Monday, March 30, 2015

Gracie yelped for joy " bady toads" !!!!!

Dear family and friends,
Im truly learning the difficulty in telling other about the joys of a mission. When you are on a mission, you cannot formulate into words what you want to express. Each week, I find it more difficult to tell you all about my week, who we taught, what was learned and most importantly how the Savior and His Atonement has influenced my life.
The beginning of this week started out with my testimony being strengthened on personal revelation. I needed help to know how to love my mission more. Through studying and praying, I learned my answer is in the question. I thought back to the New Testament and the first great commandment: "Love the Lord, thy God with all thine heart" and to "love thy neighbor as thyself." I truly do love my mission and there is always room to love more.
Our miracle moment for this week was when we received a call from a man who wants us to teach his family. We do NOT get calls like this. Sister Regen and I were so humbled to have received that call. We get to teach the family and have dinner with them tonight. We are SO excited! :)
We were able to go to two nursing homes this week and visit with some of the elderly. Being there, brought tears to my eyes thinking of my sweet grandmother in Reno. I am fortunate to have such a loving, sweet, intelligent woman in my life. One who still has her humor, belief in God, and a healthy mind that allows her to remember her family. I love her.
We taught the Buckinghams again and he always gets on the topic of politics. As a missionary, we are supposed to engage in those conversations because it takes us away from our ultimate purpose in inviting others to come unto Christ. Ill will tell you though, it is extremely hard to not get into a discussion concerning current events. He is funny and gives Sister Regen and I the opportunity to listen to the Spirit to guide him back to our discussion.
The climax of my week was teaching a 10 minute lesson to a 5 year old named Gracie who comes from a very broken home. We taught her how to pray and we told her she can tell God, the things she is grateful for and the things she wants. We invited her to pray with us and her prayer broke my heart. In her innocent voice, she said " Please give me more time to see my mommy. Please let her love me." That was the prayer she offered that night. That was the prayer that extended the appreciation for my unbroken home far more than I ever imagined. After the lesson, I found two baby toads, ( my 5 year old self came out and I yelped for joy) All the kids on the street ran to me to see what I had found. I held these two precious creatures out to all these children. In the picture, stands little Gracie in front of me. 
I got the privilege to attend a baptism this weekend. As I saw this little girl enter the waters of baptism, I finally understood. There is no greater joy than seeing someone come unto Christ. 
The General Women's broadcast was amazing. It answered questions that I had. I truly know that any meeting can be an experience of revelation. I invite all of you to watch it online if you didn't get a chance to watch is live. 
Lastly, I am being humbled every single day. I learn more and more of my own pride and selfish desires and how they prevent me from hastening the Lords work. I see that everything I do relates to Heavenly Father's work and His glory. I wish I could describe it to those reading this. 
My invitation to you all this week is to look into General Conference. It will be held on April 4th and 5th. It starts at 10 am Mountain Standard Time (Utah time) then adjust accordingly. I ask you all to watch a session or all of them. We get to hear from our living prophet. I know he is a man called of God and the messages that will be shared are for our day. Come with a question of your heart, and I promise it will be answered. Also because it is Easter, look up the video Because He Lives. Ive attached the link to watch it. Its only 3 minutes.
I love you all, and miss you. God Be With You Until We Meet Again.


Pray always,
Sister Jordan

Monday, March 23, 2015

What can I say? I love lizards.....

Dear Family and Friends,
So this week was one to remember. Half way through the week I got super sick so I was in bed most of the day on Thursday. I felt so bad for my companion because she had to stay with me. It was absolutely terrible not being able to be out proselyting. So that was great.
We went and taught Sister Pryor who practically lives with lizards because there are so many in her yard. I think she was a little mortified when I had Sister Regen take this photo. What can I say? I love lizards.
Also I cant believe that over the last 2 months Ive failed to neglect to tell you all that we were putting together and Open House and devotional for the community. We have been working so hard on it and I just cant fathom how I didnt tell you! Anyways it was Saturday, it turned out great! The Spirit was so present and I guess now it is being reported to the Presidency of the Seventy to be used as a template for all Southern missions of the United States. No pressure or anything. 
I feel that Ive had a unique week. I dont even know how to describe it. During training on Saturday, it became very emotional for me on how important the Spirit is. I really focused on listening to the still small voice and I saw such a difference in how I was teaching. I really wish I could express how my heart felt during this experience but I cant think of words to describe it. Its different for all of us.
We taught Tristalee and Jordyn as well and they are very dear to my heart. We taught them the Restoration and about Joseph Smith. Jordyn is funny. She just looks at her mom and says, "Well, I want to be baptized Mormon." Little children understand the gospel so much more than we think they do. They truly are precious in His eyes. They also came to church yesterday and it was perfect because we had our Easter Program. Little kids who sing about Jesus being our Lord and Redeemer bring tears to my eyes. It was bseautiful. 
Last but not least is that General Conference is coming up soon. For all of you who dont know what this is, this is a event that happens twice a year. It is an opportunity to listen to our current, living prophet President Monson and many other general authorities of the church. I love this time of year. Ive been pondering questions that I have about life that I can bring with me as I listen to General Conference. I have a testimony and a promise to you all, that those who have questions can have them answered at General Conference. I invite those who are members to attend, watch or listen to General Conference and come with a question of your soul. I invited those who are not members to come with a question anyways and see what General Conference is. It is a time for God to talk to His children! 
I know with every fiber of my being that the church is true; it is real. I know we have been blessed to live at this time. I love this gospel with all my heart. I would not be where I am today without it.
I love you all, I pray your take consideration of my words. I know they are true and you can as well. God Be With You Until We Meet Again.
Pray always,
Sister Jordan

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dear loved ones,
I cannot even believe how much has happened in the last 7 days. It feels like a novel to explain but I will tell you because its amazing. First, shout out to Linnae Ruesch for having the activity day girls write letters. I love them. Also to the Weckerly family for writing a bunch of letters as well. I appreciated them so much. So funny story of the week. Keep in mind as I tell this, I LOVE LIZARDS. So Sister Regen and on Friday went to get the mail. I cant even tell you what was wrong but it was one of those days you just wanted to cry for no reason. So Sister Regen in her wisdom says "Just focus on the small tender mercies Heavenly Father shows you." Lets just say, He has a sense of humor. I looked up and said "Yeah youre SO right." And then I look down and see a lizard that has been squished by a car. It was so funny that I cried so hard. I was on the ground in the parking lot laughing because of it. Maybe you had to be there but just imagine me sitting on the ground, laughing and crying because of a lizard. Anyways I love Gods creatures. We also met a very angry turtle that lunged at us. It was the most hideous turtle Ive ever seen. 

So this week we went to Sumter for a mission tour and to hear from Elder Kopischke of the Seventy. I learned several valuable life lessons that day. One of the biggest lessons was to always have a question when going to meetings. Any type of meeting, always have a soul searching question and you will get and answer from above. Ive been asking question all week and receiving personal revelation for them. I know Heavenly Father talks to all His children. My testimony regarding this has been strengthened more than ever before. At this meeting I was able to see my girls from the MTC so that was a tender mercy by itself. This tour was definitely a moment in time where I could feel the chastisement from God. We as a mission definitely learned we need to do better and to be more obedient. Sister Regen and I talked for days on this and we decided to obey with exactness. When you are on a mission, sure you obey all the "Big" rules but there are so many little ones that you can rationalize and it definitely makes an impact on your mission. For example, we are supposed to wash our cars every Monday. Mission Rule. I can say that we have not washed our car every Monday. Small rules may seem very frivolous but they end up making the difference. Obey with exactness.

While in this mission tour, I realized how much knowledge I really lack about the Savior's earthly life. I know the general stuff but this week Ive been reading the New Testament and I have such a testimony of His life. I know my Savior lives. There is something that we can learn from every word, sermon or miracle He gave. I love my Savior.

I love people. In case you didnt know that about me, I love people. I think that's why I dont talk about specific people much is because I love them all so I really dont know who to choose to talk about. We taught a member family last night: The Russon family. Their little girl Wrenley is adorable. She loves me and teaches me every time I see her about princesses and flowers. I always leave with a picture. We got to see Robin who is struggling. She is such a wonderful lady and has so much in store for her. She is a blessing to my life. We got to see Sister Morrison this week who is 90 years old and gets around like she is 40. Nothing stops her. When we left, she told us "Tell your beautiful mothers that if I had daughters I would want two exactly like you two." She is the best!
Sorry this was a long email but its been such a blessed week. I finished reading the Book of Mormon again. Ive never had such a solid knowledge in a book ever before. I was fortunate enough to have a testimony of this book when I was young because my father read it with me. I will never be able to repay him for that. My challenge for members of church this week is to read from the Book of Mormon every single day. And then keep going. My challenge for non members is to go find a Book of Mormon and read the Introduction page and ponder how you feel afterwards. I love this gospel so much. I love you all so much and God be With you Until we Meet Again.
Pray always,
Sister Jordan

Monday, March 9, 2015

Wonderful people of my life,
How goes it? It is wonderful here in South Carolina. If you haven't seen the picture... Guess what I found this week? A FROG! I love frogs and I took about 50 pictures of the little guy. That was probably the highlight of my week beside the work of course. I might even add that Sister Regen and I saved his life because he couldnt find any water. So he was a little dry but with my frog skills he lived :) 
So we moved apartments and it is wonderful. So much room and no cockroaches. Im in heaven. We have had an interesting week and date lights savings time does not help. We planned and we laughed because we have SO MUCH to get done. Good thing we have a loving Heavenly Father to help us. We also live in the same complex that the couple missionaries live in too. Sister Petersen is the BEST. She is the grandma of our mission and is so dear. I love her. AND she has offered to do our laundry so we dont  have to pay for it anymore. SO BLESSED.
So we were actually able to teach so many people this week despite our lack of time due to moving and updating all of Goose Creek. We taught Danny who is an alcoholic. When we met with him, we told him flat out to stop. Cold Turkey. And he hasnt had a drink since we last met with him which was Thursday. So thats progress! We also met with our dear sweet Olivia. She is 11 and so mature and intelligent for her age that when I talk with her, I almost forget that Im an adult and shes a child because she teaches me so much. Her home life is hard because her dad is in rehab and her mom is never home. But she loves her family. We love teaching her. Since we took over the area we also taught Sister Pryor and Carri this week. We knew them from seeing them at church but not we actually get to know them! Sister Pryor is amazing. Carri she suffers from an anxiety disorder and is currently in the middle of a divorce. But she has such a strong testimony of the gospel. She shows such faith and is such an example to me. We saw the Mannings who are a family that got baptized right before I showed up. They are super excited to go the temple and we love working with them. We are currently working with the Rice family who are investigators. They are progressing so well and we are praying to have a baptismal date set for them at the beginning of April. We also have set a date for Damien and Aidien who are 12 year olds and we are so excited.
I cant even express how much I love this work. I love reading the Book of Mormon and learning more about the doctrine of Christ. My testimony has grown so much. I love Christ and know through Him we can recieve full blessings from our Heavenly Father. I know I said this last week as well but its needed to be said again. The experiences this week have shown me more how grateful I am to have parents who love and support me. I cant ever repay them for the life they have given me. I am truly blessed and will forever be thankful. It also fills my heart with gratitude knowing that I can be with them forever. 
I love this gospel and I know my Savior lives. My challenge for the week for all you is to say another prayer of gratitude. Nothing except what you are grateful for.
God be with you Until we meet Again.
P.S. My frog is beautiful
Pray always,
Sister Jordan

Monday, March 2, 2015

I caught my first Skent this week. Way Cool !!!!!

Hello my family and friends!
Boy has it been a long week or what?! So much has happened so bear with me through this email because it will be longer. This week has been one of the most stressful weeks yet, but I have seen so many tender mercies. This week has opened my eyes even more of how thankful I am for my parents back home and the life Ive been blessed with. I never knew how much I really had. So Lets get started!
I have finished my first transfer in South Carolina! I cant believe how fast time is flying. So I serve in Goose Creek as you all know but because the area is so big, we have half and then a set of elders have the other half. Though our area is Goose Creek, we live in North Charleston. Well guess what, Sister Regen and I have been assigned the ENITRE area! Super exciting which also means we get to move apartments! We are moving in the Elders old apartment. Super exciting but the most exciting part is that there are NO COCKROACHES! I was dancing for joy last night when we found this out. As a person, Ive never been super scared of anything. Sure there were things I didn't like but once I truly discovered living with cockroaches is normal in South Carolina, I became scared. I am not afraid to admit that. A dumb cockroach is my kryptonite. I hate them so much! My hopefully LAST story about them happened at 4 in the morning on Friday. And because everyone was sleeping, I could even scream so I cried instead. Yes, tears were shed because of a dumb bug. Anyways no more roaches, Im one happy missionary.
So Im not getting transferred but I do get to move to a nicer place! SWEET! :)
I caught my first Skenk this week. I don't remember if I told you what it was but its  lizard with a snake head. Way cool and I love catching them! :)
Spiritual time!
We have been teaching an 11 year old named Olivia and she comes from a home where her dad is in rehab, and her mom isn't a big part of her life. She struggles and has had to grown up. As we taught her this week, I just gained such a greater appreciation for my parents. I was blessed to have had them both by my side to support me in all that I went through and all that I will go through. I will never forget the love they have shown me. I cant even express my gratitude to my Father in Heaven for blessing me with them. I wish only that others were as fortunate as I. But ultimately that is why the gospel is so crucial to everyones lives. It gives them all an opportunity to have that same love.
We taught our new investigator Tristalee and her daughter Jordan. I love them so much! she is a single mom who doesn't know if God exists and wants to know. Jordan is 8 and loves learning about the church. She loves asking questions and we love feeling the Love of our Savior in answering them.
We were able to also help in a soup kitchen type environment this week. It was one of the most humbling experiences Ive ever had. I got to talk to people about their lives and give them food. Seeing people come to a shelter of such and put the food we gave them in a suitcase they carry around made my heart break. I could never imagine living in way where I didn't know if I would have a meal the next day. Im humbled to live the life I have. The experience is one that Ill never forget. Sister Regen and I want to go back every Wednesday and help these people. There lives are less than fortunate but to see how much faith they have in God is unbelievable. They love God despite their circumstances. Again Im so grateful for the blessings Ive received in my life.
That's all for this week. When you go on a mission, your eyes are really opened to how much you are indebted to the Lord. He owes you nothing yet He is ready to give you it all. We ran low on miles this week. And we prayed so hard on Saturday that He would give us a way where we wouldn't go over our miles. A member called us an asked if we wanted a ride that night. Prayer answered. The miles we are given to drive is to preach His gospel. They are His. Im so grateful to be in South Carolina. He has been preparing me for years to be here and I love it.
Challenge to you all this week: Say a prayer of Gratitude to your Father in Heaven. Don't ask for anything but tell Him all that you are thankful for. Its amazing when you realize what He has really blessed you with. I love you all and God be with You Til we Meet Again.
Pray always,
Sister Jordan