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!)