Monday, June 10, 2013

Sister Jeppson's First Week in Mesa

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson

HOLA FAMILA y AMIGOS!!!

Well, life is just great. This week has been super crazy and super busy. I woke up at 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, our flight was at 8, and I landed in Arizona at 9:40 (there is an hour difference). When we got off the plane and through security, we met our Mission President and his Assistants. He is so amazing!! I am so so so sad that he's leaving, however I am so excited to get to know the new Mission President. And it is SOOOO hot here. My third day out it reached about 115 degrees. Everyday about 10 a.m. it's 100 without fail. SOO hot...but it's great! I love every bit of it.

We took pictures with all the new missionaries (33 total, 17 Sisters, and 7 of the Sisters are Visitor Center Sisters). We then went to the mission home for what felt like HOURS! They fed us lunch and we had orientation. There I found out that my companion couldn't drive. So as the Junior companion, I am the driver! Scary huh. Anyway, I had to take a written test and pass a driving test. I passed with flying colors!! So yup, we drive. It's because we are Visitor Center Sisters. When I go full field, I'll most likely be on a bike. We'll see.

That night, I was put with a companionship and stayed with them. We had two dinner appointments and two lessons planned. Hispanics really know how to eat! I can already tell that I'm going to gain weight here. But that was the most exhausting day of my mission thus far.

In the morning, I met my companion, Hermana Valladares. She's from Honduras! And she speaks Spanish to me ALL the time (except when we're at the Visitor Center, because it's kind of a rule to speak only English unless the visitor you're talking with speaks Spanish). So really my mission is Spanish and English speaking.

I spend half the day in the Visitor Center, then the other half in an area. The ward we are working with is so great. They have a huge emphasis on missionary work, so we are trying to help them all become better member missionaries (AS SHOULD YOU ALL). But first, we figured that we need to gain their trust. So we've been visiting a lot of members. When we do, I really don't talk because I don't know what they're saying. But when they ask me to pray, or to bare my testimony, or share a scripture...I shine. Everytime I speak in Spanish, the members just smile. They say that I speak good Spanish for only being in the field for a week.

OH GUESS WHAT!! Our ward mission leader is Randy Borchardt. He was in the bishopric with Grandpa Jeppson a few years back! What a small world. He is amazing!

We eat dinner with the members every night. And, oh my word, the food is SO amazing. I love Mexican food. We were eating at a members house last night. We found out that they are both converts. Eight years ago they went to the Easter Pageant, filled out a guest card, met with the missionaries, and got baptized! I did my best to speak in Spanish and the wife just smiled at me. She told me that I have a "cara de nina". Basically she told me that I have a baby face. She also gave me a huge hug, and in her best English said "I'm so proud of you!" I was so happy!

The Visitor Center is considered an area. So I have two areas. When we're at the Visitor Center, we teach people online and on the phone for a few hours. We call all the referrals from the guest cards, we take calls from mormon.org, and we answer chats. So on there we have around 10 progressing investigators. One with a baptismal date, and another who is so close! He's just a bit stubborn. But he's getting there.

In our other areas, we have two investigators who had a date for this Saturday, but they didn't come to church, so we have to push it back. It's been tough, because they don't like to answer their phone (they're 17, what teenager doesn't answer their phone ;) ). So we've got work to do.

My companion is fearless. She kind of reminds me of you, Mom. Meaning, our phone is always ringing, and she's always on the phone coordinating stuff, and she is hard to say no to. Yesterday she said,"Sister, P-days are stressful." Me: "Um, and why  is that?" Her: "Because there is just so much to do! I don't know how to relax." Um...Mom...does that sound familiar? I just laughed. And she talks to EVERYONE! She's like a hawk. We have sprinted across the parking lot to talk to people. Keeping up with her is tough (when you she her picture, just imagine her running after people, she's fierce).

I'm doing great! Missionary work is awesome! However, if you would have asked me how I was feeling a few days ago, I probably would have given you the most terrible look. It was just a ton of information. But no worries, I found a system! It's called relax and give it to the Lord. I have spent so much time on my knees pleading. And guess what, prayers really are answered. The key to missionary work is truly forgetting yourself and accepting the Lord's will. This is HIS work. I'm just here to represent Him. I am literally an instrument in HIS hands. He tells me what to do and I do it... most of the time. It's a bit scary to talk to people I don't know, in Spanish.

The Visitor Center is amazing! The spirit is always so strong here! The weekends are crazy because everyone decides to get married, and because it's so hot outside, all their guests come into the Visitor Center. Let me tell you how fun it is to tell people to be quiet, nicely and reverently.

I'm sorry this letter is so scattered, but I have almost no time, and there is so much I want to tell you!! Missionary work is awesome! Remember your role as member missionaries! It is a vital role. Also, the missionaries in your area are the representatives of Christ. Treat them well. If you get the blessing to have them over for dinner, take it! They are representing Christ and can teach you amazing things. You are all AWESOME!!! Thank you, Thank you, for all that you do!!

Le quiero,

Hermana Jeppson

Last Day in the MTC  (June 5, 2013)

Getting into the Swing of Things (June 17, 2013)

Sister Lindsey Jeppson
Mesa Temple Visitor Center


Sister Jeppson and her companion, Sister Valladares, at the Mesa Temple