Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dork Dot Day

Tessa's very first day at the MTC

*it appears this video only works on a desktop computer*

It's Raining!


It's raining right now.  Last night it snowed a little bit. So from yesterday afternoon to evening to now, rain - snow - rain, little layer of snow.  1 mm or something is my guess. We were in the middle of our companion study last night when we saw the snow.  We went outside as a district and enjoyed it for a minute or two.

Speaking of districts, after this Monday, we are going be the only district in our zone. The last district before us is leaving. We really hope we get a new district on Wednesday. The district leaving is all Elders. Unfortunatley, one of the Elders needs to go back home because his knee is messed up. Our Elder friends from the other zone are leaving Monday as well, the ones we play volleyball and other sports with during gym.

Speaking of sports.... the other day, Hna. DeFriez, and another Hermana were playing speed (a basketball game) with a couple Elders. All good and fun. The last minute of gym, one of the Elders threw a basketball and it hit the side of my face. Not a huge impact. But huge enough to break off the arm of my glasses, and as a result, I now have a war wound on my face. The Elder felt really bad. So...I'm sending my broken glasses home. Good thing I have another pair. I don't think I'll be wearing glasses during gym again.

We have another investigator! We have her during TRC time, everyday after our first block of classes. Some investigators they bring are real, but they never tell us. If she isn't a real one, she is very convincing.

Because there are more teachers than districts right now, ours is getting plenty of help from some of the teachers. One of them is Hna. Osborne. She served her mission is San Francisco. She also studied abroad in Honduras for 4 years. The other day she told me she wanted to help me during Language study.  She told me I have a good vocabulary, I understand how to use the grammar, and she wanted to help me with my pronounciation, which is something I struggle with.  She helped me to understand where you stress the words and how to pronounce the r's and z's, which are a bit different than English. It helped SO MUCH!!! We read scriptures out loud in Spanish. I came back and my companions were like "whoah... you speak so much better now." I'm glad I had that. They want extra help with Hna. Osborne now.

I'm not sure if I've clarified about the West Campus, so I'll do that. We are not part the of main MTC. We're actually a five minute drive away.  When we need to get there, or go to the temple, we take a bus. It's a BYU bus. Last P-Day, the bus driver was telling us he served an ASL mission in Los Angeles... I think. Our residences are apartments, which I stay in with my companions. Hna. Fletcher sleeps partially in the hall on the couch cushions since her room only has her as her companion never showed up. We walk outside a lot.  I love it.

Last week, Hna. DeFriez was saying that when she was younger, her dad would recite 2 Nephi 2:25. I told her that it was the same in my household. It's funny... our similarities. She's also terrified of bugs and she loves Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  Hna. Orr also loves photography, baking, and reading.  Hna. Furner, like me, doesn't know her plan after her mission.  Hna. Fletcher also has polka-dot rain boots, and loves Frozen. She's seen it 6 times in theatre.

As  a district, we love to sing, disney songs included. The other day in our apartment, I started singing the first song in Beauty & The Beast, and Hna. Fletcher and DeFriez joined in at the right moment. We try to revert ourselves back to hymns.

For one of our TRC's, we got to see Hna, Applegate again. She forgot who we were. A funny thing she said is when she prayed, she asked forgiveness for her fish, instead of sins. Fish = pescado. Sin = pecado.

Oh.. I'm the senior companion now.  Hna. Fletcher is the Sister Training Leader.  On Sunday I go to extra meetings. I go to branch council in the morning, and in the afternoon I went to a training meeting . I also conduct the music in our branch. The 3/4 messes me up a little, you'd think it'd be the easiest...

Okay...funny story. Last Thursday when P-Day was over, Hno. Stewart was teaching us. Near the end he said to us "Les Quiero". We were trying to figure out what that meant and Hna. Orr was translasting .... "he wants us".  After 10 seconds of silence,  we all burst out laughing. It actually means I love you, in a platonic kind of way. Yesterday before dinner she was saying "Yo Tengo hombre."  a man instead of the word for hunger. Hno. Stewart said "Yo no tengo mujer" (a women). We all mess up time to time.  With that we laugh at ourselves. Like...with Hna. Applegate and we were talking about the Atonement, I shared John 3:13, but I was trying to share John 3:16. Spanish of course, I don't have everything down yet.

I'm sorry this letter was a little all over the place. Before I had time to write points of what I would plan to write, but that got taken away by us having to take mirror selfies.
I'm learning so much! I love the scriptures! The Gospel is true!

Hermana Jones

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Ducks are named Lehi and Sariah.

Hola mi familia y mi amigos!

It seems crazy that I've only been here for two weeks. It seems like a lot longer. After gym, we saw the bus coming in with the new missionaries. Throughout the day I kept my eyes peeled for Hermana Bullock. I saw her at dinner in the cafeteria. I came over, gave her a hug and a welcome to the MTC (or CCM, as it is said in Spanish). She seemed to be doing well. I look forward to seeing her the next 4 weeks around the campus.

On P-Day we went to temple, and it was great. I felt like a little kid at Christmas as the Provo temple is so much bigger than the Edmonton temple, and so pretty.

There's this place outside of campus where we're allowed to go on P-Days. It has a few food places. We went there for dinner, and went to this burger place which was yummy. We also went to this ice cream place called Sub-Zero. They make it in front of you, with liquid nitrogen. It's simply milk, your flavour, and topping. Mine was peanut butter and peanut butter cups.

When P-Day was over, we met a new teacher. Hna. Young. We love her! She served her mission in Chile. We also have another new teacher. Hno. Stewart, who served his mission in Paraguay.

We had a birthday! Hna. DeFriez turned 20 on Saturday. Her sister and her brother in law sent a cake that they made. Hna. Fletcher's parents also sent her a birthday present! It was a lovely day! The day before we had a card passed around the zone to wish her a happy birthday.

On Sunday, I got a new assignment. I'm the Music Coordinator. Basically, I pick the hymns that we sing for our branch. Which is now tiny. We went from 4 districts in it, and now there's only one besides our own. A district of Elders.

On our Sunday walk, our Elder friends from another zone couldn't find their district. So we took a volleyball picture together. They share our gym time.

We went to Choir practice on Sunday. And I was chosen to say the closing prayer. It was on our campus, so just the Spanish missionaries. That prayer, I wasn't entirely sure what to say. It was really short and I felt really short of myself because it was so short. But this Hermana behind me, she asked how long I've been here, and said that it was a great prayer. As a native Spanish speaker, she still stumbled across the words and was impressed by me. Heavenly Father knows us! He knows I needed that.

On Monday, we went to TRC, I don't really know what that means. But basically you talk to members of the church in Spanish. There was this one lady, Hna. Applegate, and she was so sweet. She's this grandma, and when we were done speaking with her, she gave us all a great grandma hug. I hope to see her again.

Our lessons we teach are not real investigators. They're roleplays. But they're great! We always evaluate ourselves after and see what we need to work on. I think that for whatever we have in life, we should always have something we want to work on. We are imperfect people, trying to become better. We have two investagators now, and we're picking another one up tomorrow.

I'm learning so much! I know I'm supposed to be here!

The ducks are named Lehi and Sariah.    


Hermana Jones

*Disclaimer* We have no idea what the ducks are.  Anybody?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Introducing Hermana Jones!

Hola Mi Familia y Amigos!

Crazy to think I´ve been here a little over a week. First question everyone has been asking: my companion! I actually have two here. Hermana DeFriez y Hermana Fletcher. Hrma. Fletcher´s didn´t show up so we are a trio! I love them! They´re both from Utah. Brigham City, and Orem respectively. Hrma Fletcher finds my Canadianisms funny. Especially when I say bag.

First day... very foggy.  It was great to see Uncle Chris and visit with him as he drove me to the MTC. It was so cool to get my badge. Hermana Jones. So after I got everything to my residence ... oh yes, I am on the West Campus. All the Spanish speaking missionaries are there.  I got to my classroom, which is in an apartment. And I met my district. We are all Hermanas and all going to Veracruz. The other companionship in my district is Hermana Orr y Hermana Furner. They´re pretty fantastic as well! 

My teacher is Hermana Ashby. She is the sweetest little thing. She served her mission in California. I forget where.

At dinner, I saw Elder Cruz (instagram), and Hermana Blankmeyer (facebook), so that was really cool too. 

We met our branch presidency and their wives on Thursday. I really like them. One of the counsellors, Brother Liston, served his mission in Edmonton. He remembers the street he lived on. He loves Edmonton! Sister Liston was saying if it wasn´t so cold they would think of living there.

Speaking of weather. It´s quite decent over here. Most days I don´t have to worry too much about a coat. But it´s been a little chillier these past couple of days.

We taught our first investigator on Friday. All in Spanish! We had our last lesson yesterday, which was sad. We really grew to love her. And we sure learned a lot in that experience. The first two lessons I feel we focused more on being worried about Spanish than really teaching her and showing we loved her. But the last two lessons were excellent! We started with her not really knowing a whole lot about God. She grew up in the Catholic church but stopped going as she grew older. Her sister has been a member of our church for 10 years now. We committed her to baptism, so that was really exciting.

Spanish... it´s going well. Taking French has definitely helped. I can see the similarities. I like Spanish because you actually pronounce everything.

I´m gonna skip to Sunday, because it was a bit of a funny day. So we didn´t know the night before that it was daylight savings. So... we missed breakfast. First thing is Relief Society. We go to the chapel on campus and we get a broadcast from main campus. And for sacrament meeting we go on a bus to another chapel and have it separately in our branches. The branch is our zone. We need to prepare a talk for each Sunday. There are two talks by missionaries but we don´t know who until the meeting. Hrma. DeFriez was chosen, she didn´t prep anything, but the talk she gave was wonderful. has to be in Spanish. One of the wives said it was the first time she´s seen in 1.5 years that a new missionary gave a talk.

Sunday night we have a devotional at main campus. It was someone from the board of something. I forget.

We have gym periods every day except pday and Sunday. I´ve been playing volleyball with my zone and another one. I am bad at it but I have become better. I even spiked the ball over the net once! And we don´t keep score and don´t go by all the rules. 

We also have devotional Tuesday night, Don R. Clarke from the 70. Tuesday I had a different companion for the day since my district but we went to SLC for their visas. She was leaving the next day and her comp left the day before.

Yesterday... that was our last lesson with our investigator. She sent a video to us telling us how she felt when she taught us. It was so weird to hear her in English!

I´m learning lots here. And you can definitely feel a strong spirit here!


Hermana Jones