Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas came and went...

Hola! I hope everyone had a good Christmas! Last week was really hard but things have been getting better since then.  Last Monday after emailing we were able to go shopping and buy all the food we needed.

On Tuesday it was Christmas eve, and we decided to go knocking on doors and we made copies of the Living Christ, and so we gave them to people to help them remember why we celebrate Christmas.  It was hard at first, but we were able to find a couple of people that let us in and we were able to testify of Christ to them, and now we have two more investigators! That night, at the member’s house that we are living with they invited us to have dinner with them, so we had empanadas and Paneton and cookies, and it was all really good.
 
On Christmas day, it was pretty much a normal day.  We woke up at 6:30 AM and then we got ready and we had the other hermanas that live at the same place as us come over for breakfast and then we gathered around our tiny little tree and we opened the presents we had from each other and from the family that we live with.  I opened my package that I got from my parents, which was really nice - thanks mom and dad.  Then during the day we visited members and delivered Christmas cards that we made.  That night we had dinner with a less active family, and of course I got to call home, so that was really nice. 

This Christmas was the hottest Christmas I’ve ever spent!  anyway, so it was good.  Then on Thursday it was the day of all the meetings.  On Friday my companion and I were both sick because we ate something bad, so we stayed home for most of the day, then on Saturday we were back on our feet teaching investigators and less active families.  We have this new investigator Felipe, and he is so awesome, we taught him the first lesson and he was so interested and had so many questions about everything and I think he will be a really good investigator.

Yesterday on Sunday, it was the primary program, and it was so cute, the kids here are the cutest things ever, I love them.  Anyway, things have been better because once I started to love the people, then I started to be happier and remember why I`m here. Also my relationship with my companion has been a lot better, so that helped a ton.  I`ve also just realized that even though I have a lot of challenges right now and a lot of changes and new things I need to learn, the Lord blesses his servants.  Little things have happened that have made me realize that the Lord is looking out for me.  I am really grateful to be here and I’m trying to love the people and serve them as much as I can.

Love you all,

Hermana Tijerino

Monday, December 23, 2013

I'm actually in Bolivia.

Hola! Finally I can email! I've been in Bolivia for a week now! On Monday night at 7:00-ish we left the Bogota MTC and had a long night of traveling through till the next day; we arrived safe and sound except for our luggage... 

There are three of us girls together; me, Hermana J. and Hermana B, and I`m so glad I had them to travel with.  From Tuesday night until Thursday we were staying at a hotel.  On Wednesday we went around going from place to place getting all the immigration stuff done and signing papers, showing our passports, and that kind of a thing.  Then on Thursday we gathered with all the missionaries at the mission office.  There we finally got our luggage, which we had been waiting three days for! and we got our companions, and then left to our areas.  My companion is a North American.  Her name is Hermana M. from Bountiful Utah.  She`s really great, and her Spanish is really good.  She`s a really hard worker, and a really good missionary.  I feel so overwhelmed to learn everything.  Not going to lie, these past few days have been really, really hard.  It’s a new place, new culture, new food, new language, new people, new lifestyle, new everything.  And there is so much to learn, about the investigators and the members and the lessons and of course the language.  So it’s been a lot to take on at once. 

Here`s a little about Bolivia.  It’s definitely the poorest country in South America.  The living conditions are so... I can`t even describe it.  Our area it’s really dirty.  Everywhere there`s sand or dirt roads.  And it is SO HOT! I`m a hot mess all the time, ha-ha.  We also walk so much.  So much.  And there are lots of bugs, but so far we haven’t found many in our house.  I have about 20 mosquito bites so far though.  We`re living with a member, but we have a separate living space.  We`re in this room that has two beds, two dressers, two desks, a little tiny kitchen and a small bathroom, and that’s it.  but it’s actually really nice.  The family that we live with is really nice.  Last night when we got home they invited us in and we were singing Christmas songs with them.  Also, the lady that makes our lunch for us every day is super nice - Hermana J.  So far the food has been pretty good.  But we have no food at our apartment.  We`ve literally been eating saltine crackers for dinner. There`s a lot of rice and bread.  And really good fruit! We were given some mangoes from an investigator`s mango tree. 

So right now we are teaching two investigators, and a lot of less active families.  I want to tell you all about them, but I don`t have time.  All I can say that it’s been amazing to actually be teaching and testifying to real people.  One of the investigadoras, Hermana J. lives out in this jungley area, and she wants to get baptized, and as soon as she gets married to her boyfriend, who is a member, then we can get her baptized, so I`m really excited for her.  And the other people we`ve been teaching are all so great. 

So for Christmas, at first we didn`t have anything to decorate with, but then an investigator gave us some Christmas lights and bows, and then another gave us a little Charlie Brown like Christmas tree, so that was so nice.  And the Hermana J. gave us some Christmas cookies too.  The members are the best!  Yesterday there was this stake activity with lots of music, and all the missionaries sang “O Noche Santa”.  Then this morning all of the Hermanas went to the president`s house and we had a breakfast with Hermana Zambrano and we had a gift exchange.  I`m saving my gift and the package to open on Christmas.
Anyway, so it’s been crazy busy, every day filled with lessons or contacting or visiting and planning and praying and reading, and all these things.  there is just so much to do.  Today we can finally go shopping for food and do our laundry and everything.  Thank goodness for P-days!

Also, if you guys want, you can send me a letter through dearelder.com, and then they will print those out so I can have more time to read them. 

Anyway, Love you all. Feliz Navidad!

 Here are some my most recent pictures since I arrived in Bolivia:


The four us that just arrived in Bolivia

On top of the Hotel building with the city on the background.

With one my Latino Sister missionaries

Nice tropical vegetation

Ready to go out to work.

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NOTE: In order to protect their privacy the names of my companions, members and investigators will be omitted and their name tags obfuscated.

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© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia - 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Last week at the Bogota MTC. Ready for what is next.

Hola!

Ok, I have lots to say so hopefully I will get through it all.  So last week on the district...haha. 
On Wednesday night my new Latino companion arrived! She´s from Ecuador and she´s 19, and she´s the sweetest thing ever!  Her name is Hermana O. She is like a little sister, so cute and nice and so patient with me.  

On Thursday it was orientation for most of the day, and then we got put into our Latino districts that evening.  Friday was the first day of classes, and it was so hard.  There´s only me and one other North American in my district, and it´s really rough. I felt like crying all day.  Everyone talks so fast and I felt like I had no idea what was going on.  Saturday was also really hard too.  But after talking to the guys from my old district, they all felt the same way.  I´m so glad also that I have Hermana B., because she´s always there to talk to and make me laugh.  We also talked to our old teacher Hermana M., who we LOVE, and she helped encourage us a lot too.  We´re also starting to have a grammar class with her for an hour a day to help with our Spanish. Overall I think my Spanish has improved a lot, but I’m still not sure how I’m ever going to become fluent... but anyways.
  
Sunday was really good as always.  That evening, we were able to get together with all the North Americans and watch a movie in English.  It was so nice to be back with them, and talk in English for a little bit.  It was also hilarious because we watched Legacy, and the acting is so cheesy, we couldn’t help but laugh the whole time.  Also Sunday night, my roommates and I had a giggle fest.  I seriously love all the girls in my room.  There´s me and my comp, Hermana B. and her companion Hermana L., and Hermana L. and Hermana Y., who are both so cute and hilarious.  Actually, this past week, every night we are laughing about something, and can´t stop.  I love it. I also just love all the girls here.  I feel like we all became friends from the start, and that’s really nice.

On Monday, my companion was sick, so I was with Sister B. and her companion for the day.  On Tuesday we went proselytizing, and that was really fun.  We weren´t getting any luck until the very end, when we found this sweet old lady and her daughter, and we talked to them for a while, teaching them about the gospel and bearing testimony to them.  I gave her a book of Mormon, and she seemed really interested in reading it.  The older lady told us she was very sick, and we simply told her that heavenly father loves her and can help her, and she started crying.  It was a very sweet experience.  We left her with the missionary´s info, a book of Mormon, and a pamphlet with the address of the church too, so I really hope that that goes somewhere.  Also that day I felt like I really started to connect with my district.  A lot of the guys are so hilarious.    

On Wednesday we went to the temple, and that was a really good experience.  Yesterday was a pretty good day, and my feat was that I memorized D&C 4 in Spanish!  This morning we went to the temple again and that was really nice.  Probably the last time I’ll be able to go for a while.  

Also, two things I have discovered here at the CCM.  One, Latinos are so short! I am like one of the tallest people here, and that is a first! Also, I’ve never been so tired in my life! This is exhausting! But it has also been an amazing experience and I have learned so much.  I can´t believe that I leave on Monday!  Crazy! And I also can’t believe that its almost Christmas! It doesn’t feel like it. I´m not sure if I´ll be able to email before Christmas, so if not, FELIZ NAVIDAD! 

Love, Hermana Tijerino

Pictures of the week:

My current district

Me and sister B. being silly.
Me and sister B. being Happy.

Some of the sisters currently at the MTC

All the sisters at the MTC

Bolivian flag

Me and Elder M. from Peru.


Yours truly being pretty.

Me and my new companion Sister O.

Me and two of the Latina Sisters.


Sassy sisters?

Two companionships. 

Feliz navidad!


Sister Tijerino wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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NOTE: In order to protect their privacy the names of my companions will be omitted and their name tags obfuscated.

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© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia - 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A busy and adventure filled P-day

Hola everyone!
So the past few days have been really fun. On Saturday we went proselytizing, and we went back to the same area as last time in the city by this mall, and it was really fun.  We ended up talking to this man in a park, and then his wife and two little girls came, and we talked to them for like an hour.  They were such a cute family, and they seemed really interested in the gospel, and the wife even knew about the Book of Mormon and the plan of salvation, and it was so cool.  I really think that the lord had been preparing them to hear the gospel. we got their contact information and gave them the address of the church and the missionaries number, so I really hope that that goes somewhere!

Then on Sunday, it was another amazing spiritual day.  Monday was our last day of classes with our current district, so that was both fun and sad.  Today was awesome! We went to the Temple in the morning, and then went on our field trip during the day! We just got back a little bit ago, and we had Subway, and now we get to email, and later we´re watching a movie.  So a pretty fun day! 

All the Latino missionaries left today, and tonight the new North Americans missionaries are coming in, then tomorrow the new Latino missionaries will arrive, we will get our Latino companions! I´m excited, but I´m also scared I won´t be able to communicate very well... so we´ll see!

So on our field trip; we drove a really long time.  We went through the busy city and then into the countryside full of beautiful green trees and hills.  It was so cool to see some of Colombia! I couldn´t tell you exactly where we were though.  Finally we got there, and we see these HUGE castles and colorful buildings and museums and things, and we were so excited to go in... and then it was closed! We were so sad!  So then we went to the other place we were going to go next, a cathedral de sal, which is this cool salt mine which they built a cathedral in.  So we were able to spend a lot of time there, and it was really fun. Afterward, I bought this elephant magnet made from the salt, and then I also got this other little golden elephant :)

I have to say that I am super tired, but I´m so glad we were able to go out and explore, and spend some time with our district for one last time.  The pictures on this blog post are from today’s busy day and activities.

Love you all,
Hermana Tijerino



Angel at the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira

Bogota Temple

At the Salt Cathedral

In front of the Bogota Temple

Salt Cross

Salt Cross

MTC Christmas Tree

Local attraction, we were not able to go in, because it was closed today.

Blurry photo of local site

With Sister B. in front of the Bogota temple

With Sister J. in front of Temple entrance

With Sister B. and Sister J.

With our two new Latina sisters.

With Sister B.

With Sister J.


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NOTE: In order to protect their privacy the names of my companions will be omitted and their name tags obfuscated.

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© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia - 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Week Happenings!

Thanksgiving Week Happenings!

Hola! This past week has been full of its up and downs.  So last Wednesday, they started putting up Christmas decorations and playing Christmas music already!  Also on that Wednesday, we got the new group of North Americans and Latinos.  There were only 6 new North Americans, and only one sister.  Her name is Sister J., and she became my new companion.  She´s from Virginia, and did one semester at BYU, and she´s really nice.  And this new group of Latinos is so different from the last one.  The last group was really big and loud and crazy, and this group is a lot more subdued, but they are really great. So from Thursday to Saturday, not a lot happened, just a lot of classes and studying.  Then on Sunday was really good! The spirit is so strong in the MTC, but especially on Sundays.  We usually watch a few devotionals, and they are always so good and uplifting.

On Tuesday we watched a devotional about temples, and it made me realize how lucky we are to have temples to close by.  They are a wonderful blessing.  We went to the Bogotá temple on Wednesday, and it was really nice.  The temple itself is really big and beautiful.  I wish I could’ve taken a picture of it, but they don’t let us bring our cameras.  Anyway, and that time I didn´t use headphones, so I listened to the whole thing in Spanish, and I was able to understand about 90% of it.  I think my Spanish is improving a lot.  I still have a lot to go, but it’s coming along.  Our investigator, Katy (our teacher) has been progressing in our lessons, and in our last one we committed her to baptism, and it was amazing to feel the spirit as we testified to her, and to see the change in her over the week (even though it wasn’t real, it felt real). She started out as a hippie, and not believing in God, but now she knows she is a daughter of God, and knows the things we are teaching her are true.  Anyway, so that went really well.

So yesterday was thanksgiving! In the morning we did service, by cleaning the whole MTC. Then they had a really nice meal for us. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, a marshmallow fruit salad thing, and a fruit pie like dessert, and chocolate cake.  It was all super yummy.  
Besides that, this week has been really fun.  Since it´s been a lot of class, and of course getting up early and everything, I’ve been really tired, and we all know what happens when I get really tired... I cannot stop laughing!  Also, for a couple of nights, my roommates and I (Sister B., Sister, M, and sister J) have been telling stories and staying up laughing into the night, and it’s been so fun.  These girls are hilarious, and I love them.  Especially Sister B.  She is the funniest person I’ve ever met.  And she and Sister M. are teaching me how to be more sassy.  The boys have nicknamed us the sass pack, ha-ha.

Anyway, also yesterday we had an area Seventy come and give us a devotional, and that was really good.  He talked about how we are doing the work of salvation, and how we have a power within us, the power of the spirit, and we have to remember how amazing we are and what we are doing.
So more cool things coming up.  On Tuesday we will get to go on a field trip! I’m not sure where we will be going, but I am excited to get out! Oh and tomorrow we will go proselytizing again, so I’m excited for that too! Then I think on Wednesday we will be getting Latina companions! Ah! 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My First photos at the MTC

Hello Friends and Family,

Today we had our P-day and we got to go to the Bogota Temple. Here are some photos from the MTC.
Some of these pictures are from my first P-Day and from my companions my district and current group at the MTC.


This is the entrance of the MTC or CCM. Centro de Capacitacion Misional.

This is the current group of missionaries at the MTC. Spanish speaking missionaries spend two weeks at the MTC and then are sent to their missions. English speaking missionaries spend 6 weeks at the MTC prior to being sent to the missions they have been called to.

These are my two companions at the MTC. Sister B. and Sister M.

These are my two Latin room-mates. Sister A. from Venezuela and Sister R. from Mexico. They are great and have been helping with the language. They were here at the MTC for two weeks and have left for their assigned countries.

This is Sister M. our instructor, she is like our mom away from home. We love her.

This is our district during P-day having some fun.

My two companions with Sister A. from Venezuela.

My two companions with Sister R. from Mexico.

P-day with my companions.

My companions and our instructor.

Yours truly.

NOTE: In order to protect their privacy the names of my companions will be omitted and their name tags obfuscated.

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© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia - 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

First week adventures at the Colombian MTC.

Hola!

I´m alive! Sorry I haven´t written yet, today is our first P day, and we only have an hour.  It’s really dumb because it´s almost been two weeks since we got here, and the next p day is in like 3 days... but whatever.
So far I am loving the MTC! And I love Colombia! It rains at least once a day (the first week it did), and there are some sweet thunderstorms.

It is so much fun to be here surrounded by all these missionaries! There are about 30 North Americans, and twice as many from South America.  I love all the people here! I love my district and my companions especially!  I´m in a trio with Hermana B., from Washington (and she graduated from BYU), and Hermana M., from North Carolina.  They are both so funny and so awesome! We get along super well.  They make me laugh a lot. I like them A LOT. And we have two other roommates, one from Venezuela and one from Mexico.  They´re both super nice and are helping us with our Spanish.  All of the Latinos here are so great.  And everyone says that the Venezuelans talk the fastest, and I’m like, yeah seriously!  It´s so cool though to be able to have my background that I can connect with people.

Ok, I love the food here.  They have Colombian hot chocolate for breakfast like every morning.   and they have yucca and fried plantains, and arepas, and the bread and dessert is so yummy.  I love it.
The days are super long here.  every morning its wake up at 6:30 AM, we go exercise, then we get ready and have breakfast, and its class, class, class, lunch, class, class, class, dinner, class, class, class, and then get ready for bed.  It´s exhausting, but I´m learning so much. I’m learning a lot of Spanish and a lot of spiritual things as well.  And I love my teachers.  We have Hermano M. and he is so cute and funny, and then Hermana M. is THE BEST.  She is like our mini mommy.  She is the sweetest and she is such a great teacher.

So, so far, a lot of other cool things have happened.  First, a funny story.  On like the third day we had our first practice investigator, who was just Hermano M.  When we went to go teach him, we didn´t know we were supposed to pretend to knock on the door and everything, so my companions and I just walked in and starting talking to him, and he was like “who are you guys?” “what are you doing in my house?” In Spanish of course, and my companions didn´t understand, and I was cracking up, and once I told them that we just walked in, they starting cracking up too, and then I couldn't stop laughing during our whole lesson with him... haha.  It´s gotten a lot better though.

Anyway, so on Wednesday we got to go to the Bogotá temple and that was such a cool experience.  it was cool driving there to see the city and everything. The temple is beautiful! it was awesome.
Then the best thing that´s happened so far was today, we got to go proselyting (street contacting- talking to people on the street) all morning.  We went into the city and walked around and talked to people, and it was such a cool experience.  We found some people that were really accepting and really wanted to talk to us (but maybe that´s just cuz we´re all attractive American girls), but anyway, it was still really cool.  we gave away two books of Mormon and some pamphlets and got 6 people´s information that we can give to the missionaries here.  I want to tell you more about that experience, but for now, it was just really cool, and even though our Spanish wasn´t very good, we could speak and communicate with the people.
I am really excited to learn more and become better at teaching and speaking Spanish.  All of your prayers are appreciated! Muchas gracias! I love you


Sis. Tijerino

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© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia - 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Arrived at the MTC

I arrived at the MTC last Tuesday at midnight after boarding a plane at 5:25 AM the same day. I met up with 5 other Elders and 1 Sister at the Atlanta airport and we sat on the back of the plane and we had a great time. When we arrived the airport at we met with other missionaries flying to the MTC from other countries. We were allowed to sleep in until 7:00AM the next morning.
Here are a couple of pictures at the Airport at home:

© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, November 4, 2013

See ya later!

I don't like the idea of saying goodbye, so this is a "See ya later".  As my last day at home, I've been feeling lots of feels, everywhere from sad and scared, to excited and hopeful.  I've always wanted to go on an adventure, and my time has finally come.  I'm excited to serve the Lord in Bolivia for a year and a half, and have many experiences there.  I know all of my sacrifices to get there will be worth it.
To all of my friends and family, I appreciate all the love and support, and I will miss you all! If you would like to contact me, my email will be Jennifer.tijerino@myldsmail.net.  My parents will post my emails on this blog. If you would like to write, here are my addresses:
MTC
Centro de Capacitacion Misional
Carrera 45, #57B-26
Barrio Nicolas de Federman
Bogota Distrito Capital
Columbia

Mission
Bolivia Santa Cruz North Mission
Casilla de Correo 3873
Zona Central
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz
Bolivia


I’d love to hear from you! So until next time... see ya later!

© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Farewell Talk

Yesterday I gave my farewell talk ,and I wanted to post it here for all those who wanted to come, but couldn't make it.  Of course, this is exactly what I said, as a lot of it is quotes, and I would put them in my own words or paraphrase, and add comments to while I was talking, but here is what I wrote and went off of.  

I’m so grateful to be able to speak to you today.  I’m leaving for my mission to Bolivia.  I report to the Colombia MTC on November 6th.  And I’ll be learning Spanish.
I’m excited to share with you some thoughts from a conference talk, and some thoughts of my own. I will be mainly referring to President Uchtdorf’s talk from the October 2011 general conference titled “You Matter to Him”.
He starts off by saying how after God appeared to Moses, he said “I know,” he said, “that man is nothing.”
“The more we learn about the universe, the more we understand—at least in a small part—what Moses knew. The universe is so large, mysterious, and glorious that it is incomprehensible to the human mind. “Worlds without number have I created,” God said to Moses.
Given the vastness of God’s creations, it’s no wonder the great King Benjamin counseled his people to “always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness.”
But even though man is nothing, it fills me with wonder and awe to think that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”
And while we may look at the vast expanse of the universe and say, “What is man in comparison to the glory of creation?” God Himself said we are the reason He created the universe! His work and glory—the purpose for this magnificent universe—is to save and exalt mankind.8 In other words, the vast expanse of eternity, the glories and mysteries of infinite space and time are all built for the benefit of ordinary mortals like you and me. Our Heavenly Father created the universe that we might reach our potential as His sons and daughters.”
I think that this is amazing.  Heavenly Father created all of this for us… for us to reach our potential as his children.
“This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. …We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it.”
He wants to help us, and he gave us the tools we need- families, the scriptures, a prophet, the gospel, etc.
With all things good, there comes opposition.  Satan appeals to us sometimes using pride, like we see in the Book of Mormon time and time again.  But in our day, I think he more often uses discouragement.  Instead of puffing us up, Satan tries to tear us down…
“He attempts to focus our sight on our own insignificance until we begin to doubt that we have much worth. He tells us that we are too small for anyone to take notice, that we are forgotten—especially by God.”
Uchtdorf shares an experience when he was at a pilot training far away from home.
He said he often felt “insignificant, unknown, and quite alone. Even so, I never once wondered if the Lord had forgotten me or if He would ever be able to find me there. I knew that it didn’t matter to Heavenly Father where I was, where I ranked with others in my pilot training class, or what my calling in the Church was. What mattered to Him was that I was doing the best I could, that my heart was inclined toward Him, and that I was willing to help those around me. I knew if I did the best I could, all would be well.  And all was well.
This gives me comfort that although I’ll be in a place far from home, and I might feel small and alone, I know that God won’t forget me. 
President Utchdorf says it perfectly: “The Lord doesn’t care at all if we spend our days working in marble halls or stable stalls. He knows where we are, no matter how humble our circumstances. He will use—in His own way and for His holy purposes—those who incline their hearts to Him.”
“God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history. They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Savior’s example and spend the days of their lives doing good.”
You Matter to Him
“… it may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember—you matter to Him! If you ever doubt that, consider these four divine principles:
First, God loves the humble and meek, for they are “greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”17
Second, the Lord entrusts “the fulness of [His] gospel [to] be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world.”18 He has chosen “the weak things of the world [to] come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones”19 and to put to shame “the things which are mighty.”
This is also comforting to me, knowing that he trusts us, the weak and simple, to teach the gospel.  He trusts these young 18 and 19 year olds to teach His gospel.  It shows how much faith he has in us.
Third, no matter where you live, no matter how humble your circumstances, how meager your employment, how limited your abilities, how ordinary your appearance, or how little your calling in the Church may appear to you, you are not invisible to your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He knows your humble heart and your acts of love and kindness. Together, they form a lasting testimony of your fidelity and faith.
Fourth and finally, please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be. You will not feel loneliness, sorrow, pain, or discouragement forever. We have the faithful promise of God that He will neither forget nor forsake those who incline their hearts to Him.21 Have hope and faith in that promise. Learn to love your Heavenly Father and become His disciple in word and in deed.
He mentions that 3 times, so I think that must be important, that we need to incline our hearts to Him.  He loves us so much, and we need to return that love to him.
Be assured that if you but hold on, believe in Him, and remain faithful in keeping the commandments, one day you will experience for yourselves the promises revealed to the Apostle Paul: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”22
Brothers and sisters, the most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love.
Not only is God this powerful being, he is also our father.  With this perfect love he has for us, he gave us the universe.  He gave up his son, which provided for the atonement, so we can return to live with Him.   He restored the gospel on the earth today. And the list goes on.
God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him.
 “May we ever believe, trust, and align our lives so that we will understand our true eternal worth and potential. May we be worthy of the precious blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for us”
I know that Heavenly Father loves and cares about us.  This gospel is centered around love.  I want to share a quote from Elder Holland’s talk from this past general conference.  He addresses how to respond to mental and emotional challenges, but what he says can be applied to everyone:“Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.” Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart.” 
Just remember never to lose faith, because Heavenly Father loves us, and he will always love us.
I want to share a scripture that a missionary shared with me: Isaiah 41:10
10 aFear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
I know that the Lord is always with us, and He strengthens us.  And I know that Lord has been preparing me.
Heavenly Father knows what I need.  I know that He has a plan for me, and I’ve only been able to see a tiny glimpse of it. There’s a reason for everything. 
There’s a reason I took Spanish in high school and college.  There’s a reason I went to BYU. My testimony has grown so much there. There’s a reason I went to mission prep, even though I wasn’t planning on a mission at the time.  There’s a reason I have the family that I have.  There’s a reason why I’ve been blessed with the friends I have, and the good examples they are to me.  He has put people into my life that I needed for me to love and to love me, and all these people- family, friends, leaders, have blessed me in so many ways. He’s been preparing long before I had any idea I would be serving a mission.  He is ever aware of us and what we are going through, and what we need to prepare us for the future.  His plan for us is perfect, because his love is a perfect love.
I’m excited to be able to feel his love for his children while I am serving them.  I would be lying if I said I’m not scared or that I don’t have my worries and fears, but when I think about the love I’ll have for the people, all of that melts away. 
Thank you for all your love and support.

© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Welcome

Welcome to my missionary blog.  My name is Jennie, and I will be serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here is where my family will post updates on how I am doing and my emails about my experiences on my mission.
I am going to be serving in the Bolivia Santa Cruz North mission, preaching the gospel in the Spanish language.  I report to the Colombia MTC on November 6th, 2013.
A mission was something I never considered on doing until this year.  It had always been on my mind ever since the prophet lowered the serving age for girls from 21 to 19, but it was still wasn’t in my plans.  Finally after much thought and prayer, I prayed and fasted and went to the temple where I finally received my answer- the one I knew all along in the back of my mind- that I needed to serve a mission.
I turned 19 in August, and now I’m getting ready to leave in about 2 weeks.  Here are some of my thoughts.
First and foremost, I love this gospel- the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It has brought me so much happiness and comfort in my life.  Serving a mission will give me opportunity to share this happiness with others.
Second, I know that Lord has been preparing throughout my life for this.  I know He has a plan for me.   He knows me, and He knows what I need.  And there’s a reason for everything.  There’s a reason I took Spanish in high school and college.  There’s a reason I went to school at BYU.  My testimony has grown so much there. There’s a reason I went to mission prep, even though I wasn’t planning on a mission at the time.  There’s a reason I have the family that I have.  There’s a reason why I’ve been blessed with the friends I have, because of the good examples they are to me.  He has put people into my life that I needed, and that have blessed me in so many ways. He’s been preparing long before I had any idea I would be serving a mission.  He is ever aware of us and what we are going through, and what we need to prepare us for the future.  His plan for us is perfect, because His love is a perfect love.  This gospel is centered around love.  Elder Holland said in his talk in this past general conference “Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.” 
Heavenly Father loves us, and He always will.
Third, because Heavenly Father loves us, he gives us trials.  I know a mission will be hard.  I know I will struggle and will have hard times.  But I know that they will help me grow.  Our trials are for our benefit, so we can grow and become more like Him.
Finally, here is a poem I wrote in my junior English class that I want to share.  We were asked to write what our mission in life was, and there was an option to write a short essay or poem, so I opted for the poem.
My Mission
In a wisp of smoke
The blink of an eye
We could disappear
You live, and then you die

How are we remembered
How do we make it last
Do we take life slow
Or have we gone too fast

I hope I make a difference
I hope that someone sees
I hope I change a life or two
And somehow just believe

Life is to be lived
To have love and some fun
To leave a lasting impression
And show the world what I’ve done

That is my mission
And a mission it’ll be
To change the world for good
Just you wait and see

I want to make a difference in someone’s life.  I want to share the gospel and bring happiness to people.  I want to have new adventures.  I want to learn things about myself, and grow in the gospel.  I want to forget myself and get lost in the service of others.  I want to feel the love of my Savior for his people. 

Despite my fears, I’m excited to serve a mission.  I’m so grateful with everything the Lord has blessed me with, and for this opportunity to serve Him.   

© Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and posted photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Tijerino and Mission Adventures in Bolivia with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.