Hey family!Okay so I guess this is my 2nd email but technically my 3rd week? Anyways hi!Thanks for the letters, I feel so loved! I’ve heard from so many different friends and family and it just makes my world light up. I’ve never felt so socially isolated in my life haha. I love hearing about everything going on back at home.Well first of all I’m still here, alive, well breathing. Not sick at all anymore so that is a plus. I just realized I forgot to bring my journal that I would use to kind of outline what I’d say…pits. I guess I’m just going to be rummaging through my brain here for the next little bit trying to tell you all about this last week.Well conference was after last p-day so we’ll start there. Okay over the last couple years I’ve learned to appreciate conference so much more. Mainly because I actually tried to pay attention and came to the realization that these were prophets and apostles of God that were speaking to us. Hellllllllo! Big deal? I think so. Anyways the themes I saw from this general conference session were:The importance of familes and having our homes centered on the SaviorMissionary work 😉 I may or may not have really appreciated that teheAs we draw near to Christ, so He does with us. But we need to reach out to Him.I made an effort to prayerfully consider a couple questions going into conference and to have them answered. They were and I am so grateful for the power of prayer. I know that those talks/topics were inspired. I’m so grateful for modern day revelation and for the guidance and admonition that our church leaders give us. Ps. I LOVED Dallin H. Oak’s talk about the new testament stories of the Savior and how today our church exemplifies that as well. So good.So this week (I’m so sorry I can’t remember the days that well)…Oh we sang in the MTC choir for devotional and guess what song we sang?? Be Still My Soul-my favorite Hymn. It was SUCH a sweet 4 part arrangement SATB. I love singing alto. Our conductor is such a stud, he’s so fun and totally gets into the lyrics and the why’s of the song. I actually feel like I just came out of a fireside after we practice with him. As we rehearsed he’d interrupt us and ask us what we’d want people to say about our performance. Typically we’d expect or like to hear “Oh you guys were great, sounded so beautiful, oh I just cried and cried etc.” but He said, who is this song really about? The Savior. And then he said ” I think what would be most fulfilling to hear is some stating that hearing this song brought their thoughts to Christ and his comforting power that is extended to all”-wow. I just soaked that up and never wanted to let it go. Gerald Lund (released general authority) spoke that night. I saw his name and thought, Man that looks familiar and then I realized I have one of his books! “Hearing the Voice of The Lord” a book about receiving revelation-so good. I know I wrote about it in the other hand written letter I sent. So as soon as I realized that I hoped that He’d talk about revelation and sure enough he did! All of my district was freaking out afterwards “Oh my goodness that was so great, I never realized this blah blah blah”. He highlighted some key points that I remembered reading about in his book. I think my favorite thing he mentioned though as a side note was something many members seem to receive called “hormonal revelation” haha I’ll just let you chew on that for a while and see what you come up with. 🙂This week we taught 2 new investigators. Joaquim and Marcello. Marcello is a bit more expressive and seems to really enjoy learning about the Book of Mormon. But again I can only understand so much. Often times our trio comes out of a lesson comparing what each of us thought we heard haha. We have to work together to put together what our investigator needs or just details about him. Learning a new language has been beyond humbling haha but I love it. And I’m so grateful that I get to learn a new language. Although I’ve been told by natives that are here in the MTC that the portuguese we learn here really won’t do much for us once we get to Recife….oh boy. Oh well, it’s all part of the experience right!?Neat experience happened with Marcello in our 2nd lesson about the restoration. I had just been working on memorizing the first vision quote in PMG. But with our lesson plan Sister Remy was going to talk more about the first vision and she was going to recite that line. The lesson seemed to be going fine as each of us mustered out broken phrases in portuguese to this oh so patient investigator. I turned to Sister Remy giving her a nod for her to go ahead and say her part but she shook her head. Sister Orr and I both looked at eachother not knowing what to do….I then felt prompted to go ahead and recite that quote myself. Slowly but surely I did, and the next thing I knew I was overwhelmed with emotion. As soon as I finished quoting Joseph I then bore my testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration and that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I wish I could describe how I felt. But words fail me to do so entirely. I just felt conviction, integrity and without a shadow of a doubt that what I was testifying us was true. I’m so grateful for that experience, I know that the spirit is EAGER to be that witness of truth as we share our testimonies with others. To see the light in Marcellos eyes as I shared my testimony with him, I wanted that moment to last. You know when someone is feeling the spirit and receiving truth that touches their heart. The atmosphere in the room completely changed in a matter of seconds. I can’t believe that I get the privilege to share this message of truth and HAPPINESS with other people that “are looking for the truth, but know not where to find it”.I know this gospel is true and blesses families. It does nothing but good for everyone. Why wouldn’t someone want that?I have to get going but I wanted to end on an experience that will forever remain close to my heart. 🙂 I love you all thanks again so much for your love and support. Being a missionary is the hardest thing I’ve EVER done in my life, but the blessings are beyond what I feel I deserve. 🙂 The Lord loves us, all of us.Eu amo este evangelho.Thanks for everything and remember that when times are tough-SERVE someone!Love,Sister McCleve (mick-lev-ee) haha I think I’ve forgotten how to say my name in an american accent.
Familia! April 5, 2013Oi! oh my goodness I don’t even know where to begin.First thank you so much for your letters, they have brightened up my day and I’ve really enjoyed hearing about what everyone has been up to… Savior of the World sounded like it ended on a good note-nice. That production was wonderful. There was a story told the other day I can’t remember if it was in a devotional or class but they talked about doubting Thomas and His faith in the Savior. Such an inspiring story. I know that each of us have stepped in his shoes in our lives but we can learn to have a trial of our faith first. Then comes the miracle. The Lord works that way, otherwise it’d be too easy. We have to learn to TRUST Him.Also please write me letters (hand written) or on dear elder because I can get those every day here. I had so many emails to respond to and I didn’t have time to get to them all 😦 sorry! So until I get to the field letters work best thank you. Ps. No visa yet but I’ll keep you all posted on that:) So for now I’m still here at the MTC in provo for another 5 weeks.Okay Geoffrey is going to Brazil?? Which Mission? When does he report? I found out from Aunt Ruth in a dear elder so if it was supposed to be a suprise…sorry haha. That’s so exciting. I haven’t heard from him yet with any details…eh hem. So tell him to write me please! I bet that was so crazy. I would’ve never guessed Brazil. YOU’LL LOVE PORTUGUESE! It’s da best 🙂 Parabens Smurf!Okay so wednesday-my arrival day! It was nuts. I mean you really can’t prep yourself for what happens on wednesday because you just get thrown into it and have to take it all in. Emotionas running around saying goodbye to brothers was hard but I’m so grateful for their encouraging words and examples of being dilligent missionaries. Them and so many others motivate me to be a better missionary. As soon as I was dropped off at the curb and surrounded by “host Missionaries” grabbing my suitcases and saying welcome in dozens of languages I was off! I found myself going through line after line, checking immunizations, forms, personal information and then finally my name tag. That was coolest part. It was like my cute little friend that had been waiting for me to come wear him! Okay that sounds so silly/childish but I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to be a set-apart missionary and to put on your name tag for the very first time. Powerful. And that is because of the name that is on that tag. Jesus Christ. Nos somos representantes de a Igreja De Jesus Cristo Dos Santos Dos Ultimos Dias. This is my calling for the next 18 months and I’m so glad it is:)Continuing on…I got dropped off into my classroom among the numerous buildings here (I felt like a little kid at Disney Land I was so overwhelmed). And there I met my district. I had been waiting for this moment for quite some time and it had come! I love them so much. Little did I know how much The Lord would bless me with my companions (I’m in a trio now) and others in the district. There are 11 of us. Used to be 12 but one of them Elder Woodland got his visa after a couple days here haha. So he’s off in the Brazil MTC now. All of us are still waiting on our viasa’s and we’re all going to the EXACT same mission in Recife! A lot of districts are jumbled with missionaries going to different missions so this is such a treat for us! We’ll get to be in the same field wooooo 🙂 My trio companionship is with Sister Remy and Sister Orr. I love them both so much. We are all very different. Definitely BUT it’s added to our companionship. We balance eachother out which is so helpful and therefore we learn A TON from each other. I think that’s how the Lord would want it anyway 🙂 They’re both such wonderful examples to me. Sister Remy is very punctual, loving, sensitive and kind to everyone (she’ll be a great grandma someday-seriously the sweetest girl). Sister Orr on the other hand is hyper, gregarious (she seriously knows about 1/2 of the missionaries here at the MTC), and gets distracted quite easily. Needless to say, opposites and I think I’m kind of in the middle. Still bossy, and I feel like their mother literally because I’m the oldest (also in my district, everyone is 18-20 besides me). But this isn’t at all being said in a negative way, I’m just expressing how different us sisters are but we really do mesh together and balance eachother out. They both have sucha strong conviction to this gospel and know why they are here. So glad. I know my prayers were answered having these 2 as my companions for these next 5 weeks. So anyways although I’m the oldest everyone in our district seems pretty mature and definitely are here to work hard and to grow in the l of Jesus Christ. We all get along really well, again another blessing from God. 🙂Class that day consisted of our teacher Brother Perkes speaking in portuguese straight for a solid 2 hours. Most of us just sat and listened with eyes wide or jaws dropped (take your pick). You’re just so overwhelmed with the reality that you’re finally a missionary and ON A MISSION that everything seems so trippy. Surreal? Dream-like? honestly I kep thinking I’d wake up and be back home haha. Strange. But I can assure you it’s finally starting to sink in. Going to bed wednesday night I was rather happy, excited and overwhlemed but generally happy. I think I spoke to soon when I wrote you guys that first letter home haha.Thursday/friday/saturday hmm we had a branch presidency meeting-nice to meet them but we ended up having to write down a ton of goals and so I left the meeting that night even more stressed. I woke up feeling more sick (tuesday morning I had a sore throat) and well, my voice was shot so I basically sounded more like a man that I normally do. Joy. It even cracked as I tried to muster out some portuguese phrases-haha my companions enjoyed that. Time schedule adjustment and emotions still whirring around in my head.We did however start teaching an investigator named Henrique (En-heek-ey) to practice teaching. I can tell you right now, although it was a “role play” teaching brings the spirit. Here I was only here for 2 days and I was baring my testimony in very very very broken/simple/grammatically incorrect portuguese and yet I knew that the spirit was there and it was so strong. And Henrique understood I learned soon in the MTC that the spirit is eager to be that witness of truth to everyone of the truthfulness of this gospel.Easter Sunday was wonderful. Everyone kept telling me “Oh just wait until Sunday, just wait until SUnday” and well it makes sense. Sunday was amazing. We had one big sacrament meeting with all 3000 missionaries and Elder Causse the presiding bishop was there with his family. Cool story about this: So we had been waiting in line to get seats for this sacrament meeting since we knew a general authority would be there. However as soon as we got in people were saving spots and randomly getting more people coming in etc. basically-everything filled up before we knew it and we were about to leave to go to one of the overflow rooms because everyone had to be in a seat not just standing in the back or on the floor somewhere in the gym. I was so sad and then all of a sudden my companion sister Orr who also had been running around looking for seats waved at us pointing to a lady who held up 6 fingers down below. We ran down the stairs (we were at the top of the bleachers) as the opening Hymn began and an usher came up to us and led us to….the very front row. Yes. I sat in the front row to hear Elder Causse of the presiding bishopric speak and I SAT NEXT TO HIS PARENTS! Miracle? I think so. One moment we thought we’d be sitting in some overflow room and the next we’re in the front row right in front of the speaker. Ah 🙂 Such a wonderful talk on easter. I love this time of year, it’s much more important than Christmas in my opinion since we celebrate the Savior Living. His ressurection was a crowning event after the atonement. Afterwards we talked with His parents who are from Bordeaux (dad they were soooo french you would’ve had a field day talking to them). And even later on (just to make the story that much better) when we were in a branch testimony meeting Sister Orr had to go to the bathroom in the middle of it and my companion and I grudgingly agreed to go with her. Well as wer were waiting for Sister Orr, Sister Remy and I looked down the hall and walking towards us was the MTC president, his wife and Bishop Causse and his whole family including the parents we talked to earlier. We got to shake each of their hands and say hi to them as they passed us smiling. They complimented us on our service. AH SO COOL! I tried to speak french, but it didn’t work out that well, they seemed pleased that I tried though. Their accents were so heavy, ah loved it. French is awesome, apart from Portuguse.So yes, sunday was a great day obviously haha. nSheri Dew spoke that night to us in a devotional that was phenomenal. She’s such a spiritual bombshell I love her. We also listened to Elder Bednar’s talk on The character of Christ-incredible. Changed my life.The rest of this week has been better. Teaching, speaking portuguese and just seeing the Lord strengthening me has been so great. We’re all so excited for General Conference this weekend! Can’t wait to be taught and edified by modern day prophets and apostles 🙂I love you all so much thank you for your prayers and love. It means so much to me.Remember that this is the Lord’s work. And it will continue to go forward. I’m so grateful to be apart of it.Love,Sister McClevePs. can I have the hoyts address? I never got it.
1st Letter! Wahoo! 3/27/13
Hello! Oh my gosh I can’t believe I’m already writing you guys my first letter home! Today has been nuts. And that is no exaggeration whatsoever. But don’t fret, it’s a good nuts. The MTC is…busy, very very very busy and you know why? Because this is the Lord’s work and there are things to be learned and shared!
Today felt like a dream. It still does, I keep thinking that I’m in a dream and that tomorrow I’ll wake up from it all. I love it here, I know it’s where I’m supposed to be. It’s a lot more organized than I expected. Kind of reminds me of EFY in a way, like orientation day when ALL the kids come and us counselors were beyond busy, ha ha good times. I sometimes feel like I’ m a counselor again, just at random moments.
Anyways I’m hand writing this letter because my P-day (preparation-day) is on Friday here at the MTC (so you’ll get my 1st e-mail, next Friday! and pics hopefully!). However, we don’t get to email this P-day (so the 29th) just because. So this is my letter to let you all know that I’m happy, safe, and very confident in knowing that this is where the Lord wants me.
There are a lot of things I’m adjusting to, like calling men “Elders” and girls “Sisters” even if I know them. I’ve seen Sam King, Jessie Wengert and Sean Escobar. I actually shouted his name super loud “Sean!” and then he whirled around both surprised and I think horrified ha ha. So I’m getting better with missionary titles.
My district is awesome, there are 14 of us…I think and it seems that many of us are soccer players-cool. We sisters (5 of us) all bonded instantly as if we’ve been friends forever, I already feel so blessed because we all get along great and they’re all so solid in the gospel-it’s sweet! My companion is Sister Orr from Draper, Utah and she’s so funny. Kinda spazzy (gets distracted easily ha ha) but has a sweet testimony of the Savior. She snorts when she laughs too ha ha and she knows soooo many missionaries here because she’s a local.
Today we had orientation and class time where my teacher was just rollin’ out the Portuguese. I’m glad I took French because there are definitely similarities between the Latin based languages. We start teaching tomorrow in Portuguese! Crazy but I know if I work my tail off and focus on my purpose, the Lord will help me. As we open our mouths they will be filled. So true.
Anyways guys, don’t worry about me. I’m so glad and grateful to be here. I know that here is so much the Lord wants to use me for and to teach me. I’m realizing more and more that I am just an instrument in His hands. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary already 🙂
I love you all and I look forward to sharing more about my experience here next Friday. This is the Lord’s work, I know He’s hastening it too, there are people that are waiting to hear the “good news.” And I get the incredible opportunity to share that.
Eu te amo!
PS Chette I just need addresses for the thank-you cards so I can send them off. Por favor, obrigada!
PPS Still no word on the visa 😦
PPPS If you want to type this letter up and post it in my blog that would be great thanks!