I will be serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from May 5, 2010 - November 2011. My family will add parts of my letters home to this blog in case you're wondering what I'm up to while I'm gone :)
So Sister Jade Jolley is having a great time in the MTC. She is now learning 50 new words in Thai every day! She also had the opportunity to sing in the choir for mission presidents. She loves singing in a choir again and says it is great to have a little change in the routine. The First Presidency and most of the Apostles were at the MTC recently and Sister Jolley had the opportunity to speak with Elder Holland and Nelson's wives. She says they are amazing women, and have truly dedicated their lives to the Lord.
That's all for now! Sorry it took me so long to update her blog..
First of all, I would like to apologize for taking so long updating Jade's blog. We hope you enjoy her letters as much as we did!
So the first few days were really long but I loved every second! I am companions with S. Johnson and S. Naegle. I love them both. The 5 of us sisters share a room which is fun!
Thanks for the birthday wishes! I appreciate it! I kept forgetting it was my birthday haha :) Elder Leyva was funny and told me happy birthday everytime he saw me then yesterday he said "S. Jolley, happy day after your birthday!" and joked about saying that to me all day then E. Ahlstrom kept telling me I had 364 days left.... So my district is awesome! The Elders are great! They provide comic relief in class and are hard workers. sometimes I do roll my eyes, but they are wonderful. I am so impressed with how hard everyone is working. We are all progressing and learning quickly. It's amazing! We learned to pray the first day (I am still not very good at it as I am struggling to remember what words mean but it is getting better). Yesterday we learned to bare our testimonies. That was exciting! As a district, we are learning 15 new words a day! Yeah, that's a lot and of course I don't have them all memorized yet but it's fun when I see a word that I recognize.
I am so grateful that I took Chinese! It has helped me a lot in saying tones. But it's been hard because Romanized Thai and pinyin have different consonant and vowel sounds, but I'm learning. I enjoy being next to the Cambodia, Mong, Lao, and Mandarin districts. It's a lot of fun to hear them talking and even better when I can understand the Mandarin Elders sometimes :) Please pray for me as I am working hard to learn the language. I know it will come. Most importantly we have learned that if we teach by the Spirit, the people will understand us even if we are not saying everything correctly. What a comfort that is.
This week we've learned a lot! We've memorized our purpose in PMG. But really we learned from Brother Heaton at the Sunday fireside that Our purpose is really just to Invite and Help. Just those two things. We need to focus on the investigators, not ourselves. I thought that I would just need to look at scriptures and things to help improve me but that is not what I should be doing. I am here to learn how to help and invite others to come unto Christ. I need to focus on what they need and what the Father wants me to tell them. Brother Heaton suggested that we go through the Book of Mormon and read about the great investigators such as the people of Zarahemla, King Lamoni, his wife, his people, Limhi, etc. and learn what they needed and how their needs were met. It is so interesting to see that you can make a huge difference just from knowing what people need. We've been focusing a lot on that in teaching each other. We take our mock teaching appointments seriously and it's amazing how we feel the Spirit even when teaching each other.
Yesterday I learned an important lesson. I learned that I need to always listen to the Spirit and invite Him to help me teach. I cannot teach without His help. We were teachning the 3some of Elders and were so focused on the lesson plan we had outline that we just hit a wall. The Spirit was not there and we were not able to effectively teach them. It was a good experience because it made me realize the importance of teaching by the Spirit. It is important to plan and learn as much about the doctrine as I can with the investigators and their needs in mind while preparing, but while teaching I just need to teach by the Spirit and listen to Him. That way I can be effective and hopefully meet the needs of those I am teaching.
Sunday Sheri Dew spoke to us in RS!!!! Yeah, awesome birthday present huh?! It was incredible! She talked about the joy of womanhood. Mom, I love you! Thank you for everything you have taught me and helped me with! She shared a quote from Eliza R. Snow "No one but Saints can be happy under every circumstance" referring to them during hard times. Even when they had nothing, they had a smile on their faces. I have it so good right now that I cannot be anything but happy. We have so many reasons to rejoice! We are so blessed with a knowledge of a Heavenly Father who loves and cares about each of us! What a wonderful gift and blessing. Sis. Dew told us 4 things Satan will try to do: 1. get us to criticize and judge 2. confuse us of our identity 3. keep us from learning the Atonement and how He loves us and can help us and 4. keep us from learning to receive spiritual revelation. In order to be successful we must master these 4 things.
I know that I am supposed to be here now. Right now my purpose is to invite those around me to come unto Christ. We are to work together and learn and study by faith and by the Spirit. I am learning to be faithful and dilligent. I will be obedient so that I can hav eth eSpirit with me. I will not fear but have an increase in faith that I am here for a reason. I need to study and learn His word as much as I can while I am here.
As for my plaque scripture: D&C 108:6-8 or 84:88..... I don't care. Both are good just let me know which one you choose :)
Thank Nate for the bags! We love them! I will write letters to those I can later today. I can't wait to go to the temple today!
I love you all! choose the right! :)
Sister Jolley :)
ps I saw Elder Stucki and vernon and Elder buzz... i don't know his last name. And I saw hermana Warner. It's fun to see fammilar faces.