Hermana Jones

Hermana Jones

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Semana Dos!


Okay. I am so sorry. Normally we have P day on Tuesdays but I found out last week that our P day would be on Thursday this week (today) because guess why? We went into the city to Migration to take care of more visa stuff! It was very cool to drive around the city. We left at 7:30 in the morning and got to the migration office around 9:30, I think due to traffic. It was great to be out of the CCM. The city is so huge! Once we got into the more reformed rich area there was a different feel but you go down two more blocks and it´s back to really poor rough areas and graffiti everywhere. It made for a fun trip though. On the way back, the bus-driver took the more scenic route so we could see things like the Palacio de Bella Artes. It was fun!

I am still healthy and well! Hermana Guerlain got sick this week so we took turns going on "splits" (being with another companion) while she stayed home. I am washing my hands as vigorously as ever to stay healthy; that has been one of the hugest blessings while being here. I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for me. The bugs still really like me though, especially the spiders. I have some gnarly spider bites on my legs and ankles but thankfully they haven´t made my soft face into a pillow yet (that one is for you Dad wink wink) haha. Anywho, by the way, HAPPY FATHER´S DAY DAD! Thank you so much for your encouraging emails and advice. I truly appreciate it. I am feeling a lot of growth and am working a lot on patience.

This week we began teaching two new investigators -- Gabriel and Estefania. It is so interesting just how much one investigator varies from the next. That, along with an amazing devotional from Elder Holland that we watched on Tuesday, have taught me how any gospel lesson or principle can be adapted and applied to anyone. We have learned a lot about how to begin teaching this week and really getting to know someone. It is fun to just talk to people...well, it´s fun to listen to my companion talk to people. I throw in a scripture and testimony and a really long drawn out patched up sentence in Spanish every few minutes. I am really trying but it is difficult. Oftentimes I leave a lesson feeling a bit discouraged because it is just so hard to teach. I really enjoy it though and it will get better as I keep working! Yesterday we had 7 minutes to prepare a 20 minute lesson by ourselves for a guy who was driving under the influence and killed three people in an accident (we watched a video about the investigator and then prepared the lesson). Then we taught it to another missionary in our district. It was a neat experience. I surprised myself at how much Spanish I actually do know. I didn´t have to read directly from “Preach My Gospel” or a script or anything. In preparation, I just read over "Our Life Here on Earth" and "The Atonement", found a few scriptures, and went for it. The lesson went really well. Yesterday we also had our first experience teaching real people, not just a CCM teacher pretending to be an investigator. This is called TRC and it is completely random as to whether we will teach a member, a convert, or a real “investigator” (a person who is interested in learning about the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). It was amazing. Hermana Clark and I first taught an older woman and her two grandchildren, ages 5 and 8. THEY WERE SO ADORABLE. The little girl told us about how she had been baptized in March and she recited the first “Article of Faith” for us. Then we taught a young man who just got back from his mission in Spain 3 months ago. I realized just how much I love the people here already.

As for my daily life, on a typical P day we wake up, study, eat breakfast, study, do laundry, clean our room, eat lunch, play sand volleyball for forever, write emails, study, eat dinner, study, and go to Tuesday night devotional. P days are so nice. On a typical day the rest of the week (excluding Sundays which are full of lessons and classes and devotionals and the random chance that you will have to give a talk in sacrament meeting), we wake up at 6:30 and get ready, study from 7 :00 to 7:30, eat breakfast, study from 8:00 to 9:00, have class with Hermano Hurtado until 11ish when we teach our morning investigator, plan and study from 12:00 to 12:30, eat lunch, have gym time from 1:30 to 2:30 during which we play sand volleyball (SO MUCH FUN), get ready, have class at 3:00 with Hermana Perez until 4:30ish when we teach our afternoon investigator, study some more until 6:00 when we eat dinner, go to TALL (a computer language program created by BYU), from 6:45 to 7:45 language study from 8:00 to 9:00, daily planning from 9:00 to 9:15, and then we call it a day and get to bed by 10:30. Tuesday nights we have a devotional instead of TALL and language study which makes Tuesday the best day to have P day. Some days are long and others fly by. Honestly I am grateful to always be busy and have something to do. It´s just good clean fun and work all the time :)

Thank you so much for all of the updates from home! I love reading about what you are all up to and have some good laughs from the stories :) It sounds like it has been a great week welcoming Colby back from his mission and sending off three of the best missionaries out there, Elder Gunnell, Sister Hatch and Sister Anderson. I was thinking about them all day yesterday. I am so excited for them and their families! It sounds like Camp Helaman was a great experience and Girls Camp will be a blast as always! I miss it so much! Mom, you are the best camp leader there ever was :) Have so much fun this week. Thank you all so much for the Krispy Kremes! You don´t know how happy that made me. I actually went into a sugar coma last night and woke up at midnight with a stomach ache because I had eaten 5 that afternoon and evening. Oops. Everyone around me appreciated them as well. Krispy Kreme deliveries are a common occurrence here actually. What is not so common is getting 2 dozen of them! Thank you so much, I love you guys :)

I may not have time to send pics today but I will for sure this coming Tuesday. Have a great week everyone! 

Love, Hermana Jones (sometimes pronounced “Ho-ness” by people here. I love it!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I love it here at the CCM!

June 16, 2015

Hello family and friends! 

It was so wonderful to open up my inbox and see so many emails from the people I love. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. I know that they are helping me. I won't be able to individually answer everyone´s emails right now but as I get faster I will do better, I promise. Much of my time is taken enjoying the notes from all of you.

Okay! So basically I love it here at the CCM (pronounced say say em-may in Spanish, and is short for Centro De Capacitacion Misional Mexico) which is the Missionary Training Center. Pictures cannot do this place justice. It is BEAUTIFUL. There are so many palm trees and regular trees and spongy green grass and pretty flowers and birds chirping all the time and I love it. The first morning there I woke up to the sound of tons of birds singing. One sound I don´t particularly love is the sirens. I hear police and ambulance sirens out in the city at least 5 times a day but we are safe and sound here inside the gates of the CCM.

The food is so good. I am eating a lot of Mexican food and Mexican versions of American food, such as hamburgers. Es muy delicioso! The water here is totally safe to drink so that has not been a problem. I am quickly learning that bug spray is my new perfume. For some reason the mosquitoes really love me and no one else, so that has been fun...good clean fun.

I love the wonderful Hermanas (Spanish for Sisters, which is what the women missionaries are called) in my district who I live with! Not going to lie, I was really sad at first because the other four Hermanas and the two Elders who reported with me, who are going to my mission, are all in a district together and I am the odd man out.  But, I absolutely love my district so it is okay :) I also know that there is purpose in this and that it is important to adapt to any situation...that's just the way I like it. My companion Hermana Clark is a violin performance major and economics minor at the U of U, knows a ton of Spanish and is awesome. Hermana Royce is so sweet and nice and takes care of all of us. Fun fact, Hermana Guerlain is a 3 or 4 time all state rugby champ. She is sssssoooo funny and basically says whatever is on her mind. Our Elders are great! My companion, and the two other Hermanas from my district and I share a room together. Saturday night into Sunday Hermana Royce and my companion both got super sick but Hermana Guerlain and I remained healthy. We are all healthy and well now.

Haha, as it happens I became a granola chick faster than my mother probably thought I would. The first morning (Thursday) my closet, with all of my stuff in it, was jammed and none of us could get it open. All I had available to me were my glasses, name-tag, and the night clothes that I slept in. Thankfully my companion, Hermana Clark and I, are the same size so everything I wore on Thursday were hers. I could not brush my teeth or hair, wear deodorant, wash my face, put on makeup, or anything. I looked and smelled super cute...I am sure. Thankfully that night we got it fixed so I have been able to look like a decent human being. Also, I no longer use body lotion since it only makes me sticky and the wet air here takes care of miniaturization. 

There is so much more I wish I could write! There is so much to say and literally no time to write it all. Basically, I love it here and overall am doing really well. The Spanish is coming. Matt, congrats on your driver´s license! I knew you could do it :) And Jackson, thank you for the email! When I read that the Blackhawks won I cheered aloud and said YYYAAAAYYYYYY the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup! An Elder (what we call the young men missionaries) in the computer room sounded disgusted and said "ugh, don't say that." It was funny. Big shout out to my friends and family in Chi-town, my hometown. Thank you for all of the updates on how people are doing and what is going on. Also, thank you for taking care of my Face Book and blog for me! I wish I had time to send more pictures but trust me I have quite a few to send you over the next few weeks.

Hermana Clark and I have taught a man named Jesús three times already. I was nervous the first time but it gets better and easier each time. I love teaching and look forward to the lessons! I already love the people as well. Everyone is so friendly, happy and funny and willing to put up with Americans who can´t say very much haha :) Real quick, a "generation" is all the people who arrived at the CCM that day. There were 27 sisters and 19 Elders who came on I think three different flights last Wednesday with me. I have seen more people from school so that is fun :) 

Okay, I have to go now but I love you all so much and pray for you every day. Thank you for your love and support. Until next week!

Love, Hermana Jones :)

View from my bus on the way to northern Mexico City to the CCM

Me, near the front entrance to the CCM

My District...left to right, me, my companion Hermana Clark, Hermana Royce, Hermana Geurlain, Elder Helvey, Elder Malvey

The Hermanas going to my mission!

My dorm

The comador where I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner each day

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Adios, Estados Unidos, hola Mexico!

June 10, 2015

Hello Family! I made it safely and am here in Mexico City! Everything went so smoothly and no issues with customs. Tender mercies. Two people from my ward at BYU were on my flight! The three of us are in the same ¨generation¨. My companion is Hermana Clark and she is going to Tampico. Anyway, I need to go for now (sorry so short) but love you all! Also my P day is Tuesday (Martes) and I look forward to writing more then. 

Love, Hermana Jones

Airport departure early June 10, 2015.  Bitter/sweet, but mostly sweet.

 Webcam pic from downtown Mexico City on the afternoon of arrival (screen shot credit, Dad).