Monday, December 29, 2008

Po yapo thispo everything is po po....

Hola Dearest Flamly and Friends. Thanks for the emails, though I only printed them and plan to read them later since there´s an allotted time to use this. So Mom and Dad, I will reply to your emails next week… if that´s okay?

Week 2 in Machalí. It´s wonderful. Most of the time :) I imagine how much more I will enjoy myself when I can communícate… I still get funny looks when I talk, I´m very used to the response ¨No entendí nada¨ after I say my stuffs. My companion firmly believes that (and she´s been saying this from the day I got here) that I will have learned spanish in 3 weeks. Which, by my watch, gives me about 1 week left to learn it all… haha She´s funny ;). I feel like I understand a lot, or most of what she or other missionaries say that aren´t Chilean, but I am still struggling with the chilean accent and slang. And my speech is still really shakey. I think it´s funny that when we have lessons I´ll do my 2 cents and then she´ll kind of repeat what I said to make sure they understand. We had a LOT of lessons set up this week, but nearly all of them fell through. I think I was expecting everyone to let us in their houses and everyone was going accept baptism…but….no. But I shouldn´t lose the faith, right? We did get a baptism date set this week and there are a few that seem right on the edge of accepting … There´s so much to learn as a missionary, so much to learn about people, about love, about faith, about patience, about the atonement of Jesús Christ. It´s pretty incredible. I have learned that I am probably one of the most impatient persons eva. This stuff takes time, yo. Po. And po yapo thispo everything is po po. EVERYTHING. It´s funny. They will slap ¨po¨at the end of nearly any sentence or word. I think I already wrote it in my previous letter but instead of knocking doors we yell ¨HALO!¨ and wait for people to come out. My companion is like an angel when she says it, she almost sings it. Then she makes me do it. I sound so silly… tengo verguenza… And it´s true, for lunch the members feed us and they FEED us like we´re not going to eat again. Like I told you mom, I already had a couple gag refelex moments because I don´t believe I can fit another fried hotdog sausage thing in me belly. I can see how people gain weight here…but I have a plan to not, I´m not going to come home as Sister Gordita.

Oh, my dearest family, it was so good to talk to you Christmas. I loved it, but I am glad it was only an hour…sorry for being a cry baby. I imagine next time in (6 months), the phone call will be different. I will be a little stronger, a little wiser, and know a little more spanish. Hopefully ;) I love you all more than THIS much (imagine my arms wide open :)) yes, cheesy. But I hope yerall doing swell. Make some good goals for the new year, yapo? XOoXxooxXoxO

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

So we got to talk to Al this morning. She actually called yesterday with instructions to call her this morning at 8:00 (noon her time). She gave us a phone number and told us what to say to the lady who answers the phone, who doesn't speak english. I said, "Hablo con Hermana Kety?" (I'm sure I sounded like a stupid gringo trying to speak spanish). The idea was to make sure I had the right phone number so I can call her back today. The lady was supposed to say either "si", or "no". Instead she said something I couldn't begin to understand so I repeated myself... pause... I said, "Si?". She said something I didn't understand, then said "Si". So we called back this morning right at 8:00 and Alison actually answered the phone. So it was the right phone number, and we all had a very nice visit with our girl! Cali, Geoff, Erik, Danielle, dad and I were all able to talk to her for about an hour. So our Christmas started off great! It's amazing how well the reception was. Sounded like she was right next door. She seemed happy but a little frustrated with the language. It's only been 10 days in Chile so she needs to give it time. It'll come.

She said her mail will come to the mission home and she gets it every 6 weeks or so. But e-mail, she should be able to check it once a week at an internet cafe. If anyone would like to contact her, her e-mail is:

Write! Write! Write! She would love to hear from you!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Help!! They don't speak Spanish here!

Dear Peoples…

Hola! How is everyone? Oh cool! That´s great, yeah! Okay so here I am… I don´t know why, but it is always so hard to start emails, I don´t know how to jump into things… Okay, so I might have written some information wrong on my last email about my companion (oops). Her name is Hermana Alvaranga and she is from Honduras. I think I said San Salvador or something… Anyway, like I said she is a native so communication can be a little hard sometimes. But she´s trying to learn English and I am trying to learn Spanish, so we help each other. I´ll admit, I was a little worried about who my first companion was going to be, but I am sooooooooo blessed to have her! She works hard, and is such a sweet heart. She is an incredible teacher and has a very firm testimony. Though it´s probably frustration for her to just have me follow her around like a little puppy dog that doesn´t know anything, doesn´t speak hardly anything she is so patient and understanding. She takes care of me but is pushing me too… so that´s good news, eh? And about that Spanish thing…yeah, did you know they don´t speak Spanish here? They speak CHILEAN. Which is totally different from Spanish  My native companion said she didn´t even understand the Chileans here when she first arrived. Especially the old men. They talk like they have a mouth full of cotton, and a bunch of other stuff…like paper and marshmallows, I don´t know. But it´s great. And if I can understand the old men here in a year and a half I´ll consider it a miracle ;) But really, it´s been a little hard not being able to communicate. There have been moments when my heart is just overflowing with feelings that I want to share, but can´t find the means to do it sufficiently. There are times that I feel a bit foolish when I´ll say something that feels like decent Spanish and the people will look at me funny and look at my companion and say, ¨what did she say?¨ A couple of times people (usually the old men… hehe) will tell us they don´t want to listen to us because I have bad Spanish. Though already I´ve had moments frustrating enough that brought me to tears, I´ve had moments good enough that bring me to tears in the happy way  It feels great doing something good. The Lord is humbling me  I just need to take things one step at a time. PATIENCE, right? My companion, I think I mentioned is simply wonderful. She is super positive, is such a help for me. Nosotras somos un equipo!

Machali is the town and it is so beautiful in it´s own humble little way. I love it. I love it love it. I haven´t had any rocks thrown at me….yet…but it´s only the first week  Though one man told us he didn´t want to talk to us because he doesn´t like Canadians. Haha, I thought it was funny. The people for the most part are very amiable. All the women greet with a kiss, it´s so much fun. And YES I am working on a nice tan right now, while you´re all freezing your hinds off. Yes, be jealous. Even if it is a farmers tan. There are a handful of hills here in Machali, and I can already feel my calves toning up. Look out.

The Mission President is really nice, but intimidates me a little…eeee. But really nice and funny. We had our ¨actividad de navidad¨ today and it was a lot of fun, our mission is HUGE! They had a fun little welcoming skit thingy for the nuevos. That was nice.

Can you believe Christmas is 3 days away? I can´t. This will be a Christmas to remember with 90 degree weather! I´m not exactly sure when I will be able to call home, so don´t worry about gathering people, because I´m not sure when. I am not even sure if it will be Christmas day, but maybe Christmas eve. We have to coordinate with a couple other missionaries and members, so sorry I can´t tell you exactly when. Though it will most likely be in the morning, since we are 4 hours ahead of you. I am so grateful I get to have this opportunity to serve a mission and to invite others to better know Christ! And that I may know him a little better myself. This church is so true, I know it. I feel it. Everyone should serve missions. It´s a lot of fun, too! A lot more fun than the MTC. (don´t get me wrong, the mtc was great in it´s own way)

Oh, I love you all so dearly. I love you all so much. Happy Belated Birthday Eeek, I thought about you on your birthday and love you mucho. I hope everything is well!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Greetings from Chile!

Greetings from afar... No, really! I'm super far away! Sorry I couldn't write earlier today, we just got to a computer now. I don´t have a lot of time, but I´ll just say it´s all been a whirwind of coolness. A little bit of scaredness too, but It´s all super exciting, no. Oh, dear forgive me if the text is weird, I don´t know how to use these key board.
So, it happened, I arrived and realized I don´t actually know the language. BUT my companion speaks it really well... she´s from Puerto Rico! She´s really nice, and in fact doesn´t speak much english. I´m guessing that is a good thing, maybe I can learn faster... It´s pretty different down here, but I think I am going to like it. It´s also very beautiful. I'm in a town called Machali and it´s so beautiful, so humble. I´m afraid I need to go, but I am safe and sound and ready to preach the gospel (in horrible spanish), but it will do. for now.
I love you all mucho! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE you so much. I can´t tell you enough.
Be safe.
Hermana Jones

Oh, really quick! We´re a four hour time difference, so it´s 10 22 right now, cool huh I think I´m forgetting something else, oh well. I love you!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Arrived Safe and Sound...

Alison was able to call her dad, me, and Cali yesterday while she was at the airport. She was very happy and excited to get to Chile. And it was soooo good to talk to her!

We've been tracking her flight trip and the plane arrived this morning at 8:46 (5:46 our time?) So at lease we know she's there now. I've posted her address to send letters. Packages requre a different address, which is listed also.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Only 4 more days....

This is where she thinks she going!!! Ha ha ha! (never did do well in Geography)

OK... Now she's got it right!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

gah! I just wrote a whole bunch but this crazy computer froze and I lost it all... and it used up a good amount of time, so I'll just be sure to write you letters with everything I wanted to say... Instead I'll just give you my flight plans for now... So Monday is the big day! My flight takes off at 1:55 pm...which means sometime before that I can call you and dad! (if you want me to :) AND if we have time. I really hope we can find time to call, I'm sure it will all work out) But that also means I will need your cell phone numbers because I don't remember them. And a calling card? I'm sure you already know this though. But I am very excited about this! We will arrive in Georgia at about 5:30 ish our time. And then a couple hours later we'll take off to Chile for an 11 and a half hour flight...ugh. That's a long time. Plenty of time to ponder and pray about how everythings going to go down in a foreign country... I can't really believe it. I have tried to picture what exactly will go down, but I have come to the conclusion that I have absolutley no idea what it will be like (being in Chile, being a missionary). How can one accurately anticipate something they've never experienced? So instead I just don't. Yes, of course I'm still excited. I just don't know what or how I am going to do what I'm about to do. But I will go and do, and it will all work out because the Lord provides a way and He knows I can do this.

Just so you know Flam, I recieved your packages, mail, and goodies! THANK YOU SO MUCH. I feel like a little bum for giving ya'll a hard time for not getting any mail for a while... If only I had known Dad just doesn't know the difference between Chile and Provo I probably wouldn't have said anything. Haha, that is so funny Dad... It will be a pleasant surprise to get your mail in a week when I'm down there! Sorry though, I can see how it would be confusing since the pouch mail address is to SLC, not Chile. My time is nearly up, So I will just be writing you letters later today and you'll get them in a few days I guess.

I LOVE you LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU ALL! Excited to call on Monday. Make sure you answer your phone :)

Mom, don't try anything sneaky, okay? ;) I love you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I don't have much to say today, except this week I've learned a lot and I am Soooooo excited to take this work to Chile! I only have 1 p-day left and I'll be shipped off to South America (two weeks from yesterday). Don't worry, I'm not trunky. Though we get our flight plans on Thursday :)

They have put up Christmas lights on outside some of the buildings and they are so pretty! It doesn't seem like Christmas time at all though. I've decided that Christmas hymns are 100 times better in Spanish. I'm just so excited to be in Chile with the people there. This is a marvelous work and I know it blesses families.

I guess I haven't talked much about my companion, huh? She's from SLC and her name is Hermana Olsen. She's pretty awesome. I am very thankful for her because after seeing other companionships here I realize there are a lot of people that don't want to work. She's a hard worker and we are able to get things done, which is a good feeling.

The MTC is great! I'm a lot happier than I was earlier for some reason. I guess it has just been a struggle, but I'm not sure why, it's such a priveledge for me to be here, serving the Lord. I couldn't be doing a better thing right now. I know my joy will only increase when I'm out Chileaing it up! Stewart wrote me and talked about how much he loved the MTC because no one rejected him. Ha ha, yeah I guess it's true we've got it pretty good here. Though they have a program here where missionaries can sign up for a "progressing investigator". These people are recent converts to the church and reply with the same concerns and with the same knowledge they had when they were being taught. Instead of just teaching them once, we go back multiple times-trying to actually "progress" the investigator as we try to find out their needs and teach for them. They don't give us any feedback, so if we're doing something wrong, it's up to us to figure it out. Also, they can reject commitments, or even our message... It's almost as close to the real world as you can get w/out being in the real world. Hermana Olsen and I taught Allessandro for the first time yesterday.... It was pretty grueling.... We didn't get where we wanted - this guy means business, but I'm sure as we continue teaching, we'll learn a lot. Oh... and it was in Spanish! So it was even more of a challenge.

Spanish - is - coming - hopefully.... Slowly, but surely. I can teach the whole 1st lesson in espanol (though it's pretty choppy).... Next Monday we will teach the second lesson, the Monday after that we will teach the second lesson again and then the next Monday or Tuesday we'll be flying out! So crazy. I think we'll get our flight plans next week hopefully..... And rumor has it, we can call home when we get to the airport!

Hey Thanks Dad and Mom, for giving me this opportunity to be out here. I'm so spoiled, I'm so blessed to be here and so blessed to be in our family. I'm grateful for you all, to know that you've always loved me so much, that you love me now, and that you always will. I'm grateful for my health. Did you know I haven't gotten sick the whole time I've been here? At the moment, probably about 40% of the missionaries are sick at any given time. But I'm not! (knock on wood). I'm grateful I live in America that I have wealth and that I'm able to share my abilities with others. I'm grateful for my knowledge of the Savior, to know that through him, I'm good to go! That through Him - even though my heart wanders, he reaches out to me with an incredible gift. You talked about it in one of your letters, Dad, how the Savior's gift is completely free, we just need to turn to Him. I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father. I know he loves me, that he hears my prayers and my pleadings and somehow knows me and everyone else on this earth. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know it's true. I know it is from God and I know it answers prayers. That it comforts and I know Joseph Smith translated it. I'm grateful for this restored Gospel and I'm grateful for the people in Chile that will listen to this message and I'm grateful for those who won't. I don't know how I ever managed to make it here at this time and that I'm here doing the work of the Lord. This is where I need to be.

Hey Dad, I think you said something about how cool it is when the entire MTC gets together for Devotionals or something (like missionary conferences in the field). But yeah, it is pretty incredible when we'll sing songs together . It's a pretty powerful experience that won't be forgotten.

I love you all!


(mom's note: more was written, but omitted since it's just family/personal stuff.... and stuff that would probably embarrass her if it was published.... She's a silly girl!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Okay, can I just say really quick that I hate this e-mail thing? The second I sign in the clock starts ticking and it ends up stressing me out more than teaching at the TRC! (not really, but almost). There's so much I want to say! I've learned a lot this week. A lot of spanish, a lot about my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I'm sorry to have been such a complainer in previous letters, yeah, this is hard, but so what? It's the least I can do in return for what the Lord has done for me. I have such a unique and incredible opportunity to be on a mission and to Serve. Not everybody gets this, and I really want to make the best I can of it. I feel good when I end a day knowing I worked my hardest. The MTC is a great experience, and I am greatful for the things I've learned so far.

As for my spanish...It's coming along. I don't think I really notice the growth until someone will say something. Yesterday during our (2nd!!!) lesson in spanish at the TRC, my teacher came in the room to evaluate. After the lesson, he gives us feedback. He said something like this (in spanish): "Your spanish is really improving, when I was listening to you, I thought, "Is that really Sister Jones teaching?!" It definitely wasn't great spanish, it was just an improvement I guess. It was funny he was so shocked because he knows how much I've been struggling with it. Obviously I still have so far to go, it was just good to know that I'm actually picking a few things up. Can you believe it?? 3 weeks left. We're the old ones in our Zone now...WEIRD!!

I don't think I have mentioned in my other emails about the sweet devotionals we have here every week. Last week Jeffrey R. Holland came and spoke to us,]. Every word he said was incredible and directly from the Lord. It is incredible to know that we have prophets and apostles on the earth that guide us. I am so greatful for the comfort of my Heavenly Father. Sometimes when it is hard, all I want is for my mom or dad to hold me and tell me it will be okay. But the incredible thing is my Heavenly Father can and does do that for me everyday when I pray to him. I am so greatful for prayer. I am greatful for my knowledge of the gospel and it makes me excited to get to Chile. On Thanksgiving we are having a big service project for the humanitarian stuff and we will be having a devotional by a general authority. I am very excited :)

Okay, I have to tell you really quick about what happened on Sunday... So there I was, walking past an enormous line of people headed for my seat in the cafeteria. I was carrying my tray full of food when I passed the Natives that we teach every week. We said hello and then all of a sudden there happened to be a puddle of water right in my line of direction. Before I knew it, eveything was in slow motion and I remember thinking as my body fell to the floor, "this can not be happening to me." Yes, I crashed, and I crashed good. Food went flying, so did I, and so did the heads of about 50 or so people fly in my direction. People flew to my aid, but all Icould do was laugh, I'm sure it looked awesome... There's more to the the story, but my time is nearly out.. BYE. LOVE YOU!

ps, I have a little bit of time to write letters on Thanksgiving, so hopefully I have time to do so family!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dearest Dears,

Hi, how are you? Hopefully good... Hopefully I can get some letters sent out this week to you all :)

Yeah, I can't believe it either. Already past my half way mark. I don't know if I am more excited or nervous about that. Okay, more excited. But a bit nervous, though I have learned a good handful of spanish, I am going to need to kick it in to high gear if I am going to feel capable of going to a country that doesn't speak english... Especially Chile! I have heard a lot this week about how fast Chileans speak. Eek!

This week has been... quite the week. I think the MTC is great, but as you all know it can be challenging too. Most of you who remember the MTC are men, or former Elder Missionaries. Now imagine the MTC difficulties as a GIRL. An EMOTIONAL GIRL even. Kind of a scary picture, eh?? (My poor companion - She's been so patient with me when I have hard times). But the miracle is that for the hard times, something will always bring me up again. Feeling the spirit in such great abundance each day definitely makes up for the hard. Yesterday afternoon we got to teach our very first lesson in Spanish at the TRC. It was...interesting... But we did it, believe it or not. Though we didn't understand everything our "investigator" said, and he probably didn't understand everything we said (because we sound like we're 3), we did it. And we had spaghetti for dinner after the lesson, so that made up for the not so good parts of it. Every Monday after dinner we teach the native spanish speakers in spanish, and the spanish speakers teach us in English. Though it is so hard, on our part and on there's too, this is definitely the highlight of my week. I'm not exactly sure what it is about teaching with the natives, but it really makes me happy. I can really feel the spirit when these elders testify and it makes me want to do better to have more of the spirit when we teach.

Hey, Do you remember Sister Argyle from our old ward that lives by the Dixons? I see her almost every Tuesday and Sunday night because she helps out with the choir. She said if you ever need to relay any messages, she's there... And yes, the choir is INCREDIBLE. I love having the opportunity to sing in it. Brother Eggett is our director on Tuesdays, so that's pretty cool.

Did I ever tell you it's super weird to be so close to home? It's kind of an odd feeling walking to the temple on P-days or Sunday and to think, "my friends are all just blocks away from me..." Well, it's weird. Thats all. It will be good to be on the other side of the world :)

I just want you all to know how much I love you. My heart is so full of love for you. I am excited to get to know and love the people in Chile too. Hopefully I can learn Spanish before then!!!

The Church is true!

Hermana Jones!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


How did this happen? I'm closing in on an entire 4 weeks, and it feels likeI just got here... Time goes by super weird. Long days, but the weeks go so fast...

I don't know if I will be getting indiviudual family letters out this week, so I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much, for loving me and supporting me. I don't know if you realize how much I treasure Your words and encouragement and love. I think I mentioned this to Grandma (which by the way has been so fun to leave notes for her at the temple), but I just feel so overflowed with love for you, my family. It's sad to say but I don't know if I REALLY realized how much I love you. I knew it, I felt it, but I see now how much you love me and my heart is tender and full with love for all of you. Thank you for everything! And thanks for the sweet-a package. No, really, it was incredible. I doubt any other missionary in the MTC, or any other missionary who has been in the MTC has received a package quite as cool as the one I got. Okay, maybe there's been one, or even two lucky missionaries like me, but no more than that. Thank you for the dryer sheets (you wrapped them so nicely, mom!), thank you for the yummy cookies and candy, and most importantly thank you for the cell phone, 4 inch hoop earings, the batteries (they are used, aren't they?), ear plugs and 4 (or was it 5?) cinnamon tick tacks. All I can say is thank you (and that I got the biggest kick out of it, I couldn't stop laughing!). And it sounds like everyone is doing fun and good things. That's so crazy about Grandmas house! I'm so glad they're okay!

Alright, so in Rory's email, he said: "learning spanish blows." AMEN BROTHA. It is so hard! I think I forgot that learning a new language is challenging. But I am trying, and trying. I am sure I can try harder, so Iwill. I know I am not going to walk out of here fluent, because nobody does, but I would like to know more... 5 more weeks, that's a good amount of time to learn, right? But seriously, it's hard. I know though that Heavenly Father hasn't placed anything in my path that I can't do. Who He calls, He qualifies. I... just... remember that!

Nanette left on her mission today. It will be sad not seeing her face around. She's been such a comfort to me! This past week has been really good one for my companion and I. We're learning a lot about how to work with each other and she's got a good balance of the strengths that helps me a lot.

An elder in my district commented on my face the other day. He said that it's funny. Yes, he did say that. He said that sometimes he'll look up and I'll have my "zone out" face (which I didn't know I had because I didn't THINK I was zoning out), which he says is hiliarous. Great.

As for the working out, remember how excited I was for it? I had even lost a few pounds since getting here, but last week I discovered the joys of 4-square and the game lightening basketball... Yeah, I think my workout schedule has changed, maybe for the worse in the health department... BUT I made it to KING SQUARE 2WICE!!

Well, I love everyone, I am so excited for the things I've learned so far, and for all the things I will learn. I'm excited to apply these things to help people come unto Christ! This work is incredible, I love it already and I know it will blow me away when I actually get to teach REAL people :)


It's kicking me off, BYE!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yay... it's "P" Day!!

Nanette and Alison. Good friends that entered the MTC on the same day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

6 weeks to go! The Spanish is kickin her butt....

Hey, what's up?

Well, for some I reason don't really know what to say... But things are going well! I have decided that Mondays are my favorite day of the week (except for P-day and Sundays of course). Mondays are the days that we do most of our teaching. We teach at the TRC, which for me is very muy scary (it's still in english though!), because the people we are teaching aren't missionaries, but REAL people volunteering (which still shouldn't be scary because I volunteered myself at the TRC once, and I'm no one to be scared of). But the last couple times that we've taught I have come away feeling so incredible inside. It's even kind of fun. Kind of. But I am definitely not saying that to myself right before we go in to teach. I think I nearly wet my pants the first time.

Right now I'm super worried about Spanish. Oh man, I don't even want to think of where I am with my Spanish, it will make me throw up probably.... Yesterday was the last day of being the guinea pigs by experimental teaching methods and we received our grammar books. I really hope the language can go smoother from here on out. Last night after our "teaching appointment" we had another opportunity to practice teaching the natives, or missionaries who speak Spanish. We stumbled through the first lesson, not hardly coherent I'm sure, and it only lasted maybe 10 minutes because of how little we know. Then the Spanish Elders practiced teaching us in Spanish. They were from Argentina and Peru. Boy, I didn't hardly understand a word they were saying (especially the Argentine, he spoke so fast!), but I picked up a few pieces from the Elder from Peru. And even though I couldn't understand it all, it was so powerful. Listening to this elder testify made me want to get baptized all over again. I think this experience will go with me to Chile.

It's such an important thing to realize how important a testimony can be. I know this IS the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, I know we have a prophet on the earth today and I know that through the love of Jesus Christ, everything in our lives can be made right. I love that I'm on a mission. After the lesson was taught by the elders, the Peruvian said (in broken english) "I feel something so special right now, I don't want to be here in the MTC, I just want to go out and teach!" I feel the same way, I am so excited, I just haveta drill the language down my throat for the next 6 weeks...

Lots of other stuff happens all the time too... The food's good. The days are really hard still. I still have my moments where I have really hard times, but it will all be worth it. I can't believe how fast time has gone by, but at the same time it feels like I've been here forever!

Geoff, one of my teachers Devin Harrison was in your mission I think... He says he remembers you at least.

Okay, I sent a letter today with some pics, you'll get it soon hopefully. I love you and miss you and hope you're doing well.

Write me letters, okay?'s are good. Do it, I dare you. Please?

Hermana Jones

(NOTE: If you'd like to leave a comment, Al's lovely mother will be happy to copy and paste it in her next e-mail to her. I'm sure she would love to read any and every comment on her blog. Thanks!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She Survived 2nd Week in the MTC!

(copied and pasted by her mom... no, she's not breaking any rules...ha ha)


Welp, here I am nearing the end of my second week in the MTC... It feels like I've been here much longer than 2 weeks! I just wanted to say first of all, that this week has been SO MUCH BETTER! The first week at the MTC kind of kicked my butt. I was confused about what I was doing, who I am (because before, I thought I knew), It was painful, and things are still hard at times, of course. However, I don't know how to explain the change from then till now, but I'm much happier. I LOVE the spirit I've felt, and I know that I need to be here. For a while, I was thinking that maybe I didn't need to be here, and that it was just going to be a waste of time and money. But I DO need to be here! It wasn't my Heavenly Father who was making me feel like that. I have felt his love and comfort so much this week. He knew I needed it. If I can make a difference for even one person, it will be so worth it. It's worth it now. I love being here, and I hear it will only get better. One of the hardest parts for me is just trusting that the spirit will guide me. But as I've let myself go freely to the Lord (which I realize is super hard for me), I feel the spirit guiding me. I know everything will work out. Another thing that is hard is motivating myself. After about hour 8 in the classroom, it can get hard to keep going. I kind of wish I wasn't such a lazy bum before my coming, because I was pretty used to doing not much... I take it back, I had a good time doing nothing before. It was nice. But it feels good to be productive. And being diligent definitely pays off.

I didn't say much about the mechanics of my mission last email, so here are some details:

My district is pretty cool. Right now we have 5 sisters, and 5 elders. Most of us are going to Chile, and a few are going other places. We had an elder last week that had to go home and that was a very hard thing for everyone. There are a couple of elders in our district that are hilarious, but can be a bit distracting too...

I work out.

Yeah, you heard me. I do. In the gym on the 3rd floor there are some eliptical machines that I like to use and a couple of them face a floor to ceiling corner window. From that window I can see right down 9th east,where my old apartment used to be, and I can see clear to Spanish Fork. It's kind of weird being so close, and yet so far...My companion and I calculated that we climb about 20 flights (or floors) of stairs each day going to and from class, gym, or bedrooms. Of all those times climbing stairs, I've only fallen up them 2wice!

So, I know a little bit of spanish. Mostly just how to testify and pray. The hard thing is, our district and a handful of others are a part of what they call a "pilot group" or, "guinea pigs" when it comes to learning spanish. They are trying out a new method of teaching spanish where we don't learn ANY grammar AT ALL until the 4th week. It's hard, but they say from here on out, our spanish is going to take off flying... I really hope so, because right now I don't understand much. But they promise good results.I 'll hold them to that promise.

I get to be coordinating sister for our district. This calling basically reminds me of being in the compassionate service committee. It's great. And so my companion and I get to sit in on all the district and zone meetings...great...too... I love this gospel, and I love testifying about it to other people, it feels good.

I still see Nanette all over the place and it is super fun. I am waiting on some pictures to be developed that I'll send next week. I sent personal letters to the Fam, that should be coming soon. Just FYI.

Oh man, my times about up. I LOVE YOU SO Much, and Miss miss mis missssss you. But I'm not homesick, don't worry. I just miss you, that's all.

Okay, bye now.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

MTC Address

MTC Mailbox # 252
CHI-RAN 1215
2005 N 900 E
Provo, Utah 84604-1793

Alison's estimated departure date for Chile will be December 15th.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Hermana Jones"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

okay, bye now

My lovely mother volunteered herself to update my blog while I'm gone. She will be copy and pasting my letters. THANKS MOM!!! Audios!

Monday, October 13, 2008

here's some incentive to write me

The day before the day before I leave on my mission has been filled with last minute shopping, friends, family, and PACKING. I've managed to fit way more stuff in two suitcases than I ever thought possible. Though I'm not so sure I'm meeting the weight limit... However, during my packing I realized I am going to want some kind of stationary, you know something to jazz up my letters a bit. As I rummaged through a drawer in the big kitchen cabinet thingy I fell across one of the most priceless items ever. My Lisa Frank sticker and stationary collection. Feelings of nostalgia welled up in my heart as I remembered my pre-teen years being somewhat infatuated with pen-pals and all the stationary that went with it. One of my most constant pen-pals would have to be my dear friend Kylee. No matter the stickers, glitter, or colored paper I sent her way, I always received something back that would amount be to greater than or equal to my letter's coolness. I think I can even remember receiving a letter on Trix the Rabbit stationary that had scratch and sniff fruit all over it. Conclusion: Scratch and sniff paper trumps all. This journey I am about to embark on, what is the mission, will most definitely not be without the Lisa Frank stationary and sticker collection. What would a letter be without dogs and giant strawberries, hugging penguins, and unicorns? No really, you tell me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Find Joy in The Journey

Okay, I've started this blog like 4 different times, and nothing I begin with is coming out how I want it. So, instead of some kind of introduction, I'm just going to jump right in to it.
I'm really going to miss working at The Journey. Alright, organizing papers and meticulously auditing files will not be longed for when I'm done (though my office buddies will be missed), but the part of my job where I get to work with the kids will definitely hold a tender spot in my heart. These guys are incredible and are doing something much more than learning how to live and maintain a sober life. They are turning their whole world around. For some, all that was known in their lives up until now was drugs, gangs, and sex. A happy life is something of a foreign state. Others grew up in a fairly secure home, but within a short time had nearly destroyed all trust from their loved ones. Though some kids make it obvious that they have no interest of sincerely changing, there are those who understand that they have potential to regain what they lost (love, trust, futures) if they work hard and make a change. I love the kids and I am so grateful that I was able to work just a little bit with them before I leave. I have learned a lot about myself by working here, and more than anything I've learned a lot from the kids.

It is fitting that in our office we have a sign hung up that says "Find Joy in the Journey," since, as mentioned above the company is called "They Journey." And what a beautiful reminder for us to trek forward with a positive perspective. It makes me think of a talk given at a fireside by Brad Wilcox a few years ago. He said "If you can laugh with it, you can live with it." Which reminds me (even though this isn't really relevant) that my family during dinner tonight started talking about one of our former pet birds. Little bird was a finch, who, through a slightly comical and a very unfortunate series of events, found death. As my dad was telling the story of what happened he started laughing, a lot. Soon my whole family (though Cali thought were all heartless), was nearly rolling in laughter. Okay, so maybe we are heartless, I guess you just had to be there... Anyway, back to what I was saying... President Monson's talk this October's session of Conference Finding Joy in the Journey was a bright message of hope and perspective. To live each day to it's fullest. He pleads with us to "not let the most important things in life pass you by...but to instead, find joy in the journey-now." Life is ever changing, and some change, like with the Journey kids is needed, and some is inevitable. Whatever change finds us in whichever state, let us try to find joy in it.

And when I left, a couple of the kids made me some bomb art work that I wanted to share with the world.

Check out this beautiful piece. Can you find the hidden word?? It took me a minute.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

one small step for women, one big step for me

After much deliberation and careful assessment, I have made the laborious decision that Mr. Blowdryer/Diffuser will not make the long anticipated trek to Chile with me... gasp!! No, no, I know what you're all thinking, I in fact do not intend on being nappy Sister Ugs throughout my mission. Instead I have found an alternative way of doing my hair. Blowdryer/diffuser are just much too bulky to make the cut.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Snots (the title was supposed to be "shots", but I liked the typo better)

I've had my call for over 3 months, and I put off getting my mission immunizations till now. 2 weeks before leaving. After paying 200 dollars at the health department to get shot up because they don't take our insurance, I was called into a lovely little torture chamber. What? No foldable bed with the noisy butcher paper to lay on? All there was for me to place my bottom on was a little black chair that had wheels on it. I could picture it now - the foretaste of my doom too much handle and I face plant on the floor. Or maybe ( if I have enough self control to not pass out), the nurse will lean in to poke my mushy skin...but can't find my flesh because I'd rolled away and out the door in my rolly chair...

Neither of these happened, instead as I sat there the nurse asked if I was okay, and commented on my skin color (no, she wasn't racist, I was just losing all color). My feeble response was "I just dislike shots." I wasn't surprised when my voice cracked from the strain of holding back what probably would have been a sob if my pride didn't get the better of me. The nurses reaction was simple. She stood up and grabbed a juice box from the fridge. She handed me the juice and a smile. Whether it was for comfort, or to better my chances of not passing out, I don't know. But I liked it. However, my comfort was shattered by three consecutive stabs to my arm. And heart. I felt betrayed, like a kid who is decoyed into doing something they didn't want to do. But what's done is done, and at least I wont get terribly ill while in a foreign country, right?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It was my "farewell" talk in the home ward today. I tell you what, it was scary, but it's done. And I'll also tell you what, wow! I don't think I could explain to you how stinkin' lucky I am to have such amazing FAMILY and FRIENDS. I had a lot of people I love there supporting me, and it made me quite the happy girl. I really don't know what I did to be blessed with so much.

Lucky me :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I had a dream last night that I was playing ultimate frisbee. As I went to block the goal (which was one of those blow up toys that you bounce around in), someone from the opposing team shot me. In the back. With a gun. I was in shock and layed on the ground for a while denying that anything had happened until the ambulance came and took me away. Then I thought I was going to die. The doctor, who happened to Carlilse Cullen (Oh yeah, baby), tended my wound and wrapped me up and I was muy bueno.

It was weird. I decided to do what my sister does when she dreams of something and look it up. This is what it had to say:

To dream that someone is shooting you with a gun, suggests that you are experiencing some confrontation in your waking life. You may feel victimized in some situation.

To dream that you are shot, and are feeling the sensations of dying, denotes that you are to meet unexpected abuse from the ill feelings of friends, but if you escape death by waking, you will be fully reconciled with them later on.

Haha (nervous laugh), I don't know about this. Pretty sure my friends love me, and I wont get any abuse from them.... or will I??? Dun dun dun!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

pretty much, we're cool

Coneheads + Mom's creativity and sewing skills + Halloween = freaking awesome

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

itsy bitsy spider ain't so itsy

One of the most horrifying and potentially one of the most humiliating things (had there been someone there to witness my performance) happened to me today. When I describe my near death experience, most of you will roll your eyes and think "why is she even blogging about this?"

But all I have to say is:


Just kidding, I have a lot to say about this... So there I am, driving my car down St. Street, minding my own business (which I'm very good at), when a big, fat, hairy, dang crap-nasty spider decided to join my little ride on the drivers side door.

Spider. Inches away. Mocking me. "What are you going to do now, you're driving?" He thinks (I'm sure of it). Let me tell you what I did. I screamed. I screamed hard and squealed and I could feel my face warp in horror as all eight of his nasty legs crept closer to me. With each minute bump in the road, the tiny monster jumped with the car. He was a jumping spider, I'm sure of it, which intensified my terror by about 10 fold. Seconds had passed, and all my frozen mind and body could do in defence was scream. I had to take action, and QUICK. It would only take an instant before he would find a reason to jump onto me!

It felt like an eternity as I cut across two lanes of traffic and clumsily parked my car in the nearest driveway.

Instead of being sensitive to the spiders sensitivity to movement, I flung the door open in haste. Bad idea, spider jumped on the seat that I somehow wasn't sitting in anymore. The only weapon of defence I had on me was my debit card. I flicked it onto the floor, and crushed the life out of him - with card (gross, I know) - because my shoe wouldn't be sufficient??

I then took a moment to breath and realized how incredibly ridiculous all the screaming had been so I started to laugh, but I was still so shaken up and my heart was still thundering that my laugh turned in to that voice-craking nervous laugh that reminds me of teenage boys for some reason. This made me laugh more and it continued for a few minutes.

That's my story. You're lucky to not have nightmares tonight.

But for reals, people. I've thought about this and I am a little disgusted at my reaction. What if there had been no way of escaping traffic? What if I caused a traffic accident? I've never really had any super traumatic spider experiences, so I can't figure out why the dorky little spider caused me so much anxiety. I won't be surprised if I wake up sore because of how tight my muscles sitffened up. And what was with the girly screaming? The last time I screamed like that I was on the Rocket at Lagoon. Wow, time to move on. Whew, how bout that.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Jessie just told me she is going to rig my BSB/N*SYNC poll to make N*SYNC win. Oh, no you don't girlfriend. Poll Closed!

Thanks a lot Jessie.

And now she calling me a brat.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Dear Sister Jones

When I'm on a mission, I'm going to want letters. But I've been feeling guilty, and can't really expect much, because for most of my friends on missions, I was kind of a poopy writer. What goes around, comes around, right?

But In my efforts to fall asleep last night I devised a plan. It goes like this. If y'all come listen to me "blah, blah, blah," in church (my bishop hasn't said anything about it, hopefully he forgot!), I'll have self-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes handed out. Now, stamping and addressing shouldn't be the hard part, so I'm working on some kind of MAD-LIBesque template where you can fill in the blanks and it turns out to be a me. It will go something like this:

Dear Sister Jones,

How are you? I am doing ________ (adjective). Yesterday, I went to______(noun) and visited my_______(noun/proper noun) get the picture

See? Easy cakes. It could take a matter of seconds, and it doesn't even have to make sense; any letter will suffice.

What thinkest thou?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I was wondering, why zinc lozenges can't come in any flavor other than cherry. bleck. I just tried to change the font back from red to normal, only I thought the normal color was white for some reason, and started to worry when none of the text was showing up.

Also, the past couple days I keep seeing shoes on the road. Random, single shoes just laying there, like they're waiting for someone to come pick it up and bring them home safe. Not gonna happen, little shoe. But what I don't understand is how that happens? I have now seen the said shoes on the freeway, highway, and here in a busy intersection. Did someone walk across the street when the "stop walking" hand was flashing and in a Cinderella haste forgot go back to save the lone soldier? Did someone get in a fight and chuck a shoe at another but the window happened to be down? No me comprehende.

I saw the Errand of Angles the other day. I made the mistake of telling my friends who disagree with girls going on missions about it. One friend said, "The devil is in that show!" Because now all the 20 year old girls are going to want to go on missions, instead of sticking around and getting married, "like they're supposed to." One of the guys kept saying " I hope *Gwendolyn (his girlfriend) doesn't watch it!" because I explained that a girl who had seen it is now seriously considering a mission. muahahaha... it's a sista revolution!!!

I would like to dedicate the following true story to Billy:

So once there was a horse named Molly who lost her leg in a battle with a pittbull terrier. To make a long story short, Molly's determination impressed a rich doctor enough that he made her a prosthetic leg.

This is the ground surface of the prosthetic. It has a smiley face embossed on the surface so wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley behind. This is cute, and makes me happy =) And you should consider something along these lines, Bill.

One more thing, I REALLY want this dog.

All pictures were taken from this website. Thanks, Ky :)

*Names have been changed to secure confidentiality. But Gwendolyn is a nice name, don't you think? And then you could just call her Gwen. I like it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

high school flashback

So, I was digging around in my family's old yearbooks, and this is what I found...