Sunday, February 16, 2014

Be a Rainbow Umbrella - February 13, 2014

Dearest Everyone,

I would just like to begin by informing you that everyone here at the MTC HATES me (but still totally loves me) because of the amount of mail and packages I've received this week. I can feel the love. Thank you all SO MUCHO!

This was a week full of rain, laughs, and lots of lessons.
I'm really loving my time here and I'm especially loving my teachers. My teacher Hermana Beck pulled us all aside one by one this week and just talked with us for a bit. We talked about our lives and our strengths and weaknesses as missionaries. I told her the story of how I decided to serve a mission and she cried. While we were talking she shared with me a brief part of a song called "A Window to his Love"

'I want to be a window to His love so that when people look at me, they see Him.'

Those were the exact words that I needed to hear. I want to live my life in a way that this is the case.

Because of the mass amounts of rain this last week everyone at the MTC has been busting out their umbrellas. At the MTC you see two kinds of umbrellas, black and navy blue. Turns out they asked you to bring umbrellas in conservative colors. Woops. Mine is rainbow.

As I walked through the crowds of missionaries that day I couldn't help but laugh. I stuck out like a sore thumb. But as I thought about it I realized it was the perfect metaphor. All of us here on this earth are just trying to blend. We so willingly choose the black and navy blue things in life. We want to stand out, but not THAT much. We want to be different, but not THAT much. We want to stand up for what we believe but not be THAT bold.

So today I challenge one and all to be a rainbow umbrella.
Be SO happy, be SO colorful, be SO beautifully different that people will have no choice but to ask what it is that makes you shine.

Throw out the Black and Navy blue in your life and hold your rainbow umbrella proudly. Because life is too short to blend. Now is the time to stand out.

Because the rain was so glorious and because I was so happy to finally be able to wear my new shiny red rain boots and rainbow umbrella, I confess I broke the MTC rules and DANCED. As I made a particularly impressive leap/spin I tripped over the curb and landed in a very large and muddy puddle. Everyone stopped. Everyone starred. And then everyone laughed. I lay there in the puddle laughing so hard tears streamed down my face! It was hilarious.

And now for more metaphor! Sometimes being a rainbow umbrella is hard. It calls a lot of attention. Sometimes that attention is hard because in life we often trip and fall into large mud puddles of our own and there's a large crowd of Navy Blues and Blacks watching to see what you'll do and how you'll react. So in order to be the best rainbow umbrella you can be. Laugh it off. Embrace the attention. Use it for good. Be such a AWESOME rainbow umbrella that everyone you meet wants to be one too! Be bold. Be different. Be you. Be a rainbow umbrella.

Ok so enough about flamboyant umbrellas and more about my mission!
In the MTC the phrase "Follow the Spirit" is used a lot. Like a lot a lot. And for the first few weeks it drove me Crrrraaaazzzzy. 
"What should I teach my investigator?"
Follow the spirit.
"What should I study during personal study?"
Follow the spirit
"When should I testify?"
Follow the spirit

I was frustrated. I got what they were trying to say and I got what they were trying to do but I just wasn't getting it. I was praying and praying. I was doing my best to be creative but I just wasn't able to do what they were constantly telling me I needed to do. I felt discouraged and mad. Then on Monday night we were assigned to teach a cute old man named Thomas Monson. No not the prophet. Just a darling old person who speaks Spanish and happens to have the same name.

We taught him about prayer and I came but with The Parable of the Telephone (we've been trying to teach like Jesus this week, hence the parable). I drew a crappy drawing of an old telephone and explained that when we pray we not only speak but we listen, and that when we listen God sends answers. The lesson went so amazingly I can't even properly describe it. I strayed from the lesson plan. I shared an experience IN SPANISH and the spirit was so strong you could just fell it EVERYWHERE! I finally did it. I finally did what everyone had been telling me to do all day everyday. I followed the spirit. And boy was it the best feeling ever. After the lesson the old man looked us each in the eye and told us we were great missionaries. Boy, I needed that. And he asked to keep my crappy drawing of a telephone. It was a wild success.

On Tuesday nights I've been singing at the giant Devotionals in the MTC choir. There are 100s of kids in the MTC choir and it's a really awesome thing to take part it. However, while you perform they film you on the cameras and put you up on the HUGE JUMBO SCREENS at the front for all the hundreds and hundreds of missionaries to see.

Ya know how in general conference when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings they always zoom in really close on like one or two people? Well guess who got the zoom. Yep. Me. There I was SUPER HUGE AND ZOOMED IN the HUUUUGE screen in front of hundreds of missionaries and a member of the seventy and his wife. Oh boy. It was hilarious. It was SO hard not to laugh.I definitely cracked a smile And ever since then missionaries keep coming up to me and being like "HEY you're the close up girl who laughed on camera!!" Yep. I'm missionary famous.

The actual devotional however was AMAZING! My very favorite quote was when the speaker got super serious and passionate and she said 
"WHO I am and WHAT I do has EVERYTHING to do with Him."
Wow. I want to be like that.

Everyone here at the MTC is sick except me and my companion. Good thing for you Mom or I'd be sick with the rest of em! I'm drinking tons of water and taking GREAT care of myself though so there's no need to worry.

We've taught 7 lessons this week so far, teaching 1 tonights, 2 tomorrow, and maybe 3 the next day. All in Spanish. BOO YA. The gift of tongues is REAL. With God ALL THINGS are possible.

We got a new investigator this week, her names is Nayelli. We meet with her at the TRC so there is a high possibility she's actually a REAL LIFE INVESTIGATOR not just a teacher or a paid actor. It's so awesome to teach her. She's feeling it I just know it. We team taught her yesterday the first vision and it was the most amazing thing. As my dear friend Hermana Fullmer recited the first vision in Spanish, tears streamed down her face and I just wanted to stay in that moment forever and ever. Then we sang her Joseph's Smith's first prayer. In that moment I felt like I got a little glimpse of heaven. I love being a missionary.

In the words of Emma Smith "We are going to do something extraordinary."

Love you all,
Hermana Matesen
 Trying to eat my cookie with my head out the window because eating in class is not allowed...
 Me in my room!

Me and the Hermanas (Sisters) in my apartment.

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