Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear family and friends,

First off, some random deets:
1. I used an umbrella for the first time. Everyone said that I looked like Mary Poppins aka Julie Andrews so my mission has been a success.

2. Also, remember that scene on the Other Side of Heaven where he sleeps with his feet out of the sheets and the rats ate his feet? Well that happens here with mosquitos. Any exposed body part gets devoured. And even then they have mutant beaks which allow them to penetrate any kind of fabric. YOU´RE NEVER SAFE

3. For our service activity this week, the workers came and started leading us and directing us where to go. We started following and they led us straight to the... (insert psycho screaming noise) CAFETERIA (insert blood-curlding scream). I was facing my entirely rational fear of ever re-entering an MTC kitchen. But then we just cleaned the walls so it ended well. Except for the fact that I accidentally told the elders in my district about the cereal challenge and now they're determined to do it. I'm a disgrace to MTC cafeteria workers everywhere. #christopherpeterson #meghanschiers #meghanwhateveryournewlastnameis

4. This week Hermana Card and I were called to be Sister Trainers! They´re like the girl zone leaders and basically we´re just in charge of all the hermanas in our zone. So we thought that we must be doing something right. UNTIL we lost 5 of our hermanas at the temple today. From that I learned two things: 1) Obedience brings blessings and 2) Mexicans mean what they say. "Don't go to the tienda. If you´re not back by 12:40 WE WILL LEAVE YOU". Sooo... when we got on the bus and our girls weren´t there on time, he said "oh well. they´ll have to get a taxi". Then, as Hermana Card and I are panicking, we see them sprinting out from the tienda. Bus driver wouldn't stop. "Shoulda been here on time". And then our girls were left to fend for themselves in the big city of Mexico DF.

5. Two of our "investigators" committed to baptism this week! Lugo loves object lessons so we read Alma 32 with him and busted out a seed and let him "nourish" (dump water) on it whenever he listed something that would help his faith to grow. Then at the end we busted out an apple and said "This can be you! You can grow into this delicious fruit! But we all have to start as a seed and constantly be nourished" He was SO excited! Then I busted it out: "¿Seguirá el ejemplo de Jesucristo y será bautizado?" CHA CHING Then there´s Renato who knows he needs to be baptized but he hasn´t learned how to receive answers to his prayers yet. Next lesson: personal revelation from our loving Heavenly Father.

Hay tres milagros esta semana:

1. My testimony of faith skyrocketed. We were doing a practice exercise where we had to answer someone´s question. Our question came from a lady who had a 10 year old son with cancer "Why would God do this to me?" I searched and serached the scriptures but couldn´t find anything to help her (The part where in Alma where God tells Alma and Amulek to let the righteous burn in order to bring judgement upon the wicked wasn't going to cut it). Our group of 5 missionaries had no idea how to answer. Then Hermana young came over and started asking really hard questions "Why? Why? Why?" It really shocked me that I didn´t know the answer. Then with the next thing she said, the Spirit punched me in the face. Yeah, it can do that. "Faith. God gives us trials so that we can learn to have faith in Him. Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement is everything". Then I started bawling. That NEVER happens. It was then I realized how important faith is. If we can have faith in Christ we can have everything. And that to me is a miracle.

2. Miracle number 2: during that same exercise Hermana Card's group was answering Elder Ramirez's question: "What happened to my mom after she died in a car accident 2 years ago?". Hermana Card answered with her testimony that his mom is still living and that she is very proud of him and that she loves him. Elder Ramirez started tearing up. Then as Hermana Hart said the closing prayer, Hermana Card could feel someone giving her a hug saying "Thank you for telling that to my son. He needs to know that his dad is proud of him". Then she realized that the scenario was real and that it was Elder Ramirez's dad. He ran from the room crying. He later told us that this was the reason he finally made a concrete decision to stay on his mission and every since he has been such a powerful district leader. #CHURCHISTRUE

3. Hermano Hardy sat us down and talked with us as a district. He said that there are lots of things we can improve on and he shared a story with us about Wilford Woodruff while he was on his mission. One night he was at a tavern and the whole town had come to hear him preach and mock him. But as he prayed he said "God, whatever you tell me to say, I will say". Then the lives and transgressions of everyone in the room flashed before his eyes and he knew everything about them. They didn't see Wilford Woodruff that night, they saw Christ. Having the spirit with you changes your physical countenance and people can see that. We have to be representatives of Christ and have the Spirit with us so that we can invite people to come unto Christ by hearing His message that we have to share. Ever since that talk, our district has been so much stronger and the goofy elders have started studying! That is a miracle. Look up that story about Wilford Woodruff though. It's great. #gogramps

Spiritual thought of the week comes from Matthew when Peter walks on water. He had faith to walk in the beginning, but when the wind and waves became boisterous, he became afraid and began to sink. But as soon as he called out for the Lord, Christ IMMEDIATELY reached out and pulled him out of the water. Same in our lives guys. We may stumble and fall, but Christ is always there to help us back up if we come unto Him. Alone we are nothing, but if we have faith in Christ we can do anything. FAITH IN CHRIST AND HIS ATONEMENT IS EVERYTHING!


Hurrah for Israel!

Choose celestial!

Hermana Hall


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dear everyone,

This past week at the CCM has been amazing!

1. MOST IMPORTANT: FRUIT. Has anyone eaten guava fruit and not told me about it? Because I'm pretty sure there's a scripture somewhere that condemns hiding the light from those in darkness. Unless it's the casting pearls before swine thing, in that case, nevermind. But I eat at least 3 every meal, yesterday at lunch alone I ate 9. WHOOPS. There are also these apple pear things that have the texture of water chestnuts. We call them panzanas, you know peras y manzanas, and they are delightful.

2. A lot of people have asked about my schedule so here it is:

6:30 Wake up
745 Breakfast
825 Gym time in which Hermana Card kicks my butt because she is a BEAST when it comes to working out. We also have way sweet facilities like a weight room, full court gym, track, volleyball courts, and cardio room
945 Study
1245 Lunch
130 Study
615 Dinner
700 Study
900 Plan

Study time consists of being taught by our FABULOUS teachers Hermano Hardy, Hermano Salvador and Hermana Young, of studying on our own in the computer lab or in the classroom.

Hermano Hardy had personal interviews with all of us this week. Holy cow is that guy close to the Spirit. He quoted stuff straight from my patriarchal blessing. He told me that I was to preach the gospel with boldness because that was the kind of missionary that I was meant to be. So if I end up being thrown in prison or stuck in a pit of lions or stoned SORRY ABOUT IT. But not.

Also, we have devotional every Sunday and Tuesday night. The last one included Presidente Tenorio reccounting stories that started with ``the first time I was mugged, the first time I was kidnapped...`` Welcome to Mexico City.

3. Also, this past week I had an experience that rivals Aunt Suzanne's story about falling off the railing at the MTC. Except this one didn't include flirting with the Elders.

It was raining outside, a light downpour, and our district was scheduled to be in the computer lab. As many of you know, my love for rain is almost comparable to my love for guava fruit. #maddawgclypuppy #raindancepower So I ran across the cobblestone square to the computer lab as the raindrops hit me as I ran. Unfortunately, I did not realize that the floor at the entrance was a slick tile. There was no time for an attempt to slow my pace, so unfortunately when my foot first hit the tile, there was no traction to save me. My foot flew into the air, taking the leg with it, causing me to land flat on my back. It was the PERFECT cartoon banana peel slip. BUT let's not forget that I am a sister missionary, and therefore am required to wear a skirt at all times. ADDITIONALLY, the entrance to the computer lab opens to two doors which each open to its own respective computer lab. AND it didn't help that our district was late, meaning that the rest of the missionaries of the CCM were on time. So putting these facts together, I'm sure you can picture the scene: a sister missionary lying on the ground in a lake of water, skirt above the head, gasping for breath as she laughs uncontrollably while two packed computer labs full of both elders and hermanas stare in disbelief. Let's just say that some poor elders were scarred for life that day. At least everyone got to see me bear my testimony... WHOOPS

4. Another part of our schedule during study time includes teaching investigators, who are really just our teachers. We had a really good lesson with Lugo on Monday. He was really interested and wanted to read a Book of Mormon. Hermana Card got so excited that she gave him the book, stood up and exclaimed ``OKAY GREAT! THAT'S FANTASTIC!!!! WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME!!!`` and started skipping to the door. I grabbed her arm and pulled her back to her seat while saying ``Lugo, would you mind if we say a closing prayer?`` Haha at least she's just as enthusiastic about being a missionary as I am. But hopefully she remembers to say the closing prayer.

5. Spiritual thought of the week: So... a lot of people think that the MTC is a magical place where you walk through the doors and you receive a welcome packet which includes a wrapped gift of tongues with a bow on it. Then you are automatically able to speak your assigned language because you're a magical missionary. Just want to clarify: NOT TRUE!! It takes hard work and effort on your part, but then the Lord pushes your ability farther than you could have ever imagined.
THEREFORE, I have gained such a testimony of prayer. In the Bible Dictionary it says: The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

He's there for us. We just have to ask Him guys! I've learned that this week as I've struggled with teaching and with the language. God wants to bless us, but sometimes we just need to get down and ask. Even just asking for Him to send the Spirit to be with us in a lesson makes the HUGEST difference. I know I've already lost the ability to speak/write in English... But my challenge for EVERYONE this week, I don't care what your religious background is, whether you belive in God or not, whatever the depth of your conversion to the gospel of Christ, I want you to kneel down and just ask if Heavenly Father is there for you. Then tell Him EVERYTHING, all about your struggles, your worries, and your joys. It's simple, I know, so DO IT. It will bless your life and bring you closer to your Dad.


Hermana Hall

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dear everyone,

So... basically, this place is AWESOME! It's seriously so great! The food is delicious, but might be slowly wearing away the inside of my intestines. And the mosquitos, we need to get some serious West Nile Virus surveying up in here because I think I get at least 6 new bites everyday. It's probably because I eat 400% of my daily intake of fruit because it's so delicious here. American mangos, you have been replaced. Also, I killed two spiders in my casa. The pre-mission fear factor training for millipedes was successful! But for spiders...

My companion's name is Hermana Card and she is from Orem so we have a lot to talk about. She loves eating and working out so basically we're already besties (those are the only two requirements) SHOUT OUT to BRYCE: I'm not the jolly companion! Anyways, we both love to have fun and both love to study and put in a ton of hard work to learn everything we need to, and we both hate being late. Hermana Card is REALLY good at Spanish. She's the one at the airport who said she had been taking it for 7 years. She's good at conversing in Spanish and I'm good at remembering gospel vocab so we're a good team. Also, neither of us like showering so... (don't worry Aunt Suzanne, I shower every other day)

So I have to tell you guys a story of the coolest thing that happened on the first day. They took all of us, probably about 30 missionaries, into a room and brought in an investigator and had us ask questions about her life and try to get to know her worries, needs, and questions in life. The first girl was looking for happiness and as all of us asked her questions and bore our testimonies, the Spirit became SO SO strong. But she said she had only come to do her friend a favor and that she wasn't really interested. Then she left and another investigator came in and as we did the same thing, she started crying and said that she knew that it was true. So then, skeptical Shelby, hehem Hermana Hall thinks that they're just fake because she now knows the in's and out's of the MTC (SHOUT OUT TO ALEC) but later we talked to the head guy who was in charge and he said that they were for sure real and that both of them were now really interested and meeting with the missionaries! HOW SWEET IS THAT!!! That experience just made me want to baptize everyone and bring them the eternal happiness that comes from the gospel!

This morning we went to the temple! In Mexico City!!! WHAT UP Still not quite used to the fact that I'm actually IN Mexico City. Or even that I'm a missionary. The other day we were sitting the auditorium waiting for class to start and two elders walked through the door and I hit my companion and said "LOOK IT'S THE MISSIONARIES!!!!". Not as bad as the time when we were driving through the city and Hermana Card saw green, red, and white decorations around a street sign and yelled "Look! They're already decorating for Christmas!!!!". Ummmm... nope. Those are Mexico's colors. WHOOPS.

Oh yeah the temple... It was SO awesome! The inside is almost exactly the same as the Provo temple, the layout and everything. Too sweet! Oh and I did an entire session in Spanish. Yeah. The ENTIRE session. It was amazing! OH and the other day for a fireside for the entire MTC, I said the closing prayer in Spanish! This immersion thing is sweet. Except, it's really not me, it's the Lord helping me along.

And CONFERENCE?????????? Did you guys watch that????!!!! If you didn't GO DO IT RIGHT NOW!!! GET OFF THE COMPUTER AND GO WATCH ALL OF IT!!!! (unless conference is on your computer, then you can stay on). It was so good! (understatement) They talked a lot about faith, the healing power of the Atonement, keeping covenants, and MISSIONARY WORK!!!! That's right Gifford Nielsen, it deserves exclamation points!!!!!! P.s. Shawn, if you won't listen to any other general authority, I know you'll listen to Gifford Nielsen, SO GO DO SOME MISSIONARY WORK!!!! EXCLAMATION POINT!!!! But really, my favorite talk was by Timothy Dykes, who talked about how the Atonement of Christ can make us whole. If we have faith in the healing and enabling power of the Atonement, we can take up our beds and walk, even when we feel too weak to do so on our own. Christ is there to help us because He loves us! We just have to come closer to Him and we will help us rise and stand taller than we ever could on our own. ALSO Russell M Nelson's talk was the, but that's a given (SCIENCE IS FUN)

So remember how happy this gospel makes you and how blessed we are to have families that are sealed together FOREVER. Share that with someone. One of the conference speakers challenged us to reach out to ONE by CHRISTMAS. I echo that challenge and ask all of you to join in the hastening of the work in this day. Everyone needs the joy that this gospel can bring and if you truly loved them, you would want them to have eternal happiness. SO SHARE THE GOOD NEWS! An invitation out of love will never be received offensively. And if we have the charity and pure love of Christ, we would want ALL people to have the gospel because we love them and recognize that they are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who wants them to come home! EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!!

I love all of you guys and wish you the best in all of your endeavors!

Remember to always CHOOSE CELESTIAL and NEVER BE ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ.


Hermana Hall

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I'm in Mexico City!!

i officially arrived in mexico city but this keyboard is in spanish and i have no idea where the shift button is so none of these letter will be capitalized. sorry bout it. i have also officially forgotten any spanish i previously knew, but i did feel better when we were filling out migration forms and one girl asked ''WHAT IS NOMBRE'' insert question mark here. but then this other girl said she took seven years of spanish so thats awesome too. oh wait. hey look an ñ i connected with tons of missionaries on the flight from dallas to mexico city and four of them are going to the same mission as me. um... texas is just as big as everyone says it is and mexico city is really crammed and ghetto but the mtc is nice so thats good. i wish i knew how to use punctuation on this keyboard... okay well thats all for now hopefully my next letter will be punctuated hermana hall