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.