Monday, March 23, 2015

Panic attacks and blood draws - oh no! She's a lobster and kids make pyramids fun.

Dearest, Darlingest, Momsie and Popsicle...

What a blur this past week has been! I can’t even remember most of it, but it’s been really good and I’ve learned a ton. And yes mom, you’re right... I have been sick these past few... weeks. I haven’t been feeling good and I thought that it was just the stress, because my neck hurts a ton like it always does around AP test season. ;) and I just haven’t really had much of the go-get-ems to really go and get ‘em... if that makes any sense. And pains in my stomach, but for that, and the headaches, I just thought those were part of the nasty food we’ve eaten. So it all has just been a bunch of coincidences... but no, I just couldn’t quite hold on much more, so I finally called up Hermana Egbert and told her what’s up. She sent me off to do some tests. Oh no... YEP. You guessed it, blood work – needles, fainting. I can’t even explain how nervous I was. And not just for me, but for my companion too! Haha, so off we went to take the tests and all that wonderful, lovely stuff. 

And the tradition continues... almost. I almost fainted again. When the lady poked me, I felt myself going... and I told them too! I VOY! I VOY! And the nurse lady person told me that my veins were small and contracted, because I was so nervous and she couldn’t hit a vein. She poked me two times in my left arm and because I wasn’t watching (I was more like... crying) I thought that, yeah - she got two flasks of blood and all was hunky dory, but my comp frankly told me to calm down, because SHE HADN’T DRAWN ANYTHING YET! What? And then came more tears... and finally in my good ‘ol right arm, she hit my vein and got the blood. Thank heaven! But I seriously almost blacked out again. I was so scared, but the nurse was super kind to me and let me rest for a whole 5 minutes before sending me off to bike home - a little wobbly. Haha, yay for medical care here in Mexico. She was really nice though. 

So what’s the verdict? Well I am anemic and have an infection. I’m on antibiotics and vitamins and take a total of 6 pills every day and that doesn’t include the ibuprofen, but I am happy and plugging through it! So don’t you worry about me! It’s hard, but I’m just so relieved to finally know why I feel like I do and that I’m not just a little wimpling. My comps helped me a ton this week. Well, we’ve helped each other...

My comp had a panic attack this week. Two nights ago there was a spider in her towel at the end of her bed. One thing to know about my comp is that she is deathly afraid of spiders. I mean, like I am with needles in my forearms. I entered our room and she was crying and couldn’t move and had the look of fear and death on her face. I asked what’s wrong as I rushed to rub her back and she couldn’t even answer me. She just kept trying to breathe (and it wasn’t working too well) and she was crying. After several minutes she calmed down and told me what happened, and yeah, it all got better, but she didn’t sleep too well that night. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us this week... :) 

The pyramids were awesome! It was way fun to go again and especially with all those kids and to play and hang out, but I have a very, very, sad notice... my camera died after a few pictures... sorry mom. BUT! My comp was prepared and took lots with her camera and I will send you what she took. He he he... sorry, but it was a blast! I did start to feel a little rough about halfway through but kept marching on. I felt like a pioneer in those moments... more than I did on trek! 

It’s so awesome to hear about the house coming right along! I am so proud of you guys and truly wish and pray the best for you on how everything goes!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!!!! You truly are one of my heroes in so many ways and I love you so much. I hope the party was a great one and that Grandma was finally able to get a word in. ;) Hahahaha. I wonder if you talked again about how you two aren’t as good looking as you used to be, or something like that... but how the love between you two is still strong and it does inspire us all. I love you Grandpa and feliz cumpleaños! 

I hope Grandma’s eye is doing better. I send my love to you Grandma.

Please tell Nancy I hope all goes well with her surgery this week. I really hope she’ll be able to feel better!

Please tell the family thanks for the pictures they drew for me and for their notes - they always put a smile on my face and make me laugh. I especially love it where my arms come out of my head. :)  Some of you truly have a gift for drawing! 

A big birthday shout out to my twin brother Abraham, and as I’m sure it’s still more like Baberaham - don’t forget me, ok bro? Cause I was thinking the other day about how we used to walk to seminary together every day in 9th grade and in our sophomore year how Ms Thornbrue really thought we were twins and emailed your mom about me. Haha, I love you lots and wish you the best birthday yet. 

And Happy Birthday to my cute nephew Brandt! I miss you!

These kids are awesome - future missionaries.

I just want you all to know that this work, and this gospel, is true. And that I truly know that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. While feeling a little under the weather, well, under the hailstorm, these fast few days and weeks, the Lord truly has saved and helped me. Sometimes when I’m riding my bike, I feel like I’m going to faint or fall and I say a little prayer for some strength other than my own and I can keep going. Or in lessons, where it takes all the energy of my soul to stay awake with my eyes open, that for some force beyond my own, I can find the words to say, and maybe help these children of God in some small way. I know that our Heavenly Father helps his children, and like Ammon says in Alma - en el PUNTO de regresar... el señor nos consolo. It was the POINT to return when all was rough. It wasn’t before and it wasn’t after, but in the very moment we need God most, He will help us. He does this funny little thing like that to make us grow in our faith, but I know He will always catch us... even if it is right before we hit the floor. I love you my family! Thanks for the pictures! Thanks for everything and you are my world! I live for you too! :) and I hope your week is full of joy, because I know that I experience joy every day here too. :) Love you more than life.

Your little guera that’s not so white anymore and is more like a lobster. :) 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Concern for family in Vanuatu, banished to the back, priesthood issue update, marriage might be ok after all, and enjoying the ride.

To the greatest and most wonderful family in the whole entire world... 

So Mondays are pretty much my favorite days of the week – I get to hear from you and I love to see all the pictures. You guys are seriously the best ever. You may be asking the question... why am I writing so early today and not at 4:30 pm like normal? Well, I am very pleased to announce that WE ARE GOING TO THE PYRAMIDS OF TEOTIHUACAN TODAY!!!! Wahoo! I am so very, very excited and don’t you worry mom, I will be sure to take a ton of pictures! :)

The pictures here of me with the dog are from when we shared the gospel with him. Haha, and he sure liked it! He was just a dog that looked lonely and we were waiting for a family to come home whom we were going to eat with, so we shared a small lesson with him. :) 

Looks like it put him to sleep, haha.
This week has been great, another week in paradise, and I just feel so grateful to be here and live every day. I received one of the most amazing compliments (maybe the best in my life) from an elder this past week - and it was that he learned from me how to live in each moment and truly take each second and live it to the fullest. Wow. What a compliment. I truly feel like that is a goal that I have - to just take it moment for moment and enjoy the ride, because who knows when it is our last day, and that in every moment, and with every person, we have the chance to learn something new and be happy. I feel like this is to succeed. 

This week it has rained a TON and has been SO, SO, SO COLD. I mean, so cold, but I have loved it. I love biking hardcore in the rain and laughing when my comp and I fall because it’s so slippery, but we just laugh it off and keep on riding. It’s a blast and the rain has been crazy. It hailed one night too! I thought our roof was going to break because it was hailing so hard and our roof is like... a little sheet of hard plastic. It was so loud that we had to yell to plan for the next day. :) Haha. It’s incredible to live here. Pretty much everything is so different - like the way of cleaning is different and cooking and it’s cool to keep learning. And I think I’m forgetting English... it is such a struggle to write this email because I just want to say certain words in Spanish and I don’t know how to say the same thing in English! Ah! 

One thing that was the COOLEST THING EVER was this past Sunday, so remember Susana, Marco, and Christina? Well they are our best friends and are coming to church without fail every single Sunday and Susana has neighbors that have dates to be baptized whom we are teaching - Veronica, Brian, and Sebastian. They are the same in every age with the other family. It’s awesome to teach everyone together - the energy is amazing. We are also teaching her niece, Maybelline, who also has a baptism date. We found a less active family that lives in front of Susana, who are also her friends, and the mom has a son that is 10 years old who hasn’t been baptized, so another baptism! That is about 11 people, more or less, and they all came to church this past Sunday and filled an ENTIRE PEW. I mean... there wasn’t room for me to sit with them. It was awesome. I will take filled pews and me banished to the back any day over sitting with them. It was absolutely amazing! I felt super happy to see them all hanging out and listening to the gospel. It was awesome and that same day Brian came to me and told me how excited he is to be baptized the 27th of this month. It’s such a cool thing to be here. 

I am learning so much about the gospel, about people, about everything. I am growing so much too. I think the biggest changes in my mind and heart about the gospel for me are related to families. Like before my mission, I didn’t think much of getting married or having a family, but more about traveling and studying and all that (which is still really important!:)), but now I am truly really excited to have a family of my own. 

You ask about how I’m doing with my priesthood issues? Haha. I am actually incredibly happy that I had those issues. Yes, it’s still hard sometimes, but I am learning that we can all just share the love and the responsibility. And now when people have questions about women and the gospel, I feel comfortable to jump right in and share my piece, so yeah... I’m getting a little bit better. :)

I can’t believe that about Vanuatu being wiped out by the cyclone. Oh my goodness, what a miracle that Maryanne and Larry are ok and all the missionaries as well. I love them so much and send my love and prayers. Thank heaven we are all in the hands of the Lord, right? 

I’m also so sorry that Soto’s had to put Mia down. She was such a great dog! Please send all of them my love.

And make sure to tell Dax and Abran happy birthday!

Please tell Jenny and Beth thank you so much for sending me Christmas gifts. Although they never made it – gotta love the Mexican mail service – please tell them it meant a lot to me that they thought of me.

Well, I love you so, so, so, very much. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Thanks for everything you do and I am so grateful for all you do. You’re the best! MWAH

la guera

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Another fainting companion, 30 questions, and an angry sun

Buenas tardes mi familia! 

This has been a good week and the sad truth is, nothing too exciting. We are just here, trying to work like crazy, and living the dream. I guess I just want to say that I love it here. I love the chance to share the gospel and to know my companion.

Here are just some fun pictures with Cristina, Marco, and some of the other kids.

This week once again, I have felt a little under the weather. Well, my comp and I both. Every day it has been something. And the weirdest part is that it has been a ton of symptoms. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to faint, stomach pains, I was throwing up one night, headaches, the whole deal. But today I feel fine and I think I’m just a little dehydrated and the food was a little heavy the one day. Don’t worry about me! I am super happy and we are just plugging right along! 

Oh, but my companion fainted while riding her bike, yep, different companion, same old problem. I don’t know what it is with me and running my comps into the ground, but my new comp fainted on me - again. Thank heavens that with her we know why, because she has low blood pressure and sometimes does that. But I can definitely say that it freaked me out, but yeah, she’s all better now. I think. ;) 

Hermana Egbert celebrated her birthday. She's so great. I love her.

We are continuing to teach Susana, Marco, and Cristina and know something? They are absolutely incredible. They have invited practically every neighbor and family member to listen to us and thanks to them we have 4 more baptisms this month! It’s amazing! They are seriously incredible and the spirit is so strong with them. One of the little investigators that we are teaching is named Brian, and I think he’s a little in love with me. I was talking with him and Marco about their girlfriends and Marco told me that the name of Brian’s girlfriend is Jessica. WHAT? Brian went red and I just started laughing. And after that he was playing with my hair and always wants to sit next to me. He is 14 years old. Haha, it’s a bit of a struggle. I think I’m going to tell them I have a boyfriend or something. :) 

Yesterday we received a reference of an investigator who had gone to church and had already started reading the Book of Mormon! So of COURSE, we went running to his house to meet him and his girlfriend and we found out that he had a whole list of questions to ask us! A LIST! Like... written and everything! And want to know how long? Like 30 questions. It was amazing! He is so interested and accepted a baptismal date and I am super stoked. 

I was playing soccer with the elders the other day. :) and of course I am COMPLETELY SUNBURNED. Oh man, what an awful picture... the sun here is an angry sun and doesn’t quite understand what it means to tan, but I mean, it’s fine... :) 

We all got together the other day to watch “Meet the Mormons.” It was awesome.

Thank you so much for all the pictures and updates on everything! I AM IN LOVE WITH THE HOUSE AND ALL THE PICTURES! You are absolutely my heroes. Keep moving forward with the house and progress with everything... I don’t know how you do it. I truly am inspired to keep going -
thanks to you two. Tell the ward that I love them and I can’t WAIT to see them all again when I come back. But, I think I will give both wards the blessing of me just not talking at either... haha. OH! I gave a prayer in English and it seriously was so hard. I am forgetting a little tiny bit... I just struggle a tinge. ;) I love you mom and dad and Buddy more than life and I am doing everything I can to make you and Heavenly Father proud. You are my everything!


lil j


Dad! I love you so much. You are seriously so amazing. I don’t know how you and mom do it every day, every week with all the things on your plate. 

Dad, the truth is that I am not completely obedient here in the mission. I just can’t stop listening to Jimmy Buffett. (between you and me, ok? ;)) Haha, just kidding. I love listening to him and I always think of you, sitting here next to me on a boat somewhere, with something bout a dog like Buddy sitting next to us, and eating maple bars. :) I can’t wait for in 13 short months from now to come home quick and hug you for one second longer. :) (maybe a TON more seconds.) 

I love you more than I can explain. You and mom mean more to me than I can explain. Every day I am here with families and I always just miss you so much. It’s hard to be here away from you guys, and that’s the truth, but I know you are doing well and we are all saving the world one person at a time in different ways. :) 

I love you so very, very much! You’re the best dad ever!


Your Lil Hula Girl at Heart.