Sunday, December 22, 2013

September 30

Hola Familia, September 30, 2013

Wow so for this month the goal of the mission was to have 200 baptisms, it has never been reached before in the mission and the mission reached it. People had said that it was impossible, but it happened :) There were 204 baptisms!!

As for the mission and my feelings for it, well it is all three. Really depends on the day that you ask me. Some days I absolutely love the mission, other days I just struggle through the day, but i would never change it for anything the good and the bad, the hard and the easy! The thing i hate is so many times I feel so inadequate. I know this week I had a lot of my weaknesses brought to my attention and it was really hard for me, but I am trying to learn and grow from it. It has been really hard to see no one really accept the gospel, but I have really had my own testimony strengthened because of this. I have realized how important it is to live the Gospel, read the scriptures, pray, and go to church. I have seen how the Book of Mormon really was written for our day. The prophets and their writings now have more meaning for me as I have felt some of the feelings that they have described.

The people here for the most part are warm and loving, many don't mind that we share something, but they do not want to change. They like listening, but they do not like doing. Many do not understand the importance of Religion. They all almost say well we are all worshiping the same God, so it doesn’t matter where you go. Authority is something that no one understands here and many refuse to accept even when we show them the scriptures. Many people what to believe that God is the way they imagine and don't understand that they can't choose what God is like. Also no one understands the importance of going to church, including the members. I love the members here, but we have a lot of unique challenges with them. We don't get much help from the members which makes the work really hard here, but yesterday the president started to come out with us to visit less actives and it was so good. They lit up like you wouldn't believe.

We are continuing working with Rocio, but she is like a closed book. She will not admit that anything is wrong and because of that she can't fix anything.

My companion will be going home after this change, so only 3 weeks left for her in the mission. I have a feeling that they are going to take the sister missionaries out of this area, it hasn’t really been growing. Almost all of the recent converts have fallen away. Our recent converts and the recent converts of the Elders have all fallen away. Members are so important in the work. They, you, really have a lot of power. Just a short visit makes all the difference!!

As far as money goes... yes they give us enough money for food, for transportation, for housing, for utilities and for personal items, like shampoo, dish soap, and things like that. Food is super expensive here. Housing is cheap, clothing, i don't know. Gas is also super expensive. The majority of people use buses here.

Of course I have missed you. It is different when you can talk to you everyday, you don't feel as home sick and see you every once in a while. I am so sorry that I have been so difficult in the past to correct me. I was being prideful and I didn't want to change. Thank you for all your hard work and for being amazing parents. I have really had me eyes opened here. You really are amazing parents.

With William, yes that is so unfair. I want you to go to Mormon messages and watch the "Will of God" it is on the 3rd page. I really love Mormon messages and have really helped here in the mission, but there are almost none in Spanish but i have found ways to get Spanish subtitles on some of them. :) Gabby well she will learn a lot while she is out there. She is going to make mistakes that are part of living, hopefully she will learn from them. I don't have spell check, only in Spanish.

I love you so much, I hope that your week is amazing!!!
Con Amor,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Picking Mamones; Me, my trainer, and my trainer's trainer

September 23

Hola Familia, 23 Sept 2013

I am still in Perez and it looks like I will be here one more change after this as well. This is my companion’s last change before she goes home. So unless they white wash the area I will be here for one more change after this. My district is exactly the same. WOHOO. I love my district so I am fine
with that. We heard that only 10 missionaries changed this change. Elder Guti has been here for one change longer than I have and it is his first area as well. We have about the same time in the mission. This last week has definitely been a learning week. My companion has taught me so much and not just about the gospel. I am learning to be more organized. It is killing me, but she is helping. God definitely had us together for more than one reason we have been able to learn a ton from one another. I love her so much and it is crazy to see how much she has changed in 6 weeks. Change for the better :) Perez is teaching us to have faith and trust in God.

Zone Conference was super good. We didn´t get our heads chopped like we thought we would. It was all about taking feedback and criticism so that we can change and get better. Basically after everything being, like, what can I do better? I think that it is very good and we have learned a lot from it. I know that it helps keep us humble. Normally we get chewed out for our numbers. With the zone leaders, almost everything is about numbers, why aren´t the numbers high, what are they not doing so that the numbers are low, stuff like that. For us, our challenge is that our area is huge and it takes a lot of time to get from one place to another so we lose a lot of time walking.

We follow the rules as close as we can. I will not say that we are perfect but we are working on getting better and better. There are a lot of rules and it is really easy to break some of them. So then we have to repent and work on not breaking it again. A lot of it is like with time. We have to exercise for 30 min every day in order for us to do that we have to wake up at like 5:45. It is hard for me to wake up that early every day and be out till 9 every night. But it is good :)

My baptism, yes we keep working with her,,, so we asked her like 10 billion times if she was married and she always said yes, it turns out they have things like marriage records online here, and it looks like she is not married after all. That was really hard on me to find out. Something very interesting about the culture here is they have something called ‘pani’ which is child’s rights. Basically a lot of girls here at age 15 to 17 will leave their house and move in with a boyfriend who is, like 27-35 years old. The parents can´t really do anything about it because it is their child’s right to do that. The girl ends up getting pregnant and then the guy leaves her. That is basically what happened with Rocio, I think. It is really sad. The hardest thing is that we really can´t work with her because she will not admit to herself that anything is wrong.

You don´t need to send the lice stuff. They are gone - Wohoo. I still have a bottle of lice stuff in the apartment. Just so you know American chocolate like Reeses and cheez itz! I think those are the main things I miss that I can think of right now.

As far as investigators go we really only have, like three. Latins here really do not understand the importance of going to church. That gets really frustrating at times. "The religion doesn´t save you only God" "We all worship the same God" I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that. Satan is really good with the half truths.
Well I love you all soooo much :) Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

My Crazy District- I Love them all!

September 16

Hola Familia, September 16, 2013

Well this week we went to a zone conference in Cartago. Afterward we ate lunch in a palace!! Well at least it looked like a miniature Indian palace. There is a member in Cartago that has a beautiful house that the zone leaders eat lunch in many times. I couldn´t take pictures of the house because it is private property and the owners themselves weren´t there but wow it was really pretty. This coming week will be Cambios, I don´t know if I will go or stay. It is really common with this mission president to be in an area 6 months. So this time next week I may be here still or I may be somewhere else with a new companion. I could see both happening. I won’t know till Wednesday if I leave and if so I will leave Thursday. They don´t want people to stop working just because they know that they are going to go, so that is why it is so last minute.

We had an investigator come to church this week!! YAY Oh and the 15th was their independence day. It was fun to see the different traditions here. They had like 2 parades one that was tinny the day before and a big one the day of. It was crazy the parade route starts right next to our house so it was supper loud Sunday while we were trying to study. Saturday night they had something called a farrol which is like little paper things, houses, stars, torches, whatever you can think of with a light in it and they do a little parade thing. Well I hope that everything is good with you. I am safe and sound. It sounds like October is when the rain will really come here. That will be crazy!!

Con Amor,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Playing Tennis with my district

September 9

Hola Familia!! September 9, 2013

This week we had the Sister Training Leaders come and visit us. It was really good and really fun to go on splits with them. I ended up not cutting my hair :) Yay and the lice are gone!! Transfers will be happening soon, not this week, but the next week. I have no idea if I will go or not. Maybe yes, maybe no. It is pretty normal here to be in an area 4 to 6 months. I cannot believe that I have been out for 5 months now!! Time is supper weird here.

I can understand why people are coming home early. The mission is hard. I always thought that it was the physical part that was hard, but it really is the mental part. There are good days and bad days. The important thing is to focus on the positive. There will always be the negative part and you just have to focus on the positive. The thing that has helped me the most is to not just think about the now but about the future as well. The language is not really a problem now, only on the phone, when they talk fast. The mission makes you step out of your comfort zone and that is hard. You have to learn to conquer some of your fears. I have days of disappointment and days when I feel like Iam not good enough, but the Lord has really blessed me. Being a missionary really is stressful. It is not just the culture shock; I think I am very much over that. But every day people are demanding numbers and demanding more than you think you can do. For me I have found having a personal relationship with God is so important and if he is happy with what you did that day it doesn´t really matter what other people think. I love in the mission that you are always working on becoming better. There is always something to work on, but bit by bit you become better.

As far as the girl we baptized, she has only come to church once after her baptism and confirmation. This is very normal here. Our focus this change has been the members more than investigators. The members first need to be strong before they can support others. We don´t really have investigators and none that are progressing. The people here like to listen, but they don´t want to change. Their words are close to him, but many have hearts far from him. Change is hard, Change hurts, during the process one wonders if it is all worth it, but I know that it is. I probably send so many gospel letters because that really is my life here. I have really grown in my love for the gospel. I find as I study for my investigators as I teach them I have been teaching myself. The importance has really sunk deep in me. I really do want to help them come unto Christ.

I do miss things about home every now and again. The other day I missed watching movies. While waiting for a bus for 2 hours I basically told my companion the whole story of “Ever After”. I realized I basically have that movie memorized. There is a dog close to our house that jumps like nothing I have seen. It jumps like it is on a trampoline. It is really funny to see in the mornings. I am getting more flexible! Slowly but surely. I stretch almost every day and go running almost every day too!! We played tennis today it was fun. Oh I will be going to Cartago this week for a zone conference. It sounds like we are going to get corta la hoopa ( get our heads chopped off :) ) Oh well I am excited. I like zone conferences.
I love you :) Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson