Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Megan and 'her' Elders

Another missionary mom sent me this photo via e-mail. I was so grateful to her for thinking of me. I think Megan looks well protected!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Megan's 10-21-09 e-mail

It's crazy. There's no way I've been here a month-today! Its amazing how fast time goes by. Less than 5 more weeks and I'll be flyin' to the other side of the world!! BAH! Yesterday i was getting so excited to go and to be there-I think I was scaring my elders a little bit. I''ve come out of my shell a little bit more every day with them..so the future looks bright. It's been hard some days just not having a buddy there with me, but I just had to change my attitude, and pray and it's gotten better.
Last night in our devotional, the speaker was talking about our purpose here as missionaries and said that if we were out in the middle of the ocean in a little boat and there was nothing in sight, no island, no other boats, we wouldn't have anything to row for. But then he said that if we had an island in sight, and it was our goal to get there, we would have direction, we would have a purpose. "Someone who doesn't have land ahead to row for will become captive to the waves."

Monday, October 19, 2009

The 'sleepy' theme continues...

I had the worst and best learning experience this week! So every week we do a mock contact on Wednesday. My teacher Hermana Rizley was our contact and she is very difficult because she acts as really difficult investigator, which is good and sometimes very challenging. This week is BYU's midterms, which means Hermana Rizley didn't get much sleep! She fell asleep during our lesson! I felt really foolish and not like a very good missionary! We had been so boring, my teacher took a nap during our lesson. She felt really bad, but she taught us many things.

Josh's 10-19-09 E-mail

I love it here. One elder pointed out the MTC is like the pre-mortal life and we learning and gaining knowledge, but we are excited to to earth! (Argentina) If I don't get my visa this week I most likely will be delayed. They might have me stay here until I get it or send me somewhere else for a couple of weeks in the United States to practice spanish and being a missionary. The sacred reverence and peace the temple brings is magnificent! President Monson said we all need to find a sacred grove to meditate. His was his old church building. He would go there and pray by the pulpit. Right now the temple is my sacred grove while during my time at the MTC. Great place huh? I hope all you find a sacred grove in your lives.

Megan's 10-14-09 e-mail

It was on Wednesday that it finally hit me-I'm on my mission! I don't know why it was then, and I don't know why it wasn't the first day, but people had asked me before how I felt and I kept saying, it's like a dream, it's not really happening, but at that point, it finally was real! The clock is ticking!! It's weird, but almost every day I feel like I have to rebuild myself if that makes sense-like during the night I lose all my spiritual strength and I have to start over again- it just proves how hard Satan is trying to slow the work-if he can get one missionary to be less zealous-less enthusiastic-less effective-think of how many people he could gain?? Joseph Smith said it perfectly: "It seems as though the adversary was aware...that i was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his Kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me?" (JSH v. 20) But as God as my strength I will overcome him!

Josh's 10-12-09 E-mail

I am over more than 48 missionaries. Our branch presidency had the zone leaders teach priesthood on Sunday. I definitely had the spirit's help. I did something different though. Some of the elders were falling asleep so I had them stand up, and then I taught them about the fall. I felt the spirit while bearing my testimony in spanish. I have had truly so much help..I have a theme: 'do it for the people, do it for Christ, do it for God'. I have been called to serve a perfect man and to serve the people of Argentina. Already the theme has helped. It helps keeps my mind in focus and gives me more motivation.
Remember- happy people go and do, sad people sit and stew.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hand Hugs!

Josh has been making copies of his photos and mailing them home, since it seems they cannot attach photos in ldsmail. Hopefully, they will figure it out eventually. Anyway, I am scanning them in so the quality isn't great, but a they are still worth a thousand words! We all know about the 'no hugging' rule, so this is a demonstration of the 'hand hug'! Don't you just want to pinch their cheeks?

Missionary Tags

Josh's tag is in Spanish and Megan's tag is in English. She did say that Cebuano was not a written language, so maybe her tag will always be in English. Look at their countenance-shiny as the sun!

Famous MTC map photo

Who would have imagined two Dustins here at the same time? I wonder how many miles apart they will be. Someone geographically savvy should figure it out and post a comment here!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A drive by shooting at the MTC?

Wednesday is Megan's p-day so we awaited the cherished e-mail. Well, we didn't get one, but we did get a phone call from the MTC. I was at work and Bridget called me to tell me the MTC called. She was sobbing so hard I could only understand the part, "The MTC called..." Of course, I thought it must be dreadful news to have upset Bridget so much. So I am trying to ask questions and listen through her tears, but I start thinking the worst...(How does someone die at the MTC... run over in the crosswalk on the way to the temple... reaction from an immunization... drive by shooting...). Then I start to tell myself, that wouldn't happen, but maybe one of them went a-wall... Finally, I piece together in between Bridget's sobbing that Sister Hatch just called to say she had the privilege of taking Megan shopping for a coat and that she was a wonderful girl. Oh, be still my little heart (it really was pounding by now). What a relief! I asked Bridget why she was crying so hard about that and she said that Sister Hatch just made her miss Megan soooooo much!

How to speak Cebuano:

Per Megan: "Cebuano sounds like you're dribbling a basketball in your mouth! Ha ha. It has lots of nga's nad mga's (sounds like manga) so lots of gurgling motions-like if you were to gurgle with water and how your tongue would be at the back of your throat. It's Fun!"

Megan's 8 page epistle

This picture is called Heavenly Hands, by Greg Olsen and I thought it was just what Megan described in her letter.

The time limit on Megan's e-mail was too short, so she sent a follow up letter (actually two letters) to catch us up on all the details. She said everyone that knows Josh says, "He's the best! He takes all the sisters trays over at meals and makes all the other elders look bad." He is definitely polishing the Dustin name! She also said when she speaks Cebuano people around the MTC think she is speaking spanish. Hello is 'Kumusta'-sounds much like 'Como esta?' She said Cebuano is not a written language so to teach it they write it out phonetically. She has learned that it is not her job to convert someone, but only to invite them to come unto the gospel. She said she feels the spirit all day in the MTC. She said she can feel the angels all around her. "I am here on my mission FOR Jesus. I am here on my mission BECAUSE of Jesus. I am here on my mission TO TEACH ABOUT JESUS."

Josh' 10-5-09 e-mail

I realize I didn' tell you about the elder I fasted for! He is definitely staying. I am positive about it. I knew it was between him and the Lord, but I am glad he is here. It brightens my day.How was conference? Pretty amazing huh? I had questions that I brought to conference and one of them was, "how do I develop love for everyone, no matter who they are and what they have done?" President Utchdorf and President Monson solved that question in the first session! Megan gave me some advice. First that Michelangelo created David by first breaking him and then creating him. On the Joseph Smith movie we watched last night, Joseph said the Lord brings us down so that we might be brought higher. Life is hard sometimes, but that doesn't mean we are weak, just that we are learning...I still study the language in most of my free time, but I feel improvement and the Lord's hand in my life.

Megan's Postcard

Megan mailed this homemade postcard to tell us she is a 'solo' sister. She does have a companion, but she is going to a different mission so they don't spend hardly any time together. However, she has 19 elders in her district that are all learning Cebuano! Her postcard also said, "This place is great! It's way easier than everyone says! (at least right now...knock on wood...eek).

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Megan's 1st e-mail

i am so happy to be here. I feel the spirit every day...You will never know just how much letters are gold to a missionary until you are one! It is just like a ray of sunshine in my day...Ok, I SAW JOSHHHHH!!!!!!! It was the happiest thing in the whole entire world!!! I was on my first little tour around with this sister who was my host and i heard MEGAN!!! From across the hall and there he was!! HE RAN over to me with his hand stretched out as far as he could with the rest of himself as far away from me as he could...haha! He was so cute! So i was telling my host about him and the whole no hugging situation and so i was giving him a handshake and he just looked soo happy to see me that i looked over at her and i said, "can i hug him???????" and she's like, YEAH!! and so i did and it was soo happy!! As hopefully you got my postcard-i'm a solo sister in my discrict of 19 elders!!!!!!!!!!!! No other sisters. Its crazy!! I have a kaubon (companion) but she's in a different district and she is going to hong kong speaking kantonese!...The language will obviously take work, but it truly is amazing how i am literally filled with hope and faith. Missions are like this: You have all this pressure, you have somtimes a language to learn, to have peoples salvation on your heads, and yet-the burden seems light!!!!!

4th e-mail 9-28-09

Yes I did hug Megan and that was only time allowed. :) Now we just do hand hugs.(Megan's e-mail had the good details!)...The elder we fasted for is staying. :) sigh. He just thinks the mtc feels like a prison....Somedays still feel hard! I am trying to lose myself in the work and I think I am too hard on myself! Any suggestions? I promise I won't be offended! I need help and I can tell Heavenly Father isn't happy when I am too rough on myself. but where is the borderline? (I told Josh once that if he had ANY weaknesses, this was it.) Anyways! We had zone conference this week! It was really fun and inspirtaitonal. My favorite topic we talked about was charity. I believe if charity is in our lives, then we will develop slowly but surely all the other Christlike attributes in our lives... As a district this week we wanted to memorize the first vision in spanish and our entire district did it!

His District

Elder Red, his companion is on the front left. Poor guys-there are no sisters in their district!

3rd e-mail 9-21-09

So we had our first group of new missionaries this week as zone leaders! They are very nice and great missionaries. One of them wanted to go home and I went and talked to him for a long time. I am even fasting for him today and I even went to the temple today, that he might have a spiritual experience that would help him stay at the MTC...I am excited to see you this wednesday Megan! Remember handshakes!(He knows her well doesn't he... I think he was getting his defensive karate moves ready to block her from hugging him.)Every night before lights out at 10:15 as Zone Leaders we go and say goodnight to everyone in our zone. I greatly enjoy this and I can tell the other elders do also. I almost have the first vision memorized in spanish!(That doesn't surprise me!)Matt! If you want to give me any advice go for it!! I love hearing from you! Okay, so I love all of your letters! My district thinks I have the coolest family, which is true, because of the letters you sent me! I have never love those letters more and laughed harder during my time at the MTCSomething exciting that happened this week is I felt the Holy Ghost during a pray I gave. I was expressing grattitude for Jesus Christ and I felt the Holy Ghost and my eyes filled with tears!


He looks pretty cheerful here, don't you think?

2nd e-mail 9-14-09

We had written notes to Josh so he knew we hadn't received the first e-mail. So he began his 2nd e-mail, "I am sorry. My e-mail didn't get sent. I know you must have been going crazy." (He's got that right!) "My companion is Elder Red. We have been made Zone Leaders. I guess it is super unusual for missionaries who have been here two weeks to have that happen to them." (That's my Joshua.) "I love all your letters! They are gold! I love them. I picture them as scriptures. Also, Eve and Camille have never made me laugh so hard with their picture/letter thing. I haven't laughed that hard since I came to the MTC. Megan cannot hug me! I'm sorry! but nobody said nothing about hand hugs. :)" "If you ever feel discouraged or that you cannot go on. The time has come for you knees to touch the ground and pray to a father who knows exactly what you need."

"I wish I could peddle as fast as these missionaries."

1st E-mail 9-7-09

We actually didn't get the 1st e-mail until we received the 2nd e-mail. I was getting a little 'ancy' waiting for those first words! Here are a few of them: "Megan, we cannot hug! But we can do hand hugs!" "The MTC is rouch!!! Super rough. If I didn't feel the Holy Ghost everyday, I don't know if I could survive here. They say if you can get pst Sunday you can get past the entire MTC. If you can survive the MTC, you can survive the field." (I'm a little concerned about his use of the word 'survive'.) "The food is awesome! Plenty of food so you don't have to worry about me being fed."

Famous Map Pose

Pointing to the destination in 4 weeks-Yikes!