Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas! :: December 21, 2015


I hope everyone is enjoying Christmas time! Christmas in Guatemala includes a lot of fireworks, tamales and parties. We are enjoying the hot Christmas in the tropics.

This week, we had a Christmas Devotional with President and Hermana Ruiz. It was really nice to be with other missionaries and feel so much love and feel like a big family. We had a lunch, games and some spiritual messages. Ihave attached some photos of my companion and I at the lunch. We got some gifts and celebrated and celebrated some of our achievements and made some goals as a mission.

We have been visiting people and teaching of Christ and seeing the miracles every day. I love singing Christmas songs! Being away at Christmas is weird because as amissionary, you feel so much joy and happiness to be part of the work but it is also hard to be away from family during the holidays. But, what is so cool is that we have the opportunity to look deeper for the Lord´s hand in our lives and really see that we have everything we could ever need. It is really beautiful. Gratitude changes everything and allows the Lord´s spirit to penetrate our lives and help us,no matter where we are and what we are experiencing.

I think of all the people who are alone at Christmas or who do not have family or are extremely afflicted and really, being away at Christmas for a season is a blessing so we can better understand others and have more compassion for ourselves and those around us. Some are with family but they feel very alone and are struggling inside. Some will never know what it means to have a family. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Life will always be hard in some way and that is the point, so we progress and learn, but because of the Savior we can always choose to have hope, love and to act in faith. Always. No matter what the circumstances are, we can choose how we react and how we will feel. I hope for everyone to have a Merry Christmas, to remember the real meaning and to enjoy where we are, the people we are with who God has given us to love and to just love every minute. We were made to have JOY, especially at Christmas because OUR SAVIOR LIVES!!!!

I just want to thank you all for your support and love, for the love you all give to the world. We are all on this journey together. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows us and loves us perfectly. We are on the Earth for just a moment and He is with us every step of the way. We just have to ASK, and because our Savior came to the Earth and died for us, we ALWAYS have him, and He understands us perfectly.

I hope that we can all reach out to others this week during Christmas and always, remembering to judge less, love more, and live every moment, because that is what the Savior would want us to do with the great gift He has given us of His atonement. ENJOY!!!

Love you all!!!!! FELIZ NAVIDAD!!

Hermana Jessop

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Time :: December 7, 2015


It has been a great week. Some days I cannot believe that I get to be here in Las Flores and to be a missionary! It is still surreal and I am grateful for this amazing opportunity. I sometimes look down and see my nametag and realize I am part of something so much bigger than myself. Missionary work is amazing. Anyone questioning a mission, just do it. Go on a mission! It is incredible and something everyone, if they have the opportunity, should experience.

It is hot here and there is not snow or many lights, but I feel the Christmas Spirit. I thought it would be weirder to be away for Christmas but I feel the spirit, and it is because of Christ. He loves us and He is everywhere and as long as we remember this and seek Him, he will fill our hearts with love and joy! I love Christmas!!!

I have been thinking a lot about change. We moved two houses this week and have been all over. Nothing is going to stay the same in life, and this is why we must learn to thrive on ambiguity. The only way we are going to learn and grow is with this change we experience, by jumping outside of our comfort zones. The Lord knows this and this is why he gives us opportunities to jump and learn and change. This is part of His plan and as long as we have the Lord with us, this change is bearable and we will learn and grow in the best possible way. He is with us every step of the way!

This week, we were able to experience two baptisms. On Friday, Family Muy got baptized.. well, the parents. They got married and also baptized. When we first came to their house about a month ago, the mom let us in, but she told us that she was very strongly catholic and would never have let the missionaries in, so she does not know why she did it. But, after meeting with them again and again, they prayed and read and came to the answer that they needed to get baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is truly a miracle. In the course of a month, we have seen this family almost every single day and we have all become one big family. The kids are amazing. The dad has been clean of smoking and drinking and wants to continue on this path and stay this way for his family and children and their future. They are completely different people. Their home feels different, the kids are better behaved. So many changes. It is truly incredible. I am in awe and so grateful to be a part of their journey.

The other baptism was with Hermano Manuel. He was sitting on the street one day and we started talking to HIm and in the first discussion, he decided he wanted to be baptized. It was super incredible. He is so special. He is someone who was prepared and searching for something else in his life.

This is God's work. He is changing lives. I am grateful to be a part of it and wake up everyday to a new adventure. Jesus Christ lives. He will carry us if we ask Him to. He is always here and He loves us tremendously.

I want to hear more of your missionary stories, in your lives and with people who have served missions. Share them with me please!

Merry Christmas Season!
Hermana Jessop

Monday, November 30, 2015

Life in Guate :: November 30, 2015

Hello everyone!

Not much time to write but I realized I never told any details about where I am and for those of you who have asked, more details!

I am serving in an area called Las Flores, in Mazatenango. The ward is really amazing and super supportive and helpful. My companion is from Mexico and the two of us live in a house by ourselves. We eat with members everyday.

Training is going well! It is a privilege to be here during Christmas. The spirit of Christmas is so strong and people are very open and loving to us. We had a Thanksgiving lunch as a zone on Thanksgiving and that was super fun and wonderful! We also all performed in a Christmas talent show on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. They have Black Friday here too!

We are teaching a guy named Joe from California and that has been really interesting, teaching in English and getting to know him better. We are also teaching a family and the mom has always disliked Mormons and been a strong catholic, but she for some reason let us in and we have seen a big change of heart with her. She says she doesn't know why she did it but she wants to get baptized! The day has been clean from smoking and drinking for months and wants to change his life. It is incredible to see how the Lord works in our hearts.

Prayer, gratitude, faith, love! When we feel negative or dark, we know we are not possessed of the spirit of the Lord and these are things that will help us. The Lord is on our side and He loves us tremendously!!!

Hermana Jessop

Monday, November 23, 2015

Baptism :: November 23, 2015

We had a baptism with a family this week. It was so, so so incredible. When you go on a misison, everyone tells you that you are going to teach and baptize and I used to be kind of annoyed with the goals and numbers before going on a mission but I am learning that it is so much more than that. It is a beautiful covenant with God. It is incredible and life changing. The mom's name is Elisa and she wanted to get baptized for a long time but she needed to get married first and so she said that she prayed every night that something would touch the heart of her boyfriend that he would want to get married and after a little while, he agreed! And so we had a wedding and a baptism with this beautiful, amazing family. They did not want to smile in the photos, but they were so happy. It was an inspiring and incredible experience.

My ward is amazing, trainer, everyone. Doing well, swimming in rain and heat, continuing! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2015

MISSION TIME :: November 16, 2015


There is not a lot of time to write but I wanted to send some photos for all of you asking since I was not allowed to in the CCM. There is a group photo from the CCM of all the hermanas before we left. I am in the front row, second from the left. The other photos are of my and my companion, Hna McBee in the CCM. Other are from my first week in the mission field!

The Lord sent me to the most beautiful and loving mission in the entire world. It is so green here, the people are incredibly loving and it is just an amazing place! I am in a pretty rural area and feel like I am camping all the time, which of course I love! The food is good. I love the refried black beans they serve and of course eggs. Oh, and they say it is humid and hot. Well, everyone was right. Good thing I love Bikram Yoga, because it feels like I am in class all day everyday. I never stop sweating. Oh and the torrential downpour is real. I love the rain, the sun, the cold, even the mosquitos! Everyday is an adventure and for that, I am so so grateful. God is real and he is here! With all of us! Miracles, miracles, miracles.

Everything is good, nothing to complain about. The first week has been an adventure. Lots of learning, really difficult times as we are adjusting as well as really great and and amazing moments. We have a baptism with a really sweet family this weekend and I am learning Spanish slowly but surely. My trainer is amazing. She is from Mexico, so much fun and absolutely amazing. Christlike in many ways- patient, kind, open, fun.

Love from Guate,
Hna Jessop

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Last week in MTC :: November 4, 2015


Not much time to write today, but here we go! Excuse my grammar and poor spelling. This is my last P day in the MTC and we leave on Tuesday morning around 6 am to take a bus to Retalhuleu.

I am excited to head to the field! I am amazed by how quickly the last month has gone by and how much has changed but at the same time stayed the same. Some fun things first off: President and Hermana Cox did a fun Halloween dinner for us with lots of candy and decorations. That was fun and a little piece of home. One night, we had a fire alarm in the middle of the night and everyone was supposed to evacuate. Well, the elders did, but all the Hermanas just kept sleeping through it. It was funny because the fire alarm was actually an accident because someone pulled it. So, a good 100 elders were outside at 3 am. Also, me and 3 girls sang at a devotional for a member of the Seventy. That was really cool. I love to sing, in Spanish or english. It powerful how music really bring the spirit.

A huge theme in my mind this week has been faith. If we have perfect faith, we know everything is as it should be and that there is nothing we cannot overcome through the Lord. Many spiritual experience by praying for faith and working on faith this week. Really amazing fast Sunday. I love fast Sunday- i have never had one like it and the spirit was incredibly strong and it was cool to be able to bear our testimonies in Spanish. I have been really praying for questions and waiting on answers from the Lord- they say "if you want to talk to God, pray, and if you want to hear from God, read the scriptures", I am learning how powerful the scriptures are, how much there is to learn, and how much God LOVES US! We can receive personal revelation and the Lord answers prayers! As I went to the Lord with specific questions this week, I received very direct and clear answers.

I have also been thinking a lot about confidence and how we can have everything inside of ourselves and all the potential, which we all do, and we all have gifts from God himself, but if we do not have the confidence in ourselves and in the Lord, we will not be able to use these talents to help others and enjoy life the most we can, and this confidence, this unshakeable confidence, comes only through knowing that the Lord is with us and knowing our true potential. He wants us to fly on the wings of His spirit!

I am happy and I know without a doubt Jesus Christ lives and the Lord is watching out for us and guiding us. If we seek Him, ask questions, pray to Him humbly, He is right here to help us. His love conquers all. By praying for charity and having love for others, we are able to see ourselves and other people as they truly are, then we are more grateful, happy, and we all benefit much more. This journey is about all of us.It is a gift from God to be able to open up and share ourselves with others as well as receive the gifts from being around another person's true spirit.

"God has not created us to be cowards, but to have power."
"It is not love until you use it"
"Faith does not come by chance, but by choice."

Courage, conviction and unshakeable confidence. Live fearlessly, everyone! The Lord loves us!

Love you all,
Hermana Alexis Jessop

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hola! :: October 27, 2015

Hello Everyone!

Everything is great here at the MTC in Guatemala. I cannot believe I have already been here for 4 weeks and leave in less than 2 weeks to go out into the field. I am happy to be here now, but also excited to leave and head to Retalhuleau!

We went on a field trip for P day to the plaza and to the Governor's Palace and Market. It was the first time we have been out of the MTC gates since coming here 4 weeks ago, so we were super happy to go! It was a lot of fun. Beautiful colors, people, trees, flowers...just amazing overall!

In the plaza, my companion and I were able to hand out Book of Mormons and make contacts. It is the first time we have ever talked to Guatemalans or been out and about as missionaries. It was amazing!!! We were able to talk to 3 different families. It was a lot of fun and the spirit was strong. Great experience. Five different groups of people asked to take photos with us, which was funny. I have never been somewhere where I stand out so much. Ha! We are both tall and American. It was nice to be outside the gates and get excited for our missions.

Things are great at the MTC. I love my companion. We have a lot in common and our unity has grown as we are learning to teach the gospel better and to feel the spirit. My district is amazing. We are really close. My teachers and the MTC President and the other missionaries here are all so incredible. To be among so many missionaries working to serve the Lord is a magical experience! A mission is unique and I am very grateful the Lord brought me here.

Other things I love here: Laughing and smiling (it's my favorite), learning through the spirit, new opportunities, sports time, Sundays (lots of devotionals, in English!), meaningful work, getting to know the Savior better, being a missionary, beautiful flowers and trees in Guat, food, teaching the gospel, speaking Spanish, seeing others happy, living in the moment, serving the Lord, learning, growing.. and much more.

Everyday I learn more about the Lord's work and how remarkable it is. I love sitting in the spirit and learning new concepts and details about the gospel. I love my Savior. I know He loves us and is with us always. He lives.

Time is up. That is all for now.

Happy Halloweeen! I bet you can't guess what I am going to be!

Thank you all for your love and support!
Hermana Alexis Jessop

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Family Letter :: October 22, 2015

Hi Family!

It has been a great week here in the MTC. I feel adjusted. The hardest part is being away from you all because I think about you all the time and miss you, BUT the spirit has a way of carrying us, and that is what is happening. I feel happier than I ever have. I am learning about the gospel and Spanish and I am happy to be around such amazing people.

I do the same thing pretty much everyday. I wake up at 6:30, get ready, eat, do personal study, and then practice teaching lessons, studying Spanish, studying the gospel, etc. I love diving into the scriptures and learning these principles all day long. The days fly by. Can't believe I am on my 4th week in the MTC.

The food is not too bad. My health is doing well, which is something I worried about. I get an hour a day to exercise which I love! There are vegetables and fruits available at the meals which is super nice. I sleep well. I laugh and smile. I have a BM at least every other day, which is good for me (yaya)! There is purified water everywhere.

I love my district. They are the best people!! I think about timing and how I am meant to be here now. The people I have met have already changed my life. I love my companions, the elders in my district, the CCM President and his wife. I love that I am at a really small MTC and I can get to know everyone personally. There are North Americans and a lot of people from Central American countries who I like getting to know better and practicing Spanish with.

The weather is great. Always warmish. It has rained all week long. We are right by the temple so I love seeing it out of my window.

I feel the spirit so strong. I feel happy here. The Lord carries us. I love all of it. I am excited to prepare for the mission field and go out and do the best I can with the Lord´s help. I am a little nervous to go out because the MTC is so safe and I love learning, but I also know that all works out through the Lord.

I am learning to trust the Lord more. I am learning that the Lord never ever leaves me and that he is always here. It is really beautiful. I feel so so so blessed to be here and to know that you are all supporting me and God's work. Life is absolutely amazing.

Thank you for being my cheerleaders! Thank you for your love! My family means the whole world to me!!!! I'm grateful to be able to serve the Lord for this short time and be with you for all of eternity!

Hermana Jessop

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Second Week :: October 13, 2015

Guat's up everyone??

I'm really coming to love the MTC. The first couple of weeks took some adjusting but I am feeling really comfortable and happy here. I love the people I am with, the spirit and so strong, and I am learning a lot of Spanish. I'm also happy to be learning a lot about the gospel! It is amazing. I already love my mission and am extremely happy I´m here. I feel grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity to come here. This truly is the Lord´s work and I feel very blessed to be a part of it.

This week has been really beautiful. A big theme of my thoughts has been gratitude and how gratitude can bring the spirit more fully into our lives. I have been writing down what I am grateful for and more actively trying to see the light all around me, in people, in nature, in everything. At first, I did not like the MTC very much because I felt trapped and didn't get outside much. But, I realized that I had a great opportunity to be on a mission and the Lord was trusting me with HIS work. Through prayer and study and pondering, I have started to realize that a lot of my worries and concerns have been selfish, that they are not really important, because I am here to give my time to the Lord. He will take care of everything as I give my all and trust in HIm.

To our mortal senses, we cannot fully comprehend God´s ways. BUT, I am coming to learn how the Lord carries us in His spirit. I call it "sitting in the spirit" and it is a place where we feel joy, happiness and we can see the light in ourselves and others. The Holy Ghost truly reveals the truth of ALL things and I know that as we seek to find answers and ask the Lord what we can improve upon and TRUST HIM, he will bring the light to us. He will bring us all the answers. In the process, as we trust Him and submit our will to Him, he will help us to grow closer to Him and develop more Christlike attributes.

We saw a devotional by Elder Ballard and he talked about how on his mission, he worked hard and did his best, but did not even imagine that he would be able to one day be called as a bishop and especially not as an apostle of the Lord! He pointed out that as we submit our will to the Lord´s, He uses us to bring about His work. This is not about just me or you or any one person. This is about every single one of us TOGETHER: We are all here for all of us. There is a plethora of success, happiness, beauty, love, and everything else to go around. We do not have to fight for any of these things or control our surroundings. The Lord blesses all of us as we ask him for help and work on trusting Him fully. He blesses us and we bless each other and we are all happier than we could ever imagine! He prepares us for what we will do for His children in the future. As we are obedient and rely on Him, he uses us to carry His work forward.

The Lord has given us our senses so we can enjoy life and find more things to be grateful for. He gives us many gifts. He gave us the atonement. He gives us His teachings, prayer, scriptures, friends, family, all the resources we need to be happy... We have so much to be grateful for. Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so!

The Lord knows all things and He loves us tremendously. I do not understand everything but I do know that Jesus Christ died for each of us. He lives and He is here for me and you. I love my Savior. I am so happy and I feel very blessed to be here.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. I hope we can all see the light in ourselves and others and more fully use gratitude to turn what we have into enough! We can do anything through the Lord!

Love to you all,
Hermana Alexis Jessop

Thursday, October 8, 2015

First Week in CCM :: October 8, 2015


Wow! I've been in Guatemala for about 10 days and it has been amazing, crazy, up, down, happy, sad, exciting, exhausting...and the list goes on and on. I have a lot to tell you all so I am sorry this email is a little jumbled! First of all, conference was incredible!!! Oh, and Guatemala is beautiful. The flowers are intricate and colorful and the trees are so unique. I love the view from my window.

The MTC in Guatemala City is a really cool place. It is clean (even for mom...haha), full of the spirit, the teachers are amazing,and everyone is very supportive. The food is not too bad either! I love the girls I share a room with. My companion is named Hermana McBee, from Pleasant Grove, Utah. She is a lot of fun, so happy and we are always laughing at everything.... She also likes being outside and being active so she is happy to go up three sets of stairs to go to the bathroom with me every hour or so... hahaha. Water, water, water. The other two girls we room with are Hna Gunderson from Illinois and Hna Bernal from Washington, both super amazing people. I am blown away by their faith and willingness to serve. They are hardworking and so Christlike. I have a lot to learn from them and admire them quite a bit. They are special girls. I do not doubt for one second that we were put together for a reason.

All the people here are very nice and hardworking and teachable. The long days, lack of sleep, sitting inside all day... it can be overwhelming but we all just feel it together. As I see sisters crying and overwhelmed, I also see other sisters and elders coming to help them and pick them back up. I´ve had my share of crying too, but everyone is so supportive. Here, we are God´s investigators, learning the doctrine and learning to rely on Christ. Over and over again, everyday I am here, I realize that I really need to focus on relying on Christ. We cannot do this alone. I am God´s investigator and I am here to become more of who He wants me to be. It is hard to change, to jump outside of our comfort zones and be somewhere with our own thoughts, insecurities, difficulties, etc. This is when we look ourselves right in the eye and ask God what we need to do. It is God´s workshop. But, this is why this experience is so special and worth it. A mission is a unique experience. I am just starting out and have not seen much of everything, but I am excited to see what else is in store. I KNOW it will all be worth it, even when times are hard. If God brings us to something, He will certainly bring us through it.

Watching conference at the MTC was an incredible experience. I learned a lot more than I ever have because my attention was focused on the talks. A lot of my questions and prayers were answered as I listened to our prophets speak. At first, when I got here, I think I had very unrealistic expectations in my head. I have felt inadequate my first week here, trying to do everything and be everything and lacking a lot of compassion for myself and others, struggling with perfectionism. The talks by the 3 new apostles especially touched my heart. They talked about how they are men who are ordinary but called of God to do His work. They said that God choose the ordinary and imperfect to do His work. That brought a lot of peace to my heart. I know there is a reason I am here in this mission at this exact time with these exact people. I am excited to see more of why that is. The Lord´s ways are perfect and I know that it is all in HIs hands. Everything unfolds just as it needs to. His ways are slow and deliberate. Day by day, moment by moment, we can ask the Lord what he needs of us.

My classes are going well. I am so super grateful that I learned all the Spanish grammar and basics before. I hadn't practiced for a good 2 years so it is rusty but it is all coming back. I've been caught by teachers speaking romantically to the janitors because of the wrong verb tenses, but I just laugh and learn from it. The teachers are nice and just correct us. I love school and learning and practicing Spanish all the time, so it is fun to be here and learn the language. Sometimes sitting in class can be tiring but we get an hour of outside time to exercise, so that helps! I do yoga sometimes during that time and some of the sisters from Central America join me and love to learn yoga. It is so much fun!!! My dream of becoming a yoga teacher! We laugh a lot because they think our backs are going to snap in half when I do a backbend but then we all try it together and laugh. It is a good way to practice Spanish and learn new words for both of us. I've been learning to play volleyball too, which I'm pretty bad at, but it's funny and we just all laugh together...hahhha

We went to the temple this morning. It was a powerful experience. I miss everyone at home and that is the hardest part for me so far, but as I was in the temple, I felt a lot of love from our Father in Heaven for all of us. I started thinking about life and the human spirit and all of you who I love so much. I thought about our ancestors and the strong pioneer women who came so far and endured so much. We are all here for all of us. God loves us. He is here for us. I know this for certain. I am grateful to be here and to be part of this great work. God is making us who He wants us to be through all the experiences.

Love you all with my whole heart,
Hermana Alexis Jessop

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I'm here! :: September 30, 2015

Hola Familia!

Estoy en Guatemala. I made it on time and arrived this morning at about 7 am. I came with about 15 elders and 7 other hermanas. We just ate breakfast and are able to write for about 5 minutes, so I just wanted to let you all know that I am here and safe! The people are all super nice and welcoming. Most of the missionaries here are from the USA. My roommates are from all over the states, which is fun. No cameras allowed in the CCM so you won't see any photos for the next 6 weeks. I have the badge, I am here and I am super excited!!! It is all so beautiful and green.

Love you all lots & lots!

Hermana Alexis Jessop