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!


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