Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Great Experiment of the Book of Mormon

Hola Everyone!
I have been having such a great time here in the MTC!  I love hearing from all y'all, and getting all of your letters (or dearelders). 
Last Tuesday Brother Gary J. Coleman, an Emeritus seventy talked to us about Pioneers.  He told us that there are 4 pillars of Pioneer Work that we will use throughout our mission:
  1. temple recommend
  2. authority to preach
  3. scriptures
  4. missionary handbook & preach my gospel
We also have the power of the holy Ghost and that is the most important thing.  Bytheway, did you know that in 3 Nephi 11, the word baptism is mentioned 11 times.  It is so cool how the number 11 pops up in all sorts of wonderful places.
We taught in the TRC (Teaching Resource Center) for the first time.  Members come in and volunteer to talk to us, and we teach them as members.  We are supposed to teach them something that will bless their lives.
We heard a lot of scary things about the TRC beforehand.  But I really enjoyed it.  We taught an RM and told him about praying for charity.  And then we taught these two cute sisters.  We shared favorite stories about women in the scriptures and asked them to do something to be more like them.  I shared the story of the women who annoints Jesus with an expensive oil just before the Atonement.  She probably saved for a while to be able to do that.  I want to be able to give the savior everything I have, just like she did.
Thursday night, after lights out, we heard some noises in the room next door.  We weren't sure if they were laughter or tears.  We thought about it for a while and decided that she was crying really bad.  We felt really bad for her, because the MTC is a very challenging place, and we wanted to let her know that there were poeple who cared.  So we gathered up some treats and went over and knocked quietly on her door.
"Are you ok?"  we asked.
"Yeah, we're fine."  they replyed.
"Oh, we were concerned about you.  These are for you,"  we said.
After a few more conversation exchanges, we realized that had been laughing, and trying to keep it quiet duirng their companion prayer.  But we made some new friends. :D
One of the teachers, Hermano Ames, served in Spain, and he calls me Hermana Sancheth all the time. :D  He has been playing one of our investigatores, Marcos.  I had a coaching missionary study with him on the 28th.  He told me about the importance of listening, when I teach.  He told me that I am doing really good, and that he didn't figure this out until one year into his mission.  But it is okay, to just sit and be silent during lessons.  Because when we aren't talking the spirit is. 
I think that it is very important to give the Spirit time to teach.  Hermano Ames said something about how we treat the spirit and christ like they are two separate entities.  But they are both members of the Godhead, and they both have the same purpose.  If Christ was in the room with me, of course I would give Him time to teach.  I think I would give a majority of the time to him.  Why on earth am I not doing the same thing with the Spirit?  He can teach so much better than I can.  All I really need to do is to invite him in, and then pause, stop talking, and let him do the rest. 
On Sunday, during "Sunday School"  we talked about the Book of Mormon, and I realized that the entire Book of Mormon is one big science experiment:
The Experiment of the Book of Mormon
Question  What do the Mormons believe?
Research  Meet with the Missionaries
Hypothesis  The Mormon Church is the right one.
Experiment  Read the Book of Mormon
          Pray with real intent, with a sincere heart, having faith in Christ.
Results Peace in your heart, and the knowledge that God loves you.
Conclusion  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's true church on earth.  I need to be baptized, and endure to the end.
See Moroni 10: 3-5
Just like all science experiments, this experiment is repeatable and gives the same results to every single person who meets the requirements of the experiment.  Our church truly is good science.  I would encourage anyone who hasn't yet given it a try, and read and prayed about the Book of Mormon to do so.  If it is wrong it won't cost you anything.  You will have tried a failed experiment.  I have done plenty of those in my days studying math and science, and it is frusterating, but not a big deal.  But if it is right, think about how much you can gain.  Everyone, even if you have already done this experiment, do it again, and then post in the comments your results.  (But you have to make sure you meet the requirements of the experiment, otherwise your results aren't valid.  And you have to pray sincerely, and read sincerely to meet the requirements. :D )
On Sunday, we had a fireside from Robert P. Swensen, Director, Missionary Services.  He is a math major, and sometimes mathematical things came out.  I loved it.  I love it when other people mix math and the gospel, because they are so compatible with each other.  Both teach eternal truths, and both lead me to my savior. 
1 + 1 = 3
When you and your companion work together, you both learn at least half of what the other knows, and somehow it works out so that together you can do more than you could apart. 
And then when you throw in the multiplying power of the Holy Ghost, great and wonderful things can happen, and it grows without bounds.
Is not your meager 5 loaves and two fishes enough to feed 5000 people?  the grace of Christ is sufficient for me.  It is sufficient to make out that which is not enough for you. 
Two of our hermanas are leaving today.  Es muy triste.  They are going to the Guatemala MTC to continue to study for 6 more weeks.  But we are getting a new distrito tomorrow, and I am very excited to meet them.  There are 6 elderes coming and 4 hermanas coming into our zone.  I will get to give them a tour of the MTC on Thursday.  Everyone wish me luck.  I think it is quite ironic that they assign the person who will be giving tours to the person who is directionaly challenged. :D
TX-FTW is the appreviation for my mission, and the other elderes in my distrito who are going there decided that it stands for Texas For The Win!  :D  In Spanish the 'x' runs away and hides.  Texas is Tejas en espanol, and is pronounced "Te-has". 
Well, my time is almost up, but I love you all so very much!  I look forward to hearing from y'all. 
Se amo,
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez
P.S.  I love letters and packages. :D  Every single letter is like Christmas, and packages are like Christmas and Birthdays combined into one beautiful box. :D

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hola Everyone!
As always my time at the computer is super limited, but here I go...  Happy Pioneer Day Everyone!
On Tuesday Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone talked to us.  He said a whole bunch of awesome stuff.  If anyone can get a printed version of this talk and send it to me through dearelder, I would be super super grateful.  The thing that struck me the most was when he asked the question, "What things do you know more than anything else in the world?"  And for me, it is that I know that Jesus is my Creator and my Savior.
Wednesday night, we went to Narnia!  Elders and sisters leave things behind in small cubbyholes the resendences.  We looked through our cubbys and found a hwole bunch of candy as well as a bag full of cookie crumbs with a message that said: "Anger Bag... Throw against wall like a little girl in order to release anger."  We left a picture from Hermana Seaver that is of Lehi holding the Liahona looking like Gandolf.  We also left a pair of socks that we had singed.
We were talking about 3 Nephi 11 where it says to become like a little child.  In english I can multiply many words and say everything, except for what I am actually saying.  But in spanish I can only speak like a child.  I have the abilty in spanish to only say the simplist things.
When I was baptized as a child, I didn't know many things.  I only knew that baptism is what Jesus wanted me to do and that it was how to get to heaven.  And that was enough.  And that is all that my investigadores need to know.
On Thursday, we taught Mari.  We testified of the Holy Ghost and invited her to pray.  We asked her if seh had ever felt the Holy Ghost and she said taht she knew that God loves her.  She said that she didn't feel the need to pray out loud, but instead only out of a book.  We testified of prayer and read Revelation 3: 20 (?) the scripture that says that Christ stands at the door and knocks.  We told her that we knew that God wants her to talk to him.  We asked her how she felt and she said that she felt a desire to pray, but that she didn't know how.  So we had her read a box in the pamflet that talks about how to pray.  Then we told her thtat God wants to hear from her.  She said she didn't know the words, so we told her that we would pray first and then she could pray later.
So, then Hermana Ward siad the simplist prayer she could asking for the espiritu to help Mari.  Then Mari prayed, and it was the most beatufiul prayer that I have ever heard.  I didn't understand most of it, but I knew that it was amazing. 
After the prayer she said taht she felt traquididad en su corazon.  We told her that this is the spirit.  We asked her if she would liekt o feel the spirit alwasys.  She said yes.  It was super awesome.  I felt a bit like Ammon when I said that this is the spirit.
Sunday was super amazing.  I got assigned to be the coordinating sister for our zone.  I have really felt the mantle of this assignment drop on me.  A coordinating sister is someone who is responsible for all of the sisters in the zone.  I am a bit like a cross between a zone leader and the relief society president.  On Sunday there were 6 sisters in our zone.  Now there are only 4.  I had to wake up at 4:45 to sign them out of their rooms so that they could get to the airport on time.  Next week there will only be 2.  I was in meetings all day long learning how to do this job.  I am supposed to give tours to all of the new missionaries and help them get accustomed to the MTC.  I need to make sure I know all of my ssiter's needs and do what I can to help them.  Those whom I can't help I need to make sure that the Branch President knows about them.  We have biweekly meetings to learn about our callings and report about their progress.  We need to be aware of needs always.  We have to report any problems with the builidng.  We have to moniter quiet time, lights out, and make sure that all of the sisters in our zone are modest.
But most importantly we need to be the best example that we can be.  The mission presiden't counselor who was teaching us this stuff told us that he always told his missionaries that they could do anything they see the zone leaders or the coordinating sister do.  That means that I need to always make sure that I am living every single mission rule, loving everyone with a Christ-like love, having a good attitude about everything, and constantly have sincere conversations with the sisters.
It is a lot to do, and I don't feel ready, but I know that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies. 
I love you all so very much.  Well, I am all out of time, so goodbye for now, and always remember to do what Christ wants you to do
Se Amo
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday July 17, 2012

Hola Everybody,

My primera week at the MTC has been wonderful.  I have learned so much, and it is so awesome to be here.  I am learning so much and it is so good to be here.

I only have a few minutes left of email time, so I will try to get to the most important stuff first.  Hopefully I can tell y'all everything.  Dearelder.com is probably the best way to communicate with me, but snail mail works well, too.

My companion is Hermana Ward.  She is from Boise, Idaho, and has a associate's degree from BYU-I.  She wants to be a marriage and family theropist.  She will be going to the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission.  She is an amazing missionary and I love her so much.  She has the most amazing spirit and always says the most beautiful prayers.

There are 6 elderes in my district and 4 hermanas.  The elderes are going to Philadelphia, Texas Fort Worth, and Baton Rouge.  The other dos hermanas are going to El Salvador.  They will be leaving the Provo MTC in 2 weeks so that they can go to the Guatemala MTC and continue to learn Spanish.

I have been learning Spanish so fast.  It is crazy.  Back at home it would take me a couple of days to truly feel like I had mastered a word, but here it only takes a half an hour of study or so.  They encourage us to HSI (SYL-speek your language) all the time, and it truly helps.  All of us are getting really good at Spanglish.  I am also forgetting how to spell in English, because when you are learning Spanish where everything spells the way it sounds, english doesn't make much sense anymore.  We learned that the word for cute in spanish is "mono"  which is the same word as monkey.  So when you tell someone that they look cute you are really telling them that they look like a monkey.  My companera y yo have been having such a fun time teasing each other about being monkeys!  :D  (You can also use the word lindo)

Relief Society on Sunday was different.  We learned how to be a lady.  The following information is for sisters only.  So all of you men can just fall asleep for a few minutes. :D
·  Use knees so you gracefully descend stairs
·  walk with feet straight ahead.  Not out like a penguin or in like a duck
·  Stand with feet together.
·  Sit up straight.
·  Cross your feet at the ankles.
·  If you cross your legs, make sure they go the same way, so that you look like a lady.
·  Take small bites
·  Chew with your mouth closed
·  avoid loud laughing and speaking
·  avoid high fives
·  wear something on your lips (like lipgloss or lipstick)
·  smile always
We even praticed standing up and sitting down.

We have already taught 3 lessions in Spanish here.  Ellos son muy dificil.  (they are very hard).  We are learning that it is most important to teach by the spirit.  Even though we don't understand what Mari (our investigator) is saying and she probably doesn't understand what we are saying, the most important thing is to feel the spirit, and then everything else will come.

414 missionaries came to the MTC last wednesday.  It is amazing to be in a place with such great people and to see missionaries everywhere.

On Sunday, Sister Jenny Oaks Baker did the fireside.  She played her violin for us, and it was so wonderful.  She was at Stadium of Fire when the fireworks whent into the stands, but because she was protected by angels none of her children were hurt and she only got hurt on the arm a bit.

The church is true and I love you all,

Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I am so excited to be serving in the Texas Fort Worth Mission.  It is going to be an amazing journey!

My favorite scripture is Alma 30:44.  "The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yeas, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."  

I love this scripture because it is as if Alma is bearing my testimony for me.  Truly all things testify of Christ, from math and physics to temple worship to tender mercies to quiet acts of service to the scriptures everything around me convinces me of the divine reality of my Creator.  I know that there must be a God.

My wonderful sister, Lisa, is going to be managing my blog and facebook account for me.  So updates will continue here throughout my mission.  Be sure to check back often.

But goodbye and farewell.  This will be the last time that I write these entries in blogger instead of having my sister put them here for me.

I wish you all of the best wishes!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This is what a missionary looks like

I am getting super excited about my mission.  I leave a week from Wednesday, on July 11th, to the MTC, where I will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish Language to the people of Texas Fort Worth.

I have been getting ready for my mission, and I wore one of my mission outfits to church.  An elder had just come home, and I realized that missionaries come in all shapes and colors. Normally when we think of missionaries we think of young men in white shirts and ties, but there are also the sister missionaries, who are encouraged to wear colorful clothing.  So this outfit with its beautiful green colors is exactly what a missionary looks like. 

I am thrilled to serve the Lord, and can’t wait for July 11th.
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