Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting to use my Spanish, hopefully

August 13, 2013

     Can I just start off by saying, Ashy, your emails are the BEST! As missionaries you seriously find yourself in the awkwardest of moments on a daily basis! haha But I am sure that by the time you get home, you will be pro at speaking espanol and you will definitely have to teach me! Mom and Dad, I'm so glad you are home safe and sound and that you loved it!
     So, this week started off pretty slow but towards the end of the week it began to pick up and we were so excited! We actually had a mini missionary with us on Saturday. Have you guys ever heard of this before? I had no idea they actually did this, but it's awesome! So when you're between the ages of 16-18 you can go on "mini missions" with local missionaries for a weekend. How cool is that! So she came with us and we actually did splits. So I went with the mini missionary and Sister Rackham went with a member in our ward. We did this for two hours, and in those two hours we taught 10 lessons! It was wonderful! We found two new investigators that day too! And one of them speaks Spanish! YAY!
     So, yesterday we went back to our return appointment with Adrian (the new investigator who speaks Spanish) and we had a member with us (Hermana Manzano, who is just incredible) so we were so excited. Everything seemed too good to be true, and then he didn't answer the door! We knocked like five times, called him, slowly walked down the stairs of his apartment complex all bummed, and then decided to peek at some names on the mailboxes to find more people that had Spanish last names. As we were doing this, a lady walked down the stairs. We started talking to her and found out halfway through the conversation that she is actually in our ward. I guess she's been less active for years but most of her family lives in Independence and they are very active. Apparently her records were just transferred last week. Can you say miracle! Things like this do not happen by mere coincidence! I've had too many of these experiences throughout my mission, that I know God's hand is in this work. This is His work, not ours! And the more that sinks in, the more I feel completely comforted to know that we cannot fail, we will not fail, because as long as we give it our all, He is right there with us. Anyway, we ended up getting her number and she wants us to come back later on this week. And, she is living with her boyfriend who speaks Spanish and it turns out that all the apartments we were looking at that had Spanish names are part of his family! YAY! We may have an in! :)
     Another incredible thing that happened this week..... So, one of the simple, yet recent converts in our ward, Shannon, bore his testimony on Sunday in our gospel principles class. It was so powerful. He talked about how he knows the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Seriously, was one of the moments of the mission, when you are just smiling from ear to ear. That moment alone, makes all those hard hard days so worth it!
     Well, sorry I don't have anything hilarious to share this week, but I think Ashy took care of that for us! I sure do love you guys so much! I look forward to the day when we all get to be together again! But, until then, we've got to hit the ground running , "wear[ing] out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness". Yes, that's from a verse that was revealed in the Liberty Jail (D&C 123: 13). I feel beyond blessed to still be serving here! LOVE YOU MUCHO! XOXOXO

1. Me, Sis. Rackham, and Elder Stevenson in front of Alexander Doniphan's monument.
2. Me and my cute, little companera :)

1. How cool is this little airplane! I think they told me it was called a gyro plane? Does that sound right dad? Anyway, the story behind this picture is.... I took this guy and his son on a tour through the jail and they told me they were just coming from the EAA! Can you believe it! They told me they had one of their little planes outside and so I asked if I could go see it. I thought of Pressy and Dad the whole time! Did you guys miss EAA this year? I'm assuming so.
2. Me and the plane. It kinda looks like a helicopter but I guess it takes off like an airplane. Weird huh!

1. So, last P-day we went with one of the senior couples to Richmond. It was so fun! We got to see Oliver Cowdery's grave!
2. How cool are these old headstones! Dad, I thought about you the whole time and about how much you would love this. Old Cemeteries are your thing!

Lessons learned while in jail

August 6, 2013

HELLO!!!!  So, on Saturday, we have our full pros. day (meaning we don't have a shift at the jail). Sister Rackham and I spent a lot of the day contacting potentials (those that have had missionary contact in the past but haven't taken the lessons). We went to this one lady's house and her son answered the door and told us she wasn't home. We began to share with him that we have a message about the restoration and fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before we could even finish the sentence, he said, "wait, let me go get my Bible!". So he ran in the house all excited and then came out all ready to hear our message! We taught him the entire lesson and he was beyond excited. We asked him what it would mean to him if we had a living prophet today. He said, "It would mean everything!" Like seriously, this kid is so prepared! The entire lesson was like this. We handed him a Book of Mormon and we read the introduction and some verses in it and he asked us how he could get one of these :) So, we invited him to church the next day and sad part of the story, he didn't actually come. But, were not going to dwell on that part. Although I do feel like this has been a common theme throughout my entire mission thus far. We are blessed with incredible miracles, right in the moment we need them, and then sometimes that's as far as it goes. But, we aren't giving up on this guy and are hopefully going to be able to see him in the next few days. It's so sad sometimes though. Some people are so so so prepared and then family members or friends get in the way.
     Another great part of the week happened yesterday. A family came to the jail (there were like 15 of them.....grandparents, kids, etc.) and I had the most incredible experience with them that I have yet experienced since I've been there. If there's something I've learned as I've been here, it's that each group that walks in brings a certain spirit with them, and depending on what they bring, most of the time directly effects what kind of an experience they will have. I mean, we can't force people to have spiritually converting experiences if that's not what they want. But, this family came with the most incredible spirit! It took me over an hour to take them all the way through (which it typically takes about 35 mins). The spirit was just so powerful the entire tour and we were all in tears for most of it. My testimony truly grew leaps and bounds just from that one presentation alone. And they were so sweet, at the end she wanted to take a picture of me and send a text to you guys! So look for it when you get back in like a week:)
     Over the past week, as I've given presentations, I've thought a lot about the why behind their experiences here at the Liberty Jail. Why did this have to happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the righteous suffer? I've thought a lot about the prophet Joseph, and I've come to a few conclusions. Joseph knew God and the Savior, they appeared to him at the young age of 14, but I believe it was here at the jail, where he came to know his Savior in such a deeper way. It reminds me Mom of when we've talked about having Aubsy in our home and how people have asked you if you could, would you take her disability away. And how you've always said no, because you would fear that your relationship with the Savior wouldn't be the same.  I know that it is through our own trails and sufferings that we can grow closer and become more firmly attached to our Savior. There's a line in Preach My Gospel that says, "All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.".  This line has never been more clear to me then now. I know with all my heart that Jesus is the Christ. That He has truly descended below it all, as it says in the revelation that was received while Joseph was in the jail. I know that He lives and guides His church today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How blessed are we!
     I sure do love you guys! Bubba, have a wonderful Birthday! I'll be thinkin about ya! And Kaleb and the Baileys tomorrow at the MTC! I'll definitely be praying for you guys! LOVE YOU! XOXOX
Love Always:
        Hermana Jorgensen

            Look who was sitting behind me in church:) I walked in and we both gasped! It was so much fun to get to see her and we talked all about BC! Such a tender mercy!
Elizabeth Dunn from our neighborhood.


July 30 2013

    Hello My Beautiful Familia! I have felt beyond loved this week! Seriously, three packages and so many letters all in one week! I have the greatest family and friends! Thank you Mama y Padre for the lovely package! I especially loved the doterra bug spray! haha I'll give that a try. Although, the bugs have been pretty alright lately. And, please tell Tiff she's the sweetest and thank you! Also, Grandma and Grandpa Robinson, you're the best! My companion and I are in heaven with all the treats!
     Let's see, this week has been a little slow and discouraging. People have this thing, it's called agency, and it can be so frustrating! The new area I came into, just had 3 baptisms this last transfer, so now were back to the finding stage, which I feel like I've been in this stage for the past 3 months of my mission. We are just trying to get those we find to begin progressing. Dylan and Porche (the two that I talked about last week), fell off the planet. We've been trying to call and text them, but they won't respond. It's just sad, because we've had such powerful lessons with them and they have been so prepared, and then Satan just comes in and messes it all up. We are not giving up on them, but for now, we need to keep searching for others. It's so weird because when I was full proselyting, we were out in our area from 1-9, and now typically we get about 3 hours in our area each day if we are lucky. So, I'm just still trying to get use to it.
     Sunday, we hit a low and were just feeling down. We prayed specifically before we went out that night, that we could find someone that was prepared, and we ran into a guy named Lorenzo Abby. He told us he actually had just gone to see the Kansas City Temple like last week and that he goes often because he just loves it. He's been to Utah and been to church with some of his friends. WHAT! This guy is so prepared. He told us that he is  looking for a church where he just feels it. Well buddy, here it is! We are hopefully meeting with him tonight. Moral of the story, Heavenly Father answers prayers. He is so aware of our situations and desires.
     Last night, we felt like we needed to go see a family that was on our ward list, that nobody really knew much about. We got there and they were just the warmest people I have ever met on my mission. Guess what, they are from Wisconsin! All these people I keep meeting from Wisconsin! It's so great! So we talked all about Wisconsin (remember that mi companera is also from there!). They have the same Packer cups that we have! They even brought up all these pictures they have signed by the my favorite, Brett Favre and Donald Driver. When I saw Donald's picture, I couldn't help but think of Grandma Jorgensen :) It was just so neat to connect with them at such a personal level. I guess they moved here about a year and a half ago and they haven't had any contact with the ward. They have been to the temple open house and all the historical sites, so I don't think they are like against the church. So, we are going to help them get back! We invited them to come this Sunday, so let's cross our fingers!
     As for the jail this week, I witnessed one of the sweetest things in my entire life yesterday. I took through an older man and his family. Immediately, as he walked in the room where the jail is, he began to cry. Actually, it was more like sob and he did so for the entire 20 plus minutes that we were in there. He was so touched by the powerful spirit that was there. It is just incredible to get to watch the spirit touch people as they go through this wonderful historic site. Another quick jail story, so I was downstairs eating lunch, when I got a call asking me if I would come up and give a tour because they had an unexpected bus tour come in from Mexico. WHAT IN THE WORLD! There were 50 of them! I had never given a tour that big yet, let alone in Spanish. I wanted to just crawl up in a corner and die! Luckily though, they had a translator, so it worked out wonderfully. He translated all the history, and then I'd just bare my testimony in Spanish. It was such a neat experience! Never did I think I'd get to share my testimony to 50 people from Mexico, in the jail. That night, I told my companion, "I guess it takes 50 people from Mexico, to come in and remind me that I'm a Spanish sister and that I need to keep studying it." Seriously, a sign from God because I hadn't studied Spanish in like 2 weeks and I could tell such a huge difference. Since that tour, I've tried to study it a little, but it's just hard because we have no scheduled time for it right now because it's summer and the jail is so darn busy.

     Well, I feel like this email has been kind of long and I'm beginning to start rambling! haha I just want you guys to know that I love you beyond words, that I have a testimony of this gospel, and that I know that Jesus is the Christ, HE LIVES, and this is His church. We are blessed beyond measure! Count your blessings and have fun in Europe you lucky ducks! LES AMO! XOXOXO

   Sister Rackham and I looking beautiful at the end of a yucky humid day, picking up a dead toad for one of our soon to be investigators (she just doesn't know it yet;) ) We stopped by to chat, and they talked about how there was this dead toad just stuck to their driveway. The words, "I can pick it up for you", came out of my mouth before I could really even process what I was about to do. Oh, the things we do for the people we love. I love this lady! Haven't really told you much about her, but she's really good friends with a lot of our members. She has two girls, Ashlyn Danielle (yes I'm dead serious, how cool is this!) and Emma. They are the sweetest!