Kalene's Mission Blog

Kalene's Mission Blog

Monday, March 7, 2016

First Week in Houston

First off, I was assigned to the Friendswood, Texas area and my trainer is a Sister McCleery as you can see... she's significantly tall than I am. Which I hadn't really noticed until I was looking at this picture. She hadn't really noticed that I was fairly short until I complained about it because going from lesson to lesson and having to present myself in  a proper and professional way when my feet generally don't touch the floor sitting on their chairs was making me tired. She said it seemed more like I was 5'6" or 5'7" rather than my short 5'2.5". I'm going to attribute that entirely to the spirit thinking I'd be taken more seriously if I at least FELT taller

My mission Prez, President Hall, and his wife are both very awesome and I wish that I had been assigned to his area in Sugarland but they mostly just need Spanish speaking missionaries around there. There were four of us missionaries assigned that first day (2 Spanish and 2 english) and I was half afraid that I would be assigned to one of the Spanish trainers. Thank goodness I was not. I was surprised that I got assigned to the car area and not the bike area though which I was temporarily disappointed about until I remembered how hot the summers would be, then I was EXTREMELY grateful.
My apartment is about what you'd expect for a missionary apartment.

My first week in the mission field has been pretty hard. I'm sure nobody wants to hear that it's hard but that's the truth of it. Sister McCleery's previous companion had to go home because of health issues and so she was put in a threesome with another companionship and was working in their area for the last month. So, she says that the work we have to do now is basically like opening up a new area. It's a lot of less actives and a couple investigators that haven't seen a missionary for at least 2 weeks. The idle time between driving to different appointments and trying to get a hold of people is probably what is hardest. When we actually sit down to teach a lesson, I enjoy it immensely and feel the spirit and rather competent (which I'll attribute entirely to my MTC teacher Brother Bishop).
Sister McCleery told me her frightening prediction the other day. She was called to be one of the STL's at the same time she was asked to be a trainer and she's been in the Friendswood area for about 6/7 months now. So, she expects that she'll be transferred at the next transfer before she's finished training me and that I'll therefore have to take over the area before I've been fully trained. She also said I'll train at 3 months which I think would be a horrible idea on everybody's part.
Bishop Chidester (our area's bishop) had us over last night to teach his family the Restoration lesson that helps them teach it to others (he had heard about it through the grapevine apparently). And he absolutely loved it so we've got our bishop's 100% support for the area right now. Not to toot my own horn (or as Alma said I do not boast of myself) but he said I taught as if I was an experienced missionary and not a greeny, this I will attribute that one entirely to the spirit and BroBish's class. But the lessons have been good.

My first Sunday in the MTC during sacrament I had this thought "you're speaking next Sunday" so I chose a title "Faith in the Storms of Life" and three scripture references: Matthew 14: 28-32, Matthew 8: 23-26, and Ether 6: 5-12. And decided the talk would be about having faith in the savior to deliver you from trials and faith that some tribulations are for our gain. The following Sunday we were informed that, since Branch President Taylor was being released in Sacrament that day, the whole MTC presidency would be attending our meeting and to make sure we included a Preach My Gospel quote/reference. So I chose a short quote slapped that in my notes and called it good; mind you, at this point I still had the feeling "you're speaking today." Sure, the talk only had to be 5 minutes but here I was with the certainty that I was speaking and the knowledge that it would be in front of President Burgess and his two counselors and I somehow thought I didn't need to write ANYTHING out. Let me tell you; I was seriously contemplating those actions when I was called up to talk first in the meeting. I felt like it was stumbling and two much scripture reading and not enough explaining and illustrating. I got down from the pulpit thinking - "man, President Burgess is going to think he's sending out a very poorly prepared missionary. He might as well send me home now." But at the end of Sacrament now released President Taylor thanked me for my wonderful talk and said that all PresBurgess had said as I returned to my seat was "Wow!" All I can say on that matter is - I'm very happy that everyone that thanked me that day heard the talk the spirit prepared instead of the one I did.

Here's my apartment (pay no attention to the garments that are drying on my bed because the apartment dryer is crappy).

​And here's a couple things from my notebook that I drew in the MTC.

A couple of spiritual thoughts for you:

The commandment Christ always gave was not "Believe in me," he commanded "Come follow me." Often what we encounter and will encounter in the south is I've already been saved but that's not what Christ has asked us to do. Yes, it's our faith that allows him to act on and through us but the commandment was to FOLLOW. 1 Peter 2:21

In Matthew 19:20 a rich young man who was raised and lived righteously asked "Lord, what lack I yet?" I think what I've been struggling a bit this first week on my mission is a similar thought but allow me to turn the phrase a bit - "Lord, WHY lack I yet?" I answered God's call when he told me it's finally time to go on a mission, and I left with a really strong testimony, and out here on the mission I'm being exactly obedient and I think I've done pretty good about not carrying "weapons of rebellion" as you put it. And yet, it's still very hard being here. I'll admit to fantasizing about going home but I know - I KNOW - the Lord has asked me to be here now so I draw comfort this week and probably the whole of my first transfer from Mark 9:24 - "Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." 

I love you all and miss you but the Lord will get me through.

Sister Gillespie

No comments:

Post a Comment