Friday, May 31, 2013

week of May 31

Can't believe it's been another week.  Every week i'm here, the time flies by faster.  I got some sweet packages and letters this week, so thank you bunches!! Every day my district has a contest.  Packages are 3 points and letters are one.  I got 4 letters and 3 packages one day and defeated everyone else. It was awesome. 
I honestly don't even remember what happened this week, because I feel like I was just writing yesterday.  On Sunday we had Marcus B Nash of the 70 come speak to us and then after that we all got to watch the broadcast of Sister Monson's funeral.  Tuesday night, W Craig Zwick of the 70 came for the devotional and his family.  Apparently his grandkids are also the grandchildren of President Eyring. I really enjoyed his talk because he gave some steps to developing Christlike attributes.  It was pretty cool and the Spirit was really strong. 
The other day at lunch, my companion and I were the last ones left at the table finishing up, and one of the MTC district presidents, President Jenkins, came and sat down next to us with Elder D----- from South Africa.  President Jenkins is the one who has kind of been in charge of my companion the whole time she has been at the MTC and figuring out what to do and such.  He said to her, "well are you ready for tomorrow?" She was confused and he said, "You're leaving tomorrow! I have your plane ticket on my desk!" Apparently there was some miscommunication, so we went to the health clinic that afternoon because Hermana Boomhower was still in her boot and wanted to see if she was clear to leave the next day.  We got to leave campus, which was awesome, and walk down to the BYU health center and she got some x-rays.  We took them back to the doctor and apparently, bad news, her foot had not improved since her last x-ray.  This caused some concern so she did not fly out to her mission yesterday, and today we have to go to a podiatrist somewhere in Provo because she might have to get surgery now.  The podiatrist will decide what needs to be done, and then on Monday she will meet with the district president to see if she has to go home and get surgery or just wait it out or what.  Apparently they cannot keep missionaries here longer than 12 weeks, and she has been here for 10 going on 11. So they have to either send her home to get surgery, send her home to heal, or send her out to the field.  She'll find out all that out in the coming days. It's pretty crazy! I feel really bad.  She is a trooper though.  I probably would go crazy if I had to be here that long. The MTC is great and all... but yeah. 12 weeks is too long, especially when she was only planning to be here for 2.

We have two investigators we are teaching right now.  Luis, who is a grandpa and his entire family is active in the church, and Ricardo who is a 15 year old boy.  It's fun because our teachers are really good actors.  Especially Hno Stevenson who is Ricardo.  Whenever we teach him he just responds with stuff like "esta bien." and doesn't talk much.  Like a typical 15 year old boy who thinks he's too cool for church.  we asked him the other day what he wanted in his life or something like that, and he said, "Una casa grande y un ferrari." So it's been fun for us to try and adjust our teaching styles to make the Gospel exciting to him and get him to feel the Spirit. 

Spanish is continuing to come along as well.  I wonder what the teachers think when we try to speak to them in our completely broken spanish.  I imagine it's pretty funny.  I was telling one of our investigators how someone was sad and angry, but I couldn't remember the word for angry for some reason, so I accidentally said they were sad and orange. haha.  I realized what I said right after though and he and I started laughing.  Also, my companion and I were trying to say that "we care about you," but we accidentally said, "we are in love with you." Haha.  I guess this is what the MTC is for. Learning. And that is why I will have a trainer when I get in the field that will hopefully actually know Spanish and can correct my mistakes.

 We got a new district in our zone today.  Also, two districts left this week and last.  When our district got here, there were 5 altogether.  4 left in the past two weeks, and one came in.  So now there are 2.  (I feel like just now I was being like the donut shop worker in the Brian Regan joke that does the obvious counting for everybody that already knows how to count.) Anyway, it's a little lonely in our hallway, but it's nice because the districts that left were really loud and distracting haha so my district has been focusing a little better.  There are two people in the new district from Missouri - woo! One is from hamilton, the other is from Overland Park.  Which I thought was only in Kansas but he says he lives in the Missouri side of it.  We are also getting two new districts next week, which is when Hannah Hoyt comes in and she's Spanish speaking so i'm hoping she's in one of them because that would be awesome. :)

They opened up the "West Campus" of the MTC this week which includes Wyview and Raintree.  About 100 people got transferred down there and some others arrived there on wednesday.  I guess they live at Wyview, and then have classes at Raintree.  I have been trying to snoop and figure out who all goes to which campus, but apparently it's pretty random.  Some Hungarian-speaking and Spanish-speaking and English-speaking were sent down there.  And some people going to Madagascar.  So I guess it's not really a specific language.  It's cool though that they had to expand because of all the new missionaries.  At the devotional on tuesday, Elder Zwick kept saying how 'historical' this was that we were expanding and such.  He also said that 'the brethern have never before been as involved in missionary work as they are now.'  Or something like that.  I thought that was cool.  He said that for assigning mission calls there used to be one or two apostles that did it every week, but now they require 6 apostles to assign every week. Awesome! Anyway. Random.

Well I don't know what else to say, but just that I love you all and i'm so grateful to be serving a mission! estoy agradecida por la oportunidad a servir un mision y ser a la CCM.  Yo se que el evangelio is verdadera y por medio viviendo los principios de el evangelio, nos podemos volver a vivir con Dios y Jesucristo y nos familias por eternidad.  yo estoy muy entusiasmado a predicad este mensajo a la gente in Peru!!!!
-Hopefully that made sense to those spanish speakers out there. :)

Love you all,
Hermana Jones

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Week of 5/25

I can't believe another week has gone by! The first week-ish was a little slow moving but it feels like just yesterday that I was doing my laundry and responding to emails.  Pretty crazy.  I'm definitely into the swing of things by now so time is flying by! 
Our teacher, Hermano Stevenson, is pretty funny.  My companion and I are teaching him and he is playing the role of Ricardo, a 15 year old boy who "thinks he's cool" but his mom is a member so we are teaching him.  Hno Stevenson is such a good actor.  It's pretty funny because he is a grown man pretending to be a 15 yr old.  Turns out, it's really hard to teach a teenager.  He thinks he already knows everything and doesn't understand why God should be important in his life.  We've definitely had to get creative with our teaching methods.  And have to pretend to relate to him and his video games.  Despite that, it's really cool how much Spanish i'm learning.  I actually realized it a lot this week.  The progression is slow so it's isn't super noticeable, but a couple of things happened this week that made me notice it.  First, we did the TRC on tuesday, which is where members come in and volunteer and we teach them in Spanish just like we would be home teaching or giving a thought after a dinner appointment.  It made me feel good because the members we taught were so impressed and were saying, "Wow, I can't believe you've only been here for two weeks!." And then, while teaching one of my lessons the other day, the investigator asked a question.  I thought of the answer in English, and thought, "Man, I really wish I knew how to say that in Spanish." But then, I realized that I DID know how to say it in Spanish! I was so excited.  So I answered his questions in my broken, Americanized Spanish with a whole lot of "Um's" but it worked and I got my point across. 
Turns out, it's not very hard to run in a dress.  Whenever we start getting tired in class and get the 'glazed' look in our eyes, Hno Stevenson takes us outside and makes us run laps.  It was weird at first but now i'm getting pretty pro at running in a skirt and flats. 

On Wednesday, my companion boarded a flight to Peru! She got her visa in last week, so she left on wednesday morning to the Peru MTC.  She left with a couple of districts with our zone, except for one sister who did not leave.  So now that sister is my new companion.  Her name is Hermana Boomhower.  Interesting story about Hermana Boomhower.  She was assigned to Las Vegas West speaking English, but she broke her foot on the first day of gym class.  Because she had to stay here for her foot to heal, they switched her to Spanish Speaking, but still Las Vegas West.  She spent the 6 weeks here, and her foot was not healed yet, so she got her district changed.  Anyway, she has been here 9 weeks now.  She keeps going to get her foot Xrayed and the doctor doesn't feel comfortable letting her leave yet, so her date has been changed about 12 times of when she can actually leave.  She actually got her boot off yesterday, and she gets X-rayed next week, and if all is well, she'll get to leave on June 3rd.  (I'm so excited for her Xray because that means I get to leave MTC campus and go down the road to the Health Center---Civilization!!!) I feel so bad for her.  She is literally the nicest missionary at the MTC and she's had to be here for so long.  She said that she was praying for patience so this all is her own fault for praying for that.  Now everytime they change her date, she just says, "Whatever!"  Poor thing.  We get along really well though.  Like I said, she is so nice.  She is from Indiana, and she is 22.  I literally have nothing bad to say or think about her because if she ever does something that could potentially be annoying, she immediately apologizes.  It takes us forever to get places because she holds the doors open for everybody haha.  I'm learning a lot from her about patience and humility.  And she is a pretty good teacher because she has been here for over two months, so that's a plus. 
Today at the lunchroom, I heard some workers overtalking that apparently they are expected to get about 1500 new missionaries on Wednesday, and only 500 are leaving.  We have about 2600-2800 here right now.  That's crazy!! It's nice because there are six beds in our room and only four of us living there, but I'm guessing that will change on wednesday.  They still haven't opened up the Raintree and Wyview campuses yet, i'm not sure when they are planning to. Also, I'm not sure who all gets sent to those campuses.  I heard a rumor that English speakers would be going other places but I have no way to know if that's true.  Whenever we're at the front desk doing something logisitcal, I usually try to find out information like that because I think it's cool, but they aren't very willing to share that info.  I guess it's going to be pretty crowded until they open the other campuses! Also, my branch president told us that they were thinking about holding all the MTC devotionals and stuff at the BYU Marriott Center, since apparently in July the MTC is going to double it's numbers or something like that. Crazy! It's good though.  It's pretty cool what's happening with missionary work.

Word on the street is that there was a big tornado this week in Oklahoma.  Everyone kept saying that, but no one knew what town.  What are the details on that? Anybody we know affected by it? Also, this week was the 2yr anniversary of the Joplin tornado! Did Joplin have any sort of Memorial service or activity or anything?  I was busy on wednesday, but it did cross my mind when I realized that it was the 22nd.  It also was crazy to think that that was the day I was originally supposed to enter the MTC.  Definitely glad that I got moved ahead two weeks. 

Last night we had a cool experience.  Our branch president came in and asked the elders if they would be able to give him a blessing because he dislocated his shoulder earlier that day.  It was very humbling to see a 70 year-old man asking 19 year old elders, who have hardly ever given blessings, to give him a blessing.
Can't think of much else to say.  The day-to-day is pretty normal.  I'm learning a lot and enjoying my time here.  Every Tuesday/Wednesday tons of people leave, and it's getting me excited to go into the field.  It took 4 months for my comp to get her visa, so if they are consistent, i'll probably get reassigned state side for a couple of weeks.  Which is fine, it's kind of like getting another mission call.  Apparently they reassign you the same way you get your original assignment.  The whole committee and the Apostles and everything look at you, they just have to pick somehwere in the states.  While i'm assuming i'll get sent somewhere else, i'm still hoping and praying that i'll get visa and be able to get to Peru in a timely manner!

Thanks for all the letters and packages and love. You rock, a lot. Love you!

Hermana Jones 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hola Familia,
MTC life is pretty great! Being a missionary is pretty awesome so far.  This week was good because we got our schedule for the next six weeks so we'll be able to get into the swing of things.  The days here go by really slowly, but I can't believe it's already been over a week that i've been here!
On Saturday, Hermana Hyer and I taught our first lesson to our first investigator, Pepe.  Pepe is actually our teacher Hermano Stevenson, but Pepe is a guy that he taught while on his mission.  We planned a lesson for Pepe and pretty much just wrote down word for word what we wanted to say because we had no idea how to give a 30 minute lesson in Spanish after just three days! So it went pretty well.  We didn't use notes to get to know him or to pray or to bear our testimonies so that was good.  Then we taught Pepe on Mon, Tues, and Wed.  By wednesday we just had to bullet what we wanted to teach and were able to follow the Spirit more and didn't have to plan everything we were going to say. The gift of tongues is sweet! On the first day, Pepe told us his son's name was Cepillo.  We didn't think anything of it until a couple of days later and all of us in our district found out that "cepillo" means "toothbrush."  So that was funny.  Also, we got to teach our first le de Castidad (Law of Chastity) lesson so that was fun too. 
On Sunday, our speaker for the MTC relief society was Janice Kapp Perry. It was really cool.  She gave a good little talk about sister missionary stuff (that I don't really remember but I have it written down in my journal.) And then we all sang a song together.  Apparently the song we sang is one she just wrote, and it goes to the tune As Sisters in Zion.  She said that we were the first people to ever sing it! The Spirit was really strong.  That night, for our Sunday devotional, Shane Littlefield came and spoke.  He is the Manager of Pre-field services for the mission department.  He and his wife gave nice talks.  Sunday was a great day!
On Monday, we decided as a district to coordinate our colors on Tuesday as good luck for an apostle coming to our Tuesday Devotional.  We decided that we would all wear green, and the Elders would wear green ties.  Blessings come from Unity, right? Yes. Correct. Because guess what? On Tuesday Elder Nelson and his wife came to speak to us! It was so amazing.  The MTC is so crowded that not everyone can fit in the same gym for the devotional, but we were singing in the choir so we got really good seats.  Sister Nelson talked a lot about using Family History with missionary work.  Elder Nelson talked about a lot of stuff! He was just practically giving us all sorts of great advice for our missions, so I have a couple pages worth of notes from the devotional.  It was cool that he came especially because he was the one that gave the great missionary talks at the past two conferences. "Ask the Missionaries!" and "Catch the wave!" The Spirit was really strong.  Plus he personally thanked the choir for singing and said it was beautiful.  I was in the choir, so yeah.  He pretty much thanked me and said I sang beautifully. 
My district is pretty cool.  I am the only one in my district not from Utah.  Everyone in my district is 19.  A lot of people from our zone are leaving in the next two weeks, so I guess we'll be getting a lot of new districts coming in. 
My companion got her visa in this week! She is flying down to Peru on Wednesday morning. When she leaves I'll either be a solo missionary and get a cool "solo" sticker on my nametag or will be a trio with some other sisters.  She turned in her stuff for her visa near the end of January.  I turned mine in at the very beginning of March.  So, we'll see when mine comes in.  I'll probably be here all six weeks, but i'm curious if i'll get it in time to go down to Peru or if I'll temporarily get reassigned somewhere in the States.  A LOT of people are getting reassigned while watiting for visas.  Someone in my zone got assigned to Oklahoma, Tulsa mission! Elder Hilton. 
Anyway, being a missionary is great.  I've learned a lot of cool things and i've only been here barely a week! The language is coming, slowly but surely.  I'm just excited to be able to speak fluently but I know I gotta work hard and be patient to get there.  The Spirit is so strong here at the MTC.  It's a great thing to be able to just get away from the world.  I haven't even missed my phone or Facebook at all! It's nice to not have to worry about anything worldly, and just focusing on the things of the gospel and teaching people.  I'm so excited to get out into the field and DO WORK but I know I still have a ton to learn and i'm taking advantage of being here and feeling the Spirit here. 
and guess what.. We get Papa John's pizza every friday night! It's so awesome!! Or as our district calls it, Papi Juan's pixa.  I think that's spanish or something.
Thanks for all the fun packages!
Love you very much!
-Hermana Jones

P.s. hopefully the pics attached.  my companion is in the blue, and the other elders and sisters in my district are in the pictures.  As you can tell, i'm as photogenic as i've ever been.

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's my first Pday here at the MTC, which means email time! I've only been here for two days, but I love it! It is definitely overwhelming, but it's not nearly as bad as everyone made it sound...(not yet anyway...) 
I got here the first day at about 2:15, and I guess I was supposed to be here by 2. Oh well.  They just gave me my stuff really quick and told me to leave my luggage in a hallway and escorted me to my first class.  It was just some language review.  It was okay because the stuff we learned in that class was just review from what I learned in high school so I didn't get behind or anything.  After that, we did a new misisonary orientation thing and then ate dinner and did a teaching workshop.  It was pretty cool, and I learned a lot even on my first day.
My companion's name is Hermana Hyer.  She is from Logan, UT.  She is also going to Peru Lima West, and is waiting for her visa.  The other two sisters in my district are also from Utah and are goign to the same mission as hermana Hyer and I and are waiting on their visas.  Hermana Hyer and Hermana Olsen have been waiting for their visas since January, so it might be a while before Hermana Lind and I get ours.  They are expecting theirs in the next week or so, and they were told that if they come, then they get 5 minutes to call their parents and then ship out the next morning to Peru.  We'll see what happens, but i'm enjoying my time here.  Hermana Hyer is a singer and does theatre stuff.  She is really nice, and is out here for the right reasons so we get along.  All of the elders in our district are going to the Argentina Mendoza(sp?) mission.  They seem pretty solid.  There are a lot of really impressive people here, it's awesome! Watch out, world.
Yesterday, we did a lot of language study and I don't even remember what else.  Hermana Hyer already knows a lot of Spanish so she's pretty much pro.  They said she could go to the intermediate class, but she declined.  I'm pretty overwhelmed but a million and one people have told me that i'll get it soon enough so I have faith and believe them and know it will come.  I just need to learn patience a little better because i'm so excited to start speaking in spanish! By the end of today we are to be able to pray in spanish.  Tomorrow night we are teaching our first investigator in Spanish.  Apparently, our branch president calls on two people to give 5 minute talks in spanish during sacrament on the spot, so us newbies were advised to have a talk prepared.  I still need to prepare one. 
Our branch president's name is Presidente Tyler.  He is General Authority status.  Everytime he speaks we all take out notes and start writing.  I've already learned a lot from him and have only met with him twice.  I'm excited to get to know him better. 
I'm not really very tired yet, but I know it'll come.  I think it's because I'm still so excited that it hasn't hit me yet.. maybe... but I'm just goign to keep pretending i'm not tired and then maybe I won't ever get tired.  I love the structured days here.  I'm actually not sure what all i'll be doing today because Pday isn't very structured.  We went to the temple this morning so that was great. 
I've seen a lot of people here that I know, it's fun!
I don't know what else to say, even though there is probably a lot I could say.  Just wanted to let you know briefly how things are going!  I'm so grateful to be on a mission.  I love it so far and I know it's going to keep getting better as I learn more and have more great experiences.
Love you very much!
-Hermana Jones

P.s. Happy Mother's day, Mommy!
p.p.s. I think one of the conselors in the MTC presidency was the previous mission president of the Missouri Indepence Mission
p.p.s. Dad, I think they made those shuttle things at DFW faster, I was having a hard time standing up!

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