Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Great Article About Megan and Madison in Our Local Paper

Trabuco Canyon twin sisters, together in spirit, embark on separate missions
Published: Aug. 20, 2014 Updated: 1:17 p.m.
Trabuco Canyon sisters Madison and Megan Mittleman are closer than most siblings.
Not only are they identical twins, they are best friends, roommates at Brigham Young University and are never far apart to offer each other support, they said.
Until now.
The sisters have been called to go on missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Megan left for Santiago, Chile, last week and Madison is taking off for Berlin next week.
For 18 months, the twins will live on different continents, and they are allowed to call home only on Christmas and Mother’s Day, in addition to sending weekly email updates.
“We are really close to each other so it will definitely be different not seeing Megan all the time, and even knowing that she is many miles away will be weird,” Madison said. “It is comforting, however, to know that we will both be serving as missionaries, having similar lifestyles, despite being in different parts of the world.”
The longest the sisters have been apart is three weeks when Madison did a student exchange program in Germany last summer.
“That was hard enough,” Megan said. “But it’s comforting to know both of us will be dedicating our lives to serving others. It will be a great time for us to experience our own adventures and grow on our own.”
Their mother, Valerie, said the girls’ departure is bittersweet.
Madison-Left, Megan-Right

“Their personalities are so great, so kind and so nice, and I’ll miss having that around,” she said. “But it brings me peace and comfort knowing they are helping others.”
Their mission will also prepare them to be better moms, wives, daughters and friends, she said.
“It’s a way to grow individually and people will get to know them individually,” she said.
The girls don’t seem to be worried about the restricted contact with family and friends.
“I think that having limited contact with home is the perfect way to keep missionaries feeling supported and updated somewhat but not distracted or deterred from their work,” Madison said. “Missionaries’ full focus should be on those who they are serving.”
The Mittleman twins, who belong to the Las Flores ward, are two of 19 missionaries this year who have been sent out from the Mission Viejo stake to spread the Gospel around the world. The stake currently has 77 missionaries around the world.
Going on a mission is voluntary in the Mormon church. Anyone who chooses to go on a mission needs to turn in an application to church headquarters and then receives a call with their destination, chosen by the church. The twins ended up with mission calls to “very fitting” destinations based on their experiences and language skills, their mom said.
Megan studied Spanish in high school and college. She has never been to Chile before but went on a two-week humanitarian trip to Peru in 2012. Madison studied German in high school and college.
“I actually really love German and I’m stoked I’ll be culturally immersed,” Madison said. “My main goal is to invite as many people as I can to come unto Jesus Christ and see him as their personal savior and help them realize their potential as a child of our loving God.”
Megan agreed, saying service brings about change in people.
“I think I will be happy with the change I see in those I meet and teach and the change in myself,” she said. “This life is a gift and I know when we serve others we experience true joy.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Greetings From Santiago!

Hello! Wow, it feels like so much time has gone by. It´s only been a week! ah! So, I just want to say thank you fpr all the emails I received! They were very encouraging! Thank you, thank you!!! Ah! So the the flights here were all ok. It was so weird saying goodbye to Mom at the gate in Long Beach. It was probs one of the hardest things I have had to do so far in my life. Give my precious mamasita one last hug and leave her for the next eighteen months. But! I want you all to know I am soooo happy! I am sooo happy to be a missionary! It´s the best thing ever!! Yes, the rumours are true, I am in a native district (I guess it´s not really a rumour if I told you, lolzz). I have two companions. Hermana Rivero from Argentina and Hermana Piriz from Uruguay. They are awesome. They talk really fast and they have strong accents. It´s been fun. Haha. So we are in class all day, and it´s been so fun and crazy. I will not lie, the first two or three days were really, really hard. My district lives in the Alcantara casa which is about 15 minutes away from the CCM. It´s a really beautiful house that used to be owned by the government or something. But yeah, it´s good. So about the second day of classes at the ccm, I was feeling realllllly homesick.  I was pretty stressed haha. My teachers understand that I am an American, and they try and speak a little more slow so I can understand. But this one morning I just could not understand what was going on at all. I felt really sad and discouraged because everyone could make comments and participate, but it took me forever just to translate something in my head and figure out how to say a simple comment. So I think my teacher looked at me and asked me a question, like if I was understanding him, and I TOTALLY LOST IT. OH my heck!!! I started to cry. Only it was really embarassing because it was the type of crying where you like heave and breathe really heavily and you start hiccuping. haha and so one hermana in my district came over and tried to give me some water, so i took a drink but because i was doing the whole heaving i can´t breathe properly thing, I SPAT IT OUT ALL OVER MY DESK AND ALL OVER MY SKIRT.....CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??!!. Because that´s what happened. hahaha thinkiing about it now, i just laugh. I have really had to put my trust in Heavenly Father. I feel him close to me. I love him ,and I am so honoured to be a representative of his church.
So I am not sure if i am going to stay for just the two weeks, or if I will stay longer.....we´ll see. Thanks to all who have prayed in my behalf. We get to go to the Santiago Temple today! I am so excited! I love the temple! I love Chile! .....I´m  pretty sure I might just move back here and marry a Chilean man. We´ll see lolzzzz.
The food here in the CCM is great. But they feed us so many carbs! Like every meal it´s rice, mashed potatoes, some of meat or chicken, or pasta. They call noodles, fideo. When I first asked a worker what it was called she told me, and I thought of Grandma presh! Last night they had salmon, and I remembered the salmon we bought at Costco that I never got to eat before I left haha. I guess last night makes up for it.
The Spanish is coming along so so! It is challenging being completely surrounded by it all day every day! Even at the Alcantara casa when I am in my room with my companions it´s all just spanish. it´s good. I feel more comfortable expressing myself in Spanish now. Sometimes I just start speaking in English and my companions are like wait what are you saying?? Slow down, speak spanish we don´t know what you are saying. And I´m like THAT´S ME LIKE EVERY DAY. haha.
i am so happy here! It was not until after I left that I realized how much I love my family!! I loooooooove my family soo much! I love my precious mamasita, my father (Sup, Dave!), Monty, Zachy, and Madi! Love you all! I am not close to you physcially, but please know that I think about you often. I pray for you all daily!
Heavenly Father is real. I know He lives. He loves us perfectly. He knows us perfectly. If we ever feel discouraged, all we need do is pray to Him. I know he will send us the comfort and peace we need to feel. I testify that Jesus Christ lives. He gave his life for us. He loves us, and he will always love us no matter what! What a wonderful message!
It´s all good. So yeah! Every night I sleep with the blanket Audge made me. I love it! It´s so warm and cozy! And I keep all your little notes under my pillow every night. My family is so dear to me. I cannot wait to come home and hug you all. But for now....CHILE!! Ah! I am so excited! Every day I wake up, and I thank my Heavenly Father that I am in Chile. It´s so great. Yo yo, a great scripture is Doctrine and Covenants Section 31 verse 13 (I think). Lift up your hearts and rejoice! All seven of the hermanas (including me) in my district say this every day. Whenever we feel stressed or whatever, we just say Alza tu corazon y regocijate!! Life is so good!
I had a paper with all the things I wanted to tell you...but i left it at the house... haha.....uh, next week! LOVE YOU ALLL I AM IN CHILE AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Hermana Mittleman (legit!)