Firstly, I got the two packages! I have yet to receive the Christmas one you all talked about in your emails. But I got the two on Monday that gave off t his aroma of natural soap and homemade gingersnaps! I never get mail and my roommates and companion get mail almost everyday! so it was almost odd being on the other end of things. I gobbled up the cookies (and shared a few, claro que si!) and I spread the Christmas cheer by handing out those little angles you made, mom. EVERYONE LOVED THEM. Oh my goodness, it was crazy how much they loved them. As a matter of fact i passed them out and multiple people wanted to get a picture with me and it to show their families. so essentially, I am famous.. Chistes! (jokes!) But it was fun! Mom, I’m not sure if you did it on purpose.. but there was one “dark faced” angel and Elder Fuga is the only “dark skinned” (Samoan) in our entire zone.. so he got the dark faced one. hahaha. He takes great pride in his heritage and is very grateful for the dark angel kiss haha. So thanks for doing that for him, mom! I’ll send a picture of him holding it.
Fun Fact Time: Supposedly I am terrible at describing our family because Hermana Van Boerum thinks we are Amish…. half serious and most not serious. I just do my best to explain us to her with things like:
-we have a farm, a ranch, cows, pigs
-we don’t have cable or dish TV
-we watch old time movies like Oklahoma and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
-the natural soap mom sent in the package
-we make homemade jam
-we bottle our fruit
-I tend to wear braids a lot
-My pillowcase is a Christmas one from home that we have had for years
-we go legit tent camping (no electricity)
-we sometimes grind our own wheat (I tried to tell her that it was electric but she wouldn’t budge haha)
-we go hunting and shoot our own deer
-and supposedly the fact that I wear my matching blue and white polka dot pajamas has an Amish tendency…??
Anyway, I tell her these things and she sits back and goes “…so you’re Amish, right?” hahah. At the end of the day it is always a joke but I know she really does question it because the other day we had a substitute teacher and he was going around the classroom having each of us tell something interesting about us. He started with Hermana Van Boerum and then me next. He asked me, What is something interesting about you? and Hna Van B jumps in and says, “Well, she’s Amish, so…”. I had to quickly and jokingly defend myself. (I am pretty sure that substitute thinks we are crazy.) It has become the joke of the MTC that I’m Amish. Anyway, that is my fun fact…
Well, on Thursday we got to Skype with someone from Neuquen, our mission! Yeah! I know! How cool, huh?! He was a member and we were simply sharing with him a small gospel lesson, kind of like FHE. It went pretty good… I’m soft serving it… IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! I am so excited to get over there. Though my Spanish is not perfect and my vocabulary isn’t like Shakespeare or anything, I know that with practice I will be able to communicate with the lovely and beautiful people in the mission!
So, Just so you all know, I got my travel plans on Friday. I will be soaring over seas and lands to the lovely land of Argentina! I was reminded the other day that they are all about futbol and I get to excited thinking about how much soccer I will have the opportunity to play! Woo woo!
We had our last lessons with our investigators and boy was that heart pulling. We have only been here for 6 weeks and yet I love these people like my own family. I have learned more from them than they have probably learned from me.
On Sunday, Sister Neil F. Marriott, the 1st counselor in the YW General Presidency came and spoke to us in Relief Society. Wow, was my soul rejuvenated. She told us, “Be worthy and obedient and you will be prepared for anything.” She told us of the night she finally was humble enough to pray about the Book of Mormon [because she is a convert to the church]. She got down on her knees and addressed God and asked if it was a true book. She said a voice came to her and simply said, “it’s true.” She then continued to explain it in this manner: “I jumped up and yelled, to no one imparticular, ‘It’s true!’. And then I went right to bed without even finishing the prayer.” We all giggled a little but the power of the spirit in which she spoke was more than tangible. It filled my soul to the very brim to the point that I couldn’t help but let my tears roll down my cheeks as she spoke of her conversion. Her sweet husband then got up, who was the member who helped convert her, and he spoke of how he has been a stake president and he get to interview the return missionaries as they come home. His first question to them is always: How are you different? It made me think about what this mission is. Those who are return missionaries, how would you have answered that question? I love the Sabbath day!
Tuesday Evening Devotional: are you ready for this… na na na na na na na na na na na na… (song played before basketball games..? anyone??) Elder Dallin H. Oaks came and spoke to us! And we got to sing in the choir number which preceded him (us being me, Hna Van B, and the rest of our district). We sang “Nearer My God to Thee”. What a marvelous hymn. Our choir director, Brother Eggett, explained to us why this song was written and what story it was written about. It’s about the story of Jacob’s ladder that comes from Genisis 28: 10-22. I would explain it if I had time but I invite all to go and search this story alongside the hymn and let the spirit tell you about it. My mind was blown once again. [That seems to be a common occurrence in the mission]. Dallin H Oaks’ talk was phenomenal. He spoke on so many things that I wish I could write and write and write but time will not permit it. The one thing that impressed me the most was when he first got up and addressed us missionaries in this form: “Good evening my fellow servants of Christ.” Whoa. we are along side him in service to our Savior. We are all followers and servants of Christ. He then explained to us that missionary work is service, service, service. And how what we do as missionaries is, in a way, similar to what Christ did for us. We are not on missions to be thanked, we are on missions to help serve the Lord Jesus Christ in bringing souls unto Him. Elder Oaks stressed that we are in service and we are servants of Christ. It seemed fitting that we sang “Because I Have Been Given Much” for the opening hymn. anyway we got counsel from an apostle and all is well!
I am very excited for Thanksgiving here in the MTC. We get a morning devotional which is supposed to be another general authority. And the choir, which we are in, will be singing “Come Thou Fount” arranged by Mark Walkberg. Boy oh Boy am I excited to feast upon those words which will be spoken. Our ‘feast’ will be at lunch and then in the afternoon we will have a humanitarian project. I sent home a thanksgiving letter that I hope the family gets before the feast they eat.
Well, I have so much to be thankful for. Namely, my health, my family, my friends, my ability, and so much more. But most of all I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ our Lord, Savior, Redeemer and Brother. Because through him we have all of this and we can return to be with our Father in Heaven again. And we can be with our families for eternity through his church.
I love you all so much! I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for all of the amazing people in my life. I am beyond grateful!
Isaiah 61:1 “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
Vale la Pena!!
[It’s worth it!]
Hermana Janessa Houston
District holding angel kisses
Angel Kisses were a hit
I love these ladies
Flight Plans Came on Friday. Argentina here we come!!