A note from the parents - Before we post Jen's latest letter, we want to thank everyone who has sent her letters, cards, pictures and packages. It really means a lot to us and we think it has helped her transition into the mission field go smoothly. She has such wonderful, caring friends and family and we love you for what you have done and are continuing to do for her. Thank you!
|Jen holding her many letters she wrote! Look at that smile!|
Como estan Famila! I hope you are all doing well! I loved hearing about your 4th of July adventures. It all sounded so fun! One thing I miss is looking up at the mountains here and not being able to go up and hike or visit a pretty lake so I loved the pictures.
My cold is getting better. I still have a little cough (I kind of sound like a man, esta bien-that's our zone catch phrase) and a stuffy nose but I'm definitely feeling better. I just get made fun of. I also got Hermano Lunt and Hermana Redford sick, as well as maybe a few of the Elders...oops. They are getting over it quickly though.
Guess who wrote me a dearelder! Mrs. Reid! Isn't she soo sweet! In case I don't have time write her later today please let her know how grateful I am! I actually wanted to send her an invitation to my farewell but didn't know her address. She is a wonderful lady! I also got a package from the Rygg's (technically it was from Kevin) with some pictures and a great letter. They are so sweet! Will you tell him thank you and that I love and miss him! I bought some push pins today just so I can put his pictures up. I might try to get some tape and decorate our classroom with them as well. His handwriting is amazing! And his coloring is great! They are such a great family and Merri has always been such an example to me! I hope I can be the kind of missionary she was.
Here are a few
highlights from the week:
|Pictures from Kevin Rygg|
P-Days - Always a highlight. Because I get to write you and wear jeans, and sometimes take a nap (usually Hermanas Redford and Gardner take naps while Hermana Alley and I write haha). It's also just a great day of rejuvenation after a stressful week. Last week I wrote 11 letters. I was quite proud of myself. I figure I'll try to write as much as I can here, because I may not have the opportunity to in Argentina.
4th of July - Our 4th of July was wonderful! Hermana Alley's family send her an awesome package with candy and decorations which we put up in our classroom (our maestro's loved it haha) and we dressed up in red, white and blue. Lots of the Hermana's around the MTC had the same idea so the whole campus was full of patriotism. It was awesome.
That night we got to have a little devotional and watch the movie "17 Miracles". I love that movie. I tried not to cry too hard in front of all the elders though. Then we had ice cream bars and watched the fireworks.
|So glad they got so see the Stadium of Fire fireworks!|
(For the record, they were not as good as T-ville dayzz.) It was an awesome day! It was a little bittersweet, however, because I couldn't help but think of all you. We talked about how it is sad now, but we get to spend the rest of our lives celebrating with you and then we will look back on this 4th of July and remember how great it was to be in the MTC. Unfortunately, they didn't let us sleep in to make up for the fact that we stayed up so late so the next day was a little difficult.
We also taught Jose on the 4th. It was an awesome lesson! After such a discouraging one last Tuesday it was a tender mercy to have the spirit in our lesson so strongly on Thursday. I really felt the spirit and tried to listen to his needs. One thing we focus on a lot here in the MTC is listening to the investigator and focusing on them, not teaching the lessons. We really want to help them be converted to the gospel by relating it to their lives. Sometimes this is difficult, because I can't understand a lot of what they say, but I'm learning to ask them to repeat and listen with the spirit. Most of the time I can't understand all the words, but I can understand the meaning of what they are saying through the spirit. I was then able to respond pretty well. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father pushes me, but that he also builds me up and helps me when I need it.
Friday's rainstorm - I LOVED the rain on Friday. We don't ever hear about the weather but we finally realized last week it hadn't rained at all. Unfortunately, we weren't able to play sand volleyball (my favorite!) because of the rain but it was okay. They gym was packed so we had to rotate a lot and the Elders were pretty competitive but it was fun. Have I told you that Elder DJ, from Australia, played volleyball professionally? He's pretty good when he wants to be.
Improving with Cris - We had our second lesson with Cris on Friday and our third yesterday. Each time we do a little better. Hermano Lunt stopped us on Friday in the middle of the lesson and helped us see what we could do better and then we really tried to focus on him and having the spirit. He is a difficult investigator because he is so apathetic. He understands it all but doesn't feel it. We did find out that he has some drug and alcohol problems which we can now address but we need to do better at applying the lessons to him so he understands how the gospel really can help him. On Friday poor Hermano Lunt had a cold (he blames it on me, but it's totally not my fault) and during our lesson with him he had a Kleenex up to his nose the whole time. It was hilarious. The hermana's and I laughed about it forever. I tried to offer him my soft Kleenex's you send but he was stubborn and wouldn't take them.
Favorite scriptures - Jacob 3:1-2 (I read this after our first awful lesson with Cris) Alma 26:27 (Hermana Gardner found this after we were a little discouraged and I LOVE it), D&C 123:15-17 (Bryce sent this to me. I love how we are small as missionaries but we can be so important to the work.) (Mosiah 24 This is like my favorite chapter of all time right now. It teaches us so much about the process of prayer and being patient, and thankful and waiting for more inspiration. I just love all of Mosiah. Today I was laughing about the fact that King Noah's (I think it was Noah) people ran away from the Lamanite's and left their wives and kids but then they came back. Do you think their wives just took them right back? Because I definitely wouldn't.)
Sunday - We had an awesome testimony meeting on Sunday (the kind where you can't bear yours even if you want to because the line is so long). I was starving but it was great to focus on a fast individually and as a district. I also found time to finally put all my mission goals down in my journal. Look up Christ like attributes in PMG. I wrote out my goals and then studied that section and realized all of my goals pretty much fall into one of those categories. We had a mission conference instead of RS/priesthood for fast Sunday and I learned lots of awesome things. I will see if I have time to share them with you in the next 10 minutes...ha not gonna happen. #1 I guess would be that Heavenly Father will always address our NEEDS. Bold=quiet and sincere. Living the gospel is knowing, doing and then becoming. Know+do=become.
Hermana Gardner - We are growing closer and closer every day. We just crack up about everything! She is awesome.
Each of the hermanas are so great. Hermana Alley is hilarious and she and I suffer through not knowing Spanish together. Hermana Redford and I have the same sense of humor and maturity. I also love Hermanas McNeil, Neilsen (celebrity companionship name McNeilsen) and Miller and Davis in the district above us. They are leaving next week. :( We are also getting to know and love the new hermanas that came in last Wednesday.
Awesome spiritual lessons - Yesterday we talked about conversion vs testimony. I want to convert my investigators, not just help them gain a testimony. We have to constantly be working towards conversion or the gospel will not change us. Hermano Hardy also chewed us out a little for not relating everything, language study included, to our purpose. We should take it all seriously and relate everything we learn back to how it can help our investigator in their life.
This weeks goals - Memorize the 1st vision in Spanish (started...), study for my investigator during personal study, LOVE my investigators, pray every morning and night as a companionship.
The elders - The older elders have taught the younger ones to carry our trays and put them away after each meal. So sweet. Muy caballeros! There are some elders in the All Elders district who are so nice to us and always say hi. One of them reminds me of Nate and I love it! Don't worry, we're not flirting, we got a reminder about that this week.
Perfect cleaning - Our room and classroom always get smiley faces because we clean so well. YES!
Toothbrush buddy - There is a sister going to the Philippines and we always brush our teeth at the same time. We've become friends.
Notebook from Aunt Mary - She is so nice and always sends me cards. This week she sent a cute little notebook to put in my scriptures case! So sweet!
Studying outside - The MTC grounds are gorgeous and I LOVE summer. Hermana Gardner and I study outside whenever we can. I sit in the sun and she sits in the shade. Surprise, surprise!
Out of time! I LOVE YOU! Letters will be coming soon. Have fun on trek and in Idaho! I'm glad you are safe Katie and your apartment is pretty and congrats on the job David!