Tuesday, May 31, 2011

By the Holy Ghost...

My Testimony for the Blog  5-31-2011
I am taking 18 months of my life to share why the Gospel has changed my life, how I know it is true, and because it is the source of all my joy and fulfillment, I want others to see for themselves what it can do for them. As a missionary, I study the Gospel of Jesus Christ and am working to develop a personal knowledge, that I can then apply to another’s questions. We don’t always know what another person needs to hear, so it is essential to ALWAYS have the spirit with us. We must pray and prepare for questions asked of us and be inspired to know what to teach.
We must listen to the Spirit to help us discern what direction the lesson should go. If the gospel is an item of clothing, we are the tailors. The Holy Ghost is the most effective teacher, not only for others but for missionaries. With this mission call, and my literal “setting apart” from the world we live in, it is a way to help us be receptive to the Spirit. The Lord wants to expedite our learning that we might be more effective and useful in His hands. This is dependent on our obedience and our faith and our willingness to be taught.
God is truly our loving Heavenly Father. He does not forget us or ignore us. If we are not feeling His presence in our lives it is because we are doing something wrong. We have to choose to let God in. We invite Him through obedience and humility.
D&C 136:32 ”Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God that his eyes maybe opened that he may see and his ears opened that he may hear.”
There have been times in my life that I claimed to have prayed with real intent and true faith and that God wasn’t there. If you claim you are praying with real intent and true faith for God to make Himself known unto you and nothing happened, it is because we somehow we make ourselves blind and deaf to the whisperings of the Spirit through disobedience and pride. When we are not receptive it is usually when we are struggling because of sin, first. Usually it is accountability we fear most. If God is real and I am not living parallel with Christ’s teachings then I am in trouble. If God isn’t real then I am free to do whatever I want.
As I worked to understand and develop my own testimony, my Dad asked me something I will never forget. He said: “Kate, what is scarier? The Church being true...or it all being false?" I invite you to ponder in your hearts this question.
Accountability is an intimidating concept, but I promise you obedience to the Lord’s commandments brings joy beyond the measure of any temporal satisfaction. D&C 130:19-23
Since I have been in the MTC, I have knelt and prayed with more conviction and intent than ever before!  Any areas I have questions or doubts about I study out in my mind, then pray asking the Lord directly to help find the truth. God answers our prayers. We have the literal power to converse with Him through prayer and the Holy Ghost. We just have TO DO IT! Ponder in your heart and minds what your doubts may be, then take them to Heavenly Father. ASK AND LISTEN. We don’t call someone, tell then what we want and hang up. We talk and we converse and we inquire about needs and we wait for a response. The Lord cannot answer if we don’t listen!
D&C 8:1-2 "I say unto you that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God, your redeemer, even so surely you may receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in FAITH, with an HONEST HEART. Yea behold I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the HOLY GHOST which shall come upon you and which shall swell in your heart.”
I know Heavenly Father is real. He is waiting for us to open that line of communication so he can assist us, guide us, and strengthen us with Christ’s love through the Holy Ghost. WE ARE NEVER UNWORTHY OF GOD’S LOVE. If we are not living parallel with his will, we must confess and ask for forgiveness so we might be worthy of receiving the fullness of His blessings. Strengthen your relationship with Him today. Acknowledge His hand reaching out to you in your life. Your joy will expand tenfold. I promise. I LOVE YOU. God loves you. Don’t forget it!
Sister Lovell

Friday, May 27, 2011

Departing for England

Hey family

My departure is May 30th. I will call at 9 or 3 so be ready!

Answers to your questions: Most of the scriptures I chose to study are what our investigators need to know more about...so personal study really means time to study personally what your investigators need...haha. It's awesome. It's like Sunday School because you learn more than they do sometimes through prepping!
The boys should focus on their development and understanding of prayer, it is our life line to God. Use it everyday. A prayer in your heart does not mean you can't also say a prayer out loud. We should be praying all day everyday and constantly communicating with God so we always know our desires and actions are in line with what he would have us do.
The qualities I most admire in other missionaries would have to be those who lead by example. It is so easy to reach doctrinal saturation and want to get off task. Our zone leaders are great examples to me of this diligence. They always have the spirit and kindly help everyone stay on task. I am trying to be that leader.
You asked about leadership experiences...WOW.
I know why I was sent to Provo MTC..it was to bond and serve these wonderful sisters. This Saturday night was really intense. My companion came into the room bawling because a girl in the bathroom was singing a song from her brother's funeral service. This lead to another sister having an emotional trigger about her father's death.Pretty soon both were crying. I felt so driven by the spirit. We were able to comfort one another and talk through many of the reasons why we are here. We gained power and testimony of this work by teaching and serving one another. I realized all I am learning here in the MTC REALLY DOES APPLY to real life. I will write more about this night later.
Sunday there was a fireside with Robert P Swenson the director of missionary services. There was a beautiful musical number where all the departing Japanese missionaries sang. I thought of you DAD and could just imagine young you standing up there, the only white kid. I loved it. Brother Swenson spoke on Alma 37-LOOK TO GOD and LIVE. This was my EFY theme one year!:) It was cool because it really spoke to me. Our whole purpose is to help people understand God and feel closer to him and invite others to come unto Christ. I advise all to read this chapter as it is powerful and applicable to us all.
This week we have been focusing a lot on teaching people not lessons. This is my favorite fundamental because I AGREE. I have felt this theme in my life. I love people, talking to them and getting to know them. And if we truly get to know them first ONLY then can we effectively deliver the specific message they need to hear.
Tues. night was AMAZING! the spirit was buzzing. Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke. IT IS SUCH A BLESSING to have a member of the twelve come. Sister Nelson quote: "Obedience brings blessings, EXACT obedience brings miracles!" Elder Nelson spoke on being an effective missionary. My favorite thing he shared was an analogy about a car. If we as missionaries are like cars, then our batteries will recharge best while we are running. I LOVE THIS! IT IS SO TRUE, the busier I am, the more energy the Lord provides...and then I sleep like a rock!
I want you to know I bought a mini binder for all my notes and on the cover I have a picture of the family with a note that says families can be together forever! The family is the most important unit God ever created. Words cannot express how much it means to me to have the incredible love and support I feel from you, family! Thank you for letters! Mail on a mission is like gold. I feel your sweet words of prayer everyday and pray for each of you as well!!

Keep writing!No more DEAR ELDER but tell everyone to post things to me in Manchester. I LOVE YOU WISH ME LUCK AND BE EXPECTING PICTURES.I LOVE YOUUUU!

Sister Lovell

Kate has a visa.

Kate's visa for the UK arrived just in time. She will be leaving Monday for Manchester.  Please write her at her new address. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 18th 2011

I wanted to take a moment and express how much I love you, especially for my family and am grateful for your wonderful examples. I so appreciate your letters! Thank you Mom, Dad, boys, Merc, Carrie, Nick, Rich, Lou, Hunter, and Shelley for writing me! I am so humbled and grateful for the immense love and support I feel.

The MTC is amazing. Not only the Spirit but the organization. They have running this thing down to an art! There are so many missionaries in here I'm shocked things can run so smoothly. It has everything to do with the District Presidents and Branch Presidents. Our Branch President, President Myers, is a saint. I respect him so much.  He truly exudes light and love, as does his wife. I really got lucky!

The Christlike attribute I am focusing on this week is diligence. Everyday something here is hard, whether it is waking up early, getting rejected by our role play investigators, you name it. But I am really trying to catch myself when I feel "over it" and be diligent, persevere and "Endure to the End." I want to master self-disipline now, here in the MTC, not in the field. I know I can do all things and I know that when I kneel down and ask with  true intent and faith the Lord will answer me. He does make up the difference. I have felt it in everything.
I didn't have a minute to write yesterday but today is Sunday . I will tell you about my busy Sabbath. They say Sunday is a day of rest but there is no such thing as rest on a mission. Up at 6:30 and in the computer lab by 7. Part of the pilot program are on-line surveys and learning activities. Breakfast at 8-8:30.Branch Council, Leadership training for my calling 8:30-9:30. RS 9:30-10:50, District Mtg with President Meyers to be taught how to have District mtgs.:) 11:-11:30 More computer activities until 1. Lunch 1-1:30. SACRAMENT MEETING-the way they decide the program is -each missionary is to write a talk on a subject- This week=Repentance. The talk is to be 3-5 minutes long and after the Sacrament, President stands up and invites 2 missionaries(ready or not) to share their talks with the branch. I did not have enough time to plan for our investigators, do computer homework, study, memorize, go to mtgs., breath AND write a talk on repentance. So I just hadn't done it. We walk into to Sac. mtg. and I just felt it. I was going to be called because I wasn't ready. Then I thought, "NO, the Lord knows how busy I am with the new calling, He wouldn't do that."
We take the Sacrament and sure enough..."Today we will have the pleasure of hearing from Sister Lovell and Elder Charez." I remembered that parent teacher conference in which, I hadn't realized it was student led and just started talking...ha! I got up and shared some scriptures and quotes from Elder C Scott Grow's talk on the Atonement from last conference. I shared personal experiences, bore testimony and sat down. President Myers and I made eye contact and he smiled at me, had tears in his eyes, and mouthed the words, "Perfect!" The Lord knew I had worked my hardest and literally just didn't have time. But apparently someone in that room needed the Lord's message to them on repentance...And they needed if from my mouth! I was quite glad President Meyer was pleased. He is incredible. I don't know if I can articulate his leadership style but he is sarcastic and comical ,while remaining reverent. He is a true man of God.
After dinner we had our temple walk and then another coordinating sister mtg. for 2 hours, dinner then a zone leadership mtg. So many mtgs! Some in which we talk about the same things, but at least we won't forget!:) Finally we had a fireside at 7 with Elder Cecil Samuelson. Very very cool!

Lights out, I love you all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 7 5-18-2011

I am obsessed with the MTC and the mission!!!

My companion is Sister Bush and she is from Australia. I love her so much. We get along so great and having a blast. I couldn't ask for anyone better. In my district we have 4 sisters and 6 elders. We have so much fun learning together. Our district leader is Elder Allpin. He is 23 and I really respect him for working to get here. I guess he knows Drew and Ben and says hello!

I got a calling my first full day (last Thurs.) to be the coordinating sister in our zone and district. It's fun! I basically make sure that all the sisters are doing well and do some inspections when we leave. Nothing too difficult. My favorite teacher is Brother Haward. He reminds me of how Parker will be when he comes home, so solid, and and super entertaining as well!

Our district is a part of the new PILOT of the PILOT for how they're teaching missionaries in here. It's really cool they are changing the way everything works and we are the guinea pigs.:)We get to teach ALL the time. From the first night we have been put in situations with investigators and we are doing TONS of roleplays and pretend invesitgators. Instead of teaching us how to teach and then letting us apply it... we teach as we learn. It's so cool. It really helps to humble you and rely entirely on the Lord and the Spirit to guide you...and let me tell you, IT WORKS!!

There is a reason the MTC is so special. Even though there are thousands of rowdy boys and girls the Spirit is SO TANGIBLE here. I wish I could bring all my friends in for Tues. night devotionals. Last night Elder Richard G. Hinkley spoke. He is the head of the Mission Board and Pres. Hinkley's son. He spoke so beautifully on missionary work and how to be effective. He spoke on 2nd Timothy chapter 1 and I invite all of you to read it. He spoke on verse 6 and our need to stir up the gift of God. All too often we convince ourselves that we are fine and we don't need help from God or anyone. We need to humble ourselves and STIR UP THE GIFT OF GOD. Pray and invite the Lord to truly assist us. Without Him we are nothing but with Him we can accomplish all things!!

I have been challenged to memorize the mission statement under..."Your purpose" in Preach My Gospel. pg. 1. I invite everyone to do the same, then read it, and apply it. It applies to everyone, not just missionaries in the field.

Food for thought:
D&C 4
Alma 34
1 Ne. 11:17
Jacob 1:19

I love you all soooo much!!! Thank you for all the letters... and please keep writing me.
Prayers please that my visa comes through by June 1st!

Sister Lovell:)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Notes from former Manchester England Sister Missionary- Allyson Ashton Chard

 "The best thing of Manchester Mission is a beautiful country, rich in Church History. I felt it an honor to serve in an area here so many of the original church members came from. The first area I was called to serve was a town called Ashton ....and I was Sister Ashton! I found my golden family in that town. The woman had once lived in SLC and was a nurse the LDS hosptial. She once cared for President McKay. Pres. McKay asked her if she was of the LDS faith. She said no. Pres. McKay said, "One day you will be." It took her moving to Ashton and me serving there to find her and teach her the Gospel. So many great stories. Good luck. I will be thinking about you!"

Day 2-MTC

Day 2!

I am half way through the second day. I am trying my best not to use my normal lingo(ie... guys, girls, it's chill)and it's more difficult than it seems..haha. Our schedule: Up at 6:30, personal study 7-7:50, then breakfast until 8:15,  gym until 9:30-Then workshop for an hour,  from 10-11. We talked about various individuals and watched short clips. After each clip we analyzed:
-what did we learn about this person?
-what do you think the Lord sees and feel when he looks at this person?
It was a great activity to practice what it will be like with REAL investigators. The mission is such a glorious opportunity to practice what we preach. I am so humbled to be here. I feel I know little but with the Lord we are always made whole. Whatever I lack as a missionary the Lord can compensate. This applies to our investigators as well. When they fear, doubt, or struggle,  if they humbly ask God the Father for assistance or guidance... He Will Always Show Up! I know that He does not forget anyone.:)

You will be happy to know my companion and I are very active in participation and are trying to bond with our district! Have to go to class now, but I LOVE YOU,

Sister Lovell

1st day letter-MTC Provo

Day 1: MTC

I am a missionary! How wild! It still hits me in waves. I am so grateful for everyone's love and support in this whole process. I dearly love you all!...And I finally made it to the MTC. My first day has been a whirlwind. We were given room assignments, and mine is the furthest away from everything. My host said,  "I hope you don't get put in 3M" and of course it's my bldg:) My district is great. We have 4 sisters which is lucky! We are also roomies so that is extra bonding. MY COMPANION IS THE COOLEST!  She's from Sydney Australia and her name is Sister Bush. She's darling, spunky,  about 5'5" and ready to serve her mission:) We get along very well already. Everyone in my district is going to Ca. English speaking(different areas around San Fran. except me.:)

Had a salad for dinner-feeling sheepish about the food but I'll get better and braver, I'm sure. I'm safe, I'm healthy, and I love the MTC so far!

Honestly it just seems surreal. I keep thinking about Tiff, Hunt, TJ here doing just this same thing. I also think of the boys. I look around at all these cute 19 year olds and I just see Dylan everywhere. I can't wait to write him and express how happy I am with him and how excited I am for him to have this opportunity.
I am sorry this is a short letter but it's been a whole 8 hrs. now of processing information and I am beat.I love you so much. I am so happy to be here to show the Lord how grateful I am for this Gospel and the great calling I have to  "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentence, baptism, recieving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.
That is our purpose statement... which I am currently memorizing. Pray for me! I will pray for you as always,

Love and Hugs,  Sister Lovell

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kate arrives at the Provo MTC

Sister Lovell entering the MTC, glowing and excited. Last words overheard to the Host Elders as she walked away …”Let’s Do This!” 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Kate going to Provo - MTC

Originally, Kate was to fly directly to the UK and the England MTC.  Her visa has not arrived so now she is going to the Provo MTC.  She reports May 11th!