It’s Not About Me (week 35)

This week was an emotional roller coaster.  The Barrett’s dropped us by saying that the Book of Mormon was totally bogus (which they didn’t even end up reading or praying about it) which made me a little frustrated.  Our fellowship member for Jim (the blind man living in a trailer with no power) totally offended him by saying that he using excuses to get out of reading the Book of Mormon.  It was not the best lesson I’ve been to.  Luckily, Jim still likes us and is willing to learn more.  Then the Lanick’s dropped us also.  We weren’t able to meet with Rudy once again, because when he said he could come and he called us before church saying he was coming, but then he didn’t show.  😦

But there were a lot of ups this week!  Wednesday was jam packed with missionary fun!  We had a worldwide missionary training, which just happened to start out with a little music video featuring some people I love from the Crystal Lake wards and yours truly!  (A church video was made a few years ago where people in my hometown, including myself, were in it!)  It was so cool!  It really touched my heart because it showed this transition to becoming a missionary and I am finally on that level!  The thing we have been struggling with a lot in this area is finding people who are ready to progress in the gospel and are willing to put in the effort to know if what we share really is true.  What I learned at the training is that it’s our purpose to bring the message of the restored gospel unto our investigators hearts, but it is their job to bring it into their hearts.  I also learned that teaching is not talking, it’s listening and observing with intense spiritual focus!  If we are doing our very best, we will be guided!  Full-time missionaries are called to testify of Jesus Christ and help bring Heavenly Fathers children unto Him–this is the most important work in mortality!  We are called to teach repentance and baptize converts!

After that training, we had yet another training!  Multi-Zone Conference which was probably one of the strangest I’ve been to considering the fact that it was so short!  It was a very long day though, especially considering the fact that we had to leave our place at 6 a.m. to drive an hour to the Stake Center.  We had training on tracting (which is knocking on doors).  Because of El Nino (this big storm that comes to California every few years) we needed some tools on tracting through it.  I’m excited to go tracting although the only place we could do it would be our trailer park and we already know everyone there!  It was a bomb (aka great) day that made me realize I could be doing so much better!

Sunday we were able to give a talk in the Idyllwild Branch!  There was a good turnout with about 15 people!  🙂  I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, so I mostly just winged it. Luckily, our whole mission has been studying Chapter 4 of “Preach My Gospel” for the last 3 months, which is about recognizing the spirit!  I focused on personal revelation.  My understanding grew of how we can find our answers from Heavenly Father.  It is only through diligent seeking that he reveals his plan for us!!  (1 Nephi 10:19)  What are we diligently seeking in our own lives?  The Idyllwild Branch is so special to me!!

Sister Blanchard and I have a new favorite song called “It’s Not About You” on lds.org.  It reminds me that I’m here for the people searching for the truth!  It’s not about me. 🙂

Peace and Blessings,

Sister Meza

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How we spent our p-day (preparation day)
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Lake Hemet
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Truckin
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The road we take to Hemet
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Designated driver swag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The lowdown (week 34)

It was a great week as always!  I never really plan what I’m going to write so I hope these posts are okay for just winging it.  This email is going to be a lowdown on everyone we are teaching.

Let’s start with the Lanick’s.  If you keep up with my blog, you will know that we started teaching them a long time ago.  They are super hard to get a hold of and teach so we planned on dropping them this week.  They are a really strong family in the community so we kinda held onto them, hoping they would progress.  Since they are so hard to get a hold of, we just dropped by their home to have our last lesson with them.  Just as Mrs. Lanick was telling us she didn’t care to find out if the Book of Mormon was true, her husband came in and started acting out parts of the Bible to us.  He is a wrestling coach at the high school so that can help you paint the picture…haha!  After that, he shared with us how him and his mom went to the Philippines and Southern Japan for a mission when he was 2 until the age of about 15.  That’s how they lived for so many years, not knowing how they were going to get their next meal, but teaching people about Christ.  He has a really deep appreciation for what we do as missionaries.  We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and we are going to follow up with him next week, which should be fun!

Rudy — he is the one who starts out every prayer with “big homie” :).  We weren’t able to meet with him this last week but he is reading the Book of Mormon faithfully and is searching for an answer to be baptized!  We plan on meeting with him tomorrow.

Brenda is a young mom whose brother-in-law is Mr. Lanick.  She has a house full of little boys and has so many questions when we go over.  We haven’t been able to get her to church.

Butch and Michael are the people with the buffalo.  Butch had a problem with his pace maker so we weren’t able to meet last week but we are going to see them today.  We are afraid they are “eternigators” (aka eternal investigators), so we plan on inviting them for baptism tonight and seeing what happens.  They have met with missionaries for a long time and they know everyone in the Branch and they have family in the church.

Rhonda is a nice lady living with one of our less active members.  She is very sweet but her little dog doesn’t like us very much.  😦

The Barrett’s are cool.  They are this older couple who live on a very interesting piece of property.  They actually have a fault line in their backyard!  They are also big history buffs and a lot of people use their property for history reenactments.  If you’re a big follower of the History Channel, you have probably seen their backyard.  This week we introduced them to the Book of Mormon and they are very excited to read it!

Jim is partially blind.  He was a referral from one of the Branch members (who was actually in Afghanistan when he called and gave his name to us.  Apparently he was in a Hummer being shot at…we totally heard it in the background but that’s a totally different story).  Jim lives in one of the trailer parks here and is very nice.  I wanted to give him a Book of Mormon but he can’t see very well.  This week we plan of giving him some Cd’s we have.

Dwain is this guy that lives in Timbuktu!  He was a referral from a member and when we showed up to teach him, he has all these baby sheep running around that had actually been born the night before!  He is also excited to read the Book of Mormon and even asked the member that referred him to us for a large print copy.  We will be getting that for him soon!

Pat and Terry are two biker dudes.  They were a referral from our housing coordinators at the mission home.  They are still pretty new, but we’ll be seeing them this week!

Korin lives in our trailer park and is about 100 pages into the Book of Mormon!  She is hopefully going to come to church this week.

There are a couple more but I don’t have any more time to write!  Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Sister Meza

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Homemade sushi…Broulim’s style
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We really do love each other 🙂
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I told her to make a snow angel 🙂
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Outside the Idyllwild Chapel
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We found this great cinnamon roll place!
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Aguanga
 

 

CPR for the Soul (week 33)

What a week!  The weather up here has been rain rain rain!  Last week I was sick 2 1/2 days with what felt like a bad cold.  It couldn’t have happened at a better time with all the bipolar weather here — rain and snow!  That was a blessing.  We were still able to teach a lot of lessons and get a lot done.  Since most of the roads we drive are dirt, they were really terrible this week.  At some points we would be driving through mud to get to lessons.  Luckily, we are blessed with a truck so it was fun!

I was able to spend Saturday in Jurupa Spanish area on another exchange with Hermana Burris, who will be leaving her mission the same time as me.  There will be about 10 sister missionaries leaving the same time I do, which is a crazy amount, especially for sisters.  There are only about 10 companionships of English sisters in my mission.  We are the minority next to the Chinese speaking and ASL Elder’s!  It’s so much fun and I love teaching the gospel in English!  Although every time I go to a Spanish area I feel terrible that I don’t know Spanish!  I am super determined to learn after my mission.  🙂  It was so different being back in a city!  I have gotten so used to doing missionary work in the country!

The best part of my week was definitely yesterday!  We were able to have a training by Elder Hamula of the Seventy.  I was on such a spiritual high!  Sister Mullen, our Mission President’s wife, talked to us about what we introduce to people we are teaching is not new to them spiritually, that we need to remind them of how the spirit feels like.  The spirit is so essential to us, not only for our conversion, but to help us with the many riggers of life!  One of the biggest blessings that the Lord has given me through the spirit was the answer to my prayers about whether or not I should go on a mission.  This is the most righteous preparation I could have in my life!  I feel like I was such a scrub before my mission (lol).  I know that my mission is shaping me into a better person and disciple of Jesus Christ.  President Mullen also talked to us about the Holy Ghost and how it brings us closer to Godliness and that the message we share is the good news of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Sister Hamula talked about God’s work and glory, which is to bring to pass the eternal life of men (Moses 1:39) and our work and glory in turn, is to bring to pass our eternal life by keeping the commandments of God.  Elder Hamula talked about a lot of things, but what stuck out to me the most was the totally new perspective I received about repentance.  I learned that repentance is a cry of love from our Father in Heaven!  3 Nephi 9:14 says “Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life.  Behold, mine arm of  mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.” (that sounds like a hug!)  As we face trials and as we face sins, it’s what we do with them that determines our destiny!  Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are always willing to help us.  We need to continually turn towards Christ to keep us on the path to return to live with Him again!  We can do that as we faithfully serve and live the gospel!  Something we teach out here is what I like to call CPR for the soul — going to Church, Praying, and Reading the scriptures.  That’s what going to help us turn towards our Father in Heaven!  “Repentance always means there is greater happiness ahead.” — Neil L. Anderson.  These are just a few tidbits of everything I learned from this wonderful meeting!

Hope you all have a great week and stay warm!

Love, Sister Meza

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Happy New Year! (week 32)

This week was a week of miracles!  The best part was probably seeing our investigator, Rudy, at church!  The Elder’s in our district suggested that we try walking him to church because he lives close to the church building, so we did even though we had to try a couple different places to find him.  I have been sick this past weekend with what feels like really bad allergies, but I’m hoping it will be able to go away by tomorrow.  🙂

We were able so spend New Year’s Eve playing vball with all the missionaries in Hemet and the Schelly family ended up being there which was cool!  They are members in our little Idyllwild Branch.  We also had a luncheon that day at a members home from our Stake.  It was pretty much a devotional with food, but it was really cool!  This week is supposed to be crazy as far as weather goes!  We are excited for all the snow coming our way, especially since both Sister Blanchard and I are used to it. 🙂  Anza is at 4500 elevation and Idyllwild is at 6000 so, even though we are in Southern California, the weather is still crazy!  I am so grateful we have a truck with four wheel drive.

Also a fun story that happened with one of our investigators this week is that his buffalo named”Leftover” choked on a stick and died (not the fun part) so he hauled it out to the street and half the neighborhood came to help slice it up.  Luckily, we weren’t there but they did show us pictures!   I guess that’s the circle of life Anza style. 🙂

During my study of the book of Matthew this week, there was a particular scripture that really touched my heart:  Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”   I know that this life wasn’t meant for us to be endured alone, but that it is through Christ that we can gain eternal happiness and see miracles around us daily.  One of my favorite quotes says that God is involved in 10,000 different things in life and you might be aware of 10.  I know that the Lord loves us and that if you don’t feel it, you can pray about it with faith and He will help you to feel it!

Hope you all had a great start to your new year!

Love and miss ya!

Sister Meza

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The new district!
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In the ghetto of Hemet
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The struggle was real trying to take this picture 😉
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Vball on New Year’s Eve!
 

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Exchanging funny stories at Bob V’s
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New Year’s Eve dinner at Micky D’s!
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Walking out from dinner to snow!
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My desk #fresh
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New planner!
 

 

 

The Best Gift (week 31)

What a week!  Christmas and transfer calls all jammed into one! Wednesday we had a Christmas devotional along with watching a fun slide show of all the missionaries in Riverside last year.  Christmas day was pretty unsuccessful as far as missionary work goes, but we were able to spend Christmas Eve dinner with Sister Therrien and her family, which was great!  We finished the night by taking a trip to Hemet to watch “The Best 2 Years” with the Hemet zones.  It’s way more fun to watch it as a missionary!  We were all dying of laughter.  We woke up Christmas day and had breakfast with the Merchants, which was fantastic!  Sister Merchant made us cinnamon rolls and french toast casserole with bacon! We went home to study and then we went back later in the day to Skype our families!  It was so great!  I felt like I had never left my sweet little family.

One of  my favorite gifts that I received this Christmas was a call from one of our investigators, Rudy.  Rudy has a bad gambling problem and, up until this week, didn’t have a strong desire to change.  We taught him on Christmas Eve and encouraged him to not follow through with his plan on going to the casino later that day.  Christmas day we got a call from him saying that he didn’t go to the casino, but instead stayed home with his friends to watch Christmas movies!  We were so proud of him!  I know that the spirit has a way of changing hearts!  Friday, we were able to have another sister missionary, Sister Babb, with us since her companions were on exchanges.  Sister Babb is great!  I have know her most of my mission.

Being a missionary is the best!  I hope you all had a great Christmas filled with the spirit of Christ!  Talk to you next year 😉

Love,

Sister Meza

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Our gingerbread house
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Our Christmas PJ’s!
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Our little Christmas tree 🙂
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Mi familia!
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Skyping the fam!
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Just when we thought we escaped the snow
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Sister Babb, Sister Blanchard, and I
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Caroling with our District on Christmas day
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Best District ever!
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Elder Mercado, our old District leader, and his companion, Elder Anderson
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Our Zone Leaders! Elder Gillette and Elder Giguire
 

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Merry Christmas from Cali!