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