Thursday, October 23, 2014

Last Email From The CCM!

This week has been so amazing! I know I say that in all of my emails, but it is so true! Each week just gets better and better. 

This week, there was quite a lot that happened.
On Friday, we taught Fransisco and Nina once more. Fransisco agreed to be baptized! Hoorah!!

On Saturday, I finished the Book of Mormon! Also, Elder Neil L Andersen came and talked to us. It was so cool! We were able to shake his hand also. He spoke about the Atonement. It was so amazing. He also promised us, " If you will be humble, and approach the mission as it is-a sacred calling-you will find, on many occasions, there will be a feeling in your heart, 'This is a reason why I was sent here' "

He also spoke about conference, and how the 3 senior apostles gave very powerful talks about the Savior.

Elder Andersen said, "Everyone must come to a knowledge of His existence. We need to understand it, and teach it, and feel it."

"We testify of the unseen-which is more important than the seen- the unseen will last much longer than the seen."
"When you feel something come to your mind, and it stays there, you know they are meant for you. Pay attention to them. They are for you from God. "

He also spoke of the Merits, Mercy and Grace of Christ. He said, "Because of Christ and His merits, all men will be resurrected.... Testify to all people that Christ maade possible for all men to be resurrected. "

Because of the Mercy of Jesus Christ, we can all be forgiven. He said, "If you have serious sins you haven't repented of, your mission will be terrible. The only way to get rid of the guilt is to confess them to the proper authority.... Sometimes it takes time for you to forget what happened. But if it has been taken care of by the proper authority, then move forward with faith, and continue on."

"Through the Grace of Jesus Christ, we can be lifted to be someone we are not now."

Elder Andersen ended his talk with this powerful witness: "I know He lives. I know it. I am His witness"

It was such an amazing talk! I loved it so much. The spirit was so very strong, and I learned so much. I know that God has called those men to lead and guide His Church. I know they are true witnesses of Jesus Christ.

On Sunday, we had another devotional, this time a recorded one from Jeffrey R. Holland. It was a talk he gave at the Provo MTC in Januaryt 2013. He talked about the importance of this dispensation and the work we are doing as missionaries. He said, "No dispensation of the Gospel ever lasted. They never worked. They were never permanent. This is the generation that will not fail! In this dispensation, the Savior will come in all His glory."

"The Second Coming has started! It started in Spring of 1820. We are living in the middle of it. The prophesies have begun to be fullfilled! It will not fail."

"How could any of us come on missions, teach, pray, fast, and study as much as you do, and when you're off your mission you just forget about it?... I command you to come home with at least 1 convert, and that had better be you. If that doesn't happen, it is completely on you. It is not something wrong with the doctrine. It is not something wrong with the Spirit. It is on you. Nothing should ever get in your way and make it so you are not converted by the end of your mission."

"This [Gospel] means everything to me. Everything I have in this world that I cherish is because of this Church, and everything that has happened to me seems to be directly related to my mission."

"This is the Gospel of the Savior. When you know that, you have to preach it His way."

"In Mosiah 27:11-20, we read that people were astonished. What does astonish mean? the root word is Tondra, which means Thunder. Go out there and astonish someone!"

This talk was so good!

On Monday, we taught Fransisco again, and talked about the blessings of being baptized. 

On Tuesday, we had another Devotional! Wooh! They are so awesome! My compañera and I were able to sing in the choir they had. We sang "Come Thou Fount", in español, of course. The speakers were some people that are here from Provo. The one is Mark Jarmin (Director of Training, Provo MTC) and Kelend I. Mills (Director of International MTCs)

Mark Jarmin talked about the Book of Mormon, and how it needs to be in EVERY lesson we teach. The Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion. Without it, we would have nothing.
He said, "Gain a love for the Book of Mormon, and it will help you love your investigators."

Kelend Mills talked about all the different MTCs. "There are 14 MTCs around the world. Every MTC looks different, but they all teach the same thing. MTCs are amazing places. Angels most definitely are there."
He then shared Matt 16:25 "Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall find it" 
He said, "Stop thinking about you! Start thinking about something else. Think about your investigators, Think about God's children."

He ended with a quote from President Monson, "Whom the Lord calls, He qualifies" . I know I have been called of God to be a missionary, and I know that if I work my hardest, God will help me become the best missionary I can be.

Wednesday, We had TRC, where we teach volunteers. We taught Israel. He wanted to talk about how to strengthen his faith. We shared some scriptures of faith with him, from Alma and Ether. At the end, we asked him to share his testimony, and it was so special.

So, I decided I want to take 2 copies of the Book of Mormon with me to the airport (one in english and the other in spanish) and give them to someone on the plane or in the airport. I have marked a couple scriptures that I think are really helpful to someone who does not know what the Book of Mormon is, and I am also going to write my testimony in the front. :) I am really excited to see who I will be able to give them to.

Also, this is my last email from the CCM! I leave next Wednesday, at 10 or so in the morning. Everyone else in my district, including my companion, leave Tuesday morning, so I am probably going to be put into a trio- ship with the other sisters going to TSAM. :)

I am so excited! I love you all so much.  
Thank you for all of your support! 
Love, Hermana Dean

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Almost there!!

Hola! Oh my goodness! Only one more P-day here in the MTC! I cannot believe how fast time has gone by. I am so excited to go to on with my mission, although it will be really hard to say goodbye to everyone here. 

So this week was amazing... just like all of the other weeks here :)
Last Thursday, we had a district wide Ping pong tournament . It was pretty awesome. I quite enjoyed it.

On Friday, we taught Fransisco again... and my testimony of the Spirit teaching the lessons was definitely strengthened. We were planning on teaching about the Atonement, but ended up talking about the Word of Wisdom, and how to pray for the strength to overcome addictions. It was so amazing. I am so grateful for the Spirit in my life.

On Saturday, we found out that this coming Saturday, the 18th, Elder Andersen from the Quorum of the 12 is going to be here and give a devotional. He's the first of the Quorum of the 12 to come here since Elder Oaks dedicated it a year and a half ago.  I am super excited.

On Sunday, we watched what is possibly my most favorite Elder Holland devotional. It is one he gave at the Provo MTC, so only missionaries are able to see it. It isn't on the church's website... But it was amazing.

He said, "There's nothing I would rather do or people that I would rather be with than the missionaries, doing missionary work, and working with the missionary department."

He talked about how we need to be better missionaries than he was at 19. That we need to use Preach My Gospel, and teach the investigators what they need to know.  

He also greatly emphasizing the importance of staying active after serving a mission. He said, "Don't you ever come home from your mission and give up on all the beliefs and truths you taught. If you do, you will not only break my heart, but more importantly, you will break your Father in Heaven's heart."  

Towards the end of his talk, he was talking about Peter and the other apostles after Christ had died. The story is told in John 21. The point Elder Holland made, was that Christ asked Peter if he loved Him. Peter said Yea Lord. And Christ said, Then feed my sheep.

Now any of you who have heard Elder Holland speak know that he does not beat around the bush. He gets to his point really fast. He said we need to apply this to our lives. "When I asked you to be a missionary,  I asked you to do it forever!"
Elder Holland started tearing up and said, " You cannot become the missionary Christ needs you to be if you do not love Him!" He then asked, tears streaming down his face, "Do you love him?"

"You can never come back. You are a missionary. This mission marks the point of no return. You have pledged your life to the Lord. Never, NEVER let it be over for you. You need to stay the course. You need to see it through. You need to leave your nets and boat, and feed Christ´s sheep. You are forever a disciple of Christ."

He then ended his talk by saying, "God bless you on the greatest venture of your life, which will shape your life forever."

It was such a wonderful talk! I definitely bawled my eyes out. It was so wonderful. I wish I could find it and listen to it everyday.

ooooh Also, my MTC President used to be in the 70, and spoke in Conference quite a few times. You guys should check it out! 

The rest of the week until now was good. We had class, we taught our investigators... It was really good.

Today was really fantastic. We took a trip to the temple, and got to take a tour of the Visitors Center. The Mexico City Temple is so pretty! We were not able to do a session, because it is closed. They are redoing the inside, and it should be done by next June. 
The Angel Moroni on the Mexico City Temple is different than most of the others. Moroni is holding a Book of Mormon! Sorry it isnt a very good angle. The Temple grounds were closed, so we were just on the one side

I love you all so much! Thank you for your wonderful support and letters. I love you!

Until next week!
Love, Hermana Dean

Thursday, October 9, 2014

¡Estoy Muy Feliz, Hoy!

This week has been fantastic!!! I cannot believe this is my "halfway" point... Tis crazy!!

Last Thursday, we played a crazy game of kickball with our Zone. It was so much fun!

On Friday, we had a service project, where we cleaned the stalls of the bathrooms in el Comedor.

Saturday and Sunday were General Conference, and was absolutely amazing! I loved it all. I needed to hear so many of the talks. 

Monday was my brother Jeremy´s birthday!! Happy happy birthday to you!

Tuesday: Pizza night! Wooh! We also played lightning for our gym time. It was epic! I haven't played it in forever. It was really fun.  We also had a devotional from Elder Emer Villalobos, a member of the 6th quorum of the 70. He gave us 3 different questions to ponder. 
1. What is the relationship between revelation and salvation?
2. What can I do to increase my capacity to receive revelation?
3. How can I strengthen my testimony?

1. Salvation cannot come without revelation. "No man can testify of Jesus Christ, unless he has a testimony of Him" - Joseph Smith
The Plan of Salvation is a system of ordinances and laws that we have been given to become more like our Father in Heaven.
Testimony is the knowledge of certainty of something being true, given to us through the power of the Holy Ghost.

2. "If you will ask of me, ye shall receive"
Seek not for riches, but for wisdom.
-Establish cause of Zion, not our own cause.
If you are here on your mission to establish the cause of Zion, then you are on the right path.
You need to be keeping the commandments to receive revelation.
-Ask and ye shall receive
Ask in faith and Act. (Faith without works is dead)

3.Recall and remember--you are here for a reason. 
When you are having a hard time remembering that, remember how you felt when you were baptized, when you received your endownment, when you received your mission call. These experiences will help you remember who you are and what you stand for.

Summary: NO person is saved without testimony--which is received by the Spirit of Revelation, which is necessary for salvation.

You must live every principle you teach.
You will receive power from on high.
If we recognize the voice of the Lord, we will receive more and more. When you receive these promptings, follow and obey them.
Not only is the church true, but the Gospel we teach is also true.
This talk was so amazing. I really needed to hear it.

Also on Tuesday, we said goodbye to one of the Districts in our Zone. They were so great! I feel so lucky to have been able to get to know them for a couple of weeks. They are such amazing Missionaries!

On Wednesday, we had TRC, where we teach real people. Not our teachers. Sometimes they are members pretending to be less active or investigators. It went really well. It just amazes me how well Heavenly Father knows each one of his children. He knows what they need to hear, and more often than not, we teach something completely different than what we "planned"on teaching.

Also on Wednesday, our teacher, Hermana Balderas told us she had dreamed about us the night before, and felt she needed to share a video with us. I am so glad she listened to this prompting. You all need to watch it if you are able. It's name in Spanish is "La Obra Misional y La Expiacion" it was so amazing. It talks about the parallels from missionary work with the path Christ walked.

Today, we have a ping pong tournament within our district... It will be so awesome. I am super excited.

 Also, Hermana Singer and I are determined to learn more Spanish. We are going to label everything in our casa, so we can learn the Spanish words. It will be way cool.

Oh! I have also memorized Joseph Smith's experience... "Vi una columna de luz, más brillante que el sol, directamente arriba de mi cabeza; y esta luz gradualmente descendió hasta descansar sobre mí....Al reposar sobre mí la luz, vi en el airre arriba de mí a dos Personajes, cuyo fulgor  y gloria no admiten descripción. Uno de ellos me habló llamándome por mi nombre y dijo, señalando al otro: Ésta es mi Hijo Amado: ¡Escúchalo! "

I know this Church is true, and I know that I am here for a reason, and that Heavenly Father is preparing and has prepared those whom I will teach. 

¡Se Amo ustedes mucho!

TTFN, Hermana Dean

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I forgot pictures!!!

Here are the pictures I forgot to attach to the email I just sent :) Love you!

-Hermana Dean

October 2, 2014

¡¡Hola mía familia!! 

I cannot believe it has already been a week since I wrote you all! Time here just flies by!!  This week was so amazing. 

So last Thursday night was our last lesson with "Pedro". He is now our night teacher. That is just how awesome of missionaries we are! We baptized, confirmed him, he went on a mission and through the temple all in one day! Jk jk. He just pretends to be an investigator so we can get practice teaching. Oh, his name is Hermano Pineda.

On Friday, we found out we now have two new "investigators". Hermano Lara is Humberto and Hermano Pineda is Fransisco. We also had a service project on Friday. We learned how to fold sheets, like how Grandma Dean taught me. It was pretty cool! All the Hermanas were so excited to practice folding sheets like that.

On Saturday, we had lots and lots of Language study. We also had a Stress Management class. Lol. It was much needed and well received. After almuerzo (lunch) on Saturday, we all started our fast, and fasted until almuerzo on Domingo (Sunday). I have fasted that way before, and it always seems more powerful, and you feel the Spirit much more.

Sunday was fantastic!  As usual, Sacrament Meeting was all in Spanish. On Fast and Testimony Meetings, all of the missionaries get the opportunity to bear their testimonies--in Spanish. The Spirit was so strong. There is a District from our Zone (like our branch) that is leaving next Wednesday, and since General Conference is the Sunday before they leave, they sang in this last Sacrament meeting. They sang Abide With Me, Tis Eventide. (Again, all in Spanish). One of the Elders, Elder Garbero, has a most amazing singing voice. Very very powerful. You could just feel his testimony through his solo.

Also on Sunday, we watched a devotional from Elder Bednar that he gave on Christmas Day in the Provo MTC (a lot of the devotionals we watch are only available to missionaries. You cannot find them anywhere else.)  He spoke about how to obtain the Character of Christ.  He said, "Christ turns outwards when we would turn inwards." He then gave several examples of this, one being the Atonement and events that followed. "Before Christ went into the Garden, he asked his disciples to stay awake and be there for him. Several times, he returned to find them sleeping. He probably felt let down.  During the Atonement, Christ felt every feeling we have or will ever feel in our lives. He suffered for all of the sins we will ever commit. All of this suffering made him bleed from every pore. After he had done this, one of his disciples comes and betrays him with a kiss. He is about to be taken prisoner, when one of the other disciples cuts off the ear of one of the guards. Now think about what you would do. Christ had just been let down by his disciples, suffered more than we as mortals could handle, and was betrayed by another disciple. Most of us would turn inward at this point, and feel sorry for ourselves. But what does Christ do? He heals the ear of the guard. A superficial wound compared for what Christ had just done, but He did it anyway, because when we would normally turn in and feel sorry for ourselves, Christ turns outward and does not think of himself."

This was so powerful. It made me really think of how I can be the best missionary I can be by turning outward when the "Natural Man" in me wants to be selfish and whine.

Elder Bednar also spoke extremely boldly when he said this : "This mission is not for you! It never will be. You need to serve the Lord and turn outward.

After this talk, we had dinner, and then watched "Joseph Smith -- Prophet of the Restoration".  I absolutely love this movie. Presidente Pratt told us to write down our impressions and feelings as we watch. One of the things that really stuck out to me is what Lucy Mack Smith says at the end, "All that I have told you is true and will stand forever." She has always been one of my heroes. When I get to Heaven, I want to go up to her and give her the biggest hug, and tell her thank you for her testimony and example. 

On Monday, we started teaching Humberto. We have taught him twice, and in those two meetings, have talked about why we need the Book of Mormon and why we need to pray to Heavenly Father all the time, not just when we need something. He seems to be doing well.

Ooooh! Also, on Monday, while Hermana Singer and I were studying outside, a construction worker came up to us and asked us how to be baptized. It was very random, and we had to ask  him what he said, because it took us both by surprise. We told him simply that we must have Faith, Repent, and then we will be able to be baptized. He asked if we could teach him that night at 6, and said he would be looking for us.  When we got back to class, we asked Hermano Lara what we should do. He said that we could not teach him here at the CCM, but if we were able to get his address, we could get a hold of the missionaries in the area where he lives, but that we could give him a Book of Mormon and share our testimonies, and tell him that other missionaries would be able to teach him.  So , we went back at 6, but could not find him.. I do not know if he was just messing with us, or sincerely forgot... I hope the latter. But we have not seen him around since... I hope we can get him a Book of Mormon.

Tuesday was Pizza night!! Hoorah! We also had another devotional from Elder Bednar on how to take excellent notes. He related to how and what Nephi and the other Book of Mormon prophets wrote. They had two separate plates, one for generations of kings, wars, etc. and the other for things of the heart, things that God reveals, etc. Elder Bednar said we should take and use the example of the small plates of Nephi, and record only those things that are most precious unto us.  I am so excited for General Conference this weekend. It will be very interesting to use the method Elder Bednar gave us.

Not much happened yesterday. We taught Humberto, for the second time. Had class, and practiced teaching other missionaries. It was still a superb day.

Oh! I almost forgot. If any of you want to send me letters letters, like through the post mail, try using They are same-day delivery service, and usually are not too expensive, in fact, I think to the MTC is free. I do not know what information you would need, but here is some:
Hermana Dean, District 4A, Mexico MTC. 

I love you all so very much. Thank you all for your wonderful support and love. I know I am where I am meant to be. One of the Elders in my district said something that has stuck with me for quite some time. He was talking about how awesome it is we are all here together. He said he knows none of us are here too early, or too late. That is what stuck out to me. I have been struggling a little, and getting upset at myself for not going on a mission when I was 21, and feel like I am "so old", compared to the other missionaries here.... But I know I am here when Heavenly Father needs me to be. 

I love you all!

Hermana Dean