Bienvenidos a la Mision Chile Santiago Norte! We love the Savior, and are blessed to be part of this great work, to share His gospel, and invite others to come unto Him. We are grateful to have this incredible opportunity to associate with such fine young men and women and other couples who are serving in this wonderful part of the vineyard. We decided to share this mission through a blog, with any who would like to know more.... All of the lessons, talks, training, conferences, and meetings are obviously done totally in Spanish, but for the sake of this writer, the notes are here in English, for speed in typing, and therefore, mixed with a bit of both worlds. We hope all of our missionaries, families, and loved ones can enjoy this blog, in spite of the writing, grammar, language, errors, etc. This will be a miraculous journey, and we invite you to share and enjoy it with us.

Lovingly, con cariño,
Presidente Michael May
Hermana Carol May

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ways to remember citations, memorize and mark Scriptures

During the month of October, Hermana May spent time with each missionary(after they had their private, personal interview with Presidente May)to ask them for their ideas about how they memorize,remember, mark their scriptures and what really works for them individually. One dear Elder shared with her that he had the most rainbow colored, elaboratly marked set of scriptures after about 1.3 yrs in the mission, only to have them stolen! He realized that he needed to have them marked in his HEART and not just on the pages in his books. This is what these insightful, masterful teachers shared during those special conversations;

Ways to remember and mark scriptures:
Personal insights from our magnificent missionaries! Oct 2010 .

• Remember stories, problems, answers used in the stories. Remember Chpt 5 PMG, questions of the soul.
• Read the BofM stories simplified to get better overview of all the stories
• Colors used come from chpt headings in PMG. Look for themes and topics from BofM and the Bible.
• Ask for the Holy Ghost to remind me what I read. Mosiah 2:41
• Look for something personal each time, not just the chapter topics to guide me.
• Try to summarize what I read in Personal study and record that in study journal.
• Remember/memorize the topic headings of each chapter!
• Topics in lessons from PMG
• Sharing the scriptures I just studied in personal study with my companion in our study.
• When I learn for an investigator, and teach it in that day, it stays with me better
• Simple codes and clues help
• Questions of the soul answer many needs
• Highlight or I put a color dot on each question mark and they stand out to me. This shows me when others are asking questions and their answers I can use too, for myself.
• Learn by the stories in the scriptures. Those stay with me, and I find them by stories.
• All of my scripture mastery are one color. Those I can find and I use them often
• I NEVER mark my scriptures! I remember by context, where the topics took place and that reminds me where they are to go look for them again.
• I share them somewhere, after I learn them. Make use of them, don’t just store away in book!
• I don’t like to mark them, or have them messy. I bold, write over the font in letters just the part I want to remember and stand out for my investigators to read.
• When I have personal experiences with them, I can use them again in topics or themes.
• I enjoy seeing when God reveals his character to us when He gives revelations.
• I use blank copy when I go out to teach. I have to prepare ahead, remember and ask Holy Ghost to give me the insight and reminder from my studies. (Brave!) Remember them by principles and who went through the experience, then I can find them.
• I like to think of where that happened in the history of the book.
• I read somewhere that if I REALLY want to remember them, I wouldn’t mark them. That is as if you are telling yourself that you stored that information in the book, it is saved there, and now I don’t have to store it safely in my brain! Wow, what a novel idea. Don’t just mark to save in book. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
• Remembers a story when a 70 in the church lost his copy of B of M, he couldn’t get started reading again for days. He felt like the copy he had was his life one, and the new one wouldn’t help him as much. (Elder Gene R. Cook?)
• I use the same scripture a lot to have it stay with me. Jacob 4:1-3….why scriptures stay with us. (Elder Bruce R. McConkie started a new B of M each year!)
• Enjoy the scriptures. They give me treat. Like a real comfort. They teach me during my trials.
• Every day I have a new goal. I find a few that I like, and use them during the day, many times. I also site them when I teach them. Use different themes, and they come to you, the same scripture.
• I ask how they apply to my personal life. Why do I want to mark it? I think when the people look for help and strength from the Lord, I see they are blessed, by faith.
• I like to BOLD, write over the letters with ink, in Spanish. They stand out and reinforce the words to me, as I write over them. I love the stories. Mosiah 14:7-9. Its great. Let’s memorize it.
• I write in my journal how this applies to me. Text to me….I list by topics. Then I also prepare mini talks, with my companion, 3-4 scriptures by topic, with personal stories and testimony. Ready!
• My scripture mastery/dominio are all marked, also about baptism, and preguntas del alma.
• Lots of post-it notes, with thoughts about the doctrine. Roll play with companion using new ones.
• Later I walk with my B of M, blank copy in hand. I have to rely on the Holy Ghost to remind me which ones I need to share, and can’t depend on my crutch, marked scriptures in my pension.
• Use blank copy while teaching. I have to know where each person, new identity starts teaching and talking to find it in context. I use the guide in the back, when all else fails!
• I put them in by themes. Then after I know where one great one is, I scripture chain them, and mark in the margin the next leading one, go there, add another scripture in the margin and the chain leads me along in teaching!
• Read by the numbers, not just the context?
• Alma 33:23, use my agenda often to record.
• I like to re-read my lists often. They stay fresher to me, and then I can add new ones to it.
• It’s important for me to know the story/history, so I can remember who talks when.
• Read out loud, in voz alto! Reminds me where I am, in what context.
• Learn what I got from the story, not just reading. What principle, doctrine, and insight I learned new or need to apply to my life today. That helps me to remember why I am reading right there.
• If I go to find a scripture and can’t find it, I write the thought down, search for it at home, and then when I’ve had to go find and hunt for it, usually I then never forget it again. The trick is to not forget to write the thought down, or you forget to go look for it too.
• Remember by one word themes, Atonement, Faith, repentance, etc. I try to apply the scripture of the day in THAT day. It takes faith for me to share it sometime that day.
• Sometimes I try to put it to music, like memorizing it to a song. Difficult sometimes.
• I’ve worked on learning the 100 PMG citas. When you mark them you think you already know them so you’ve stored them with the marks. Not as effective.
• Coordinate the numbers with addition, subtraction, etc and that helps me to remember. I like numbers, digits, pages, etc. Coordinate them to remember. (Only if you do study in same language!)
• I know I have to be worthy of the spirit to have the conocimiento. Hechos 8
• Mark by themes and then the story.
• Start my studies with in-depth questions. I find the response and then label that. Pdte May had us read, “Living waters ” a talk by Elder Bednar changed my mission scripture study. Now I look for questions my real investigators have before I start, and then find answers. I look for doubts and find the answers. I find answers and think of their questions, this bridges connections, like he said. Read Alma 22-homework…Set a goal to use that scripture I'm learning 3x in one day.
• I look for doctrine, principles and applications and then see them in the stories. I daily write my impressions about it, so that the study isn’t just habitual.
• Color and line the number by theme. I use a song or make a rhyme like children’s songs-helps.
• I like using my English copy to search(Latin Elder) and search for topics.
• Read out loud. I love poetry and also drama performances. So the feelings of these people are more memorized and retained as I say them as if I were the speaker expressing these thoughts. It stays with my and I feel the spirit put the gospel into action.It helps me show love for them and teaching people, not just scriptures.
• I try to have a relation with each doubt or question, the answer from someone. Then I can relate them to each other.
• Memorize citas by the chapter headings.
• Like to think chronologically. Using inspired questions, I think of where the story took place, Alma-king Lamoni, and it helps me think of topics, service, spirit, needs, questions, doubts, etc.
• Scripture mastery always stays with me. I like to practice and use them too.
• I learn by the needs of others. DyC 20.
• Use the index and search with investigators
• I love the stories in the BofM and I review Chpt 3 in PMG MANY times. Repetition, I remember
• Go into the street with a blank copy, and ask the Holy Ghost to remind me and guide me in the thoughts and scriptures I need to share.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

“A Tree that was Tall, but Fell Short…”

Recently one of the trees in the front of the mission home fell down during a heavy rain. The tree was one of the biggest and tallest of all of the trees in the front yard. It measured more than 48 feet tall with the diameter of the trunk being more than 2 feet. Apparently the weight of water soak leaves and oversaturated soil combined with a strong wind caused the tree to topple over. Evidently the tree did not have roots sufficiently thick and deep enough to keep the tree from falling. Because the yard has been watered regularly throughout the years, the roots were able to supply the needed water to the tree without having to grow thick and deep into the ground to find water.

I want to invite each of you to share with me in your weekly letter to me next week some of your thoughts about this story. Here are some questions you might ask yourself:

· What can I learn from this event as it relates to me personally?

· What are some of the basic gospel principles that can be applied to this story?

· How could this story be used to help an investigator or member become more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ?

· What scriptures could I use to teach the principles from this story?

· What could have been done to prevent the tree from falling?

I am looking forward to hearing from each of you!
We love you,

President May
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Savory Spiritual Feast even before Thanksgiving

As we are preparing here at the Mission Home to welcome in the Holidays, which means not only getting the turkey, papas y gravy ready, but also the Christmas trees and garland out, we are reminded of the more important part of these Celebrations. Of course in November our hearts are thankfully turned to our many blessings, which we could undoubted list for hours and take too much room here on paper. Not only for the material, monetary and comfort blessings, but more importantly, the eternal blessings, in the spiritual aspects of our lives, such as families, friends, relationships and gospel testimonies. We as members of the church have the most to be grateful for, in the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Atonement of Jesus Christ changes our lives and gives our very lives eternal meaning. What are each of us going to feast on this Holiday Season that will truly "nourish us?"

In anticipation for the celebration of Thanksgiving; whether sharing it with family, loved ones, acquaintances or even alone, it usually focuses on the main attraction; “THE FEAST.” But we are reminded that there is more than just Turkey and pumpkin pie in a true feast. Recently we have been spiritually fed by listening to our Church leaders in October, when our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson and the Lord’s 12 Apostles, and other anointed also taught, inspired and reminded us of eternal truths that are ours for the ‘consuming.’ Just a reminder; “Because of your faith,” “Reflections on a Consecrated Life,” “Of things that matter most,” ”Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” “Avoiding the Trap of Sin,” “Faith—The choice is yours,” “Never Leave Him,” “Be Thou an example of the Believers,” He teaches us to Put off the Natural Man.”
This was not just given to us as appetizers, but as the meat that the Lord wants us to know, as we were fed Doctrine to help us change our lives. We were nourished by the good word, felt the love from our Heavenly Father again, as we recognize that He sends prophets to the earth to bless and guide us. (PMG)
After the General Conference, we had a Mission Presidents’ Conference here in Chile. We were taught again, by our Area Presidency; Elder Carlos Amado, Elder Lawrence Corbridge, and Elder Jorge Zeballos, and their wives, along with another visiting member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Lynn Robbins and his wife, Jan. We were invited to learn by faith, as they taught us about the Plan of Salvation, The Atonement, The Restoration, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, The Blessing of Interviews, Uniformity Vs. Flexibility, Stewardship and Support, Motivation, Judging, the difference of numbering and counting, asking “heaven inspired questions,” setting goals, doctrine of love, Velocity vs Perspective, etc…..we could go on and on. We know that these messages were not just for the Mission Presidents and wives, but these teachings will go forward to our missionaries, throughout all of the 9 missions in Chile. How blessed we are to receive instruction now, pertinent to our missionary work here in the Vina where we are called to serve.
Lastly, our whole Chile Santiago North Mission was able to feast early in November with our Mission Tour/Zone Conference with Elder Lawrence Corbridge and his wife Jacque visiting authorities. We again were fed, as he personally described the Savior’s nourishment, “mantequilla y miel” which means butter and honey. He described how Jesus Christ only partook of good, spiritual, sweet things, and didn’t digest other disagreeable items, such as sin gives to us, to pollute our spirits and not fill us with the nourishment that the Holy Ghost gives us. We learned details about the Holy Ghost, deciding to decide, and helping us to be worthy for the Lord to help us do His work. All of these messages and lessons were so valuable and meaningful for us, as they were sweet to our spirits, we have no need for Dessert!
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Monday, November 22, 2010

We are Grateful and Thankful for YOU!

This Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is a time where we reflect on all that we have to be thankful for in our lives. We want to express to you some of the things we are grateful for about you as servants of the Lord here in the North mission:

We thank you for…
*Being prepared and worthy to be called as one of the Lord´s elect to serve in the North Mission.

*Developing greater charity in your lives.

*You desire for the salvation of your brothers and sisters here in Chile.

*Loving and serving your companions.

*Your love for the Lord by obeying His commandments.

*The desire you have to continually improve, be better and practice well in training opportunities.

*Sharing your talents gifts and abilities to bless the lives of others.

*Your happiness in being unselfish and focusing on the needs of others.

*Supporting your leaders.

*Being valiant and hardworking under all circumstances.

*Being great leaders who show concern for your missionaries by calling them on birthdays, giving blessings, encouraging and motivating.

*Your dedication in not just completing your mission but rather magnifying your calling.

President Thomas S. Monson in his recent general conference address entitled “The Divine Gift of Gratitude” expressed the following:

“Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”

I would like to invite each of you in your letter that you write home today to express gratitude for your blessings. As we do so I testify that we will unlock the doors of heaven and feel God´s love in our lives which will ultimately bless the lives of our investigators, members and all with whom we come in contact with each and every day in this great work of the Lord.
We love you and are eternally grateful for each of you,
President May
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Monday, November 15, 2010

President Hinckley's comments about the Book of Mormon

What can we learn about the Book of Mormon? Do we ask questions before we Study? What is the reminder we need about this sacred book?President Hinckley said in his testimony of the Book of Mormon:

“Each time we encourage others to read the Book of Mormon we do them a favor. If they read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, they will know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. From that knowledge there will flow a conviction of the truth of many other things. For if the Book of Mormon is true, then God lives. If the Book of Mormon is true then Jesus is verily our Redeemer, the Savior of the world. The great purpose of its presentation and coming forth according to its own statement is, to the convincing of the Jew and the Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations. If the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, for he was the instrument in the hands of God in bringing to light this testimony of the divinity of our Lord. If the Book of Mormon is true, the Church is true, for the same authority by which this sacred record came to light is present and manifested among us today.”

President Hinckley promises that if we prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, there will come into our hearts an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, there will come a strength and resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God. Thus we will be more committed to finding, teaching, baptizing, confirming people and to help them become faithful members of the Church who enjoy the presence of the Holy Ghost.
Remember that the Lord loves you and we love you,
President May
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Monday, November 8, 2010

There is JOY in Repentance!

One of the most important ways of developing greater love for God, His Son and for all people is through applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives daily. It is not always easy to love those that act in a way that makes it more difficult to love them. It may be someone who insults us in the street, the person that slams the door in our face, or someone who is not very patient with us.

The Lord expects us to love all people including those that are difficult for us to love. At times this is not an easy thing to do. The Lord said “ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:43,44) It is easy to love those that love us. The Lord said “for if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Matthew 5:46)

If the Lord expects us to love everyone including those that despitefully use us (Luke 6:28), He surely has provided us a way to be able to do it. Applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives on a daily basis will increase our capacity to love others.

How do we apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives each day? The second principle of the gospel is repentance. We learn in Preach My Gospel that “our faith in Christ and our love for Him lead us to repent, or to change our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that are not in harmony with His will. Repentance includes forming a fresh view of God, ourselves, and the world.(Preach My Gospel pg. 62)

As we repent our view of others changes especially those that act in a way that make it more difficult to love them. We see them as God´s children and recognize their value. As we feel the Atonement working in our own lives through daily repentance, our love for all of God´s children will increase. “Thus, as we repent daily, we will find that our lives will change and improve. Our hearts and our behavior will become more Christlike.”

It is my prayer that we will apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our own lives through daily repentance so that our love for our Heavenly Father, the Savior and of God´s children will be the motivation to invite all to come unto Christ.

We love you always,
President May
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Scripture Knowledge from our Heads to our Hearts

Do you ever feel at times that your personal study has become routine? One of the keys in receiving personal revelation and inspiration through personal scripture study is pondering what we study. Pondering is defined as to give careful and often lengthy thought or consideration quietly, soberly, and deeply. This type of effort is what takes the scripture knowledge from our head to our heart. Our hearts begin to open to the Spirit of revelation and inspiration as we act. This is the same process that our investigators experience as they begin the feel the workings of the Spirit in their hearts as they take action to keep commitments.

In Moroni 10:3 we read the following:
“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.”

In his recent general conference address entitled “Serve with the Spirit,” President Henry B. Eyring shared with us the importance of pondering:

“Our humility and our faith that invite spiritual gifts are increased by our reading, studying, and pondering the scriptures. We have all heard those words. Yet we may read a few lines or pages of scripture every day and hope that will be enough.

But reading, studying, and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder, we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering, to me, is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying in the scriptures carefully.”

Nephi provides a wonderful example of the importance of pondering:

“For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord…” (1 Nephi 11:1).

The Savior taught the importance of pondering:
“Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again” (3 Nephi 17:3).

Let us take time to ponder and pray about the things that we that we read and study so that we may be greater instruments in the hands of the Lord. As greater disciples of Him, we will be able to truly magnify our calling to bring many souls to a knowledge of the restored gospel by exercising faith in Christ and His Atonement, repenting, being baptized by water and the Spirit and receiving the blessings of all who are His faithful followers.
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