just barely a few minutes ago my comp and i had a really tough experience so i am a bit out of it right now. earlier this week her and i passed for marisols house only to find out that she had been hospitalized because she attempted suicide. we paniced and called our zone leaders to see if we could run and visit her at the hospital that is just outside our area and luckily they let us go. we walked there with her daughter and she told us that there had been major problems at home with her husbund and it drove her to the edge and she took ten of her husbunds pills, blood pressure or sleeping, cant remember which. she told us that taking two of them can be deadly so she was rushed to the hospital. she looked awful when we got there and was barely concious, just enough to know that we were there, so we sat there with her for a bit and then left. we kept in contact with her daughter to see how she was doing and she said alright but that she was moved to the psych ward of the the hospital. we saw marisols mom, who is a member of a different ward, at the steak conference yesterday ( or when a bunch of different wards or congregations all get together for a bigger conference) she told us that marisol kept asking for us and said that she needed us to go by, so we decided to do that this morning. when we got to the hospital they almost didnt let us go in, they said they dont let people of religious groups visit people in the psych ward, but then told us that one could go in for one minute and just see how she was. well thats not possible, we told them we are a packaged deal, cant really leave eachother, so they let us both go for a minute. marisol was outside with her mom, who was drinking mate, and marisol was just looking straight down at the ground, she looked completely empty of any life. i felt like i was watching a movie for a minute, i didnt know or hadnt experienced this really happening. so we went up and i tried talking to her while my comp talked to her mom, she just mumbled response, but was expressionless. so then i put my hand on her leg and tried talking to her again and she responded a bit better, but still expressionless, staring at the ground. we got her moms information to contact her and we had to hurry out before they got mad at us for being there too long so i hugged marisol and we both couldnt hold in the tears, she wouldnt let me go. then the same happened when my companion hugged her. satan has a grip on her and is dragging her down, she is literally suffering from a broken heart. her mom told us that the doctors said she is suffering so much ¨angustia,¨ which means more than just anguish, that her heart is not functioning properly, she has sunk into a deep depression. i cant explain how i feel, i feel helpless, its the most helpless i think i have felt, i just want to help her. i do know that God will take care of her, no matter what happens, and that she knows that one day she will rest of her afflicions in this life.
well i am sorry, its about all i can think about right now but i will give you a brief summary. we had a tough week, had to drop a few of the people we were teaching, but at the same time it was wonderful, we are super blessed to have met some of the most amazing humble people to teach that are progressing. Jesus, is doing wonderful, he is such an example of faith to me, faith that through his example his wife will join him in this happiness he has found. every prayer he offers with us at the end of lessons leads him to tears. he is really excited for his baptism in a few weeks. as well i dont know if i have ever told you about Juan Carlos that we have been teaching for several weeks now. he is another example of great faith and complying with the will of God. he is always ready to take on what we leave for him to do. he told my companion something really sweet yesterday in church, that many missionaries have passed by their house but that he felt urged to listen for the first time when we passed by. makes me so happy to know that there really are people that God has prepared for my companion and i, and the same is true for other missionaries, they will touch the hearts and teach the gospel to people that i couldnt reach on that level. he will be baptized with jesus in a few weeks as well.
we had a wonderful steak conference with a general authority of the church as the main speaker yesterday. Elder Arnold spoke and his message was amazing. he talked about a personal near death experience that he had that led him to realize the important things in life; such as his family and the gospel, and how this experience put a new take on life for him, that the material things really dont matter, that is not what we will be taking to heaven with us. this life is the time for us to learn, to progress and to become more like our Savior. It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures that is found in the first chapter in Matthew that tells us to put our tresures in the things of heaven.
well what more is there to say but how much i love you!!!!!! i love you soooooo much!!!!! i got your packages and am super excited to open them, they both came. well i hope you have a fabulous week and incase you already forgot....... I LOVE YOU!!!!!! -Jess
well my companion this week told me that i need to be more detailed with my stories and it made me think if i bore you to death when i write, i sure am not a very detailed writer, never has been one of my talents. never can quite write out exactly how i feel so that will be my challenge this week. she can tell a 3 minute story in an hour, and i an hour story in three minutes so i will try to be better and hope that i dont bore you haha.
well we had a pretty good week, a bit of a bummer but every day it seemed as though all of our appointments fell through. but there are definitely weeks like that, nonetheless it was a really good week with great success. we are still working with our lovely marisol and she is strong as ever, just cant quite get her free to join us at church, but she is amazing. we went to visit her this week and i think i told you last week but her daughters have started to join us. her mom was there this week and when we walked in she was super excited to see us and just started talking our ears off then she told us that she was baptized just a year and ten months ago, and hasnt missed a day of church since. as we started talking with marisol and her girls, valeria and sylvia they told us that they were going to start coming to church with marisol, you would have thought marisols mom was 15 years old, she started jumping up and down and saying ¨en serio, en serio, en serio?????!!!!¨ like are you serious???!!! then she grabbed her grandaughter and started hugging and kissing her, practically knocking her down. keep in mind this woman is over 70, it was so cute and funny. but yes, that was a great miracle, seeing the hearts of the family of marisol softened to the gospel, when they once made fun of her. we still have a lot of people in her family to work with but one at a time.
a couple of little funny stories from the week..... my companion and i were ending a lesson with a woman that we were teaching for the second time, we kneeled down to pray with her... my companion started to pray... and the words, as if spoken in a very quiet prayer tone of voice, came out of her mouth were ¨we are missionaries of....¨ we all just started laughing. i guess it makes sense, those would be the two most commonly used phrases we use each day, between starting to pray and introducing ourselves.
another good one is when we went to visit a man we contacted a while ago and havent been able to get ahold since. i clapped at his gate and then decided to just go in and knock his door and thought his gate went inward, well i straight up broke his gate because it opens outward. we were laughing and hoping no one was watching and then we turned around and saw his crazy neighbor dying of laughter so we went over and talked to him and he couldnt stop laughing, he just put his finger over his lips and told us he wouldnt tell anyone. we went back to the man a few days later to set up an appt with him for this wed and his neighbor was again just sitting outside laughing. i know you are wondering if i am going to tell him i broke his gate.......... of course i am... just wanted to make sure we could go back and visit him first.
we were out yesterday knocking houses when we knocked a door and this boy 17 years old answered and had a super happy face... then he saw it was us and his expression totally changed, he had no idea what to say. before i could even introduce us or put out my hand to shake his, he dove in to kiss me and i couldnt dodge it, by kiss me i mean a greeting kiss on the cheek, but still we are not supposed to do that with the men and it is just super uncomfortable. it has happened many times but this time was super different and awkward. then after that he continued to tell us that he wasnt interested, but wanted to talk, he leaned against the door frame thinking he was lookin really good. so i just continued talking with well ¨ummmm hi we are here to talk about God¨ and he wasnt havin it since we wouldnt break. so then he changed the subject again and told us he wasnt interested, luckily to say goodbye we were able to dodge a kiss and give him the handshake.
we taught our new friend mariana again this week as well. she was very unhappy when we went and broke down and told us that she thinks her live in boyfriend, almost husbund, is cheating on her with the neighbor. i cant imagine. but i guess we have every experience in life for a reason and i found for the first time that having my heart broken, helped me to help someone else, and how my relationship with God grew so greatly during that time. everything happens for a reason!!!!
well i love you ever so much family, hope that you are doing wonderfully, keep me well updated. love you to the moon and back!!! - jess
enjoy the pics.......... love you!!!!!
the first one is a man we are teachings mate collection, sweet.........
well guess what!!! the secretaries in the office just called me.............. i got my trunkie call!!!! where is the time going, that is just crazy. so it sounds like you will be getting the info soon here. i thought it was the 29th of november but the office elder told me the 11th, i think he is wrong but i guess we will find out.
well we had a really good week. i am actually in montevideo right now, got my tooth fixed this morning so i am all nice and numb. my comp is making fun of my half smile... how sweet haha. the dentist and i have come really good friends, seeing as how many times i have seen her. my darn teeth. well one cavity in a year isnt so bad. she says that i do some serious stress grinding at night and need to get new special retainers when i get home. i still have the same ones from when i was 13 and i dont think they do much anymore. but anyway, to let you know, my tooth is fixed. we had to take a bus at 12:30 in the morning because melo is 6 hours away. worst sleep of my life haha, luckily i have gotten really used to being sleep deprived on the mission, or just tired all the time. people are starting to guess i am about 25, whereas when i started the mission they thought 14. i have aged 11 years in the past year.... yipee. or maybe i just dont look scared out of my mind anymore haha.
well continuing on, we had a really good week for the most part. thursday was our day of tender mercies. we met this girl named mariana that is the owner of an almacen we go to every now and then to grab a treat. we started chatting with her and SHE asked US if we would come back the next day and share our message with her. she said she figured that no missionaries ever talk to her because they assume they are bugging her business, probably true, we tend to leave the almacen people alone. but she wanted to learn so we went back the next day and she had made pizza and a cake to share with us. oh she is just the cutest girl, she is 20 and is working on getting married.... hurrah!!! that isnt very common, but ya, she is amazing and has some amazing faith and gospel backgound, we are really excited for her.
another woman we found a week ago is named Silvana. she is a young mom who is very faithful and just overall amazing. she was pretty intimidating to us the first time we taught her, cant really explain why. but this week when we went, she was listening ever so intently. when we were done and asked her if she had any questions or concerns she told us that what we had shared with her was the answer to some questions she has had for quite a while, and has been praying to find the answer and told us that she felt that God had sent us to her to answer her questions. it is the most amazing feeling when we get to hear something like that, knowing that we were truly guided to find her.
well the huge miracle of the week was with a reference my companion received with her last companion that we have had a super hard time trying to contact, his name is Jesus. well he works in montevideo and is only home on the weekends, we finally found him last weekend and then set up an appt for this weekend. we werent expecting much of it since the reference was from his wife who just said that she wasnt interested but that her husbund might be. so we went in and chatted with him a bit. he told us about his family, espcially about his brother who had formally served a mission in the states and told us about some the things his brother had sent him while he was on his mission, 11 years ago, which included the scriptures. i asked him what his biggest desire in life was, he said to be with his family forever and that he knew how he could achieve that but that he wanted to wait for his wife to gain faith, because she doesnt believe in anything. we told him, if he knew, he needed to start acting now and become an example for his wife and family. We asked him if he had read the scriptures, he said yes, and then started to cry, and said that is how he knew what we were sharing was true and what he wanted for his family. the spirt was so strong with him, he is truly so prepared and his heart is so soft, he really is an amazing man. it is rare to meet people who have desires like Jesus. but so anyway, we developed a plan and he decided to act, to be an example for his family. he started coming to church yesterday, alone, but will come in time with his wife, i just know it. its like Richard and Natalia. just gotta have faith. he is going to be baptized the 11th of June.
well i have so much more to share but that will give you a little glimpse for the week. i love you sooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!! just talked to the offices again and it is november 30th which puts me there the first of december i believe. okay well i hope you are doing sooooooooooo good. love you to the moon and back a million times!!!! -Jess
well lets see.... i dont have anything with me to remember exactly what happened so i will have to pull out what i can remember, we had a really good week. we have both decided that saturdays are usually our days of success, they always seem to go well. well yesterday was really neat. we had one of the guys we are teaching, named alberto, come to church with us. the first time we talked to him we introduced ourselves and gave him a little run down and he just responded by saying.... i am closed today. ummmmm okay, so we moved on from that one, he really didnt want to talk to us and didnt give us much to work with. but for the past 3 or 4 weeks we have seen him everywhere!!! well our area isnt that big so i guess that isnt too hard but we started seeing him so much that we would stop and talk to him. one time he just stopped mid street on his moto and the woman that was behind him just about crashed into him. each time we talked to him we invited him to church, he told us he would come, but then didnt. so the last time we saw him in the street i just decided to throw it out there again and ask him when we could come by and share our message. he gave us a day, and he was actually there and waiting for us. we had a really great lesson, the only bummer is that he is a very scientifically based person, doesnt really believe in God, so we are starting from point one. but its all good, we invited him to church, may have bugged him a bit to get him to go haha, but then he went. so we were really excited, he is a great guy, just needs to build his faith.
our sweet marisol is doing much much better. she wasnt able to go to montevideo for her medical exams this week but will be going in june, but she was much happier when we visited her this week. things are getting much better with her family and she has been a little bit better with her health. she is so sweet and super responsible with the assignments that we leave her for reading. this week we asked her if she had done her reading and she said no hermanas, i am so sorry, i was only able to read what you left me with and nothing beyond that. haha we are super excited when people just follow through with what we leave but she thought we would be disappointed that she didnt do extra reading. ahhhh she is so great. she still needs to come to church with us but she always has to do odd jobs to earn money and sometimes they land on sundays. but she is such an amazing woman with true desires and i have faith it will all work out.
well sorry this is not so exciting and actually kind of lame, my brain is not working right now and i am having trouble thinking of anything, but this should give ya a little taste of my week. i read a really amazing talk this week that i read before i came on the mission that helped me to realize that i really was supposed to come. and over a year later i read it again, but with a different approach, actually being a missionary and having followed the promptings that i recieved to come here. the talk is called ¨cast not away therefore your confidence.¨ there are many parts that i love but i couldnt help but think how following through with the thoughts and feelings that i received to come on a mission have changed me forever. I will never look back on this decision with any regret, i know i am exactly where i am supposed to be, and where the Lord needs me to be at this moment. I know that my life will be forever changed by being here, all because of prompting from God that i was able to follow. that is not to say that the decision did not come with lots of opposition, but with everything good, there comes opposition, actually there is opposition in everything, but especially with something good. that would be why there is tons of opposition in the mission as well. thank you so much for all the love and support you have given me for the past (almost!) year of being here. really you dont know how much it means to me and how much i have needed every word of love and advice you have given me. i am so blessed to have you as my family and love you more and more everyday, i cant say it enough but I LOVE YOU!!! NEVER EVER FORGET IT!!!! love you so much, your monkey-jess
Hey all! I have made fun of blogs for quite some time now... but here I am, an official blogger. I will be serving in the Uruguay Montevideo mission from May of 2010 until November of 2011. Thought this might give some of you a way to see what I am up to. My girl Beth will be updating this as I send her letters. I hope you enjoy! Much Love, Jess