Thursday, October 30, 2014

So Happy to be on Temple Square

I cannot believe I am actually here in Temple Square!  Leaving the MTC was hard because of the wonderful memories I had since day one. I miss my companions but I am very happy to be here on the Square doing the Lord's work. The sight of the temple is just breath taking!  Seeing the temple everyday is such a wonderful reminder to me of what this precious life is about.    
Early morning (6am) yesterday, eighteen of us sisters hopped onto an MTC bus and headed over for Salt Lake City Temple Square.  When we arrived we were brought into a theater room where our new name tags were given to us.  (A name tag with the flag of the country we are from.) I was overjoyed to put my new tag on!  I could not believe I was out on the field!  We each got to shake our Mission President's hand.  President and Sister Poulsen are sweet and wonderful people!  Eventually we were assigned our trainer, our new companion.  My companion is Sister Palmer!  She is form northern California as well.  This will be her last transfer.  I love having her as a companion!  She is very patient and loving towards me.  She has taught me how to recognize the Spirit more and how to be obedient to the Lord. She has strengthened my testimony so much since I have been here.  
Look! My new name tag!

My trainer, Sister Palmer

President and Sister Poulsen
The New Sisters on Temple Square

 When we went out onto the Square we met a couple visiting from SF.  We were in the North VC (Visitor Center) by "God's Plan".  They had just watched the Restoration film before coming upstairs.  They said it was very touching.  I asked her why she thought that and she said it was unjust for Joseph Smith to be treated the way he was when he was a harmless man. Then she pointed to the Book of Mormon  I was holding and asked to look at it.  My companion offered to give her a copy and she accepted!  How awesome is that!  They said they had never seen an LDS temple before.  I was surprised, but grateful for the opportunity to share about temples.  We then took them through "God's Plan".  The last clip froze on us, but the spirit was so strong there I don't think it mattered.  Sister Palmer asked me to share my testimony and when I did I felt so happy for this couple and such love for them.  I could tell, especially in the wife's eyes that they felt the Spirit.  We then went downstairs gave them a Book of Mormon and a card for  I invited them to visit the Oakland Temple when they went home and explained that although they cannot go in it they will still feel peace and joy walking on it's grounds.  I hope they will continue to be curious about the gospel!  They were a very nice couple!

On Saturday for VC training I got a contact!  We got to come here to Temple Square for a few hours and were paired up with a sister on the Square.  I was with Sister Hardy.  We met in the South VC and then began our evening walking out on the grounds.  We about to pass by the temple when a man yelled out to us.  He had a couple walking with him and he asked if we could give them a tour.  Oh course!  We didn't even have to go very far to find someone. In fact we didn't even find them, they kind of came to us.   They were from New Zealand and had never been to Utah.  They have been traveling to different states.  He had read some things about the church and so he knew about the Restoration.  We brought them to the TAB (tabernacle)  The recording of the MOTAB (Mormon Tabernacle choir) was finishing up when we got there.  Sister Hardy discussed the history of the building and then she asked me to give a testimony of the prophet.  Next we went to the AH (Assembly Hall).  Sister Hardy shared the history and her testimony and then I explained the importance of going to church.  Going to Church is important because it is the one day of the week that we can take time for ourselves away from our chaotic lives.  We can just focus on the Lord and remember the covenants we made with Him.v  When we place ourselves in this environment we are strengthening our relationship with the Savior and telling Him that we care about Him.  Our last stop was the Christus.  We played the narration for them and I could tell they were really listening to what was being said.  Sister Hardy asked if I wanted to invite them to keep in touch with us.  Once they expressed their feelings I asked them for an email.  I was so happy!  The husband said that he wants to come back and visit because if people like us are very happy with this life style and have so much love for the Savior it must be something worth learning about.  Those weren't his exact words, but that was what I understood.  Since then I have emailed him and haven't gotten a response back yet, but Sister Hardy said she saw them on Sunday at "Music in the Spoken Word".  I still have hope they will email back!

I absolutely love it here!  I am excited so for this mission! I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!  Continue to work hard at missionary work.

Sister Mikeila Aquino

Monday, October 27, 2014

Final week in the MTC

Temple Square Sisters spend an extra week in the MTC for Visitor Center Training.  Mikeila's district was made up of all sisters, most of them going to Temple Square.  She also go to see a lot of her friends from BYU-Hawaii and Zion choir.
Off to Temple Square for training

My new district

Fall Fun!!!!

Temple Square, here I come!
Love my comps!

Aloooooha! BYU Hawaii missionaries

Monday, October 20, 2014

Invite the Spirit


It has been a fantastic week!  The Spirit is so strong here.  I was so blessed with the district that I was put in.  Unfortunately the Elders left early this morning so we had to say good bye yesterday. :(  I think I mentioned this before, but they are going to Farmington New Mexico.  Isn't that where Grandpa Rogers is serving?  Tell him to look for an Elder Thalman, Elder Randolph, Elder Snuka and Elder Cartwright.  These four elders were some of the most hard working, dedicated, loving, compassionate and respectful young men I have ever met.  Each and everyone of them strengthened my testimony immensely.  All three of us sisters miss them so much because of the close relationship we had with them.
Laundry Time!

Last pic with our district

On Wednesday our district had a remarkable experience with prayer.  One of my favorite teachers is Bro. Ustivitch.  He actually was not originally our teacher, but one our teachers came once and never came back.  Having Bro. Ustivitch has been a blessing in disguise.  So Wed evening Sis. O'Dell, Elder Snuka and Elder Cartwright were in the new districts class giving them an orientation.  The rest of us were supposed to join them a little later.  Sis. Madrid(another one of our many teachers) there as well as Bro. U.  I can't remember exactly how it happened, but Sis. Haight thanked Bro. U for answering a question she has had a for some time now and she began to cry.  I believe Elder Thamlan was also crying because of  something else said in the lesson.  Bro.U then suggested we say a prayer together.  Without anyone saying anything we all naturally got down on our knees and Elder Thalman gave a beautiful prayer.  After he closed we all stayed on our knees for a couple min.  Then Bro. U asked "Can you feel that?"  That is when I broke down and started bawling!  This was one of the many many times the Spirit was so strong in that room!  It was such a miracle to be part of!  I love Bro. U because every class period he would ask "Will you do all you can to invite the Spirit?"  I absolutely love it! I thanked him for this and he had me read D&C 50:13-14.

Our awesome teacher, Brother Ustivich
Friday was "In-Field Orientation".  We aren't leaving for another week but we still had to go anyways.  I actually enjoyed it!  We were taught by different RMs.  I was exhausted that day though!  The orientation went from 8 am to 5:30 pm.  Oh course we had lunch in between, but still.  I got to see Elder Otani and Sis. Poleman again!  At the end the teachers acted out a play showing importance of missionaries and members working together.  There was a family of three that were the "converts" and they had an adorable little girl who looked like 2 or 3.  It made me think you you guys and afterwards ( for the first time) I got home sick!  I'm okay now.  I think part of it to was I was completely drained!

In our evening class we had to teach "Jerrika".  Jerrika is a less active member who was in a bad situation so her cousin took her in and she was baptized into the church.  But then she was given some trials and so she thinks God doesn't love her.  She works at a bar, has a new bf.  She hasn't prayed to God for the past 5 years.  I invited her to baptism, but she declined.  It still turned out to be a great lesson!

During Saturday morning's class Sis. Madrid taught us to teach straight from the Book of Mormon.  She did a demo role play reading 2 Nephi 31.  She had one of us be the "investigator" and she began reading chapter 31 and then she stopped in the middle or verse 3 because the Spirit prompted her to.  Then she invited the investigator to be baptized.  We then met with Jerrika again.  Sis. Haight began sharing her boyfriend's baptism story (he was actually baptized a month ago).  Then I had the impression to open to 2 Nephi 31.  I invited Jerrika to follow along. I read verse 1 and then I stopped.  The Spirit overcame me and I was just speechless!  I said a few things and then ( while getting choked up) I invited her to baptism.  Jerrika said yes!  I was at a loss for words!  We asked who she wanted to give the closing prayer but she thought we had asked her so she said she would.  Sis. O'dell taught her how to pray.  Then I felt the need to suggest we kneel and we did.  
Read D&C 18:16 : Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.  
This is exactly how I felt!   Afterwards Sis. Madrid said that Jerrika was her cousin and that she was the cousin that brought Jerrika into the church.  However she has not been in contact with her for a while until Friday after we taught her she felt she should text Jerrika.  She said we taught her that she needs to reach out to Jerrika if she wants her to come back to church.  That really touched me.

We love you, Sister Madrid!

Sister Mikeila Aquino


Monday, October 13, 2014

I love the MTC

Hi!  I cannot believe that on Wednesday I will have been at the MTC for a whole week!  I absolutely love the MTC!  I love my companions. Our district is made up of four Elders (Elder Thalman, Elder Snuka, Elder Cartwright and Elder Randolph) and us three sisters.  We have awesome teachers and I love our classes!  I have learned so much and my understanding of using the Holy Ghost has changed

My wonderful district

Our zone

 On Wednesday and Thursday we had awesome classes (I guess you would call them) where we sat met an investigator( I'm pretty sure their actual investigators) and as a whole group (all new missionaries) we would try to answer their questions about the Church.  It was interesting how different missionaries approached each question.  I really enjoyed it though!

Thursday (my second day) was really difficult for me.  I was lacking confidence in my self and my teaching.  By the end of the day I learned that I don't need to worry about my teaching ability, I need to trust the Holy Ghost to teach.  As long as I prepare myself spiritually and do my best, it is not up to me whether or not the investigator understands the lesson.  It is what they feel in their heart that matters.  This is where my mission scripture comes into play D&C 100:5-6.  It amazes me how easily we as human beings can forget the gifts we have been given.  I received the gift of the Holy Ghost and yet I did not use it at all on Thursday.  

Friday has probably been my favorite day yet.  I cannot exactly explain the exact feelings I had, but our district had such inspiring and memorable discussions that day that just had the Spirit bouncing all over the walls!  We were all speaking the Lord's words, and we just felt so happy.

In school I hated role playing, but every since I have been hear I absolutely love it!  My teaching skills have improved so much!  Our teachers would act as investigators and as a companionship we would "got to their home" and meet with them.

Sunday was THE busiest Sunday I have ever experienced.  It was weird having Relief Society before Sacrament meeting.  The Branch President assigned everyone in the Zone to write a talk on repentance and in sacrament meeting he would announce who would be speaking.  Scary huh?  Fortunately I didn't have to speak.  I just lead the music.  In the evening there was a devotional given by the Church media person who gave a really neat talk.  The Church has created some awesome initiatives.  Check them out! He showed us the ones for Easter and Mother's Day.  Then we watched a talk given by Elder Bednar at an MTC Christmas Devotional called "Character of Christ"  I highly suggest watching it.

Sister Mikeila Aquino

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In the right place at the right time

I cannot believe I am already here in the MTC!  It has been a crazy two days but I am great!  I absolutely love my district and companions!  I am in a trio with Sis. Haight and Sis. O'Dell.  They are really nice and fun to work with.  
My MTC companions, Sister O'Dell & Sister Haight

Elder Otani got to be my host (when I arrived ) and I was so grateful to see a familiar face because I was really nervous!  When my name tag was handed to me the Spirit witnessed to me that I was in the right place at the right time.  Although I did not know what to expect, I was comforted to know that the Lord was proud of my decision to wear His name on my shirt and in my heart.  
My host, Elder James Otani (friends since Kindergarten)