Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 30: 02/20/17...New Area, New Companion

Week 30: Savannah La Mar

My apologies for not writing last week, the internet was way slow!!!! I think I only responded to my dad's email, hahaha. 

Anyways, I am in a new area and I am currently serving with Sister Van Der Leek... and as I said before, she's from South Africa! She's a great teacher and so I have been learning a lot from her!!!

These past couple weeks have been awesome! We've been doing a lot of finding and through faith in the Lord, we have been able to find a lot of great people to teach! We are currently working on putting Shameika and Kia (a mother and daughter) on date to be baptized. We should be seeing them today and so I will let you know how that goes :) They were found by the previous sisters who served here. Shameika is married and has 4 kids, making Kia her oldest! They are so humble and so ready to accept the gospel and so I am excited to help them progress towards baptism.

We are also teaching a lady named Pricilla. Okay, so funny story, on our first day here, we walked past Pricilla's home and her dogs tried to attack us! No joke, I thought I was going to die lol. We started to talk to Pricilla and after thanking her for saving our lives, we got a returning appointment! It turns out that she was taught by missionaries a long time ago! She is currently in labor but when she gives birth to her baby boy, we will prepare her for baptism as well because she told us she wants to get baptized! she is so nice and I am excited for the next time I get to see her.

The last person I will talk about right now is an awesome lady named Allison. We met her while finding in Grotto, which I found out is not a super safe area... lol. While teaching her the Restoration, she cried and I know she had felt the spirit. She has a lot of regrets in her life but we shared with her that it is through the gospel of Jesus Christ that she can feel free and happy. She's got 7 kids and they are all so awesome!

I've been able to reflect a lot on eternal families and why that is so important to our Father in Heaven. One thing I am learning while being a missionary is that because Heavenly Father loves us so much as His children, He wants us to share that love with our brothers and sisters. My testimony of that continues to strengthen as I am given opportunities to share with my Jamaica brothers and sisters that same message. I am sure that my mom and brother wanted me to understand that as well. I did my best to honor them this week by doing all I can to teach others about the gospel.

I know this one was a long one but I hope you all have a great week! To my friends at home, eat some Genki Sushi for me lol. Thank you for all the love and support!!!!!

Aloha wau ia oukou a ofa lahi atu!

Sister Meli

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Week 28: 02/06/17...Yay, another short message!

Week 28: 02/06/17: Yay, another short message from the Sister!

Also, happy Bob Marley day!!!

Week 28: 02/06/17: Transfers...:(

Week 28: 02/06/17

SOOOOO transfer calls came the other day and sadly, the adventures of Sister Baker and Meli are coming to an end :-( 

I knew it was coming since I've been in Maypen for 6 months but I was hoping to stay another transfer, hahaha. I will be going to Savannah La Mar (the most western part of Jamaica) and will be white washing the area with my good friend, Sister Von Der Leek. She's from South Africa! Even though I am sad to be leaving the MOST promising and blessed area in all of Jamaica, I am thankful for this opportunity I am given to start fresh with Sister Von. She's a great missionary and so I have full faith that her and I will work well together!

Earlier this week, I was able to go on trade offs with my SISTAH, Sis Afemata! She is awesome and I got to spend the day with her in Portmore. One thing I learned from her was how to replace my irritation or frustration with sorrow; sorrow for when the people we meet reject the most precious gift that our Heavenly Father can give them: the Atonement!!! By replacing my frustration or anger with sorrow, I was able to truly see others as children of our Heavenly Father. It has opened my eyes IMMENSELY. I hope to be able to apply this throughout the rest of my mission.

I am soooooo sad that Sister Baker and I won't be serving together but I am so thankful for the time I was given to be her companion. She has taught me so much about hard work, diligence, humility! Her and I always reminded each other to SMILE :-) I know that her and Sister Pierre (her new companion) will do well together! I am excited to hear about our investigators on date, Mr. Barnes, Ms. Joy, Tj, and Shavanese get baptized! I said goodbye to so many people yesterday and just cried out of gratitude towards the people of Maypen. No one told me that leaving an area, especially your first, would be so hard!!! But I am excited to see miracles happen in Savannah La Mar.

As this week rolls up, I hope everyone finds a miracle or tender mercy!! Those are EVERYWHERE! Thank you to everyone for the support and love!!! Wish me luck in Sav!

Aloha wau ia oukou a ofa lahi atu,

Sister Meli

Week 27: 01/30/17

Week 27: 01/30/17

This week was a CRAZY WEEK........ so, as many of you may know, there has been a lot of changes in the missionary world! We have a change in schedule and in the key indicators we report every week. The leaders of the church want us to focus on teaching repentance and baptizing converts and so we will only be reporting on the things related to that.

Our daily schedule for sister missionaries here in Jamaica has changed too and I'm still trying to get more accommodated to it. We will be proselyting starting at 8am now and we have to be back inside by 6pm (due to how dangerous it is here....... I mean, I never got shot yet so idk). All things are from the Lord and so I am focusing on getting more used to the schedule, hopefully that happens soon, hahaha!

Anyways, Sister Baker and I are excited and also scared for this week (transfer calls are soon, that happened so fast!) but it will be great nonetheless. We are still trying to make our goal for seeing 4 baptisms together and so I have a good feeling about it!! We are working on putting Mr. Barnes and Ms. Beth on date to be baptized and we will see how that goes. We see them later today :D

Well, I hope everyone has a great week! I know it's weird that I'm emailing so early but I hope this one finds ya fine :-)

Aloha wau ia oukou a ofa lahi atu,

Sister Meli

Pic 1: @ Traci Aiwohi
Pic 2: The camel cows that patrol our streets everyday
Pic 3: THE BEST JAMAICA/MEXICAN BURRITO I HAVE EVER EATEN IN MY LIFE (shout out to Elder Palmer for telling Sis Baker and me about Chilitos)

Week 26: 01/23/17: Miracles in Maypen!

Week 26: 01/23/17: Miracles in Maypen!

This week was so awesome!!!! Sister Baker and I have been working on finding the "elect" in our area and so we have been walking and talking to everyone!! We currently have three investigators on date to be baptized, Ms. Joy, who runs a small shop near our house, Shavanese, a woman who works at a bike store, and TJ, the son of a recent convert. All of these people are very promising and Sister Baker and I are excited to get these people prepared for baptism!! 

We have two other investigators named Beth and Mr. Barnes and I wanted to talk about them a little. We met Beth while trying to find her son who we contacted the day before and we ended up getting an appointment with her. She is SO awesome. She told us about how confused she was about all the different churches and is very willing to listen to our message. I think she's elect :) Mr. Barns is a referal we received from the elders in the office and when we met him, he had already been reading the Book of Mormon and testified to us about how he knew it was true. It was awesome teaching him because he's very humble. He also had his mom and grandma sit in on our first lesson with him and the spirit was there!!! Sis Baker and I are working on getting them both on date to be baptized and so we will see how that goes this week :)

I have to give credit to my companion, Sister Baker, for the week that we've had together. Her and I get along SO well! I feel like I'm serving with a best friend, every day is so much fun!!! I love her a lot and I learn a lot from her as well. We are working really hard in meeting our goals and we know that as we both work together to help Maypen grow, we will be able to see miracles!!!

Saturday, Jamaica was blessed to have a General Authority visit us and help us and the members work to see the church grow!!! Elder Gamiette was able to teach us a lot about how the members and missionaries can work together to bring souls unto Christ. It was POWERFUL and I learned so much about the importance of talking to everyone and how we can ask inspired questions in each lesson. I hope to be able to apply those things as I continue to serve as a missionary.

This week, the missionaries will have a broadcast training on Wednesday and I'm very excited to watch and learn from that as well. As I continue my search for a miracle each day, my hope is that I will always find one!!!! 

Have a blessed week and I hope you all know how much I love you all!!!

Aloha wau ia oukou a ofa lahi atu,

Sister Meli

pic 4: Sis Baker and I went to the Bob Marley Museum today and it was AWESOME! 
pics 1, 2,3: pics from the training on saturday lol

Week 25: 01/16/17

Week 25: 01/16/17

hey hey so I promised pics for like the last 3 weeks so here ya go. I'll make this one short so you all can enjoy seeing pics of my life from the last month lol


Week 24: 01/09/17

Week 24: 01/09/17

Aloha everyone! Well this was the first week of a new transfer and as you all know, I'm spending it in Maypen. Maypen is still the best place I know (given since it's the only place I know) and so I'm always on the search for miracles!! 

Sister Baker and I have been doing crazy work this past week and it's been awesome! We've been able to meet a lot of new people including Michael, our new investigator who told us that he wants to change his life. I have high hopes for him! Our first lesson with him was so strong, the Spirit was truly there! Sis Baker is a hard worker and since she goes home in a few months, we are working so that she can add a few more miracles on her list of missionary experiences :)

We currently have two investigators on date to be baptized soon and we are working on extending two more this upcoming week or the next. Our goal is to see 4 baptisms within this companionship and so we are hoping that we can see it within this transfer! that would be cool. 

Anyways, we also got an announcement that the Area authority will be coming to Jamaica next week and so we are super stoked to see him! He is going to be talking to the missionaries and the church leaders here and so I'm excited to hear his suggestions as to how we can help the work move forward here. 

This week will be an exciting one as well and so stay tuned!!! 

Hope you all have a great week!!!

Aloha wau ia 'oukou a ofa lahi atu,

Sister Meli

ps, I'm sending pics later so stay tuned for that too lolol sorry

Week 23: 01/03/17: Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou!

Week 23: 01/03/17: Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Transfers = New companion, Sis. Baker!!!

Sorry for not writing you all last week, things were really crazy since transfers!!

So, a little update on transfers, I'm still in Maypen but I got a new companion and her name is Sister Baker! She is from Orange County, California and she is so awesome! We laugh a lot and she's a hard worker and so we walk everywhere! I've said it many times but Maypen is full of miracles, and I'm excited to see them unfold in this companionship. We've made it a goal to have 4 baptisms together and so we are working hard to see that happen!!

Christmas and New Year's was great, and it was amazing to see my family after what felt like forever. I found out that my brother Saia is taller than my dad....... WHAT! 

It was really nice to talk to everyone even though I called an hour late (I got the time difference wrong lol). But it was still awesome!

I have a lot of high hopes for this upcoming new year, especially since I'll be serving this full year as a missionary. Last week, I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time as a missionary and am truly grateful for it. Whenever you have time, read a couple pages!! I've felt myself grow so much in the gospel while doing so and I know that everyone can do the same :)

I will be sending pics soon from these last couples weeks so stay tuned. 

I also hope everyone had a great holiday season!!!

Thank you for all the support I've received from everyone!

Aloha wau ia 'oukou a ofa lahi atu,

Sister Meli

Week 22: 12/25/16...Merry Christmas!!!

Week 22: 12/25/16

No letter, but these picture say it all!!! Face timing with Sister Meli was the greatest Christmas gift! She originally called while we were in sacrament meeting, so she was able to call us later that evening when we all were home. Only 1 more Christmas to go, then she will be home!

Week 21: 12/19/16...sorry, forgot this message!

Week 21: 12/19/16...sorry, forgot this message!


E ola loa noa kau i ka wekiu!!!

Week 21: 12/19/16

Week 21: 12/19/16...less than 1 week until Christmas!!!

Aloha everyone!

This week was pretty awesome. We had zone meeting this last Thursday, where our zone leaders spoke to us about the importance of involving our branch leaders and members in missionary work. In honor of the Christmas initiatory that the church is doing, we also spoke about the importance of the "Light the World" notion. It was a great zone meeting. 

Us missionaries also put together a Maypen branch Christmas party where we played games, made cookies, and watched "Home Alone" together (except the missionaries, of course). It was such a great turn out!! 

To top off the week, Elders Smith and Ludlow's investigator, Cutie, was baptized! She's the cutest woman on the planet.

Well, I'm making this email short again but I will tell you that I am so excited for Christmas. I finally get to see my family after what felt like forever!

As we all prepare for Christmas, I hope everyone remembers to include the Savior in their celebration, for He is the true reason for the holiday!!! I love you all and I hope you all have a great Christmas!!!!

Mele Kalikimaka,

Sister Meli

ps, my pics aren't loading and I'm a little too lazy atm to fix dis problem so I'll send them next week lol...

Week 20: 12/13/16

Week 20: 12/13/16...less than 2 weeks until Christmas!!!

Aloha everyone! This week was pretty cool. Sister Jenkins and I had trade offs with our sister training leaders and so I got to spend the day in Portmore with Sister Clyde. Portmore is close to Kingston and so I finally got to see the ocean!!! The mosquitoes there are CRAZY and so I got bit everywhere! Sister Clyde is so sweet and so I loved going teaching with her. 

Other than that, the week was pretty normal. We've been focusing a lot on reaching our goal to extend 70 baptismal invitations each week and we finally made that goal! I was so happy and in return, I felt the spirit work with Sister Jenkins and I a lot more. 

I have a testimony that exact obedience truly does bring miracles!

Sorry about not emailing yesterday, but the sisters and I spent the day in Kingston trying to find things we needed for the Christmas party that us missionaries are putting together this Friday. Kingston is a cool place, I like it there a lot. Sister Afemata and I heard Backstreet Boys while walking down the street and so I did my best not to sing along.......... I failed lol.

Other than that, I'm very excited for these next couple weeks. I get to call my family that much sooner!!!

I hope everyone has an awesome week, talk to you all soon :)

Aloha wau ia oukou a ofa lahi atu!

Sister Meli