Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Golly gee what a week"

Dear Loves....

Where do I start really? Sometimes life has a way of surprising us and making us rethink the purpose of our previous state of thoughts. For those of you who don't know, July 16th I had emergency surgery to remove my gal bladder. Not expected at all totally out of the blue. It all started about 12:30am I woke up in so much pain I could barely breath let alone talk, I called for my companion in the little amount of breath I had and finally she heard me. I told her we had to go down to Sister Hansen's apt she is a nurse. So I stumbled down there not really able to walk much either and the pain got worse, then I started throwing up more then I ever have in my life.Being me I tried to fight it and tell myself I could battle the pain I was going to be ok, but the pain was getting more intense and I was really loosing my breathing now. I prayed and prayed and finally said this is it I have to go, so now 5 hours later we called the assistants and I was rushed to the hospital. I couldn't even make it through the ER doors without throwing up in my bowl I was loosing all my energy as well. They took me back right away and I didn't get pain meds for an hour so a laid there with an IV in my arm still in pain throwing up. The doctor finally came in and I went to ultra sound where they found out my gal bladder was the big problem. We made the decision I would get it out then. After giving me some pain meds I started to be a little more calm but the pain didn't go away, so they had to give me something pretty intense which I was totally ok with ha. President came and gave me a blessing with President Harmen and I started to feel better, I knew this was yet another trial I would have to face to bring me closer to the Savior. I remember the feeling of waiting for the surgery totally out of if almost because of the medications but I started to think how really life jumps up and I never thought I would have to face another physical trial after my medical release. As they wheeled me into the O.R. my thoughts began to race and that's when I was told you might die and everything if things go wrong ha really comforting right before you go in right ha. But my doctor says, Jenna your a missionary for him you have extra help don't you worry. Only in a LDS hospital would that happen but still it meant a lot cause I was getting nervous. I lay there outside the O.R. and I prayed with everything I had, Father you have to stay with me I cant do this alone, then I started to hymn Nearer My God to Thee and felt peace.

(she looks 100% out of it)

I remember looking up at my doctor smiling with tears in my eyes just fell asleep, next thing I knew it was over and I felt like someone might have run me over with their car. And when I was coming out of surgery I was convinced I was a different race haha kinda funny side note the nurse was laughing. Sadly I cant laugh right now unless I hold my stomach and it sounds like I'm fake laughing actually haha. Recovery hasn't been the cutest thing that's for sure, the next day after surgery I spent most of it on the floor throwing up let me tell you that feels great after having your stomach taken apart!! Then I got jaundice ha I'm a baby again but only on my legs so its ok in fact it made me look more tan for summer so its ok! Everyday I'm getting a little stronger but still pretty week, especially after the elevator broke and I had to walk down stairs, not cool!! I do remember one thing though I forgot, when they were taking me to the O.R. the nurse said wow your really calm and she wasn't a member and I was able to say even without thinking, that's cause God is on my side. And I really knew that he was.

(Jenna in her evening gown)
So as I've had a lot of time to think, I've come to understand how everything I've faced on this mission has shaped me to be more life the Savior. Although these moments are confusing I'm grateful for them cause I feel closer then I have before. And I don't know if its cause I've been on medications or laying here for a week but I really don't think heaven is that far away. This week I came to understand heaven is where your heart is, where the spirit can talk to you, and where you listen to your father. Two nights ago I couldn't sleep so I got up and tried to kneel to speak to my Father. It was amazing how I had just enough strength to kneel and pray and then after a while I lost it. But for a moment I knelt and prayed for clarity for love and strength. I know I wasn't alone in that room I could feel it and tears came into my eyes because I realized again who I was, and what I was doing. I want you all to know how humbled I am to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I've learned eternal lessons that I could have never learned anywhere else, I love this gospel because its a gospel of Hope. Nothing we face in this life goes unnoticed, everything has a purpose and as we look to our Father we will find it. It's not easy being in the field and having to take a seat on the bench, to sit out a game. But the Lord has given me a glimpse of the whole picture cause I got to see it all not just the part of the game I was in, I'm learning from taking a step back. I miss my investigators and actually have pushed myself to go to the square a little at a time so I can talk to them. I received a blessing and was reminded I must be patient. I want to share one of my favorite quotes..

" When you are compelled to give up something, or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now. But know also that, as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better."

I've learned this lesson, this mission has been withdrawn from me at different times but now the second time I know God always fulfills his promises. I'm not mad this happened or ask why me, rather I ask what am I suppose to learn how can I grow? I've learned more then I ever thought possible and have 6 more months to learn more! I love this gospel and love being a missionary all of it ha even this crazy part!

(One year and a supposed rock star)
(Missing her soccer days and is sporting her new shin guards.)

Thank you so much for your prayers and love, it's helped more then you will ever know! I love you all...

Love Sister Mettra

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Healing the wounds from the battle of life

I'm assuming these were taken at their 4th of July party. I can't tell you all of their names, but I know a few.

Sister Mettra and Sister Rathgaber

Sister Mettra and a very nice sister from Switzerland

Oh DANG, I should know her last name. Well, Sister Mettra and one of her best good friends.

Sister Mettra and "Super Star."

Dear Loves...

This week has gone to show me that, nothing is impossible with the Lords help... and a little Sunshine :) Well I'll say it, I miss my ocean and sunshine but it makes me more grateful when the sun does come! I'm feeling better since last week and know that only through the Lords help am i really where i am. I know that a good attitude and faith can endure anything that come our way. When i was studying this week i really came to understand how much the Lord loves each and every one of us. Although we are not even close to perfect, he teaches us with love. I came across this quote this week and really love it,

"Pause to ponder the suffering Christ felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the awareness of the depth of gratitude for him, you appreciate every opportunity to show your love for him by diligently serving in his church."- Elder Bushe

And it has made me understand now, how utterly alone the Savior was during the moments in the garden.... But he was alone so we would never have to be. And how grateful i am for that in my life especially on a misison. I love my Savior and all he did for me because no matter what happens to me I know I don't walk alone in this work.

i had an RC phone call this week that helped me see really that the spirit will tell you exactly what you need to say if you will let him. As i started to talk to Kieth he talked about how he was a strong catholic and everything but as the minutes past he started to soften up little by little. I finally found what he needed, to know that God was really there. He said you know Jenna, i wish i knew God more you seem to really know him. And I said the phrase that comes into my mind often, "I always believed that there was a God but it wasn't until i got down on my knees and asked till i knew." The spirit pressed a pause and he said, that was the most beautifully worded sentence i have ever heard. I said Kieth I'm calling to tell you that God loves you and he wants you to know him. He wants to bless your life, will you let him? .... We will be teaching him this week :)

Angels on the Square...
Sister Andersen and I received the pleasure of being at the desk for a little bit this week! My Favorite!! Cause when people walk into temple square, you are the first people they see. Aka you better be excited to see them, as i am :). Well Joan and Berry were talking to us a couple from Australia and they said when they walked around here they just felt peace. And they wondered what it was? We were able to bare or testimonies about the pioneers and of coarse tears came to my eyes as they always do when i speak about the Savior or the pioneers, well in general the gospel. But as i was testifying Joan says, your heavenly almost like an angel, hunny do you see that glow. Its the way you speak and your eyes just light up. And sister Andersen and i were able to tell them why we were different. That was an amazing moment where i really felt the lord magnify us.

Indie guys on the bikes.....
We were walking across the conference center back to the square and i was like oh sorry sorry cause i was in their way and he goes your fine your fine..... wow you are fine hahhahahha i was laughing so hard I almost tripped.

Miracles surround the Temple
Sister Andersen and i tried to something a little different then we usually do, and that was to walk on the grounds of the temple in the early evening to find some people. Well we saw these three guys and we kinda were following them ha but its ok to be creepy sometimes we are just helping with salvation haha. So my comp was like no Sister Mettra they saw us, and i said so what ha lets go. She was embarrassed so i just put on my smile and started talking to them. They wanted a picture all together so we took their picture and they were so funny especially TONY. So tony was this young black guy from TN! And he was visiting his friends here from the army. Tony was baptist the other two have been inactive since they were 14 pretty much. As we started teaching about the temple the spirit was so strong and i knew that this would be a miracle. Half way into the tour tony said, wow this place is heavenly! We felt the spirit prompt for the conference center which i love! .. We talked about prophets and what it means that we really have a prophet today! They took a seat at the very top and my heart started beating so fast. I saw for just a moment how much God loved each of these young men. They had all been to war and served their country well, but all had broken spirits wounded in the battle of life. As We stood there I told them i would like to share a hymn with them. They got so excited and all sat there and one i saw a tear come down Tim's face. The spirit overcame all of us i couldn't speak this truly was a song of the heart trying to heal the wounds of these men. We invited Tony to learn more about the restored gospel and he said yes! He then looked at me and sad something I'll never forget, he said... Sister Mettra you will never know how many lives you have touched through that voice. And you will never know how your message is received, thank you for sharing, thank you.

Some guy was just walking past us on the square and told us how to make our own personal opium stash hahahah how thoughtful?

Swedish Babes
We found some swedish babes with tats at the flag pole and decided that they needed a little tour! As we took them around we quickly learned.... they didn't know anything about God. I've never testified so bodly of the power of God before. At the christus after playing the naration in swedish, I know that God loves you so much thats why he brought you here to salt lake city to be right here in this room. I felt my face and my spirit just glow because i could feel the Lord by my side speaking with me everything I said the spirit double testified. We will teach them in a couple of weeks!!

Youth Conference..
I was priviliged to be asked to sing at a youth conference this week and Sister Ching and i came up with an arrangement with did you think to pray and Joseph Smiths first prayer! it was amazing i wish you were all there. I havent felt the spirit tesitfy while I'm singing so strongly in a long time. My heart was pounding fast and i knew that this was exactly what many needed to hear in that room including me. Before singing i was able to bare my testimony of how the power of prayer is real and thats what led me here!

Well as always there is much more to say but i must say goodbye now with a thought.....

Dont look behind you to your past because your destiny is right infront of you... are you looking at it?

Love you all!
Love Sister Mettra

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

One year later

Dearest Friends......

I'm writing with a smile of the many things i saw this week, good, great, and horrible. All make for yet another amazing week of my mission. As i look back on the past 12 months of my life so much has change not only around me but I've become different. I can actually say without a shadow of a doubt I know I'm right where God needs me and I've never felt happier in my life. On July 7, 2010 I stepped into the MTC leaving behind my life. Tears filled my eyes as I waved goodbye to my mom and sister I didn't know what would lie ahead for the next 18 months. I took a deep breath and put a smile on my face this is what I had been waiting for a very long time. As many know I didn't leave a happy little house with peace and comfort, in fact we had to move 2 days before I left to the MTC, packing up 12 years of my life and then getting ready for a 18 month journey wasn't easy that's for sure. But I promised the Lord the night I received my answer that I would make it into those doors no matter what was thrown my way. The MTC was an amazing experience one I wish I could have over and over again I loved learning and knowing that I would be able to help lost souls. Then I remember coming for our explore day on the Square before we actually reported and I was so grateful to have my best friend, Sister Lamprecht there to greet me and tell me it was all going to be ok. Then another angel Sister Lautaha was my companion for a couple of hours and that's when I knew miracles really did happen here. Then came time for me to actually report to the field Temple Square. I remember that long bus ride staring out of the window watching the sunrise wondering what the day would bring. How when I stepped off this bus my life would change forever. I wasn't afraid more excited for things to come and to be in the field. As we sat in the theatre waiting to hear who our trainer would be I prayed with all my heart I would have a good one, someone that understood me and could teach me things. I needed someone that would push me and that I could have fun with all at the same time. Then President said, Sister Mettra your trainer will be Sister Rathgeber, I was confused at first ha cause we knew eachother but knew that Gods hand was truly in this choice.
I would like to take a second and thank my loving trainer for all she did for me. Sister Julie Rathgeber taught me everything I needed to know and then some, I thank my father in heaven everyday for sending me her. She was the most amazing companion and loved me so much and helped me find me she never wanted me to be anyone else then Sister Mettra. I will be eternally grateful for the lessons she so humbly taught me, I saw more miracles with her then I ever thought possible. She is amazing and I will miss her so much as she leaves, but just so she knows she changed my life. Thank you Sister Rathgeber ( Rathy :) i love you.)
With one Year passing I have so much to say and wish I could sit here all day and verbally thank my Father in Heaven for everything he has given me here in my life but especially as a missionary. I've seen the miracle of the mission unfold and wouldn't trade it for anything in the World. Hearts literally change before my eyes and me change immensely. I have purpose and know that the most important things in life center around the gospel of Jesus Christ nothing else. Even though a mission isn't easy and sometimes you wonder why things happen, i know with all my heart nothing goes unnoticed by our father in Heaven. Even when i was sent away on my medical realise, My father in heaven was in it and knew that moment needed to happen. Not only to humble me but to help me gain a greater empathy for those around me and feel the spirit more abundantly. Most days I'm still in pain my back hurts but the Lord has made it bearable I can do hard things. Ha sometimes i just need to roll around on the floor and sing a made up song then i feel better. I call it the steam roller ha somehow it makes me feel better and I start laughing about the pain and it goes away. Laugh through the hard times and the miracles will come I can promise you that.

Yeah I'm Yana and I'm a Mormon ( investigator)

Hahaha I'm laughing even starting to type this one if only you all were standing there watching this moment unfold this lady was so funny and deff was a Sister Mettra contact for sure. All the other sisters were starting at me like what the heck is Sister Mettra doing she is crazy. Well this lady was yelling at me not in a mean way lets just say she has a very loud voice and isn't aware of people's personal space. She came up to the window and was like listen hunny I've been saved I'm an ordained minister, we are all ordained my goodness baby we are prophets. Haha I said now Yana what do you know what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She said, " Now baby I don't even know if you believe in Jesus cause I know I do remember I'm saved i said I believe in you Jesus thats all I have to do." Ha not quite Yana see we believe that we have to not only accept him but continue to serve him and repent. I tried to teach her about The Book of Mormon but before i could say a word about it she says ha... no put down that book girl its blasphemous don't you know hunny I only need that bible. ( Keep in mind she might sound black to you but she is white living in Michigan and fricken hilarious) I said Yana now if I'm ordained like you said would I know a little about the truth ha. She became quiet and listened to what I had to say about it all. Then she grabs my name tag and says baby I want one of them taggs but I want it to say Sister Yana Mormon!. Can you get me one please! I said well I'll see what I can do go explore temple square and come back at the end. Well she actually had bumped into Sister DeBoer which is really funny and she took her around on a little tour. At the end she comes back and yells from the other side of the square Sister Mettra baby I found more of you mormon girls hahah. i was laughing and everyone was looking at me whateves I attract these people and love them. Well I came out of West Gate to talk to her and see how she liked it all and she went on to say how she didn't know anything about mormons before and she was so happy that she came with her daughter here. She wondered if mormons were allowed to sing and i said uh Yana I'm an opera singer babe. Ha she goes hunny you better bust one out for me right now! And so i felt an overwhelming feeling to sing amazing grace, I took a deep breath and prayed that she would actually feel the spirit. As I sang I looked into her eyes and she started to cry, people stopped and listened and as i sang the last words she put her head down and wipped her tears. Her daughter said Sister Mettra my momma never cries like that. Yana said, you just touched my heart, you touched my soul. And embraced me with a big hug telling me how much she loved me. Then took a step back and said, you are somethin special i hope you know that, and your Mom is very lucky to have you as a daughter. Today you made another Mom, I've never felt like that. Then she smiled and said I'm going to need to read that book and ask God aren't I? And i said yes Yana and i promise you from the bottom of my heart, God will give you the truth. She smiled and said I know hunny I know. Then she told me she wanted to say a prayer ha and I let her do it. Yana then said i thank God I walked in the gates and met you today, I love you girl really i do. This event could go on forever ha and I would be laughing still. We will be teaching her next week !

Until we meet again may God be with you. We are so blessed to have this gospel with us on this earth. Ps transfers are monday so we shall see where I'm taken next!!

Keep Smiling World! Love you all so much

Sister Mettra