Friday, July 25, 2014

Start of Week 5 - 12 days left.....

Crazy huh? I have now been here in the MTC for over a month. Can't believe it has been a month since I have entered. My spanish is coming along! I can't believe how real the gift of tongues is! It's such a blessing from Heavenly Father. Something I learned while studying here in the MTC (or in spanish CCM) is that sometimes I feel like I can't do this. And you know what? It's because I can't. Because this is a hard thing. And I am weak. But you know what? My God is not. He is strong and his son, Jesucristo, is my rock. And as long as I rely on him, I CAN do it. I have been very humbled while being here. I have been at my low, wanting nothing else but to come home to my family and friends. But I was reminded of something. I have made promises to my friends before this life that I would find them here and bring them the Gospel and I'm NOT going to break that promise. As hard as it gets. Because salvation is not a cheap price. It's hard. But so worth it. 
For all of you that are doubting your faith, listen. I know that you are wanting to give up. Because that's what I wanted. Wait no, scratch that. That's what Satan is telling you that you want. Last night at the Tuesday Evening Devotional I heard an analogy. It's called the train analogy.
Lets compare our Gospel to a train. This train is on the tracts traveling back to our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ. And that train is going with or without us. But it is always our choice if we hop off. Even just for a second. But don't do it. Don't hop off. Wanna know why? Because you WILL regret it. And you will miss out. I promise you. You don't want to be anywhere else than on this train. And for those of you who have already gotten off, hop back on. There is this beautiful, hopeful concept called the Atonement. Because Christ loves YOU he suffered for you because he knew that you would hop off sometimes. Because sometimes you were going to give into Satans temptation that whatever is off the train is better that what's on. I testify to you that you WILL regret not boarding and staying on this train. If you feel like you can't board of whatever reason, STOP telling yourself that. There is help and aid on it. We can all travel together. 
This analogy pierced me through my heart when I heard it. I'm not going to get off this train. So stay on it with me. Lets travel back to our Father and Brother together. Helping each other. Helping others. 
Tengo uno testimonio de Jesucristo. Yo se que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador. Yo se que mediante la Expiación podemos arrepentir de nustros pecados y vovemos vivor con nuestro padre otra vez. Yo se que mediante la plan de salvacion podemos vivir con nustros families para siempre. Es muy bonita y tiene much esperanza. En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.
Con Amor,
Hermana Spear


How Spanish grammar makes Melia feel!
Spanish looks super fun!

left to right - Elders Pierce, Dalton, Bahr and Alva

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hermana Spear's first three weeks in the MTC

July 25, 2014 - FIRST DAY IN THE MTC

Hello Parents!!
Well, my first day is almost over!! Thank goodness. I SURVIVED!! Plus I found all your little notes you put in my suitcase  you SNEAKY parents. Well, I am actually staying in Wyview instead of Raintree. Raintree is where our classroom is! I have 4 girls in our apt. Hermana Huff (from PG! Knows Annika!) Hermand Sanchez (Hannah!) and my companion Hermana Montgomery!
left- right  Hermanas Sanchez, Huff, Montgomery, Spear
I will send pictures next week! Already took a bunch!! Well time is short! Wish me luck!

Some hermana in their apartment is really talented at doing hair

Also, you can post this on the blog Mama!! Love you!!
Con Amor, Hermana Spear
PS Things I need: stamps, small envelopes and a laundry hamper/bag

Huff, Montgomery, Spear and Sanchez in class above and companion study in their apartment below.


Hola mis Padres!!
Oh my goodness mama and daddy! Missin you! I'm glad that you finally got my letter. I wish it would've gotten there sooner. I ALWAYS get what you send me on dearelder. So please keep sending them!! Also I need a small alarm clock! Also... I lost my watch at the gym. So I kinda need another one of those. I have checked lost and found with my comps EVERYDAY!
The Spanish is coming along. It's very hard though. Classes are long. I really like my district and mi maestra tambien. My first lesson with an investigator I really struggled. I cried because I couldn't understand anything he was saying... It was awful. But the good news is that it's only gotten better since then! The Lord has really helped me through this process. Thanks goodness! I couldn't do it without him! So I also wrote you a long letter with the answers to the questions Daddy asked on dearelder. So I'm not gonna bother with them here.
So on Pdays we get to go up to the main campus and print out our emails. So we did that and then 

Have to do a map picture with her hermanas
we went and took a picture next to the big map.

Then we ran into the MTC president who then invited us to stay for lunch!! So we did and guess who I ran into?! Elder Chance Holmes! So we ate next to him and I got to talk to him for a bit. It was awesome! Gave me a little taste from home.

Hermana Spear and Elder Chance Holmes (*wave* hey Ash!)
  Also packages are the best thing ever. I have LOVED the packages. Banana bread was the best.
Super excited to get banana bread from home (betcha she smelled it before she ate it)
I don't have much time and I still have to figure out how to send pictures! So i'm just going to bear my testimony and get out of your hair!
Yo tengo un testimonio de la Igesia de Jesucristo. Yo se que Dios es mi Padre Celestial y Jesucristo es my salvador. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Con Amor,
Hermana Spear

PS  I have run into a couple people from my singles ward at BYU and I ran into Payton Davis. A friend from Lone Peak. 
Melia runs into Payton Davis - friend from Lone Peak

The food is dece. Can't complain. The gym is the best part of the day! Because I rock at sports. So it's good!
Right after the zone kickball game.
Melia and her comp. Hermana Montgomery- Yay for gym time!

Hi Daddy! Will you forward this email to Mama also? 
Anyways.  Things here are okay! I've been actually learning a lot of Spanish! I can't believe how much I already know in only two weeks! It's incredible what the Lord blesses me with! I have an amazing district and the sisters in my apartment have become some of my best friends! Yesterday we were going to a devotional with Elder Neil L. Anderson
On the shuttle to go up to Main Campus MTC for Tuesday night devotional
 (Which was awesome btw) and I was looking at my camera while I was walking down the stairs and accidentally skipped a few steps and sprained my ankle. Yep. Of course... Haha well now I have a super fashionable brace on my foot. The blessing that came out of this though was that I asked the Elders in my district to give me a blessing. I was getting really homesick because I really missed you Daddy and the brothers. But they did give me one and the Spirit was incredible! The promises that were made to me through that blessing was amazing. I don't particularly like having classes nine hours a day but our teachers are really awesome and bring a lot of fun to the lessons! One teacher, Bro. Avila was our first mock investigator and is now our teacher which is kinda funny. So my teacher knows I cried in the first lesson because I didn't know what he was talking about. But it has gotten better from there! 
Thanks for the watch and alarm! I use the watch, however, the alarm... I don't know how to set it! It was confusing. Plus it ticks really loudly. So I'm sorry that didn't work out that well. Also mama! I used the sewing kit today! Haha. I used it to sew on a button. Just letting you know! 
Things I need: 
1: More heel insert-er things. The clear rubber ones. Lots and lots. Because my feet aren't swollen yet and I'm getting blisters because my heels rub up and down inside my shoes. 
2: More white shirts. Not just these button up blouses but some others.  
3: That's all! 
Well love you both so much! Plus I loved those pictures from London and Jax. I miss Jax very much. Hope you're having fun! 
Con Amor, 
Hermana Spear  

July 13, 2014 - Report of her Third Sunday (excerpts handwritten letter home to her mom)

Dear Mama,
Well today is Sunday and we are waiting for interviews from the branch presidency to start while we are just sitting in the classrooms. So my options are to sleep or to write a letter, so writing to you it is :)
Well, it is now our third Sunday which is pretty incredible. And so for Relief Society there is usually someone from the General Relief Society board or YW board that speaks from main campus and it is broadcast down to us at the West Campus. but this Sunday they couldn't get the audio to connect. So instead we did a testimony meeting through hymns. So anyone could go up and share their favorite hymn, and their testimony and then we sing that hymn. i felt like I ha to go up and so I was second! I shared "Lead Kindly Light". Anyway, the rest of the two hours was really powerful through music. But then we had sacrament with just our zone. And what they do for talks is they give the topic for that week on like Tuesday, and everyone prepares a talk for that topic for that week. then at the actual meeting, after the sacrament, they announce who will give the talks for that day. they pray about it that day and then that's who will talk in sacrament meeting - if you are picked you don't know until right at that moment when you have to get up to speak. Last week was Fast Sunday, so it was testimony meeting and i felt I needed to go up and bear my testimony, and so I did. I've been very courageous here Mama, you'd be proud. Anyways, so since I shared my testimony last week, I was sure I wouldn't be picked to get up to speak in Sacrament Meeting this week, but lo and behold, out of like 20 people, they picked ME! Yep! Not even kidding. so i spoke on faith in Jesu Cristo and La Expiacion (Atonement) It was all in Spanish too! Not very good Spanish, but still! And then I shared my testimony in both Spanish and English. I saw one girl (brand new this last Wed) crying. I'm guessing she was having a really hard time. but of course she is, the first week is the worst!! Anyways, so I'm learning to be grateful for the opportunity to help people, instead of giving in to my fear about it. So that's a big blessing.
Well, the last few days have been kind of hard on me. I've been very homesick and I wanted to just crawl in your bed and cuddle and have you scratch my back, and tell you about everything that is going on. Instead I had an interview with a member of my branch presidency earlier today and i was able to talk today with him and cry a little about everything and it actually really helped to talk it out with him. So. anyway, just wanted to let you know i was missing you a lot this past week. However, I know I'm supposed to be here so that knowledge is really helpful. Also something I heard here "Sometimes we tell ourselves we can't do it. Because we can't. we need the Savior, because He can."

Hermana Spear


Hola mi familia!!I don't even know where to start! This last week has been very "funk-like". Something was going on with me and the rest of the Hermanas (some tension I'm guessing?) but we all had a hard time getting along and every day felt like AGES! 

Melia and Hermana Sanchz feeling a funk...

Then on Sunday I was able to have an interview with a member of my branch presidency, President Slingerland. He just listened while I talked everything out! It was really good to talk to someone about it. Then on Monday night for our last three hours of class time, we have Study Cycle (1hr of personal study, 1hr of companionship study, and 1hr of language study) and for those three hours we had a very spiritual discussion with our entire district! Each of us Hermanas ended up having the opportunity to receive a blessing from an Elder in our district. Elder Pierce (Chance's friend from American Heritage) gave me mine and it was his first blessing to ever give! He did wonderful because everything he said was exactly what I needed to hear! It was an incredibly spiritual experience. Then on Tuesday we found our that another Elder in our district is having stomach issues and has been going to the doctors pretty frequently. So during our morning class (while he was at the doctors) we had a district prayer and discussion on how to help him. Then he and his companion, came back and the Hermanas shared their testimonies. We were all crying! Haha, then we had lunch and gym and then for afternoon class we had a weird kind of thing for Study Cycle where we drew names from a hat and taught another person in our district as themselves and "broke some walls down." Elder Pierce (same one who gave me my blessing) and I were teaching each other. And I really got to know him! I seriously think of these Elders as my brothers now. Then we ate dinner and went to a devotional for Tuesday night. The devotionals have been moved to the Mariott Center because they are redoing the floors and main campus. So we get to go for a nice walk. And on the way back the last Elder who I haven't mentioned yet, Elder Bahr, his dad drove up and honked and they had a sweet reunion! It was really sweet to watch! I bet his mom was jealous! Ha. Then we had a district devotional and then after we celebrated being here for 3 weeks! We hit our half way mark yesterday!! WOOT!!! We can do this!
Celebrating halfway mark of 3 weeks! Plus we match :)
That's pretty much all that is worth sharing! I'm learning so much Spanish I can't even believe it!! 
At the temple on Preparation Day
We were able to go to the temple for initiatories today! Which was bittersweet because the last time I did those was with Mama. But it was still really spiritual!

My ankle is okay. I can play gym but all I do is vollyball. I don't wear my brace regularly except everytime I go to gym, I do wear it. I haven't played soccer yet because Hermanas can't play with Elders. And they have the field everyday. So its not hard for me not to play. 
Also. Really missing Chloe and Jax as well as you Mama, daddy, and the bubbies. Also I wrote you a letter. Just to you. So I hope you get that soon. 
Well LOVE YOU!!!
Not sure... a couple of zones and their branch presidency??

"I feel like my district is my family"
"First, let me take a selfie"

The Elders are exhausted

"On Wednesdays, we wear pink"
I'm so grateful that I have this opportunity to represent my Savior and serve!
Con Amor,
Hermana Spear