Around 9:30 this morning the 15 of us were gathered in Reception and in walked Presidente and Sister Stutznegger! I immediately had the best feeling and felt so full of joy and excitement when I saw them for the first time. I can´t say enough good things about them. They are so full of life and energy and goodness. Elder Smith, one of the Assistants to the President, came as well. We took a bunch of pictures (I don´t know if I will be able to send those to you this week, lo siento) pero I have a bunch to show you of all of us! After pics, the 18 of us piled into a van with our luggage in another van and drove maybe half an hour to the mission office. I have met the Hermana trainers (lady missionaries who work with the mission president to help train other lady missionaries), secretaries, and other leaders. It feels so good to be in MY mission now. I love it!
We have gone over a lot of the paperwork stuff like rent and money and things like that, as well as standards of excellence for the mission. This is a hard working mission -- I can tell already. A lot is expected of us but nothing more than what the Lord expects of us. I had a great interview with President Stutznegger. I could talk to him all day. Apparently I have been the most quoted missionary around here the last few weeks because a few weeks ago when we went to the immigration office in Mexico City, I am credited for calling the nice part of the city "sketchy" (I honestly don’t remember feeling that way and did not intend to diss this amazing city!). I guess that was quite amusing for every one who has been in the mission for awhile :)
Typically, all of us new missionaries would stay at the mission home tonight and be there for the huge exchange meeting tomorrow at one of the Church buildings where we would meet our new companions. But, it sounds like there are youth events going on there and the Church building will not be available. So, to avoid having to travel to another building that is out of the safe areas where Hermanas can go, or something like that, tonight I will be in my very first apartment with my new companion. We are just hopping right to it! I feel a little bit nervous but honestly it is time to just get this thing rolling and I´ll worry about being nervous when I have something specific to be nervous about. Right now it´s mostly just the unknown and overwhelming nature of the whole thing. Overall, I feel so happy to be here. It just feels good and right. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and is mindful of me.
There are 17 Hermanas in the mission total right now and that will be it for awhile (there would have been 18 but one sister went home last week for medical reasons). Basically this means that after my 12 weeks of training are over, I could possibly be a trainer for new Hermanas who come. My trainer will most likely have just finished her training, entonces we are in this together! It´s exciting! One thing I learned during my time at the CCM is that they throw you in the deep end but you always have floaties to swim so you don´t drown. I taught my first lesson ever after just a day and a half, but it was fine. Nothing traumatic or terrible happened and I am better for it. I never held a conversation in Spanish with anyone before 6 weeks ago and now I can...somewhat...talk with Latinos haha. We get put to work but they don´t ask us to do anything that we can´t handle. Through these types of experiences we grow. That will be the case with tonight and tomorrow and that is just fine with me. There is nothing else I would rather be doing right now.
The Holy Ghost is so vital every moment of the day. This last week my companion (she´s all the way in Tampico now!) and I had a lesson planned for our investigator. As soon as we got there we knew that the lesson we planned wasn´t what we would be teaching her. She was going through something really difficult and all she needed right then was comfort and direction, not a the lesson we prepared. Earlier that day I read Mosiah 7:33, in the Book of Mormon, and absolutely loved it. During the lesson when Estefania asked us what she should be doing right now to press forward through this difficult time, this verse came to mind through the guidance of the Spirit. I asked her to read it. When she did, tears welled up in both of our eyes and I told her that if she fully turned to the Lord, He would deliver her. The Gospel is true and it heals and helps every person who receives it through the Spirit. I am excited to begin that tomorrow in my very own area.
I love you and pray for you.
Love, Hermana Jones
Oh! Quick fun note. Hermana Villalobos in my mission is from Honduras. She knows the Bowlers and absolutely loves them! (The Bowlers are from my home area and are serving as Mission President in one of the missions there) When I send you pictures I will point her out...small world :) For now, please post the pictures taken by Sister Stutznegger. Ok love you bye!
The Hermanas going to my mission from the CCM.
(Photo cred of these pics to Sister Stutznegger)
All of the Elders and Hermanas going to my mission from the CCM.
Ride from the CCM to mission office..
Receiving important information, like rent and money etc. as well as mission standards.
Web-cam pic looking out to the eastern/southeastern side of Mexico City in late afternoon today (Gracias dad).