Friday, June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013

This week was amazing!  I can't believe how fast it has flown by.  Each day is a blur.  I don't even remember what I had for breakfast today and that was only about 2 hours ago.  Ha!  I could probably guess because I have the same thing almost every morning.  Wheat bagel and fruit.  Yum.  Ha!  

This week we had the missionary broadcast.  I sang in the choir which was an amazing opportunity!  The word around the MTC was "I think they are going to give girls the option to serve for 2 years."  I thought in my head, "If they change the length of a mission my mom is going to have a heart attack!"  But I think it was a great broadcast showing how important it is for members to be involved.  So all of you out there reading this GET INVOLVED.  The missionaries need your help.  Even if you are in good ol' Utah county we all know somebody who is inactive or not a member .  Make it a goal to invite them to an activity or bring them brownies or something (I'm convinced brownies will convert anyone.)  Also, one line that really stood out to me was, "Have faith to accept and to do".  I can't remember who said it but I thought it was a fantastic line and speaks to us all, no matter our age or circumstance. 

The Lord is hastening the work!  Watching all the new missionaries come in is just one way I notice it! It's incredible how many of us have the same desire to serve the Lord.  We all come from different backgrounds, different countries, families, etc..but we all still have the same desire and that is what brings us all together.  I was lucky to see Brynn Lindsley, Austin, and a couple other friends there.  It truly made my day!

I absolutely DIED when I saw Janie Squire at TRC.  What a blessing!  My companion and I were able to teach her about Faith.  It was a great experience.  My Spanish was rough, but it's all practice!  I loved it!!

So guess what?  Hermana Hafen and I got a letter in the mail saying we had been chosen to be the "How to Begin Teaching" missionaries.  I'll explain.  The second day here, the new missionaries go room to room watching missionaries begin teaching an investigator.  These missionaries start the lesson, get to know the investigator, etc, and then they leave it to the class to finish.  Yesterday we got mail that we have been chosen to be that example companionship.  I was dying, and Hermana Hafen was jumping around the room.  I don't know why I get so nervous to be in front of people..but it's going to be amazing.  I am finally excited!!  Whoever chose us is so sweet.  Luckily we are teaching in English...well I hope we are!  That will take place this Wednesday so I will write about it next Friday.

Finally, this week Janice Kapp Perry (yes THE Janice Kapp Perry) came and spoke to us for a fireside. It was absolutely amazing!  We sang primary songs and it made me think how meaningful those songs she wrote really are.  Before the devotional ended she wanted to sing the "EFY Medley" with the new lyrics for the sisters.  The sisters started, then the elders came in and one elder thing I know all the elders in the whole Marriott Center stood singing Army of Helaman (instant tears of course).  Then the sisters came back in and we all stood.  The leaders began to stand and next thing I know we are all standing and singing.  Amazing!!  It all started with that one elder.  That one elder is just one voice, but that one voice can still be heard.  It's like the ripple effect---we as missionaries can be an example and start a chain reaction.  I want to be that one voice.  That was probably the highlight of the week. 

I love this gospel!  Each day I am becoming better and better.  I have seen a change in myself and in the missionaries around me.  I love it!!

Shout outs:
- Shout out to Stephanie Mersman for writing me solid every week while in the MTC (that's my cat).
-Shout out to Ali Hemming for making it to Poland....Miss seeing you around.
-Shout out to the Hidden Oakettes.  Wish I could be there to see your parade march on the 4th.

P-day means cleaning day.  Now, this looks more like the Mikayla we know.

I have no idea what this is, but it sure is cute!  Love seeing the creativity of Missionaries!

The candy stash!   Mikayla's quote "PLEASE DON'T SEND ME ANY FOOD!!  The dresser top is full of sweets."

 Mikayla with Sis. Janie Squire (her mission prep teacher and dear ward friend).

Lauren Eastman and Stephanie Mersman just "happened" to be doing baptisms at the Provo temple today ( I wonder how many hours they waited).  Sure and behold, they ran into Mikayla.  I'm sure Mikayla's P-day was completely joyous!  P.S. They said that Hermana Hafen was a total delight!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 23, 2013

Austin was given tickets from our bishop to attend the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast at the Marriott Center.  He knew that Mikayla was singing in the choir and really wanted to get a "glimpse" of her.   The rest us were watching the broadcast televised at our Stake Center.  When the broadcast was over, Austin and his buddies came to the conclusion that they weren't going to see Mikayla.  They were just getting ready to exit the building when someone came and grabbed Austin from behind.  It was his sweet sister!  He said he was so happy and surprised that he got teared up.  Austin got to talk with Mikayla and her companion for a bit and then left.  He said it was one of the best days of his life! :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Week 3

 Como esta??

Can you believe I'm already going into my 3rd week? What!!  It has flown by.  And once again, I can now relate to days feeling like weeks and weeks feeling like days.  It's such a weird feeling.  It's an ongoing joke here at the MTC how long each day is.

This week was incredible!  I am finally feeling like I am getting the hang of it all.  Starting on Monday my district will be the oldest district for a good 3 whole weeks.  I can't believe it!  Now everybody is going to be coming up to us asking how to say word and phrases...I don't know if I am prepared for that.  Ha!  Just kidding, I really am picking up the language quite well.

Hermana Hafen and I have been teaching Ian and Carlos about twice each week (so about 4 lessons).  I still get so nervous each time before we go to teach them.  And mom to answer your question, I knew Carlos wasn't a real investigator, but I didn't know he would be my legit teacher.  That's where things got way awkward. HA!  It's great though because now he can teach us exactly what we need to learn and improve on.  Both of my maestro's are incredible.  They know when to be serious and when to joke a little.  They always seem to tie it back to the gospel though which is great.

Yesterday we did a TRC (teach a member the basic doctrine of the gospel) for the first time.  We taught a sweet 23 yr old lady from Spain.  We taught her about Enduring to the End.  While looking into her eyes, I bore my testimony to her in Spanish and told her that God loved her.  She then began to cry.  It made me so happy inside to know that I could touch somebody like her.  As I spoke to her in broken Spanish, she felt the spirit.  I can honestly say I do not remember what I said, but somehow I was prompted to say something specifically for her.

Both Hermana Hafen and I are progressing great.  We are still getting along well, we still work out together, we still pretty much eat the same foods at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  So, we are doing great!

Each day we have time to work out which is AMAZING.  Yesterday we decided to go easy on the workout and play a little volleyball...who knew volleyball could be so much fun?  I knew I went hard when I woke up with bruises all over my arms.  I feel a little embarrassed.

Sunday is the huge broadcast.  I can't even believe I get to sing in the choir for the prophet, first presidency, and all the apostles!  It's a dream.  I got here at the perfect time.  The week after I came they are barely letting anyone into the choir.  There are 1600 of us right now.  Yes, you heard right, and there would be more if allowed.  Also, the President Monson will be here at the MTC for 4 days!  They gave us strict rules to not approach him, ask for pictures, or anything of that sort.  I feel so privileged.

SHOUTOUTS: (Yes, Cydnee Squire inspired me)

-Shout out to Lauren Eastman for writing me 5 letters this week!  Holla!! :)
-Shout out to the Mission Prep class.  The Squires are preparing you!  Remember that!  Learn all you can from them and READ/STUDY PREACH MY GOSPEL.
- Shout out to Jackson for getting my iphone fixed and working.  I knew you could do it!  Don't let it ruin your life though...those phones are so useless ;)
- Shout out to Shawn and Erika Speirs for the surprise package.  Totally made my whole week!
-Super Shout out to Grandma and Grandpa Bird for coming by to see me on Wednesday!!  I would be lying if I said nobody was jealous I got to see my grandparents.
-And last Shout out goes to my mom and dad.  Happy Anniversary!!  Sorry I missed sending you a letter.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy Day!! I saw my Grandparents!

Today was a happy day!  Mikayla ran into her Grandma and Grandpa Bird at the MTC.  They are serving a mission in Salt Lake City and come to the MTC once a month to train other CES missionaries.  Here is a quick video that was emailed to us. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week 2

Buenas Dias familia!!

First of all thank you all so very much for all the sweet letters and packages.  I really am being taken care of here at the MTC.  So because I didn't really give you a very good description of what I am doing here at the CCM (MTC in Espanol) that is what I am going to do for the first little bit...whether you all like it or not :)  This is for you mom. Ha!

In my district I have 12 missionaries.  Apparently that is a huge district, but I don't know any other way to have it.  There is a good split of 6 sisters and 6 elders.  Sisters are on the move boys, so get those papers in!  It's incredible!!  When we arrived here we heard that it was the biggest set of missionaries to EVER go into the MTC.  So we all feel pretty cool I guess.  Our teacher's name is Hermano Haug and he is brilliant.  No at all.  So if you were curious, yes I am already fluent in Spanish.

We found out yesterday that our investigator, Carlos, is now becoming our new teacher.  WHAT?!?!  I should call him Hermano Sagers.  It was probably the most awkward thing ever.  He knew we were all horrible at Spanish, and he had been acting the whole time as our investigator.  Now how do we take him seriously??  He reassured us that he does know how to pray and that he does have faith in Jesus Christ.  It was probably the best lesson ever!  He taught us how to plan lessons which was VERY much needed.

Even though Carlos/Hermano Sagers is our new teacher we still have to teach him the discussions...even more awkward.  HA!  And just to add to all the awkwardness, our other teacher Hermano Haug is our new investigator.  Cool.  It will be great though.  Then they know exactly what we need help with and how they can better help us while they prepare their lessons.  So, can't wait to teach them both on Monday.  Teaching two investigators = preparing for two lessons.  Wow, I'm really moving up in the world.  Ha!

One thing that I love about the MTC is how many people I know here.  I ran into the Hobsons, the Lisonbees, multiple friends from High School, Ali, and I really can't wait to see Grandma and Grandpa sometime.  Also, another thing I love here is how they give you time about 4 times a week to work out.  It's incredible!  I scored big with a companion who loves to work out and run.  So that is what we do.  We run! My companion also brought little workouts from Pinterest.  SCORE!

Here's a little more info on my companion, Hermana Hafen:  She is 19 yrs old.  She rides horses in rodeos and is apparently really good.  She is very good at singing, so she always asks me to practice with her when she is practicing a part for sacrament...that is not my thing but, you know, I guess I just serve where I'm needed. Ha!

I love all the sisters in my district.  I'm reminded daily how each and every one of us is differet but we all are completely the same.  We all have a love for Christ and want to serve.  I am so lucky to have such strong Hermanas who love me for who I am even when I sing funny, dance funny, and practice different accents. :)

One thing I have learned here at the MTC is God is aware of me and my needs, and works in mysterious ways.  Little things like Sister Hobson surprising me at 9:30 at night with chocolate covered strawberries, or Sister Lisonbee finding me eating dinner.  Today I was at the temple doing sealings and while I was checking in I met Sister Nelson (Dad this is Craig Nelson's mom).  She noticed my last name and asked who my grandparents were and if they had been called to serve in the temple, and then who my dad was, and where we were living, etc.  It is just little things like this that tell me that God is aware of me and he is putting people in my life to remind me that I can do it and there are people rooting for me everywhere.  I love it!!

Well if this novel isn't long enough for you already, I just want to say congrats to Jackson, Brock and Crew for doing so awesome in their sports!  Also, Austin I am so glad you are loving Origination.  I knew you would!!  Just try and remember everything you can from your 2 weeks because when you get old like me you won't remember it write as much down as you can.  Record it all!!

That is officially all :)  Chao mi familia.

Hermana McChesney

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I arrived at the MTC!

Hello my dearest familia!!  I was informed that today we have a P-Day.  Two thumbs up and a lot of screams.  But just because it's P-day does not mean I can sleep in and lounge around all day.  Today I got up at 6:00am (yes, it is possible), got ready, at sack breakfast, and now i am sitting on a computer in the laundry room waiting for my laundry to be done.  It's quite the zoo.  You have to get to the laundry room about 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time and camp out for a machine.  First come first serve, and the elders don't believe in chivalry (did I spell that right?...whatever) and giving up their machines. HA!  I'm kidding.  The Elders are all fantastic, and so so so kind!

Since this is the first time talking since the drop off, let me tell you all about it.  As you dropped me off, I was escorted by the sweetest sister heading to Tokyo Japan.  She was so nice.  She left me for a while as I walked down a lonely hall, alone, to get my name tag.  That was probably the scariest thing.  Image getting dropped off in a place you have never been before, have no sense of direction, and then your escort is like "okay just go down that hall and you'll find your way".....WHAT?  Ha!  Just kidding.  I am a lot smarter than you all think I am.  I found my way because there were huge signs leading me.  All is well.  Once I got my name tag it was so real.  I am a missionary.  I represent Jesus Christ.  He is with me wherever I go, always.  Wow!  I then met a Sister who knows uncle Brent.  That was nice.  After I walked through this maze getting all my "stuff" I finally met back up with my escort miraculously.  As she was walking to my room we passed Hermana Hafen, a sister who was also going to my mission.  We waved and then she said "Hey, I think you are my companion"AH!  I was so excited!!! but anyways, my escort walked me to my room which is in one of the nicest buildings! (another two thumbs up and a lot of screams).  I picked the bottom bunk, obviously.  Anyways, we dropped off all my things and then I went to the bookstore to get all my books.  And when I say all my books, I mean ALL MY BOOKS! Holy Cow!  There are literally 22 pounds of books I carry around.  Nobody knows how I am going to make that work when I leave the MTC and have to fly.....shoooot.
We then went to our classroom and I met my companion which was sure enough Hermana Hafen.  Could not be more excited.  She is adorable and we get along so well.  When we teach and talk we are totally on the same page and have many of the same goals.  Iss da best (said in Nacho voice). Everything is amazing!

That first night was the hardest to sleep...imagine going to bed around 12:00-12:30 every night and then trying to sleep at 10:30.  Not possible.  We all had troubles sleeping.  But waking up hasn't been too bad.  I think when you have a reason to get up early you do.  Dedication to the Lord from the time I wake to the time my pillow hits the bed.

This email might be really boring...I'm sorry. It's a lot of describing my first day.  So if you want to skip around I totally understand.  But yesterday we taught an investigator for the first SPANISH.  It was hilarious.  Hermana Hafen and I both know very little Spanish, but somehow we were able to communicate with this investigator.  Okay, actually, I take that back.  He stared at us like we were aliens and were speaking some Martian language. But it was definitely a learning experience.  We now know how hard communicating is and we need to strive to speak Spanish ALL DAY LONG.

Well, other than that I have been in class learning, meeting the branch presidency (who are amazing and brilliant) and then preparing for lessons.  It truly has been such a great experience and I would not want to be anywhere else.  I mean that.  I love the MTC, everybody is so friendly and so welcoming.  The first day I got attack hugged by 3 sisters.  If that's not love I don't know what is.

Well, this is about all I have to say today :)  Once I am on a more structured schedule I will have more to write.  That comes Monday.  Be excited.  My P-days, I believe, are always on Friday.  Best wishes to you all.  Love you and miss you!

Hermana McChesney