Friday, January 10, 2014

Independence 1st Ward :)

December 24,2013

Independence 1st Ward :)

My dearest fam and friends! :)
     I feel like the most loved missionary out here! Seriously! I am so grateful for all of you! I can't even begin to tell you how much your love and support has helped me throughout the mission and especially during this holiday season! You guys are the best!

     Alright, so the biggest news of the week! Drum roll please..... I got transferred! It has been such a bitter sweet week! I love Liberty so much and I already miss the jail and the people, but I knew it was my time. The transfer before last, I prayed that I could stay just one more and Heavenly Father let me and I feel so blessed. I felt at peace at transfers this time because I knew my time there was complete. My last night there was incredible! We ate dinner at the MacDonalds with the Burchs and then afterward had a testimony meeting, which pretty much ended up having all of us in tears. Man, do I love them to pieces! Both John and Lisa bore their testimonies and it was incredible! The spirit was so strong! John talked about how he hopes he is changing and Lisa told an amazing story about their decision to move here. She said that when they first joined the church, she told John that they would move to Zion when the Lord called them there. Years and years past and they felt that they were suppose to move here so they did. She talked about how the reason the Lord had called them here at this time was to meet us and to get back into the church. How cool is that! They are so going to the temple in the next few months and this girl is going to be there with them! :D

     So, my new home is Independence! I'm serving in Zion! :) I'm in the Independence 1st ward and also serving at the Visitor Center. I already absolutely love my ward! They are the sweetest! Over half are from Samoa and Tonga! :) Random, huh! I remember being in the MTC and someone told me that there were a ton of Polynesians in Independence and I thought it was the most random thing and now I'm serving in a primarily dominated Polynesian ward! Never ever did I think my mission would consist of an English, Spanish, and then Polynesian ward! I feel truly blessed! There is such a special feeling here in Independence. Yes, there are a ton of crazies, but you can feel of the sacrifice that the earlier saints made to establish Zion. I cannot wait for you guys to come!

     This is so random, but there's a lady in my new ward that reminds me so much of Jody Jeppsen and it makes me miss her so much! She comes out with us all the time so I feel like I'm with Jody a lot! It's the best! Also, an Elder gave his homecoming talk in our ward this weekend and guess where he served?! Las Vegas! He said he served in the Eldorado Valley Stake, so we got to talking and it turns out he taught The Macayos ! How crazy is that?!

     Well, I don't really get very much time emailing today because the library is closed so we had to come to the Visitor Center and we only get an hour here. I am super excited though to get to skype tomorrow! :) Best Christmas present ever! I love you guys all so much! Merry Merry Christmas!

love always,
              Hermana Jorgensen

1. My new comp. Sister Heylen (my first comp that's taller than me!), Valerie (our crazy funny investigator who's getting baptized in January!), and our sweet member Sister Faletau (who reminds me of Jody!).

I think my days at the jail are numbered...

December 17,2013

My dearest fam and friends,
     My goodness is time just flying by! I cannot believe it's almost Christmas time! You know what that means.... skyping!!! :) I am so so so excited! I really felt like Christmas was last night because we had a little party at the jail, had a little gift exchange, and got letters and packages from home. I had 4 packages and so many fun Christmas cards! It was the best! Don't worry mom, I didn't open the presents, just the box!
     Oh, I love Christmas on the mission! On Wednesday we had an all mission conference/ Christmas program and it was so great. I got to see Sister Rackham!!! :) I just love her! We haven't seen each other for about 2 months which is a really long time considering we spent every second of everyday together! She is just a bundle of joy! I have truly been blessed with incredible companions! Not to say every companionship has been a walk in the park, but I do love them all.


- Let's see, we had a miracle on chat this week. First off, I got to talk to someone from Rwanda which was so fun since it's right next to Uganda! Then, right after that chat, someone got on from Peru and I got to use some of my Spanish! My companion doesn't know any Spanish so it was all me. Let me tell you, my Spanish is probably about where it was at when I left the MTC so it was a little bit of a struggle, but  I was surprised at how much I could understand and remember. Thank goodness for the spirit! We were able to send missionaries and a Book of Mormon to him and he gave me his email so I'm going to email him this week and follow up. Chatting is the coolest! It has truly strengthened my testimony that the Lord is preparing the hearts of His people everywhere.

- Lesson learned this week.... don't invite an 8 and 10 year old to be the fellowships for the Law of Chastity lesson! haha So, we taught Lhaylla the Law of Chastity this week. We were trying to get a girl in her Laurels class to come but she had to work so we texted one of the Gale boys (the family she lives with) to see if he could be there. He texted us back saying he had a hot date that night but we didn't get that until right before the lesson. Long story short, we didn't really have anyone to be there with us. We decided we were just going to do it without a fellowship, but when we got there, the two younger kids were so excited and wanted to be a part of the lesson. Brindi (she's 10) has loved being a part of all the lessons! So, we decided to just start teaching. I won't go into detail about all that happen, but just know it was hilarious! As they were driving us home that night, Lhaylla started singing a song, but then stopped herself and said, "Babylon!". We just looked at her and started busting up laughing! She had heard us say it previously I guess (we say it whenever a missionary starts singing a song from our previous life:) ). I think it was just one of those moments where you had to be there!

- Lastly, a little update about the Burchs! They came to all 3 hours again and said they are ready to meet with the Bishop. This is huge! :) We also talked to John about receiving the Melchizedek priesthood and he said, " I'm not ready yet, but I'm getting there.". Oh my word, YAY! A few months ago, he would just roll his eyes or tried to change the conversations. We also talked about a temple date for them to set as a goal to go do baptisms. They are thinking either Febuary 7th (that's when Lisa's brother died who they want do work for) or on March 7th (Lisa's birthday). Can you believe it?! They'll be going to the temple! :)

     So, I'm pretty sure my time here in Liberty is coming to an end. Transfers are in two days and we find out tonight what is happening. I've been here for 4 transfers and that's typically the longest missionaries ever get to serve at the jail. I've definitely had mixed emotions but I'm excited for wherever and whatever Heavenly Father wants me to go/do next. I have thought a lot about the lessons I have learned here and my heart is so full of gratitude for the sacred time I have had to serve in the Liberty Jail and in the Liberty 1st ward. I love this place and these people so much and I know it has been such a privilege to serve here. I could name a bajillion things I have learned while I've been here, but I just want to focus on one, and that is that Jesus is the Christ. Day after day, I have been able to testify of Him and His infinite atonement and every time I have, the spirit rushes in to confirm to me that He lives. I know that because He lives, His spirit has the ability to soften our hearts and change us and that through the enabling power of His atonement we can become more than we ever could by ourselves. I have seen that in myself and those I have had the privilege to serve here. I love this gospel and know that it is real. That it is the only thing that will bring us true happiness in this life.
I love you all so very much!

love always,
        Hermana Jorgensen

1. Our Jail Christmas party!  (Senior couples and sisters who serve at the Liberty Jail)

2. Having FHE with Lhaylla and the Gales :) love them!

1. They brought me a banana cream pie as a goodbye present :)

2. Mom, Dad, and Ashy.... Remeber her?! This is the Sillitoes cousin and their family was good friends with the Laskos!

I love Christmas time

December 9, 2013

My dearest fam and friends,

Oh how I love Christmas time! I love the lights, the traditions, the music (that we actually get to listen too!), and of all things, I love the ward Christmas party. I have never loved it as much as I loved it this year. It's like the thing you most look forward to as a missionary because ward events are pretty much a missionary's playground :) I've also been listening to the Forgotten Carols!!! And for those that know me well, you know how much I love them! You guys are probably sighing of relief right now, glad that I'm not there forcing the whole fam to go to it every single year! haha Oh good times! 
Anyway, let's talk about this week!

- First off, Mercedes is doing better! It was a complete miracle! I put her name in at the temple on Thursday and later that day we decided to call her and she actually answered! That alone was a miracle, but then she let us come over. We got to catch up on all that has been going on and she has been going through a lot of things with her job, her boyfriend (who is not her boyfriend anymore. Hallelujah!), and having money for bills. She mentioned that she feels like everything has been falling apart because she isn't putting God first. I was just thinking in my head, "EXACTLY"! She came to the ward Christmas party on Saturday and to church! She's also going to be singing at a baptism this Saturday so that will be great! All in all, I think she'll pull through! Keep praying for her though.

- Our ward Christmas party was on Saturday and we had an awesome turnout! Mercedes, the Burchs, the Klunders, Lhaylla, Gale Spotts (who I'll talk about after this), and one of the Elder's investigators, Steven, who is getting baptized this Saturday all came! Oh it was such a happy day to see them all there, especially Gale. I don't know if I've told you much about Gale, but she's the one who has a daughter named Ashlyn Danielle. Don't know if that's ringing a bell. We have been teaching her off and on ever since I've been here but she's just really busy because she's a single mom and a paraplegic. She's really good friends with a member in our ward and that's how we met here. Anyway, we were driving by her house last Wednesday and I just felt like we should stop in and we did and then invited her and her kids to the party and they came!

- Then, the next day at church we had such an incredible turnout as well! Mercedes, the Klunders, Lhaylla, Betty (I don't know if I've told you much about Betty, but she got baptized right before I got here but has only been able to come to church 3 times because of her job. We visit her almost every week. She's the best! She actually grew up in Uganda too!), and the Burchs came for all three hours! You have no idea how big of a deal this was! This is like their eighth time coming, but they've never stayed for all three hours. A few times they've stayed for two hours, but it made John kind of nervous to split off for the third hour. They did it though and loved it! The second hour in gospel principles we talked about tithing. I was a little nervous when I saw that written on the board because that is kind of a sensitive topic for John but it went really well. The spirit was strong and our bishop even came in and talked about it and said, "Don't worry about the years you've missed, start today". He said this to the whole class, but I know he was specifically talking to them. We talked about it afterward and they said that really comforted them. Can I just tell you, I'm so grateful for the spirit. Without the spirit, we cannot teach. I know it is only because of the spirit that Lisa and John have come this far.

I know that it is only through our Savior and applying His gospel in our lives that we can change. I love President Packer's quote, "The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." I know that this is real because I have seen time and time again on the mission, with myself and with those I have had the privilege to teach. The gospel can truly make bad men good, good men better, and better men best. I love the gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives and that this is His church.

all my love,

              Hermana Jorgensen

We had a great Thanksgiving

December 2, 2013

My dearest fam and friends!
     It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! :) Actually, not really here yet. Thank goodness! We all know how much I love the cold and snow. I think it would be perfect if the snow would like to come Christmas Eve. Hopefully! The past few days the weather has been beautiful but people keep telling us there's going to be a storm and snow this week. Everyone has their trees and Christmas decorations up though and I can honestly say that between that and Thanksgiving I have been a teeny bit homesick which is so weird because I've really been fine the whole mission with it. I do fine when I don't think about what you guys might be doing or all of our traditions. There's always next year though and I know it's a blessings to be out serving the Lord at this time of year.

     Let's see, some of the highlights of the week......
- We had 3 Thanksgiving dinners! That's never happened before!  We went to the Gales and they had two other families in our ward over. It seriously felt like when our family gets together with some of the wonderful families in our ward and I loved it. Lhaylla was there. We found out some bad news. Her program won't allow her to get baptized here so she'll have to wait until she gets back to Brazil in May or June. :( We are still going to teach her once a week for now so that she can continue to learn and progress so she'll be so ready when she gets back to Brazil. We should make a trip of it! It's just too perfect, I get home then, and the world cup is there during the summer right? We have plenty of time to discuss it! :)

- We finally got to see Sabrina and her kids and we got to teach them the entire first lesson about the Restoration! We have an appointment with them this Saturday and are very excited!

- On a little happy note, we went over to the Burchs twice this week and got to share messages to the whole family. Lauren (their son's friend) told us that after she went to church, she came home and cried because she hadn't been to church in years and it felt so good. It has been so neat to see the Lord work in their lives. It was so perfect for their kids to come down because we got to teach them and Lisa bore her powerful testimony to them. I know this was all part of God's plan for them to help them progress. We also taught them the Word of Wisdom last week and Lisa and John and doing good with everything but coffee. Oh, how love them! I have never loved anybody so much on the mission. They are so special to me. I know I will be a complete cry baby when one day I get to see them be sealed in the temple. It's incredible how much you can love people!
- Yesterday was the 175th anniversary of when Joseph and the other men entered the Liberty Jail and I got to be there! :)
     Well, I love you all so much! I'm glad Thanksgiving was wonderful! As we begin this Christmas Season, let us remember the real meaning of Christmas. I will forever ever be grateful for my Savior, who came into the world to fulfill the will of His father. May we all do the same!
Love Always,
          Hermana Alexis Jorgensen