Tuesday, October 29, 2013

P-day 2

Two weeks down, not enough to go.   This has been one of the best experiences that I have ever had.   I am so happy to be out here preparing to serve my mission.   I can't wait to get out there.      

This past week has gone by very fast.   The classes have focused on the Fundamentals of Teaching that we have in our MTC Experience booklet.   They focus on teaching by the Spirit, teaching the people, and helping them to receive Revelation for themselves.   The classes have been very fun and I feel like I learned a lot from them.   We read through most of PMG (Preach My Gospel) at one point or another in the past week and half or so.   I really enjoy the books that they gave us to study and to be able to come to a better understanding.   We do a lot of role playing here in the MTC and I'm told, out in the mission field.   It can be hard at first, but it is a great way to learn how to understand someones concerns and how to be able to teach a real person.   We did something called TRC this past week, which is where we teach an Investigator, without knowing if it is a real investigator or a member who volunteered to help out.
Me and my Companion didn't do so well.   We got a few lessons across, but either she wasn't willing to listen or we were really bad teachers.   I would place it somewhere in the middle.   Our last time talking to her, she told us to meet her at the dinning room, so we found her and started to try to talk with her.   For the first few minutes she was listening and responding, then she got to the point where she wouldn't answer and wouldn't look up at us, and we said our goodbyes and left her to her meal.   Neither me nor my companion could figure out what went wrong with the lessons.   I still don't really know, but I am confident that I learned from it, and it is nice to know that I still need to improve on some things.   We talked a lot in classes about how when you think you can do it all yourself, that is usually when God decides to let you try it so you can be humble before him and remember it is his work, not ours.   

My companion and I had a few issues this week.   We had a few arguments that we had to work through that could have really slowed us down.   But we got through them and I think we both learned and grew from it.   I learned that the slightest of contention between a companionship will drive away the Spirit and make teaching impossible.   I also learned some things that I need to work on, and have started to Work on.   I am working on being patient and more humble, and also in trusting the Lord's knowledge more and mine less.   I think that it was a great experience for me.   As for what he learned, you would have to ask him.   I think that overcoming that helped us to teach better in our lessons and helped us to work better as a companionship.   Not saying that I want a similar situation with every companion that I have, but this time it seemed like it was a good thing.   

We all got our reassignments this week (well all but Elder Merritt who doesn't seem to exist on the MTC's records for some reason).   We have people who are going to Florida, Louisiana, California and even one who is going to Canada (it is funny cause he is from Canada in the first place).   I myself am going to the San Jose California mission with two other Elders from my zone, Elder Oleson and Elder Merritt (a different Elder Merritt then the one previously mentioned.   We had two Elder White's and two Elder Merritt's.   How fun is that?)   We have in our District now only five of us left.   Most of the others left in the last two days  and all but the Elder Merritt without a reassignment are leaving tomorrow in the very early morning.   Last night was weird, we usually all gather in the hallway outside of our rooms, and we did that last night.   But it was weird how many of us were gone.   It is a little sad, because we have all become very close friends over the last two weeks.   It is cool thought, because we speculate that we will next meet on our way to Zimbabwe in a transfer or two.   I heard that San Jose is more of a service mission, and as I've been told I am only really good at manual labor.   So that is a good thing.   ;)

I have run into a lot of my old friends from up in Washington and met a few from up there two.   I have seen friends from Camp Helaman who I had really hoped to run into, and a few that I didn't even know where here yet.   I met a friendly sister from Sumner in the line to play four square in the gym, and I ran into the Elder who left our ward shortly after I did.   Now that I am trying to I won't be able to think of his name.   But I am sure you know who it is.   I really enjoyed that, it was nice to see some old and familiar faces among the new.   

We were given a few parting words from our teachers last night, all of whom are return missionaries from either a month or two ago to a few years, who offered us their suggestions on what think we should try to do, or what they wish they had done while they were on their missions.   Brother Dunford and Brother Craft told us nine things they would suggest.   

#1 When you are discouraged you should look for people to Love and Serve
#2 Don't wait, Don't take it easy
#3 Give yourself a break. Don't expect to be perfect.
 Do the best you can at doing the best you can
#4 The field is Very White
#5 We are very lucky. We have an extra portion.
#6 Be a Leader, no matter your leadership calling
#7 Keep a journal. Everyday
#8 Be bold, work hard, be obedient, have the Spirit and love.
#9 Be wary of distractions. both past and future.
#10 You have been prepared.
#11 Focus everything on your purpose. You will Baptize more people.

I guess that was eleven things.   But they are things that our teachers told us would make us better missionaries and there a few they wish they had done.  

We were told in a Departure Devotional to "Never, never leave your mission.  Take it with you."   Me and my zone get the opportunity to have two missions for the price of one.   I think that will be very cool.   Brother Nelson the Second Councilor of my branch Presidency told me that he thinks I will be paired up with weaker missionaries, or missionaries who are struggling.   He said he thinks that because he believes I have the strength to help them and buoy them up.   I think that is pretty cool.   :)

My friend Elder White is so good at quoting voices from movies.   I think the one he does best is Chi Foo from Mulan.   "You men owe me a new pair of slippers."   He would randomly say that to us in the residence hall.   It was so funny and cool how good he was at that voice.   I knew more lines, but he was great at mimicking.  

"I see you have found the Sacred Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom.   Is that what this is?   I am so sorry, I thought it was a regular peach tree."

I thought you might like to hear that mom.   Say mom could you send me the numbers and email addresses of Bryon and Kenji and Liz and Jon, and.... well I guess everyone you can think of that you think I don't have.   Expect a call from me early in the morning mom, we are able to call from the airport on the way out.   But that may be around five in the morning so you may still be at work, if you are I will leave you a message.   Love you all. Bye.   

Elder Andrew Michael Melot. 

Friday, October 25, 2013


Hey just FYI, my entire zone got our reassignments tonight.   I have been issued a temporary mission call to San Jose California!   I will be departing the MTC on the 30th of October (This Wednesday coming up) at 4:30 AM.   I am flying on Delta airlines, and two of my fellow zone members Elder Olsen and Elder Merrit will be going to the same mission.   I am so excited mom, and I hope you will check this email before you go to work tonight.   Tell dad I'm sorry, but I wont be going to Iowa for my mission.   This is soooooo cool.   I can't wait for Wednesday.   

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My First WOW six days at the MTC

Hello Family, Friends, and Loved ones.   

It is hard to believe that I have only been in the MTC for six days.   It feels like so much more then that to me and to my companion.   I arrived here on Wednesday of last week.   Mom cried a little.   Not nearly so much as I had expected her to though.   I was dropped off at the curb and two very friendly Elders who told me they were going to New Jersey to speak Korean.   How cool is that?!
They took me around the MTC grounds and helped me find my name tag, the packets I would need and my Residence Hall.   Honestly I had very few questions I was so excited to be there, however I did ask them to show me the Creme Soda tree, and Elder Dunn was right.   It does in fact smell like Creme Soda.   After that they took me to my class room and I got to meet my new companion.

My companions name is Elder Mathew Butterfield, and he is from South Jordan Utah.   I like to think that we instantly connected.   He knows Sign Language just like me!   Then we got to meet the rest of our District and Zone.   This all feels like soooo long ago to me.   We got to then go and meet the Mission President of the MTC and his Presidency.   The day went very well, with bonds of friendship forming between my companion and I and between our room mates Elders Write and Stimpson.   

The entire week we wake at 6:30 in the morning (or earlier if you want to beat the rush to the showers) and then you get dressed and go to study.   You have individual and Companion study.   Then you usually go to breakfast.   Most days you get 30-45 minuets for your meals (it all depends on your schedule).   Then you go to class.   The classes can vary form studying a certain section of Preach My Gospel, to passages of Scripture, to the Fundamentals of Missionary work.   I feel like I've learned so much already.   My entire class looks to me for doctrinal/scriptural knowledge.   We'll be sitting in class and someone will say something along the lines of "Elder Melot, where can I find a scripture on this principle or that that topic. (I couldn't think of a specific example my mind just went blank.)   It is kind of fun.   And there is no down time between getting here and teaching.   Day two our first day of learning we began to prepare to teach investigators.   They weren't kidding when they said that from the instance you step out of your car onto the grounds you are in your service.   The past several days have continued like that (with a few variables in the schedule like gym time or some such) and looks like it will continue to do so until we leave.   

Still no word on the visa situation, but we are planned to leave this Sunday for.... somewhere.   Yesterday Elder Merrit came into class and was all like "I know where we are going to be sent."   We were all so excited until he said "On and Adventure."   We all were a little irritated at him for that.   But it is all in fun.   

I've really enjoyed being here thus far and I can't wait to get into the Field.   

Much Love,

Elder Andrew Michael Melot

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Farewell Address

  Good afternoon Brothers and Sisters,
I am glad that I have the opportunity to stand before you today and give a talk, for the last time for a few years. I hope that I can make this talk last for the fifteen minuets that I've been given. The topic I received centers on a verse and two questions that pertain to the verse and my calling as a missionary. The verse is found in Jacob chapter 5 verse 72. (READ THE VERSE) The questions that I was asked to talk on and that hopefully I can answer are; how does this verse apply to missionary work, and how do you get the Lord to labor with you in missionary work.

This verse is part of a parable that Jacob quotes throughout most of Chapter 5 that is taken from a Prophet named Zenos. The parable talks about a olive tree that is beginning to wither and die. The Lord of the Vineyard is grieved to lose the tree and so works to save it. He prunes it and digs about it and nourishes it in an attempt to make it grow and produce fruit. After this work parts of the tree begin to grow, but the main branches continue to die. So the Lord sends his servant to gather wild olive branches and graft them into the tree, and he has the dead branches removed and thrown into a fire. Then he took branches that were alive from the tree and placed them throughout his garden where ever he desired. After this had been done the Lord of the Vineyard had the tree pruned and dug about and nourished and then they left it to grow on its own.

After some time had passed the Master and his servant returned and found that the tree was growing and the fruit from the wild branches had brought forth good fruit. And the other parts that the Lord had taken off the tree and planted and nourished had also brought forth good fruit, and the Lord of the Vineyard had the fruit gathered and laid up in store. Then after a long time had passed and the end was near, the Master and his servant again checked the vineyard and found that all the trees were bringing forth evil fruit. And the Master worried that all his trees would have to be hewn down and cast into the fire. The servant and the Master worked again to re-graft the old natural branches into the first tree that it may bring forth good fruit, and they called on servants to help them do that. And so they started from the last to the first to care for the trees, that the good may over come the bad and the bad may be cast into the fire. And so the good over came the bad and at the end of the parable the Master promised the servants that they would have joy with him because of the fruit they had gathered.

In this parable the Children of Israel were likened unto the Olive tree. The Master of the Vineyard is Jesus Christ. The vineyard is the Earth and the servants are missionaries. The parts of the tree that were cut off and planted elsewhere are the scattered children of Israel who before the end have to be gathered. And the fruit I think are the people, the ones who need to be found and taught the gospel and of Christ.

All throughout the scriptures the Lord calls for and instructs people to be missionaries. In Jeremiah 16:16 the Lord says “Behold I will send for many fishers, Saith the Lord, and they shall fish them and after will I send for many hunters and they shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and out of the holes of the rocks.” The Savior in his Earthly ministry told his Apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John that he would make them Fishers of Men. We also find this in Doctrine and Covenants 4 where we are told “the field is white, already to harvest.” and in John 21 when the Savior meets his Apostles on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias and asks Peter three times “Peter lovest thou me?” Each time Peter answers yes to the question and the Lord responds “Feed my sheep.” My mission call didn't say a thing about sheep but the statement “feed my sheep” is simply put a call to missionary service.

My verse says that “The servants did go and labor with their mights.” Mights is often used in scriptures to mean talents. Talents can be abilities that a person has or simply things they are good at. So essentially the Servants did go and labor with all their mights or talents, means that they served and gave all that they had to their service. Doctrine and Covenants 4 says that if ye embark in the service of God “See that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength” or with all that you have. My aunts, and uncles and my leaders and friends who have served on missions say that it is one of the hardest things that you can do, and that it will take all that you have and more, but that it is worth it.

I also like how the verse says “Servants” as in plural. We are told in Doctrine and Covenants 42: 6 that we shall “go forth two by two preaching the gospel because in doctrine and covenants 6: 28 we are told that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” As I was finding scriptures and thinking about my topic my mom and I were talking about it and she noticed that we even see this when the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph in the Sacred Grove in JSH 1: 17 when it says “and one of them spake unto me calling me by name and said pointing to the other This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him.” Even when the Father and Son appeared they came together so that one could support the other in all things.

The verse also emphasizes the importance of Obedience. It says “and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the Vineyard in all things.” we're taught that the commandments are there to help us and to keep us safe. When you're on a mission they do more then that however. They open you to the spirit of the Lord. I've been counseled by missionaries who served both past and present to pay strict obedience to the mission rules, and to look upon them as though they had come straight from the Lord to me. In a way I suppose they have. I've read stories in the Ensign about how when missionaries begin to have trouble in an area that one of the first things they do is look at how they treat each other and how well they follow the mission rules. I've been told that not all of the mission rules will make sense to me at the time I receive them, but that they are important and are there for a reason.

I think that this verse really lays out the basics of missionary service: You work hard for and with the Lord and you obey the Lord, and you let the results come in the Lords own time. And you remember how important the work is to the Lord, as we are told in Doctrine and Covenants 18: 10 “Remember the worth of souls is great is in the sight of God.”

Now for that second question; how do you get the Lord to labor with you. I think this is the big one. In the past four years I've gone to camp Helaman they taught us that we are only there to convert one person: Ourselfs. We can't convert others, that isn't our job. Our job is to find those who are ready to listen and learn and teach them. We need the Spirit to do the job of converting people. And so while at the camp they have all these great speakers come and talk to us about inviting the Spirit and recognizing the Spirit and and trusting the Spirits promptings.

But you still have to get the Spirit to be there with you. I think that the Spirit is always there, ready and waiting to help you in any way that it can. You just need to trust it. In 1st Nephi 3: 7 we see a great example of just that. Nephi shows his courage and trust in the Lord declaring “ I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save He shall prepare a way that they may accomplish that which he has commanded them.” For Nephi he had to “Go and Do” with faith, trusting in the Lord before the Miracles could happen. Faith always precedes the Miracles.

In Doctrine and Covenants 130: 20-21 we are promised that as we obey the Lord and his laws we will receive blessings for that obedience. But first we have to be willing to obey him. A perfect example of that is Abraham. He was told to sacrifice his only son Jacob to the Lord. Abraham even though it must have been difficult for him, was willing to obey this commandment as was Jacob. Even though the Lord didn't make Abraham sacrifice his son, because of his Faith and willingness to obey Abraham and his descendants were blessed.
I think the first step in having the spirit there to help you is to pray for it and to trust it in what ever it tells you to do. This, I think, will open you to the spirit and bring you closer to it.

I think aside from being willing to obey the Lord the best way to have the Lord serve with you is to simply do the work. In the first four books of the New Testament we are told that “he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” So we simply must lose ourselfs in the work, forget about what is happening at home, what college we were going to go to. Whither or not The University of Utah is going to beat BYU again and forget about what ever may be worrying us. We are told that when we go on a mission we are on the Lord's time, and we need to use that time, cause two years can go really fast. I think a great example of this is President Hinckly. He had been called to serve in England, and after some time in the field he was feeling frustrated. He felt he was having little if any success in his mission. He wrote home to his dad and expressed his feelings of worry and frustration. He even went so far as to tell his dad “I feel I am waisting my time and your money.” his father wrote back to him and told him simply “Gordon, forget yourself and go to work.”

That was just what the young elder needed to hear. He followed his father's advice and went to work. When his mission concluded he had had a very successful mission. He had forgotten himself and went to work as his father had advised.

I think it is important to remember the reason that we serve on missions, to be humble, and that we have the faith to trust the Lord and his plan. I think those are the best ways we have to get the Lord to labor with us.
This past weekend I had a rough time. Last Saturday my family went to my cousin's funeral. It was a somber occasion, and often I wondered what the plan could have been, and what the reasons were behind the sudden death of my cousin. Later that night I had a religious talk with my brother Kenji which consisted of his telling me why my faith was stupid and me trying not to let it turn into a shouting match in the middle of Red Robins. Latter that evening when we had gotten home my mom and dad talked with me about it. We talked about faith and about how we may not have all the answers but that it's okay. Because God has all the answers and is looking out for us. I hope that when I get into the mission field I will be able to have faith in the Lord and his plan and be able to find those that are ready to be taught. I hope that I will be able to serve the Master and that he will serve with me over the next two years of my mission.


 I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Come see me.

Tomorrow between 4:00 and 6:30pm anyone who would like to is invited to stop in at my house and see me one more time.  There will be cinnamon rolls, brownies and stuff.  If you can't make it, I will miss you.


This blog information is being posted to my mom's facebook.  Hopefully someone sees it.

Monday, October 7, 2013


I am scheduled to enter the Provo MTC on October 16 by 2:30pm.  My parents will be dropping me off at the door. I do not yet have my snail mail contact information but as soon as I do it will be posted.  My email address for while I am gone is andrew.melot@myldsmail.net.