Monday, August 26, 2013

Plan of Happiness

Ia Ora Na ma famille!

Thanks so much for your emails!  I love reading them so much!  And thanks for the quotes and your comments!  I try to realize how important this work is so that I don't have any regrets! It's really hard, but I feel God's hand in my life constantly!  I feel so blessed!  Thanks for the questions too ha.  I don´t know what to say in my letters, so questions help a lot ha!  I don't know what you guys want to know, but here's about my gym time and P-days.  Tuesday through Friday, we can go to the gym for fitness, and I always play volleyball ha.  We tried to play on the MTC's sand courts twice, but the sand was lava hot ha.  Apparently, Tahitians are amazing at volleyball!  So, I'm trying to step up my game ha.  It's way fun!  I love it!  On Saturday we have personal fitness, just like it will be out in the field.  One of the elders in my district has crazy workouts that we do on Saturdays and sometimes in the mornings during the week.  Except for the day I went to San Francisco, I had one p-day before the temple opened.  It was really relaxed for most of the day, then we had class from 4:45 on.  But, now that the temple is open, we are a lot busier.  We wake up, eat breakfast, then go to the temple early in the mornings.  I love it!  The Spirit is so strong!  And I'm so lucky to be able to go once a week!  Then, (I think it's only my district that does this every week), but my district helps the workers/volunteers in the laundry room of the temple until lunch.  The temple session and working after are probably my favorite parts of my week!  I love it!  The old ladies are so nice and cute haha!  It has made me extremely grateful for being able to go to the temple at the MTC!  These workers have to do SOOOO much for us!  But, they do it so lovingly!  They're great examples!  Also, I get to practice my French while I work sometimes because one of the volunteers is from France.  Still crazy hard to understand everything she says, but I feel like I understand what she's saying for the most part, so that's good ha.  Anyways, then we eat lunch, email, laundry, prepare for a lesson with one of my "investigators" named Hutia, then go to class.  The schedule at the MTC is really good at encouraging us to be efficient and make the most out of our time.  It's still a choice to work hard, but they've made it easier to want to work hard.  

Nothing really crazy has happen this week ha.  I gave a sister in my district a blessing because she was insanely sick, so they had to help her out of bed for the blessing.  But, an hour after the blessing, she came to class and was perfectly fine the rest of the day.  It really was such a miracle that I'm so blessed to have been a small part of!  It helped fortify my testimony of the priesthood!  Then, I got sick a few days later, but it wasn't the same thing.  I cough a lot and have a fever, but it's not too bad.

Teaching in the TRC this week was fantastic!  I love the TRC so much ha!  We taught a sister that I love so much ha!  She is probably late 50s, crazy poofy hair, and her parents are from France.  She is a convert, and, the first time we met with her, she told us about how her parents hate the church and hit missionaries with their car once.  But, she did clarify that the missionaries didn't die (I think I told you guys about this already, but I'm not sure ha).  Anyway, this time we talked about revelation through the Book of Mormon.  She told us her conversion story and all the opposition she faced.  But, she knew it was true, so she knew that she had to push through it.  The Spirit was super strong!  And after, I bore my testimony that was the most personal and direct testimony I've ever shared.  The Spirit was absolutely amazing in that room!  I don't remember what I said, I just remember the Spirit guiding me through it, and how personal and direct the Spirit had me testify.  It was an amazing experience!  That was about all for this week.  Tomorrow, I think another apostle might be coming for our devotional.  But, I'm not 100 percent.  I'll let you know next week ha.  

I just wanted to thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve a mission!  I'm not even out of the MTC yet and I have grown and changed so much!  Also, I wanted to let you know that I love you and I love this gospel!  My favorite name for the Plan of Salvation is the Plan of Happiness, because that's why this gospel is so important; it brings true happiness and joy into our lives when we follow it's teachings and follow our Savior.  I know that, through Christ, we can be eternally happy and we can have an eternal family!  Thanks again!  I love you so much!

Je vous aime avec tous mon coeur,

Elder Jessop

Word (Song) of the Week:  Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Ma Tete, Les Epoules, Les Jeneux, les pieds, les jeneux, les pieds
Ma Tete, les epoules, les jeneux, les pieds.
Les yeux, les oreilles, la bouche, et le nez.

(I don't know how to spell these because I've never actually looked at the words ha.  So, they could be way off...but that's how they may or may not be spelled ha)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sourissez, l'église est vrai!

Ia Ora Na!

How are you guys going?  I hope the fires have calmed down and everything is fine.  Thanks for your e-mails and letters!  I love reading them!  Thanks so much for the doughnuts!  I shared them with my district and the other Tahitians, and we all loved them! Thank you so much!  Sounds like you guys had quite the week ha!  That flash flood sounds crazy (You should have tried to swim in it;)!  So jealous of the Japanese food ha!  That place was amazing!  I can't ever remember my dreams, but I'm sure I've dreamed about it before ha!  It was just too good!  I'm glad you guys are safe and having a lot of fun!

Elder Jessop and his companion, Elder Gilson
This week was...different? ha.  A sister in the other Tahitian district went home last Monday, after I emailed you.  She has been going through a lot of problems and we've tried to help her and give her blessings.  But, Monday she just decided that she couldn't do it anymore.  It was super sad to see her go, and it got even more sad for her on Tuesday.  Elder Scott came for our Tuesday night devotional this week.  He gave an AMAZING talk about prayer.  But, I thought about this sister throughout his entire talk.  I felt like it would have been just what she needed to hear to get through her trial.  I felt like if I could have helped her stay just one more day, she just might have been able to have a full, amazing mission.  So, that's been kinda hard.  But, I know that Heavenly Father will still help her get through her trials and make her the best person she can be.  Some of the things I liked from Elder Scott's talk were: "When He withholds an answer, it's to let us grow our faith...Express gratitude for His trust in you.", "Our Father did not put us on the Earth to fail, but to succeed GLORIOUSLY!...He's your're His PRECIOUS child who He WANTS to help.", and "His purpose is our eternal happiness."  He also gave us two apostolic blessings to help us learn our languages.  Our district felt like it was specifically for us because we are learning two languages and he blessed us twice haha.  The Spirit was SO strong!  As soon as he walked into the room, everyone knew it was an apostle of God.  We had no idea who was speaking, but, because of the Spirit, we knew it was an apostle!  

Yesterday, an old professional football player came and talked.  His name was Vai Sikahema.  I guess he was a 2-time probowler and he played for the Eagles, Packers, and the Cardinals.  Also, he played for BYU in college.  I guess he ran a famous punt back for a touchdown in the "miracle bowl" when they scored like 21 points in like 3 minutes or something like that ha.  He's Tongan, so I basically felt like he was my island brother ha.  He was really funny and really spiritual, as well.  He talked about his mission and brought one of his converts to speak a little and bare his testimony.  He also told stories about how he is a missionary still now.  He went to South Dakota on his mission, while all of his brothers and parents went back to Tonga on their missions (they're Tongan, but moved to Arizona when he was young).  He talked about how he wasn't very happy about his call, but came to love the place and people.  He said that his heart is South Dakotan and you could tell by how he talked that he really loves it!  I'm so excited to get to know the people in my mission!  I truly believe that I will become Tahitian on my mission.  Every time we talk about Tahiti, my heart gets super excited!  But, it's not because it's an island or there's good fruit.  It's because my Spirit knows that's where God wants me to go.  My Spirit feels so connected with the people and culture already!  I can't wait to see the joy of the gospel come into their lives!  

One of my "investigators," Vetea, struggled to keep his commitments for a couple lessons in a row.  So, when I taught him this week, I went into the lesson a little bit...I don't know what the word is ha lacking hope maybe?  But, he read and prayed finally!  I got pretty excited, and felt the Spirit pretty strong.  Then, I asked him about how he felt as he read and prayed.  I didn't understand what he said, but by his body language and low key personality, I was thinking he probably said he didn't really feel anything, or I don't know (pretty typical Vetea answers haha).  But, I asked him to please repeat it, and he said, "J'ai ressenti la chaleur dans ma coeur."  Which is, "I felt heat in my heart!"  And my heart was immediately filled with la chaleur!  We were sooooo excited for him!  He NEVER smiles, but, when we starting talking to him about it, he had the BIGGEST smile on his face!  His heart was smiling so big, his face had to, too haha!  I felt so much joy in seeing him and my other investigator progress this week!  It got me that much more excited to help real investigators, not just people trying to act like investigators they taught on their missions, because the joy will be so much greater!

Well, I have to go.  But, I hope you guys have a great week!

Je vous aime,

Elder Jessop

Tahitian word of the week:  Parau Mau- "true word"
   -I don't know any Tahitian yet, so the word of the week is pretty lame haha.  But, it's Parau Mau (you say it fast, so au sounds like ou in the word ouch).

French phrase of the week:  Sourissez, l'église est vrai-  "Smile, the church is true."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Faa Ito Ito... Take Courage!

Ia Ora Na (I can't remember if I have said this before in an email, so, just fyi, it means hello/good day)!

Thanks so much for the emails and the letter!  It really means a lot!  I love hearing from you guys!  I can't stop smiling ha!  Sorry about the fires, though.  That's soooo crazy!  I hope everything's okay!  Also, thanks for the quote and scripture!  They're both way good!  Being at the MTC, I need God's help in everything I do.  I'm constantly praying for His help, and I can see the changes He is making with me.  He is truly making my weakness way stronger than I could EVER do on my own.  Are you guys getting ready for school yet?  That's really weird to say ha.  At the MTC, it doesn't feel like there is school or anything outside of here ha.  It kinda feels like this is how my life has always been and everything before is a dream...kinda weird ha.  And Mom, I think the exact same thing every time I eat the fruit here.  If I'm in love with it this much here, it's going to be INSANE how much I love it there!  This week I actually discovered the salads here ha.  They have a poppeyseed dressing and a raspberry vinegarrete that are way good!  Also, they have parfaits for lunch and dinner that I have at least one every day ha.

This week, we did a lot more teaching than usual.  We now have two "investigators" that we each teach twice a week and then we teach two lessons at the TRC, too.  This was our first week going to the TRC.  You go talk to French speaking volunteers (usually members) and share a short message.  It lasts 20 minutes each lesson, but most of that is trying to get to know them, which is actually the hardest part of French right now.  We're doing pretty good in our lessons, but we don't know how to have very good conversations.  So, it helps us a lot!  One lady we taught was way funny ha!  She was wearing a Ben and Jerry's ice cream shirt with cows on it and then told us a story where I think her parents (nonmembers) hit a missionary with their car?!  She did clarify, though, that the missionary didn't die, so that's good ha.

We also got new missionaries in our zone this week, so Elder Gilson and I worked with them a lot.  We got four international missionaries on Tuesday that we got at 4:00 and helped them out for the rest of the day.  They are all way cool!  Two are from England, one's from Denmark, and the other is from Japan (but he's caucasian and doesn't speak any japanese ha?).  Then, Wednesday, we got 14 other elders in the new districts.  We met them at 7 and were with them until 9 that night.  One of the elders was Elder Nelson.  He was one of the kids who came to Europe with me!  So, it was way cool to see him!  I've also seen Elder Fukui, Elder Skinner, Elder Miller, Elder Jensen, and a ton of other people I know!  Anyways, we also subbed in for our branch president, President Mangum, on Thursday because he was in China on business.  So, Elder Gilson and I taught a like intro lesson/preparation thing to the new elders that night, as well.  It was a lot different because my district only has one elder that's 18, but they're all 18 except for two elders that were in the military who are 21 and 24.  They're still way fun to be around and are great elders, they just do stuff in a different way.  Brother Barker (branch presidency 1st counselor) had Elder Gilson and I bare our testimonies at the end of their testimony meeting, too.  It's so crazy to bare your testimony as a missionary.  I've always felt the Spirit super strong when I bare it.  But, ever since I got set apart, when I bare my testimony, I feel almost like power in my hands.  It's really hard to describe, but it feels like I'm a superhero haha.  It's incredible!  I love it ha!

Also, I've watched two videos of Elder Bednar talking at previous MTC devotionals so far, and he's just amazing ha.  I've always liked him, but these talks are so blunt and powerful!  They've changed who I will be as a missionary a lot!  Also, being a zone leader has helped me become a better missionary.  I was obedient before I was zone leader.  But, now I feel like all the new elders look to my companion and I and our district to be huge examples of how to act at the MTC.  The old zone leaders were huge examples to me and made me really feel comfortable here, and I want to do the same to all our new elders.  So, I've stepped up my game a lot ha.  I'm really trying to become the misssionary that the Lord wants me to be, and I can already see His hand changing in my life.  Also, at the end of Elder Bednar's talk, he said, "I witness and testify" that Christ is our Savior.  And, those words hit me pretty hard.  I felt like he knows the Savior, personally.  I can't say for sure, but I really feel like he literally knows Him.

I don't need anything right now, unless you want to get me a microfiber towel or a lava lava haha.  A lot of the Tahitians have those towels, and they say they're fantastic with the humidity.  But, I'm good so whatever ha.  Thanks for all you do!  You guys are amazing!  Je vous aime!  Na na (bye in tahitian)!

Je vous aime,

Elder Jessop

Word of the Week:  Faa Ito Ito- It means take courage (They use it a lot, and it's our teacher's favorite Tahitian word)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Life at the MTC

Bonjour ma famille!

First off, I'm so sorry to hear about grandpa.  Before I came to the MTC, I told you I would rather it happen after I left; but, now that it has happened, I wish I was there to help.  I felt really helpless.  But, I know that the only way I can help is to go to work for the Lord, and he will bless my family with everything you need.  So, that's what I did.  I worked sooooo much harder this week than I ever have in my whole life ha.  My brain constantly feels like it's going to explode haha.  But, it's so good!  I love it so much here!  The Spirit is so strong, and I love my district and zone so much!  Today, our old zone leaders left to Paris and the Congo.  It was way surprising how fast they became a second family to me here.  My district and zone are both super close!  We're all so different, yet exactly the same (which makes no sense, but it's true ha).  So many things happen with our district and zone that are absolutely hilarious!  Like two days ago, I cried like four times because I was laughing so hard!  So funny ha!  We have a quote wall full of sticky notes with hilarious things we say ha.

My District on our first Sunday at the MTC
This week, my testimony of faith and God's love has increased like crazy!  I've seen so many tender mercies here!  I can't remember if I told you in my last email or not, but the second night I was here we had a zone meeting for the new missionaries.  And, the entire time during it, someone was playing one of the songs that Carson always plays on the piano ha!  I loved it!  Also, I saw Elder Ensign on my first day here, and I saw Elder Kidman at the airport when I was flying to San Francisco and he was flying to South Korea.  Every time I start getting a little frustrated, a tender mercy happens and I remember the Lord.  I remember that this is His mission, and He chose me to serve the people of Tahiti for Him.  I know that He will prepare the way for me, as long as I have faith in Him and do my best!  I really liked what one of the MTC presidents said the first day we got here.  He said, "This is not your mission, it's His."  He talked about how God chose us to stand in His place, and we need to fulfill that responsibility by doing what He would do.  I had never really thought of it that way, but I know it's true.  And, I know I can do this, because God knows I can, and He will help me!

A lot of things happen at the MTC that I didn't expect.  For starters, their pineapple and bananas are AMAZING ha!  I eat like three bananas and like four bowls of pineapple every day!  Just too good!  Also, hygiene is really weird.  The bathrooms are super clean, and, apparently, they have really high standards of cleanliness because my district failed our room cleanliness check and our classroom cleanliness check, even though they're both super clean and organized ha.  Yet, some things are super disgusting.  Like the blankets and sheets they give you....disgusting ha!  Girls must have used them before us because there are 2-3 feet long hairs EVERYWHERE!  I've been here almost two weeks and I still find them ha!  I feel like I'm going to get a disease.

Both districts going to Tahiti
So, yesterday my companion and I were made the new zone leaders.  We had to help the Montreal district with some drama and respect issues, and a girl in our district needed a priesthood blessing.  And our District Leader didn't have any oil, so I gave him mine.  Thanks Carson!  I'm already using it ha!  The blessing was a really good experience though!  The Sister started feeling better immediately after the blessing!  I know that we're God's children!  I know that he loves us so much!  I know that He wants us to be happy, and if we pray and follow his guidance, He will lead us in a way that we will receive the most joy!  I know that this is His church and His gospel!  I love Him so much, and I'm thankful for the wonderful blessing to have this knowledge and this joy!  I'm so excited to help others come unto Christ and partake of this amazing joy!  I love you all so much!  You're all wonderful examples to me!

Je vous aime!

Elder Jessop

P.S.  Our box number is #138 for mail.

Fun Fact:  Tyson found out that he can't take silk ties to Tahiti because they will ruin all his shirts, so now he has to send home his ties with silk.....just Polyester and Cotton for him!  

Word of the Week:  Happy Birthday- Mahana oaoa no'oe!