Sunday, July 21, 2013

Giant Hamburger!!

Hola Family and Friends,                                                                                          15 July 2013

Well this week Hermana Romero and I have been focusing on working with the members of the branch. I do not have to do anything in the branch. We do have a piano but several of the youth of the branch play. As far as meals go we normally eat with the same couple of families or cook on our own. There are a couple key families in the branch that we really know and a few we don´t know hardly at all and then a bunch of less actives. As I have visited with many of the less actives I have come to learn that many fell away because of what someone else in the branch said or they were baptized hoping that the church would help with their financial situation. It is really difficult working with the ones who hoped for better financial situation because they act like they really never did believe; they are like investigators who never progress.

Hermana Romero´s foot is starting to hurt again, but this time in a different place. I feel so bad for her. As far as district leaders go, it has been a change, but it has been a good one. My first district leader was definitely very trunky. Our district leader now pushes us to work harder, but he isn´t like a task master. He is a very good leader. I know that he expects nothing less than our best.

This last week I have really come to understand our message more fully. I don’t think I can explain it. Our message is truly incredible and the best part is that it is true. This, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the only true church on the planet. It is the only one that has the authority of God to perform the saving ordinances. When we follow God´s commandments He really does bless us when we keep them. Not only spiritually but temporally as well. There are people ready to receive his gospel we just need to find them.

One of the investigators that the elders have is amazing. She is about 17 years old and wow she has totally and completely accepted the Gospel. My companion and I have had the opportunity to be in two lessons with her. The elders placed a fecha (date) for her to get baptized and she moved it up because she doesn´t want to wait. In seeing her it only shows that there are people ready we just need to find them.

Hermana Romero and I are working on changing things because we know that there are better ways to teach than what we are doing right now. Also the Spirit is so essential in all the work we do. We cannot do the missionary work with it. It is not possible.

I love all of your letters. They mean a ton to me. I love you all dearly,

Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson
PS: So after I told you guys about the mice we went and bought rat poison and traps. Our count of dead mice is up to 4 now. Two of which I have killed with my foot. ewww. I will have to tell you more about it later. Love you

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Changing District Leaders

Last photo of my old district- good bye Elder Castellanso

P-day: We played volleyball with our new district leader Elder Smoot

July 1, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,                                                                                               01 July 2013

Wow!! There is so much to write about. Hopefully I can write it all! So I have been in the mission for a whole Cambio (or exchange) now. Last week was our Cambios and our old District Leader, Elder Castellanos went back home to Honduras. It is weird not having him here anymore. So because he went home he and Elder Gutierrez went to San Jose to wait for a new companion. Hermana Romero and I were very curious who our new district leader would be. We expected them to probably be home late the next day so we called to welcome the new elder, but there was no answer. We called again later and still no answer.  We figured Elder Gutierrez was going to be a trainer? This is because only trainers receive there companions a day later. That same day we went to a member’s house and on our way out to work we passed by the bus station where people were arriving from San Jose. Normally we do not pass this bus during the day. Hermana Romero said as we were a ways off from the bus stop oh I wish there was a bus and the elders were on it and we would get to see the new elder! As we got closer to the bus stop we saw a white shirt, black pants and a tie. We both looked at each other and said there was no way there could only be one elder getting off that bus, it must be some other random person! As we walked closer we could see that this person is on the phone with his back to us. Finally he turned and we saw the telltale of a missionary plaque on his shirt pocket!! But where is Elder Gutierrez?!! We welcomed the new elder to Perez and then asked, ‘Where is your companion?!!?’ It turns out there was a miscommunication and Elder Gutierrez was still in San Jose. It was quite funny, but I felt really bad for him, because being without your companion is sort of breaking a cardinal rule. The new elder is Elder Smoot from California. He has been on his mission for over a year now. (He is not related to the Smoots in Lindon as far as he knows).  He played volleyball in college!! He is our new district leader.

Our investigators Carlos and Zulai, who had a baptism date, are no longer progressing. They live in a poorer part and they started to ask if the church could help them with money. After we told them that the church doesn´t just give money to people we have basically lost all contact with them. They aren´t answering our phone calls, they aren´t home when we visit them. It is looking like they only attended church because they wanted money. This has been really sad for us, but we are now looking to other investigators. We are really working on giving good lessons and challenging people to be baptized. We have a girl we met last Sunday who is really good. We have taught her twice and the spirit has been so strong with us both times. She says she wants to read the Book of Mormon... so we will see what happens.

We haven´t had any problems with bugs trying to sleep with us thank goodness. But we have had a little visitor in our house the past couple of days... We came home one night and we were getting ready to start our planning session. I was in the other room when I heard Hermana Romero start freaking out. I rushed in because Hermana Romero normally doesn´t freak out. She said ‘there´s una rata in the house!!’  I looked and I didn´t see anything and I asked which way it had gone. She pointed at the window where we keep all our clean plates. I checked it out, moved some plates around and I still didn’t see anything. I guess it ran out the window, so I closed the window. We finished planning and I went in and heard scratching over by our plates. When I moved the plates I saw a little tiny black mouse hiding under the plates. I opened up the window and scared the mouse out then shut it again. Whew, that settles that mouse problem – yea right. The next day I heard some scratching noise again and I looked at our door that goes out to our back patio. Our back door doesn´t have a knob or latch and is just open. In that knob opening I saw that little mouse staring at me. I told Hermana Romero we needed to find something to cover the hole in the door. She looked at me a little confused and asked why. So I told her pointing at the mouse that it could enter through it and she started freaking out again. During her freak out she got the brilliant idea to take my broken umbrella and put it in the hole in the door. So we now have an umbrella in the door blocking out the mice :).

There have been questions about whether or not there is any technology here. Almost everyone has cell phones. I have seen many smart phones and a couple of tablets. As far as transportation we use the bus all the time here! Fortunately it is normally not too expensive. :)

The hard thing here is that a lot of people will listen to us the first lesson and will agree that we are sent from god, but they won’t do anything about it, or they don´t want to change. These people are not opposed to hearing the word of God otherwise. They really contradict themselves a lot which is really frustrating and they don´t seem to realize it or maybe not care. So we often can give the first lesson but we have very few who accept the invitation for the second lesson. Many times we will set up an appointment to return and they pretend to be interested, but they are not there when we come calling... or they won’t answer the door. Such is the life of a missionary here.

Well I love you all,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Photos from June 24th

Together with Sister Roundy at 1 month meeting

What Perez looks like

My district with cute members

Me with some cute members

June 24th letter

Hola Familia,                                                                             24 June 2013
This week I had to write this letter a little earlier due to the fact that we have a lot to do this afternoon. This week was yet another week with a lot of travel! So, on Tuesday we had the First Month check. After one month of being in the mission, all missionaries in this mission go to the president's house for a check to see how they are doing; it comes with a yummy meal too. That was so much fun!! It was so good to see my companions from the MTC! They are all doing well. It was another fun trip up to San Jose. Later in the week Hermana Romero’s ankle started hurting again, so I did splits yet again with a different member. The day was actually really good and we got some new investigators from it :) That night we got a call from the Sister Training Leaders and told us we were going to do exchanges with them. So we went on a 3 hour bus ride to meet them in the middle of our two areas. I loved doing the exchanges. I was able to learn a ton. Hermana Cardez and I returned to Perez and my companion went to their area. Hermana Cardez has been here for over a year and you can definitely tell. She has experience. I am very grateful for the things I learned. The next day we met back up with my companion. It was good to have her back and I did miss her. She no longer has to wear the boot!! YAY she is super excited about that. Now we just need to be careful that she doesn´t hurt it again.
Something interesting about the rivers here is that when it rains they all turn a brown orange color due to the dirt.
Yesterday we went out to an area where we don´t have many investigators and did a lot of contacting. During the day it felt like we weren´t doing very much and that we weren´t having any success. We would teach a few people the first lesson and we kept getting the, well we all pray to the same god so it doesn´t really matter what church we go to. That is where we have lots of problems. People will listen to us because it is good to listen to the word of God. But they don´t understand the importance of authority and when we try and explain it they just resist. Very frustrating. Then in the evening we had an amazing lesson where the spirit was so strong. We talked to a girl named Estefani about forgiveness. Wow I am so grateful for the experiences like that. It makes it all worth it to see someone receive hope and a desire to be closer to God.
I know our message is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Redeemer of the world. Only through Him can we be saved. I know that through the ordinances of the church we can live with our families for the eternity.
I love you all!!!
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson