Monday, March 25, 2013

Mission Log: 25 March 2013

Sorry Guys, I have been a bad blog keeper upper. A reminder that this blog is not being kept by Jari her self while she is serving a LDS mission. -Annalee
chickens! in a living room. Jersey is crazy. 
Zelia, MY Brazilian
curled sister petersen's hair
Yesterday my sweet friend got baptized, the Brazilian woman I have been talking about the past couple weeks. I love her with my whole heart, I'm pretty sure that she and I are kindred spirits. She was so excited for her baptism. We have three different meetings at church (each one is an hour long) and after each meeting she would ask me "is it time for my baptism now?" "how about now?" "is it my turn now?" She was SO excited, and I was excited for her. After the last meeting she grabbed my hand and started singing and dancing down the hallway. She just made up her own song and sang random sentences about everything that was going on around us. "This is my girl from Alagoas." "Today I'm going to get baptized." "Elder Larson is my new godfather" (Elder Larson is one of the missionaries that taught her). "My husband, my boyfriend, the love of my life came to church today." She was EVERYTHING happy. I couldn't help but giggle the entire time. Once she was all dressed in white we went to go take more pictures and she loved that. So we took a lot of pictures. 7 different missionaries with cameras all oggling over her, it was great. 

(This is a side story just to showcase how it doesn't really matter where I am or what I'm doing and am still, always and forever, Jari. During all the picture taking I sat down on a couch...and it turns out that I sat on a spot where a little girl just had a bit of an accident. When I stood up I thought, "oh man, my bum feels really wet." Well that would be because my super absorbent skirt soaked up the whole mess, awesome.) 

I gave a short talk at the baptismal service about the gift of the Holy Ghost. A man who was baptized last week was in attendance so I had him share his testimony about the gift of the Holy Ghost, it was short and powerful. Really having the gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is so special. It changes our lives to have a constant friend to help us go through life. I am so grateful. As I talked to her about it I mentioned how we can do things that help us to be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and one of those things is to sing hymns (keep in mind that this woman LOVES to sing hymns). Earlier that morning I had found a hymn book in Portuguese and I gave it to her as a gift. She just hugged the book close to her and her eyes got really big as if she could hardly believe that it was actually for her. It was like Christmas. It was one of the greatest days of my life. In reality I've spent a grand total of 4 days with this woman, but I love her like family. She is so dear to me. I love how to gospel brings people together. I love learning to love the way that Christ did. 

My live a very charmed life, and I owe it completely to the influence of the gospel in my life. The gospel of Jesus Christ means everything to me and I love sharing it with everyone else. Such simple things: faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. So simple, so powerful, so life changing. I love it. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mission Log: 18 March 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day. My companions and I all wore green to church and were looking very festive. Apparently the only other people who got the memo were the grandmothers in the congregation...which worked out well for us. They were all so excited to see that we dressed up that we got extra hugs. I love hugs!

Also, my favorite Brazilian woman, Zelia, is home from  her trip to Florida (lucky lady!). She came dancing down the hall and grabbed me in a huge hug. She started introducing me to an elder that was teaching her previously and told him all about how I'm her favorite. It made me laugh, I love how cute she is. I'm pretty sure she and I are best friends. When I grabbed one of her hands she shook a little because they were really cold. She told me, "sweetheart, I knew you had a warm heart...but if your hands are that cold your heart must be on fire!! Well, actually, that makes sense." I started laughing so hard. I just want to shrink her down and carry her around in my pocket, I love her. 

Mostly, I just want anyone who reads this to know that I really love the gospel of Jesus Christ. My life is full of joy because of the gospel. It is my greatest treasure. I love my Savior. I am so grateful to Him for his sacrifice so that I can receive forgiveness for my sins, but also so that I can receive help and guidance in trials, so that I can feel the love and comfort that He has to offer. I know that my Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers, I know He does the same for each one of you. Isn't that wonderful? I am so glad to know it, I am so honored to share that precious knowledge. Life is a joy. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mission Log: 11 March 2013

I went back to my first area in Jersey City on an exchange this week. It was cool to see all the different ways that I have changed and grown. Sometimes it’s easy to assume that I’m not growing, so I am grateful for little moments that remind me how far I have come.
The truth is that we’re always growing. Our choices determine if that growth bring us closer to or father away from God. One of my favorite hymns is “Nearer My God to Thee.” All I really want to do is just come nearer and nearer to God.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mission Log: 04 March 2013

I love New Jersey. It's crazy, and there's a lot of road rage, and they have these things called jug-handles that destroy my already terrible sense of direction, but I love this state!

I love the people. I love the food. I love the trees. I love the buildings. I love how sassy everyone is. I love the absurd number of Florida license plates. I love that I get to learn things about the entire world without leaving a single apartment complex. I love the people that I have met and continue to meet each day. 

I think I've given a piece of my heart to this crazy little place. I'm pretty sure Jersey is mine forever. 

Training a new missionary is an incredible experience. I feel like I'm being stretched in a million different directions, but someone I'm made equal to the task. 

Before I came of my mission I thought I knew a lot about love. I thought I knew how to love others. I thought it was a talent of mine even. Being a missionary has taught me more about love than I thought was possible to learn. I have learned about heartbreak, I've learned about true rejoicing, I've learned how to listen, I've learned how to trust, and I'm just going to keep on learning and keep giving my whole heart to everyone I meet. And the strange thing is that there will always be enough of my heart to give. There is no end to love.