Jan 27, 2011

First Area in Roswell, New Mexico

(January 27, 2011, 3:07 pm)

Wow!!!  So much has happened in the last week it's crazy!!   We left the MTC at 5am.  and didn't arive to Lubbock, Texas till four ish.  It is such an amazing feeling to be a missionary.  In the airports we had so many people looking at us funny. ha ha I guess I'll just have to get used to it.  We had tons of support too though!  People would randomly yell, "Hurrah for Israel!" Parents would point us out to their kids and say, "Look! It's the missionaries"  I love being a missionary so much.  So naturally, like every eager missionary it is our mind set to convert every person we met on the plane!  We soon found out that this was most likely not going to happen. Ha Ha We can always dream though!!! As I was getting onto my connecting flight there was a woman who kept looking at me.  As she walked past me on the plane she told me she was sorry for staring at me so much but that I looked just like a girl she had once met and that she too was L.D.S.  I said it was so nice to meet her and then she sat a few rows behind me.  Once off the plane we had to wait in the aisle to collect our carry ons.  She was having a hard time reaching hers, so I jumped in to help her and her friend get theirs.  Well life went on and I was so nervous cuz they had put such a huge stress on making a good first impression to the Mission President.  As I was almost to President Robison I felt someone tap me on the shoulder.  It was that lady.  She told me here name was Darlene.  She told me how the girl she once knew was a missionary and how that girl had shown her so much love!  She said that she then had met me and I had also shown her so much love without even knowing her that there had to be something about our gospel that made us feel the way we did.  She told me how she wanted us to come and give her the lessons!  Agh!!!  So Crazy!  so shaking and in shock I fumbled through my bag and all I could find was a "I'm a Mormon" pass along card, and a receipt.  She have me her name and her phone number so that we could come and teach her!!  I bore my testimony on how the gospel had changed my life and that I was happier than I had ever been!!!   WOW!!!   Words can not describe the feeling!  It was so great!  I am being transferred out of the Lubbock area, but I am so excited for the other sisters to teach her the lessons!  I will let you know when I find out how the lessons are going! 

Our mission president and his wife are so amazing!  I love them so much!!  They took us out to eat while we were in Lubbock.  I stayed a few days in Lubock for some training and then my last night there I went out with some of the local sister missionaries.  It honestly was kind of rough! ha ha Many of our appointments canceled on us.  Texas is filled with such amazing people!  They all believe in God, so it can be helpful.  It's also a bad thing though because they are so nice that they can't tell you no to your face, so they just lie and tell you to come back later. They fill you with hope and then run, or "Punch you" as everyone calls it.  Finally after hours of no luck at all we decided to stop by Sister Shaklefields home.  She is in her 90's and is in inactive member. Someone offended her years ago and so she has become semi-anti.  I guess the sisters said she has started to forget lots and so when they try to re-teach her she will just argue.  So anyway...we went to knock on her door she then answered with no pants on!!  Ha Ha Ha Ha   I was trying to hard not to laugh!  But she very simply said, "well I have no clothes but come on in" ha ha  She was so funny and old!  What a great first experience.  We didn't really teach her a lesson.  We sang her a song, cuz that way she couldn't really stop us to argue. (we sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer) then Sis. Arrington said the closing prayer.  She pretty much gave the whole Restoration lesson in her prayer!  It was definitely a new experience for me.   Oh man!  This is definitely going to be rough. But I still love it so much!

The next day we met at the transfer sight to go to our new areas!  I met my companion Sister Robinson.  She is from Washington State!  She is so cute and always happy!!  She gave me a huge present full of random stuff!   I really like her and I think we work well together!  So any guesses on my first area?!?!   ............Roswell, New Mexico!  Home of the aliens!! :) Ha all of the street lamps have little alien eyes on them! Even the McDonalds is in the shape of a space ship!  There are about 50,000 people here!  We have such an amazing area though!!  The ward is absolutely amazing.  Many of the members put in at least an hour of missionary work each week.  Our stake president puts in almost 10 hours a week!  They are all just so amazing!!  We have so much support! The member as are all so close and love everyone they meet!    We have many progressing investigators!  And a woman who has a baptism date for next Saturday.   I know that this is an amazing area!  We are the first sisters to ever be in this area!!!  I am so excited to be opening a new area!!  I know that we will be able to do so much good here!!!!  Last night the State President took us around the whole area and told us about the members.  We made a few stops and set three appointments.  One of the places we went was the Parks Family.  They are an older couple and the wife is a member but the husband is not!  Sister Robinson was teaching him and telling him he needed to read the Book of Mormon.  He told us that reading was a chore for him. I didn't really say a whole lot cuz she just kept going.  Finally he turned to me and said, "You can cut in...I feel like she is yelling at me."  I just kind of laughed and so did everyone else; I told him that I knew too that the Book of Mormon was a true book. I told him that when I was growing up reading was always a chore for me too, but that people were always telling me I should read it.  So finally one day I opened it up and would just read short amounts.  One day, which happened to be a bad day I read Alma 36:27.  I told him that I knew God loved me and would always carry me through.  I knew that if he read this book he would know without a shadow of a doubt that god loved him too and would help him.  I knew that the book was the only way to really know. He got tears in his eyes, looked me straight in the face and promised that he would start to read it everyday!  What amazing experience!  It was my first time teaching an actual investigator.  I know that the Lord helped me know what to say!  I love being a missionary so much!  I can't wait for all the opportunities that are in store for me! 

I love this gospel so much.  I hope you know that I still pray for all of you everyday!!  I hope life is great!!!

Love ya forever!

Sister Tracy

Jan 26, 2011

Pictures from the MTC!

My companion - Sister Hamaker and Melinda

 District 52A

The scriptures can answer all our questions!

Jan 25, 2011

Missionary Blessings!

Melinda Mission Experience

by James Tracy on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 9:56pm
Came home from work and had a pleasant surprise. I received in the mail a refund from life insurance premiums we paid in the amount of $399. Trisha and I were excited about the unexpected source of money. Within ten minutes Melinda's mission president called to tell us she arrived in Texas safely and to ask if we could please put $400 into her bank account so she can buy a bicycle tomorrow. My parents had almost the exact same experience when I was on my mission (they received an unexpected payment of life insurance proceeds that was the exact amount of the additional six months I extended on my mission). I am grateful for the love our Heavenly Father has for us and the blessings he gives us.

Jan 24, 2011

January 20, 2011 Letter

So I can't believe I've already been here for three weeks!  Time sure does fly here!  I am going to Texas on Monday 24, 2011.  I can't wait to get out to the field and start teaching the people!  I have heard so many great things about my mission!  I have heard that the gospel is just growing so much right now!   Agh!!  I just can't even wait to get there!!!

Life here has been pretty good at the MTC!  I am learning so much everyday!  My testimony has grown so much, I feel like I'm a completely different person!  My companion Sister Hamaker and I still get along great!  I feel so blessed to have been put with a sister whom I get along with.  We both love each other so much and we both love the Lord and know why we are here that makes everything is just perfect!   My district is still wonderful!  I'm really going to miss all the Elders when we are transfered to our different areas!  They have become like my brothers!   We have helped each other grow so much!

I am so thankful for the gospel in my life!  I don't know what I would do without it!  It makes me so happy.  I know more then anything that this church is true!  I have grown to love the book of mormon so much!  I know that if we read it we really can find the answers to anything!  I know the Lord loves us so much and that he will never abandon us!  I know we have a true living prophet who leads and directs us! 

Know that my prayers are with all of you!  I hope everything is going well for all of you!  I'm thankful for all of your support that you've given me!  I am so thankful for the example you have set for me!  I love you and hope to hear from you soon!


Sister Tracy

Jan 13, 2011

January 13, 2011

Well the MTC is just amazing!!!!  I really love it here so much!  So much has happened in the last week and I don't know where to even start!  My companion and I still get along great!  We haven't had any issues at all!  I love her so much and couldn't have gotten a better companion.  Things here at the MTC are pretty busy because we are getting a new MTC Mission President!  They have had apostles here all week trying to train our new president, so rooms have been blocked off and it can get pretty confusing. I have decided to put my singing talent to the test ;) so my companion and I joined the Chior.  There are not very many sisters in the choir so it can get kind of scary performing for everyone.  On Tuesday nights we always have a devotional!  And for my first devotional here we were able to see Elder Jeffery R. Holland!!!  I was so scared to sing for him, because this was my first ever chior performance!!  And it was for a prophet!!!  They even had a close up of me on the video projector!!   To say the least, I think it ended up okay. ha ha   Elder Holland's message was one that i think has changed the life ever everyone that heard it!!!  It was the most powerful message I have ever heard.  He talked about how many missionaries were coming home from serving and then were falling away from the church.  He pretty much told us that we needed to convert ourselves before we could ever convert anyone else!!  He told us the things we needed to work on and then he told us the story of Peter.  When Christ was resurrected, and he asked peter, "Do you love me." Peter answered with the same reply of "Yes" everytime.  Christ repeated this question two more times, with peters same reply following.  Elder Holland then asked us, FOR HOW LONG!!!  How long do you love him.  For two years?  18 Months?  Untill times get hard?  NO, We must always love him for time and all eternity!!  Our call to bring others to Christ is never over!!!! 

I don't think that there was one dry eye in the room!  I know that this one message, although it may not sound all that amazing to you, has changed my life forever!!!  I love the gospel so much and am thankful for the joy it brings into my life!!!  I can't wait to get out on the field to teach all those that I meet!!  I miss all of you so much, and pray for you everyday!  I am so lucky to have the support of amazing friends and family!!!!  Love you forever!!

Sister Tracy!!

Jan 11, 2011

First Letter!

So it is my second day here at the MTC and so far it has been great!!  The second I walked in this place you could just feel the spirit so strongly!!!  Everyone is so genuinely happy and I know it's because we are all so close to God.  As my host sister was taking me around, she yelled down the hall. "There are your roommates!"  They came running towards me and gave me the biggest hug ever!!!!  They are so cute!!  They are both from Fiji!!  They are both going to Madagascar which seems so fun!  We also have two other sisters in my room. They are both going to Riverside California.  My companion's name is Sister Hamaker.  She is from Northern California.  She is a very loving girl.  Today they gave us a chance to email, even though it's not our p-day.  My email account was not working at all!!  I seriously was about to cry. :(  Anyway our time completely ran out and she was just so willing to switch around our schedule to find out how to fix it, just because she knew it meant a lot to me.  I can tell that we will get along great together for the next three weeks.  Our first day here was so crazy, but I loved it!!  There is so much to learn, but I can't even wait!  As we were sitting in our first meeting with all the new missionaries, I just had an overwhelming feeling of knowing this is exactly where I need to be!!!!  I can't even wait to get out on the field and start to really teach!!  I'm scared, but I am just so excited to share the gospel with everyone I possibly can!!!!  We have classes all day..I know dad wanted a breakdown of how the day goes so here is a rough draft. (P.S. this first week is a little different then how it will be everyday, but you'll get an idea...)
6:00 am-wake up
6:30 am-personal study/room devotionals
7:00 am-district study (P.S. I LOVE my district!!)
7:45 am-breakfast
8:15 am-Class with Brother Rudd
10:00 am-LGM
11:00 am-Gym
12:30 pm-Lunch
1:15 pm-Class with Brother Vallett
4:30 pm-personal study
5:30 pm-Dinner
6:15 pm-Comp. Study
7:30 pm-MDTT/Workshops
9:00 pm-District Planning
9:30 pm-return to dorms
10:00 pm-room devotional
10:15 pm-quite time
10:30 pm-Lights Out
Anyway as you can see Life here at the MTC is super busy!!!  I have already learned so much!  I love that we can seriously just bear our testimonies at any point of the day, to anyone and they are ready and so happy to listen to you!  Hearing the faith of everyone else around me really has started to build me up!  I'm sure I will have rough times but so far I feel like I could keep doing this everyday, every year, for the rest of my life!  I love this gospel so much and am so thankful that I was given this opportunity to serve!!  I know Christ died for us and atoned for our sins.  I know that if it wasn't for him we wouldn't ever be able to return and live with our Heavenly Father.  I know the Book of Mormon is true and as I start to read it more often I know that it really does guide our lives and gives us direction!!!!  I know Joseph Smith really was a true prophet of God!  I love president Monson and know he will never lead us astray!!!  I love all of you so much and am so thankfully for your support!!!!  I miss all of you, but time really will fly by!  i can't wait to talk to you soon!   Love you forever!!!