Adventures of Kali in Cali: August 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 3: Courage to Pray

Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you if only you will believe, obey, and endure.
~President Thomas S. Monson

3 weeks down here at the CCM in the beautiful Mexico City and I still love it.  Yesterday was my halfway mark so in 3 more weeks I will be headed to Los Angeles.  All the days are starting to blend together and by the end of the day I cant even remember what we did this morning but I can definitely tell the progress in my Spanish.  This week was definitely the fastest week yet.

On Sundays we always have a devotional and it is usually a broadcast from previous devotionals at the Provo MTC and the one we watched on Sunday was by David A Bednar called The Character of Christ.  It was such a cool message about how no matter what the Savior was going through He always turned out and was helping someone else in need rather than thinking why me.  When He was about to suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane and die on the cross He prayed for others to not suffer from the pain of losing Him.  I took the challenge of turning towards others when I was struggling and I think that is probably why I had such a good week.  I challenge you all to read that talk because it was such an amazing testimony builder for me.

The greatest service we can provide to others in this life, beginning with those of our own family, is to bring them to Christ.
~Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Another cool experience that happened this week was during our TRC time.  During TRC we talk with some people who are here from Mexico City and volunteer to talk to the missionaries.  Usually they are members and recent converts.  The cool thing was  my companion and I got a real investigator.  There was such a sweet spirit in throughout our discussion.  We started talking to Leonardo, who is the investigator, and to his friend who was a member.  As soon as they started talking I realized that I was in trouble because I could only pick out a word about every 7 words.  I got so nervous said a little prayer and then was totally calm and felt peace.  I still didnt know what they were saying but I had a prompting that I needed to talk about faith in Christ and about prayer.  I said exactly what I wanted to say in exact Spanish.  And then... the best part... Leonardo prayed for the first time in his life.  The spirit was the strongest that I have felt here at the CCM.  While he was praying my companion and I were both praying for him to please feel of the Spirit and love that Christ had for him.  After the lesson we talked to our teacher and he said that I had said exactly what he needed to hear and what he had been talking about.  My teacher, Hermano Tinoco, said he thought that I could understand everything that Leonardo was saying.  After the lesson Leonardo was asked to write on a paper asking how the whole experience was and if he felt anything special.  He wrote down the we helped him to have enough courage to finally pray to God and that he has wanted to pray for a long time but has never felt worthy.  That lesson was one of the times where I felt that this is why I am on a mission and I got so excited to get to Los Angeles and have so many more experiences like that!!  I just need to work on my listening skills and understanding Spanish first :)

Other than that nothing really big happened.  Our investigators are progressing and our goal is to have 2 baptism dates this week.  For our service this week we got to clean toilets so that was a lot of fun (sarcasm) and surprisingly it is really cold here especially in the mornings.  I wish someone would have warned me!!

Well... I hope you all have an awesome week and thank you so much for all the prayers.  I can definitely feel all the love and support coming from home.

Hermana McMinn

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 2: An Instrument in the Hands of God

As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart.
~ President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

So another week has passed here at the CCM and it was seriously the fastest week EVER!  I never thought the saying, Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days, would be true but it is!  I still love it here.  This is one of the hardest but most rewarding thing that I have ever done.  

CCM Campus in Mexico City

This week we got two new investigators, Coby and Clariza.  Our investigators are just our teachers but they are really good at pretending like they don't know what is going on.  We started to plan for Clariza's lesson and we were planning on teaching her about the Restoration and about repentance.  As we started to have personal study and were studying about those two subjects my companion and I both looked up at each other and said, this is not what we are supposed to be teaching her.  We ended up completely switching our lesson plan to teaching her how to pray and just letting her know that God loves her very much.  It was way cool that both me and my companion had the exact same idea.  I can now testify that the Spirit is in charge of our lessons.  We are just there to invite the Spirit.  

On the first day that we got here we met some Elders and they were all from Mexico and they said that they were going to help us with our Spanish.  They are seriously some of my best friends now.  They say that they are going to come a visit especially in the winter because they want to see some real snow.  They left yesterday to their missions and I miss them already!!

We went to the temple open house this morning and it was so pretty.  And it was way nice to finally get out of the CCM for some air for a little while.  We werent allowed to take any pictures because it was a really fast trip but it was such an awesome experience to go a feel close to the same spirit that we feel in all the other temples.  The Mexico City temple is the 3rd largest temple in the world after Salt Lake and DC.  It had 11 sealing rooms and 4 instruction rooms!! 

Mexico City Temple with companion Hermana Wilson

Every day here at the CCM is the exact same.  We get up at about 6:20 and get ready to go to personal study time with our district.  Then breakfast then exercise.  My companion likes to run and work out with me so that makes it so much easier to exercise.  After that we go and sit in the classroom for about 3 hours and listen to our teachers who only speak Spanish to us!  We then go to lunch and then plan, study, and prepare our lessons for our investigators.  It is seriously a jam packed day.  I dont realized that I am tired until I get back to our room and dont have anything else to do except for write in my journal.

Here at the CCM I am learning a lot of patience.  Patience with my companion just because it is weird to have someone with you 24/7.  Patience with the language because I want to know Spanish NOW.  And patience with myself.  I am so excited to get to LA but I know that my time here at the CCM is limited and I need to soak up every minute that I can here and learn as much as I can.

So one day I was getting really frustrated with my Spanish and I decided to take a break and read my scriptures for a minute and I came across Alma 17:10-11.  It is probably one of my favorite scriptures now.  Be comforted.. and I will make thee an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.

Alma 17:10-11
10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit , and said unto them: Be comforted . And they were comforted. 
11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. 

I love you all and I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ lives!
Hermana McMinn

Trying Mexican candy.. wasn't too bad.  Kind of spicy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 1: Exactly where I need to be

It is impossible to fail when you do your best & when you are on the Lord's errand.
~Elder  M. Russell Ballard

Kali is exactly where she needs to be. She is so happy to be on the Lord's errand serving a mission and helping others draw closer to their Savior each day.

If you didn´t see before I made it safely here and right after I finished emailing I met my companion. Her name is Hermana Wilson and she is from Syracuse, Utah. She is the cutest person ever and I can honestly say I have the best companion ever. She is so good at Spanish already. It is unreal. She talks to all of the natives who are here like it is nothing but it definitely has helped me a TON because I can just talk to her and she can automatically help me. She is going to serve in the Texas Houston East mission. I also met my district and they are already like my family. Pretty much like a bunch of little brothers lets be honest but they are hilarious. They have a hard time focusing but I guess that is what happens when you are an 18 year old boy! We are all going back to the states for our missions so I thought that was way cool. We have missionaries going to Denver, Minnesota, another elder going to LA, Oklahoma city and Twin Falls!! He wasn't too happy when I told him that it snows there haha. I love these guys though. I learn so much from them everyday.

So the Spanish.. it is actually coming along a lot better than I thought that it would and knowing high school spanish helps a little bit but really not that much at all. It is true when they say that you learn about 2 years of Spanish in one day here at the CCM. For a few days I was struggling because my companion is so good at Spanish but I have to keep reminding myself that I have only been here for one week! They shared a quote with us here from Elder Holland that said, "You are going to make 1,000 mistakes during your mission so you might as well start now." I definitely did. I told some natives that my name was Star Wars but my companion accidentally said that the only thing that separates us between God is death and dead fish so I don't feel as bad!

We have an investigator and his name is Roke and I love that guy. We have a baptism date for him on August 29 and I am so excited. We have taught him about the Atonement and about how God and Jesus love him and are always there for him and he absolutely loved it. He commited to read and pray about the Book of Mormon to see if it is true. But the best lesson that we have had so far yesterday. We talked about the plan of salvation and we tried follow the spirit more than just reading our lesson. Some phrases came to me that I didnt even know that I knew. And then at the end when we were testifying I had a prompting to talk about Grandma and how I know, because the spirit testified to me that I will see here again. AND it was all in Spanish!I felt the spirit so strong that I started to cry a little and so did my investigator. I left that lesson so happy and excited to get to Los Angeles.

I love this place so much. The spirit is so strong here all the time and we are constantly making new friends. I have had a few moments when I have felt that this is exactly where I am supposed to be! I honestly would not want to be anywhere else! :)

I love this gospel so much and I know that this what brings joy into my life especially sharing it with other people.

I love you all and can't wait to talk to you next week!

Hermana McMinn

PS I had quesadillas AND Frosted Flakes for breakfast this morning so I am in heaven!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

And she's off....

Don't worry about being homesick. Don't worry about being new. Don't worry about the language. None of that matters. God loves you. This is the truth. You can do it! Start can rest later.
~ Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Kali is now a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. She flew out of Pocatello this morning and arrived at the CCM in Mexico City this afternoon. This momma heart of mine has been trying to keep it together all day but it has been a serious struggle and I have not been very successful. We have shed many tears both happy and sad. It is hard to be sad though when you know that she is where she needs to be ready, willing, and excited to share the gospel. She will be an amazing missionary and we are looking for to hearing all about her adventures. We felt much better when we received her email this afternoon letting us know that she had made it safely to Mexico. It did not surprise me a bit to see her dive right into the work. That is Kali for you! We love our Sister Missionary!


I made it to the CCM safe and sound! My flights went well. Once I got to the Salt Lake airport I met up with about 20 elders and 10 sisters so I had someone to get lost with. On the flight I sat between two elders and we just talked the whole time. I tried to sleep but my mind was going crazy so I ended up only getting about 5 minutes of sleep!

Mexico City is awesome! Everything is so colorful and the traffic is sooo crazy. I am so glad that I was not the one driving. I guess is rains here every single evening so mom... It wasn´t a good idea to leave my umbrella!! It is way pretty here and I already love it. I got my name tag and it finally got real! I love it already! I haven´t met my companion or district yet but I think that I am right after this!

I signed up to give the prayer tomorrow morning so that should be interesting!! Dive into the language right!! :)

~ Hermana McMinn

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kali's Mission Farewell

Good morning brothers and sisters. I would just like to thank everyone who came today to support me as I prepare to serve a mission. I am very grateful for the influence that all of you have had in my life. For those of you who don’t know I have been called to the California Los Angeles Spanish speaking mission. I am so excited and beyond grateful for the opportunity that I get to serve the people of LA and my Savior as well.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ we believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. We are given the power of the Holy Ghost after baptism and after we are confirmed a member of the church. We are given the opportunity to have a constant companion with us who helps in time of trouble and need. The Holy Ghost speaks to us in a small and simple voice. Never in a yelling or loud manner. To hear of the promptings we must be focused and ready to hear what the Holy Ghost has to say to us. Then we must act on the promptings.
As a beehive I remember having the lessons where we were asked what our favorite gift that we have ever received was and why. My answer was usually something like a new softball bat, glove, or a new pair of cleats. Although those were definitely some of the best physical gifts I have received the answer that our leaders were mostly wanting to hear was the Holy Ghost. As I have reflected on my life and as I “retire” my glove and bat I now more fully realize that the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit, really is the best gift that any of us could be given and has had a great impact on the decisions that I have made. No matter how old we get we will never grow out of this gift, the battery will never die, and it will never be damaged. We can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost forever, as long as we stay worthy.
The Holy Ghost has many ways that he can help us. He comforts us when we need hope or love, reveals important truths to us such as whether the Book of Mormon is true. He warns us of any bad situations that we may be in and many more but the way that the Holy Ghost has especially helped me is when I have had to make important decisions. On this Earth we are given agency, or the right to choose between right and wrong, and the Holy Ghost helps with that.
For those of you who don’t really know me, I have a hard time choosing things. I can’t ever decide where I want to eat, what movie I want to watch, where I want to go to college… etc. Last year when I graduated from high school I was going to Utah State and I was not going on a mission. Luckily through the help of the Holy Ghost I have been able to make some important decisions.
When I first decided to go to Utah State I was super excited and obviously felt that I was supposed to go there but after a while I kept rethinking my decision and was doubting myself. As I prayed about what I should do BYU popped into my head and I wasn’t quite sure about going there because it never really was an option. I wasn’t even going to apply there but my parents convinced me to just apply. But as I prayed and fasted I had a strong feeling that I was supposed to go to BYU so I followed that prompting that I received. I never doubted in my mind after that that I was supposed to go there. As I walked around campus and met new people who have influenced me and my decisions I always had the strongest impression that I was exactly where I am supposed to be. That is another way that the Holy Ghost helps us.. He reassures us of the decisions that we have made.
When we have a question and we don’t have the answer the best place to find it is to turn to our Heavenly Father. We should pray to our Father asking what we should do and then wait for the prompting or answer from the Holy Ghost but we also have to do our part to receive the answer As we come to a point in our lives when we must make a decision we should inquire of the Lord first. He has a plan for us all and knows just what we need and what we should choose. One thing that I have noticed that I love in the Book of Mormon is that in Alma when there is a lot of war going on among the Nephites and the Lamanites the righteous generals usually go and inquire of the Lord before they make any decisions. In the end they always end up on top. As we strive to inquire of the Lord in all of our decisions we can end up on top as well.
In D&C section 9 versus 7-9 says… (read from scriptures) After we have asked what we should do we should then think about it in our minds and turn to the scriptures to find the answer. You may not find the answer word for word in the scriptures but the distance between ourselves and our Father in Heaven narrows when we immerse ourselves in the scriptures. We come close to the Spirit and are more in tune and have better ears to hear what we need.
After we immerse ourselves in the scriptures we need to wait and listen. The Lord works on His own timing. We must be patient. In a world where everything is instant it is very hard to be patient. We will get our answer whether it is right when we finish praying or even a month later. As I have looked back on some of the times I have asked for help or need an answer I realize that this is the part that I skip the most. After I say my prayer I go straight to bed. How can I feel the promptings that I need if I am asleep? One Sunday School lesson Brother Campbell challenged us to pray for the Holy Ghost to touch our hearts and then after the prayer we needed to stay on our knees for about 5 minutes or until we feel the Spirit. This really opened my eyes and made me realize that I don’t give the Holy Ghost enough time to answer my prayers but I just assume that I should have the answer right away.
Once we get our answer we must act on the prompting that we receive. Whenever I get a prompting I always question whether it is just one of my own thoughts or if it is actually the Holy Ghost. Elder Bednar reassures us that,”If you and I have a sincere desire for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, invite His influence into our lives through our obedience and actions, and learn to heed simple promptings and to do so quickly, then I testify and promise that we will be able to tell the difference between our own emotions telling us what we want to hear and the Holy Ghost telling us what we need to hear.” One thing that I have also thought about is what if I mistake my own thoughts for the promptings of the Holy Ghost. That is the beauty of the Atonement. Although we should learn to decipher the difference we are given the chance to be forgive of missing the prompting and we are allowed to try again. The Lord will never give up on us no matter how many times we make a mistake.
For a while I was not planning on going on a mission. I had decided… on my own… without the help of the Holy Ghost… that it was not something for me and I would just get school done as fast as I could and I was content with that. One day I was reading my scriptures and the thought that I should think more about a mission popped into my head. To be honest I kind of shook it off because I reminded myself that it wasn’t for me and I was just going to school. The thought kept coming back to me and finally I decided to act on it. I decided that I needed to ask my Heavenly Father if is this was really something that I should do. I prayed every morning and night, read my scriptures, went to the temple and fasted for my answer. I did this for about two weeks and still hadn’t had my answer so I was starting to get a little frustrated but then that Sunday I prayed again to know. As I was sitting in church that day I realized that the main message that I had gotten out of all the talks and lessons was about missionary work and I had felt the spirit stronger than I have felt in a long time. I had felt the impression that I was supposed to go and serve a mission. Being the stubborn person that I am I again was not quite sure. I thought, “I can’t do that. I don’t know enough about this Gospel how can I teach others about it? I don’t think I can leave my family for that long.” I later prayed but this time I asked my Heavenly Father, “Am I really supposed to go on a mission?” As soon as I finished my prayer all the doubts that I had in mind just a few minutes before were completely gone. I knew, without a doubt that I was supposed to serve a mission and that I was going to be the best missionary that I could be. I am so grateful that the Holy Ghost did not give up on me after giving me the first, second, and even third prompting. Our Heavenly Father wants the best for us and He wants us to return to live with Him again. He gave us the Holy Ghost so that we could have some assistance when we needed it.
To finish my talk I would like to end with a piece of an article from the Ensign by James E. Faust, a former member of the First Presidency. He helps us to know how best we can keep our lives on track with the crazy world around us. He says, “I suggest a simple solution for selecting the channel to which we attune ourselves: listen to and follow the voice of the Spirit. This is an ancient solution, even eternal, and may not be popular in a society that is always looking for something new. It requires patience in a world that demands instant gratification. This solution is quiet, peaceful, and subtle in a world enamored of that which is loud, incessant, fast paced, garish, and crude. This solution requires you to be contemplative while your peers seek physical titillation. This solution is one unified, consistent, age-old message in a world that quickly becomes bored in the absence of intensity, variety, and novelty. This solution requires us to walk by faith in a world governed by sight. With the eye of faith we are to see eternal, unseen, spiritual verities, while the masses of mankind depend solely on temporal things which can be known only through the physical senses.
We need to learn how to ponder the things of the Spirit and to respond to its promptings—to filter out the static generated by Satan. As we become attuned to the Spirit, we “shall hear a word behind [us], saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.” Hearkening to the “voice of the living God” will give us “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” These are the greatest of all the gifts of God. “
I know that this church is true and that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. I know that He lives again and loves us very much. I know that as we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again alongside our family. I know that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on this Earth and if we follow the counsel from the prophets of old and the modern day prophets we stay on the strait and narrow path. I am very grateful for the opportunity I get to serve a mission and to come close to my Savior and to also bring others closer our Savior.
And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.