Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 16, 2010

hey cute fam-

mama thanks so much for thinking of me and a care package!!! of course i would love that!!! the only thing i might ask though is that you wait to send stuff for winter until my next winter. it is still freezing but i wont get your package for like a month so it will be warmer by then... i hope. i would love whatever you would like to include. if food is included, i dont know why but chewy bars are my craving, and whatever else you would like. it doesnt need to be food. i know you are a great package maker mama. and it can be in a box now that i am not at the mtc. but i believe it needs to be under 100 dollars to send.... hahaha and i would hope you wouldnt send that much anyway. I am doing good otherwise, just have to survive the winter for a little bit longer. My comp and i walk arm and arm everywhere to steal eachothers body heat, with our hot water bottles in our jackets. funny funny story about that actually. yesterday we were walking and started talking with this woman, while my companion was talking with her she was rubbing her hot water bottle which was in her coat on her stomach and the woman we were talking to was like, oh how sweet!! you are pregnant!! oh man we were laughing so hard. that is the last thing we need is to have people think there are pregnant missionaries so we decided that probably wasnt the best idea anymore, but so funny right. other news of the weird, we were talking to this man that was in front of his house yesterday who was, get this, painting his dog, yes painting. wow people do the strangest things. yesterday was just a series of funny events.
this week has been filled with some of my lowest and highest points on my mission so far but i can say that the lows were necessary to get to the highs. my companion and i had our first baptism of Alexandra, one of the children with a really big fear of water. we were able to use the baptismal font at the chapel on thursday to help her practice for saturday. long long long story short since i am already running short on time but my companion ended up getting in the font with alexandra and her mom to help her practice, they were in there for three hours helping her to get her head under the water. i was in charge of being the babysitter with her other two sisters/cheerleader for Ale haha. it was so exciting when after three hours she was able to overcome her fear. When saturday came she arrived at the church crying and terrified once again. Needless to say the elder that performed the baptism had to do it six times before she was able to get her head under the water, but it was so exciting. she was amazing and was so excited and we were all so proud of her.
anyway i have to go, wish i could write more. I will leave ya with a little spiritual though though. I have been reading the church magazines like mad during my personal study/breakfast in the morning. I really love this quote "I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in the service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish- and in effect save their lives." Anyway i gotta run!!!! I LOOOOOOVVVVEEEEEE YYYYYYYYOOOOOUUUU to the moon and back a zillion times!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo -Jess

August 10, 2010

What happened yesterday.... what an adventure. it was our p day and we headed to pan de azucar around 1 to do a hike to this awsome landmark thing here called the cruz. it is a huge cross on the top of a mountain that you can actually climb into. so we hiked up... our whole zone which is 22 people... and had a great time. ah i miss a good hike like that!! it was so fun to get to know some of the other missionaries in the zone too. anyway so after we headed down and ended up waiting for the bus for about two hours to take us to the neareset city then when we got to the next city, waited for another hour or so for the next bus and when it came.... we all stuck out our hands for it to stop and.... you guessed it.... it drove straight past us. last bus of the night. stuck and hour away from our apartments with only about 1.5 hours till we had to be in our houses. so after a frenzy of discussing what to do we had to call 4 cabs and spent a ton of money to get home but luckily made it right at 9:30. ahhhhh... it was crazy. but really fun.

another great event of the week i was able to do an intercambio or like switch companions with a companionship in Minas this week... which is about two hours north. So i was in Minas for two days with Hermana Kleinman. Ah she is a blast. We get along super well and were able to work hard all at the same time. This gives me hope for companions. She is from Orem and has been here for about 7 months. I was able to learn a different approach to teaching and another area and ah it really was so so great, i was actually really sad to leave her haha. i am with her right now because her and her comp spent the night at our house last night because we have interviews with the president today. I am a bit nervous because i need to talk to him about some honesty and work issues with my companion. things have been rough and i really think that she needs someone to motivate her because it is sad to see time wasted and i really cant do anything because there is still a language barrier and when i do mention something she snaps at me. so i dont know....

Anyway last week i was telling you about Richard and Paula and there three kids. They are amazing!!! They are making so much progress and the light that they have in their faces is stronger and stronger every time we are with them. their oldest son dameon has been going to the semenary classes at the church during the week and their daughter jacqueline, who has a mental disability, is holding on to what we teach her so so well. She many times will answer before her brother or parents and just blows us away. She has such an amazingly special spirit and her and I have bonded so much. That seems to happen with the children here since I can just play with them and dont have to talk much and they wont judge my spanish haha. What a sweet family, ill let you know more as time progresses. Richard and Paula are hopefully going to get married soon as well which is really exciting!

Anyway well i have a great scripture i wanna share with you! "And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions, that ye do not revile against those who do cast you out because of your exceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like them. But that ye have patienc, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." Alma 34:40-41

I love this scripture and it has really taken on a new meaning to me with all the things there are to be patient with. I know that I need so much more patience but that if we trust in the Lord, all things will come according to his time. I love you fam!!! Thank you so much for your support and love always. i miss you like crazy but i know this will all be worth it. Love you Love you LOVE YOU!!! -Jess

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Update from August 2

Wow time really flies! I feel like i just barely wrote you and here I am again! I am doing really well with the help of the Lord, there is truly no way to do it on my own and I know that Heavenly Father knew that i needed a good humbling experience and that is a good part of why I was sent here. I am truly more and more amazed daily by the people. I was really excited this week to experience the answers to my prayers with the language. I want so badly to understand the people and be able to help them and I feel that the Lord really blessed me this week with the ability to better understand and talk with the people. Slowly it is getting better and it is wonderful to have to speak my mission language all the time with my companion, no better way to learn than complete imersion eh??
This week has been good, we have been able to find some new people to teach and have been able to have people progress in their understanding of the gospel. We are hoping that the new people that we have found will be able to feel the love of God in their lives and the change that can be brought to their homes through applying this love in their households. There is one family in particular that we have taught twice this week. They live in a tiny one room cement house, which is the standard, but their living conditions are some of the most humble i have seen. when you walk in there is a queen sized bed a bunk bed and a stove and that is their home. there are five of them that live there and they are amazing. they have two children, jaqueline, and juan who have mental disabilites and then their oldest dameon. the woman paula is pregnant, and her and richard live together. the three children are paulas and richard has two children but they dont live with them. Their children are so amazing i cant even express. juans condition is really serious and he is very low functioning but is so sweet. everyone here greets and says goodbyes with kisses on the cheeks but as missionaries we can only do this with the women but juan insists on giving us a big sloppy kiss on the cheek, ah he is just the greatest. anyway we are going back this week for our third visit and when they were at church this week they signed up to feed us lunch on thursday. this is amazing because i doubt they even have enough money to feed their own family let alone us as well. i love them ever so much and really hope that they are able to find the peace and happiness that comes through knowing Christ.
So many stories to share and so little time!! Yesterday we had church and were a bit behind on what we wanted to have done for the week so we took two younger girls from the ward with us and split up. santa baca i thought i was going to die of fear at first but it was a really great experience for me to be able to learn how to teach without my companion. the girl i went with is named belen and she is great... she speaks incredibly fast though haha. but it was really great to have her there when i was fumbling for what i was trying to say. it was so so so cold and for some reason my rainboots are always damp inside so my feet were purple by the end of the night... nothing a good old hot water bottle cant solve right.... i cant tell you how much i love those hot water bottles!!!! i guess we are going to enter spring at the end of august... hallelujah... bring on the rays. i definitely will be asking for some more winter clothes next winter but as of right now i can trudge on through.
Anyways just wanted to share a little thought i had this sunday at church while i was doin some readin in the scripts so here it is for you... and charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. wherefore, my beloved betheren if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never failieth. wherefore, cleave unto charity which is greatest of all, for all things must fail. but charity is the pure love of Christ , and it endureth forever: and whoso is fround possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. ............. i love this scripture and was just thinking of how much i need to work on having charity. i truly know, especially living with a companion 24/7 that if we look for the bad in people we will find it, but if we look for the good we can learn to love them like our Heavenly Father loves them. boy i really need to work on this and this is why i thought i would share it with you, I know that through Christ we can be made perfect.
But gosh i gotta go!! My time is short but I want you to know just how much i love you, i was talking to my companion this morning and she said that more than anything she thinks she has gained a greater appreciation for her family and i can definitely feel that in myself as well. I love you ever so much k love you to the moon and back 1000000 zillion times!!! xoxxoxoxoxoxox- jess

Monday, August 2, 2010

Update from July 26

When i was reading them today at the bus stop for a second i thought i was at home and then put down my paper and realized i am in Uruguay haha, quite the shocker. Also, i gave you the wrong one last time so here it is again, the subject has to be HERMANA KUBLY AND THE ADDRESS IS URUMONTEMISSION@GMAIL.COM so sorry it is actually two ¨ss¨ in mission. I am working on writing everyone back by snail mail but remember that it will take about a month to get there now that i dont have pouch.
Anyway my second week in Uruguay, here it goes, i am going to try and reaccount as much as i can haha. Its freezing and humid which has been really interesting. I definitely havent ever felt a cold like this where your bones are literally cold all the time and you always feel wet. I have resorted to carring around my hot water bottle everywhere we go in my jacket, everyone thinks its pretty funny but oh man i love them. every few houses we are at someone will offer to boil some new water to put in it which is amazing and usually i am able to keep some warm water in it. Its crazy how much i now appreciate the dry weather of utah... santa baca this is cold!!
The language is coming... slowly but surely. I dont reallly feel like i am improving but every now and then someone will compliment me which helps me to truck along and feel like im making progress. in one of our lessons this past week the girl we were teaching just broke down laughing at me, what can i say i would probably laugh at me too but it was a bit of a slap in the face haha. but i guess this is what comes with learning a new language. its really weird because i will ask my companion to translate what people say becasue i can understand almost everything she says but not much of what other people say, even though she only speaks spanish too.
Earlier this week was a bit rough, we had alot of people that bailed on lessons so we were making up for this time by contacting people. My companion would sneakily sneak off when i was clapping a gate and leave me to do it on my own... oh my intimidating. but good for me. We were able to find a few people who were sincerely interested in hearing about how the gospel of Jesus Christ can bless their lives and were able to make a few appointments. One of them was with a woman who is 21 and has a brand new baby. She lives in one of the little Kioskos here, there are like three every block, anyway it was wonderful, she truly had interest in how the gospel can bless her new family. We have had a few people that we have been teaching come to church on sunday which was amazing becasue most people say they will come and never do. It was a wonderful Sunday for them to come because the new temple president and his wife spoke. My favorite lesson this week was with a family that has five children and they live in a tiny tiny little house. They are wonderful and lessons are so great with them. Their children are always so anxiously engaged and eager to learn. We made alfajores, they are like a pastry of sorts that everyone eats here, but you buy them everywhere. We made home made ones with thier kids and it was so fun. there where little hands flying everywhere trying to help and they were so fun to be with.
I dont know if i have told you this yet but we have an awesome service opportunity we get to do here. I guess that the president has an organization set up to help those who are in poverty in our area. There is a huge scape of land right behind us that they are building hundreds of homes in and if the people help a certain amount of hours with pouring the cement for the houses they recieve one of the homes for themselves. Since many of the people are working to provide for their families they are unable to get their hours in and so we are able to do the hours for them and they get hours per person that helps. So once a month we get to help build houses which I am so so excited for. They did it last week but we were unable to go because we had appointments.
AHHH anyways my thoughts are so scattered it is hard to write everything so this is just a itty bitty preview. I get pretty lonely not being able to communicate well with anyone so its been a bit rough but i know that I am never alone. I was reading in Matthew:5 about the Sermon on the mount and this chapter always really helps me to endure through the hard times, please give it a read, I know that this has been such strength to me when i stand in need of comfort. I know that everything we endure through in this life is for our good and in preparation for us to be with our Heavenly Father. I am so greatful to have the knowledge the gospel of Christ in my life and am so eager to see it change the lives of those it touches. I have already seen so many families here that have been touched by its message and the comfort it brings. Anyway i gotta run. I love you so so so so so so much and miss you. Love you, think about you, and pray for you always- Jess