Monday, December 26, 2016


So this week was a party!  

Monday we went to stake family home evening at President Johnson's house and it was so much fun.  We took Mike and Miley and they loved it.  

Wednesday was the Christmas zone conference.  President asked me to conduct which is really out of the ordinary!  In fact, I've never seen a sister conduct a zone conference since I've been here.  It was a bit nerve racking  and quite exhausting for me as I really don't like to be front and center and I blush really easily, but oh well!  I did as I was asked.  

Thursday was the start of the endless weekly plannings. I'm grateful president isn't making me go to all of them by myself, but we got to go do weekly planning with the Crescent Ward Sisters.  It's really fun to dive into a new area and try to help other investigators. I have learned that my favorite part of missionary work is the actual work part.  I love teaching, contacting, talking to people and everything else.   That night I got this nasty chili that was "supposedly" gluten free from a restaurant that a member took us too, and ended up vomiting two hours later on the dot.  First time I've been sick in the mission, and it was awful!  It is pretty miraculous though that this is the first accidental encounter I've had with gluten since I've been here!  

Friday was such a fun day. We had to do our weekly planning, and then we went to work. We found new investigators, we taught investigators, we saw less active members.  It was a blast.  I had an experience where we were walking out of a sketchy apartment complex, and there was an open door that we walked by.  I had the distinct impression that we needed to turn around and knock the door.  So we did and ended up meeting a 16 year old boy who really needed the gospel.  

Christmas eve was a normal day, but better :) God tends to bless missionary holidays.  We had hot chocolate with Brother Bartholomew, then we went to lunch with MIKE AND LURENE! We got to see Sister Webb and Sister Barber (two old less active ladies who are a little lonely) and then we had an incredible dinner with Sister Bowers.  Then we went to the Howe's for fun and we went to the Mirandas (I'M ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH MEXICAN FOOD !!)

Then on Christmas we woke up and tried our hardest to study, opened presents, went to church and then visited the lady we met last week who is alone.  It was pretty neat.  THEN I TALKED TO MY FAMILY!  It was so good to see them.  I held it together until the end and then lost it a bit.  I  continue to miss them A  LOT!!  We had a really nice dinner with the Relief Society President's family and she even made me GF apple crisp for dessert.   

Merry Christmas everyone!  Here's to an awesome 2017 New Year!

Love, Jes
Sure love these two people!

My companion is amazing!  Her visa still hasn't come for Mexico, so we'll be together a bit longer.  Yay!


Service and Prayer

This week was cool but it was strange too!

Tuesday I was on exchanges in the Harper Park ward with Sister Caldwell. I love her so much. She is the sweetest missionary in the whole world.  She is such a good example to her companion. We had some stellar lessons with investigators, and we found new investigators! 

Wednesday- WE GOT SUPER GOOD SUSHI on Wednesday

We had a huge meeting on Thursday that started at 8:30 in the morning and we didn't get home till 6:00 because we hit traffic. It was an experience. They mostly talked about weekly planning. Our weekly planning this week took forever because we had to do it the way they trained us.  Usually it takes us like three hours but this went LONGER!  The hardest part is that they asked us to train the rest of the mission on how to do weekly planning by doing it with them. So I have to do a billion weekly plannings with the other sisters :(  

Friday was Sister Watson's LAST DAY!  We just did normal missionary work and said goodbye to some of her favorite people. 

Saturday was the worst-best day of my life. We had to get up really early to take Sister Watson to the airport.  The night before we stayed up past curfew to do her hair and we watched Mr. Kruegers Christmas. IT WAS SO SAD! Then we got to do service at the Catholic church.  We helped put together food boxes for low income families, and it was pretty fun.  We worked for a few hours and then in the evening we had the ward Christmas party. It was amazing, it was one of the better ward Christmas parties I have ever been to.  They started with a tour of the nativity.  They had people in enacting the shephards, angels, wise men, and the stable scene in Bethlehem.  Then they had a whole big spread of Mediterranean food. We took some plates to MIA investigators after the meeting!  We also found out that another one of our investigators might want to be baptized!!!

Sunday, our mission president showed up at church and he talked to our investigators about baptism.  They had a really good conversation!  Our mission president is very impressive in gospel conversations with investigators and tends to be able to commit them to baptism in a powerful way.

We really wanted to find another new investigator on Sunday, so we prayed before we got out of the car, and knocked on a lady's door named Shirley's.  She answered the door, let us in, and started talking to us about her family.  All her children had passed away and so had her husband.  She was recently injured so she couldn't put up any Christmas decorations, so we offered to help her, and we asked if we could come visit her on Christmas day. She was ecstatic.  I almost started crying for this sweet blessing. What a tender mercy that God allowed us to find her!

I hope you all enjoy this week before Christmas and make sure to take time to reflect on our Savior!

Love, Jes

Monday, December 12, 2016

Goodbye Sister Watson:(

Well... one of my FAVORITE COMPANIONS (Sister Watson) IS LEAVING ME THIS WEEK (traitor).  We are taking her to the airport this weekend and then she's gone!

Two of our investigators moved this week.  This is the family that made me the wonderful creme brulee!  We spent a few hours this week helping them get packed up and ready to leave. Then the elders quorum came and helped moved the heavy things on Saturday morning. It was really good for them.  They basically believe everything, we are just waiting for the day they want to be baptized.  I think they were impressed with the member's genuine care, help &  fellowshipping! 

We had two exchanges this weekend.  My first was in Seapoint with Sister McGarry.   She is my MTC companion. We had a ton of fun.  Her ward is the hardest ward in the entire mission.  They get so much rejection everyday.  We had people screaming at us, yelling at us as we were walking away that we were a cult, telling us that "john-jacob-jingleheimer-smith" (AKA Joseph Smith) was not a prophet, and we had plenty of doors rudely slammed in our face.  It was one heck of an experience. But WE STILL HAD FUN, and WE WERE STILL HAPPY! I'm struck with how differently those with affluence in this area reject the missionaries in such harsh and offensive ways.  There really is truth to the humble people of the earth receiving the gospel.  We needed a good lunch to ease our beaten up efforts, so we went to this Thai place called Lemon Thai, and it. was. so. good.  

Then we went on exchanges again the next day.  We had a cool experience.  I was with Sister Equihua and Sister Chapman, and I wanted to teach them that they can do anything with God's help.  So we specifically prayed for a new investigator who wanted to hear our message, wanted us to come back, and was excited to hear the gospel.  Then we prayed to know where to go.  We felt impressed where to go and we drove there, got out of the car, and NO ONE was there.  But there was someone in a car in their driveway.  I decided to  knock on the car window.  God said to talk to everyone right? Even if they are in their car?  That was something my first STL taught me.  Anyway, turns out she was interested in hearing our message!  It was a neat experience and I felt a lot of gratitude.  Then after that WE GOT STREET CORN from the street corn guy.  It's called elote, and it's awesome. 

We set a baptismal date with Miley and I think we will set another this week with Jenny.  They are both ready to be baptized, we are just waiting on them... But they have really been progressing lately so maybe they will be baptized soon!

I love you all and I hope you have a good week. 

It finally cold enough for Hot Chocolate!

Visiting a Buddhist Temple

Here's our threesome!  We all love getting frozen yogurt!

We've only gotten to the beach a few times.  It's really pretty!

Yes, it is Christmas at our apartment . . . a humble one!

Sure love these two comps of mine!

Yes, I took a fall a while back.  This is probably what caused my vertigo for a few weeks.  i'm doing good now!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016



Last p-day we get a call from the mission president saying that Sister Equihua's family is going to come pick her up from LA for the evening so they can fill out some immigration forms.  Sister Equihau is our 3rd companion waiting in our mission for her visa to Mexico.  So we met her family!  They are really neat people.  So Sister Equihua was with them till the early afternoon on Tuesday.  We got to go to the beach too! 

Tuesday came around, and I WAS SO DIZZY.  I had been crazy dizzy (like world spinning dizzy) for four-ish days.  Thankfully we were at the mission office for the new missionary training, and I got to talk to the nurse.  Our companion (new missionary) was still gone, and told us she wouldn't be back for a while longer. My companion and the mission nurse made me go to the urgent care in Huntington Beach and they told me I have vertigo.  I thought vertigo was only for old people, but turns out it's not!   I've never stopped working when I've been sick, because it makes me anxious and I feel bad about it.  God allowed me to get sick on a day when I wouldn't be working anyway! That was a little tender mercy.

We had a super stellar lesson with Mike and Miley that night. Miley has been investigating the church for a while and both of them have hard pasts.  Miley really opened up about her life, her opinion of the church, and her relationship with God.  I think she might be baptized soon!  We still need to set a day, but we are not sure when yet. 

We also had dinner with an investigator at Sister Howes house (she's a member).  This was the first time I have invited an investigator to a dinner with a member.  It was a wonderful experience!  The member and her really got along great, and she loved it.  If you want to make a missionary happy tell them to try and bring an investigator or a less active member to dinner!

I was asked to give a training in district meeting on commitments, and it went well but then guess what.... THE AP'S CALLED AND ASKED ME TO GIVE A TRAINING IN MLC ON COMMITMENTS!  DO YOU KNOW WHAT MLC IS??  It's missionary leadership council, and DO YOU KNOW WHO GOES TO THAT MEETING??? THE MISSION PRESIDENT AND ALL THE HOTTEST ELDERS IN THE MISSION!!!!  I almost yelled at Elder Oniki (the AP who asked me to train), AND I was the only one giving a training except for the AP's and President.  I was so scared!  I was shaking and flipping out all morning.  It actually went really well though.  My companion said I was amazing and President said I did a good job too, but I'm still mad at Elder Oniki!

We also got to go on exchanges this week. I was with Sister Greener in the beach ward, and she is the sweetest missionary ever.  She is a twin and has an awesome life story. 

I love the new christmas initiative.  It's so much fun to tell random people on the street to pull our their smartphone to watch a video.  They all love the video. So make sure you watch it!

I've been thinking about lots of things this week, and one thing I have been thinking about is listening. I've gotten so much better at listening to people on my mission, but I've learned that the friends who stick around are the ones that listen.  They are the kind of people that ask about my life and how I'm doing, they are the friends who actually care.  I want to be that kind of friend to people because I like having friends like that.  I've thought back on lots of my "friends" and realized that the ones who listen to me and care about me personally are very few...but they have never left me, and I have never left them.  So maybe to light the world this season, you could actually listen to someone.  Even if they are not struggling, just ask about their life, how they are, what they love, what drives them crazy, and tell them how amazing they are. There is more to "true friendship" than having a true friend.  Half of the fun comes by being a good friend!

I love you all so much, have a wonderful miracle filled week!

Love, Jess

Chilly Thanksgiving in Cali

So this week has been absolutely insane.

Monday night, my companion went to the departure dinner so I was with the beach sisters, running around the Beach ward, saying goodbye to all the Beach members.... because Sister Montague was leaving. It was really strange, but it was fun! I also got to see all of the departing missionaries and that was a treat. Some of my favorite sisters in the mission went home this transfer.  I've never seen missionaries going home this close up before and it's so strange!  I don't like it at all, it's super sad, and it's really weird to think that I'm going to be doing that in a few months!

Tuesday we got to pick up our new missionary. Her name is Sister Equihua, and she is from LA, but she is going to Mexico on her mission.  I get to be her companion for 5 more weeks, then she will leave.  She is a really good missionary. She is a convert of two years and is super funny. She loves the church and she speaks fluent Spanish so we can officially talk to everyone who is not Vietnamese (Westminster has a high Vietnamese population too).  

Wednesday was district meeting and they trained us on how to present the new Christmas initiative!  I'm so excited for this, it's going to be awesome! Look on to see it :)

Thursday was Thanksgiving and HOLY PHAT!!!  We. had. so. much. food.  The day started out good, we had a meeting with our ward mission leader (I think he took pity on us so he held a meeting) and then we got to meet with Brother B. a nice less active man who is really smart!  Then the fun began, we got to go first to Eddie's family party.  He is Samoan, so all the Samoans there were so excited to see us.  We had to leave early (so we didn't get to eat, thank heavens) because we had to get to another dinner. We had an amazing dinner with Tammy and her Kids (the recent converts).  They had the WHOLE spread, and it was all super good. They had these garlic brussel sprouts that were AMAZING, and the potatoes were way good.  Then we went to the Miranda's (a recent convert/ investigating family) and their food was super good too. They had Ceviche which is a Mexican thing and it's so good. I've had it a few times on my mission from Latino families I've served with. They also had the best sweet potatoes I've ever had in my life. Then we went to the Bower's and by they time we were done with them, I wanted to curl up in a ball and die.  Needless to say, I didn't eat anything for about a day and a half hahahaha. 

The weekend was really rainy and cold.  However I feel very blessed because my mission is not usually rainy and cold. We also got to see Vince's (our investigator) chickens, and we were taught by a Jewish couple, and some guy gave us a book he wrote on with his philosophy of life (you can tell how great of a missionary I am, I'm supposed to be giving people books and I'm supposed to be teaching people about my religion... but whatever).

I don't have a spiritual thought this week but I love you all!! 

Love, Jes