(Mom’s notes in red)
This week has been FULL of new changes and adventures!
Last Tuesday was transfer day. It is crazy that I am going into my second transfer already! This transfer was full of changes. One of the biggest changes was that I got a new, reassigned companion who served in Chile for 9 months! Sister Tolley is the sweetest thing and has been a huge blessing to me! (I will be helping her adjust to this area and she will continue training me, because I have still so much to learn!) In the end we are learning together and I feel that, because of it, we are all the more unified as companions and friends. We also moved into a new apartment and have a new p-day, which has switched from Monday to Wednesday. Although all of these changes have taken a day or two to get used to, they have also brought new experiences and opportunities!
Sister Tolley and I spend a decent amount of time in quarantine because of Covid-19, but we are trying to find the blessings and God’s hand in each day. Our day to day events consist of:
Trying to get into the habit of running in the morning,
Buying ice cream and eating it from the container,
Going on hikes,
Studying, seeking, praying, teaching,
And all in all, just trying to keep ourselves busy!
We are seeking to work very hard everyday to be a blessing to others and use our time in a way that is pleasing in the sight of God.
I love the quote by President Russell M. Nelson (our prophet) “The Lord loves effort!” This quote has been a good reminder because being a missionary during this crazy time has resulted in moments of feeling drained and discouraged, but as I weigh these moments against all of the blessings we have received in return, it is well worth it!
I am so thankful for the challenges and trials that we experience daily because it brings into contrast the light and love of God, making it shine all the brighter! God never gives us more than we can handle.
God is good- Always good!
Sending hugs and much love,
A Poem written by Sister Molly McCleery:
“The trials I’m given, are they meant to crush me?
My perspective is so very limited to what I understand and see.
But yet I stand firm to the truth that God is my loving Father.
Why do I let fear and doubts seep in to add to personal bother?
Trials may seem heavy to bear, yet they’ll never be more than you can handle,
They are opportunities to grow your faith, adding like the guidance of a candle.
At times our burdens are just heavy enough to get us to our knees,
For this will open doors, because you now have the keys.
God anxiously waits for our acceptance to His hand that reaches out,
Once we do, then everything seems a bit better, resulting in a joyful shout!
If God wants us to have joy, why are there trials in the first place?
Now this can be addressed by breaking it down to the foundation base.
I believe this time on earth is an opportunity for growth and learning,
Where we experience opposition and practice the art of discerning.
I have turned more towards Christ in dark times, for I desire a source of light.
In Him I find comfort and strength, for He is my eyes of sight.
I’m grateful that through Him I don’t need to feel alone, even for a day.
Because I know Jesus Christ can help us feel more than perhaps just “okay.”
Every time we fall down and feel that we are done,
Remember the love that is testified through God’s only begotten son!
He can and will lift you and clean you up,
Christ’s love and healing is like an overflowing cup.
This is one of the most amazing and humbling experiences to endeavor,
For that is He loves you, today, tomorrow and always, even to forever!”
This week was a bit of a rougher week.
I found myself dealing with a lot of internal worries, but even with those struggles I saw good things come from the hard moments.
“God is in the details of the details of the details.”
This week has been FULL of tender mercies and miracles from God…
But before I jump into that, I am going to start with sharing some random moments of missionary life:
° On July 4th we met as a district to play sports and games at a park.
When we were playing ultimate frisbee I got a splinter in my foot. As I was about to get it out with a knife I sort of cut myself because it was a knife that I am not used to. One of the elders kindly helped me out with Band-Aids for the blood, and another helped get the splinter out of my foot. Don’t follow my example, kids!
° There are 45 new missionaries coming in the next week or so, which is crazy! These additions will bring many changes with missionary companionships, and there will be 4 new zones. (The mission locations are breaking into smaller areas because there are so many missionaries. Each companionship will have a smaller area to cover.)
° Today we went shopping at Costco. It just wasn’t the same without the joy of free samples, but it’s understandable with life right now. We were walking around shopping when I noticed a lady struggling to bag a package of cooked chicken. My parents raised me to help when needed (Thank you parents!), so I walked over to help her out, not thinking much of it. As we were leaving Costco, that same sweet lady ran up to us and expressed her desire to pay for our groceries. She gave us some cash and I had to resist the urge to hug her right then and there. She was so kind, and in my eyes this was a tender mercy of kindness that meant the world to me!
God is a merciful and loving Father both in the big things but also the small things. For example, on Tuesday, the nine-year-old boy we have been teaching was baptized. So was his younger sister. Both were baptized by their father.
I was humbled to watch the connection and love within this family. I really felt the Spirit! (Their baptism occurred on the day I was celebrating my one month anniversary of being out in the field. What a perfect way to spend it!)
Another tender mercy came yesterday. I was having an off day and struggling a bit. God knew this. He blessed me with small sources of strength and comfort so I could continue to press on. This added strength came through a devotional on Sunday night called “Bears and Prayers.”
It was all about prayer and communication with God. It was a powerful devotional and it helped me to feel God’s love for me personally and individually.
I know God loves each of us and He truly is in the details of both the ups and the downs of our lives.
“He is in the details of the details of the details.”
I love you all!
Never forget, God is good. Always good!
I made it!
I can’t believe I have been on my mission for a month…It has been truly extraordinary!
This week has been filled with great joy, learning, and laughter. This week I had my first baptism. It was a young man who was a miracle referral. It was a beautiful event that left me teary eyed.
There was great love and support for him which was such a blessing.
We also had our first service opportunity (other than volunteering at the Bishop’s Storehouse.)
We got to weed the bishop’s yard with his family. It was such a treat because with the pandemic, missionaries are in quarantine and have few opportunities to get out of the house. It is the greatest feeling to serve and bless the lives around you! After we were done weeding, the Bishop ordered pizza for us to pick up and take home.
This act of kindness overwhelmed me with gratitude. Honestly, the smallest acts of kindness can mean the world to another!
Sister Briones got a new companion this week, which was bittersweet.
Luckily, we still get to see her a lot since Sister Seal and I have a car and drive Sister Briones and her companion where they need to go. We honestly get to see each other quite a bit. Her new companion is Sister Ayers. Sister Ayers served in Japan for 8 months before the virus got really bad and she was reassigned to the States.
(Mosiah 2:17) “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
It has been so humbling to see this scripture come to life. As I have served those around me, I have been blessed with great love towards them. I am filled with the Holy Ghost, which gives me joy! It has been such a blessing to have the opportunity to serve so many people even with, and despite, the virus. Moments of serving others and being served is a continual reminder that God is good, always good. He is aware of us and is always watching out for us! We are His children. He is our father.
And He loves us more than we can even comprehend!
Sending big hugs your way,
This week honestly has been quite bittersweet.
There have been some great “ups” like:
Sewing up the hole in my pants all by myself! (proud moment… haha),
Magic syrup…a seasoning we love to cook with daily. (No one knows what is in it, but it tastes like happiness!)
Visiting the temple grounds often during the week. (This is probably the greatest blessing!) Back at home the closest temple is a few hours away, so the blessing of having three temples in our mission area is the greatest joy!
Enjoying the beauty of Utah. The other day there was a stunning sunset. My two companions and I went outside and bonded over a photography shoot.
We have also enjoyed going on hikes. The mountains are breathtaking! They are one of the things that I adore about Utah, besides the great people and this mission.
There were also some low moments: My trio companion Sister Briones is getting a new companion in the next few days. It is sad that she will be moving out. I adore her. At least we will get to keep giving her rides when we need to say hello!
Another hard moment came this week when I received the sad news about my great grandmother’s passing… She was that amazing, firecracker, life-of-the-party person that I adore and will greatly miss!
This week had its ups and downs, but in the end the good will always outweigh the bad. God is good and I know that He knows us personally and individually!
Alma 18:32 says,”Yea, and He looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart for by His hand were they all created from the beginning.”
I know God loves us. We are His children. He is aware of our ups and downs and is always with us… always! I love you all and so does our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ!
Here is a poem that I wrote and felt prompted to share:
“Miracles are God’s manifestation of His love in viewable form,
If we aren’t still and quiet, they can blend into the daily norm.
God places people in our path of life for a purpose and a reason,
Be humble and learn all you can, for that due personal season.
During this time on my mission, I have seen so many miracles each day,
I am so grateful and humbled… what more is there to truly say?
Everyday a challenge of some sort may push or stretch you,
But remember God loves you personally, and He sees the big picture too!
Today brought forth a miracle that fills me with the Spirit,
Our message is about Jesus Christ and we invite all to come and hear it.
We speak out of love for Jesus Christ and a true, deep passion,
Everyday we seek to walk in the shoes of Christ, which to the world is so out of fashion.
My invitation to you is to put action to your faith in some way or form this week,
For as we search and ask with a sincere desire, God will provide what we honestly seek.
Modern day revelation is true for this time and day,
I have received loving answers from the humble prayers I say.”
Sending big hugs your way!
– Sister McCleery
Hello friends and family!
I’ve always loved the declaration: “God is good, always good!” It is a truth I hold dear to my heart and one that I often recite. I find comfort in this reminder and bear testimony of the truthfulness of this statement. This week consisted of some amazing miracles and moments that added to my testimony of God’s goodness.
Here are some of the highlights from my week:
– We got a miracle referral for a little boy who desires to be baptized. He is the sweetest thing and I am humbled by all he teaches me during every lesson we have with him.
– We had another miracle call from a young man who has desired to be baptized for a while!
– Seeing the temple and the mountains off into the distance every day is amazing! I am in awe and feel so humbled to see God’s love illustrated through the beauty of the world around us.
– Every lesson we teach (which is often at least once a day) is humbling to me. I love teaching about Jesus Christ, and I love feeling God’s hand in the work!
– I am grateful for every day…every day that God teaches me something new. Every day that I am stretched in a new way. Every day I get to be a missionary. A mission is hard but the greatest feeling! I rejoice in the great goodness of God!!
Update on me and the mission:
Today is P-day, which is preparation day, and this is how I have spent it…
My two companions and I went Target shopping. I spent the entire time trying to convince myself not to buy what I don’t need, and I was actually successful, surprisingly… I love shopping!
We ate tasty food out as a treat,
We volunteered at the bishop’s store house,
Called and talked to family,
And did some self-care.
P-day is a good recovery day after a busy week, because it is focused on caring for yourself.
Everyone needs to have a personal lift-me-up day to go strong the rest of the week.
I also did my laundry today. I was so excited to have clean clothes (which my landlord even folded for me.) It is truly the simple joys in life that bring the greatest happiness!
God is Good, always good!
Love you lots!
I have been here almost a week and I can’t believe how much I have learned and gained in these past few days.
More than anything I am so humbled. Daily, I feel my faith grow and deepen. This has come from personal scripture study, spiritual teaching experiences, and experiencing a more sincere relationship with God grow as I turn to Him throughout the day.
If anyone was curious what my days are like as I serve in the Salt Lake City South mission during quarantine, here you go:
At 6:30 I wake up!
6:30-9:00 am is spent exercising, eating breakfast and planning out our day.
9:00-10:00 am is when I have my own personal scripture study. This is my favorite time of day. There is something so special about taking personal time to talk to and get to know Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. Every morning we receive a list of spiritual reading tasks to focus on which provides wonderful opportunities for learning!
Throughout the day there are blocks of time that are set aside for specific tasks. 12:00 pm is lunch, 5:00-6:00 is dinner time, and 7:30- 9:00 is companion study. Companion study with my two awesome companions provides a fun opportunity to do role play practice, share what we learned, and review rules and goals.
My day ends with bed at 10:30 pm.
The open blocks of time between those regularly occurring activities are filled with teaching opportunities, reaching out to others via technology, and meeting with other missionaries. It is a full schedule but I enjoy it!
One thing that I have learned this week is the realization that I need to rely upon Jesus Christ every moment of my day. I think I used to be more passive about this heavenly hotline, but on a mission, it is a life line!
As I study His words, I see His words come to life. I feel His deep love and grace flow into every moment of my day.
I need Him every day.
He is my Savior and Redeemer.
He is my life jacket and friend.
He is my brother and healer.
He is the master potter that lovingly molds me to become my best self.
He is the living waters that keep me strong to endure spiritual trials.
Christ is my joy and my peace.
I bear testimony that He lives!
He loves us and is always reaching out to us saying, “Come follow me.”
I rejoice in the great blessing of having Christ in my life because I wouldn’t be who I am without Him.
Deepest of love,