Sunday, November 28, 2010

Teaching English to Soledad

We started giving English lesson! We had our first class this Saturday and we had success! One person came, she is a member and her name is Soledad. I just helped her the entire time with her English homework. While I was helping Soledad I felt a profound gratitude to my Heavenly Father. He truly helped me learn Spanish and helped me learned the importance of depending on Him. I know when we are humble the Lord will make us his instrument.

Josh's role in the ward nativity

Our ward wants to do a live nativity and needed an angel Gabriel…..guess who they chose? I think it´s because I am just blinding white to them, even the white people aren´t as white as I am. They also said that Gabriel speaks the most and is the most on stage. I am actually excited and I hope it will go well.

Humorous knocking in Argentina

We were knocking on a door this week of a less active and we heard a knock from inside. Everytime we knocked a certain rhythm on the door they knocked the same! It was so funny and we enjoyed it for about five minutes. Knocking different rhythm, but for me the funniest part was they never let us in! hahahahaha.

Melina and Noelia and their grandma

We are teaching Melina, Antonela, and Noelia again. I talked about them before and they want to listen again, but there is a difference this time we are not teaching in their house. We didn´t know it before, but her Dad didn’t want us teaching there. He is fine that she is listening, but not teaching in their house. We are now teaching in their cousin´s house. If we have a problem with something or someone I feel that we should not stay. Frequently we need to follow Joseph of Egypt´s example and just run away. It didn´t say that he glanced back, he just ran and ran. These three girls are progressing wonderfully and are a great blessing. They have a baptismal date for the 18th of December. This week we met Evelin and she is super nice! We knocked on her door, she opened and told us to come back. We came back , she opened her door saw that we were sweating and gave us juice and empanadas! I was so grateful! We were strangers to her and yet she wanted to help us. She´s listening now and we will see what happens, but Evelin has gift just to be nice to others and help them.

More of Megan's investigators

Last Saturday we fasted for this boy named Dennis. He had been living with a member for the past 3 weeks, quit smoking and drinking and had come to church, prayed with them, read from the Book of Mormon, and the day we came to commit him for baptism, he was taken back by his drunk mother. He's 14. His little sister is a every day smoker and drinker. I can't even explain the pain that I feel when I see these things. I want to ask, Why? Why do they have to live here in this place and have to suffer these things? In America, she would be put in jail and he would be placed in another least hopefully..there are so many things that so many people here even claim to be so corrupt about the Philippines. There are corrupt things everywhere in every place. But we fasted for him and he Came!!!! on Sunday! And that members son in law who was anti-mormon came and brought 4 of his friends that want to be taught the gospel. God truly does see our everyday sacrifices and he knows us. I love this scripture that I read the other day, "This is eternal lives-to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. I am He. Receive ye, therefore, my law." (DC 132:24) My prayer is that I will never become distracted by the things of this corrupt world. That I will always be in tune-so that I can know Him. I love this gospel so much. We are a part of a legacy of love.

Megan's 11-21-10 E-mail

Family! Work is doing really really good! We have a baptism coming up this December 4th. He used to be Elsiaday(catholic breakoff) and he is progressing in an amazing way. President Malit dedicated our church yesterday and it was great. I guess people were crying because they were touched by the Dedicatory prayer. we sang Beautiful Zion. A less active that we've taught is going on a mission/putting in his papers in January hopefully. We have a new investigator who is doing great-except her husband, he doesn't want her to become a "mormon"...we've taught her 3 times now, but he won't join in and listen, so of course he would be against it, cause he hasn't had the spirit working on him like it has on his wife-she's so awesome and I honestly know/believe that I knew her in the premortal world, she looked familiar even the first time that we came up to her house actually looking for her brother who we had shared with 1 time. It's amazing to see it click in her brain the corruptness and wrongness of the catholic church, how it's opposite of what Christ's church was before. The more that I learn about the gospel and study, the more and better that our work becomes, I am filled with greater enthusiasm and desire and hope that even if those we teach do not accept it then, that they will someday. Right, Faith is to have a hope in things not seen? I can't see them get baptized, but I can have faith that God will grant me my righteous desires. I love these people. The church has brought us so many blessings!

Megan's 11-14-10 E-mail

Family! I have a family! I have a mom and a dad! That love me! I have a home where love lives inside! I have siblings that are nice to me, and pray for me, and they don't hit me or talk bad about me, they love me! I have a dad that doesn't drink or smoke! I have a family that has been my support! My whole family are members of the church and are active! I have so many blessings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do not have the ability given me to COUNT all the things that I have been blessed with. This week has been undescribable. I have witnessed a family literally broken apart. I've never seen the things that I saw the past 3 days! They have 5 children, the littlest one being one of my friends. Their father and his sibling, and two other of their relatives have been fighting in a way that is just...unhuman!!! Or else I've just been so sheltered(thank goodness) the days of my life that I didn't know that humans acted that way. The mother and the children were banished from the home, now live in another place, and the father is just left with his sister to continue fighting. I've never felt Satan's presence so strong than when we woke up at 12 am Sunday morning to them screaming. I pleaded to our Heavenly Father that they would stop. I pleaded with him that I could do something for them. I realized more than ever that Jesus Christ could heal their broken hearts if they would just come to Him. I became so grateful so everything that I've even been given, every happy moment that I've ever been blessed with, for a family that I have always had to lean on and that I could trust and that loved me and wanted only my sucess in this life. HOW blessed are WE!!!!!!! Please, thank Your Heavenly Father for all that He, by His very Hands, has given you!!!! Look around, look at your family, look at your wife, or husband, Look at your children! Look at your father, your mother, Look at His Son, that he gave to the world!!!! I love all of you.

Josh's 11-15-10 E-mail-The 5 minute mile!

So this week I was doing a little spring cleaning. It´s spring in Argentina and I found a list of goals I had made when I started the mission! First, I thought how old I was and my second thought was why didn´t I complete these goals…. So very often we dream. It´s natural to dream of things we want to do. We start out wonderfully! We say I am going to do this and this, and yeah! WE start out and plan and set goals. After time what happens? We get busy and our dreams don´t seem like our priorities…..Honestly, sometimes, other things need to come first, but frequently not! It reminded me of High School. I wanted to run a 5:00 minute mile. I got close! I ran 5:01. 'Almost' I believe doesn´t exist in the dictionary of our Heavenly Father. He wants us to have dreams and he wants us to complete them. I believe God first imagined how he wanted the world and than he created it. I once again put these goals. I know they can make me grow for the better. I have very many weaknesses that I feel I need to overcome, right now. I came up with a personal quote. I stole part of it from the General Sunday School´s president talk last year. He had a teacher that drew an arrow that said , ¨Aim High.¨ Afterwards I came up with, ¨Reach Far,¨ Dreams Completed.¨ Don't forget to go the distance!

Josh's 11-8-10 E-mail

We have investigators named Ramon and Maria. Ramon this week became Indiana Ramon! His story is impressive, let me tell you a little. Ramon grew up in Ledesma, which is in Jujuy, but more in the mountains. He lived under a big mango tree with a house made of cinder blocks built underneath. I don´t know why, but at a young age his mother left. Ramon was left in charge of his younger siblings at the age of 9 years old. His father luckily only worked 100 meters away. His father told young Ramon to wave the lantern if they were in trouble and his father would come. The spirit taught me an important lesson at this time. Our Father in Heaven is just waiting to help, but sometimes we have to ask for help. The night is dark and there is danger near the mango tree. When we need help or even feel afraid we can wave our lantern. This could mean the scriptures or praying. I know he loves us and will not leave us alone in the dark. Another story Ramon told was the first time he met his Mom. So some how he found out his Mom lived in Mendoza Argentina. Ramon and his brother to go on a road trip during summer break to Mendoza to find their Mom. They traveled on a truck to Mendoza, dropped off at the terminal and went to go look for their Mom. Somehow Ramon´s brother found a uncle, went to their Mom´s house. When they entered their Mom was sitting in a chair, saw her sons and ran to them. They also found that they had a sister they had not known about. Ramon the next day found work and started to build his Mom a house. I learned another lesson. First, don´t give up hope on anybody. Maybe at times it seems that their future is hopeless, but it´s not. God doesn´t give up on anybody. Why should why? Everybody has the potential to do wonderful things, but sometimes we need the help of somebody else to spark our inspiration. I can relate because of Mrs. Smart.

Mrs.Smart was my sixth grade special education teacher. She saw the things that I could do. We worked hard and dreamed big. She believed in me and thought that I could better things than I was doing. I left special education thanks to my ¨smart¨ teacher. She didn´t just change my life, she helped save it.

Paola and Daniela

Have you ever been able to see a change in somebody? Like they come back from the temple and you just notice something different about them or they came back from primary and they seem happier. This has happened to Elio. He is different. He is preparing to recieve the Melchizedek Priesthood. This has happened with Paola. She is different. She is preparing to be baptized. The gospel of Jesus Christ is just guidelines, they are commandments. When we try harder to keep the commandments perfectly, we change for the better. I don´t know if you remember the family I talked about a couple months ago whose mom died. Well, they are back together now and want to be baptized!!! A couple of the brothers also who didn´t want anything to do with the church before. They want to live with Mom, forever. They want to be members of the church.

Born to be a King...

I read the talk by Sister Dalton in the May 2010 conference who told the story about King Louis. His son was kidnapped and his kidnappers tried to have him do vile and horrible things. He would not give in and they asked him why. His reply was ¨ I cannot do what you ask, for I was born to be a king.¨ One of the most precious and sacred truths we have been given is that we are children of God. Do we truly understand what that means? I honestly believe not. If we knew, we would do the impossible. Impossible would not exist in our dictionary.

Josh's 11-1-10 E-mail

This week was adventure week! I have been with the two other elders(Macias and Carter) in my pension and they are great. We have grown really close. We have had to work in both of our areas, so every other day I have been getting to know new investigators and friends. It has been really fun. Elder Gutierrez should return Thursday. I am really proud of him, not very many people who come back home can leave again. I feel I have grown, which is wonderful.

This week I read a talk in the Ensign called the Quest for Joy(Ensign July 2005) I suggest you read it, if you want more happiness in your life. It was given at the MTC, but can be applied to you also. I really enjoyed it and I feel it will change my mission. One story to show the feeling of the talk is, the author's daughter was in a mission and was really sad because they weren´t having very much success. Her companion seeing this, said Sister you cannot be discouraged we are in the dispensation that people have waited for 6000 years. We cannot fail and be discouraged.! So true! I love this time because we know the end result. Satan will fail, we will win. The End. How can we lose hope when we know what we need to do to gain Eternal Life? We aren´t in a video game where we have to look for the secrets. We are here and I know we can win.

Megan's 11-7-10 E-mail

Family!! This week has been full of adjusting, but has been great. Sister Insong seems like she's been a missionary for a long time. She worked in Cebu and helped with the dedication, and talks about how beaufitul it is. I have an assignment for all of you..Will you figure out exactly how much it costs you to get to your nearest temple? A huge blessing is that I am so close to....I can't even COUNT how many temples at home!!!!!!! The pesos that these families have to save over years is eye can we take for granted our temples!!! How many, just in Utah??? How many of us live in Utah??? Please, GO to the temple! It's so exciting to help those on the other side! I love all of you and I hope that you are reading the Book of Mormon like it's life or death, 'cause it is. Our spiritual death, a life without the spirit, can come quicker than we think! I love the scriptures!!!!!

Melanie's comment: I had to look on the church website to make sure I counted correctly-There are 13 operating temples just in Utah. That truly is amazing. There are two being built-Payson and Brigham City. There will be 73 in the United States after the 7 under construction are completed. If you get on and go to temples and look at the map, temples truly dot the earth. When Lorenzo Snow was the prophet, there were only four temples, and all of them were in Utah. He knew that one day temples would dot the earth. In 1899, he prophesied, “The time will come when there will be Temples established over every portion of the land.”

Megan, the piano teacher

Sister Insong is from Davao, and she speaks Cebuano and Tagolog and English. She's great. I would think that her brother already knew English before since so did she. It is great that we get to teach piano! It's every Sunday after church and we do 30 minutes for one student, both of us teaching because we have 2 pianos! We are using our new chapel and it's so wonderful! We hope that they will be able to play after we're gone.

Things Megan misses

Know that I love the Book of Mormon and I miss yogurt and milk...and especially, your faces.

Megan's 11-1-10 E-mail

Hi family! This week has been really good! Last Wednesday, the Assistants called us, (Elder Cerdhe from Arizona and Elder Shelley from St. George) and said that we were both to report to Tacloban the following day, (Thursday) because Sister Blonquist was getting transferred and that we were both training! I remember her saying that that would just be too hard of a thing for her at the point that she was at, that it was just be a really hard thing for her and that she thought that that wouldn't happen to her....well news flash...The Lord knows best actually. And he calls the weak things of the world so that they can become strong. Her new companion is Sister Brinton from Arizona and they are in a Waray Waray area-they sleep in an apartment with Sister Farnworth and her companion-lucky! And they are actually reopening that area. My new companion is Philipina from Davao and her name is Sister Insong. Her brother is serving in California speaking English and Tagalog and her dad is the Stake President. I played piano in church so that was fun. We are going to teach piano every Sunday so that they will have a permanent player. I hope everyone is doing well and I love you. I keep opening my heart to people and then I get hurt. Sometimes I open up knowing for sure that I will get hurt but I still do it because if I don't then I'll never know what love is. It's one very difficult thing about missionary work.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Megan's miracle

We witnessed miracles this week. Sunday morning, I had an experience that I have never experienced before. We got into the new church at about 8:45, and everybody else was already there-most of them from Balaquid which is 20 minutes away...and we started teaching primary, when Sister Blonquist says.."Johnreys here....and Jaime!!!!" These two brothers we have been PLEAding for them the past 4 months, teaching them every week, encouraging them, serving them.....and when I heard her say that......I BuRst into tears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know that I have honestly cried tears of JOY before in my whole life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to leave the room! I couldn't beleive it! They promised us that when the new church was finished that they would come....and I'm thinking, if they won't go here when it's close, why would they go all the way to the new church?? Where was my Faith in them!!!!!!!!!

Megan's 10-25 E-mail

Sorry this is late, there is an election here so we weren't able to email yesterday because no buses were going to Naval-where we email. The work always slows down a bit around transfers....but we are kickin! We had a baptism last Saturday in our new church! And then we had church on Sunday in the new church. It was SOOOOOOO wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....

Lake Carmen in Argentina

We went to the Carmen Lake today. It was really pretty and up in the mountains. It was wonderful to see the amazing creations of our Father in Heaven. How great is His imagination and wonderful His talent. Truly He knows true beauty. As beautiful are His creations, He loves us more than the mountains he created. His children are His pride and joy. He loves us more than Yellowstone Park and more profoundly than the Grand Canyon. How close He is listening when we pray and happy He is when we are obedient. Do not doubt that He loves you! We know how to show how we love Him. Our Savior Jesus Christ is the only person that showed his love for God perfectly. Take confidence in Him and learn how to trust Him. Let us show our love for our perfect Father.

Josh's 10-25-10 E-mail

Yesterday we had our ward activity. We watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration and it was wonderful. During the movie Elder Gutierrez recieved a phone call from President Northcutt telling him that his father had passed away in accident at work. He burst into tears and we went to go call home. The funeral of his Dad was today, so yesterday with the zone leaders we drove with a member to Salta, left him with some missionaries and then came back. We arrived back at 3:oo in the morning and we only slept for 4 hours because we had a zone activity. That is why I am tired! Before we felt we gave my companion a blessing and it was amazing the spirit that filled the room. It was touching and the power of the priesthood was shown. It also made me once again ponder deeply and meaningfully about my life. How do I treat others, do I show my love, if they passed away would they know that I had loved them? The actions we do and the words we speak to others, possibly may be the final words we speak. Honestly, they might pass away tommorow and we might not see them for a while. How sacred are our words and precious is our time with our loved ones? Let us watch our words and show our love and never think I can apologize for the things I said because there might not be one. Our words should be as Christ's words and our actions the same. Love as he would love and do as he would do. Leave no doubts, accept no excuses.