Monday, June 23, 2014

Things I've Learned - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson, serving in the Arizona Mesa Mission / Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. Some names are omitted for privacy. Highlighted words link to additional information.)

Queridos Amigos y Familia,

It has been quite the week. First of all, good job Dad on your talk! Mom mentioned that you talked about the story with me working with one of Jake's friends in Peru. Did I tell you that story? Jake told him that I was his girlfriend, and when he asked me if that was true, I just had to roll my eyes. That's Jake for ya. It's a little tricky because they're in Peru, and I am here, and I'm only on Facebook at certain times. I am teaching someone in India, Africa, Peru, Canada, Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, and I had one in Panama, but he's not progressing anymore.

The only reason I get to teach those people is because I'm a Visitors' Center (VC) missionary. Facebook and are some pretty good finding sources.

This transfer is nuts. I haven't even fully unpacked yet. We haven't had time. We have been all over the place. Since transfer meeting, we have been in a meetings every day. I didn't even know that leaders had this many meetings. Tuesday we had two, Wednesday we had three (two of those were transfer meetings), Thursday we had one, Friday we had preparation meeting with all the VC Sisters (I gave a training), Saturday we had one, and Sunday we had one. Tomorrow it starts all over again, but this week won't be as crazy. There is so much to remember, I am one side of the brain and Sister Orr is the other side. The reminder app on the iPad is a lifesaver.

Preparation meeting was my first thing since I became a trainer. We prepared trainings and then trained the VC sisters. And guess what, president came. He hasn't come to a preparation meeting since Christmas. It was a little scary. But it went well. Oh man, and there is so much pressure. I feel like everyone is watching me now.  But hey, it's all good. The Lord calls the weak. That's me. Weak. What makes me strong is the atonement. The only reason we have success is because we are not the ones in charge. God is in charge. And that's the way it will be.

My companion is awesome. We have been out about the same amount of time, and she has a "get it done" personality. We are two white blondes walking the streets of the most ghetto part of Mesa, speaking Spanish. We are quite the sight. Today, we went to Rancho Market (a Mexican food market) and, oh my goodness, you should have seen the looks that we got.

I love my new area! It's a little Ramita (branch). Our area is right by the temple. We can see the temple from our back porch. There are two Spanish branches in this stake, Liahona 3 and Guerrero Park (us).

A year ago they were one ward, and then they split into two branches. It caused some hurt feelings. This area is so big, but it is completely filled with less active members. If all the less actives came to church, we could have two wards instead of two branches. I think a reason why they split, is to do just that... Reactivate the less actives. The branch members weren't a huge fan of the missionaries, but Sister Orr completely turned that around. This is her third transfer here, and she spent a lot of the past transfers mending those relationships. On Sunday, they asked the new missionaries to bare their testimonies, there were two of us. We went right after the first speaker, and since their wasn't a second speaker, I knew I had some time. I started out by talking about how excited I am to be in the branch, and talked about how Sister Orr told me that this branch was filled with the most faithful members. I shared the experience I had with P** and P** and how the Book of Mormon changed their lives, and then I bore my testimony. President got up after, and told the congregation that they had some of the best missionaries. A HUGE compliment. It was a great Sunday.

We also have had some pretty amazing miracles. We are teaching a 16 year old girl. She is amazing. I love her to death. She is Catholic, but recently has been questioning her beliefs. I'll have to share the story another time... But last night she prayed and said she felt good, which is a huge mile stone.

Also!!! Some exciting news... In my very first area, we were teaching an 18 year old boy. He was struggling so much. We taught him a lot, but he never got baptized, and he and his family ended up moving to another area. His name is J**. I got a call from the sister missionaries in his area the other day, and instead of hearing their voices I heard his!! I almost started crying when I heard his voice. This is what he said, "Guess what! I'm getting baptism [baptized] (that's not a grammar error) and you better be there." I was so happy!! There is a member (the ward mission leader) in the ward that kind of took him under his wing. I am so happy!!

I have learned so much in these few days... So much... Can't even believe it... Being a missionary is the hardest things I have ever done. I have never been pushed so much in my life. Pero vale la Pena, but I have never experienced this much happiness in my life. A lot of the messages in transfer meeting were about how this is preparation for marriage and life. And I'm like... Psh, I'm gonna be a missionary forever. I'm never getting married... Just kidding, that's a lie. I'll get married sometime, because that's how we progress, and if I get so much joy out of watching my investigators progress, I wonder how much joy I could have watching my own children progress.

Things I have learned on my mission:

- The Lord keeps his word (D&C - I will hasten my work in its time). It's time, and it's not slowing down.
- My view of life has changed. Life is really short, we should live it to the fullest.
- I have learned how to live life to the fullest, the hard part is going to be actually doing it.
- God is real. I have never felt His presence so strong.
- We are weak, but with The Lord, we are strong.
- I have gotten to know the three different people in the Godhead a little bit better.

The mission is great, I love it so much. Thank you for your prayers. They really help a whole lot! Have a great week. The church is so true.

Quote of the week: "You can't fake it."


Hermana Jeppson

Didn't See THAT Coming! (June 16, 2014)

Book of Mormon: What? Who? Why? How?  (June 30, 2014)