Monday, April 28, 2014

Snow...and 70 degrees?

     Today was a rough week numbers wise. It was really frustrating. But I'm over it already, a new week has started. I did something to my foot and I've been limping around for a few days. I think I sprained something just under my ankle- on my right leg of course. I look like an idiot hobbling around the streets of Spokane, but the work must go on! Our ward mission leader is an orthopedic surgeon. He said he wants to put a boot on it and see if that helps. I don't know if I will or not, but we'll see. I'll be sure to send pictures if it happens to add to my "Bum Right Leg" photo album.
     We have seen a lot of the active members of our congregation the last few weeks which I'm hoping will ripple out. Hopefully they start trusting us and we can encourage them to do their missionary work more and then as a result we'll have more people to teach. Speaking of people to teach- Frances called us on Friday afternoon asking us to come over and read the Book of Mormon with her! She was completely different (it was an up day) and luckily we didn't see the cat even once during the lesson. Miracle. When we got there she started asking about coming to church and if she could come on a church tour so she wouldn't have as much anxiety thinking about attending. Another miracle. The missionaries have been teaching her for months and she's never expressed a desire to come to church. I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder.

     So this week we went and saw Patrick and Stephanie (our investigator and his less active fiance) and they decided to get married on May 24th! So that Saturday they're getting married in the morning and he'll be baptized later that evening. It's gonna be a "wet wedding" haha. The ward is being great and helping plan the whole thing because neither of them have much family support or money. When they both came to church on Sunday it was great! We had a wonderful sacrament meeting and afterwards the ward basically swarmed them to start getting to know them. They felt so loved! Sunday night we taught tithing at a members home and it went over so well. This member was incredible and bearing testimony about it and everything. I LOVE when we teach lessons in members homes- they're so much more effective! But did I tell you we're having a wedding and a baptism?! I'm pretty excited!!! :)

     Saturday we went on exchanges and I went out to another sister's area, Ponderosa. She is a visa waiter for Brazil and has been here for 5 months so she's pretty bummed she's still waiting and it's affecting her work/companion. So we had a good chat and I think I was able to help her out some. Their area is booming with investigators and they're only a few miles away from where we are- which makes me think we're not working hard enough where I'm at. So I came back with a renewed sense of working hard. While on exchanges this sister mentioned how she had sidewalk chalk and has wanted to use it for teaching a lesson so bad. So we saw this girl in the parking lot of an apartment complex and starting drawing a picture for her. We basically taught her the Plan of Salvation... in chalk drawings. It was fun. But the girl was 9 years old and her only experience with church is sometimes going down to a Buddhist temple.... so she was pretty lost! haha. We did teach her how to pray though. We gave her a pamphlet and told her to bring her dad back and share the "story" we told her with him. I was laughing so hard after that lesson. But hey, we planted a seed and who knows what will happen!

     Yesterday we had another member of the 70 come visit us and speak to the missionaries, Elder Johnson. Again, I don't think I could recap what he said and do it justice. But I gained some really cool insight on the priesthood and on miracles/faith. It was very inspiring. 

     We go walking/jogging with some ladies in our ward a few times a week at 6am. Today... it was snowing! But this week it's supposed to be in the upper 70's. Spokane weather is so weird!
Sorry this one was so short- I ran out of time this week. But honestly those were the highlights.

     I love you all and hope you remember to do the little things- that's what brings lasting happiness :)

-Sister Megan Metcalf


Breanne's 1/2 way package full of things cut in half! :)
The Evergreen chapel where we meet

Monday, April 21, 2014

9 Months

     So Breanne and I hit our 9 month mark this last week. Nine months since we entered the MTC. The funny part is though that it's not technically halfway. My release date actually puts me on a mission for 18 and a half months... so my "halfway mark" will be some time later this transfer I think. But I try not to think about it. Time is flying by too quickly!
     Well after all of that organizing my first week we decided to try and get to know our ward. So we called around and started setting up appointments to go see as many active members in the next 6 weeks as we could. It's crazy that my companion doesn't know most of the people in the ward and she's been here for 4 months.  But that's okay- every missionary does things differently. We're sharing a gospel message with them, challenging them to share their testimony/ invite someone to an activity or church by a certain date, and setting up a return date to follow up (Just like Elder Ballard would want). It's going really well so far and I feel like I'm really getting a feel for the ward. I LOVE being a missionary!

     This last week we had some ups and downs with our investigators- but we're very bold and upfront with them. First off,  Frances had a little melt down. While we were teaching her, her cat (who hasn't been bathed since maybe 2008) starts making weird noises. So Frances follows her into another room while we watch her cat just heaving and vomiting. Let me tell you, I never never seen nor heard a more disgusting thing from an animal! This cat has tumors all over it and is just on it's way out of this life. But Frances (who has really bad anxiety and PTSD) takes this as a sign or something. So she starts freaking out about how we come over too often and she didn't realize it was effecting her cat. So she said we couldn't come by for a while. We told her we'd give her a call next week and see how she was doing. We went and taught Patrick twice this week. After our lesson on Tuesday he said the closing prayer and mentioned thanks for his fiance. So after the prayer we were like "I thought you said you were married" So it turns out his fiance who is the less active just feels guilty that they're living together so she has been telling us they're married, but they're not. So we told them we were going to have a lesson on the law of chastity later in the week. When we stopped by on Saturday, Patrick was asleep so we talked to Stephanie a bit first and then had her go wake up Patrick. He came out and we had a very upfront lesson with him. At the end we told him that if he wanted to be baptized on May 10th (which he moved his date up to) that they would have to be married by May 10th. Oh man! Things got heated then. He did not like us giving him that ultimatum (but better us than his fiance, right?) It was mildly awkward with us giving marital advice... you know with all of our vast experience we sounded like experts ;) But anyways, by the end of the conversation we committed them to pray about it together. So we'll go back this next week and see what they decided. Everything else was pretty standard. We saw a few less actives and a TON of active families. 

     Saturday was really busy for us. We had appointments set with 8 people (most were investigators), which is rare. We usually have about 2 appointments set for the day and just attempt people during the rest of the time. I want to share a few things that I remember from Saturday. Our ward had a huge Easter egg hunt and we had a lot on non members and less actives there. It was fun! They had a mini petting zoo, so I'll be sending some pictures this week of that.  That afternoon we had a lesson with this kid, Christian. He's 21 so we'll have to hand him over to the Young Single Adult elders. Last Saturday we knocked on his door and taught him a bit about the Book of Mormon. We had him read Moroni's promise in Moroni 10:3-5 and he said he's already read and pray about it. When we offered him a Book of Mormon he said he'd been given one already. He's pretty leery of religion in general because of previous experiences with it, but by the end he warmed up to us. We told him we'd come back in a week to see how things went with reading and praying. So we stopped by to see him on Saturday and he came out on his porch again. He said he hadn't read or prayed, and we told him we wanted to share with him about why the Book of Mormon is so important and what it's about and then proceeded to teach him the message of the Restoration right on his porch. It was going pretty well, but he seemed a bit disinterested as we taught and asked him questions. As we recited Joseph Smith's 1st vision to him you could just see this switch in him and he was completely engaged. Right when we finished the 1st vision he says "Woah. That was powerful." We testified to him that what he was feeling was the Holy Ghost confirming to him that what we had shared was true. He then ASKED US if we could give him a Book of Mormon because he couldn't find his other one. He asked us for one! I've never had that happen. It was such an amazing lesson and the spirit was so strong! Love it :)

     Oh man, embarrassing moment of the week. So the AP's asked my companion and I to sing at their investigators baptism on Saturday night. One of the elder's out here is basically a concert pianist and we talked to him about arranging a song for us. We sang the first verse of "Come Follow Me", then the first verse of "I know that my redeemer lives", then sang the other verses of "Come Follow Me" to the tune of "I know that my redeemer lives". It was really cool. This Elder is in a different zone so we basically told him over the phone what we were trying to do and then we practiced through the song twice before the actual baptism. Well while we're singing, my eyes skip ahead a line and I start singing the wrong line, so my companion starts mumbling her line because she's way confused, so in the middle of the song I just say "sorry!" and then kept on singing. Oh my gosh. Who apologizes in the middle of a performance?! haha. It was so hard to not laugh. The rest of the song was beautiful, but I seriously felt so dumb up there! And it didn't help that there were 4 other sets of missionaries who came and brought their investigators to the baptism.

     We had Easter dinner at a families home and mostly visited active members. We shared scriptures from the Bible and Book of Mormon on Easter and shared the "Because of Him" video. I cried almost every time I watched it. It's so powerful! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and will remember what Christ did for you YEAR ROUND!

I love you!

-Sister Megan Metcalf




 Afro Bunny
Baby Chick
The Easter Bunny doing bunny ears
In the part of Green Acre's in our ward boundaries (The snowy mountain in the background is Mount Spokane)
Dying Easter Eggs
 


My favorite eggs
I've been out for 9 months!
Traditional 9 month sister missionary picture
Sister Richardson and me having fun with our sweats

Monday, April 14, 2014

Evergreen

     So I figure you might want some info about my new area. It's in Spokane Valley. Most of it is city. It's literally 2 blocks wide and 2 miles long- then we have a section called Greenacre's that is a little boonie, but there's not much out there- maybe a few members. The ward is the same size/ same number of people/ less actives but just a more condensed area. We live with another old lady, Dee Mulloy. She's not as cute as Shirley Taylor, but she's sweet. We live in her basement and it's really nice. Way spacious. We share a kitchen with her... I can already tell this ward isn't as missionary minded as my last ward. But we had to get 9 Mile fired up, too. So hopefully with time and changing a few things up we can get this ward going! I love Sister Richardson. She was in the MTC in the classroom next to mine so I knew of her. She's great! A very hard worker and willing to make changes in the area. Her last companion wasn't very organized and kind of focused on the same people all the time... So we spent a few hours fixing/updating/organizing the area book and white board. I feel like our planning, etc. is so much more effective now! And I think I'm mildly OCD because I get SUCH a sense of satisfaction in getting things organized. :) Anyways, Sister Richardson is so bold. I'm like halfway shocked at half of the things she says, but it's so great! I'm learning a lot from her. Things are great... I'm still a sister training leader. And this transfer I'm going on exchanges with the Spanish sisters... I have no idea how that's gonna work out. But it should be fun!
We're working with a few people right now. One is Frances. She's in her 50's, from West Virginia and has the coolest accent. She used to smoke like 2 packs a day and the missionaries have been working with her a bunch- she's now down to just a few cigarette's a day. She wants to be baptized but is working on overcoming her addiction first. We taught her a few lessons this week and did some service for her. I like her a lot :) Then there's Patrick. His wife is a less active who we're working with as well. He's 28 and had a pretty rough life. He works 3 jobs. But we got him to request Sundays off so he can come to church. And he wants to be baptized in the beginning/ middle of May so we just need to get him coming to church! He's a pretty solid guy. He LOVES reading the Book of Mormon and telling us what he learned from it. And he and his wife have 2 super cute kids.

      I've met a bunch of members throughout the week and on Sunday. It was a little overwhelming trying to remember all of those names. But I'm excited to get to know the new ward. There were a few other investigators they were working with who didn't have much real intent. So like 5 minutes into meeting with them I'd just straight up ask them "So you've been meeting with missionaries for a while, what do you expect out of us coming?" And they'd say something like, oh just to talk. Or I'd ask "Do you want to learn more about our church and what we believe?" And they'd say "Not really- we just feel bad saying no when you come by". So we weeded out a bunch of people this last week and we're planning on finding a LOT of new people this week :)

   We had a really cool experience on Sunday. We had lunch at a members home and the husband's brother who isn't a member was there. He said he'd talked to missionaries before (but honestly he'd only chatted with them, never really had a deep conversation) So we were talking to him a bit and asked if we could share a message of the Restoration with him- he said probably not right now, but he kept talking religion. We ended up just turning the conversation into a lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, holy, ghost, enduring to the end) We mainly focused on faith and the holy ghost though. He's had some really cool spiritual experiences in his life with praying, promptings from the holy ghost, and acting on those promptings. We were asking questions and being so bold. We read Alma 32:26-27. He committed to read the whole chapter and them we read Moroni 10:3-5 with him and he committed to pray after reading. It was SO cool! And completely impromptu- we didn't know he's be there so we had a completely different lesson planned for the family. The sad news is, he's moving to Alaska in a few days but the family said they'd follow up with him. When the wife was taking us home she just thanked us over and over again. She said he's never opened up like that and that they feel like they know what a lot of his concerns are now. And it was all thanks to asking inspired questions! Love it!

     Alright, well my parting words are this- 1st)I hope everyone has a wonderful week, especially with Easter coming up! 2nd) I am challenging all of you to share the video or a meme from http://easter.mormon.org/ it's incredible! Share it on Facebook. And did you know the church purchased the top banner ad section of Youtube for Easter Sunday to promote the 2 minute video?! You should all watch it. I've seen it twice and cried twice. We showed it to Patrick (the impromptu lesson) and the spirit was so strong! PLEASE use this week as an opportunity to share what is possible in your life because of Jesus Christ.

I love you all!

Love, Sister Metcalf
all my bags to transfer (i sent 2 boxes of winter things home)
with Shirley Taylor (the widow we lived with)
Pday in my new zone
nighttime with Sister Richardson
A cute poster that the youth in 9 Mile Falls made me
After playing Mushball last Pday with the North Spokane Zone
Jodi Mastel
The Tenny's

Monday, April 7, 2014

Whirlwind of a Week

     Oh man! This week was jam packed with so many different things happening!

     First off let's talk about transfers.... Can you believe I'm going to stay in 9 Mile Falls another transfer? ... I'm actually not. I'm going to the Evergreen ward in the Spokane Valley. THE City! Lot's of people! This will be so different. When they told me what was happening last night I teared up some because I've fallen in love with the ward and people out here, but at the same time it felt right. I know this is where I need to be going! My new companion is Sister Richardson. This will be her 3rd transfer in the area. She was actually in my "zone" in the MTC so I know her some and we've obviously been out the same amount of time. I'm excited! Sister Riddle will be staying in 9 Mile and another sister training leader will be coming out to be her companion. I'm so happy that my ward is being left is such good hands!

     On April Fool's Day we told our ward mission leader and district leader that we backed our car into a truck. They were both pretty worried... and then mad when we said we were kidding, but then obviously laughed. I totally forgot is was April 1st until the end of the night when we were in a lesson with the Hadlock's. They talked us into doing the "prank". We actually had a really powerful lesson with them about the priesthood. I was able to share some great examples of priesthood holders in my life. Brother Hadlock has decided that he wants to receive the priesthood and he's making strides! I love that family.

     On Friday night we went to visit Jimmie and Cynda. When we got there Cynda was a wreck. She couldn't stop crying. It turns out the last few months he cheated on her and got back into the whole drug dealing thing, among other things. So he's back in jail. So much for him getting baptized next year when parole is up! I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't surprised. The last few months we've barely seen him and he hasn't shown up to church in ages. Cynda said when she was talking to him on the phone from jail he said it started happening when he stopped coming to church. I attribute it to him stopping doing those things that were keeping Satan out and once he let up he was tempted right back in to his old habits. I'm not even doing this story justice (nor do I feel like I'm at liberty to disclose everything I was told). But it was nuts! And I feel terrible for his wife. We cried with her some and shared scriptures with her. I promised her that she'd receive guidance from watching conference. I hate that I don't get to follow up with her this week. Poor thing.

     We did some yard work for a lady we met this last week. She was a referral from a random street contact. Her name is Betty. She's a widow in her 60's and needed some real help in her yard. While we worked she just started talking like we were old friends. It was hilarious! First off, she has like 7 pet ducks- so there was poop all over the place. And she talked to them like they knew what she was saying. And she started telling us all about the life of Marie Osmond- like literally the life story of her. And she talked about it like they were besties and she was with her every step of the way. Maybe they are, who am I to judge? :) Well then she starts telling us all these personal details about her family members as if we know who they are. "John was in the service for 10 years" "Chris never did like any of the dogs" etc. We were like... "Is that you husband?" "No- my brother!" as if we should have known. Well, then she goes off about how her brother used to complain about her driving all the time, but not any more! Apparently after he died she had him cremated and he's been sitting in the back seat ever since... speaking of dead things... the ground was too frozen in the winter when some of her pets died so instead of burying them she has a dead bird in her freezer and rabbit in the garage. I seriously could not stop laughing! So as we're working I'm trying to work some gospel into the conversation. She mentioned how her husband died a few years back (this is the first thing she's said that hasn't been about her pets or Marie Osmond- my window of opportunity!) I say "That must have been so difficult. What helped get you through that?" She looks at me straight faced and says "My beanie babies." Uh what? I had no idea how to respond to that! She started talking about how she now has over 1000 TY beanie babies! Holy crap! Well long story short we eventually taught her a little bit about God's plan for her and how she will see her husband again in heaven. Sister Riddle gets to drop by next week and follow up :)

     I absolutely loved General Conference and hope you all were able to watch. I LOVED Elder Colbridge's talk and was so happy that some investigators were watching that session. Chris and his wife Stacey went over with their kids to watch conference at the Merrill's home. Success! I love when the members get involved in the work :) My favorite talks were Elder Holland's on Saturday morning (the spirit hit me so strong as he was testifying. This church is true!) and Elder Scott's that afternoon. And I loved Elder Ballard's on Sunday Morning. I'd better be hearing from you all about what you've studied and learned in "Preach My Gospel" in your next email.

     Well, I love you all! It's been a whirlwind of a week. I transfer on Tuesday morning to the valley and will send you my new address as soon as I know it! :)

Love,
Sister Megan Metcalf
With my Ward Mission Leader Bro. Rippy and his wife
The Abrams family
Kate Abrams (my favorite little girl) with her My Little Pony that she named "Sister Metcalf"
Peacocks again! (I'm obsessed)
Albino peacock
Russ and Christy
with Sister Wood at MLC
playing "mushball" basically softball w/ no gloves
taking advantage of the sunshine with Sister Call