Tuesday, June 25, 2013

LaCCm is coming to a close

Hopefully you all saw my email yesterday, i've been reassigned to serve in the Texas Fort Worth Mission until my visa arrives! I'm so excited to be able to go and start doing work out there.  I'm also excited because out of all the places in the United States, I got called to Texas which means i'll hopefully be able to use some of my Spanish until I get down to Peru.  My companions also got reassigned.  Sister Lind is going to Billings, Montana and Sister Olsen is going to New York City South.  We are all very excited!! I leave the MTC on Tuesday morning at 3:30am.  Fun right? I'm a little confused because my flight doesn't leave until 8 so I guess I'll get there plenty early.  They give us a calling card and allow us to call at the airport, so I'll probably be calling home before my flight leaves SLC because my layover isn't very long in PHX.  So, parents, I hope that's cool with you if you get a call at 6am. :) And if I don't have time to do it then, I might have a little time during my layover to call briefly so that is at... I don't remember but I think I told you the time yesterday in my email.  9am Arizona time or something like that.

This week has been pretty interesting because the MTC didn't really know what to do with us.  Our teachers left on summer vacation because we were supposed to be gone by now.  A teacher had us moved to an advanced district that just arrived on wednesday.  So, we've been spending class with native Spanish speakers which is definitely overwhelming.  I feel like I just got thrown into my mission with these native speakers but it's weird because we're still in the MTC.  The advanced districts are only here for two weeks because they don't do any language training. It's hard because the teachers only speak Spanish, which was the same in my beginner district but now they speak as fast as they want and use all sorts of weird vocab and slang that we don't know.  It has definitely been overwhelming but helpful because this is what it's going to be like when we get out into the field.  It's kind of mentally exhausting because I constantly have to translate in my head what is happening.  It makes me tired to just try and listen to what people are saying haha.  Yesterday switched up companions with their district so I taught a lesson with a native speaker and we taught a couple other of the advanced people.  I played the role of the investigator at first and a few times everyone would just look at me at once.  And I would say, "oh, did you just ask me a question?" haha. Apparently they were talking to me a lot and asking me questions but I only know enough to pick up about half of it haha.  It's been fun though and i've learned a lot. 

On wednesday Emily Lewis came into the MTC and I got to host her which was fun! She dropped me off at the MTC 6 weeks ago and I got to host her so that was cool.  I've seen her a couple of times since then and she is loving it.  She only has to be here for 2 weeks because she is going to Australia.

Today we got a note in our mailbox with a classroom and time to meet our new mission presidenttomorrow.  Our Peru mission president, that is.  He's here for training right now so the few of us that are going to peru Lima West get to meet with him tomorrow so that will be fun.  I'm excited to meet him and his wife. 
This sunday is the day that the huge broadcast thing is happening.  I'm pretty excited to sing in the choir, it'll be fun.  Watch for me on TV! I'm going to look extra missionary-esque so that they'll have no choice but to focus in on me. haha.  It's pretty funny because they are being very strict about what we are allowed to wear. They changed the dress and grooming standards just for sunday specifically. So on sunday we're only allowed to wear solid colors and no bows and no jewelry at all and we have to hairspray our hair back out of our face. 

Everything else here has been about the same.  It's been getting hotter but now that i'm going to Texas i'm going to embrace this "cool weather."
My time at the MTC has been pretty great.  I'm really grateful that I was able to come here and learn so much about the language of Spanish and the language of the Spirit.  I feel pretty ready to go out and, as Matt says: 'Baptize the [heck] out of people." Literally. 
One of my favorite scriptures recently has been DyC 6:36- Elevad hacia mi todo pensamiento. No dudeis, no temais.
The church is true.

Hermana Jones

Friday, June 14, 2013

extended a week at the MTC

Hola mi familia,
So i'm hoping you got my email the other night about my change in plans.  I've been extended to stay here another week at the MTC.  My visa has not come yet, so they are hoping it will come sometime in the next week and if not, i'll get my temp. reassignment next thursday or friday. Apparently there have been a TON of visa issues for a lot of different countries.  Peru used to not be very bad but apparently it's been pretty bad lately.  Everybody that is currently at the MTC that is going to Peru is in the same situation as me.  We all got extended another week, because I guess our visas are supposed to come in at the same time-ish.  So there are about 30 of us that are just chillin here for another week.  Some people were saying that since so many people are trying to get visas to Peru, they just shut down and stopped handing out visas.  So who knows how long it will take.  My companions were praying for their visas not to come because they wanted to stay here for the prophet on the 23rd. Be careful what you pray for! I've been praying to get my visa so hopefully it'll come soon and we can get down there.  The MTC is great and all, but i'm ready to get out there and do work.  The biggest bummer of being extended a week is the fact that that is one less week out in the mission field! So wherever I go, I hope I can get there soon.  The Elders in my district received their reassignments, because they are going to Argentina and probably will have to wait a couple of months for their visas.  One got assigned to Oakland, 2 to Salt Lake City, and 3 to Ogden.  The hardest part of getting a reassignment, like you were saying Dad, is that we could get assigned somewhere that doesn't have a lot of Spanish so we don't get to use all of this that we've learned.  I have no idea what is going to happen and when it is going to happen but i'm just excited for it and know it'll all work out eventually.
This week was pretty normal.  It was a little weird emotionally because we were getting so excited to leave and doing our last preparations to get out in the field, and then we were told we have another week.  So we had to reset our minds and can't get too excited now or else we won't get anything done in the next week.  It'll be good for me to be able to learn more Spanish while i'm here. 
Elder Mervyn B Arnold of the 70 came to our devotional on tuesday which was awesome.  He spoke about making sure that at the end of our missions when we report, we will say we have no regrets.  It was pretty motivating. It was cool because it was the first time every they held the MTC devotional in the BYU Marriott center because there are so many missionaries here.  We all got to walk over there which was fun and kinda cool to see thousands of missionaries in a big group.  It look like an Army of Helaman! There are a ton of missionaries here, it's awesome.  Every time we have a devotional, the speaker comments about how the work is hastening and how much of a miracle all of this is.  It's really cool to be a part of it.  The world better watch out because the missionaries are taking over. And it's awesome opposum.
 We attended in-field orientation this week which was motivating and got me really excited to get out there.  Everybody here is still getting pretty excited about the big mission conference training thing they are holding here .  I'll be singing in the choir so if anybody watches it, look for me on the big screen! haha. 
There are like 12 or 13 sisters here from  my ward this past semester, it's pretty fun.  Also there are a lot of other people that I know.  The past two weeks like all of my friends came in so it's fun to see them all the time.  Hermana Hoyt lives right next to the other sisters in my zone so every night my companions and I have to visit them so I usually stop by and say hello to hermana Hoyt as well.  Also, my other roommate Taylor Clark came in this week so I've gotten to see her a few times.  Maggie Jones came in last week so i've seen her, and i'll attach a picture that we took together.  Also attached is a pic of all the sisters in my zone. My district is the oldest here now so we think we're pretty big stuff.
mi vida es bien aqui en la CCM.
It's interesting because the Spirit is so strong here, that I sometimes forget how strong it is.  It's like how when you walk outside and it's super cold and that's all you can think about, but then when you walk inside somewhere, and it's warm and you are so grateful for the warmth. But then, after a while, you become accustomed to the temperature and forget how warm it is.  That's how it's been at the MTC.  The Spirit is so strong all the time at the MTC and being a missionary that sometimes I forget what the Spirit feels like and I have to remember to be grateful for it and to be grateful that i'm a missionary and see how I can have the Spirit more.  I'm so grateful to be here and for this wonderful opportunity I have to serve. 
Thanks for the letters and packages. Love you all!
-Hermana Jones

p.s. Matt, Happy Birthday tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!! I don't have your email address, so this "p.s." is dedicated to you. Amurica.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

3rd companion

Hola familia,

This week has gone by so fast! And a lot has happened which is sweet.
First of all, Dad! Way to go on your half marathon! That's awesome.  I laughed at how you said the last 10 miles were the hardest.  But you did it! And now you never have to do it again. :) Sounds like you all had an enjoyable Memorial day weekend as well.  I hope you had some good American Barbeque.
So last friday evening Hermana Boomhower and I had to go to a podiatrist appointment for her foot.  It was sweet because we had to shuttle to his office in Provo, so we got to leave the MTC! We were driving around Provo which was really weird.  And we drove right by the Elms and right by Lynelle's apartment. It was fun! Then while I was waiting for Hermana Boomhower in the waiting room, they were playing music! So that was cool. Anyway, the podiatrist told Hermana Boomhower that she has to get surgery because her foot isn't healing.  When we got back to the MTC she went and told the district president, and he said to come in and talk to her the following monday about when and how they want to do all that.  We went in on monday and he had a plane ticket ready for her for tuesday morning.  So sadly she had to go home to get surgery.  They said it normally is about a 2 month recovery and then she can just go straight to Las Vegas when she is recovered.  I'm hoping it all works out for her! I feel bad for her, she had to be here 10-11 weeks to heal, and then just ended up having to get surgery.  But she has a really good attitude about it and was making plans to keep in contact with the teachers so she can continue to learn Spanish and such. 
So with her leaving on Tuesday, i'm now on my third companionship! I must do a pretty good job of scaring away my companions because consistently every two weeks I get a new one, haha.  I'm now a tri-panionship with the other two sisters in my district who are also going to Peru Lima West and that I've been living with this whole time.  Their names are Hermana Lind and Hermana Olsen.  They're awesome.  We've been getting along well and it doesn't feel different since we've been together this whole time pretty much.  Except when they forget i'm with them now and accidentally leave me places.  Yeah, that happened a couple of times haha.  It's all good though. 

On Tuesday we were told that there is going to be a huge new mission president training here for the new mission presidents.  The prophet and quorum of the 12 will all be here, and it's going to be pretty epic.  They told us that in the choir because they are trying to gather enough missionaries to make a choir of 1000, so we are supposed to gather as many as we can to join, and then we'll get to sing for the prophet and the 12 in the Marriott center! This all sounds awesome, right? Yeah. The date of this event? June 23rd.  5 days after we leave.... haha of course.  It's all good though.  I know a lot of people are now hoping that our visas won't come and that we can get extended a week, but honestly I just want to go out in the field.  It'd be cool to see all of the apostles but I'm not going to get to meet them or anything and I'm just way excited to get out there and do work.  But apparently the event thing is going to be broadcasted so that'll be cool to watch anyway.

This past tuesday we got to hear from Tad R. Callister for our devotional. It was fantastic.  He was comparing our church with the church in the New Testament and pulling out all these awesome scriptures and it was really cool.  I really wanted to go up to him afterwards somehow and talk to him and see if he remembered staying at our house but I figured he would just kinda jump in the car and leave or something.  It was fantastic though. I learned a lot.

Now that our district has been here for four weeks, we signed up to host the new missionaries this wednesday.  They were in need of a lot of hosts because apparently this wednesday we got 940 new missionaries in one day, which I guess broke the record in history for the most missionaries arriving in one day. The hosts are the missionaries that meet the missionaries/families at the car and help them grab bags and make sure the family leaves in under 4 minutes and then help the missionary get their nametag and books and get to their room and stuff.  It was really fun!
I knew that Hannah Hoyt was coming in on wednesday, so I was secretly looking for her.  Each missionary was assigned a time on a 15 minute mark based on last name.  There were about 100 cars every 15 minutes that would come, so there were a lot of missionaries.  I figured Hannah would be about an hour in because her last name was H.  I picked up a girl right at the beginning, got her situated, and came back.  I was standing on the curb in a big group of people and I see Hannah out her window yelling, "Alayna!" So I trotted along side her car until they found a spot on the curb and I got to host her! I cut in front of all the other hosts but once she got out and I gave her a big hug I don't think they cared, haha. It was so awesome! I was so happy to see her! And she seemed very excited and happy to be here.  She lives just a floor below me and has class just a floor above me in the same buildings, so I actually see her walking around a lot. It's AWESOME.  I've also seen a TON of other people I know that got here on wednesday, it's so fun.  I saw Ammon Allphin last week or the week before right before he left so that was cool.  I saw Maggie Jones briefly the other day.  And then i've seen like 15 people I know from school. It's fun.

So I have about 11 days left here at the MTC. Crazy! Still no word on my visa or anything.  I doubt they would tell us as this point if it came or not, we just have to see where we are getting sent.  I heard that some people are getting their travel plans today, so I'm guessing that if my visa IS here, i'll get my travel plans today and know what time i'm leaving and such.  If my visa isn't here yet, they'll probably wait until next week and then I think next Wednesday or Thursday, if my visa still isn't here, I get a temporary reassignment somewhere in the states and then get my travel plans a couple of days later.  Super crazy and exciting! My scheduled date to leave is the 18th, which is a tuesday, but depending on where I actually end up going it could be anywhere from Sunday the 16th, to Thursday the 20th.  And then if they think my visa is almost here and is coming in the next week-ish, they'll probably just have me stay at the MTC an extra week.  I guess i'll find everything out in the next week or so though. 

The MTC is awesome.  I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed every day this week.  I love the Spirit that is felt here and I love how much I get to learn.  Every day I'm amazed how real the gift of tongues is! Seriously, it rocks.  I'm starting to feel a lot more confident in teaching lessons and in speaking spanish, even though i'm sure that confidence will be crushed once I start trying to speak with natives. :) haha. 

Thanks for the letters and packages and loves! Yesterday it hit me, "Hey, i'm a missionary. This is awesome!" I'm so glad to be out here and I'm grateful for all the help and support y'all give me. 
Love you all!

-Hermana Jones

p.s. the pictures are my companions and I hosting on wednesday, and then laundry.  Exciting, I know.

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.