Monday, March 28, 2011

Photos from the past few letters

March 7, 2011

Guess what I found out this week in my letters I just got…. 3 of my friends are getting married, nuts huh??? Wow I was not expecting that, everything seemed to not be changing too much and then wham…. Three of them are gone. Beth is getting married in June, Melanie Hayes in august, and my friend Jenna or Sunshine from brighton camp…I think she is already married. Ahhhhhh its so crazy- I feel old, I hit 23 in not too long. There is definitely no way anyone would be checkin me out right now because… guess what else… so I have fleas, again. And to top it all off, you are going to puke, lice. Ya everyone, and I am not being dramatic when I say that, everyone in Uruguay has lice, kids, adults, everyone!!! And its really not a surprise because there is so much contact with the people since we beso everyone to say hi our hair is all intertwined all the time. Yes I am showering daily, that is not the problem. But no fear my Colombian companion has dealt with the problem her whole life and is a pro and getting rid of them so she has been combing and treating my hair almost daily. Okay I wont give you too many deets so you don’t get grossed out, but really its nasty, but hey. Im in Uruguay… another experience to check on the list haha. And with the fleas the hermano from the ward came and fumigated our house… for the third time. He said it’s a crazy bad season for fleas right now. We were tracting the other day and there were like 10 fleas jumping around on my legs…. Normal right??? Haha ah I am so used to it now that it doesn’t even phase me.

Well this really was the week of some amazing miracles, I was so happy to be a missionary this week and be able to have these experiences. So remember natalia, the girlfriend of Richard?? So we went to have a lesson with him last Monday and when we left we just yelled bye to natalia and invited her to a family home evening at the bishops house on Friday, not expecting for her to say anything, let alone leave the room and she came out!!! She really came out!!! And gave us besos and everything… we were just in shock. Then came Friday and she came to the family home evening and it was such an amazing experience. The bishops wife gave a wonderful lesson on the gifts of God, Natalia even was teary. She really didn’t speak the whole time but we could tell the lesson touched her. Then came Sunday and she came to church with Richard!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Can you believe it!!! I almost screamed when I saw her walking up to the church. Anyway it was amazing.

Another really amazing experience we had was after the family home evening with the bishop we were booking it home on our bikes when my companion screamed at me from behind, turns out she saw a 18 year old boy named Facundo that we talked to in our first week together. So we stopped and talked to him and his friend, his friend started asking me questions and Facundo was talking to my companion so we kind of had two conversations going on, I kept looking over at my companion and she looked a bit worried, but she pulled out a pamphlet and was talking to facundo about it so I figured everything was okay. Facundo everytime we had passed by him for weeks on this same street had yelled ¨hermanas!!¨ and we didn’t think anything of it. Turns out he was trying to get us to stop the whole time because when facundo and his friend left my comp broke down into tears and I was trying to get out of her what happened. Turned out Facundo asked her why we hadn’t come by his house or stopped when he yelled our names and that he had been waiting for us for weeks. In reality we had, we knocked his whole street and turns out the person we talked to was his sister, but she didn’t want anything, and we didn’t even know it was his house because he didn’t give us the house number. My comp told me that he was begging her to help him, that he is addicted to drugs but knows our message can help him. So she told him we would go by his house the next day and we finally found out which one it was and when his sister came out again she was furious, and was like, I told you last week I don’t want anything!!! So we told her we were looking for facundo but he wasn’t there. Later we were just clapping houses but decided to head to a different area and had the idea to pass by this big main road where we first met facundo just to see if he would be there, and he was, it was crazy. So we talked to him and made an appt to come by this week. Really it was such a cool experience and im positive that through the gospel he can overcome his addition, I am really excited to see where it goes.

Well ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I am out of time already!!! But I love you so so so so so much and please give me an update on how everyone is doing. Miss you and love you always- Jess

Ps yes this is a pic of my comp getting rid of my lice….. how fun huh??? I was really happy and felt like a really hygienic person as you can tell

Feb 28

well i dont have a ton to tell you this week unfortunately, my comp was pretty sick for a few days so we had to lay a bit low. we actually ended up adverturing to montevideo to the british hospital so she could have some blood tests done. all is well luckily and she is doing much better. she was throwing up and down for the count on wednesday and part of thursday. being sick on the mission is the worst, it is always when i want mom more than ever to take care of me haha, i just feel like a little girl. i remember when i got my wisdom teeth out in high school and mom took such good care of me, i remember thinking you were literally an angel... i was on loritab so that may explain a bit.... hahaha no just kidding, you really are the best mama, couldnt ask for anyone better.

so anyway we went this week to meet with richard on tuesday like i had told you last week and we were planning on talking with natalia but when we got there, she didnt want to talk to us or see us soooooo yaaaa... bummer. we were really hoping to resolve some doubts she has, but when we left we poked our heads in their bedroom door to say bye and to inviter her to a family home evening at a members house on thursday. to our suprise she was actually planning on going!!! but the member had to cancel on us last minute but we rescheduled for this week on friday at the bishops house with his family. so we are hoping that natalia will want to go. but thats not all, since my comp was sick to keep in touch with richard this week and to see how things were going i sent him a few messages and the way he responded was completely different from the past weeks. things this past week have completely turned around with natalia and as he put it there is more peace and harmony in their home. he told us that for the first time he has faith and hope that natalias heart is softening and that she will soon come to the point that she will talk with us and learn more about our message. the key has been that she can see a change in richard, and the more she can see him change, the more she will seek the gospel. i know she is a good person, just has a few walls up, but i as well have faith that everything will come with time. i am nervous that i wont get to see how everything turns out with him because i think i am out of salinas and onto a new area in three weeks but the change i have seen in him has been the biggest miracle of my mission yet to see the gospel of Christ change a life like it has changed his, and to see someone as converted as he has been.

we had a great lesson with Iris again this week and like she said she had a pile of questions for us. she is great, her husbund is not so hot on the idea but she goes forward anyway, she is a very independent woman. we talked to her about the importance of repentance and baptism this week and, wow, i have been so impressed here in salinas to meet several people that really understand the importace of repentance. more than anything for iris she told us that she needs to learn how to forgive, which ya is extremely important, like it says in the scriptures, we cannot expect to be forgiven of our wrongdoings if we are not willing to forgive those who offend us. she is fabulous, just love her to pieces and it will take time, but its all about the patience.

so anyway my sweet family, gosh i really just love you so much, and i appreciate you more and more each day. i am so greatful for you and everything you do for me, for your support, your love, and all the great opportunities you have given me in my life. i hope you know how much i love you and can feel it even though i am not there. i really didnt know just how great i had it. i am just going to smother you when i get home haha. i have decided that we are going to start having family home evenings when i return okay??? no worries i will teach you, they are the greatest. well until next week, keep healthy, be safe, like mama always says when she closes her emails ¨look out for the bad guys and look both ways when you cross the street¨....... love you forever- Jess

Feb 21, 2011

well i am doing really well here, having some bad stomach problems but

really it hasnt been the same since i left home. but didnt help that

this week we had a zone conferece with the president and one of the

hermanas from the ward where we had our conferece made us chicken

burritos. we were all in heaven to have burritos until the next day

when over 30 of us missionaries were sick with food poisoning.... ya

that was fun. luckily i was only really sick in the morning but the

other three hermanas that i live with were sick for the rest of the

day so i was mama for the day and took care of them haha.

this week was really good other than that haha. we had the baptism of

flor on saturday which was really exciting and all went really well.

she was really content and happy and even shared her feelings at the

end, it was a really beautiful experience. ah she is so great, i wish

you could meet her. we will skype her one day and ill translate for ya


richard is doing really great as well. we had a lesson with him after

flors baptism and he is really happy and really feels that he is

finally on the right path and has been able to clean up his life. its

so true, what he feels i can see in him, he has changed so much and i

am so happy for him. he wants so badly to be able to ¨empezar de

nuevo¨ or start his life over again and is really prepared to be

baptized, just has to resolve things with natalia. our intention is

not at all to rip them apart as a family, i know that if they are both

willing and ready to live the gospel that everything can be resolved,

the challenge is just that both parties have to be willing to change

and live the gospel of Christ. i have had a feeling that things are

going to change this week with their situation and suprisingly richard

came up to me after church yesterday and told me that Natalia wants to

talk to us when we come on tuesday.... i have never seen or talked to

her because she doesnt want anything to do with us....she is always

just listening through the screen with her window open to their

bedroom... so that was a huge suprise. im a bit nervous about what she

is going to say but i know that it will be a good thing to finally

talk to her and hopefully help her resolve some of the doubts. not

going to lie i am nervous she is going to be angry with us but i know

we will be blessed with the right things to say to help her.

well we have another amazing man we are teaching for a couple of weeks

now, dont know if i mentioned him last week but his name is ulises. he

loves the importance of the family within the church and has gone

above and beyond with the things that we leave him to do each lesson.

he is passionate about prayer and has truly found a relationship with

God through it. we are really excited for him.

another awesome woman we are teaching is named iris. man she is a

hoot. she is hillerious and a bit crazy but its so weird, i really

connect with her and understand her, and i feel like she understands

me, maybe im a bit crazy too haha. she has tons of questions and i

love it!!! helps us to know they are really learning and want to know

more. she came to church yesterday and really loved it and left saying

she will have list of questions when we return.... yehaw!

so ya i am doing just great, my companion is a sweetheart and i just

love her to pieces. i feel like such a spoiled brat when i talk to her

and hear about all of her struggles and difficulties she has had in

life, she truly is such an example to me of overcoming obstacles,

especially overcoming them with the help of the Lord. she is so

strong, there is a reason i havent had the same trials as her, im

definitely not as strong.

well i love you so so so so so much. enjoy the pic, its of us with

Flor for her baptism. i miss you and love you to the moon and back a

zillion times. love you forever, till next week- your monkey, Jess

Feb 14

well i am a dork, i sent pictures last week and didnt say a thing about what was going on.... nothing too special, just my zone of missionaries, my zone leaders (last change), a picture of us with cute flor the woman we are teaching, a family home evening activity we had with the bishop and richard the other guy we are teaching.... and i think thats it. well i will fill you in a bit on this week!!! life has changed alot, its crazy, i went from how i would explain it as leaning on the wall being junior companion to having to be the wall haha, but wow i cant tell you what a blessing it has been, i have learned so much this week and feel so blessed to be able to train my new companion, she is wonderful. her name is hermana munera and she is from colombia. haha there were 4 north americans and one latina, i was sure i was going to have a north american but am so happy, it helps my spanish so much to have latina comps. wow talking to her just makes me realize how easy i have had it. she was working to provide for her mom and brother before she left and has told me many stories about how scary it is where she lives, stories of sleeping with her mom and brother under their bed to hide from the gun shots that they would hear all night long, and problems with well colombian gangs i guess you would call them. really i cant imagine. its so amazing to be able to live with people from different countries and learn about their lives. but yes this is a picture of her and i in the mission home. the other is last night celebrating my 9 months.... i am officially over the hill.... scary feels like it never happened.

i was super scared in the beginning like i told you, seriously didnt sleep for two nights straight i was so worried about how i was going to be able to pull it together, but the Lord has truly been my strength and i have learned so much this week. my companion carries an amazing spirit and is extremely in tune with the needs of other people. i feel like i kind of became a robot and was becoming less personal but she has helped me so much to learn again how to stop, and listen, and use the spirit to help teach the gospel according to the needs of the people. i have gained a new love for being here. we found some really amazing people to teach this week and are excited to go back. i love going out and talking to people everyday with her, i feel like a completely different person and really am so greatful to have this experience. not to mention she is just a doll, we get along perfect. it is funny we live with my trainer hermana alvarez and another hermana that was in my zone in maldonado.

well flor and richard are doing amazing which makes me extremely greatful, flor is going to be baptized this saturday, and she is really excited and content with her decision. richard is amazing as always, he brought his son alexis to church yesterday, he is 5 and loved the primary. richard was really happy about that. we were talking a bit after the gospel principals class and he was expressing how content and happy he is finally, and how he finally knows he is exactly where he is supposed to be, made me really happy. we have been teaching another woman named mariana, she is 23 and has two adorable kids. she told us that everyone makes fun of her for letting us in but that she doesnt care, she craves to know more about the gospel. she is so amazingly dedicated to the Lord, really words cant express, its so rare to find someone her age that wants to give everything they have to the Lord.

well my companion and i were studying earlier this week and she showed me this scripture for one of the people we are teaching but i know that i needed it as well, it is in Isaiah 41: 10, 13 and says ¨fear though not for i am with thee, be not dismayed for i am thy God, i will strengthen thee, yea, i will help thee, yea, i will upheld thee with the right hand of my righteousness. for i the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not, i will help thee.¨ I have felt this strenght so strong this week and am so greatful and know that the Lord will uphold us in our trials.

well i love you so so so so so sosososososososo much and hope all is well. happy valentines day!!!!! loooooooooooooooovvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeee youuuuuuuuuuuu- Jess

Monday, March 7, 2011

Feb 7, 2011

PARA ENTRENAR!!!!! or we can say i will be training a new missionary

well ya as i said we received our change calls last night and just as my companion thought, i am going to be training a new missionary, and the chances of her being a north american are pretty high because there are three coming and that almost never happens. well turns out that they will be dividing the area again as well, there is salinas 1 and salinas 2. i originally was in salinas 1, then this last change we did both, then when they called they said i would be in salinas 1 again with my ¨oro¨ as we call the new missionaries. i was extremely scared about this because the two amazing people that we have been teaching, Richard and Flor, are both in salinas 2. It has taken this entire change to gain there confidence and have been able to help them overcome some big obstables and they are finally progressing. my companion and i were worried about how this was going to go over because with their situations, they need someone that they can confide in to progress and keep going forward. i didnt sleep at all last night i was so worried about them and what was going to happen. i had talked to our zone leaders last night about the situation and they told me i should call president. so this morning i called him and we chatted, i explained the situation and asked him if there was any way that my oro and i could work in salinas 2 and the other two in salinas 1. i was really worried he was going to say no, but to my suprise he just said, tranquilla hermana kubly, he told me that he completely understood that this was important and agreed to let us have salinas 2 so that everything will work out with richard and flor. i had some serious tears of joy i was so happy, i love richard and flor so much and am so greatful to have their confidence, they are such amazing people and their lives are changing so much through the gospel. so one challenge conquored, now i am just scared to death to train. i feel like it was yesterday that i was sitting on the couch at the mission home terrified to start the mission. i dont feel ready but i know that the Lord will uplift me and help me through the challenge, he knows us better than we know ourselves and exactly what we are capable of. so here it goes....... wish me luck and send some prayers...... i will recieve my new comp tomorrow and will write you next week to tell you all about it.

Flor and Richard are doing amazing. we gave Flor a book that is called ¨gospel principals¨ for one of the classes that is in church on sundays and when we went to visit her she told us that she read the entire thing..... in ONE DAY!!!! and loved it. and not to mention she is in the process of quitting smoking and was smoking 10 a day and is already down to 4. we are so happy for her. Richard texted us last monday and it made us a bit nervous because it just said hermanas please pray for me. when we went to visit him the next day we asked him what happened and he responded really nothing, just that he was reading the same gospel principals book and felt the urge to cry because he could feel the spirit so strongly. he is so great, his whole aura has changed and he just looks completely different, he finally feels peace and is happy. he is still in the process of trying to figure out what to do with the woman he is living with.

well i gotta run but i love you so much and hope that you are doing fabulously. love you millions and trillions