Monday, January 30, 2012

First Week in Lithuania!

Aiii, I am here. I've been here almost a whole week, and my emotions and directions and everything is just everywhere. So, we left the MTC what feels like ages ago, but it's only been a week, and arrived in Latvia. They plopped us out on the street and had us contact people. Funnish...I was with a sister who speaks Russian, and we were in, I didn't say much :) But it was great to observe and try to get over my fear of stopping someone on the street. Mainly we all felt like falling asleep standing up.
But, the Boswell's are soooo kind, and they fed us such good food, and let us go to bed around 8, and then we had another full day at the mission home the next day as well, doing training and more contacting. Then, Thursday, I met my trainer, Sister McPhee (Mikfy, in Lithuanian). She's really really sweet. She got to Lithuania in August, and it gives me hope that she has learned so much and can communicate well, because that means it should happen to me too. Although right now, I don't know if it'll ever happen. So, she's technically still pretty new at the language and everything too, but she's my sole source of knowledge right now, and I'm so grateful. (I took a pic of us to send, but forgot my cam cord, so I'll have to send it next week). So, we are in Klaipeda.
Ooh, and before I forget, my address in Klaipeda is-- (only letters, not packages)
 Sister Madson
A/D 408
94198 Klaipeda 10
Mail takes about 2 weeks from the US, and, I found out, you can still send me Dear Elders too. But, they go to the mission home, so emails from peeps will probably be better, emails or actual letters. And actual letters you can send to the mission home as well. But, I should be in Klaipeda for 12 weeks.
Anyway, Sister Mikfy has been in Klaipeda her entire mish, so she knows the bus systems and streets so well, so, phew, because I'm still at a complete loss. Our area is split, north and south. 2 elders are in charge of the north area, we're in charge of the south. We live on the top floor of a members home. It's really great, but super interesting. The chimney is what heats pretty much the whole thing, so whenever we get home I just hug it, trying to warm up. It's super cold here. Like, I'm doing fine, but sometimes when it's windy, I can't quite believe that it's so cold. So many people are just totally bundled up, and that's fun. A sister who just left, left her coat here, and I've been using it, and it fits me great and it really warm, so I might just keep using it for awhile.
So, so far missionary life is soooo different from anything I ever expected. We study so much! personal, companion, language, and then since I'm training, another hour of comp. So, from 8-12, pure studies! The day after I got here, we had a lesson with a man and his wife, they wanted to speak English, cool. But, long story short, the elders came too, so there were 4 missionaries, and I didn't talk much. But this man came up to the elders and wanted to meet and get spiritual insight. Which is great! He's really well educated, and their family was awesome. And he especiallly loves Mormon kids and their values. He knows a lot of churches teach, but our members all seem to be something. He has so many ideas about God, and believes God is everything and wonders why we can't all be like Joseph Smith. I was listening, and just, had absolutely no idea how to answer his questions. And I realized that there is no way AT ALL I could ever do it, it's all going to have to be the Lord. Next lesson is just me and Miky, and we're both young and I don't want to say the wrong thing and it's just, this is someone real. Not a fake thing, but someone real who could join or not join based on our discussions. Sometimes it shocks me that the Lord puts so much trust in us. But I so badly want him to join the church because the branch could realllly use him. A new family would be so wonderful. The branch is small and there are a lot of inactives, but the active members are rock stars.
For example, that night Mikfy and I went with 2 members to an old folks home a little bit outside of Klaipeda. Holy. Cow. You know the videos of Romanian-ish orphanages? That's what this reminded me of! It was so sad. It was so dark and cold outside and just, sad inside too. We met with 2 members there, just to say hi (it was all Russian, so I actually didn't even say hi, but I smiled) and I was so impressed with the time these members took, on their Friday night, to come with us. No one else even knew they were there, they weren't getting any recognition, and they came to this sad place, and my heart just went out to the members and their faithfulness.
That actually kept happening this week. Whenever I felt some sadness for this area, people gave me hope again. We went knocking at a building and a formerly contacted lady opened the door and was so kind, and went all out, bringing out tons and tons of food to feed us, and it was so generous. Last night a member in the ward had us over for dinner, she's a cook at a Chinese restaurant and made us delish food, and wanted us to eat and eat, and yet, she and her daughter have so little, they live in a teensy apartment and I was just, overwhelemed at their generosity. The members here are incredible. I just, want to pick up 6 families from our ward and transplant them here, to help with missionary work and help lift the burdens that the members have.
Baltic culture, in some ways is so different. But in a lot of ways, the same. And honestly, I was expecting something, and what I found is so much better! I was expecting like, no couples and just broken families. And there is quite a bit of that, but at the same time, I see a lot of couples and people married, and it's so great! A number of people speak some English, so that's hopeful too. I don't know where to even start learning the language, but, oh well! I gave a 3 minute talk yesterday in church in Lithuanian--I'll probably laugh about that in a few months.
Thank you so much, if someone is still reading this. It's so long, and I know it's a typical mish email that I used to just brush over, but, it'll be for my posterity's sake. I will force them to read it.
Love you so so so so so much.
Oh, and funny, we went and visited an inactive lady, hahah, only spoke Russian. You can imagine how far our lesson got. She fed us tea that...might have been 17 years old, not sure, but it tasted like that.
Sese Madson

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Last week in the MTC

I'm leaving in less than a week!
We're leaving here Monday at 7:40 am (so we have to leave the MTC at 4am, yeesh), and flying to Chicago. I get to Chicago at 11:50, and then leave there for Frankfurt at 3:50pm. From Frankfurt we're flying to Riga, Latvia, getting there at 1:35pm on Tuesday. Aiiii! So! I'll be calling you from my layover in Chicago. So fam, could you please all send me your cell phone numbers? And then answer a call from an unknown number on Monday :)
We're all so excited. It's pretty crazy. We have so much to do, but it's just so exciting. This week has been really, really good. I got a new teacher, he's 6'9" and even though I'll only have him for 1.5 weeks, it's been great, he just got home and has taught me a lot. I seriously love my teachers, I'm sad I have to say bye to them on Saturday. I wish they could all come with me and teach me there. Because I can't believe they're just going to plop me down with another missionary and expect us to get everything done!
Cals, I hope you're feeling better. Sister Zippro told me 'hi' for you :) it made me really happy. I hope the whole fam is feeling better, geez. Everybody was sick! Miss, Mands, how was the MK party? :) Dad, I'm glad your foot is healing. Dad, I love your idea for giving the YM PMG. There's like, so much to get out of it! And I could have been SO much more familiar with it before I came! There's so much good stuff in it. And I read it with one view, and then someone else puts a different spin on it, and it's crazy. I love PMG.
This week one of my goals has been to try to come up with analogies to use in my teaching. I realized that I absolutly love when people use them, and some people seem to just come up with them on the spot. So, pathetic of me to plan them in advance, but, whatever. The one I've come up with so far is, haha, my broken arm when I was little. How I broke it, and something didn't feel right, and it hurt, but I could still go about my life (through no choice of my own, ahem) and then it finally got so bad, I had to go to a doctor to fix it. That's like repentance--how something can be broken, but we're not sure what's wrong, or what to do, and we can still live our life, but not as well. But if we go to Christ, He'll tell us what's wrong, and heal us. Cool.
I've also been trying to think of my answers to questions that I keep asking investigators like, "What would it mean to you, that God loves you?" I ask them that, but, what does it mean to ME? It's cool, I'm trying to make myself think more :)
My district sang our departing song in Sacrament last week. We sang "How Firm A Foundation" in Latvian, Lithuanian, and then English. People like, thought I was going to do a solo or something, in I was glad the Latvians were with me. But afterwards, some people said they liked Lithuanian better, just sayin'. It has a slight French sound to, it's pretty sometimes. I like it at least.
I have so many questions still, and have so much farther to go, I can't believe they're going to put me out there so soon! But, I'm so privileged to be a mish. Seriously, I'm so excited.

Love you fam, send me your numbas! (can I have them? can I? can I)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Late Week 6

šeima! That means family in Lithuanian. But, getting that keyboard to work took way too long, so, I don't know how much more of my letter I can write with it :)
So, hi.
MANDY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay. I wrote you a 23 page letter (well..i tried to, it's not that long), and I don't know how oft you check your mail in Orem, but you should check it today or tomorrow. I threw the letter in the air and just prayed it would get to you. I hope that it's such a fun day! What are y'all doing for it? Cake? Hey, did you ever go to Beauty and Beast? I just remembered that, if so, was it good? Anywho, I hope that it's the funnest day for you. Hopefully Kev is finished with finals so you can celebrate. And I hope the fam sings how they know how to sing. I love ya sis.
I loved the Madsonian! Lace, sending it to my email worked perfectly, I could download it and print it out, pics and all, and I loved what everyone wrote! I loved reading about everyone's Thanksgiving together, and seeing pics of Hank on his blessing day! He was the cutest thing! And Mands, I didn't realize you ate at McDonalds on Thanksgiving, that's funny. Hopefully you splurged on a parfait. Mom, I can't believe that you compared my MTC experience to our cousin's prison experience, that's so funny. I hope he's doing okay, I'm glad he thought it was funny too. But I mean, I can totally see how it's true, so structured and we're totally enclosed. But he probably doesn't get to put up 36 flags outside every Friday, which is what me and the sisters get to do, and we always put up our country's, and love it.
Mom, that's totally fine about the package! Bummer Grant got caught sneakin in goods. That's so nice of the ward. And Sis. Curtis sent me a Christmas card of their family, so kind too. I keep getting surprised by our ward's niceness. So, I've been getting my typhoid pills orally, and I'm just double checking that our insurance doesn't cover them, is that right? It's not that much, but they gave me a reimbursement form, so I'm double checking. Also, do I have any more garments that I left at home? Because, I need like, a pair or two more, that I can TOTALLY buy here, no problem, but i just wanted to double check. Ookay, and, I told you that Sis. Beal might like gray tights? Well, her mom totally sent her some. LAME, I know. She should have known we were in cahoots (that's not how you spell that) So, maybe you don't need to send those anymore. But she'd love some pretty earrings or a headband. I think. Okay, and, have I already gotten Callie a Christmas present?! Can you check the presents I left, because if so...I can't remember in the slightest what I got her! And want to! And I need to get TayMan something too, so, just know that'll be coming.
So, this week! Sis. Dalton spoke at the devotional last night, and it was fantastic. Seriously, best devotional yet. And that's not just because she's a woman, although I loved that. She talked all about spiritual gifts, and that topic has come up in my personal study, and at various times, almost every day this week! So, it's been really cool. She talked about Christmas, and how this year we'll be seeking for gifts so different than we ever have before, gifts of the Spirit, of teaching, of loving, or patience. And it's so true. I would love if the Savior just wrapped me a giant box of understanding how to teach the Restoration effectively and put it under a tree for me. But the thing is, He will! If I work hard and study and have patience, I think He will. I'm realizing that you have to seek and ask, and I don't know, it's been a big learning week for me.
The BYU men's chorus gave our devo on Tuesday, and it was fantastic too. I loved their Christmas music, and they told cool missionary experiences, and it just made me excited! And then yesterday, my teacher was sick, so I had a substitute; he was brilliant. Some gospel phenomenen, I swear ("by the sun and the moon in the sky...") and I learned so much about baptism! Because i said I don't want to offend people by saying their baptism didn't have the proper authority, and he took me to D&C 22, and the Lord answers that exact question, and does so without ever using the word authority, and anyway, so cool.
I'm learning about adverbs and adjectives in Lithuanian, they all change, according to whatever you're describing; it is seriously so crazy to me that one word can have like, 8 endings, and that's if it's masculine. I'm like, yeesh. Pick an ending already! Haha, not really. I love class time.
An elder stopped me this week and said he knew me from somewhere. I had no idea where from. Then he remembered. He worked at Cafe Rio in AF and saw me a lot. Hahah, I felt no shame in admitting that I ate there a lot. Another big learning experience this week, I taught in English for the first time! And with a companion! Sis. Clark (Latvian) and I taught one of the Greek teachers the first lesson. It was such a new experience for me, and I felt bad afterwards, that I hadn't done better, when it was in my native language, and it was still so hard. The teacher totally acted his part! I thought he WAS Greek. He wasn't. But he is really good at forgetting English words and using an accent. He pretended to be Atheist, and it was so hard to teach him! But, good practice I s'pose. But Atheists are so hard, because they listen to you, but just say, uh huh, that's a nice idea. Anyway, it was fun with a comp, and I love Sis. Clark so much. I really love my district, and me and Sis. Beal had a good week too. We are both trying to do more push ups, and she reads the scripts to me as we're trying to work out in our room. It's hilarious, listening to her doing sit ups and reading. We got 4 new roommates, all got here after us, and will leave before us. But they are a lot of fun, and I like the fresh stories in our room! Mel Fitz left this week! I said bye to her, she was so excited to go! And so ready. She'll do sooo well. Danielle Tamang leaves next week...I think.
Lace, I'm glad Matthew is engaged! That's exciting. And I hope your show went well! DID IT?! Your outfit sounded totes cute :) You could slip me a pic or whatevs. Have things slowed down at all, or are you still busy?
Mom, I definitely want a copy of the Christmas card! Never know what dad puts in there. Dad, thanks for writing back too, and helping me with some of my concerns. You're so great. Miss, I sent you a letter today, so, don't be sad that I didn't write to you here :) Ahh! I have so much I want to ask everyone, and say, but there's never the time! I love you all so so so so much. I'm teaching about the Plan of Salvation, so I get to think about families a lot, and I love that I get to think about you all so much during the day. It makes me happy, not usually sad, and I get to teach about how the Gospel blesses families. And it really does! I know we've been so blessed by it.
Mands, I want to hear more about your work, you might have responded and I haven't gotten your letter yet. Just so you know, I write letters on Wednesdays, but Dear Elders written on Wed don't get to me until that night, so if you write, try to do it by Monday! So I can write back. Or else.
LOVE YOU ALL!!! Hip hip hooray.

Late Week 5

This week I've offically been out for a month! Now, it's a month plus. And soon I'll have less than a month left! So many big days to celebrate.
Oh, and Christmas, must celebrate that day too :)
I'm so excited for it. Sometimes, a lot, I forget that it's even coming up. The Latvians had their classroom decorated, with a tree, presents, and lights, and then their teacher made them take it all down. Bummer. There went the holiday cheer. But, all our speakers keep reminding us about it, so, I remember that Christmas is coming :) And I'm excited! I can't wait to hear about everyone's days. I still can't believe that this year I would have the ultimate legit outfit for our Jeru dinner, and I won't even be there to show it off! I also can't believe that last year at this time I was prepping for Jeru, and now I'm doing something completely different.
I want to hear all about the cruise, Lace and Drew, and the girls' reactions to their presents. And mom and dad, was there a Hawkins party this year? If so, I want deets. And Miss, I want to hear how you handled two kids.
Yesterday Elder Clayton and his wife spoke to us. They were great. Sis. Clayton talked about receiving gifts, and she mentioned that sometimes we seek for gifts and need to have a good motive. And I realized that sometimes my motive for Lithuanian or spiritual gifts can be selfish, instead of wanting to learn to help others. Okay, Music and the Spoken Word this week was amazing! Parents, did you like the MoTab concert you went to? Was it anything like M&SW? Please tell Connie that everyone was raving about it! It totally brought the Christmas spirit, and there were dancers! Hahaha, loved it. And during RS on Sunday all the presidency members' daughters talked about Christmas' on their missions, and it made me excited. One of the sisters talked about how her comp at Christmas was like, 87 years old! Um, that would be crazy.
My teachers were all semi-sick this week, or just MIA, so I had a ton of substitutes, so I had a lot of English, which was good, but when Sis. Zippro got back she was like, um..uh oh, and now only speaks to me in Lithuanian. I have never said the word "repeat" more in my life, but, I'm excited that I can semi- pick out phrases and hear things. I know a lot more than when I started, but have so much more to go! When I try to talk about anything besides the Atonement or baptism, my vocab ends.
Caroline made me Christmas candy, sorry dad, no cashew brittle. But..I hope this isn't awful..I didn't share it with anyone! I was with my teacher when I got it, so yes, I shared some with him, but besides that...people just don't appreciate it! But, this week I had to go with my teacher to a different building, and then we walked around and learned new words outside, and he wasn't wearing his nametag, and we got hilarious looks, because it was like a sister mish with some random guy. and he was wearing gloves, so you couldn't see that he was married. it was funny.
Sis. Beal is auditioning tomorrow to sing a musical number here. I'm accompanying her, but could never do a solo. In front of 2000 people? She's great, I'm excited for her to do it.
So Mands, you had your piano recital? Elder Baxter and I always talk about how I taught him. And how he never, ever practiced. He regrets it now, yeah, they always do. Remember that Tay :) I'm glad you got to talk to his mom, mom. It is definitely really fun having a friend from home here. Danielle Tamang left this week! I'm so excited for her! She'll do so great, she was always so happy and hilarious.
Mom, I think it was hilarious that the Fitzgerald's bought a plane ticket to see Mels. She told me that she thought they might. I...wouldn't love that, so please don't do it :) I'm excited to see you in the airport in 17 months...but it would be hard for me to see you before. I know you wouldn't though, but it just made me laugh. I love when people get around little rules. i haven't gotten your christmas package yet, but i'm so excited for it! and already am thankful for it! I loved loved loved the fudge you sent, and the newspaper clipping. I loved reading about the Big Cats article and the missionary one. And I'm sorry that I was so weird on the vid Bob Monson gave you. I didn't know he was recording. I should have said some Lith. or something cool.
I love you so much! Merry Christmas! Please, drink some nog and eat some cheeseball for me. Please :)
Love, Jess

Week 7

Hey hey!
Mom, I found the card that you sent in my food package yesterday, the one that said you were sending my stocking and goods with the Monson's. Haha, I guess I got so excited about the popcorn and rocky road I didn't even look to see about a note :) You were probably so confused when I said that the presents in my room were a surprise, when you had told me beforehand you were sending them. Anyway, sorry if it was confusing. Also momma, could you send me Grandma blanche's address please? I want to send her a thank ye note for the bday moola. more annoying thing, I'm sorry, but have I been getting any emails from my mission friends? Do you think you could log onto my email and forward me some of their emails? I can print them off and read them, but if you could forward some to me, from Kates, Hills, Ames, that would be so great. Thank you!
I obviously loved the food that was sent, so thank you so much. I have singlehandedly finished the carmel popcorn, all me. I just..I offered it to Queer Beal (by the way, that's how you say 'sister' in Armenian) and she doesn't like it, and my roommates left on Monday, and they seemed so busy, they had no time for popcorn either, so it's like, I will eat the entire bag. The thing is, it hasn't even felt like that much. I probably eat entire ziploc bags full of it whenever you make it, it's just not so clear to me because I'm eating it out of a bowl. But I shared the rocky road and everyone who ate it loved it. I bragged about you.
Dad, I was so happy for you when you said you beat Sis. Bradshaw!!! Seriously!!! And the fact that you told me twice, I'll never forget it. But don't beat her too much. I still want to have access to the court when I get home, and if you offend them, they won't let us come back. I'm so happy that you still wore your Mozart tee. I tried to explain the significance to Q. Beal, but she didn't understand! Just how hilarious and old the sweatshirt it. Must be something that must be seen for years before people truly understand how funny it is. I laughed out loud when you said that you were working on the little metal table "the one you guys all made fun of" because I knew exactly which one it was. And I'm sorry for making fun of it! I seriously love how handy you are, and I want to be able to make tables, or seriously anything. Mom, I'm sorry that you were worried about me on Christmas Eve. But they really treated us well here. Your Christmas sounds like it was so great. I'm sorry that my notes made you all sad. They were supposed to be funny. Oops. Did you take any pics of the Jerusalem dinner?! If yes, I want them. I'm sure you looked hilarious. I thought of you that night, because I still wrote my own gift for Jesus, and I really missed y'all. But at the same time, I'm so glad I'm here.
It didn't feel like Christmas per se, but it was great. Except boo, we watched Mr. Kruger's Christmas. I was like...I'd rather have 25 extra minutes of sleep. But, that's all I'll say. Lunch with Elder Bednar, and having a Q&A was so great.
Lace, I want to hear about the cruise! And Miss, I want to hear about your day too! You guys, thank you all soooooooooooo much for everything you sent!!! Lace, I saved your package for Christmas, and loved it. And Mands, Hannakkuah was the best. Miss, Queer Beal loved your chapstick, that was so nice of you, but the best thing EVER were the pics. Hank is darling. He looked like such a cutie on his blessing day. I'm in love! I'm so happy that you have such an adorable son! TayMan, good job on bball, I feel like all I hear about you is winning this tournament, or that one. work it. And calsters, i loved your letter. so much. All of you, I am SO grateful for how thoughtful you all were. Tay and Cals, I loved the jewelry (thanks mom) and mom and dad, I just, loved everything. Especially the HP socks, and belts and just, everything. It was so generous, I felt so loved. Especially with everyone's letters. Ah! My family is the GREATEST. But seriously.
Ah! My time is ticking and I don't have enough time to say everything! But, I'm so grateful, again, for all of you.
Haha, dad, i loved how the priests all signed a letter for me. i was like, what the? thank you. do any of them know who i am?
I had a really cool experience yesterday. We were in a workshop about personal revelation, and we were all told to write a question we currently have. I wrote, "how can I help Eduardas? (my investigator). He just needs something. he isn't progressing, he has all these issues. so, we talked about how nephi, and j.s. receieved their revelations, and then, we were told to go get some for ourselves. and Jacob 4 came into my head. And the thing is, that has come into my head recently, a lot. So I read it, and my teacher and i fit it into my next lesson with eduardas, and i feel sooooooo good about it! i'm excited to teach tomorrow! And this is like, the first time that I'm excited to teach! So i'm happy, because teaching with the Spirit is so much better! So, hope for the best! everything else here is just, the same :) Sorry, so boring. But, I'm having fun and learning a lot. This week in Lithuanina, (btw, I learned that Lietuva, which is how the natives say Lithuanina, means "land of rain" so my raincoat will be perfect!) anyway, I'm learning how to tell time. Boo, it is like, the most difficult thing. But my teachers have begun speaking to me all, or mostly, in Lithuanian, and it's helping. Okay, I have to go. I love you, so so so so much.

Christmas!!! Su šventom kalėdom

Merry Christmas! I get some time to write today! So great. Except all the computers in the MTC are also being used, so it's slow going, and I hope it sends :)
Today has been really good. Really different, as in, I haven't opened my gifts yet and it's 3:15, but really great. Mom, what the crazy?! Package in the classroom!? How did you do that?! I was so excited to get there on Christmas and it was like, Santa still had a gift for me :) Thank you so much! Everyone, thank you so much.
Elder Bednar spoke to us this morning, and it was really, really great. Like, I just loved it. And it was cool having a massive Sacrament meeting. And a few days ago Sis Beal and I got invited to lunch with Elder Bednar and some other missionaries, and that was really special. He talked a bit more, and it was just, a good Christmas. Last night we watched A Christmas Carol--and all peed out pants when the Ghost of Christmas present lifts up his robe and there are two children under it--so creepy. I missed the Jeru dinner, but it's cool knowing that I miss you all so much because you're so great. How sad if I didn't miss you!
I love you all so much! Merry Christmas! I can't wait to hear about everybody's!!!! And PS, Callie, did you get your braces off!? I thought of that earlier today :)
LOVE YOU! And thank you all, you're seriously the best. Love love love, J

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Week 4

Yay! This is the start of my 4th week here. I'm so seasoned. Not really, at all actually, but, it's neat. We're getting 4 new roommates today, which should be really fun. It'll be fun to be able to hear new stories from other people, and just, spice up our residence. (I feel like I keep saying food words: seasoned, spice) anyway. When I was struggling to pay attention to myself during language study I started looking up food vocab, and the word for waffle is "vaflis" I love that. I can totally picture our family saying it on Sunday mornings. So, I challenge you to start using it, and that way, when I get home, I'll be able to be taken back to Lithuania every time you say that word. Heehee, anyway. This week was pretty similar to my last week here. And the one before that. And before that.
Except, I'm not allowed to use notes during my language teaching anymore. All 3 of my teachers pretend to be investigators, and I can't look at notes as I teach. I've started reading out of the BoM, whole sections with them, so the lesson is still long, but the vocab is all straight in front of me. Devotional this week was Elder Yamasiko (sp?) from the seventy, and his adorable wife. They came here 4 months ago from Japan, and she is just learning English, and was the cutest thing. She gave all of us such hope, because her Spirit was so great, and even though she couldn't speak the language, she loved us, and you could tell, and all of us afterwards were like, okay--that was so needed. I have to teach in the TRC tonight--when someone from the outside world comes in and you teach them. I did it last week for the first time, was hard. They're RM's who volunteer, and you're supposed to teach them as, what can I say in Lith that they don't already know? But! Oh well, I'll keep at it.
Lace, thank you so much for the package! And especially for E's little picture. I can imagine you two together, and I love it. Elder Baxter said, when he saw it, 'she seems like she's a really good mom' I was like, um yeah, she really is. And an even better sister! Heehee, cheese it up.
Tayman, I want to hear about the pillow concert, and tell you good job on the winning foul shot! mom said you're playing with 7th graders?! So cool, I'm so happy you're doing good. Calsmelly, I'm glad you're doing good too, and love when you and Tay attach notes with mom's stuff. I'm sure she doesn't make you do it :) And I really love your little notes. Cals, you told me to inform you on everything, so, I'm going to tell you that I always get Cookies n' Cream milk when I can. So, I'm probably getting chubby. But the milk is soooo delish. Something else funny, we sing hymns at the beginning and end of every class.'s always just me and my teacher. So one of my teachers, sometimes starts waaay too high. And I feel like a dork dropping out a lower octave, when it's just us two, so I try to hit the high notes, needless to say, I think the Spirit comes during our prayers, not singing.
Fast Sunday is soooo long here. Not in a bad way...I think they just schedule out your meals so exactly, when I missed two my body was like, what the?! what are you doing to me? But, I survived. We watched the Christmas devo on Sunday night, I loved it. Especially the Jeru scenes they showed, because the set really does look a lot like Jeru did! So, I was so happy. I want to go see it when I get home. I heard they're leaving it up for like, 20 years? Or is that a rumor?
Parents, I'm so jealous that you still get to run everyday. I can't believe it hasn't really snowed yet, you're so lucky, you've probably been able to run most every day! Except, it's freezing. Are you all still moving the little Santa down the chimney countdown in the piano room? Hope so. My other teacher, Bro. Vehawn, knows the Ericksen's, yes mom. This week he just randomly was like, I met your cousins. Hahha, I was like, what!? everyone is seeing my family but me! But I see Connie in the MoTab every week, and love that. But anyway, Bro Vehawn is friends with Stefan, and had dinner at Connie's. Then presented Boyd with an ROTC award for building their cabinets. It was like, okay, random. But cool.
Miss, when is dessert night? Has Hanky Panks smiled yet? Hope Chris is good, and I just remembered that you get Holland for the pre-Christmas time! I'm so jealous.
I was wondering if mom/mandy, you could send me that quote from the Asian lady, about Christ and the Atonement? I sent it in an email awhile ago, and I know Liz posted on her blog too. If you could attach it to an email or something, I'd love that. Thank you. I'm so happy that Liz is home, Mands! And not too weird! I want to hear about your sweater party too. Bet it twas the hit of the year.
Mom, thank you thank you thank you for the package! Please tell Bro. Stucki thank you. The girls said that he's always really embarrassed/nervous when he drops stuff off, like I'm going to get in trouble. But, he won't/I won't. And I wore my shoes and shirt today, and felt so happy. Also, I shared the food with my district as we read the BoM together, and we all talked about how great you are. I got a letter from Piper, so nice of her.

Also! People here love my clothes! That sounds really bratty, I'm sure. But, especially the blue skirt from sis. mish. mall? compliments galore. You should get one yourself :) And anyway, I'm always like, mmhmm, mom was right. she always is.
Okay, I'm writing you a handwritten letter too, so, don't be disappointed in this.
Everyone, Thank you so much for writing me, I love love love it! And I'm so excited to be learning here, about teaching the Gospel, because I think people really need it, and I get so excited when I picture someone accepting it, and learning Christ loves them so much.
LOVE, Sister J (heehee, not "Momma J"...not for a few more years, only people who went to Lone Peak would get this joke)
PS, talked to Sis Fitzgerald for a long time this week! She's leaving soon for Ukraine! And is doing good, I love her!