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