Monday, December 29, 2014

To new beginnings...

Another Christmas... gone... And soon... another year. Crazy. But enough of that. This week was... a little trunky... Not gonna lie. We had to be back in our pensión by 7:00 on Christmas Eve and on Christmas because there's loads of drunk people in the streets. So we didn't have a ton of time to work. Not to mention, everyone was travelling this week. So... yeah. What we ended up doing, was taking cards around to our investigators and less active members in our area. We made some delicious (if I do say so myself) Christmas cookies and took those around too. It was pretty successful considering how dead the streets were on Christmas morning.

But by and far the best part of Christmas was getting to talk to my family. So good. But again... made me a little trunky. Haha. Hermana Franco, (the mission president's wife) told us the first day in the mission that the cure to pretty much everything is to work. And she's right. December 26 went right back to normal. And we worked. And all the trunkiness was gone. Also. It was fetching hot on the 26. I thought for sure I was going to melt right into the streets of Formosa and be lost forever to the world. I hear that January is the worst though. So... I have many hot days ahead. Guuuhhhh....

There really isn't much to report this week. We've been teaching Alex and Teresa and they seem really interested in learning about the Gospel. Alex loves praying and says that he wants to live all the commandments and everything. But when we try to get them to church, there's always something that interferes. Satan is working really hard against us and against Alex and Teresa. It's so obvious that he DOES NOT want them to be baptized. Bueno. All the more reason to help them.

Transfers are this week. Wednesday. We still have no idea what is going to happen. But here's the thing. We have to be inside by 7 again on New Year's Eve because of all the drunkards in the streets. But if I get transferred, I move on New Year's Eve. And who even knows how far I'll have to travel. I don't know what's going to happen. But basically, I'm a ranger (from the North) here in the mission. Always moving around, living out of a bag, helping people... You know... We just take things as they come here in the mission. It's all part of the adventure.

That's pretty much it for this week. Hopefully this next week is a bit more exciting. But until then, so long.

Hermana Hein

Pics: Christmas cookies and milk for Santa. (who doesn't exist here BTW) and Skype!! Wooo!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad

Wow. Christmas is upon us. How crazy is that?? I can't believe it. Also. It's week 6! Transfers are next week! Who even knows what will happen. Hna. Fullmer has had 6 MONTHS in this area so we really have no clue what's going to happen. Because she also only has 2 more transfers in her mission. And she doesn't think that she will finish her mission here. So maybe we'll whitewash together... who knows.

This week was crazy. We had to do divisions otra vez with the Hermanas in Pirané. It's like... the Rexburg to the Idaho Falls that is Formosa. It's tiny. And hot. And there's GIANT COCKROACHES THAT FLY!! Ugh. I could have died. I already have a fear of giant flying beetles thanks to The Mummy. And now that fear has been realized. Oof... That's one reason I'm glad to be in my area.

Also, I love the people in my area. Most people are so nice and open to hearing what we have to say. And the members are great. Pretty much all the members here in Formosa are converts, so they understand the importance of this work.

This past week or two, we've had the opportunity to teach a little family that live really close to the church. It all started because this woman asked us to help her son with his English homework. So, we took the opportunity to share a little bit with them about what we do and teach them a bit too. We finally got to teach them the first lesson and they were so excited about it.

The boy, named Alex, is 12. And he is so great. And so smart. We gave him a Book of Mormon one of the first times we taught him and gave him the chapter about Nephi going back for the plates to read and he loved it. He was so excited to ask for more chapters to read. When we taught him about the Restoration, he asked us,

"Wait... if the true Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the Earth today, where is it??"

"Bueno. You know that church across the street with the white steeple? Yeah... That's where."

His eyes got huge and he was SOOO excited that the truth was so close to his house. Unfortunately... Alex and his Mom didn't make it to church yesterday. We're a little disappointed but still excited to teach them more. They both have such a desire to learn. and they're so sweet. Teresa, Alex's Mom, gave us empanadas the other day!! Amazing.

I'm really grateful to be here. I know I say that every week but in reality, I'm supposed to be here. There's people like Alex here that I have been prepared to teach. No, my Spanish isn't the greatest. But that's okay. Because if I can teach with the Spirit, my ability to speak the language won't really matter. (DON'T WORRY. I'm still studying the language at every chance I get.)

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and always remember to keep the Lord at the center. Because with Him, we can do ALL things.

Con Amor,
Hermana Hein

The pic from this week: Pirané. That pic with the horses, is the very ESSENCE of Pirané: (minus the giant roaches.) horses, dirt and mud, ugly dress. Get it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pure Gold...

This week was pure gold. Some days here are really hard. It's hard to stay focused, it's hard to stay positive, and it's hard to speak without feeling like a complete idiot. But there are going to be those days. And while that sucks, it's not going to change. The only thing that can change is me. And yeah. I had those days this week. But the good that comes from this work, will ALWAYS outweigh the bad.

We had a baptism this week! My first in the mission. And I'm really happy. Good ole Norberto. Haha. His girlfriend is a recent convert who referred us to him. So, he took the discussions and now, here he is. The newest member of the Church. Norberto's great. So willing to learn and change. He understands why we have certain commandments that other people don't understand. It was hard to find time to teach him though because he works... always. We could only teach him like... twice a week during the siesta. And let me tell you what, it gets HOT during the siesta. But we did it. And Norberto seems really happy.

In all, I didn't really do much. I can teach okay. But it's very simple. And then Hna. Fullmer asks me to explain tithing in Spanish and things go right downhill. Haha. I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to teach Norberto. It has been a great learning experience for me and I'm grateful that I was able to have some small hand in helping him be baptized. We couldn't have done this without the Lord. We couldn't do anything that we do without Him.

Also this week, we found a new investigator who I already love to death. Her name is Areceli and she's amazing. She's so open to learning and truly wants to understand. She's smart and thinks for herself and doesn't let the opinions of others get in the way of her desire to learn. We took her on a tour of the church this week and the spirit was so strong. We testified and we testified and testified, over and over again of the truthfulness of this Gospel and of the reality of the Atonement and how it can bless us everyday. (Pretty much all I can do is testify so this was bueno.) And she felt it. The Spirit was there. And he was speaking to her. And she heard him. It was amazing.

This Gospel is real. The Lord lives. And everything he does is to help us. I am so full of humility and gratitude to the Lord EVERYDAY. I couldn't do this without him. I have done things here in the mission that I NEVER would have had the guts to do before. Because I have asked for His help. And He has responded in FULL. I want everyone to know that I know. I want everyone to know that I have felt his love in every aspect of my life. Everyday there is another struggle. But this also means that everyday there's another opportunity to learn and grow through the love of the Lord. I am so excited to see what else I will learn here in the mission. It's been 4 weeks. And already I am so different from who I was when I left in October.

I hope this week is a good one for all of you. Keep the Lord in the loop and it will be. I promise.

Lots of Love,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Will to Act

Whew. Week 3 down. I'm practically done with my mission. Haha. But it's crazy that I'm already halfway done with one transfer. Yeah... I know. That's nothing. But whatever. As long as I'm working, the time doesn't really matter.
In front of the new Cordoba Temple

Speaking of work... we really didn't do a lot of it this week because I was in Cordoba. It was awesome. Okay... The city was awesome. Waiting around to sign visa papers... not so awesome. We went with a group of like... 30 missionaries and the President's wife, Hermana Franco, who is AMAZING BTW. I was really grateful for the opportunity I had to get to know her a little better. Also, I was grateful that I got to take a HOT SHOWER WITH WATER PRESSURE! Amazing.

While in Cordoba, we had the opportunity to go see the new Cordoba Temple. It's not finished so we couldn't go inside or anything but it was awesome. I love the temple and I was grateful to just be on temple grounds. The temple is beautiful (like all temples, am I right?) and attached are some photos. :)

Also on our trip, I was reunited with Hermana Nakken which was amazing. And I also got to know some of the other Hermanas in the mission. Hermana Barker was my companion for the trip and she (as you read from last week... maybe...) is awesome.

The city is very... San Francisco. Lots of hills and trees and cool buildings... I really liked it. But I wouldn't want to serve there.

In Cordoba
It's almost Christmas. Crazy. Especially since it's so hot here. It doesn't feel like Christmas. But the church recently just made a video that we have been using A LOT in our contacts and it's AMAZING. I invite all of you to watch it. In English, I think it's called, 'He is the Gift'. WATCH IT. We have a new investigator that was just a contact. Some missionary in another area asked her to watch the video and she did and she wanted to know more. So here we are.

This week, I've learned a lot. I definitely feel like my Spanish is improving everyday and I'm becoming more comfortable teaching. The thing that helps the most, is just DOING IT. I'm here to serve the Lord. So I need to do just that. I need just open my mouth and speak or I'm never going to learn. There's no growth in a comfort zone. I have to have the will to do what is needed. The will to act. Faith is action. JUST DO IT.

Okay. I'm out for this week. Enjoy the pics of Cordoba... and my face. Because let's be real. I'm more interesting than a city... yeeeeaaaahhh... Alright. Until next week, then. Love you all and hope all is well.

Love, Hermana Hein

Monday, December 1, 2014

Oh ho. Week 2 in Argentina

Dear Familia:

Don't worry. It was mucho mejor. I decided the biggest reason why my week was so terrible was because I had such a crappy attitude. I let my frustration and my emotions get the better of me and it ruined my week. But this week, we did divisions with some of the other sisters in our zone. I went to Puerto with Hna. Barker and served with her for a day. It really opened my eyes. The people in her area were not as friendly and welcoming as they are in ours. And yet... she kept smiling. She kept sharing. And didn´t let the rejection get her down. It was just what I needed to see. So, the next day, when I got back to my area, I decided, "today is going to be better." And it totally was. Your attitude changes *literally* EVERYTHING.

Okay. It's hot. It's crazy that it's DECEMBER because I am literally sweating litres here. The last couple of days have been really nice though. My area is called Terminal III and it's very humble. Everyone says that Argentina is known for their amazing beef... but I haven't had any beef since I got here. The best thing I've had is called... Milinesa?? Yeah. Don't ask me how to spell that. But it was pretty good. Other than that... I haven't been loving much of the food here. I was really craving potato chips the other day...

Okay. Check this out. The secretaries of the mission called us yesterday and asked for me... Uh... crap. They told me I had to go sign some papers for my Visa......... in CORDOBA. Cordoba is like.... far. Like... a 12 hour bus ride far. I'm really excited. It's gonna be a long trip... but I get to see another part of Argentina OUTSIDE my mission. Crazy. We also have to go down to Resistencia this week for Consejo. Which is just for missionary leaders... which my companion... is...? (I can't even speak English.) So this week is going to be pretty crazy and we won't get to work a lot. Which means that when we can work... we're going to WORK.

I'm really grateful to be here and grateful to be learning so much. I only have 2 weeks in the field but I already know that this experience will help me learn and grow so much. I'm grateful for the Lord and all his help this past week. I know he's been with me literally every step of the way.

The pics from this week are all of us Hermanas in the zone at Multi-Zone conference and Hna. Fullmer and I with the hand turkeys we made for Thanksgiving. You've gotta be creative here in the mission.

Okay. I'm out for week 2. Love you all and I hope you have a good week.

Hna. Hein

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Home is Now Behind You...

Holy guacamole I´m in Argentina!!

This place... is crazy. I thought I was learning Spanish in the MTC but apparently... I was not. Haha. Just kidding. But it has been a real chore trying to understand the people here. They talk so fast!! Thank goodness for a companion who actually knows Spanish. Haha.

Hna. Fullmer is awesome! She's so patient and understanding. It's been rough. Not even going to lie about it. The culture here is so different and it's really frustrating that I can´t communicate with anyone. Pretty much all I can do during lessons is bear my testimony. Hopefully that's enough.
Hmna Fullmer

Let me just tell you a thing or two about Formosa... There are dogs.... EVERYWHERE. And the driving is OUTTA CONTROL. No me diga. I was certain the few times we took a cab that we would be responsible for multiple deaths. There´s not really any traffic lights or speed limits or anything. Everyone just goes when they want. It´s a mite terrifying.  Everyone drives motorbikes and weave in and out of traffic. I´m so glad we don´t have to drive anywhere. Walking however... has been... interesting...

My feet are SHREDDED. I´m not kidding. If I´m not capable of walking through Mordor and into Mount Doom barefoot after this... I will be severely disappointed. Those people at the Sister Missionary Mall.... RIPPED US OFF!! Those shoes are the worst. We are going shopping today for new shoes. Also... I have some weird bug bite on my ankle that has made my whole ankle swell up... Yeah not sure... But we´ll see what happens there. Because my feet are so torn up, walking everywhere sucks. Haha. I feel so bad because I feel like I´m slowing us down. We aren´t teaching as many people as we could be because I have to walk like an old codger. Ugh it sucks.
Home Sweet Home

Argentina is a very humble place. At least... it is where I am. I don´t know how things are down south... But here, the people live in very humble circumstances. It really makes an Hermana grateful for all the things I have. I really have no room to complain about anything. I've been humbled a lot since coming here. I have a lot to learn. And I'm so excited. Terrified, but excited. I have been cast into the refiner's fire and I hope to come out of it a better person.

I'm excited to be here and excited to be learning so much. I have already been so blessed by my time here. I can only imagine what I'll have learned 17 months from now.

Okay. Until next week then. The pics are of our pensión and me with Hna. Fullmer. Cool beans. Alright. Now I'm really out. Love you guys and I hope all is well!

With love, Hermana Hein

Side Note from Mum: Jenessa told us that her first Sunday in Argentina, the Sacrament Meeting was the Primary Program. I asked her if they sang the same songs that she (Jenessa) taught our primary kids before she left. She said that some of the songs were the same, but there were others that she had not heard before. Since she was one of the Primary Music Leaders, Jenessa felt bad that she left for her mission just a couple of weeks before our Ward's Primary Program.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Long Journey

Hola Familia!

Here I am ... in Argentina ... finally. We finally got to Resistencia after a 36 hour journey, including a 9-hour layover in Buenos Aries. Mmmm.. so fun! But I'm super excited to be here! I'm still exhausted and found that I really don't know Spanish like I thought I did, but its all good.
Hermana Fullmer and Sister & President Franco

I just met my trainer. Her name is Hermana Fullmer and she's from West Valley. She's super nice and has been really helpful for the past 30 minutes that I've know her. Our area is called Formosa and is about 2 hours away from where we are now. Don't ask where we are now because I couldn't tell you, remember?

I really don't know Spanish...  We're eating pizza for lunch and it's a litter different. It has eggs on it. It's alright. Also, Alfajures. They're big here in Argentina. They're like... little cakes filled with Dulce de Leche. They're pretty good, I guess.

I' just had an interview with President Franco. He's really cool. Super nice and understanding.

I'm not sure what else to write. Besides traveling, nothing much has happened since I got here. My little suitcase broke. But whatever, it's fine. Can't send me one anyway. I'm just sick of lugging my crap around. Oh well.

Okay, I've got to go. But I love you guys.

Love, Hermana Hein

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Chamber of Secrets has been opened...

Notes from this week: Nothing. Haha. Just kidding. It was just another week of the same. You know how the MTC is: Class for 9 hours, volleyball, teaching investigators, attempting to learn Spanish... The usual. But now, it's a little different. Because.... It's OUR LAST WEEK HERE! Holy crap. We only have 5 more days here in the good ole CCM. (I literally have NO IDEA how that translates. I just say it because it's Spanish.)

Our daily grind
We no longer have our TRC investigator, but we did get two NEW investigators: Our classmates. Hma. Nakken and I are teaching Hma. Flores and Elder Brady. We all get to be investigators. It's kind of weird. I don't exactly know how to do it... Not to mention my Spanish isn't really the best so... But it's fun to teach our classmates. Our goal is to (Nacho voice) baPTIZE by Saturday so we're working like crazy.

We also taught over Skype this week and that was weird. Not to mention it was when I was still kind of sick so my voice was gone. Haha. But the lady we taught was really nice. They're member lessons so they're like, home teaching lessons. And we get to teach natives. The TRC people try to get people from the country you'll be serving in but that didn't work out this week. So we taught a lady from Mexico. It was really cool.

Sunday's Temple Walk: The Sisters
I don't know if Mum posted anything about my travel situation but alas. I got my travel plans this last Friday and I'm headed to Argentina next week!! Crazy. It's going to be so much fun. But also, I'm pretty nervous. One of our teachers told us this story the other day about how when he first got to his mission, he couldn't communicate with his companion. WHAT?? Yeah. He freaked me out a bit. But I'll be okay. I'm not in this alone. I never have been. Anyway. Travel. We leave the MTC, fly out of SLC to Atlanta. We have a layover in Atlanta and then the real fun begins... 12 HOUR FLIGHT TO ARGENTINA BABY!! You can bet your sweet boots I'm spending that time becoming fluent in Spanish. Haha. Or finishing the Book of Mormon. Which is the COOLEST by the way. Everyone likes to cut arms off in that book. It's crazy.

We had a great lesson this week with Hmo. Lloyd. He was teaching us about being creative with our lessons so our investigators don't get bored, (like Juan...) so he demonstrated. We did that one lesson where you have to guide someone through a maze of chairs and desks and stuff but only one person is the voice of the spirit. So, it was Elder Brassanini's birthday the day we did this. (I don't remember. I'm sorry.) So he got to be the lucky one who was blindfolded. The rest of us got to be Satan. Only Elder Balmas was the true voice of the spirit. Everyone trusts Hmo. Lloyd because he's so amazing but he only led Elder Brasspanini to sniff a garbage can. That was pretty funny. He eventually figured out that Elder Balmas was the spirit and he found the chocolate at the end of the line. But it was probably a pretty funny sight to behold. And we all had to whisper so we probably just looked like a bunch of crazies speaking parseltongue to a blindfolded Brassanono.

Two Jen/Janessas
Okay. There's not much else to say for this week. It's my last time writing from the MTC so next time, I'll be writing from ARGENTINA!! Crazy! The pics from this week are from our Temple walk on Sunday. There's another Jenessa in the zone!! Only, she spells her name Janessa so it's not as good. Also, Elder Fuga and Elder Balmas switched jackets and that was pretty funny. Fuga's a 300 lb. Tongan football player and Balmas is tiny.
Elder Fuga & Elder Balmas

Alright. Until next time, good bye friends. The next time you hear from me, I'll be on another continent!

Hermana Hein

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Infected (Not the name of my favorite movie)

Well.... This week was terrible. I got so sick on Halloween and still haven't fully recovered. But I'm on my way. Only today, my voice is all but gone. Everyone was laughing at me during volleyball because I sound so stupid. Oh well. Volleyball was excellent... as always. We played sand volleyball up by the temple and while it was a little chilly, we had fun.

So, because I was so sick this entire weekend, there really isn't much to tell because nothing even happened. I stayed in bed all weekend and was sooooo bored. We went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with me and that was a hassle... He checked for the flu, strep, and mono. I hate all of those tests. For the mono test, they had to take my blood but I hadn't had anything to drink all day so they had a little trouble getting any blood to come out. Hhhhhh.... I was telling Nakken about this whole thing and she could not handle it. She was a phlebotomist before she came here so she knows all about that. Anyway. I didn't have any of those things so that's good. But I did have an infection so we had to go get some drugos down the street. THEY MADE ME WALK DOWN TO THE PHARMACY IN MY SICKLY STATE TO GET MY OWN DRUGOS!! (it's actually drugas but whatever.) Long story short, I didn't enjoy this week. Also, OUR WHOLE DISTRICT IS INFECTED!! It all started with Elder Bennett who also now has pink eye, (DON'T LOOK HIM IN THE EYE!!!) who gave his sickness to me. I went home but he kept going to class and got OUR TEACHER SICK. Hma. Duncan got a 24 hour stomach flu, Hma. Flores is feeling sick and Hma. Nakken is starting to feel it now too!!! Basically, we're a hot mess in District 38 E so just steer clear. It's a quarantine zone.

Speaking of District 38 E, we're the oldest in the zone now... How crazy is that? Es la posta!! Okay. Story about that phrase: one of our teachers served in Argentina and has been teaching some Argentine slang. Saying, "es la posta!" in Argentina is like saying, "that's legit" in English. But the literal translation, is  "it's the post". Haha. So we said it one time in front of our other teacher who served in El Salvador and he was so confused as to why were saying everything was the post. Haha. Argentina seems like an interesting place. And I'm psyched to get there. Speaking of, WE GET OUR TRAVEL PLANS ON FRIDAY!!! I can't even handle that. It literally feels like we got here yesterday.

Hma. Nakken and I hadn't taught anyone in what felt like eons so our first lesson after I got back was yesterday and it was terrible. We were teaching our TRC investigator who already is a tough cookie and then, of course, all the Spanish in my brain was just..... gone. I felt horrible. So hopefully our lesson tonight is better. We'll see though. We're teaching our teacher and he always makes me laugh so I don't even know.

Not much else to say today. Because again, nothing even happened this week. But that's okay. I'll just leave with a quick (and always awesome) thought from Elder Holland. His talk from October conference 2012 was mentioned in one of the devotionals this week and I thought it was really cool:

Just check it out. He's talking about being disciples of Christ and it had a lot of really cool stuff for us missionaries. Here's just a brief snippet of what he said:

"Our is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world."

Man. Jefferey R. Holland is the coolest. Anyway. It's really important to think of how important this work really is. And how important it is that we take it seriously. But this can be applied to really anyone in the church. You don't have to be a full-time missionary to share the goodness of the gospel.

Okay. I'm out for this week. Sorry it was such a lame week. Hopefully this coming week brings more interesting stories... Okay.
Love you all,
Hermana Hein

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Potato, Puhtaytuh


Elder Bennett, from my district, is from Virginia (Vurgeeenyaa) and he pronounces potato like puhtaytuh. I can't handle it. THERE'S AN 'O' on the end. HELLLOOO!! So we argued about it for a sec. Anyway. This week has, hey! Been the same. So much class. So much Spanish. So many. Some days I can't handle it. The other day, we were trying to learn indirect and direct object pronouns and I almost stabbed myself in the face with my pencil. Though I'm pretty sure our teacher wants to do that anyway so I'll have to get in line. Ha ha. Just kidding. It's crazy to think about language so differently. I grew up speaking English. So I don't think about subjunctives or progressive tense or anything like that because I already do it all. Is any of this making sense? No. Okay. That's fine.
Me, Hermana Nakken & Hermana Barker

The oldest district left on Monday. It was an all Elder's district and they were crazy. It's kind of a bummer. There was one Elder in that district who got sick and had to stay behind. I'm so sad for him. Poor kid. So, He's flying by himself to Mexico on Monday. The pics from this week are from our temple walk on Sunday. We took loads of selfies with the Elders from the district that left. Also, me looking like hobo on P-day. My favorite look.

Elders Olsen & Davis, Hermanas Ballard, Hein & Nakken

Group Fun

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. Some of our lessons have been really bad. And it's really frustrating to try to teach the gospel in a language that's not my own. We'll get questions and I know how I'd answer in English but I can't..... Because I have to speak in Spanish. So we'll come out of the lessons feeling so inadequate. It sucks. But then we go to class and since we have the coolest teacher in the whole MTC, we come right back up. Hmo. Lloyd is straight up the coolest person I've ever met.
My District + some others

This week, we had a lesson about visions. Not necessarily like Lehi or Joseph Smith visions, but like, what our personal visions were. How we envisioned ourselves after our missions. How our missions would change us. I don't know how to describe this but it was amazing. No matter how terrible I'm feeling about myself, Hmo. Lloyd always brings me right back up. So anyway, some of us share what our 'visions' are and he says, "Those are great. Now think bigger. All of you have the capacity to be what you want and more if you trust in the Lord." Whew. That guy... I can't. Then we got real personal. We all schooched our desks into a tight circle and shared how we had been helped by the others in the room. It was super cool. This is not even going to sound as cool as it was. I'm just on a spiritual high after every class with Hmo. Lloyd.

P-Day Wardrobe
So... It's MTC Hump Day! I've been here three weeks!! And I only have three weeks left!! I don't even know what has happened these past 3 weeks. But it freaks me out that I'll be heading OUT OF THE COUNTRY in 3 weeks! I don't know enough Spanish to do anything!! WHAT IS EVEN GOING TO HAPPEN??? It'll be fine. But it's crazy. There's not much that happened this week that was super entertaining. Oh. Elder Fredrickson, from the district right above us, got hit in the face with the volleyball during gym and Hma. Nakken was laughing so hard she fell over. We're terrible people. But it was.... pppppprrreettttyy funny.

Okay. I'm out. Enjoy your week everyone!
Hermana Hein

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Instructors in Disguise

Hello world! (because there is still a world outside of the MTC, right? I can't tell.)
Things here are the same as last week. We have 9 hours of class everyday and so much Spanish I'm pretty sure my brain is melting. Everyone has been asking me about the food. (I'm not entirely sure why... It's just cafeteria food. I mean it's not like Cafe Rio is catering everyday or anything. haha I wish.) But it's fine. There hasn't been much that I've loved. They did have nachos one day which I was stoked on. I got two plates of it and it was amazing. But other than that, it's been pretty marginal... But the ice cream sandwiches are always a safe bet.

So, last week, I wrote a little about our first investigator. Jonathan. He was the sweetest (and easiest) investigator ever. But we didn't know any Spanish so we'd go into lessons and basically read a script to him. Ha ha. No bueno. But we ended up figuring it out and our last couple of lessons with him were much better. Well, then we started hearing rumors that he would become our teacher. Needless to say, Hma. Nakken and I DID NOT WANT. We were so embarrassed by our terrible lessons that we were terrified by the idea that perhaps Jonathan would become our second teacher. Well... the other day, we're coming back to class after lunch and who is in our classroom? JONATHAN. NOOOOOOOO!!! I could not handle it. Our entire time teaching him, he only spoke Spanish, and acted like he had no idea what we were saying when we talk in English or in Spanglish. He has an AMAZING Argentine accent and looks like he could BE Argentine. Turns out, He's from TEXAS. AND SPEAKS PERFECT ENGLISH.

It's so weird to hear your teachers speak in English. But the first time he did it, Hma. Nakken and I just stared at him. We're still super embarrassed. In our last lesson with him, we invited him to Baptism and he gave us this huge long answer that neither of us understood. So, I turn to Hma. Nakken and whisper, "was that a 'yes' or a 'no'?" She didn't know either!! So she looks at Jonathan and goes, "Si or No?" BAHAHAHA it was so bad. But he's an amazing teacher. And an amazing person. He's *literally* the coolest person I've ever met. And it'll be really cool to be taught by someone who has had to sit through our teaching because he'll know exactly what we need to improve and how we can do it. That first class with him was so weird. But at the same time, one of the best lessons we've had. I'm pretty sure it was just about planning or something. But he taught us in English that day which was really nice because, hey! I could actually understand him! and he's just this spiritual GIANT. And yet, in stature, he's tiny. When we pray, he looks like a little kid. He's so amazing. and so smart. like. Intellectually smart. He's studying NEUROSCIENCE. I cannot. I love every lesson we have with him. Oh. And his name's not Jonathan. It's Hermano Lloyd. I can't keep all his identities straight. Because now, he's playing another investigator named Andres.

Our other teacher, Hmo. Morgan is great too. And the first time we heard him speak English, I almost crapped my pants. it was SOOOOOO WEEEEIIIIRRDDD. You can tell he's not hispanic. He's straight up white. But his accent is really good and he speaks like a native. But then he speaks in English and he has this American accent and it just throws me off so much. couldn't handle it. Both our teachers are awesome. That's all you need to know. And it's really weird when they speak English.

The Spanish for me is coming... kind of. It's crazy to think how much I've already learned. I can pray in Spanish like a boss but that's about it. Ha ha. Just kidding. I know a lot more than I give myself credit for. It's a beautiful language. Way prettier than I used to give it credit for. And I'm SO grateful to not be learning Russian or something. Oi. There's like this, unspoken rivalry between all the different languages. Us Spanish don't get on well with the Germans. Ha ha. Crazy I know. But they're always butting in on our gym action. We just wanted to play Four Square and the Germans had to ruin it. Get on outta here. Plus, there's this one German sister that always gives me the stankiest looks. I'm sorry that my weirdness offends you. Kindly stop glaring at me. Then there's the Italians. We get along okay with them. They'll sometimes play volleyball with us. There's this one Italian that straight up looks like Conan O'Brien. I can't. He's everywhere. We *literally* see him everywhere.

The ceiling over our volleyball court has been destroyed thanks to Elder Brown. He can't contain his own strength. Everywhere else in the gym the ceiling is fine. But not in that one corner. We get pretty outta control in there. But it's so fun. But everyone in that district is leaving on Monday... :( Sad day. They're the best. We stole their painting of Captain Moroni from their classroom. (the other pic from this week: me with my spoils of war. With crazy eyes.)

The two Hermanas who we shared a room with left this week. They were in that district but had already been at the MTC for like, 2 weeks when they joined that one. I don't know. It was weird. They were here for like 8 weeks or something. They were ready to get out. And I don't blame them. But I miss them. They were awesome. That's what the picture is this week. Their names were Hma. Bitton and Hma. Stice. Stice is serving in Virginia and Bitton is serving in Southern Argentina. (with the penguins) . The two in the middle are the ones who left and the ones we roomed with. And the other two are in our District. They're the greatest.
  Hma. Flores, Hma. Duncan, Hma. Stice, Hma. Bitton, Hma. Nakken, me  

Anyway. I should probably go. I don't know what else to tell you about. I feel like nothing has even happened since last week. Because everything we do is the same. I'm still loving it and am excited everyday to learn something new. Sundays are the best. Hands down. Devotional, choir, sacrament meeting, (OH! except that we have to prepare talks in Spanish for Sacrament meeting and the branch presidency choose two missionaries AT RANDOM to give them......... yeeeeaaahhh... i didn't finish mine this week and I was SO SCARED THAT THEY WERE GOING TO PICK ME... They didn't.) Temple walk, no class.... es the besssssstttt... And Tuesday night devotionals are always amazing. Okay. Now I'm really bouncin. Until next week, fare thee well.

Love, Hermana Hein

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


So... the subject for this email comes from good ole Elder Brown. He's one of our zone leaders and taught us the most useful Spanish phrase I've learned thus far: "The struggle is real."

This place is nuts! It's like the most intense schooling experience I've ever had. But at the same time, it's great! The people in my district are awesome and we've grown really close in the last week. I can only imagine how we'll be five weeks from now. Our zone is pretty dope too. I've been getting to know a couple of the Elders from the other two districts in our zone a little bit and they're all pretty awesome. I've been having a really good time. My companion is Hermana Nakken and she's great. We're VERY different but we get along just fine. I'm really grateful to have her.

Hermana Nakken and me
The spirit here is really strong. I love that I can *literally* relate to everyone here. We all have the same goal and we all believe the same things and it makes it really easy for us to come together. We have this crazy awesome devotionals every Sunday and Tuesday that are super good. I honestly can't remember what Sunday's was but yesterday's was way cool. Larry R. Lawrence of the Seventy came and talked about our war with Satan and how we can defeat him. And you know I'm always into cool battles and stuff. So it was awesome to be likened to an sweet warrior which, let's be real here, I am.

Our whole district decided to join the choir. it's awesome! I know I've been using that word a lot but my brain is kinda fried so I can't really think of anything else to say. haha. But yeah choir. We sang last night at the devotional. We sang We Are All Enlisted which was so cool. That song is dope. Everywhere you go here, there's little spiritual nuggets to be found. Even the choir director will take time out of our practice to tell us a cool story.

Gym time is pretty fun. We usually just play volleyball as a district and it gets OUTTA CONTROL. That's right. MTC All Star right here. One of the pictures I'll send is of a gnarly bruise I got diving for a ball. We're technically not allowed to dive but I do it anyway. I just get really competitive. Which probably isn't great but oh well.

So... learning a language has been interesting. Our teacher has only spoken Spanish since we got here so the first couple of days were crazy because there was pretty much nothing I could understand from him. But it's amazing how real the Gift of Tongues is. It's only been a week and now I can understand so much more. And even speak a little. It will come. I just have to put my faith in the Lord.

My frustrated face.
We've had to teach a couple of investigators already. Those lessons are always interesting. Our first lesson was on like, the third day and it had to be entirely in Spanish so that was no bueno. haha. But Hma. Nakken and I have been focusing too much on getting the language right and not enough on teaching with the Spirit. So we're trying to improve that. And yesterday, we taught our first TRC (training resource center) investigator and we didn't really plan much. We just went in and talked to her and it was so much better! We obviously still have to plan but if we're more focused on the person we're teaching that speaking perfect Spanish, then things go a lot better. Teach people, not lessons. One of the fundamentals of missionary work.
P-day Temple Excursion

Okay. That's pretty much it for this week. A lot has happened but at the same time, nothing has happened. it's been fast but also slow... I don't know how to explain it. Oh well. I love you miss you all and hope things are going well for you out in the real world. (The MTC is like another planet, I swear...) Farewell until next week!

Love, Hermana Hein.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day One...

Hola Familia!
that is literally the only spanish I've learned today. Just fyi. Haha
things here are great! apart from the fact that the shift key on this computer doesnt work anyway. Just wanted to say hello and I love you all and things are going well.

I only have a few minutes on the computer today but I just thought you should know that i'm doing fine. also. Pday is on wednesday. ps. send me brownies through dear elder. AMAZING. okay. I'll write a letter detailing all the craziness that was today. It's been great and the spirit here is really strong and I'm so grateful to be here. It's going to take a lot of getting used to but there is no growth in the comfort zone.

I hope to hear from you all so soon. sorry this email is so poorly written. Like I said. the keyboard sucks. but that's all good. pretty much all the girls (the new missionaries anyway) in my district are going to my same mission! crazy. but it's also good to know that there will be a few familiar faces in argentina when I get there. we're all in the same room too!



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Long Awaited Day has Come

I suppose this is the day that every parent anticipates with mixed emotions. And so it was with us. We are very excited that Jenessa made the decision to serve a full-time mission for the church, but were also nervous about what that decision means for our family. This is our second missionary, so it should be easier. It wasn't.

When Riley left for his mission, we were just as nervous and scared about the unknowns of his mission experience. And I don't know if you ever totally get over that feeling while they are gone. However, you learn to trust in the Lord and know that the missionaries receive extra blessings during their service.

As Jenessa left the house for the last time as she begins her mission, she actually looked pretty calm and happy. A lot different than I felt. The past couple of days has been a whirlwind of activity trying to get the final stuff done, while trying to spend as much time as possible with her.

She didn't pack lightly. We actually had to put on the luggage carrier to get all her stuff and us to the MTC. Unlike Riley, who could only take one suitcase, Jenessa could take two and she packed them to the brim. Not knowing what to expect when she gets to Argentina, I think she packed for just about every contingency.

After getting the suitcases out of the car and handing them off to the poor "host" assigned to us, we said our last goodbyes before driving off. Another difference from when we dropped off Riley. We pretty much gave her a hug, told her we loved her and sent her on her way. This is the last look we got of her before being ushered into our car and told where to find the exit. We love you Jenessa and can't wait to hear about your first experiences in the MTC.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Scripture for my Missionary Plaque

The scripture I have chosen to go on my Missionary Plaque and I guess to be the theme of my mission is found in D&C 84:88. It reads:

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." 

Also, tonight when one of the Stake Presidency came to set me apart, he read this scripture to us from D&C 31:3-8. It reads:

 3 Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.

 4 You shall declare the things which have been revealed to my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun. You shall begin to preach from this time forth, yea, to reap in the field which is white already to be burned.

 5 Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live.

 6 Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them.

 7 Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand;

 8 And you shall strengthen them and prepare them against the time when they shall be gathered.

The spirit was really strong tonight as I was officially set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am scared and excited to start this new adventure tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

So it begins...

Preparing for a mission is a lifelong pursuit. Preparing to leave for missionary service is a couple month sprint. We are running faster and faster everyday as we start packing and remembering things that we still need to get, people we should still see and things we must do. Like starting a blog, for instance.

I am Jenessa's mom and will be updating this blog throughout the 18 months while Hermana Hein trains and travels to Resistencia Argentina. Right now, she is sitting at my side, making a movie of a jelly skeleton dancing. You can tell she is really into this blog right now.

I look forward to sharing her journey with you, her family and friends.