Monday, January 27, 2014

Another Week!

We have our ups and our downs out here, but mostly it's ups! We have had a fun week with 4 visitors in the YSA from Alabama and Kansas travelling through as part of a work crew. They should be here for one more week, which is too bad. When you add four people to a Branch, that's huge! All four of them are recently returned missionaries, and one of them is a sister who served in Anchorage, AK (well, she was only in Anchorage for 6 weeks, but she also served in Fairbanks and Juneau). She and her brother are related to the Kiesters in Portland--you know, my friends Cecily and Laura... and Diane Chatfield Kiester! How cool is that? I love it when you can make connections with people like that. Aaaanyway, I wish they could stay forever because they add not only numbers but also enthusiasm to the Branch. I am sure that they add the same things to the wards they come from, but man! It's fun to have them here while they can. Maddie has said she will come out with us on Saturday and be our team up, which is awesome. We don't often have the chance to have a sister who has served a mission join us on a team up.
Speaking of which, Maddie was a huuuuge help yesterday. One of our members of the branch brought his non-member girlfriend to church, and we were able to teach her a little bit and give her a Book of Mormon. Maddie talked with her and shared her testimony and it was just really powerful. Sometimes being a missionary is tough, but when you get to work with people who are so excited about the gospel, it is really worth it.
Speaking of excited about the gospel, I was thrilled to open my email from Marianna and learn that she is getting baptized! It really made my day. That is truly the best thing to get while I'm out here. I love packages and letters, but learning that someone I love is getting baptized? That is the best.
It was the Sister May Show in church yesterday. I played the organ for the family ward (mostly okay. Only one instance of hymn-ocide to be witnessed, and it was brief), and then I spoke in the YSA branch. Is it weird that I was more nervous for the organ than for speaking? In fact, I don't really get nervous for speaking. I think that is probably weird, because isn't public speaking the number one fear? They should do that on Fear Factor: Assemble a huge group of people, then make contestants speak to them! Okay, it might be scary, but probably not scintillating television. Anyway, I spoke about feeling the Spirit. Here's a bit of what I talked about: Have you ever driven somewhere new, with directions that maybe don't make a lot of sense? And have you ever noticed that in order to see where you are going better, you turn down the radio? Yeah, the Spirit's like that. You turn down the distractions so you can see better where you are going, through the Spirit. So take a moment, turn off the TV, turn off the music (even good music), and pay attention.
I love you all and I don't have any time at all left to write. I wish I did. But just know that all is well, I am doing well, and I hope you all are well, also! I love you!
Sister Loradona May

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


So, did you know that this week is my midway point of my mission? It is. It seems a little weird. I was writing a friend in a letter that until I realized I was at the halfway point, it seemed like time was ticking up. Now, suddenly, it is ticking down, and it feels like time is running out. I only have 9 months to see the progress in my area that I want to see. I only have 9 months to do this work, and I only have 9 months to get where I want to be. It seems so painfully short.
On that note, let me share some things from this week. It was sunny and in the mid 60s on Sunday! It was beautiful, and I even ditched the tights. It was glorious. And then this morning it was about 6. So, you know, opposition in all things, I suppose. And yes, the tights are back. Yesterday it was ridiculously windy, and I am reminded how the dust bowl must have been. It kind of makes my allergies go nuts. Anyway, when it was lovely and sunny, we were about to have dinner when we got a call from a member to come to a nearby apartment complex, where people were playing sports. So we went and ended up using our dinner hour to play a little football in our skirts! Don't worry, we were decorous in our behavior. It was pretty funny, though. "Sister May! Catch!" I can't run that fast in a skirt, folks, so I did not catch. Sigh.
Speaking of sports, we had a great game night! We have a game night every Saturday to help the members fellowship one another and to give them a chance to invite their non-member friends. We had the best turnout we've ever had and there were several less active members who attended and a couple of non-members, so it did just what it was supposed to do. I love it when we have a lot of folks attending things, especially when they bring their friends. It is so much more fun that way!
We continue to try to find people to teach, and it continues to be difficult. It's hard when people don't even want to try it out. We have so much that others don't have. But they often feel like they already have it all. They feel comfortable. They feel like they don't need any more. Or that there can't be any more.
We've had a moderately working furnace for a couple of months. Then, this last week, it finally went kaput. So we had to call repair people and get them to fix it, so now we live in a balmy 70 degrees, instead of 62. I mean, technically, 62 is livable, and we weren't getting hypothermia. But it was kind of cool. And 70 is soooo much nicer. And what we were supposed to be having anyway. Maybe that's like people without the gospel: They think they are fine at 62. They don't feel the need to stretch for anything more. But when they finally reach 70, they realize what they have been missing. They just need to call the repair people to come in and make it what it should be!
We also had interviews with President Weston this week, which is always good. I like talking with him. It is always amusing, and it feels good to get his advice and suggestions, and to hear him tell me that I am doing okay most of the time.
I don't know if there is anything else of major importance at this time, but just know I love you all, and I love hearing from you! Have a great week and I will write again next week!
Sister Loradona May

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Amazing Subject Line Here (My creativity has flown, folks)

Church yesterday was fantaaaastic! I work with the YSA Branch, right? And normally we have between 10-15 people at sacrament meeting. Well, the Stake President asked all the Bishops in the Stake to attend our branch and bring their YSA types with them. And we had close to 80 people there! It was cool! Seriously, it was awesome. We had a couple of investigators there, and that was awesome, too. We have one who is taking it slow, but I'd rather have a slow, lasting conversion rather than a quick one that maybe doesn't sustain itself. Even if I won't be here when he decides to be baptized, I'm okay with that. I don't want him to do it for me--I want him to do it because he has been converted and believes.
Our Branch President is pretty cool. He tells some of the coolest stories, and I want to relate the one he shared yesterday. He spoke of going with his brother-in-law to play basketball on an outdoor court in L.A. It was the kind of thing where if your team won, you stayed on the court and the losing team rotated off and you faced a new team. He said they watched for a while, and it was a rough game: no one called fouls, and you just played on. And he noticed that one team dominated and just stayed on the court. He watched them, and there was one guy who, while one team was leaving the court and the next was coming on, he would dribble around, and then make a shot and say, "Okay, the ball's yours. We're one up." If you tried to protest that the shot didn't count, that you hadn't started, he would say, "The game has started." President Crockett then said, "The game has started. And it's on." So what are we going to do about it? He went on to talk about how the time is now, not later, to get in the game, to repent, to change, to make a game plan. And that it is righteousness that is unique in the world, not wickedness. Wickedness looks the same, and ends up the same. The actual phrase he used (which I wrote down because I liked it so much) was "Wickedness always devolves into the banal." It's goodness that stands out. So be good, because that will make you a much more interesting individual! I have decided that I need my own Pocket Crockett (patent pending) so that when I am down, I can just pull him out and have him say pithy and uplifting things to me.
We had a good week--not as good as I could dream for, but it was good nonetheless, and I am excited, because the university is back in session this week, and so that means students are baaack! Yes! We may actually catch people at home now! Holidays are lovely, but they really put a cramp in my missionary work. Stop celebrating, people! Bah humbug! :)
I almost forgot! Transfers were this last week, and... nothing happened. I'm still in Kearney, and will be for the next 6 weeks. I love you all and I will write again next week!
Sister Loradona May