Thursday, March 21, 2013

Week 2 in Kansas

March 18, 2013

I have successfully competed almost two weeks in the field! This week has been pretty good! We didn't have the car so we have been doing a lot a lot of walking! We also have bus passes so we use those when it is too far away. Actually, let me explain how it all works. So, we share a car with another companionship of sisters. We trade off every other week. They live in another apartment building really close to us. Hermana Thorne and I have our own little apartment. There are six missionaries assigned to our ward, four sisters and two elders. We are all Spanish speaking. Three of the missionaries are fluent because they grew up speaking it and then the other two are pretty good and they have just learned it on the mission, and then there is me! haha IT WILL COME! I CAN LEARN SPANISH! That is what I keep telling myself EVERYDAY! I have to remind myself to stay positive and when I get negative, my companion just whips me back into shape! She is so positive! I am learning so much from her! She is an incredible missionary! I feel so blessed! A lot of the time we will be teaching a lesson or at a door and she will just look at me and then I know it's my turn to try to muddle something out in Spanish. I hate it but I know it's so good for me because if not, usually I won't pipe in and say stuff because often times I don't know exactly where we are at. I can understand a lot of the lessons, and the more and more I listen I'm getting it, but it's so much harder to understand natives than it is other missionaries and our teachers at the MTC. Con tiempo I know it will be all good. It is definitely teaching me patience and humility!

So, this week has been a good long hard week. I'm trying to get used to the schedule. Although we woke up at 6:30 and went to bed at 10:30 in the MTC, I am so much more exhausted here because all we did in the MTC was sit in classes. Everyone keeps telling me there first few weeks in the field they were exhausted but after a while their bodies got use to it. I'm hoping that will be the same for me! I just keep taking my adrenal pill and my choffy (is it even for energy?). It's a good thing we have to walk every other week though because we need it. This area is known for feeding the missionaries really well!

I will tell you guys a little bit about what a typical day would be like for us....  we don't actually go out and proselyte until one. We get up and exercise, eat breakfast, and get ready. Then, at eight we begin our personal study, nine to eleven is our companionship study (for the first 12 weeks we have an extra hour of companionship study for training), and then we have an hour of language study. Next, we have an hour for lunch and then we head out for the day. Most days we have a couple of appointments, we will go visit less actives and recent converts, or we knock doors. We try to only knock doors as a backup plan because it isn't always the most effective. We have found some great investigators that we have tracted into, but we try not to tract for too long because it isn't always very successful. Something I have learned through experiences this week, is to always have a backup plan. I can't tell you how many people canceled or just weren't home for their appointments this past week. My companion tells me, "Welcome to missionary work!". We hear some of the craziest excuses (who knows they might be real), for why people can't make it. It's sad! So many people see us at the door and then just won't answer because they know who we are. If only they knew who we really are and the message we really have to share!

Let's get to our investigators...... Gladys is still doing well. She is worried about joining a new church because she has already moved and left her kids (although they are all grown up) in Argentina, and she feels like changing religions will also separate her further from them. I love her though! She is so funny and such a good person! She is really searching for the truth and continues to come to church, pray, and read from the scriptures. Tomorrow we are going to show her the Restoration video because that is something she needs a stronger testimony of. I know she's going to get baptized; it is just a matter of time, His time. Jennifer (14 year old) is doing okay. She keeps saying she wants to change but then she doesn't keep a single commitment. Every week right before church, she calls and tells us she can't go. So, yesterday we went over and talked to her about the importance of keeping commitments and we thought we were going to have to stop visiting her, but then she told us she still wants to change and wants us to keep coming back. So, we are just going to keep trying. We went over and did service for their family by cleaning their house and this touched her mom. Her mom Maria actually came with us to church yesterday! Maria is from El Salvador and she is very quiet. She said she really liked church though and she got a blessing for her health because she has diabetes and says her head has really been hurting. We are going to go over tonight to talk to her more about her experience. We also went to dinner this week at Sister Haskins (I guess she just moved into our ward boundaries). Her husband isn't a member and so while we were eating, we were able to talk about the Book of Mormon and he seems so prepared. We are so excited! They have been sick for the past couple days but we are hoping to be able to start teaching him in the next couple days. Last night we went and visited a recent convert. She was baptized in Mexico in last October and the other sisters just randomly tracted into her. She has three of the cutest kids! Her family is going through a hard time (her husband cheated on her and so she is getting divorced). It was such a blessing for us to get to go talk to her and share a message. We knew that we were suppose to be there at that time and she was so grateful. We see miracles everyday on the mission! There are definitely hard days when it's raining and you've been walking all day and no one is listening, but the miracles surpass all of this!
I sure hope all of this made sense, sorry I'm a little scatterbrained when it comes to the email. I feel like there is always so much I want to share and not enough time! Just know that I love you guys mucho and I pray for you all the time. I know that God is so aware of each of His children and that He is just waiting to bless us if we reach out to Him. Yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera y que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial. Yo se que JesuCristo es nuestro Salvador y que Su Expiacion es real. LES AMO!!!!!

p.s. Tell the Jeppsen's GRACIAS for the wonderful Easter Package and Sis. Morgan GRACIAS for the sweet letter and money!
MAN, I love you guys so much! I can't believe I have to wait to find out where Kaleb's going! You better send me pics!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


 1. Pres. and Sis. Jolly (MTC branch president) LOVE THEM!

2.  Me and mi companera getting ready to head out to church! She is seriously WONDERFUL!



First off, HAPPY LATE DAY OF BRITH ASHY DEAR! So, I have officially survived the first couple days in the mission field, and boy oh boy is it different than I thought it was going to be! The first day we got here, President and Sister Keyes showed us all around. We went and saw the new Kansas City temple. It is so so beautiful! Then, we went to Liberty Jail and the other visitors center. It was so neat to see these places again, because I'm pretty sure the only time I've been was when I was 13 on the back east trip and I couldn't really remember them very well. Right when I walked into the jail, this overwhelming feeling of the spirit was there. I had been praying to feel and know that this was really where the Lord wanted me and I could just feel it the moment I walked in. Oh, it was incredible! The visitors center in Independence is so neat too! They have a movie about families (like the one in Salt Lake, not sure if you guys have been, but next time you're in Salt Lake, GO!). I saw it for the first time with Abby in the Oakland temple, and let me tell you, it is a major tear-jerker. It was then, and you can only imagine how it was that day because I had just talked to everyone! AHH, I just love the movie so much! It talks all about how important the family is and the importance of the temple, so I'm so so so excited we have it in our visitors center tambien! 

When we visited the center, President said that the seven sisters that had been called to the visitors center would all be serving their first transfer or so in one of the centers. So, I knew I was either going to be going to Liberty or Independence. I was actually quite excited after the experience I had and I was getting comfortable with the idea. So, I was in complete shock that night when he called me in for my interview and told me that I was going to Kaw River (in Kansas City, KS). He told me that he wanted me to learn my spanish well and that I'll probably be here for a few months. I'm guessing I'll probably get transferred back in the summer when the centers are crazy busy. He showed me a picture of mi companera and I RECOGNIZED her! Her name is Hermana Thorne! Remeber when I read (or should I say stalked) a few blogs of Hermanas in my mission right after I got my call?! The weird thing is, when I was reading her blog, I did the math and some how figured out that she would be finishing up her mission right as I was coming, and a thought crossed my mind that maybe she could be my trainer, and SHE IS! Oh, I love her so much! Heavenly Father is so so so mindful of me! I have been praying to have a good trainer and that I mightbe able to use my language and he has given me both. When President told me that I was going to Kaw River and that I would mainly be speaking spanish, I was so happy, but so terrified! Mentally, I was preparing and doubting that I would ever use the language (everyone knows this!), but here I am being humbled everyday, or all four of them so far! 

Oh my goodness, it is so hard to not be able to communicate my thoughts in lessons, I need to learn this language! The first two days I was feeling completely overwhelmed and I felt like I was NEVER going to be able to learn it! Not that much has changed, but my companera is so helpful and so positive. She is such a good example to me! This is her last transfer and her spanish is wonderful! She wasn't actually called spanish speaking, but President asked her if she would, so she told me she started from ground zero with no training at the MTC. It gives me hope! She said when she first started she didn't know a thing! So, here I am, trying so so hard to stay positive and defeat the negative voice in my head that is trying to tell me I can't do it. Man let me tell, you learn a lot about yourself from trying to learn a language, and I'm only ten weeks in! I have had so many promises in different blessings that I would be able to use and speak Spanish and so I am just trying to be patient and take it a day at a time. I have learned that if I am diligent and work my hardest, the Lord will make up the rest, but if I am not really trying, he will not help/bless me with it. Yesterday at church I could understand quite a bit (even the natives), so I know I'm improving. Mi companera tells me to just listen intently to what they are saying, so I've been doing this and I can tell that it's working.

Well, enough about spanish, let me tell you about Kaw River! I feel like I've heard Jana or maybe it was Jonathan Hedger say something about this area. All President told me about the area is that it is very very different from where I grew up and what I'm use to. I didn't know how to take that, but since being here I understand a little bit more about what he was talking about. I honestly feel like I am in another country! Most of the homes we go into are worse than the ones I saw in Ecuador. It is extremely poor. It breaks my heart. Man, we are so so blessed! I have already met quite the characters here! We went to dinner at this families house (they are converts of three years), and oh my goodness they were hilarious! We ate dinner in their bedroom because there is no place for a table, so there we were all ten of us in this bedroom! The mom was going on for about thirty minutes of the dinner all about her many health problems (many were so inappropriate and she never failed to mention every little detail :) ) So entertaining! The night ended with each member of the family showing us their many tatoos! (I'm back in the real world!) And, she had like no teeth! Actually, many people don't have teeth here. Also, it is so common for kids to get pregnant in high school. I have met so so many people already that are my age and already have like three or four kids. I am telling you, it is a DIFFERENT WORLD! But, I am trying to soak it all in and loving it! I mean, who would have thought you could get such a foreign experience in Kansas! hahah

We are teaching a girl named Jennifer. She is 14 and just had a baby last month. It's so sad, but so normal here. She has no self esteem so we have been talking a lot about prayer and our relationship with God. She keeps wanting us to come back, but then she hasn't come to church like she has said she was going to. That is what I am realizing here! Many of the people we teach are accepting and willing to listen and want to change (mostly latinos), but they aren't willing to keep their commitments! It's so hard, because without doing this, they can't progress. Another lesson we had this week was with Gladys. She's from Argentina. She moved here a couple of months ago because she married a guy in our ward ( who is also from there). She is so great! I guess she's been being taught for a few months now. We talked to her about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, which is easy for her because she comes EVERY sunday with her husband. She is still praying to know for sure if she should be baptized but I think her date is set for the 30th of March, so pray for her! She is hilarious! I mean, some of the time I have no clue what she's saying because she talks so FAST, but whenever I've been with her, Hna. Thorne and I are laughing the whole time! On Saturday night we went and visited a less active member named Isabel. Last week she came to church for the first time in about a year. She's from Mexico and has such a powerful testimony of the gospel. We shared the Restoration dvd with her and asked her to bear her testimony at the end. As she did, she began to cry. There is something so powerful about bearing our testimonies. Especially in times, when we do not feel as close to God. It reminds us what we truly believe and how we feel. We are going to meet with her every week now! We have also been doing a lot of tracting, which is great because we have met a lot of people that we have set appointments with for this upcoming week, but it is so terrifying and awkward to just walk up and knock on some random persons door. Thank goodness for the plaque and calling because we can say that we are missionaries right from the start. We have gotten many mixed emotions. Some people are interested, some are not, but respect the work that we are doing, and some just stare at us and don't want to listen. If only they knew who we really are and the message we have!

Anyway, I have already learned so much. Feeling quite overwhelmed with learning spanish on top of everything else, but I'm just trying to be patient and work hard. It was so so so great to talk to everyone on Wednesday! Gosh, it made me miss you guys so much. I have missed you more the past couple days here than I ever did in the MTC. I'm not sure why. I think it's either because I called or because I'm actually back out in the real world and I see so many families. The MTC really felt like a dream! A 
great dream! Mama, thanks so much for the package!  And Dad, the Delta Pilot came onto the intercom and said he had a special announcement for passenger Alexis Jorgensen! :) He told me that you said HI! After we landed I went up and talked to him and he told me about how you paged in. All the missionaries thought it was so cool! The plane was so tiny! Probably the tiniest plane I've ever been in! Well, I love you all so much! I'm so grateful for the gospel in our family and home. Being here has helped me to recognize (again, as if I couldn't learn this lesson in Africa or Ecuador), how truly blessed we are! LES AMO!
p.s. My P-day will be Monday for now until I get transferred to a new area and then it might change. If you ever want to send letters or stuff, send it to the mission home. I'm pretty sure you guys have that address! LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Visitor's Center training and my last week in the MTC!

March 1, 2013

Man, does it feel like it's been a while since my last P-day! I know it has only been one extra day than normal, but for some reason it feels like it's been long! I feel like I can't even remember anything about last week! I've been in vistor center training for since Wednesday and it has been really good, but it has felt so so so long! I can't believe I'm leaving in less than a week now! CRAZY! I'm so ready to go though (well, I mean I know I'm no where near where I would like to be, but I am ready to be in the field teaching and talking to real people). Last Friday, the church announced that they are opening 58 new missions!!!! I'm sure you guys have heard! One mission that they are adding is in Kansas, which is a part of my mission, so I'm pretty sure they will be splitting my mission in July when that mission opens. It would make sense if they do split it because there are seriously so so so many missionaries going to Independence right now! There are 38 in my group alone this Wednesday and I met some girls that went six weeks ago and they said their group was over 25! OH MY GOODNESS! My poor mission president! I just met one other Elder today that is going to Independence spanish speaking. I'm pretty sure we are the only two that are going on Wednesday that are speaking spanish.  

Well, let's see, Hermana Miner and I finished up our last few lessons with our investigators, Raquel and Jose. It was such a neat experience! Both of them are getting baptized:) YAY! It's incredible how much your investigators motivate you to want to become better and try harder. I can't even imagine how that is going to be when I actually get to the field. So, a funny story about our lesson with Raquel..... we were inviting her to go to church and I felt like she needed a friend there, so I told her that there was a girl in our ward that wanted to sit by her at church and such and for some reason I could not think of a spanish name, and all of the sudden Lupe just came out! hahah So tell Lupe that she made it into one of our lessons as a member friend! ;) When we told Jose that we were being transferred he was devastated. Seriously, for half of the lesson he just kept telling us how sad he was. It broke my heart! I'm sure this is going to happen in the field. Oh, I can't even imagine! But, I do know that that's why it's so important to help our investigators find friends within their own ward and help them to truly be converted to the gospel, so that when we leave, they can stay strong.

So, for this week of training, I have a new companion, Hermana Howell. She's from my old district so I've known her this whole time. She's going to the L.A. temple visitors center speaking spanish. It has been so great to be her companion. We get along so well and have been able to have really deep and spiritual conversations. On Wednesday morning we headed into temple square. We are also going there tomorrow, but on Wednesday, we were just suppose to be the visitors. Tomorrow we are actually going to paired up with one of the sisters that is serving there and we are going to help them give tours for about for hours. Oh, goodness! If there is something I learned from the tour that they gave us, it is that I need to be myself. I guess I haven't ever really had incredible experiences with sister missionaries at visitors centers because I have always felt like they were talking in the happy fake sister missionary voice and not truly being them. That is one thing I want to try hard to do. I know that Heavenly Father has called me to Independence because He needs my personality and experiences. I hope that I do not try to fit the mold and that I can be personal with those that I meet. Another no duh moment that I've had this week, is that as I give tours I should never discount members. Member or not, every person that walks into our center can have their faith increased and draw closer to the Savior. I have learned that we are not simply tour guides, although that's what about everyone thinks, but we must be personal and get to know those that we are with, not just to be friendly, but to be able to identify what it is that the spirit wants us to talk to them about. Of course, the history of our sites do not change, but the way that we can apply doctrine to our visitors will ALWAYS CHANGE dependent on what they are truly needing spiritually at the time. Our teachers explained that it isn't enough to get up there and just hope that something we say will help them, but we need to give life changing tours, where there is a CLIMATE OF CONVERSION. We need to help our visitors to be able to walk away and thinkg, "Wow, I want to change and draw closer to my Savior." I have truly loved everything I have learned this week. Too often I think that people in the church have this idea that missionaries that go to visitors centers, aren't really doing real missionary work, and I know I have thought this sometimes, but these past few days have truly helped me to see a greater vision of my call.

These past few days have also been some of the hardest days have had in a while. I'm not so sure why. I think part of it is because I am now in a room full of 18 sisters and there are just a lot of attitudes and emotions. There are 6 sisters that are coming with me to Independence. 

Well, I love you guys mucho! I am so excited to get to call you on Wednesday! Get ready for it to be quick though maybe :( Dad, I'll try to call you as early as possible. Then I'll call Mama and the kids, and then you Ashyboy! I just want you guys to know that I know that this church is true. I know this because the spirit has born witness to me that it is! I know that God is in the details of our lives! Right down to the day that we enter the MTC! As I have reflected the long wait that I had to be here, if all it was for is so that I could have the district, teachers, and experiences that I have had here at the MTC, I understand why now! I have truly loved this experience and I know that I came right when I was suppose to! Les AMO MUCHO MUCHO MUCHO!
Con Mucho Amor,
                              Hermana Lexi Annmarie


 There's a story behind this picture but I'm sure it won't be that funny to you guys. There are random pics around the MTC and this is one of our absolute favs. If you zoom in you can see that one of the ladies is making this face that my companion and Hermano Harris are making. Oh, and this is my teacher Hermano Harris. He was the best! He seriously made me laugh every day and always lifted our spirits. I have had incredible incredible incredible teachers!

  Ashyboy!!!! Look who I saw! I saw her sitting on a bench and I thought it was her but I wasn't exactly sure because I've only met her like once, but I walked up to her and asked if she went to SUU and then she recognized me! She told me to tell you that she wants a letter! hahahah   Ashlyn's roommate from SUU.

 GOODBYE Elder Martinez! He left for Sacramento this past Monday. It is so weird to have him gone! I sure love our Elders! 

This is our district with Hermano Talitaina. He was our investigator "JOSE". Oh, I love him. He seriously has inspired me to want to have a passion and love for missionary work and life like he has.

My companion and I will soon be going to two very different places on the map.

This is our district at the famous MTC map. You can see all the different places we will be heading to.

Mi y mi companera!

The Group of Sisters I was with during visitor's center training.  Here we are at the Tabernacle on Temple Square, in Salt Lake City.


Valentines in the MTC

Hola Mi FAMILIA!!!!

This week has just flown by! I honestly have no idea what has happened! We have been teaching a lot and just reviewing everything!   I have learned so much from each of the investigators I have taught. Our hardest investigator right now is named Gabriel. He just doesn´t see why he needs God or Christ in his life because his life is already great. It is hard to try and create a desire in investigators when they don´t feel they need it.  My companion and I have talked a lot about how we can do this. I have learned that a desire is created when we teach doctrine according to their needs. We must cator to their spiritual needs! When we just simply teach lessons, our investigators tune out because they cannot clearly see how our message is for them specifically. We need to teach to them and not at them! As easy as that sounds like it should be, it sometimes isn´t. I think this can totally apply to everyone. In our church callings especially. I look back and think about the callings I´ve had and I know that I didn´t necessarily cater lessons to the people that I was teaching or most importantly, veer off my writen lesson plans and trust that the Spirit would lead me to where the lesson needed to go. I have definitely learned so much about the Spirit here. I feel like I may be repeating some of the same things each week! I´m SORRY! I have learned how important it is to prepare, because if we are prepared we shall not fear, but also how important it is to listen to those that you are teaching and follow the Spirit as to what you should say and how you should teach.

 I love the quote that Elder Holland gives in Preach My Gospel. He said, " I promise you that something in what they say will always highlight a truth of the gospel about which you can bear testimony and about which you can offer more... If we listen with love, we won´t need to wonder what to say. It will be given to us - by the Spirit and by our friends." I love this! I have seen this happen already with the "investigators" I have had at the MTC and I know that this is so true. Ashy, learn this early in the mission. The Spirit is the most important thing in this work. We are not the teachers! Of course, I have to learn this lesson over and over again and I continue to learn it. One day we will have a wonderful lesson with an investigator where the Spirit is present and teaching, and then the next, I get too prideful and try to be the teacher and do not listen as much to the Spirit and the investigator. Sorry, this was a long blurb about this, it's just something I've been reflecting a lot about here in the MTC.

The MTC is getting crazy packed! There are way too many people here already! The first four weeks I was here it was okay, but now the lines in the cafeteria are ridiculous and you have to stand in a long line an hour and a half before each devotional just to get a seat! It is wonderful though to see this work really growing! I have seen Trev, Meliss, and Chloe multiple times this week! It's so fun to see them! On Sunday, I was praying that I would get to see them because it had been a few days, and I got to see all of them multiple times throughout the day. Such a tender mercy!

So, how are you guys??? Ashy, thanks for the lovely pictures! It looks like it was a FUN weekend! Gabby Gabby sent me a package last night and I about DIED when I saw the pics of Auby posing on the bed and then the one of her doing the middle splits. I was CRYING laughing! All of my district loved them! They have heard so much about her and all of you so it was fun to show them pics. 

 Just as a warning, my P-day next week is going to be on Friday because I start Vistor Center Training on Wednesday. So, expect an email on Friday next week instead. Also, I know I still have one more email before I get to call you guys and I don't have my flight plans yet so I have no idea when my flight is, but I just want to get an idea of what we want to do. Well, I probably should go! I just want you guys to know how incredibly grateful I am for each of you! I seriously feel so blessed and supported! Know that I am so happy and truly enjoying this experience! I love this work and can't wait to get to Independence! LES AMO!!!
love always:
                      Hermana Lexi Annmarie Jorgensen
p.s. CALLIE, NICK, and GABBY: Thanks so much for the wonderful packages this week! You guys are too good to me! LOVE YOU!

Great Valentines Glasses from my companions package.

All the wonderful Valentine Love sent to me.

Seeing Sister Stewart (Melissa) is such a blessing.