Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week 2!

We have been better at waiting for Julia's emails this week.  Anthony came over and we are sending her a package.  We sent her lots of goodies and little notes. Hopefully she gets it soon because she may be leaving a week early on the 17th of September.

To best understand her letter, I am going to post what we wrote to her:

I know I wrote once already but I thought I would fill you in on the week. Emily cut her hair REALLY short. I will try to attach a pic. She looks so cute and its easy for her to maintain. Kids are doing well in school and that includes Celeste. She is loving her classes.  My classes start on Thursday. So excited to get things started. Noelle got to bring home a cello, but she doesn't have a bow. :( She says they were out but he will give her one shortly. Mia made 4th chair and she is excited. She also loves her journalism class. (Of course).  Love you tons. Take care and know that we pray for you everyday, many times, and know you will learn the language. That or you will soon be getting a package of tongues very soon (Kids pray you will have a gift of tongues; makes me giggle).
Tons of love,

And this is her letter back:

I SURE HOPE I DON'T GET A BOX OF TONGUES!! That would be gross! Also, apparently mail takes about 3 weeks to reach the MTC because of the mail system in Mexico, so they might take a while to get here.
I'm so glad everyone is doing so well, and I TOTALLY want to see a picture of Emily's hair! (Ok, Mom, let's be honest... did she get a piece of gum stuck in her hair?)  Also, I feel like that's just a mean joke to taunt Noelle with a Cello and then NOT give her a bow to play it. ALSO, yay for Mia! I think we all knew that she would just LOVE that class.
How are you doing, Mom? Are you excited to start your last year of classes? (This is your last year, right?) Are the kids driving you crazy? Are they easier to put up with now that I'M not there to drive you crazy? Thanks for the other email you sent, too. I think it's no coincedence that the scripture you sent me was where I was reading just this morning. Thank you so much for the love, support and prayers.
This week has been a little better, but the other sisters in my district have pointed out that not a single day has gone by since we've gotten here that one of us hasn't cried. But don't worry! Not all of it has been bad crying! The spirit is so strong that sometimes in just takes over one's tear ducts!
Mom, I am so glad that I made this decision to come on a mission. I've only been here two weeks but I am learning so much about myself, the gospel, my relationship with the Lord, how to love people and help them strengthen their own relationships, and how to listen to them. Most of all I've been learning a lot about FAITH. The spanish phrase is "la fe''. It take MUCHO FE to receive the gift of tongues and be confident in what we are teaching. We started teaching another mock investigator who is our teacher Hermano Molinero playing the roll of a man named Henry. Hermana McIntyre and I were really nervous because we didn't feel like we could speak the spanish without all of our notes in front of us. Before we taught we knelt and had a prayer that we woud have the gift of tongues and the gift of the INTERPRETATION of tongues so that we might understand and be able to teach. As we were walking over I turned to my companion and reminded her that we are promised that as we open our mouths, they will be filled. The lesson was a little rough and kinda choppy at times, but we were able to effectively communicate in spanish throughout the entire lesson, answering all of his questions and actually having a conversation without any notes! Just our scriptures! My testimony in prayer has been truly strengthened. After we were done my companion and I immediately went and offered a prayer of gratitude.
On a seperate, not quite as spiritual note, I was a little homesick yesterday. The food here is not the most fantastic, and I've been telling mi compañera, "Yo quiero un 'bowl of chili' con queso y 'sour cream'." The waffles/pancakes they have at breakfast are dry, and they don't even have syrup. Just honey, maybe some jam if we're lucky. All of the fruit they serve here is stuff that I'm allergic to, except for the papya which is really bland and I got tired of pretty quickly. It was a HUGE blessing when they served curly fries at lunch on Sunday, out of nowhere! All of the misioneros were SO excited!
The weather has been fantastic, too. It's sunny during most of the day, but it usually ends up raining in the afternoon and evening. Apparently it's Mexico's rainy season during the summer.
I love you, I love you, I love you. I pray for you guys (in spanish) every night.
I don't have time to explain all of the pictures I'm about to attach, but I hope you like them!
OH! Btws, to answer Q's about my companion: She is incredibly sweet! Hermana McIntyre is from Caldwell, ID, and is 19 yrs old. (I'm the oldest person in my district. All the elders are 18 and 19.  I think ONE is 20) The other sisters in my district are Hermana Colvin from Las Vegas, and Hermana Raddatz from somewhere in Cali. You'll see them in some of the pictures.
With so much love I can barely contain it,
Hermana Jeppesen

She then sent a ton of pictures. 
Now it's Offical!                

Me and my Compeñera, Hermana McIntyre

                                                            Home Sweet Home!

Crazy Traffic!

                                           Bus Ride to the Temple

View outside the bus
Streets on the way to the temple
Man in front of store. After the pic, he waved.               

We made it! My district.  We have grown so close and I love them all.

In front of the CCM(MTC)! It is so beautiful.

Mexican Lays Potato Chips!

Study study study!

Not Studying....hmmmm
Everything that I need to learn the language. Ugh.

Panoramic View!

In case of earthquake, run to the circle!

Crazy Hermanas earthquake faces.
My earthquake face.

 She is looking like she is doing great and having lots of great experiences.  Remember if you want to email her, the address is julia.jeppesen@myldsmail.net.  She answers her letters on Tuesday.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Week ~ Check!

My daughter, Julia left on her mission August 13th.  She has been gone a week and we finally got her first email!
Although we miss her running around here, we are so excited for her and this journey she is on. Here is how her first week went.

Well, I've survived thus far. Let me tell you though, this has been the LONGEST week of my life! I don't even know where to start!
The flight to Mexico was actually pretty packed with missionaries, but no one else was actually from Arizona. They were all people who were transfering from other places. Luckily I didn't even have to wait long before I saw Elder Behning since we were on the same flight together. Probably one of the strangest things was having to shake his hand and call him "Elder" instead of giving him the desired giant hug. On the plane, one of the hermanas (sisters) switched seats to let a grandmother sit next to her family, so she ended up sitting next to me. Her name is Hermana McIntyre, and I found out when we reached the "CCM" (MTC) that she es mi compañera (companion)!
Mexico City itself it incrdibly crowded. All of these houses are stacked on top of each other and going up the hillside. I love that they are all painted these brilliant colors. However, I do NOT love the traffic. They have very very different traffic laws here, and I've never been so scared while in a bus before! The craziest part of all though is that everyone is zooming in and out of each other and cutting each other off but I haven't seen a single crash and almost no one honks.
The first night at the CCM we were assigned our comañeros and our casas then had the rest of the evening to ourselves. I didn't realize what a mercy that was, because we've been going NON STOP ever since. The first day signified the beginning of a flood of español. We had our very first language class, and the instructors never speak english unless they know that the class is completely lost. Even then it almost never happens. We then had a big welcome meeting with Presedente Pratt, our MTC president, and then a welcome from Hermana Pratt explaning the rules for the hermanas. On that note, she is going to let me borrow her sewing machine because several of my skirts are much too long. Afterward, we had a teaching workshop where we found out that were to start teaching a mock investigator on FRIDAY COMPLETELY IN ESPAÑOL. I about had a heart attack!!!
Our typical schedule now goes as follows:
6:30 Wake up and prepare
7:00 Study time
7:30 Breakfast
8-9:00 Personal study time
9-12:00 Language study
12-12:30 additional study time
12:30 LUNCH!
1:35-2:30 Gym time
2:30-3 Transition time (meaning hit the showers)
3-6:00 Our district takes turns teaching Lenina, our "investigator"
6:00 DINNER!
6:45 T.A.L.L. (a computer program to help us learn grammer and more español)
7:45 More language study
9-9:30 Plan the next day with compañera
10:15 Quiet time
I've never been so tired and overwhelmed. I'll be completely honest, I've had a lot of ups and downs this week. Friday morning started out fine, but I was crying from frustration by the end of the day. It's incredibly difficult and discouraging when 95% of what people are saying is flying completely over your head. On that note, however, there have been some incredible moments as well; As Hermana McIntyre and I were teaching Lenina on Friday, nothing seemed to be getting accross to her. That's when she told us that she didn't believe in Joseph Smith. Completely at a loss, all I could do was just start bearing a very simple testimony in VERY broken spanish of "José Smith", that I knew he was a true prophet of God.  My exact words were, "Yo sé que José Smith es verdadero, y yo sé que José Smith es un profeta de Dios, en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén."  With just those two sentences the spirit filled the room. It was an amazing feeling, and I knew that I was on the right track in that moment.
My hour of computer time is almost up. I love you all, and I'll write you next Tuesday!
With Love,
Hermana Jeppesen