Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Querida familia! (I'm totally a Spanish missionary now!)

So, I had a totally awesome day on the first day of spring: it was sunny, 60ish, and very little wind. It was delightful! And then that night it dropped below freezing, and the wind picked up, and the skies turned gray, and Saturday it didn't even get above 30. Sigh. Such is life, right?
Anyway, to pick up our adventure where we last left off, our heroine was about to immerse herself in the Latin culture and try to speak Spanish with the Hermanas! That was fun. I was able to fool people at the start: Soy Hermana May! Then they would start rattling off stuff in Spanish, and I would have to say, Hablo un poco espanol solo. Y mi espanol es muy mal. And then to be nice they would tell me how good it was, but then I couldn't really respond to much else. Good thing I could go on exchanges with a sister who has been out for 6 months and can get around in the language! It was pretty fun, though. And then I got to complete the Spanish experience through helping set up for one of the member's Quincianera party (side note: spell check thinks Quincianera should be spelled Incinerate. Fun!), and that was fun. I said something silly in Spanish to the girl whose party it was, and she told me my accent was good. Go me! So, I don't  know many words, but the words I know, I can say correctly. I'll take it!

We do a lot of service out here. We work at a nursing home doing service, and at the local Gospel Mission serving food at the kitchen. It's a good experience. I love serving. It gives me the chance to feel like I am doing something for the community I am in and helps me to feel grateful for what I have. It also reminds me of what it says on P 10 of Preach My Gospel: Go about doing good and serving others, regardless of whether or not they accept your message (or something like that). Basically, as a missionary, I serve people and offer service, no strings attached. If someone wants to learn more because of my example as a missionary, that's great. But I don't serve only to get people to listen to me. I do it regardless of whether or not they listen to me. Because Christ would serve people no matter if they listened. Remember when the Roman guards were coming to arrest him and Peter cut the ear of one of the guards? Christ healed the man, even though he fully intended to arrest Christ. Christ served and helped others even if they didn't want to accept His message. So that is how we are, or strive to be, too. We don't serve for thanks (though we like it!); we serve for our love of others and how we know we can bless their lives.

Our investigators are tough to pin down right now, which can be discouraging. I love them, and I know how much the message can bless their lives, if they will listen and live it. But we are working on some good prospects and just hope that they will accept the teachings, read the Book of Mormon, and pray! This gospel makes me a happier person. Does it mean life is perfect? No. But it means I have a better perspective and I know that my Heavenly Father has a plan for me and that I can be comforted by that. Anyway, if you are a female over the age of 8, you should totally go to the Women's Broadcast on Saturday! I'm really excited for it, and if you go, and I go, wherever we are, we will know what the other is doing at exactly that moment. Think of me and I'll be thinking of you!

I love each of you and your prayers and support. Keep being awesome!

Sister Loradona May

Monday, March 17, 2014

Another week in Iowa!

Sometimes the weeks just blend together, and I worry that I just tell you guys the same stuff, over and over. I'm sorry if that happens. I try to tell you different stuff from the last week, but hey, who knows!
This week we went on an exchange in Le Mars, IA. This is where Blue Bunny ice cream is from, but I didn't get to eat any ice cream. Believe me, I was sad about that. But I was grateful to go on the exchange. It meant doing some service with Sister Kent, who was in the MTC with me, so that was fun. She's from Washington, so hooray for the Northwest! Le Mars is a cute little town, and they have been hardworking missionaries! I have loved going on exchanges. I feel like I learn so much about how to be a better missionary when I see how other missionaries operate. 

We also did a lot of service ourselves, which was cool. We do service every week with a local nursing home and rehab center, and this week the volunteer and activities coordinator asked if we were willing to help a group of the residents take an excursion to WalMart. We said we'd love to! We went on their bus to the store and just helped them get around the store and make their purchases. One of the women reminded me of Grandma Nylund. I told her she reminded me of my Grandma, and she said, "I think I am!" She then saved me a seat on the bus next to her for the ride home. She was so sweet and it made me miss Grandma Nylund just a little bit. 

This week was a Zone Training week, and Sister Gomez and I had to give trainings to the whole zone. I was a little nervous, but it went really well. I felt a little like I was back teaching high school again, with really well-behaved students. It makes sense: so many of them are 18 and 19, so high school isn't that far behind them! But it was a good experience and I think that people maybe learned something, too. I hope so, anyway!

We really struggled to get into contact with our investigators this week. Sigh. This week, though, we have plans and every intention to contact everyone! It's going to be amazing. We only have one exchange planned this week, and it's with the Sioux City Spanish sisters, so we don't even have to leave Sioux City! Don't ask me how I'm supposed to go on exchanges when I don't speak the language! All I know is La Iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias (I know I'm missing a few accents there, Cliff. Don't judge me!). Oh, I also can say Yo creo en Cristo. So there's that. Maybe the Spanish Sisters will help me out and teach me! I'll tell you all about it next week. 

Today also happens to be 11 months since we entered the MTC. Which is crazy. But I also think it calls for ice cream. So everyone should have a little ice cream and think of me! I love you all!
Sister Loradona May

Friends from afar. Hallelujah!

So, this week has been really interesting. We spent most of our week out of our area. We went on exchanges in two different cities, then to a leadership meeting on Omaha. Oh, and I may have been sick in the middle of the week. Luckily, though, it was while we were staying with some other sisters at the member's house where they live. She was such a mom to me. She came in, and almost tried to talk me into going to urgent care, but I told her it was fine: sometimes I just get sick to my stomach and have to sleep it off. She went out and bought me Sprite and saltines, though, so that's how you know she's a mom. :) And I was fine the next day, so no worries. Actually, if I was going to be sick, it was the perfect timing: We had an exchange on Tuesday and one on Thursday, and Wednesday was District Meeting and then travel. I simply got sick instead of traveling, and we traveled on Thursday morning instead. So Heavenly Father helped us still get everything accomplished we needed to.
He also blesses us in helping us get appointments and lessons in the days we were actually in our area! We may not have taught as many lessons on Saturday and Sunday as we would have in a whole week, but we were able to teach more than normal on those days and really make contact with people we needed to see. AND members gave us rides so we didn't have to use our precious, precious miles! Hooray! For Saturday and Sunday, we drove 7 miles. Hallelujah! 

Speaking of Hallelujah, it was 60 yesterday! And it's going to be above 60 today! It is supposed to be cold again tomorrow, but the rest of the week is supposed to be nice! I am so excited for spring. Life feels different in the spring. It doesn't feel quite as depressing when it is 60 as when it is -15. Even if it is sunny when it is -15, you still want to crawl into a hole and hibernate. When it is 60, though, you feel like some layers can come off. In fact, last week I was wearing leggings, tights, and fleece tights under my skirt. Today? NO tights! I love it! 

Saturday night brought a fun treat to me and Sister Gomez: The Rasmussens (from Aloha, not Canada) took us to dinner! They have been working on some contracting projects and moving around a lot for that, but right now they are in Sergeant Bluff, which is just 4 miles south of Sioux City and in the next ward boundaries. So they got a hold of us and we went to dinner in Sioux City. It was really nice of them to do that, and since we had been walking all over Sioux City that day, they drove us back to our car so we didn't have to walk back to it. 

We continue to teach and find people. We had an investigator and her children come to church yesterday, and I think everyone had a good experience. It was really neat. Keep praying for missionary experiences and how to help people find the gospel. I have seen how it absolutely changes people and their lives. It isn't possible through any other way but through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, plain and simple. I have really seen miracles in how people have altered their behaviors through the gospel. 

I love you all, and I hope you are all doing well! If you want to know a secret, it's this: pray! It will help you!

Sister Loradona May

Monday, March 3, 2014

And the winner is...

ME! That's right folks, I won Stick Pull. I may even have a medal (and the pulled muscle) to prove it. The most important part though is to remember: I'm a winner.

We had an excellent zone conference this week, and it was in Sioux City, so we didn't have to travel for it. Hurrah! But it was so good. We had all sorts of training on how to become Preach My Gospel Missionaries. I may suggest you all read Elder Bednar's talk on "Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary." It's cool. 

Also cool about this week? The temperature. It has snowed several inches, been mostly in the negatives (though this morning it was 3, and the weather report claims it will be 40ish on Thursday. I'm not sure I believe it). Anyway, I've been learning to love the cold, or at least lie to myself that I love it. And I have been wearing my Canadian mittens daily. They are quite warm, so I thank Jeanette and Kyler for those. 

In other fun news, I got to visit three states in one day! We had a lesson in each state! We had a meal in South Dakota, then a lesson in Nebraska, and then another in Iowa. Basically, I am such the world traveler. Aren't you all jealous? 

Also, we got grounded on Saturday due to snow. We were at the church helping with food orders when we got the news. So we were stuck. But there was a wedding that needed help, so we decorated all day. And then we helped at the reception for a while. And thank goodness for members who bought us lunch and helped us get back home. The only really sad thing was that the Rasmussens (Fred and LaNae, you know, Connie's folks) had arranged to feed us since they're close, but we had to cancel, which was such a bummer. We're hoping to reschedule so I can say hello! But it was a blessing to the sister who was planning all the decorations for the wedding, because she really needed some extra hands to help with everything, and we were able to provide the help she needed. 

We struggled to get all the lessons we wanted in this week, which was tough for us. But we had a blessing last night when we were teaching a lesson and a member came by! It helped us out, and, as Sister Gomez says, it's always nice when members catch you doing missionary work! We had really been praying for the chance to have more lessons with members, and this really helped us out.

This week we're going to be out of Sioux City for a chunk of the week. We have two exchanges outside of Sioux City, and then a meeting in Omaha on Friday. Oy. Say good bye to all of our miles, folks.... It's okay, though. I'm sure we will have a good week and that many wonderful things will happen. 

I love you all and I will email another update next week! In the meantime, here's a picture!

Sister May