Monday, April 28, 2014

Another Crazy Week in Sioux City!

This week was INSANE, sometimes literally. We had one day where a woman came through the soup kitchen where we volunteer. She had at one point said she wanted to be Mormon and take the lessons... so she could get church welfare. She had then ditched out on a lesson we had set and now her phone number is disconnected, so we're pretty sure she's not going to let us teach her. Well, when we saw her, she: pretended she had never met us (she was also wearing ginormous sunglasses, indoors), called me, "Baby girl," and insisted on a double portion of everything. She then took five desserts, and informed me that the reason she needed 5 desserts was because she was "with child." Y'all, she is 60 if she is a day. If she's "with child," then I have green hair. (I  know you haven't seen me for a while, but here's a hint: I don't.) And then! Then! She came through the line a second, and finally a third time! Each time reminding me of her "condition." Are you kidding me? Oy vey. Sister Gomez and I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry, so we laughed instead. The Elders volunteer there with us, and one of them saw her and said, "Is that...?" We just laughed again. Oh, missionary life!

We also, however, moved officially to South Dakota! It is... a lot like Iowa and Nebraska here. The home we live in is lovely, and very comfortable. We are glad to be here. It is sad that we left the Luebberts, but I am so very grateful for another family to open their home to us and allow us to come live here. Living with members is the best, and such a win-win-win situation! We get to come home to a spirit-filled home with family portraits and pictures of the temple on the wall, the mission saves money on housing, and the members... well, I like to think we bring missionary work and spirit into their home, so that's a bonus, right? We're just trying to be obedient missionaries so that they like us being there and don't find us irritating.

We went on exchanges last week, so we don't have exchanges this week, which is good, because our week is packed. On Tuesday night we have several appointments at the same time, so we'll be going on splits with sisters in the ward--can you believe it? This is actually the first time I have ever gone on splits while a missionary--I don't know if I can leave Sister Gomez! Sob! :) It will be cool, though. We have lots of interesting things going on, including interviews with President Weston, and a trip for training in Omaha on Friday.

We have had some struggles (people dropping us, people not calling back to set up times, people just not accepting the gospel in general) this week, which has been tough. BUT! We had an amazing lesson with a family that so many other families in the ward know and love. They are a beautiful family and so lovely. This gospel would be such a blessing in their lives, but they have a way to go. But let me tell you about the miracle we had in connection with that. We had dinner at a family's home and met their 12 year old daughter, who was a delight and gave us a tour of their ginormous house and was just adorable. The next night we had a lesson with this family, and who should open the door, but the 12 year old girl from the dinner the night before! Turns out, they're good friends! It was perfect because the daughter bore her sweet, simple testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. Sometimes a 12 year old's testimony is perfect for new investigators: 12 year olds don't use complicated words or terms, they don't speak longer about things than necessary, or overcomplicate the gospel, or bring up weird doctrinal things that don't matter. They just talk simply about what the gospel means to them, and it's perfect. Members in the ward are already their friends, and it is so amazing to see how excited they all are to have us teaching this family. Which is exactly how it should be: friends of theirs referred them to the missionaries, members in the ward where they reside are their fellowshippers, and we are simply teaching, asking and answering questions, and inviting them to experiment upon the word. Their friends follow up with them! If you can, see if you can do that, too!

Anyway, I am all out of time, but I love you all! Tell me how you are! I'd love to know!

Sister Loradona May
ps--can you believe it's almost May Day? That will mark 1 year since I flew into Omaha!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Happy Easter! One day late...

Hey, family! Guess who's finally moving this week? We are! Sister Gomez and I, that is. Any guesses as to where? I'll start by letting you all know that we are fortunate enough to be living with members still, which is great. We will be living with the Longhursts, who are the nicest couple known to man. They have made changes to some things in their home to accommodate us, and we are so grateful. Now, are you ready to know where, physically, we will be moving? South Dakota! You guys, I will now have lived in 3 of the 4 states within mission boundaries (Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota)! How cool is that? I don't have high hopes of living in Kansas any time soon, but I suppose it's always a possibility. One never knows! I'll try and take pictures of the new setup soon. We move in officially on Wednesday, but some of our stuff is already there, and we are taking more today. It's work to move on your mission! Transfers usually just means packing your bags. This means moving EVERYTHING: area books, materials, pamphlets, everything. I know it's nothing like Jeanette's recent move, but for us it feels huge! :)
I went on Spanish Exchanges again this week, and it was pretty fun. Most of our lessons were in English with a little bit of Spanish mixed in. Mostly I think people felt sorry for me and spoke in English so the poor monolingual girl didn't feel left out. But! Those Spanish Sisters are so awesome! They just had a baptism this week, and it was so much fun to work with them and to see their hard work. Basically I love them. 

We had a fun Easter. First of all, I sang in the ward choir, and I will have you all know that I sang soprano. (I know!) AND that I hit a G. (I KNOW!) That, my friends, might be something that never happens again, but I think it was an Easter blessing. Then we had a dinner at a member's home with, like, three or four other families from the ward. I wish I could just be their friends! They were all so funny and it was a fun time. We also got to see a beautiful thunder storm while eating dinner, so that was great. 

Finally, that evening, we were able to see someone we'd been trying to see for ages. We were able to see her, teach a lesson, and set a time for us to go back! It's the little things, I think, that sometimes mean the most. 

This week... not a lot going on. Just another exchange, a chance to teach more people the gospel, and another chance to see amazing things happen. 

Are you all reading your scriptures? If you aren't, I'll just remind you that it's one of the simplest things you can do to help yourself. Imagine asking for answers to a question, but you never open the book where the answers are. That would be ridiculous, wouldn't it? So, go check out the answer book! There might be something in there!

I love you all to tiny pieces! Go do something fun, then write me about it!

Sister Loradona May

Monday, April 14, 2014

My life in a nutshell...

You guys. It was 80 on Saturday. And then yesterday it snowed 6 inches while we were in church, so, Go Spring? Basically, I have no idea what to wear each day, though I wore snow boots today. Everything else is kind of a crap shoot.
Quick: I need conversion stories from the McKnights, Murdocks, Butikofers, and Mays. Ready, set, go! I know Dad has the Butikofer (wait, no his Grandpa May's) story that he can easily email. But I have a homework assignment from President Weston: Get conversion stories from the various branches of my family, and memorize one of the stories to share for the next Zone Conference. So, help me finish my homework! I love you!

Also: We had some surprise investigators come to church yesterday. That was cool. We also get to go on Spanish Exchanges this week, so that should be fun again! I'll let you know if my Spanish improves. We went on exchanges this last week, as well as to a training in Omaha, all of which were good. But it's been a crazy week. 

Also: It looks like we're moving next week? But we haven't received official word? So we don't actually know? I think we're moving in with members, but I honestly don't really know anything. I think we're the last ones to know. The mission office tends to call and just say, "Pack up. You're moving tomorrow." So we'll know soon, I hope! 

Okay, I have some fun missionary scriptures. I have been trying to read the Old Testament so I can say I have read every word, and I just finished 1 Chronicles. The best scripture there is 1 Chron. 28:20. I love it! I also have decided I love Hebrews 12:1-2. Basically, when I look at those scriptures from a missionary perspective, it helps me to focus and continue to do my hardest work. Maybe they can inspire you, too. 

Speaking of hard work, I hear Grandma has been doing some hard work to get her leg back in working order! Good job and keep doing that physical therapy! Hooray! When I get home, we'll have to go hiking, right? :) 

I love you all and I will write to you again soon!

Sister Loradona May

Monday, April 7, 2014

Where Sister May is struck silent

Well, transfers came and went without any changes for me, which is good. Change is overrated, right? Besides, Sister Gomez and I are doing well together, which is awesome. We have another round of exchanges starting this week as well as a trip to Omaha, so here's to an amazing set of car rides! Hooray?
So, we know we will be moving sometime this month. We don't know when. Or where. But we are. Last time, the mission office gave the sisters 24 hour notice as to when they could move in, so I fully expect that will happen this time. So I could have a new place this week? Or next week? Or the week after? I have absolutely no idea. 

This week also saw us have to help coordinate transferring sisters and helping them figure out how to get to Omaha and get the new sisters up here. Oy! It's okay, because everyone made it, we're all fine, even if it did decide to snow 6 inches the night before transfers. We got up and there was a lovely, wet layer of snow over everything. We had to go pick up the Hermanas (the Sioux City Spanish Sisters) because their car was in the shop, but one of them was being transferred. So we picked them up in the snow, at 5:45. Then we met up with other sisters at the church, packed them and luggage into two cars and sent them on their way to Omaha for transfers. And then we kept two sisters with us because their companions were gone. What else could we do? Except I had a cold and had no voice, so that was fun. Don't worry--I can talk all I want now! Although I am sure Sister Gomez appreciated my silence for a while. :)

We had a cool experience with a referral this week. We had someone call us and tell us about this family that needs to learn about the gospel, and I could just feel the love that the members had for this family. It made me really want to do my best to teach them and help them feel and understand how this all can change their lives. 

Speaking of life-changing: Conference was amazing, no? I loved President Uchtdorf's talk on gratitude, and something he said really got me thinking. He mentioned something to the effect that if we want increased faith and hope, we need increased gratitude. It also made me think of Moroni 7:4-41ish (maybe 42? Who knows). Anyway, it says that for us to have faith, we need hope. And when we have increased faith and hope, we have hope in the Atonement of Christ. So: increased gratitude will lead to increased faith, which leads to increased hope, which leads us to Christ's Atonement. So, when we have more gratitude, it helps us to have the Atonement more in our lives, which makes me more grateful, and... it's a self-feeding cycle! I love it. 

I love you all, and I wish I could write really long emails to everyone, but alas, time is so short! I love you all and I will send another update next week! In the meantime, feed your gratitude, and your faith will follow!

Sister Loradona May

Pictures From March 1014

Blue Bunny and Spring

I think, just maybe, Spring might be here. Although it snowed on Thursday night. That was kind of a bummer. But Sunday it was 73 and sunny, and this morning it was 60 when we left the house! I might cry...
We did the last of the exchanges for the transfer last week, so hooray! But this week is the last week of the transfer, so next week it starts all over again. Hooray! I like exchanges, but they can be exhausting. Sister Gomez and I talk about why we are so tired as missionaries, and we think it is because it is tiring to have the Spirit with you constantly. That's our theory, anyway. I sometimes wish that P Day could be renamed Nap Day, but that rarely happens. In fact, as a missionary, P Day isn't really very relaxing. There is so much to do, and so little time to do it in, that you don't just relax. Today, however, we are travelling to LeMars, IA to visit the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor. One of the sisters is convinced she is being transferred, so she wants to visit LeMars to have ice cream, and seeing how as I looooove ice cream, I thought it was a splendid idea. I shall eat a million ice cream scoops and roll home. 

Our Bishopric in the Sioux City 2nd Ward changed this week, which was exciting. The new Bishop seems cool. His wife is the Relief Society President, so I am guessing that will change soon, as well. We have been to their home to eat, and I love their family. I think he will be a good, dedicated bishop. 

Also, a family we visit regularly had a dog that had puppies! The dog was in labor during our last visit, so that was interesting, though there were no puppies while we were there. But the dog sure was testy any time someone looked at her! And then they texted us at 11:30 pm to give us the puppy update. :) We stopped by to see them the next day, and the puppies were so roly-poly, and I loved it! We have a lesson with them later this week, which should be fun. 

We went to the Women's broadcast on Saturday, and I loved it! The program was beautiful, and I loved it when Sister Wixom (right?) had all the girls and women sing "Teach Me to Walk in the Light". It was super cool. I also really liked the talk by the RS President (whose name currently escapes me). It was such a lovely night, and it has me thinking about Conference this week. Something that makes me sad is when people use conference weekend as a vacation from church. It's far too monumental to take a break from. So, read 3 Nephi 17:3, and see how the Savior had the people prepare for His message. Then pattern your preparation after His suggestions. I know it can help you receive the answers you need and feel the love of Heavenly Father. 

I love you all, and I love the letters you all send. Keep sending them!
Sister Loradona May
Nebraska Omaha Mission
11027 Martha Street
Omaha, NE 68144 (In case anyone forgot! :)