Monday, July 29, 2013


All of us that arrived on Wednesday with Pres and Sister Weston at the temple.
Dad, you would LOVE the stained glass on the window :)
Sorry I can't get more pictures at the moment. Computer is so slow!!


Hello everyone!! I'm in OMAHA:):)

I LOVE IT HERE!!! First off, it is SOOO much more green than I ever imagined, and it is NOT flat!! I've seen a few corn fields but not overbearing!  There are rolling hills and trees everywhere.
I am serving a the Millard ward. It is a little (town) maybe a half hour away from the trail center.
And GUESS WHAT?! I'm serving at the Mormon Trail Center! My trainer or "mom" (who is the absolute BEST) is Sister Brough. She is the greatest. The first day out here, President Weston took all the newbys to the trail center and to see a few sights around Omaha and the sister in the trail center gave us all a tour. Sister Brough was there and she sang a song the she wrote about one of the pioneer stories. I loved her when I first saw her and I wouldn't even know till a day later that she would be my companion. She's a whole foot shorter than me:) So everyone gets a kick out of us together. It's great:)

So I live in this little apartment like literally across the street from the trail center. Since Sister Brough is a trail center sister, it's because of her that I get to serve here. It's just me and her in the apartment, but there are maybe 5 other sets of trail center sisters that live in the same building that we do. It's a party:)

Dad... the sunsets here are INCREDIBLE!!! So much better than the ones at home. And we went running today and witnessed the sunrise. Oh gosh, God is wonderful:)

The bugs here... SO BIG. Sister Brough caught a spider in the trail center kitchen on saturday that was the size of a gumball. They put the spider in a jam jar and then (I don't know why) but they put the jar in the freezer. After our meeting, they brought us over to look at it and the spider had had babies while it was in the jar. So I think the dead spider and like 30 little baby spiders are still in the jar in the freezer.. We have a fun time here:)

We took pictures with Pres. Weston and Sis Weston (Sister Weston is SO CUTE!! She's like a mix of Kitty Barney and Tori Campbell- so sweet!) by the temple on our first day and there were so many bees flying around, they were about the same size as the spider we found.

It really isn't humid here at all... I was preparing for MUCH worse, but it isn't bad. People have said that it's been very mild lately though too. It really doesn't feel much different than Utah in A LOT of ways, but I love it:)

Anyway, usually we work at the trail center in the mornings from 9-3 and then drive out to our area in Millard for the evening for appointments and tracting.

My first time tracting, the sister asked me where to go and I had no clue. I picked a building, picked to go downstairs and then picked a door and we knocked. My heart was pounding so hard... But this cute cute little black mother opened the door and she had like 6 kids gathered around her. Instantly they ran out to give us hugs and we began talking to the mom. She was just on her way out to work, but said that we could come by again.
After that, the sister I was with turned to me and just gave me a big hug. She said they had been searching for the family of those children for quite a while and that that was the first new investigator that they had received in a few weeks. It was a huge testimony builder to me that this is the Lord's work and that the spirit directs us. It was the coolest thing.
My first time at the trail center I did a double tour with Sister Brough. We took these 2 teenage girls on a tour who weren't members. They were both about 20 years old and were just finishing up a program in which they had come to Nebraska with a Lutheran service group to give service for a year. They left for home Sunday and just wanted to stop a historic sites before they left. We gave them a tour and taught about the pioneers and the gospel and gave them book of mormons at the end. They seemed interested and gave us their emails so that we can email them when we have chat time. The great thing about serving at the trail center is that we have about 2 hours a week to sit on the computers and do proselyting with those that have come to the trail center and such. So I'm excited to email these girls this week. They are super cute.

FUNNY STORY!! So Sister Brough and I didn't have a dinner appointment on Saturday night, so before we took off to go to our area, so stopped at Taco Bell to grab food. We ordered and guess what the total came to... just guess!!
$6.66-- I started laughing so hard. Satan shows his face right to us and it was just hilarious. I kept the receipt cause it makes me smile.

The senior couples in our area are so cute! Because we work at the trail center, we get to know the sisters that work here really well because there are like 4 sets of sisters that work at a time. The senior couples also work here. So that's another reason why I love it. Those that are out full proselyting don't get to interact with other missionaries very often. I live with them and work with them every day!

When I first met Sister Brough, she told me what President Weston told her about me. She met with him before and said that I was A LOT taller that she was. He also told her that I was going to be a great leader in the mission (no pressure, right?) and that I demanded respect when I walked in the room. So naturally she pictured me as this strong Samoan girl who was tough and mean... She said she was relieved to see me :) But hearing what President Weston had to say about me before he even met me is crazy! Sister Brough said obviously he has big plans for me and that she would love for him to have the respect that he has for me. AHHHHH all I can say is that I hope to live up to his expectations.. Fingers crossed.

So.. I haven't received ONE letter since I've been here... shame on you.. haha jk. Our mail gets sent to the mission home and then the senior couples bring our mail here to the trail center. Hopefully I get some letters today. I know I have some on the way. I can only email family weekly and I can email friends once a month. But I would prefer having my friends WRITE me because then we can write however much we want. So that's that. WRITE ME! <3

P-day is MONDAY. It will probably change throughout the mission as I move around.

Mom and Dad- thanks for your emails! I hope you had fun on your trip!

Brandon and Kelly- Good luck with potty training CJ!! :) And Good luck with your dinner tonight:)

I love you all! The Savior lives and I feel him with me every day- I could not be this happy and strong through all this change if it weren't for him and for the knowledge that I KNOW this is the true gospel. He DOES answer our prayers and I have witnessed that multiple times while I've been here. So many tender mercies! I wish I had more time! I'll try to attach pictures if I can figure it out...

Have a great week! I hope to hear from you soon!
-Sister Checketts

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's my first P-day!!

Hello All!!
First off, I love you all dearly! This has been the hardest and best week ever!
It started off great. My best friend Rachel (Sister Call) was able to be my host! As I stepped out of my parents car, I gave her a huge hug and walked away smiling and laughing with her as my dear family had tears running down their faces. Ahh tender moment.. But Rach sure made that transition a ton easier than I was expecting.
I walked around with her, got my nametag on me, put my luggage in my residence hall and then off to class! Just like that!
I am living ON the MTC Campus- they just opened up the Provo MTC West Campus. Those missionaries are allowed to come over here on P-days, but we cannot go over there.
I've seen SO many people that I know here! Sister Call, Sister Jessica Porter, Sister Lia Christensen, Brother Brock Minson and so many more! It's a huge party! Brother Minson and I are on the same schedule and so I see him the most and actually played some volleyball with him at Gym last night. It's fun:)
The food is not as bad as I was expecting! They have some strange meal items such as Sausage&Bluberry Pancake on a stick and last night we had some weird chicken sandwhich with ham on it.. I think they added the ham to make it seem more gormet.. but whatever:) The chocolate milk is the best! And i've been too nervous to try the orange juice.
Anway... Back to the important things!
When I first got here, Sister Goldsberry was assigned to be my companion! (She is the one whose farewell broke out in that fight.. It was fun to hear the story from her perspective) She's a cutie! But later throughout the week, she twisted her ankle and complications began to arise because of that, so after a few trips to the doctor and having some interviews, she was advised that it would be best if she went home, check to see if she needed surgery, and heal before she comes back. So I had to say farewell to her and hopefully I'll see her in Nebraska!
So after she left, it's been a bit complicated with me and companions.
One of our Sister Training leaders when we first got here (she's headed to Sydney Australia) was supposed to leave last week, but her visa didn't go through and so she's staying at the MTC for another week is my new companion! Her name is Sister Manwaring. She's aboslutely terrific and definately an answer to my prayers. She's 22 and she's was born in New York but she's from Ohio. There is no coincidence from this whole situation. She is with another Visa Waiting district during classes, but then she's my companion when we're out of class. It's a bit confusing.
While in class, I trio with the other two girls in my district (Sister Peterson and Sister McMaster) who are also heading to Omaha with me. So I go with them to teach investigators and work with them in classes. It's been interesting to be with all these different personalities and I've learned SO MUCH from these sisters. They are amazing.
Because I've been switching companions so often, I feel like I've worked with double the amount of investigators than most people get to in the MTC . Although we haven't gotten super far with teaching any of them, it's been great to practice teaching with all different kinds of people.
My favorite lesson that we've taught yet was with a lady named Belinda. She was a TRC investigator, which means that she is a volunteer that has come to the MTC and us as missionaries don't know if she is a member or not. They do this so that it seems way more realistic than us teaching "investigators" that are just our teachers.  I taught her with Sister Manwaring. Before we met her, we talked with some other missionaries who had previously taught her and they said she was EXTREMELY difficult. Apparently she straight up yelled in some of these missionaries faces. I was totally nervous going ino it. But we went in, introduced ourselves and started. At the beginning, you could totally tell the tension and she felt like we were coming to teach her how to live her life. But NO. So we explained, and Sister Manwaring, being as AWESOME as she is, completely calmed Belinda down and as we taught, we totally had the spirit with us. She had already read the Book of Mormon, so we answered her questions, and invited her to pray and ask God for herself if this was true. We left and it ended up turning out REALLY good! No one could believe it!
As much as they teach us in the classrooms, I don't feel like learning really takes effect until you are in the room with an investigator. It's definatley "Perfect practice makes perfect." I've said things that I thought "darn! I shouldn't have gone there" But it all comes with practice.
Ahh I've learned a lot this week... and I wish I could tell you everything that has been running through my mind!
My prayers are 100x more sincere. I promise you that if you PICTURE God in your mind as you pray and truly express how your heart is feeling that it WILL make a difference in your life.
I LOVE the scriputres! NEVER have I had passages pop out at me during my studies as the have this week. It's amazing the things you learn from them when you're reading them with the intent of finding something meaningful that could help someone you are teaching.
It's been hard. Every day has SUPER high highs and SUPER low lows.. but thank you so much for your letters and love. I thought I loved letters before I came out here, but man, a lot of those came at times that I REALLY needed them and your support and encouragement has kept me going this week. You all are the greatest.
Funny stories of the week!!
YESTERDAY! Evening time! We were in the middle of class and our teacher Brother Davies was working with one of the Elders on a role play. They were sitting in front of the class having this super spiritual lesson when one of the Elders, Elder Poulsen, sitting across from me started falling asleep. His arm slipped and he jerked back awake and loudly said "I just fell!" In the middle of this spiritual moment. We tried to get back on track but I could NOT stop laughing. And then I would make eye contact with one of the Elders and just bust up laughing again. Haha even now, I can't stop laughing about it!
So funny :) Anyway, I need to get answering E-mails... so I love you all! I'm doing well!! And can you believe it?? In LESS THAN A WEEK I'll be flying to Nebraska.
Thank you for your prayers! I can totally feel them.
--Sister Checketts :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Time Is Now!

This is it! I get set apart in t-3 hours. Megan Checketts: official missionary. SISTER CHECKETTS for the next 18 months.

It is SOOO hard to say goodbye. I've cried and had more anxiety today than I have since I started my first day of junior high.

I am going to miss all of you SO MUCH. It hurts sometimes knowing how much I'll miss you. But I know that it's ONLY 18 months and it will fly by in the blink of an eye. Before I know it i'll be on the plane ride home, wishing I could go back.

I will be in the MTC this time tomorrow. THE TIME IS NOW. The day has finally arrived.

Please keep in touch! I know I have many lives to touch and I know that these people in Nebraska will change me and teach me so many things. I already love them and have been praying for them daily. I'm excited for the amazing spirits that I will connect with and am so grateful for the responsibility the Lord has given me to help others.

You all are such sweet souls and I don't know many things in life, but I KNOW that this gospel is true and I know that it blesses peoples lives.

God Speed and I love you all!

You'll here from me soon!!

MUCH love-- Sister Checketts :):):)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fare Thee Well!

Yesterday was my Farewell Address.

And WOW. Can I just say that I am theeee luckiest girl in the entire world?

I have SO MANY people who love and support me- I was completely overwhelmed yesterday. Sitting up on the stand and overlooking the congregation in that chapel took my breath away because all the people I loved were sitting there in one room. It was amazing :)

Thanks to everyone who came to support me speaking and then those who came to the house afterwards. It was such a special day.

For those of you who don’t know, I have been called to serve in the Nebraska, Omaha mission.

·      Omaha is the 42nd largest city in America.
·      Nebraska is known for their sunsets, and for those of you that know me, know I LOVE a good sunset. Emily and I used to sit out on the corner and watch the sunset and wave as many of you would drive past.
·      Nebraskans LOVE their sports. The college World Series is held annually in Omaha and the cornhuskers have had 11 undefeated seasons.
·      Kool-aid, and TV dinners were invented in Nebraska
·      Spam is produced in Nebraska.
·      Famous residents include Warren Buffet, and Thurl Ravenscraft- who is the voice of Tony the Tiger
·      Nebraska is home to the world’s largest porch swing- fitting 25 adults.
·      Donut holes may not be sold – it’s illegal
·      As of right now, there are 16 girls that have their calls to Nebraska, 5 of which leave to the MTC the same day as me.

So this is where I will be spending my next 18 months and I’m excited to be able to call it home.
I’m going to start this off by addressing the first half of my topic, which is “Following the Prophet”

October 6th, 2012 was a day that has now changed many lives. In the Saturday Morning General Conference session, President Monson announced that boys may serve missions at age 18 and girls at 19. That day happened to by my 19th birthday.

I remember it very well. My mom woke me up, my dad made omelets and after I heard the news, my whole view for the future had suddenly changed. I remember crying hysterically all day and I didn’t quite know why, but I couldn’t stop.
Growing up, I never thought I would go on a mission. I figured it was the boy’s job and I would be focusing on dating and marriage by the time I turned 21. However, I remember having a talk with Scott Park before he left and thinking to myself “gosh, I wish I could just leave the world for a while and focus on the gospel”. I thought similar thoughts when my brothers left as well. But I never thought that it would ever happen.

After the announcement, I was amazed at the response from my friends about the age change. Instantly, so many of them were making plans to leave.

I like to relate this to Joseph Smith’s day. When Joseph received the command to move the saints across the plains, people dropped everything to follow his instruction.
The same is true today. I have seen friends put off education, quit jobs and drop full ride scholarships to follow this instruction from our prophet.

In my student ward up in Logan while I was attending Utah State this last year, we had over 75 people who received mission calls. Just in my ward
And in my stake? We had over 500. Just from these last 2 semesters.
You can imagine the missionary spirit and influences that I had up there.

It took me a while to receive my answer though. I went through a personal journey of a lot of hardship and tears. Questioning everything I thought I new to be true.
I would get frustrated so much because I felt like Heavenly Father wasn’t answering my prayers. But looking back, every one of those prayers was answered.

All these challenges made my testimony stronger then ever though
A quick trip to the temple gave me my answer.
My roommates and I went to do baptisms early one morning before class and after returning to the dressing room, I turned to my roommate and without really even thinking, I said “I need to go on a mission” and she replied with a big smile saying “I knew you would say that”. And an overwhelming feeling of relief and comfort came over me.  Along with A LOT of fear because I knew that I now had a big responsibility.

But as the Lord says in D&C 38:30 “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.
Bishop has also asked me to speak on preparing for a mission. I was going to stand up here and tell you what kind of shirts to buy, the stores that give discounts to missionaries and great brands for luggage, but I figured that isn’t really what he wanted.

I’m going to give you some numbers
I found a website that gives the count of how often certain words appear in the Book of Mormon.
Words representing “Preparation” occur 155 different times.
With 531 pages in the book of Mormon, dividing this up means that preparation occurs about every 3 pages.

So obviously preparation for ANYTHING is super important. Especially a mission.

With this huge influx of missionaries heading out in the field that has resulted because of the age change, there has been and still is major preparation going on.

With the opening of 58 new missions, calling of more mission presidents and the adding on to the MTC’s, the church has had to prepare and organize like crazy. Last Sunday, they even announced new methods of missionary work including Internet based contacting, and giving tours of our church buildings.

So the leaders of the church are preparing a lot for missionaries.

 Everyone’s view on missionary work has changed in the last 10 months.

I remember in seminary, I would sit in class and when our teacher gave the missionary lesson, he would advise the women to just sit back and listen and would speak directly to the boys.
While getting this talk ready, I read through my old seminary notes and I really never took notes on missionary work, I maybe just stuck in a quote or two.

This generation has also been prepared and this new announcement was inspired for us.

In the missionary broadcast just this last Sunday, L. Tom Perry said
“Surely the lord, and you parents have reared up a special generation to serve in this special day when we need and the opportunity to teach the gospel has never been greater

M Russell Ballard in the famous “raising the bar for missionaries” talk said:

“What we need now is the greatest generation of missionaries in the history of the Church.
We expect you to have an understanding and a solid testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We expect you to work hard. We expect you to be covenant makers and covenant keepers. We expect you to be missionaries to match our glorious message.

My whole life I have tried to be someone that The Lord would be proud of. I had made a goal to someday enter into the house of the Lord and through taking the steps to achieve THAT goal, I have been getting ready for a mission without even realizing it.
I have had the opportunity to share the gospel with many people in my life and to be able to share the happiness that the gospel brings into my life with others, and to see them light up from the truth, is so special and something that I have always sought to do. It makes me so happy to share.

Preparation for a mission doesn’t just start when you receive your call. It’s not just getting shots, and buying clothes (although I really didn’t mind that) But it starts when you are growing. When our children go to primary singing “I hope they call me on a mission”. When they can recognize a picture of Christ. When they’re influenced by their friends to do right or wrong. When they make goals to get to the temple and work to achieve them.

About a year ago, 3 friends and I took a senior trip to Park City.

On one of the HOT July days we were up there, we decided to go hiking.
We started the morning with scripture study, we each packed 1 bottle of water, and just a few granola bars, brought our cell phones, and we even turned back to the condo to grab sunscreen before we headed out.
The 4 of us trudged up the mountain and when we got about half way, 2 of my friends decided to turn back and wait for us at the car.
Rachel and I kept going. Eventually getting to a fork in the trail and were lost as to which path to take.
We decided on the left one, but after following it for about 5 minutes, we felt it was heading in the wrong direction and turned back to take the other path.
This path was better, but only at first. Eventually it started to get more and more faint and grown over. But we kept going knowing that it had to lead somewhere.
We said a prayer that we would be safe and make it back with our friends.
We kept in contact with the other 2 because, by some miracle, we still had cell service.
5 hours and 3 mountains later, we made it to the side of a freeway.
We CAREFULLY crossed the freeway to a lodge on the other side where the receptionist refilled our waters and we waited for our friends to drive to our location.
We were so hot and sore, but we had the chance to sit and think about all the miracles that had happened. We never ran out of water, our phone batteries never died, and we never gave up hope.

The Lord watched over us, made sure we were prepared, and even when the path got rocky and hard, we had faith that he would lead us to where we needed to be. And he did.

Looking back on where my life has taken me, it feels as though my life has been laid out for me. I have been faced with decisions that although I might have struggled with certain ones, through prayer and my relationship with my father in heaven, I have made correct decisions. Experiences and positions that I have held in the past have made me ready for things that I would face later on.

Even though I haven’t prepared and planned my whole life to serve a mission, the Lord has prepared me without me even realizing it.  Everything is just in his timing.
One thing we shouldn’t forget though is that the Lord is preparing others receive His gospel as well.

Alma 32:6-- this is when Ammon is teaching a group of poor people
"..for he beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in preparation to hear the word.

Neil L Anderson, in this last general conference stated:
“Brothers and sisters, as surely as the Lord has inspired more missionaries to serve, He is also awakening the minds and opening the hearts of more good and honest people to receive his missionaries.

There are people in Nebraska who are ready for us, and people all over the world who are ready.

The second coming is near, brothers and sisters. The time is NOW.
I have a friend who just recently left on her mission to Reno. In her last letter, she shared with me this scripture and I would like to share it with you.

Jacob 6:2
"And the day that he shall set his hand again the second time to recover his people is the day, yea, even the last time, that the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power, to nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that, the end soon cometh."

Missionary work is important, this is crunch time.
An army of missionaries are flooding the Earth. And I will be fighting at the frontlines. This message is important and I encourage all of you to share your testimonies with the world, council with Christ and be examples to those around you.

Henery B. Eyering in Ensign, May 1997.

“Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety. Along the path, I have found that the way had been prepared for me and the rough places made smooth. God led me to safety along a path which was prepared with loving care, sometimes prepared long before.”
I truly heed to President Eyerings words. I can testify that if you follow the prophet, and listen to the spirit, that you will be directed towards righteousness and you will be prepared for the future and READY to meet Christ again. I have witnessed this in my own life and witnessed it through those around me. I have done the best that I can do, and I am proud of who have become. Although I still have many challenges and weaknesses, I know that with God and through making decisions with him and keeping him in my heart always, I will have weaknesses made strengths so that I will be prepared for the future.

I do know that the Lord places certain people in our lives to help us. And I have been so blessed to have such great leaders and examples.

This ward really is the greatest and so many of you are amazing examples to me. I have told my parents many times how I thought that moving here was one of the best decisions our family has ever made. The impact that all of you have made in my life is greater than I will ever be able to express.

Growing up with the youth in this ward was such a blessing. I adore the young women and love them with all my heart. I have made so many life long friends from this ward.

I don't know how I got so lucky to have the friends that I do. They have always been such amazing examples to me and always pushed me to do my best. It has been such an amazing opportunity to go through this time together. To receive our mission calls together, go through the temple together, and to now be serving all at the same time. It gives me chills to think of the impact that we will have. I love them so much. And as I have seen so many of my friends already leave, and so many still yet to leave, I couldn't think of any better people to go out and preach and teach the word.

My family means so much to me. I am so grateful for them and the sacrifices that they make for me every day. I'm grateful for my 3 older brothers and the example that they set for me as they have gone on missions and married terrific women. I'm grateful for my dad and the sacrifices that he has made for our family and my mom for the decision she made at age 19 to join this church. I love them so much and am excited to spend eternity with them. That is one of the things I am most excited to teach, because having that knowledge brings me so much joy and comfort. 

 I have been so blessed throughout my life, but because I have been given much, I too must give

As I prepare to leave this place behind
My thoughts are turned above,
To my father and redeemer
I feel their fervent love.

The time is getting closer
when I'll set out on my way.
I begin to count the weeks
The hours and the days.

The beginning of a journey,
A tale I'll soon convey
Of the struggles and the joys
I'll feel along the way

I'm sure the work's demanding
And the hours will drag on
As I face the taxing task
Of teaching 'til the sun is gone

There are days I'll be discouraged
And nights I'll miss my home.
My heart might just feel empty,
I may feel utterly alone.

Although concerns surround me
I must always face my fears,
And know that through my trials
My savior will be near.

I'll study scriptures daily
Pondering the words I read.
I know that if I do this
The Lord will take the lead

When my heart becomes discouraged
I know that I must kneel
And utter words unto the Lord
His love for me is real.

For I know I am His daughter
He sent me here to Earth
To preach of His true gospel
And learn of my great worth.

In my life He's never left me
And I know He never will
Through trials I will face,
I must listen and be still

If I make sure my heart is open
And i'm faithful, kind and true
I'll hear the savior's words ring out
Declaring "I love you!"

So as I serve His mission
I know He'll be my guide
And if I follow in His ways
He'll be right by my side.

Brothers and Sisters, I know this church is true and that it blesses peoples lives. I wouldn’t be going on a mission if I didn’t know. I know that the Lord has prepared me for this mission and that he loves each and every one of us. I thank you all for your love and support throughout my life and I’m excited to see what the Lord has prepared you for 18 months from now.

I say these things in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Soooo much food!:)

My family is the cutest:)

Eat it up!

"sign me" pillowcase and "write me" pictures

Happy Day!


Dano is going to Omaha with me! Except he leaves in October:)
Pre Mish pics:)
Wyatt! Love this kid since elementary:)
My lovely ladies!

My awesome friends this Summer :) These kids are so fun.
Cuzzy picture. These kids are the greatest. <3