Saturday, November 9, 2013

Jessica's Fifth Email! November 9th, 2013

Hello wonderful family who I love so much!!! How are you all doing?! I think I heard from every one of you this week... even the two urts. So thank you! I really love to hear how you are and what you are doing!! Also let me just start by saying that Christie is the BEST sister in the world. Oh my gosh. I don't know how I would get anything done in this place without her. She has done literally every thing I've asked her to. So THANK YOU!!!

Also a big thank you to Kari Rich for more amazing photos of the little kids in the ward. The Halloween party looked like fun! Grandma and Grandpa sent me the nicest Christmas package haha. Thinking ahead!! Maybe grandma is where I get my organizational habits. Can't wait to decorate my apartment in the Philippines with that santa head! Sister Renfro sent me literally the best sugar cookies I have ever had. Haha mom get the recipe! Soo yummy. Hanna Watkins sent me a super nice package with scripture stickers, cute bandaids, bazzooka bubble gum from our good ol'  road trip days and more! She's the best. And of course... mom and Christie, you really pulled through with EVERYTHING. Chris, I love that photo book so much! That was so sweet of you and I love all the pics you chose. Best part is the picture you put with the quote about see men as they can become not as they are or whatever that one was hahahha. slyyy. OK I LOVE those scriptures. Those are the perfect ones mom! And I love the CD. Listen to it all the time. You know me too well with those Costco treats. THE BESTT!! AHHH. Christie all those pictures from the MTC literally got here like the day after I asked for them. Idk how you do it. You're amazing. And the debit card!! Glad you made friends with the people but sorry you had to talk to them for so long. Calling the bank is like the worst thing ever so thanks. And I tried the card out and it works. It's the same pin right? Cause they can only run it as credit here so I didn't put the pin in but I think it stays the same. Hahah I wanted to try it before I emailed you so I bought a sucker for 11 cents and the guy was like.. uhh if you have a dime I'll spot the penny haha. Nope! Debit please! Oh also! Good call with the granola Chris! I've been eating that with bananas every day and it's so much better. They did take the yogurt away though :( Sorry! Thanks though. That was so thoughtful of you! 

Alright. The garment top was great. If they sell them at the booksore 1 more would be great. If you'd have to order it, don't worry about it! I recommend you get one! They're the best. And really long. Mom, you asked if I had asked for more family photos but I have plenty. Thanks though! Oh Chris! If sometime this next week you could send me a few ziplocks for packing that would be awesome!! Just like 5 sandwich and 5 gallon or something? I just don't want to waste a whole box so if you have a few you could send that would be legit. Thanks. 

A couple of shout outs.. oh whattttt. Ok Happy birthday to TJ! You won't see him but everyone should email him a happy birthday. Also happy birthday to Nugget! HAHA thanks for keepin me in the loop on that one Chris. Hope her cake was much less gag worthy than the one you made Molly that one time. (Throwing up just thinking about it) WELCOME HOME CLAYTON!!!!! Ahhh that is so exciting! Shauna must be so happy!!! Tell him that I miss him and good job on the mish and I can't wait to see him... in 17 months. 

Alrighty so family you tend to ask a lot of questions in your letters so here are my answers. That is so awesome that the Don is doing rugby!!! Will you also do LAX in the spring? Is Audz gonna do rugby too? Mom, for the Christmas package I have no idea haha. You don't need to send me one! I don't really need anything and I have no idea what I'll be needing in 2 months haha. Christie. I love you like a missionary loves the scriptures... nice. hahha I actually understood that dealing when my new ones that arrived here!! So I agree, you did good with that new saying haha. And Casey. I have plenty of DC but thanks for offering!!! And yes, I remeber the advice you gave me about taking the mission one day at a time like Dave Rich gave you. I have for sure been trying to do that. The first week I would wake up every morning and think wow that is some really lousy advice... There is no way I can last 16 more hours until I can get back in my bed. But NOW! Great advice! I really am loving it here. And I think it's because I try to focus on everything I get to do one day at a time. 

Ok a few stories and then I will tell you some neat things that really strengthened my testimony this week. For one thing... fasting is a blessing here... not just because of all the blessings that already come from fasting. But I legitamately felt 100 times better on fast Sunday than any other day. I think cause I didn't have this nasty food in my body. I always think of that time we went to girls camp at Fiesta Island and one night bishop came and snuck me and Mel some In n Out and told us to go find a private place to eat it haha. I could really use someone like Bishop Roberts around this place. Oh well! NINE more days! Ok mom. You know how sometimes I say "kill me" and you get really mad. Welllll... in the Philippines if something bad happens or they mess up, our teacher said they yell ahhh patay ako!!! Which means kill me. So I guess I'm off the hook for 17 months with that one? Maybe not. I'll try to stop. Promise. 

Today I printed out Madison's email that she wrote home and I read it earlier. I love the part where she writes about the washer breaking and having to handwash for a week. Welcome to the next little part of my life Mads haha. If only washboard Annie were around to give me some pointers!!! Dad! So excited my new closet doors are up! If anyone would like to snap a quick pic and email it to me... I just can't imagine my room without those horrid graffitied doors. haha. That's awesome though. you are such a hard worker dad! 

This week we hosted! That's when you greet the new missionaries at the curb and take them all around and help them get to class. It was so fun!! Highlight was when I hosted some girl from Europe or something and I went to hug her when I was saying bye and she kissed my cheek... haha. umm ok. Europeans... Soooo anyone who has ever helped me with anything technology related knows how horrendous I am at all things technologically. But hey! Guess which companionship got called to be the zone online coordinators! Hollaaa! That means we help with all technology things. This should be interesting. 

This week was great and the MTC is just a spiritual powerhouse. So many things happen here that strengthen my testimony so much but I will share just a few with you. For one, there is the neatest elder here. He is in a wheelchair and is assigned to be in the MTC teaching people over the phone and computer for the next 2 years. He did a piano solo at devotional last week and it was amazing. He can't really move his arms but his fingers were magical. It was so beautiful. He is from Mt. Pleasant so I bet Ron and his family know who he is. His name is Elder Purcell I think. Really awesome guy. I talked to him the other day in the cafeteria and he said he thinks he knows who Jesse is. 
Mom! I know you are a very busy lady but I was thinking the other day that I don't really know your conversion story. If you have a little extra time I would love if you could write that up and send it to me. I know you were 16 and some sly girl slipped something on your desk but I would love to hear the whole story. On Sunday afternoon the elders in our district gave us all blessings. The other 3 girls really wanted them and I felt perfectly fine so I wasn't gonna ask for one. Then they got to me and asked if I wanted one so I said sure. They addressed so many things I didn't even know were concerns of mine until they addressed them. It was amazing. It really strengthened my testimony of the priesthood. I know that those who remain worthy, literally act for God. And that is so amazing. He knows us so much better than we know ourselves. That was a great blessing. Then on Sunday night we watched the Testaments movie after devotional. I hadn't seen it in so long and I forgot how powerful it is. Everyone should watch it. People have died to know the truth. Amazing. My favorite scripture of the week is Mosiah 4:9! I'm not gonna quote it because I want you to go grab your scriptures and read it. We are so blessed to have the scriptures and I never took advantage of that enough. You will gain power when you hold them in your hands and read the words of the prophets! Do it! Guess who is giving the devotional on Tuesday?!?! Oh ya knoww... just L Tom Perry!!! So stoked! It's gonna be good. Ok quick thought for everyone who is going through some sort of challenge (Ok... so everyone on the planet) Mahirap ang buhay pero kung magdadasal para ang kapayapaan, KAYA PO NATIN!!! Life is hard but if we pray for strength, WE CAN DO IT!!! Remeber that. Our father in heaven delights in helping us, so let Him! 

So in other news... Is the Philippines still a thing?!??!?!?! We obviously have no way to check the news here and from a few of your dear elders and the dear elders of other missionaries parents we have gathered that the Philippines is having the worst hurricane in the history of the earth. As of this morning 1,200 people had died and the wind was at a constant 150 mph. Is this all true?! So scary, but hey! At least I'm not scared of storms... SIKE. And they just had a huge earthquake a few weeks ago right?! Pretty much, poor Philippines! They are just getting hit one thing after another. PRAY FOR THE PHILIPPINES please!!!!! To answer your questions we haven't heard of any delays for our departure or anything like that and I reallyyyyyyy hope this won't result in more time in the MTC. This place is great, but it's time to go! We are thinking though that our first while in the Philippines we will be doing a TON of service. Maybe like when Ry Neri just did service for a long time when that Sandy storm hit. I'm not sure but if you know anything more than what I wrote please Dear Elder it to me... the workers/teachers here won't tell us ANYTHING. Butttt, all of this disaster aside, I know that the Lord will watch over and protect me. I also know that it is a blessing I am not there yet because we all know I would be hyperventalating under a bed for the next 3 months or so. So as of now. We are still heading out November 18th. Which reminds me... yesterday everyone in my district got their flight plans (like itinerary and all that) except for Elder Denning and me. And in the other districts everyone has gotten them except for the 4 other sisters going to Naga. So there are 6 of us still waiting on those. They should be here Monday so next Saturday I will be able to let you know when I can call from the airport and all of that. Elder Leas is the only one going to Naga who has gotten his so I'm not too worried about it. But I'll let you know! Alright! Well it's almost temple time!!! So I gotta go. I love you all soooo much. Thanks for all of the love, support, and prayers! You are the best! CTR!!! 

Love, Sister Richmond MAHAL KITA!!!!!

Top 10
1. Seeing family at the temple!
2. Blessings from the elders
3. Photo book from Christie
4. Awesome packages from Christie, Mom, Grandma and Grandpa, Hanna, and Sister Renfro!
5. New scriptures
6. Hosting
7. Yesterday and today are actually not arctic for the first time in a little while!
8. Single digits until the philippines (if it still exists??) 
9. Christie
10. Healthy & Happy!!! :) 

 Sis McCoard and I rockin matching polka dot shirts

 Costco's finest!!! THANKS!

The best cookies EVER from Sister Renfro! Yummmm

Our branch president's wife, sister howard. nicest lady. love her!

Matching journals. Mostly I just thought mom would kill me if I only had 3 pictures from the week. haha. sorryyyyy (not sorry)

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