This is Melanie's first letter from the missionary training center in Provo, Utah. She will be here for six weeks learning how to speak Spanish and to teach. The missionaries are in classes and study for up to 9 hours a day. Melanie had three years of high school Spanish, but did not consider herself fluent, so when she was placed in a immediate class she was very nervous. Melanie has looked forward to serving a mission for many years and is excited to serve the people of Mexico. Thank you for caring enough about her to read her letters:)
Hola Family and Friends: Our district is made up of 4 Hermanas. They are all very fluent in Spanish which has been difficult. The intermediate class is moving faster then I thought possible, but I'm learning so much. On the 3rd day we taught our first investigator....... in Spanish. Yeah crazy. One day after teaching I got pretty down because I had so many things in my heart and I could not say them. After the lesson one of the Hermanas in my district told me that just like I wanted my investigator to turn to God and use the atonement I needed to do the same thing. She said that God was reaching out trying to help me and I needed to turn to him. I loved that and I took the chance to go in a room and pray and I pleaded with God for help. I told him I was out of ways to do it alone and I needed him.
This Tuesday for Devotional you will not believe who came..... Elder Bednar (http://www.lds.org/church/leader/david-a-bednar?lang=eng). It was seriously amazing. I sang in the choir. When he walked in the room I got so excited. He said some inspiring things, like every missionary desires a good companion and that if we are praying to receive the gift of tongues for ourselves we will not receive it. But if we are trying to learn a language to bless others that gift will come. As he testified I felt the spirit and I knew the gospel was true. He left us with a apostolic blessing. As he left the room I cried. It was like the people cried when Christ left. It reminded me of a line in my patriarchal blessing ( http://www.lds.org/topics/patriarchal-blessings?lang=eng)that which says, "I will be taught at the feet of prophets." It was a great blessing!
I love my mission president he is amazing! The second night he came and talked to us and told us that what we are doing is blessing our families. I sure hope you feel that. Yesterday our district was chosen as one of the 5 districts to go and talk to the new Peru mission president. I was so excited when we got there they talked all in Spanish. After they left I have not felt so disheartened in my life. I understood maybe 10 words in the hour and 20 mins of the meeting. I cried hard and I just prayed that my brother Tanner would walk by since we were at main campus and he works here. But instead Heavenly Father blessed me in a way I had to look for. He had about 10 different runners run by. I know that sounds silly but it reminded me that I have done hard things before (Melanie was a xc and track runner all four years of high school) and that I can do this. Then that night we had to teach our investigator his last lesson and I promise you that the spirit was in that room and that Heavenly Father knew that I needed a boast that night. When I testified in Spanish they were no longer my words. I felt the spirit run though me and I knew that what I was saying was true. Please keep the prayers coming! I love you all so much!