bible, and Doctorine and Covenants. If we pray with a sincere heart before reading the words, I KNOW we can have answers and peace we need. And what a wonderful feeling it is when it comes.
              The Third and most common way is piece by piece. . In the April 2007 General Conference, Richard G. Scott said; seldom will you receive a complete response all at once. It will come a piece at a time, in packets, so that you will grow in capacity. As each piece is followed in faith, you will be led to other portions until you have the whole answer. That pattern requires you to exercise faith in our Father's capacity to respond. While sometimes it's very hard, it results in significant personal growth. This is the way that I had one of the biggest questions of my life answered. Whether or not I was to serve a mission. My first semester at the U, I really struggled. I wasn't living the way I should have been and participated in things I shouldn't have, I didn't like living in Salt Lake, I didn't have many friends, and I really was just miserable. When the announcement about young women serving at 19 came out, I allowed it to cross my mind but didn't think very seriously about it. Puzzle Piece #1 About a week later, I met Shalee and me, her, and Amanda became really close. Both girls were strong in the church and were examples of Christ-like people. They both helped me to stay out of trouble and remember my worth. They motivated me to get my temple recommend and were always an open ear or mouth. They would talk about how they had received their answers to serve missions and were always aiding in keeping it in mind. They became my little angels sent when I needed them most to get me back on the straight and narrow. Puzzle Piece #2 In january, I was driving home from work and I had a prompting to go to Temple Square. When I got there, I was just walking around and had a feeling to kneel down and say a prayer. I really did not want to pray at temple square so I tried leaving. I literally could not walk out of the gates so I turned back around and knelt down. I wasn't sure what I was even praying for but I asked my Father in Heaven if I was supposed to serve a mission. I didn't get an answer or feel anything so as I had learned from the scriptures, it was a stupor of thought so I needed to just forget about it. As I walked out the gates, two sister missionaries came walking by me. They were talking to me about how they had never seen themselves going on missions but were so happy they did cause it had changed their lives. Puzzle #3. I'd come across scriptures referring to missionary work, it seemed like every time I read. My scriptures are literally filled with dates of mission prompting #1-25. Puzzle Piece #4 February, I got my patriarchal blessing. (READ BACK 2 PARAGRAPH).  I made the decision to start my papers the next month and can honestly say, nothing has brought me more joy thus far in my life. I am so thankful I got my answer this way because without it, I wouldn't have half the faith I do now.
              As I stated earlier, prayer is a gift from God to us. But, there is another gift greater. This is the gift of the atonement which is the greatest gift of all. In PMG it is stated; " The triumph of Jesus Christ over spiritual death by his suffering and over physical death by his resurrection is called the atonement." He was the only person that could complete the atonement.  We can't fully comprehend all that our Savior went through for us.  The last while, I've been reading this book "Jesus the Christ" and in it, it helped me to understand what the savior went through PG 652 & 661- 662. How selfish are we if we don't partake of this great gift and allow all that suffering to heal us? Elder Holland reminded us all that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path alone, we do not have to. His  journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of the Beloved Son, the gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. If we reach out to the Savior for his help, it will be granted unto us. We also need to do our part for the atonement to work effectively in our life. Effectiveness of the Atonement can be sought out by praying to our Father in Heaven with real intent, for his forgiveness. We have to become as little children; humble ourselves and allow a change of heart to be within us. Jesus Christ can plea with him for us to be free because he took upon the sins of all who have lived and will live in the Garden of Gesthanime by bleeding from every single pore. It's not just a gift for me, or bishop, or the kid in El Salvador that made a mistake.  For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all that they might not suffer if they would repent. ALL. All can be cleansed and be free of sins if they repent and partake of the gift. The atonement is real and I absolutely positively without a doubt know that it can change us if we want it to and try to.
              Now, every little thing we are given is out of the Savior's love for us. The gift of prayer, the atonement, family, your best friend, education, trials, our breath we take each moment, Every single thing is because of his love. His love in unconditional to us, so why shouldn't ours be to him? We should want to do everything possible to repay our savior for what he has done for us. Some may ask how and it is simple. D &C 42: 29 states "if thou lovest me, thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments." We also know that when we are in the service of our fellow beings we are only in the service of God. Service is easy but, we have to remember that it must done with sincerity and love. A simple smile or compliment. Comforting those who are hurting. Physical labor that the weak and ill can't complete. Being a true friend. having a listening ear.  Being parents! Sharing talents with others something I am awful at but my sister, Kenzey is a great example at this as she has emerged herself into teaching dance to young girls. And sharing the gospel. That is the reason I am here today. I don't know how else I can repay my savior for all the love he has given me other than going to teach the people of Mexico the truth's of the gospel. I have a quote on my wall that says "Ye are eternally indebted to your Heavenly Father, to render to him all that you have and are."  It really didn't hit me until a few weeks ago that our small acts of service are wonderful and great but we are still not going to amount to what he has given us. And that's okay, as long as we are trying to show our love for him by serving, keeping his commandments, trying to make the world a better and more holier place.
                I'm thankful to my Savior and brother, Jesus Christ, for his great sacrifice so that we can return to our father's presence again someday. I know that he loves each and every one of us equally and wants us to succeed in all we do. I'm thankful to be blessed with the trials I have because without them, I wouldn't be who I am.  I'm especially grateful for amazing family who has cheered me on and built my testimony since day one of my life journey. I'm thankful to my friends who have been examples and rocks in my life. They might not ever know how much of an effect they had on my life. I'm so excited... and nervous but mostly excited, to go be able to go and serve the people of Mexico City and share the gospel to their receptive hearts. it might not be the best 18 months of my life but it'll be the best 18 months  for my life and luckily, i won't have to do it alone because the savior will be there. 
In closing, I'd like to share some lyrics with you.
Do you know that God designed you to glow and you hold the Father's promise in your soul?
You may be just a light in the sky but you are enough to light up the darkest night. Someone needs the light you have inside, so rise up high you were meant to shine and never hide. Spread your good works wide and far. Someone needs your star.  Someone needs one simple light to bring them hope. You may feel small but you hold more goodness than you know. Desperately someone's reaching to find a beacon of strength that they can hold on to tonight. Someone needs your star.
I challenge all of you to find the star within yourself and help somebody else find theirs by using the gifts and love God has given you. When you do find your star, be sure to hold on it and shine it brightly so all can see who you are because you are a beloved child of God.
And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.





Saturday, November 9, 2013

Count your MANY blessings.

I woke up to my mom running in my room and asking if Shalee Jo Brown was okay. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. She went on to explain to me that there was going to be a huge storm in Sha's mission (Philippines). Instantly, tears fell and my stomach got in scout knots of every sort.

"Not my best friend's mission."
"What if I never see my little Sunshine again?"
"Oh, poor Kelly!"
"What if she loses her leg while trying to run?!"
"I KNEW there was a reason I hated her mission call the most."

A few days passed on and we got the news that all missionaries (minus some from the Cabio mission) were , accounted for. The last time I had felt that much relief was after Daltyn's transplant. This tragedy that has been placed upon the sweet people of the Philippines had me think twice and count my many blessings. I have been blessed beyond measure with family, friends, protection, freedom, the gospel, education, good health and many more things. I wish that it didn't take trials and tragedy for me to be thankful for all that I have and hopefully some day it won't be that way.

Everybody PLEASE keep all the people of the Philippines who weren't as fortunate with protection in your prayers. You are all blessed beyond measure and others need you right now.








Friday, November 8, 2013

Called to Serve Him.

"I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two. I hope by then I will be ready to teach and preach and work as missionaries do." Hearing this song growing up, I was always in-denial. I was not going to serve a mission. I had my reasons, not legit reasons but, reasons none the less. 

1: Girls that serve missions are weird
2: I haven't grown even an inch since eighth grade so growing a foot or two was NOT an option.
3: Uhm, what sane person wants to leave all the cute boys and home to go somewhere for 18 months. I'm just gonna get married instead.

Things change darlings. Last thursday, I received my mission call. AH! It was the longest wait of my life, to present day. I submitted those papers declaring that I would love to serve the Lord if he would allow so, on July 1st. Wait... wait... wait... wait. Finally on July 25, 2013 my call arrived. Only twenty-five days later (it normally takes 10-14). I called my mom from work that morning and she told me it had came. By 2:30 I was ready to bust out the doors to head home. Low and behold, Elder Jeffery Roy Holland comes into the restaraunt! Cherish Syrett told him that my call had come and he gave me a hug, said how proud he was, let me get a picture with him, and I was in shock. Had I really just met one of my favorite apostles on the day my mission call came?! HECK YEAH! I headed home, got ready, waited for family and friends to come over, then I opened that huge envelope (words of advice to anybody that gets a call- those envelopes are a pain in the butt to open).



Shaking as the letter was glistening before my eyes, I slowly read:
Dear Sister Veater,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Mexico, Mexico City South Mission! You will report to the Provo MTC on November 20, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.

I cried, I screamed, I jumped, I laughed. Honestly, one of the most nerve racking, comforting, scariest, most adrenalin pumping moments in my entire life. 

    



I looked over to see my Uncle Chad crying, my mom laying on the floor bawling/passed out, my dad asking my uncle if I just said Mexico and all the rest just staring in disbelief. I finally asked somebody to come give me a hug so I could breathe again. I was and still am in shock. I was certain that I was going to be called to serve in Ohio, Iowa, East Coast, or London. I even read it twice because I was convinced it said Mexico, Ohio. But, now- I can see clearly that this is where I am supposed to serve and if I would have just opened my eyes, I would have known before that I would be serving there.

    •  Sister Shalee Brown told me before she reported that she "just knew I was going there."
    • My Great Grandpa Excell had started his papers to serve there as a couple. They shut down the mission right before and he chose not to go.
    • It was the ONE place my mom didn't want me to go. The Lord is funny.  
    • The two ladies at work (Susanna and Karla) that I have been talking to the church about are both from Mexico! They have even started missionary discussions and attending church!



      So now, you tell me. Does the Lord really know what he is doing or is this just all plain irony? I think not. 
      I am so thankful to have the opportunity to serve the people of Mexico City! Just from the things my Grandpa has told me about the people and from knowing some of them personally already, I can feel their love, devotion, kindness, and sincerity towards all man kind. I cannot wait to aid in bringing them more happiness and love from the Savior by testifying of the fullness of this Gospel which I love and cherish with all my heart and soul. I am so thankful that I have had the privilege to grow closer to my perfect Savior and Redeemer by preparing to preach, and teach, and work as missionaries do. I am also so thankful for the missionary opportunities that have been placed before me- the chances I have had to give people a simple book that changes lives and to testify of it, for the people at work that have already put forth effort to aid in my espanol. Now the song has changed verses and  "I hope that I can share the gospel with those who want to know the truth. I want to be a missionary and serve and help the Lord while I am in my youth."

 Random Facts about Mexico City South areas
- Mexico City is the 10th largest city in the world, population wise (19,463,000)
-Tlalpan is right near a volcano peak
-Iztapalapa is the highest rape and women violence. There are 480 murders a year
-The average for majority of the cities is 77-80 degrees.
-A majority of the Book of Mormon ruins are in my area. EX: Where King Benjamin taught. :)

The Decision to Serve.

I'm pretty sure everybody knows but for those who don't-- this girl has made the decision to serve a mission. Yup.. So, for those who maybe need some inspiration, those who wonder how the girl I was-changed into a future missionary, or those just curious how I made my decision; I've decided to share my story of how I decided to serve a mission, very openly.

When the announcement came out Saturday morning of October 2012 conference, I was just like every other girl. We were excited! I let it cross my mind for a moment and then told the kid I was dating at the time that I wanted to serve a mission. He laughed and we both shrugged it off and I kept living the way I was living, which was not righteously. I didn't let it cross my mind for a while after that. I was so annoyed with all these girls who were putting in their papers so soon. "Didn't you even pray?" "Whoa, didn't see that coming." "Yeah, she's just doing it cause it's the in thing to do."(Sorry girls) Those were my thoughts until the middle of November. I kept living the way I was before because I was having "fun" and doing what I wanted. Also this month Amanda announced to us that she had decided to go which let it bounce in and right back out of mind.

At the end of November an old fire was sparked again. Parker Bagley and I started our fling again. Knowing that he was going to be leaving soon, we tried not to allow it to become more than friends but, soon realized our feelings for one another were stronger than what we had thought. A few nights after Park had received his endowment we were talking about the temple. I told him I was jealous he was able to go inside and be able to do sessions and that I couldn't wait for that opportunity. His response, "Well go on a mission and you won't be waiting for me to come back to do so." I kinda thought for a moment and then just said "nah, I'll let you do that." When I went home for Christmas Break my family was asking if I was going to serve and it was like that at work and school as well. I always responded "No, it's not for me" when I hadn't even prayed about it. I kept my mind closed off to the actual possibility. It kept coming back to me and when I finally couldn't handle it anymore, I knelt down to pray about it. I felt nothing. I assumed that this meant I wasn't supposed to go(as I had learned from the scriptures about a stupor of thought.) Parker left and the one thing he had asked me to do before he got home was to have a temple recommend. This motivated me more than he might ever know! I had set a goal to go and clear things up with my bishop right before the break. I ended up going home a few days earlier than I had planned and was unable to speak with him before I left. New Years Eve came and that was when I knew I HAD to change or my life would be a mess and go in a direction I dreaded .I set up an appointment with bishop and cleared things up.

During the process, I began to open my mind to a mission more than I had allowed myself to do so before. One day I was driving home from work and all the sudden felt like I needed to go down to the temple instead of taking the Belt Route. I drove to the temple and got out of my car. I walked up to the temple and just looked at it. I was anxiously waiting for the next few weeks to come so I would be able to enter inside that holy house of the Lord. I walked to the south side(by the Visitor's Center) and was walking out to leave. As I became near to the gate I suddenly felt restrained. I kept trying to walk forward but it was like I couldn't. I felt like I needed to say a prayer. "How awkward! Who says a prayer at Temple Square!? There are millions of people here." I did it anyways. I knelt down, looked around, and prayed. I didn't know what I was praying for but the words seemed to flow out of my mouth. I asked my father in heaven if I was supposed to serve a mission. I closed my prayer and still felt nothing. I got up and walked towards the gate. As I exited, two sister missionaries walked past me. They started talking to me and we talked about their missions. They told me that their decisions never came easy but once they knew, they knew and it was NEVER in their plans. I got to my car and cried for almost an hour before I could drive up the hill to my room. I was almost mad at the Lord for giving me that sign because it meant the pressure was on. 

Within the next two weeks I constantly would have random promptings such as , music about missionary work coming on my iPod every single day on the way to and from work, people asking me constantly, lessons in church, and all the missionary letters I would receive mentioned it. I received my temple recommend as well as my recommend to receive my patriarchal blessing. The first night inside the temple was so spiritual and peaceful. I can't even explain how overwhelmed with joy I was. The next week I drove down to Panguitch and was anxious. I was going to let what words were stated be my absolute deciding factor. I had prepared myself for Patriarch to not say them, but also to say them. I promised myself I wasn't going to focus on that one part but hear all of the words. My entire family went with me to this moment of my life. I told my mom before how nervous I was because of what he might have to say about it. When I heard certain words, I knew. I couldn't hold back my emotions and I opened my eyes to see my entire family crying because they knew what I had to do and what my final decision was. 

Since I have made the decision, everything has fallen in place. I can't say that it's been easy to be patient as to when I can even start my papers but it has been a worth while wait. On July 1st I am able to submit! I am so excited to be able to have the opportunity to serve the Lord in the best way possible and to have this time to prepare for the people of wherever the Lord is going to send me. Nothing brings me more joy than this gospel and I can't wait to be an aid in the this phenomenal gospel spread.


So I found this quote from President Hinckley in 2004. How crazy is it that he was speaking about our generation eight years ago.
“Today many sisters are being called to serve. Many more are preparing to serve. Not because they aren't married or don't have anything else to do, but they have the desire to serve. One reason that the Lord wants more sisters to serve is because within the next generation He will send His priesthood army to the earth. He wants to send choice spirit children to mothers who have been prepared, properly trained, and taught in the gospel. What better schooling can a mother have than the experience and growth she gains through serving a mission.”