Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011

hey there-

well ill give ya a little update of my week... cant say that proselyting was really succesful this week but wow the blessings that we received were far greater than anything we could have hoped for. but to start off i have to give you some great bike stories from the week. my comp had her first two nasty spills on the bike this week. the roads are all dirt so she slipped out a couple of times, once was in front of an almacen and the people inside were dying laughing, and really i couldnt help it either, it was really funny. but she was good and in good spirits, just a few cuts and bruises. the best part was on thursday, we were tracting all day until we had three appts the last three hours of our day and my comps tire popped, completely, so we took it to a bicicleteria. he said it wouldnt be ready until the morning and we were on the complete opposite side of our area, about three miles away from our appt and with about 10 minutes to spare before the appt. so we started walking and i knew we would be way late, so my comp jumped on the bike.... and i ran alongside her, i cant imagine how hillerious we looked. running in a skirt and, my tracting shoes, made me laugh the whole way. with our last appt we were going to be late getting home so again, i ran home. haha all my years of running built up to this point i guess haha.

well i can say that we are teaching really two of the most amazing people ever. Flor and Richard. cant express just how much i love them and how amazed i am by them every lesson we have. Richard has a completely new aura, he actually looks happy and has changed so much since the first time we met him. in one of our charlas this week he started out by telling us that he knew the scriptures were true, and in the following one that he wanted to be baptized, before we even said anything. he told that he feels that the hole that he has had is being filled with his new found relationship with the Savior and our heavenly Father. he has been diligently praying and reading everything we leave with him. its amazing the trust that he has in the Lord. He came to church yesterday!!!! even was dressed in a suit and tie.... and just minutes after he showed up came Flor. she is simply amazing. one of my new Uruguayan mamas (she told my comp and i that she is going to make us skirts!!!). we left her with a chapter to read in the scriptures and when we came back for another lesson a couple of days later, she had read more than 10 chapters and loves reading the scriptures. she told us that she wants to make sure that this is a permanent change in her life, she isnt just going to make a commitment and then leave. wow it was so rewarding to FINALLY see some the fruits of our work here, cant tell you how happy it makes me to see that these two amazing people are accepting Christ in their lives. i havent met anyone like them since i have been here, my comp said the same and she has more time than me so its a rare occasion and we feel really blessed to know them and have the chance to teach them about the gospel.

well one other thing. there was a woman from the states in church yesterday that really doesnt speak spanish... so guess what... i had to translate for her!!!!! i really had no idea i could do it, but all went pretty well. she actually has lived here for 17 years but doesnt know spanish, i am not sure how, but i dont think she goes out much. so ya, i guess i finally realized that i can speak spanish weeeeeeee, still am confused sometimes but it is still coming.

well ill leave ya with a little scripture tha i love and have read literally countless times, but it took on a new meaning to me this week. i got a letter from my friend and he told me that we are the ones that put limits on ourselves in the mission, if we trust in the Lord anything is possible. a few days later i read this scripture and it all clicked. ¨whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him, and this is a promise unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.¨ ............. made me think, with faith the possibilites are limitless, but faith is a choice. if we ask God with faith, believing that we will receive, he will give unto us abundantly.

well i love you, i hope that you are doing so well and look forward to hearing from you next week. we have changes on tuesday next week so that is when i will be writing you...... im a bit nervous to see what changes will bring but all is well. i llllllllllllllooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee yoooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!! -jess

January 24, 2011

well its been a good week, we had a couple of experiences this week that really are the kind of experiences i live to have on the mission. i told you about Flor last week, she is amazing. we went and had a lesson with her this week and she really opened up with us, her testimony of the gospel is growing and she is doing great. she has always been a really faithful woman but told us that she feels she has finally found what she has been looking for. we talked to her about quitting smoking and she told us that she has tried several times without success so we have a little plan laid out to help her and she seemed really excited to get to it. along with her we have been teaching a man named Richard for a while now, i am sure i have told you about him. the first time we met him he told us that he knew God had a purpose for us being there, it was an amazing feeling to hear that. this week when we went he opened up to us alot about exactly what is going on in his life. he has been living with a woman for about 5 or 6 years now and unfortunately they are very unhappy together. he told us the only reason that they are together is for thier son. they arent married and he told us that it is not a step that he wants to take with her and has been praying for the means to resolve the situation so they can go their separate ways. although it was sad to hear he said that he finally feels that it is the time that he can put his life in order and that he has so many things in his past that he wants to erase, but amazingly enough he understands the process of repentance better than anyone i have taught yet. he wants to make God a permanent part of his life and knows that there are many changes to be made and that he needs to feel forgiven of the things that he has done. he REALLY understands the gospel and i cant tell you how far he has come. he shared his testimony with us of the scriptures and wow really hit me like a brick wall, having moments like that make all the hard times worth it. we left these two lessons squieling like little girls we were so excited. Richard has yet to come to chuch because his girlfriend isnt too fond of the idea but i am confident he is going to make it. just have to be patient sometimes...... or always haha.

we had a zone conference and interviews with the president this week, always makes me more excited to go out and work. in my interview he asked me if you,mama, had the chance to watch over me on the mission, what kind of a missionary would you say i am, really made me think. we had a really great interview, i always get a bit nervous and i am sure my spanish was horrible but oh well. i did tell him that i am a bit nervous to have more responsibility, because i know that it will come soon, like training, i dunno, just feel like it is going to happen, and my companion is convinced too. haha i was expecting a bit of comfort but he was straight up with me, he said, yup, you are going to fall, and its going to hurt, but you will get back up and be forever stronger from those experiences. but i know that if the lord trusts me with a new missionary or whatever else he puts in my path, is there for a reason and i can handle it with his help.

this week during my studies it kept coming to mind to read in Romans chapter 8, and man i love it. i will share with you what really caught my attention, in verses 18, 28, and 37, it reads, ¨sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.... and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose... we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.¨ really was an answer to my prayers and peace to my worry. we really cant measure what we will learn from the challenges that we have right now, but in the eternal perspective, all things work together for good, we learn from our challenges and are made stronger disciples of Christ. we can conquer any obstacle that is in our path through Him. I am so greatful for my Savior and the strength that he gives me each day to keep going.

well i love love LOVE you!!!!...... as always. i hope that all is just peachy and great for you all and that you are staying healthy and happy. i love you millions.... ill love you forever, ill like you for always....... much love, Jess

Photo from January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011

hey there-
well i am doing really well, i am going to add a few pictures in with this. we went to write our letters on the beach this morning and it was really beautiful!!! dont know if i ever told you that our house is only about three blocks from the beach!!! but this was my first time to actually be on the beach since i arrived in salinas. we really cant do anything but it was nice to sit there and enjoy the ocean!! ahhh i would love to live near the ocean some day and get to run on the beach every morning!!!! well here are a couple pics from this morning. my comp tried to take a jumping pic of me but didnt really work out haha, so thought it might be kind of entertaining even thought i look ridiculous. well actually looks like the pictures arent going to work... i dunno we will see.
this last week was good, i actually hit 8 months.... wow feels like i just told you that i hit 7, time is speeding by. nothing super exciting happened. we have a really amazing woman we are teaching that is named Flor, she actually came to church yesterday which was really exciting!!! it is always a bit uncomfortable for people the first couple of times but she did really well and seemed to really enjoy it and was really interested. she also told us that she had been looking on the church website and really loved it so we were really excited and happy for her! along with her we have still been teaching vanessa, she is the girl that is 16 with her cute two year old daughter. this week we were able to teach her and her 15 year old sister gisel. when we first got to her house she came out to the gate to let us in and was smoking, and then passed off the cigarette to her sister. made me really sad but it is really common here, there are no laws that stop even little kids from buying cigarettes or alcohol so its a huge problem. we see kids that are as young as 10 or 11 with cigarettes and drinking and they get addicted really young. but other than that our last lesson with them was great, they were super engaged and had tons of questions which is rare for kids their age with religion, so we are excited for them.

well ah this is a bit short this computer is acting weird so sorry, more to come next week. i love you tons and hope that you are doing wonderfully!!!! -jess

January 10, 2011

hey there-
so glad to hear from you!!! sounds like you are all doin so good and are burried in the snow, ah i miss the snow!!!! just melting here, the sun is SUPER strong!!! but you would be proud i am using my sunscreen everyday so no worries haha.

well another week eh!!!! mission accomplished.... on the mission.... my companion can officially ride a bike!!!! yehaw!!! we had our first adventure away from in front of the house yesterday and she is champ and we used them again this morning and she did great, only a few falls. we were going and i can ususally hear the sqeeking of her bike behind me and all of a sudden it just stopped so i looked back and somehow she had ridden straight into a huge meadow type thing with huge weeds.... hahahaha. have no idea how it happened. she looked at the bike as if it had controled itself into the weeds, just made me laugh. but ya she is a champ and we are going to get a ton more accomplished with the bikes again. we celebrated her year mark in the mission this week and i made her a banana cream pie... yummmmm, lasted for a day. oh and guess what! we still have stinkin fleas!!! he came and sprayed again on sat, but they say that some houses just have problems with fleas, so we will see, it was good for a week or so, he may just have to come and spray every couple of weeks.

well we found a ton of new people to teach last week and went to revisit all of them this week and unfortunately only we able to actually have appointments with a few. the people are really unpredictable. they say you can come back a certain day and time and then arent there. they arent much for schedules but its all good, always gotta have a ¨plan de respalda, ¨ just gets really frustrating. that is one thing about the culture that is really different. we are very much about schedules and here its like when they are free great, they will talk to you, but if not, even if they said they could initially, forget it, find them when they have time. but really its all good, its what i am here to do so i cant complain, talk to those who will receive us. this week we went back to teach one of our investigators for our third visit, his name is Mauro and he is 18. he was amazing, was progressing and understanding, and i mean really understanding what we were teaching, we were stoked. many people listen but dont understand, but he listened, understood and really got what we were teaching. in our last visit he talked about how he was going to reserve a time to set aside when everything was peaceful in his house and no one was around so he could really pray. so we went back to see how it all went and to have another lesson and got a bit of a slap in the face. he prayed, he felt the spirit, and was scared to go any further because he didnt want to change anything in his life, but knew he needed to. so he told us that it wasn´t his time to build a relationship with Christ, that in the future but for now he wasnt ready. we fought it and fought it, but really he had made up his mind and told us that he knows where the future will take him. man i have been sad about losing people before but this really crushed me. i felt like we really connected with him and the spirit was so strong in our lessons, he felt empty in the life he had and it was all changing but well, he made his choice. so anyway that was sad but on we go eh.

we met this awesome man named Diamantino yesterday, super old, but he was stellar. he had so many amazing questions and really listened and was thrilled to learn about the gospel, was just one of those people that was immediately nice. he lives with his wife some of his kids and grandkids so we hope that we can end up teaching them all, teaching families is the greatest, especially when can accept that they can live together forever. funny story with him we were setting an appointment and he was talking to my companion and i was getting my agenda out and thought i could sneak a piece of granola bar in my mouth but just then he looked and me and was like, ¨well are you going to share?¨ I thought he was joking but he held out his hand and so i offered him the rest of it in the opened wrapper and he was dead serious!!! he took my granola bar and ate it hahaha. random but great.

well i best be going, enjoy this weeks adventures, i love you to pieces, keep healthy and safe. Love you to the moon and back-Jess

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 3, 2010

January 3, 2011

hey there-
disfrutalo, here is a picture of me and my comp yesterday before chuch, not too exciting but thought you might want to see my new comp!!! she is awesome!!! we are doing really well together.

well thanks so much for the emails.... so glad bud that in search for my ski goggles you found the ipod, be careful!!! of course you can use it, i dont know why i didnt give it to you in the first place, i was just shoving everything in boxes. hopefully you can put it to better use than i did, i never really figured out how to use all the apps so you can learn and then teach me haha. oh so cute that you are watching the old fam home videos and so funny that you saw us not fighting for once, probably only because mom threatened us with our lives if we broke that manger scene jk, but wow really a miracle that we werent fighting. remember when you dislocated my shoulder and popped it back into place with mom and dad in the same room and then told me to be quiet so they wouldnt get mad..... baaahahaha. and so you watched one of me learning to ride a bike, what a coincidence!!! i taught my comp how to ride a bike this morning!!!! she is a champ and did great, is really wobbly and cant turn around but we are gonna work on it each day haha.

well its been a really great week i must say, we found REALLY wonderful people to teach this week and felt really blessed to find them. one of the girls we are now teaching is named Evelyn. we started with teaching her and her mom and little siblings, her mom was so so and was really accepting but wow to see how the message lit up the eyes of this 12 year old girl was pretty amazing. we left telling her to pray about our message and she was super curious, she stopped us and asked us how she was supposed to know if what we taught her was true and so we explained to her about the spirit and she was really excited to pray for herself. she was going to come to church yesterday with one of her sisters but got really sick so we are hopin for next week. another girl that we found that really touched my heart this week is named Vanessa. she is a mom of a two year old and is 16 and really is searching for her purpose in life, it was apparent that she wants to be a good mom and have some direction, so we will see where it goes, we know that the gospel can give her what she is looking for. there are several others but these are just two of them that i really felt strongly with and am excited for!!! so ya, life is good, the mission has its ups and downs, but i definitely felt really blessed this week and have much more hope for the work in this area.

my companion and i are doing great together, we really are able to teach in unity and get along really well. and can i tell you how much easier it is to live with 2 people in our tiny little house!!!! ahhhhhh its reallly nice, my first time in three months to just have two. i am learning alot and am really greatful to have the example of my companion, i know i have something to learn from each one of them.

so i have to share with you the biggest lesson i had this week.... strangely enough it was from a four year old. we were in lunch with a family and the mom was kind of joking around and talking about how they were really poor and how they could sell everything they have and immediately Martina stood up and was upset with her mom she said ¨ NO!!! mom that is not true!!! we are not poor!!! look at all that we have, we have dishes, we have cups, we have juice, we have icecubes, we have a refrigorator.......¨ and so it went for about 15 more minutes as Martina did an inventory of their house. we all just sat there laughing but when we left i realized what Christ means when he says come unto me as a child, Martina, and many other little kids truly catch on to things in life that we miss. Martina showed me the importance of gratitude. Everyday i am teaching people the importance of prayer and of giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for what they have as well as asking for blessings, but really how well am i doing at this for myself? it really made me think, everything that we have truly is a blessing, every little thing, every ice cube haha. but more than that, the things that matter most are the things that are not material goods, our families, our health, our friends, the gospel, love from others and love to give. but as it states in a talk that i just read by President Monson, the president of the church, these are the things that we tend to underappreciate the most. it also talks about how if we are always greatful for what we have, we will always be full, even if we are materialisically poor. i hope that i can be more greatful and i hope that as my family you know how much i love, appreciate, and am greatful for you. i cant tell you how much this experiece has changed my view on so many things, i am so greatful for your support and love that i can always feel so abundantly. thinking of you and having your words of support has truly kept me strong in the hard moments. i love you so so much and am so greatful for you and my wonderful friends that support me.

love you to millionz and zillionz and trillionz, be safe, keep healthy know that i love you always- jess

December 28, 2010

hey there-

welll like i told you i would be in tres cruses in montevideo today here i am to enter into my 5th change of the mission!!! man the time really flies, feels like i was just here. really my new companion and i didnt need to come because we already live in the same house but wanted to come and see everyone and its only like a 40 min bus ride. so ya!!! my new companion is Hermana Enamorado, her and her comp and me and my comp lived together but they are combining our two areas together and there will only be the two of us and not four in our ward now.... remember how i told you the area was super huge, ya it just doubled. and poor girl doesnt know how to ride a bike.... so i will try to teach her but we will see how that goes haha. but yes so its just the two of us in good old Salinas now. She is really great!!! I was able to do intercambios with her once this past change and we worked together really well, i admire her alot, she is a great missionary. so ya, i am stoked, we already get along great and teach together really well. so ya that is the newest segment of my life her in the mission.

not much else has changed since i talked to you, still clapping lots of houses. we found some really great people this last week that we are going to visit for a second time this week. its amazing how many people here have no belief in God whatsoever, starting from point a is a bit rough. i cant believe some of the trials people have here, they are truly faced with things that i dont think i could handle.

ah i wanted to tell you some really great nicknames that i have been given. there is a family here that well i cant really describe in words, they are so great!!! the dad´s name is nacional, after one of the soccer teams here and man, he eats, sleeps, and lives by this soccer team. their house is even painted with the team colors and their house is completely decorated with news paper articles, flags, whatever thing really that represent the teams.... fanatics you would call them. anyway long story short they are a family that is really great with all the missionaries, the first time they met me they couldnt figure out how to say my name so i have the permanent name of Hermana Kiwi. Another great one is of the four year old son of a convert family here that we spend alot of time with, he calls me hermana cookey. but then again he also calls a torta a tonta, or instead of cake, stupid. hahaha he is so cute he always chases after us when we leave saying ¨otro beso!!!!¨ until we have given him about ten each ( no worries these are cheek kisses haha) but ya love the people in Salinas, i am still adapting but it is all coming.

THANK YOU so much for your christmas packages, really was so special to receive them and i will put everything to good use!!!! i got a really special package from beth as well, i told you about the gingerbread house that my comp and i built but she also had a bunch of friends write little messages and put it together in a binder, it really was so special and made me so happy, really was so nice to hear so many words of encouragment and love. so i know they will see this eventually so i want to say THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU ALL!!! really you dont know how much it touched my heart and made me feel so happy and loved. I am truly blessed with the most amazing friends and family.

i just barely sent off with an elder, last name thorderson, that will be going home to slc tomorrow, something little for you mom and dad. he has moms cell number and can probably take it to dad´s office or something. let me know when it gets to you.

well sorry this isnt very interesting but i dont have a ton since i just talked to you dont want to bore you!!! but i love you so so so so so so so so so much and i am so happy that you all sound like you are doing so well. take care and know that i love you and you are always in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. much much love- jess