Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Temple Blessings

Monday, April 23, 2012 (email)

Hi everyone!

This morning we went to the Monticello Temple. It was incredible. I just love going there. This was Sister Nay's first time to the temple since her own endowment, so I was able to help her a lot. It was a cool experience. It makes me really excited to go when my sisters go through the temple and when my friends go. I always make sure to look in the mirror in the Celestial room, and try to see myself how Heavenly Father sees me. It gives me a lot of hope. I think the sweetest thing happened just after I walked into the Celestial Room. There was a High Councilman from our ward who drove us all up. He reminds me a lot of dad, and I think he is a hoot to be around (it was at his house that I threw tomahawks and that I will brand cows). I was waiting by the door for Sister Nay to come in, and he walked up and smiled at me. "Sister, I just wanted to tell you that you look very cute today." (He said it just like a loving father would.) With my spunky personality, I responded, "Well, I look cute all the time..." I was quite taken aback by his comment. I thought it was so sweet and kind. It was a little reminder from Father in Heaven, through Brother Derrick, that I am loved. It felt like my own dad had said it to me. I was so thankful for that tender mercy.

The work in Cortez continues to go along. We have three investigators who we really care for. They are all from different situations and families, but they are so special to us. Aubani is a new mother, who's husband is less active. Tanner is a young man who's grandmother (whom he lives with) is a member of the church. And Susie is surrounded by LDS people, and has never taken the plunge. They are all reading a praying and trying to come to church. Please pray for them, because they are ready for baptism, they just don't believe us yet. Oh, I love these people so much, and I want them to feel the joy the gospel can bring. I was in the temple this morning! They can have that!! I want to see them there!! Heavenly Father wants them there. Please pray that they are strengthened and empowered, and that they commit to baptism soon.

With all of the good, there has to be some yucky stuff. Sister Nay and I know we can learn a lot from one another, because we are so different. With that in mind, our differences can create some pretty heated disagreements...ok...arguments. We are both stubborn....and we don't want to back down from our beliefs. If you can believe it, I am the conservative one between the two of us. I don't want you to think that we hate each other, because we don't...I just didn't want to lie and say that we were all honky-dory when we certainly aren't.

I love you all very much! I miss you! I hope you feel the spirit of the Lord guiding your lives, because I pray daily that it does!

All my Love,
Sister Wilkins

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Spring....psych!!!!

So we thought it was spring....NOPE!!!!! We had 2 days of rain and snow and nastiness. It blew sideways for 2 days straight!. Sideways. Not up and down. SIDEWAYS!!!

Well, we got transfer news on Saturday. Sister Nay and I are staying! I am not surprised...but Sister Nay totally was. Poor booger, she is totally stuck with me for another 6 weeks :) Technically everyone in our district is staying, but they are splitting up areas and mixing and matching companions. We were all totally shocked because we didn't think there was that much work to do around here. Everybody already knows about Christ, and they sure don't care to make the effort to learn more. Oh well, I'm sure God knows who needs to be found, and if we ask for help and sit at the pond long enough, we will catch a lot of fish. :)

This week was pretty normal, except for Wednesday. We spent from 8 am until 5 pm doing service. Seriously. We were involved in 3 or 4 different service activities! We were totally zonked by the end of the night. The longest service project we had all of the Elders in the area help us to gut a house of an investigator. Susie was renting out her home, but they were growing pot and packed up and left in the middle of the night. We were ripping out carpet, sanding down walls (the whole house was made of GIANT logs), and scrubbing junk and filth off of everything. When we pulled up I didn't think I was going to like the house (rustic really isn't my thing) but when I got inside, I fell in LOVE with it! The layout was unique and they had done some really cool things. If I had a family, I would want to spend either Christmas or summers there.

Sister Nay and I have been working really hard on our teaching skills. She is really pushing me to improve. At first I was kicking against the pricks and didn't want to budge. I had the prideful mentality that I already knew how to teach, and I didn't like someone who was brand new telling me what to do...but eventually Heavenly Father softened my heart with a couple whacks upside the head and I realized the validity in her comments. We are really progressing in our ability to work in Unity and to teach simply but powerfully. I am glad that we are together. We are very different individuals, but we are learning so much from one another.

Now, there are MANY congratulations in order!!
I have a cousin who got baptized this week...Maddy McHale got married on Saturday....and Ashlee, Charli, and my MOM are graduating this week!!!!! WAHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I send you all my love. I am going to brag...I get to go to the Monticello Temple next Monday!!!! It is our mission trip! WOOT!

Love, love, love,
Sister Melinda Wilkins

PS...I will hit my 9 month mark this week. Woah.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Methodists and Easter Eggs

Monday, April 9, 2012 (email)

I have decided that if I ever lose my marbles and decide not to"be LDS anymore" then I will become a Methodist. I don't know anything about their beliefs except for an open hearts and door thing... But I do know I like the people. We have been asked to help and volunteer at some of their establishments in town, and I really enjoy their company. We sort clothing at the thrift store, and this week we helped at the soup kitchen. They are really great people.

Today we are having a Zone P-Day activity... We are going to Mesa Verde!!! WAHOOOO!!!!!!! SO excited, but it means I have to fly through this email even more than normal!

We had a really fun family invite us over for Easter dinner, and then we had and "Easter cantata" (Sally deFord), and then last night Sister Nay and I had an Easter egg hunt in the GIANT and EXTREMELY MESSY garage of the members we live with. We were not hiding eggs for children, but for each other, and we made them kinda hard. Sister Nay got miffed at me when I started giving her hints after looking half an hour for 13 eggs, and only having found 6. I whined the whole time :) and I found mine much quicker because she gave hints the whole way through. Aren't I tricky? I'm such a pill!

We had cleaning inspections on our apartment this week, and a senior couple came to do it. They were so cute and so sweet. They brought treats for Easter, and then took us out to dinner! I had such a great time with them, and it made me REALLY want to serve a couples mission. SO BAD!!! You get to serve the Lord, and be surrounded by the missionary spirit, and you do it with your best friend. Oh, I can't wait!

We have a couple people that we are really excited to work with. Many of them are former investigators that we are picking up. It seems like we have just connected with them a lot! We are excited to see where things go. We still don't have any baptismal dates set, but we hope to have some very soon.

Oh, last random thought...when we were at the soup kitchen I had a sensation that I hadn't had in a long time. People were looking at me. Ok, I know people look at us funny all the time because we are missionaries...but this was weird men looking at me...as in looking...at me. I didn't particularly care for it. At first it was kind of flattering, but then I just felt dirty. Thank heavens for all the wholesome elders and righteous men I have been around in my life. I am proud to say that I have never felt uncomfortable around any of them.

I love you all! I hope you have fantastic weeks! This Saturday night is transfer news night....so maybe next week I will have big news. (Probably not, but you never know.)

Sister Wilkins

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sore Bum

Monday, April 2, 2012 (email)

I wish I had counted how many hours I sat sitting down this week! We had 8 hours of driving to and from training. Then at least 16 hours of training, and all of General Conference. And I mean ALL of general conference. I went to the Priesthood session. I wasn't really thrilled about it, but it kept peace in the relationship with my companion.

I'm sure I have mentioned multiple times how opinionated Sister Nay is. Well, she hasn't learned the art of compromise yet...so I do a lot of doing things her way to keep contention out of the relationship. It took a while for me to understand all of her reasoning, but eventually I think I understood her insistance. She grew up in a home without a father, and to better understand the priesthood, she and her entire family (all sisters) went to the priesthood session every conference. I thought it was a little odd, but as she pointed out, no one has ever gotten mad or Not invited the women. I felt really silly going in there, and we got some funny looks, but it wasn't the end of the world. We opened the door to the chapel and I thought I would be gassed out from all of the cologne. :)

On Monday we went on my first hike while in Cortez. We went to a national park area and walked around the trails that led through Sand Canyon and saw a couple indain ruins. I didn't realize how much I missed being in nature and hiking! It was so much fun! I love to discover those new places!

I hope everyone loved General Conference. I did...I put a lot of effort into enjoying it....but I wish I had tried even harder so that I could get even more out of it. This has to last me for another 6
months!!! My favorite talk was Elder Nelson and the guy from the 70 after him. I'm not sure why, but I liked them the most. OH!!!!!! AND WHAT THE HECK?!?!?!?!?!? NO NEW TEMPLES!!!!!!!!!!!! I was totally shocked! and kinda sad. Enough said.

I love you all. I hope you have a great week! I wish these emails could be longer, but my companion is literally walking away as I type!

Love, Sister Wilkins