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!)