Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 5

I can't believe Makayla's time in the MTC is coming to a close.  I confess having her just at the Provo MTC has been a comfort knowing she is so close.  The idea of having her going further to Brazil is letting her go all over again.  As you read her letter this week I hope you can see how excited she is and I too have felt all along that once I get to see her arrive, unpack, learn about the people and hear about her experiences it is going to be wonderful!

So we got our travel plans Friday!!!  We check out of the MTC Monday morning, fly from Salt Lake to Atlanta to Sao Paulo to Manaus ...getting there Tuesday.  Back me up, but I think the last time I flew was before 911?  It's going to be so fun, and I am so seriously excited!!!  Brazil is calling my name!!!  Our district will be able to fly together to Sao Paulo, and then my companion and I will be able to fly together all the way to Manaus.  I am also very excited to meet my mission president ... hopefully we can communicate.  I cannot believe that my time in the MTC is almost over!!! It went by really fast.

This week I have been thinking about the Atonement.  Try going through the scriptures and finding all of your favorite scriptures about the Atonement.  It is truly a miracle, that we can use repentance to achieve better character, success, and happiness.  With the Savior we can start anew every week, day, and hour.  

If you would like to know more about "The Atonement", here is a talk from an Apostle from our April 2016 General Conference...

Well, have a great week, and a wonderful 4th of July!! 

Love you all,


Makayla receiving her travel plans to Brazil!
She is way excited :) 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 4


Every mission has an adult couple that will live in that area.  They are there to help place each missionary with a companion, help watch over them when needed, assign a specific area to serve in, a place to live and provide additional training.  Mission Presidents serve for a three year period. 
So I don't know if you have heard, but there is going to be a huge new mission president training starting on Wednesday.  I believe that all of the apostles will be there at some point, except for President Monson.  You would think that this would be very exciting for us missionaries ... not exactly.  It's kinda funny actually, because it's as if they are trying to hide all of the missionaries in the missionary training center!  They have slowly transformed our cafeteria into an auditorium, and we will now be getting sack lunches for all meals in the gym this week.  We are not allowed to go into the main area of campus, and we have been told to never "approach a general authority, unless they approach us, in which case we are to stop, look them in the eye, shake their hand, and enjoy the visit" ... hahaha.  

Makayla has just 2 weeks in the MTC, it's getting closer!
This week we are Skyping and teaching real live Brazilians! So this will be interesting ... 

Makayla and her companion were recently called as "Zone Trainers".  She says she is "psyched", because of how well she will get to know those she will be working with and serving. She also mentioned that they get to organize who will be participating in their sunday class of Relief Society and attend district meetings. 
The MTC is also doubling in size this week (I think).  We are getting 19 new sisters in our zone, and 9 elders (sister power).  My companion and I will be hosting (picking them up from the drop off curb), decorating their rooms, running orientations, and such (should be fun)! 

One thing that I really like about being a missionary, is that I am more aware of what things I need to do better and that Heavenly Father will give me the power to change.  I know that although each of us has weaknesses and discouragements, that our Savior is truly the one who can pick us up, and give us the strength to work through our difficulties.  And that is just it, things will still be difficult, but we can always find joy when we do our best, and look up to the Savior to do the rest.  I hope we can all strive to better understand His love and power, and how we can apply it in our lives.  

Love, Makayla

One of our two teachers, Irma Bennion, left us this week to go study abroad in Mexico.  It was really hard to say good-by because I felt like she was one of my moms away from home. 

Makayla still with the same missionaries...District, throughout her time at the MTC...

We also got fitted for slacks today... :( , :)  I was in denial for a long time that I am actually going to have to wear them (because of many reasons, including the fact that they are going to be hot) but if I must, then I must.  I like wearing them here (well just trying them on ) but we'll see how I like them in Brazil. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 3

Oi todo mundo!

It has been a pretty good week at the MTC!  The weather has been beautiful, and going outside is my saving grace.  My companion and I just got called as the sister training leaders for the zone, so that's pretty fun!  Not this Wednesday, but the next, 30 new missionaries are coming into our zone :O.  So... we get to train/orient them.  I have to pause and say just how much I love our branch presidency and their wives!  

I don't know if any of you were aware, but there is going to be a huge new mission president training at the MTC in like a week.  Yet, some presidents have come early to learn English.  One, and his wife, came to teach our district a little lesson in their new English.  His wife had the better English, so she kinda ran the show, haha.  I don't know much about the Brazilian culture just yet, but I knew that she was the real thing.  She was so outgoing and hilarious!! She even had some very authentic dance moves.  It was actually a very neat experience, because they too were trying to learn another language, and we could connect because we all love the Gospel, Brazil, and Portuguese.  

The Tuesday devotional with Elder Bednar was so so wonderful!  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  Something that I have discovered about being a missionary, is that spiritual answers and understanding come quicker to me than they ever have before.  His talk was themed around "one by one".  He said that if we want to know the Savior better, we need to look for examples of Him administering to the one.  This is how He works.  Not only do we need to focus on the one in missionary work, but remember that we ourselves are "a one".  This is most definitely a gospel of love.  I invite you all to look up this talk (I'm pretty sure it was a broadcast).  

Even though this work is hard, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  I know that the Savior has wonderful plans for each one of His children, and I'm so happy to be apart of His work. 

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love, Makayla

Makayla's Disrrict...Standing behind the Provo, Utah Temple

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 2 

It is so good to hear from Makayla.  I can sense the smile on her face.  She Has joined the MTC choir.  I think her fondness for singing the hymns began at BYU...tunnel singing on Sunday nights. They have been working on a song by Elder Bednar so she is excited to premier it for him this week.  I wish we could hear her speak Portuguese, but it looks like she is well in beginning to learn the language! Makayla is expecting to leave July 4th for Brazil!!!


There's so much I could say, where do I even start!?  So I lied, Elder Bednar is not coming until Tuesday night, but Sheri Due did give the devotional last night.  So so good!  Her main point was that gospel questions are good, and that we should be willing to engage in the "wrestle" with God, as did Enos.  No matter where we are in life, it is important to be increasing our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and of who we are.  
I'm getting so excited to go to Brazil, even though I have only been here for almost two weeks.  The MTC choir director told us that Manaus is the most exotic mission (although I think he was a little biased because he served in Brazil).  We then met a Brazilian missionary who basically didn't speak English, and so he told us through charades that we should mentally prepare ourselves for the naked natives, haha (although I don't think we will ever be close enough to see one).  I also found out that my mission president doesn't speak English, from a Brazilian custodian.  It is going to be crazy trying to adjust, but I can't wait to fall in love with the people and culture.  Beans, beans, and bugs!  

After we finished teaching our first "investigator" he became our teacher, and finally decided to speak some English.  Overall, it is an interesting situation, but we all love him!  It gets pretty hard to sit in class all day.  I want so badly to go outside and move around, but I remind myself to appreciate the AC while I can.  Our district is fantastic, I love them all.  Although as we have gotten to know one another more, it is more difficult to concentrate.  There have been many laughs this week, and I also accidentally died some of my clothes pink ... 
There have definitely been hard moments, especially concerning the language (although I can't complain).  However, I love that whenever I seem to begin to struggle, I am built up with some inspired message.  Even though the MTC can be difficult, they are always careful to build you up spiritually.  
I know that there is so much for me to learn about myself, the Lord, His Gospel, and how He loves His children.  I'm so excited!  

Here's a little Portuguese (if you can understand this excuse the grammar, I haven't actually learned that yet). 
Eu sei que Deus te ama muito!  Atraves de a expiacao nos podemos voltar a Deus, e encontrar felizidade agora e sempre.  Por meio o livro de Mormon nos encontramos direcao, paz, e fe em Jesus Cristo.  O evangelho de Jesus Cristo e oitimo!!! 

I know that God is meticulously aware of us and the details of our lives.  He is ready to bless us as we come unto Him.  I hope that we can all strive to look a little closer for His hand in our lives, and to increase our relationship with Him.  

Meu amo voces! 


Makayla's District

Studying hard? Notice the Elder in the corner with 
a sling?  He broke his collar bone while playing 
kickball!  Letting off some bottled up energy can 
be dangerous :)

Makayla's companion (Sister Rowley) is on the left.  
The other two sisters are roommates.