Livonia, MI–June 24, 2013

Sister McCleve, June 24, 2013

Sister McCleve, June 24, 2013

Debbie, our invesitgator from Grand Blanc got baptized Saturday.  We were able to drive up for it.  June 24, 2013

Debbie, our invesitgator from Grand Blanc got baptized Saturday. We were able to drive up for it. June 24, 2013

Livonia!

Hey family! So I have no time 😦 so sorry!

Things are great here in Livonia we picked up 2 new investigators this week that we’re hoping to continue to teach. We’ve tracted A TON because the elders in the area we’re office elders and didn’t really get to proselyte that much. Our planners are full of member dinner appointments that the AP’s set up for us (haha they’re in our ward and are awesome) and tracting!

Met some awesome people but I don’t have time! 😦 next week I’ll update you more!

here are some pics of me and my comp/this week.

WE went to the holocaust muesuem today that they have here for p-day with a non member (she offered to take us) so sweet. Weird being at one here after actually going to Auschwitz and Birkenau 2 summers ago with dad and Loren-so cool.

Last night’s world wide leadership missionary broadcast was AMAZING! I hope you all watched it whether your missionaries or ward mission leaders or not! Member missionary work is so important. Yet so simple. Tat’s why we’re really trying to get to know members to build unity and to get the work going 🙂

Love you all!

xoxo

Kenzie. Write me letters with updates. Thanks so much again for your love and prayers.

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Livonia, MI–June, 19, 2013

Hi family!

I have been transferred to the livonia west area in michigan. It’s the same ward as the Mission home and the AP’s (the ward is split into 3 areas). So our district is awesome. I have a new companion Sister Tafua from hawaii she’s 21 and a go getter! Love her! We are replacing the office elders spot (i dont know how they worked that) but we have no investigators. We have a few less actives and the AP’s are giving us dinner appointments to meet members EVERY night! So we’re going to get to know the ward real quick. They haven’t had sisters in this ward for several years now so we’re excited to be there.

Anyways I have to go but here’s my new address (we live outside our area-we’re sharing an apt. with another companionship in our district. 4 sisters in 1 apt. WOO!)

if anyone’s written me lately it might take a bit for me to get those letters since Sister thompson (my old comp.) will need to forward them here.

I am so stressed haha training/white washing is CRAZY. But I am so blessed and I feel EXTREMELY humbled that the lord trusts me enough to do this. president said this is an experiment putting sisters in the ward to get the members more involved with missionary work. More specifically getting them to be more converted and as missionaries we can help teach them too. We;re going to be doing FHE’s in member homes teaching from PMG. Again…this is an experiment and also to build more trust between members and missionaries. Besides dinner appts. with members we will be TRACTING A LOT this transfer! Pray for me please to go forth with faith to find and baptize!

xoxo

You’ll hear from me again on p-day 🙂 not sure what time we’ll email but until then I LOVE YOU ALL! I”M SO EXCITED AND HAPPY TO BE HERE!!!!!!! The Lord has blessed me and although I am so beyond stressed it is going to be awesome and the growth is happening.

There is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone-some missionary.

love

Sister Kooge

12th Letter–Grand Blanc (will transfer tommorrow)–June 17, 2013

We went to a member's house for dinner and her bathroom totally looks like G'pa & G'ma McCleves in the 2 story. HAHA So rad!

We went to a member’s house for dinner and her bathroom totally looks like G’pa & G’ma McCleves in the 2 story. HAHA So rad!

Pretty sunset on the way home from exchanges

Pretty sunset on the way home from exchanges

With the other visa waiters at the new missionary training meeting. All 4 of us are staying this next transfer except for Sister Remy- she flies to Sao Paulo tonight!!

With the other visa waiters at the new missionary training meeting. All 4 of us are staying this next transfer except for Sister Remy- she flies to Sao Paulo tonight!!

Mission Conference-we went outside to bury "weapons of war" and sang "How Firm a Foundation." That's President and Sister Holmes you see :) LOVE THEM! They're going home after 3 years of service.

Mission Conference-we went outside to bury “weapons of war” and sang “How Firm a Foundation.” That’s President and Sister Holmes you see 🙂 LOVE THEM! They’re going home after 3 years of service.

Hey fam bam!

This week was crazy!!! We had so much going on!
Okay so tuesday we had a new missionary training meeting which was awesome! Basically just recapping what we’ve learned over the last 6 weeks of being missionaries. President and Sister Holmes gave some great insights about the importance of the gospel cycle. Continuing to exercise faith, always repenting and striving to be better, renewing our covenants (promises) we make with the Lord as we partake of the sacrament each week at church, being guided by as we qualify for the holy ghost, and enduring to the end which requires faith etc. It’s an upward spiral staircase (like the one in our house now!).
We had 2 awesome lessons with one of our investigators this week. Debbie. She is getting baptized this saturday. She’s given up coffee and is working on smoking. She told us this awesome story how as soon as she started wanting to live the Word of Wisdom that as she prayed she knew God helped her. For example, she wanting to go from smoking a pack a day to 1/2 and she said that she would go to smoke and the cigarette tasted nasty. She threw that one away and grabbed another one from the pack…same thing happened. So she decided well I just won’t smoke today then. This was the same brand she’s been using for years too! MIRACLE! She hasn’t bought anymore either. Ah I’m so proud and happy for her. She loved the Word Of Wisdom because she’s been wanting to quit smoking for so long. And she has seen SO many blessings from weening herself off of coffee already.  🙂 It has brought me so much
happiness to her progress and to see how happy SHE is. She is doing so well! She has so much faith and is so inspiring.
I’ve been reflecting A LOT on my experience here in Michigan thus far and I truly have been blessed to come here and I KNOW that the Lord needed me to come here. It was really really hard to see that first arriving. But as I tried to swallow my pride and desires and submit myself to Him-the miracles became more evident and my heart is full of gratitude.
This saturday was a mission conference/special intstruction. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the 12 came along with Elder Seldon, Elder Vanecuela, Elder Maynes of the Seventy and Elder Davies in the presiding bishopric. They were down for a special priesthood leadership training for 10 stakes and we were lucky enough to be able to hear from them for 2 hours before their meeting began later that day. The whole mission was there and we got to hear from each one of them. INCREDIBLE. We got to shake their hands too, I told elder Christofferson I was from bellingham and he’s like “Oooh way up north eh? that’s wonderful” and he patted my elbow 🙂 hehe I was happy. They each spoke a lot about our identity as children of our Heavenly Father and as missionaries we have that authority given to us to be representatives of Jesus Christ. We should never doubt ourselves but remember who’s church we’re emissaries for-Christ’s church. And even if people choose not to believe or accept what we have to share, that we open our mouths and invite all to come unto Christ. 2nd Nephi 25:26-is what comes to my mind when thinking of that.
Anyways Elder Christoffereson then opened up the last 30 minutes for a Q & A. Also great. He’d let the other elders come up and share what insights they had to questions
I loved that they kept bringing it back to the Book of Mormon. That is the fundamental part right there. As we come to read, ponder,
and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true SINCERELY wanting to know….guess what? We WILL receive an answer that it is true.
Our perspective becomes broad and clear as we come to know the gospel is true and that it’s been restored to the earth through a prophet
of God. 🙂 It’s so simple. Read the book. So many people we talk to every day that see we’re missionaries say “Oh ya I know about you 
mormons, I have a friend that’s mormon, I know about the book of mormon” and every time we follow up and ask if they’ve ever read the book
of Mormon. Almost always the answer is the same. No. It’s logical to me to think if you really want to know about something
then go and study it, ask people about it, read the material!…This is the same with the book of Mormon. I guess people for whatever
reason are scared of what could happen if they do like a secret…little do they know that it would be nothing but good. Haha oh the irony of it
all makes me laugh. Anyways great conference, the spirit was so strong and I felt SOOOO edified. 
President and Sister Holmes are leaving us. Their mission is over, the 3 years of serving as a Mission president are up. I came in on their last
transfer. So they gave some last testimonies/words of wisdom for us after the general authorities left. I love President and Sister
Holmes. They are INCREDIBLE people. I am sure all mission presidents are amazing. I feel blessed to know that I will have 4
on my mission. Yes and why might you ask? Because……
 
I am staying another transfer in Michigan. And the new mission president will be coming in (President Gerber). Then once I get to brazil, my mission president
that’s currently there (President Lanius) will be there a few more months and then be released and a new mission president will come 
in a few months before I go home. Hence the 4 mission presidents-WOAH!
 Now back to me staying in Michigan…President told us visa waiters at the new missionary training on tuesday that
the brazil consulate has now asked that those who are waiting for visa’s
will leave at the end of a transfer regardless of when their visa comes in that transfer. So this means I won’t be waiting
day by day wondering if/when it will come. Since it didn’t come last transfer (although 5 missionaries in 
our MTC district got theirs in the last couples weeks) I will be here another 6 weeks. It’ll probably be coming soon since other’s 
are finally starting to come through. But Even if it came tomorrow I am still going to be here 🙂 That’s okay though because the 
Lord needs me here for another purpose…yes He does.
 President came up to me at the mission conference on saturday and told me I would be transferred and not only that…but that I would be training. Haha yes,
I Sister McCleve who’s only been out 6 weeks, who hasn’t even gone through the 12  week training program myself, who
still doesn’t even know anything about the mission/ let alone the state of Michigan will be training her by myself.
I will be training brand new missionary from the MTC that comes in today (monday). And not only that but we will not be in a trio, and so we will
be white-washing. Which means you go into an area brand new. The missionaries that were there previously leave and so you go
and try and pick up where they left off. I haven’t been driving yet assuming I’d be leaving for Brazil any day and now I’m a trainer. 
Needless to say I feel somewhat inadeqaute for this BUT surprisingly as president told me that. I felt peace. It was as if I felt like
I was going to be fine, and although I’m no scriptorian or even know how many zones are in our mission or anything about
this state of michigan….that it’s in the Lord’s hands. And He’s going to help me do this. Because of the increase in sister missionaries
there are a need for more trainers and president said I could do it. He also told me that I would be training this sister so she could be
ready to train after this transfer! CRAZY! 
 
So…those are just the thoughts running through my head. I know that president said that he was confident I could do this but more importantly
that he felt very strongly that this was a good thing. And it is according to the Lord’s will. So….anyways that’s my update.
I am excited, nervous, but more than anything humbled knowing that the Lord trusts me enough to be able to take on this important
responsibility. I know it’s going to stretch me and president mentioned that but just like 1st nephi 3:7 God will not give us anything
to do without providing a way for that thing to be accomplished. I’m going to train and be trained (again since I haven’t done the training 
program myself yet)  in these next 6 weeks, in a brand new area. The Lord has a plan, and this just goes to show
that we are God’s children. He is perfect and knows all. Isaiah 55:8-9:For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your
ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and
my thoughts than your thoughts. So are thoughts are not His thoughts, and our ways aren’t His ways.
But we can take comfort in knowing that even though we may not understand with our little mortal brains that He still
Loves us and we can trust Him 🙂 So that’s what I’m going to do! I love the Lord.
I’ll send another email once I get to my new area with my new address.
Love you all! Thank you for all your support and love. I’m excited to tell you about this new adventure the Lord 
is sending me on! 
 
Amor,
Irma McCleve

11th Letter- Grand Blancs (5th letter in the field)–June 10, 2013

With Sister Filmore at zone conference (she came on the exchange with us the first time-love her)

With Sister Filmore at zone conference (she came on the exchange with us the first time-love her)

With President/Sister Holmes LOVE THEM!

With President/Sister Holmes LOVE THEM!

We went to the temple Thursday . I listened to the session in portuguese SOOOOO cool. Can't wait.

We went to the temple Thursday . I listened to the session in portuguese SOOOOO cool. Can’t wait.

We went to the temple thursday and sister Remy was there.

We went to the temple thursday and sister Remy was there.

Happy rainy monday.

It’s pouring outside. There are massive puddles everywhere and people are soaked walking out of their cars into a store/building etc. I thought we were going to hydroplane earlier as we drove here to email haha. SCARY.
So glad to hear everyone back home is doing well and thanks for you others that have sent me letters and emails I’ll try and get back to you as soon as I can. I feel so loved. THANK YOU for all of the support encouragement and prayers.
This week was interesting. Sister Smithson our companion who dislocated her knee (twice with her right, 5 times with her left) went home to get surgery. She’ll be gone at least 6 months. So now it’s just sister Thompson and I for this last week of the transfer here in Grand Blanc and then come tuesday the 18th….we’ll see. I could move or stay-not sure what president will decide. But I’m going to have to be in a trio because my visa could come at any time and then I’m gone leaving my companion so we’ll need 2 others to be with me. I’ll let you know in a week!
This week’s highlights
Zone conference and the Temple!!!!
Zone conference was absolutely incredible. I swear President Holmes could be an apostle. I’m sure most missionaries feel like that about their presidents haha but it’s true. These are inspired men that receive revelation as to what they can do to help guide, oversee and strengthen these missionaries! So grateful that I had the opportunity to come here to the MDM (Michigan Detroit Mission) and meet President and Sister Holmes. They are incredible and have really shown me a lot of love being a visa waiter and all.
At zone conference we discussed about conversion and how we can TRULY become more consecrated missionaries. I realized that my heart hasn’t been in the right place. To put it simply-I came here because I got reassigned because my visa didn’t come through yet. I was disappointed but excited thinking that this would be a little pit stop/adventure until I got to my REAL mission etc. But the fact of the matter is, I am still a missionary. No matter where I go and for how long I’m there. Since I’ve been here in Michigan I haven’t wanted to accept that. I know now that I truly am an emissary of the Lord and wherever He wants me to go, I’ll go and be what He wants me to be. It doesn’t matter what I want, I’m not here for me. I’m here for Him, to serve and to invite others. Needless to say I’ve done a lot of praying, pondering and re-evaluating and I’ve felt so much better as I’ve done that. It’s not easy, people continue to ask “when are you leaving for brazil?, how long are you here?, oh it must be hard not being able to speak Portuguese like you did in the mtc etc. when do you find out about your visa?” and when I used to get so depressed thinking about all of that, now I just respond “I don’t know, the whenever the Lord needs me to go. It’s in His time, He has a plan and right now that plan is me being here”. So lesson learned: This isn’t about Me. It’s about the Lord. And the people I am serving. So let it go and work like you’re here forever.
On thursday we were able to attend the temple and I was able to listen to the temple session in Portuguese. Wonderful experience. Truly was wonderful to feel the spirit there and understand and feel Heavenly Father’s love for me even in another language 🙂 Incredible. There at the temple I saw one of my companions from the MTC Sister Remy and we spoke in portuguese to one another and it felt soooooo good. Ah you can only learn so much by reading and listening, you’ve got to SPEAK your language to really get it down. I know that whenever I get to brazil that I’m going to have a rude awakening with the language barrier but I know that I’m going to rely on the Lord and try my best to do all I can to learn it and it will come. 🙂 I am so grateful for temples and for the peace and holiness we feel there. I am especially grateful to know that through temples we can be sealed to our family for time and ALL eternity. Never to be lost after death. We talk to so many people that have lost a loved one and you can see the pain and anguish they feel thinking that they won’t see them again. My heart aches for them and I wish they could understand what I know already. And grew up knowing, families can be together forever through Heavenly Father’s plan. I always want to be with my own family and the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can. Even a primary song can have SUCH a deep impact on one’s life 🙂
On Sunday I spoke in sacrament meeting about how ” The love of one man can influence great good. How my dad helped me become who I am”. The stake presidency happened to be visiting that day so I was nervous. But mainly nervous that I would bawl my eyes out because of how much I wish my dad could be there to hear me speak. I prayed for strength to not cry and I didn’t once! Now I know that this is weird to you (family) since you all know I’ve never been an emotional girl really, especially at the pulpit in sacrament meeting. But since I’ve been out on my mission I’ve become such-strangest thing haha. It makes me laugh thinking about it. So I really was worried I would sob but I didn’t. I talked about how as dad has influenced me and my life and helped me become who I am, that our Heavenly Father helps us become who He wants us to be. Especially because many people don’t have a good relationship with their father, or might not know them etc. But we do have a loving, patient, merciful Heavenly Father who IS ALWAYS there for us. And will never turn away and leave us alone. He wants us to be happy and He wants more than anything for us to return back to live with Him again and become like Him. He is perfect in every way and yet He still cares and knows each little thing about us individually and very intimately as His children. How grateful I am to know and to share with others this message. We are children of a loving Heavenly Father. 🙂
I’m out of time but I hope this letter had some insightful things that helped you. I know the gospel is true and “When were are in the service of our fellow beings we are only in the service of our God” 🙂
Love you all! May God continue to bless you each and every day as He already does if we but look for the tender mercies-they are there.
Love,
Sister McCleve

10th Letter–Grand Blanc (4th letter in field)–June 3, 2013

Heyyy family! This email’s going to be more structured…I’m going to try anyway.

Monday-was our p-day we baled hay at a members house….yes, by hand haha hard work and my allergies were acting up but it was fun. My forearms were crazy sore the next day. We went to a Memorial Day bbq at a members house and one of the daughters there is going to EFY for the first time this summer. Boy was I excited to tell her about that. Ah I love EFY. She’s only been a member for 5 years now too, she’s going to the Kirtland Ohio session-awesome! I’m so excited for her, I think I got her a bit more pumped up about it so that’s good 🙂
Tuesday we had exchanges and they were AWESOME. Sister Jones (who is a sister training leader/aka sister coordinator) came up to grand blanc with us and sister smithson went down to rochester. Sister Jones is awesome! She’s such a go getter and a desire to WORK. Love it. Very inspiring and she was so loving, I want to be like her. Rock solid, puts the Lord first no matter what, done deal 🙂 I like it.
Sooo on the way back from swapping companions tuesday night we were driving in the car…and I heard a high pitched sound coming from outside. I thought it was a brake pad or something and I say to my companions in the front seats “Is that sound coming from the car?” Sister thompson hesitated and then said “Nope, that’s definitely a Tornado siren going off”
Yes people. I had my first tornado warning/alert in real life! We continued to drive back to our apartment. And my eyes remained wide as I looked at the sky and saw the big dark clouds looming over us. We have thunderstorms a lot this time of year so I hadn’t really noticed before. Anyways we got back to the apartment and the sirens became louder and more frequent. We called our district leader and he told us to find a basement and stay away from windows. Well our apartment is on the 2nd floor and we have windows so we called the members that live right next to our complex and they told us to come down and wait out the storm with them in their basement haha. I still couldn’t believe this was really happening. We were there for about an hour. Lightning kept flashing and thunder….a ton of rain and then nothing. The storm passed right over our heads. Literally. On the news were told that 2 streets needed to take immediate shelter and one of them was ours HA!
3 tornadoes touched down that night in our area but luckily no one was hurt. Minor damages from what I’ve heard a few signs and what not.
Anyways so after the big storm passed we went back to our apartment and a couple hours later the sirens went off again then stopped. And the rest of the night we had a giant thunderstorm so loud that the booming thunder woke me up and I couldn’t fall back asleep. I was terrified. I prayed, A LOT and of course we were fine but I felt like a little kid that night haha my goodness. But fun story right?
Anyways so the rest of the week was pretty normal besides the weather. Michigan weather is very moody. Like a teenage girl to put it simply. It’ll be sunny and clear and warm in the morning. Within an hour huge rain clouds and thunder then it POURS. I love being the junior companion and backing in the rain (missionaries will get this). And then it’s back to sunny and clear within the next hour and everything’s practically dry except for me…. haha oh well just adds more the experience.
We had 2 less actives come to church Sunday that hadn’t come in several months! One of which I was guided by the spirit and I would tell the story but it would take too long. Basically the spirit will totally prompt you to do things that you are unsure of, or uncomfortable with. This week that happened and because I acted on that prompting and really tried to be more persistent rather than just giving up, One of our very less actives came to church and loved it by the way. I am so grateful that I acted on the prompting. I didn’t know that she would for sure come to church, but I know that had I not acted…it’d be the same old weekend routine for her not being there. God uses us as instruments in His hands to help and serve others. It is so fulfilling and joyful. It’s weird to think that what I do all day is serving…but it is.
 As missionaries we have a responsibility to help these people come unto Christ. To receive the blessings that come from living the gospel and to return back to our Father in Heaven. I didn’t come here to take the responsibility lightly, and I hope we all realize how important our message is. If we don’t invite or open our mouths, people will pass by without having an opportunity to hear what we can share with them right now. How we’ve each come to know that the book of mormon is true, and/or how God has restored the fulness (not parts) of His gospel to the earth by a living prophet!  There are so many things we can share. Even something as simple as that we know that the gospel blesses families and they families can be together forever.
Another cool experience with the spirit. We were out finding/tracting and it was almost time to go for curfew and we hadn’t really gotten to talk much with anyone sadly. I continued to pray to be guided as to where we needed to go. I had seen a house earlier and it seemed like we should go there but I thought we’ll get to it if we have time. Again later there was the house and I asked my companions what they thought if we went to it and they both agreed that we should. We went and little did we know a inactive girl lived there. We were able to talk with her and were so surprised to find out that she was a member and her brothers had even served missions.We were able to share a scripture with her as we talked too. Her boyfriend didn’t seem to thrilled to see us on their doorstep but she seemed happy to see us. I think we’ll try and stop by there again. Here again is one of those experiences where a seed is planted, I don’t know what’ll happen with Alex (the girl) but I knew God led us to knock on her door that night for whatever reason He had. I’m grateful to be apart of this work.
I love you all. Little miracles happen every day out here as they do with all of us. I know that as we strive to exercise faith and align our will with God’s we will be blessed. It’s easy to ask for our circumstances to be changed but through God we can change our circumstances- I know this is true. 🙂 I hope you all remember that through hard times.
The work is sweet.
Love,
Sister McCleve