Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lots of LOVE

may 14, 2013
hello!!!!!!! i have an overload of pictures to send home to you...so this email may not be as long...but i'll make up for it in the letter i send home. CAN I SAY THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR MAKING MY BIRTHDAY INCREDIBLE?!?!?!!?!? oh my goodness...i about died when i opened your box....it explains itself in the play-by-play of pictures coming your way ;) i was ecstatic. you guys really outdid yourselves this time. i opened my presents with my district....and i'm pretty sure the elders were thinking, "who is this girl.....and who let her into our district..." hahahahahahhah like i'm such a girl. i was squeeling and screaming and like jumping around. and then i'd cry. and then i'd ramble about how great you are. and then i sat and explained every picture in that book (THAT I LOVE AND CAN'T STOP LOOKING AT). In one of the pictures i'm sending home, it's me pointing to the picture of bradley and i hugging......it's my favorite one. and it's so perfect that my companion got a picture of me pointing to it. thank you times a million. i can't get over how great you all are. trust me when i say that.
my birthday was wonderful. i'm 20 now. blow up some balloons for me. i am a reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal woman, now. that's what i've been saying to everyone that asks how old i am. teen no longer. this morning at breakfast, i was like hmmmmmmm what do twenty year old women eat. hahahaha i'm just loving it. my day was great. it was just like any other day (until package time). i forgot to put on my name tag in the morning, and didn't realize for a while (awkward). and i taught a couple lessons later in the day under the scorching sun (only a half-complaint there). and then the mail came, and the packages came, and my joy was FULL. i hope you can get that from my pictures. let's just talk about how obsessed i am with my new shoes. ohhhhhhhhhhh that was the best. thank you thank you thank you thank you. i saw those "Born" boxes, and literally screamed...i think there's a picture of it. anyways. then we went to gym out at the field by the temple. on the walk back, i was reading all my letters, and all the sudden, my entire zone started singing. there are like fifty people in our zone. and i realized they were all singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY in russian to me. it was so cutie. they were like harmonizing and yelling it at the top of their lungs. it was so great. i was just jumping up and down with the biggest smile on my face. it was great. my birthday was great. so great. and it's the only time i'll ever have a birthday in the MTC! monumental.
okay, so i'll ramble on for twelve more pages in the letter i send home. be expecting it. i am still so happy about every, single item in that package. meanwhile, this clock is ticking, and i still have so much to write, and so many pictures to attach (three at a time -_- )
this week was incredible. i am telling you, every single day since i left has been LIFE CHANGING. seriously. i can't get over it. Let me tell you, every day i feel like i'm a better person than the day before. a mission is sanctifying. it really is. if anyone is even considering a mission......i am screaming at you to GO! my life is forever changed, and will be forever and ever and ever. it's unreal. okay, so on sunday for our MTC relief society with everyone......janice kapp perry came--she was the one who wrote literally all of the GOOD primary songs. no offence to all the other writers, but she wrote the real gems. like "child's prayer," and "i love to see the temple," and all of them, pretty much. she also wrote "as sisters in zion." trust me when i say that there was not a dry eye in the entire auditorium as she spoke to us. she literally just had us sing all of her songs, and she'd kind of talk about the meaning behind them, and there are some amazing stories behind every one. and then......she told us that she had re-written "as sisters in zion" and she wanted us to be the first ones to sing it. so it comes on, and it was all about sister missionaries. it was like talking about how this is a new time, and we are at the front line of it all. the lord needs us, and we're here. and it was UNREAL. you could just hear like sobs and sniffles throughout the whole thing. she said it would be released soon, but it was so amazing to sing it here with HER, and all the other sister missionaries. it was incredible.
i've been thinking about how i want to go through every day of my mission, and how i want to be at the end of my mission when i get off the plane. i read a quote by elder holland (who BY THE WAY is coming tonight for my birthday. just kidding, we never know who is coming, but i've been praying every second that it will be him that comes. keep your fingers crossed). but this quote says something like, "give your mission all you have. be like a runner at the end of the marathon finish line....with nothing else to give. now, don't be tired and exhausted, and gasping for air.....but give it your all." i literally want nothing more than to go through every day like that. and i feel that i do, every day. i want to exert everything i have, everything i possess, into my mission. i want to look back at the end of each day, and at the end of it all....and think.....i did it. i did it. i gave it my all. i know that there are angels walking right beside me, helping me, lifting me. i am so not alone in this. i just feel so incredibly blessed to be here, you literally have no idea. my mission president was at some sort of meeting thing with elder ballard, and at the end, my mission president (the mtc one) said: "elder holland, i'm supposed to be addressing the missionaries going to ukraine and russia tomorrow, what would you have me say to them? what would you have me teach them?" he said that elder ballard just sat with his head down, thinking, praying, and just soaking up the Spirit....until he looked up and said, "teach them to always teach by the Spirit." i thought that was amazing that we, not the missionaries as a whole, but OUR mission was told that we needed to do that. so i am always keeping that in mind, and striving for that every day.
i have so many "is that really necessary" experiences this week.
my first: i was asked to be the chorister in church on sunday, and it was a big sunday.....because we had the whole MTC presidency with us for our meeting, and lots of other people. it was a big crowd. and if you don't know, my zone is combined with all the russian, ukrainian, and baltic states missions. so there are lots of peeps. well......pretty much everyone sings in russian, because there are only six of us in the mtc learning ukrainian. and the hymns are completely different translations, so the words are like not even the same. anyways, i was standing up there leading the music, and everyone is singing in russian, so i can't even hear myself to even know where we are in the song. so i was doing the whole "peas and carrots" thing again. just smiling, and waving ahhahahaaha. mind you, i didn't think people even watched the chorister before this event. so i get to the end of the song, and do the pretty little "...and....CUT" sing that choristers are really good at. and then i did the classic, slowly close your eyes and nod as if saying, "beautiful. that was beautiful." and i hear like two people awkwardly singing like two words. and the pianist kind of like hits a few keys. and i look up and EVERYONE is staring at me, so confused. and the pianist is like glaring at me, wide eyed, and i realized i cut the song off like in the middle of the song. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh it was bad. so then i awkwardly kind of shout, "oooooooooooops, carry on." i'm certain i will never lead the music again. FINE. BY. ME. but i mean, is that really necessary to glare at me?!
2nd: last night i was walking back from the field, and this elder stops four of us and asks if he can bare his testimony to us. (super common as people are practicing their mission language, and contacting people). so of course we say yes. so he starts going off in spanish, and his eyes are literally LASER BEAMS piercing my eyes. like he did not drop eye-contact. not only that, but it was INTENSE. and his testimony kept going, and going, and going, and going.....and i was like soooooooooooo uncomfortable. finally, this girl in my district that was standing by me just burts out laughing, so i burst out laughing,and he is still staring at me. i'm peeing my pants, literally....and i'm like i can't do this. he was like scaring me. so he keeps going for like another ten minutes. first of all, is it really necessary to stare into my eyes for ten minutes? second, are you bearing your testimony, or giving a conference talk? super awkard.
and the third one on my mind at the moment was from this morning. i'm in the bathroom getting ready, and i hear like little splashes coming from the shower. they just kept going, and going, and going. and i realized that there was someone taking a freaking bath in the bathtub shower. likeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.......let me give you an idea on how disgusting that is. so many girls shower in there. and to lay on that gross tile/bath material. ohhhh i was like....girlfriend.....we don't do that. and IS IT REALLY NECESSARY TO SPLASH LIKE THAT? you aren't two.
well....i'm going to end this so i can send 456 pictures. i can't ever see what i'm sending, so sorry if they are akward. my closing thought is that i am so grateful for life. take a deep breath, like a really deep breath. do you realize that it is God allowing us this breath? he is sustaining our lives right now. he is allowing us to be alive, and to keep the oxygen levels and everything in nature at a constant........so that we can breathe and just LIVE. He created everything, so I could feel secure. He is in the air i breathe, supporting me, and you. isn't that incredible? we are alive and thriving because of HIM. i love life. how grateful i am to be living. i love you all. and think of you every second. xoxoxxoxo jas

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