Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jamie's New "Du"

Jamie's SOOOO Cute Haircut!!!!

Season's Greetings! Love, Hermanas Nielsen, Williams, and Morlock! (The tree in the background has a bunch of different flags on it. So cool!)

Feliz Navidad! sometimes Spanish makes us crazy!

All of the Hermanas in my district when we first started out in the MTC. And now I'm the only one left... It's still cool though!

Christmas lights! It's pretty much the only thing that's reminding me that it really is Christmas time. The MTC is such a bubble. Definately doesn't feel like Christmas - but it's still great!

My zone as of... a few weeks ago? We're always getting new missionaries or sending old missionaries off to their missions, so it changes a lot. I think this is a pretty good picture though.

Me! Can you believe I'm a missionary? I am so excited to share the Gospel with the Peruvian people! And I love the necklace, Mom! Thank you so much! (I got so many compliments on my necklace that day too!)

Picture of Jamie's Zone.

Jamie's trio!

Me! We have a "Happy Holidays" sign on our door, so this me, on P-day with my lovely "Solo" sticker on my name tag.

So because I am a solo sister, I can be with (my) elders without another hermana having to be with me. I eat lunch with my elders and will teach with them, and because of this, I get a lovely "solo" sticker on my name tag so as to not freak other people out when they see this sister walking alone with 6 other elders.

Another pic of me with my solo sister name tag. I'm beautiful!

My new roommates! Hna Porter, from Mesa AZ, is on the left (and I guess she went to London with Ilarene!) and Hna Young is on the right (and I guess she went to high school with Ilarene!)

Everyone seems to be doing their own thing in this picture. It makes me smile.

Our district (minus Elder Abbott, who was still recovering from getting his tonsils out) right before they (the Hnas) left. We're crazy.

I'm cute, and silly and funny. I love being a missionary! (And I love that necklace so much Mom! You're the best!)

What can I say? We get a little crazy here at the MTC!

My hermanas and myself, right before they left.

Jamie's Letter Dec 24th, 2010

Wow!! So I must say that I've had a pretty good week. We had our Christmas program on Sunday, which consisted of each distrcit (there are 4 of us) singing a Christmas song, and then having one person from each district share a scripture. And I played the piano for everyone. That was a lot of fun. My elders sang "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" and it was awesome! They just sang it out of the hymnbook (en espaƱol) and just sang the melody. But with the piano accompaniment, they sang so well. I love being able to share my talents with everyone. I'm so excited to share music with the people in Peru. Oh-and one of the Branch Presidency's wife's brought me some Christmas piano music, so that made me happy. One day after lunch, my elders and I went into an empty room where there was a piano and I played the piano while they studied. I just loved being able to play Christmas music. That's one thing that I miss about being home, is being able to play Christmas music other than what is in the hymnbook.

So on Wednesday, I received my travel plans. And I went to the travel office to see if these were for real, and they said that thay were!! So I'll leave SLC on Jan 5 at 11:00 am-ish, and I'll fly into Lima at pretty much midnight, Lima time. I'll spend the night in the Peru MTC there, and then the next day or so, I'll fly up to Piura (at least I think I'm flying...that's what I understood). I'm so excited to finally be able to start teaching real people!! So that was exciting enough as it was. Then, I had my district leader, Elder Wolfe, give me 2 package slips, saying that I had 2 packages. So I went to pick them up after dinner, and on our way there, he gave me 2 more. So I had 4 packages. Awesome! My hna comps and I took them back to our room. I opened up the first package, and there was this strange looking bag. I pulled it out, opened it up, and just about died! I cannot believe that you actually sent me Cafe Rio!!!!!! It definitely was the best food ever, and I probably helped make many missionaries jealous of me and my awesome mother. So basically, Mom, you're awesome, and I love you. Not just because you send me cafe rio in the MTC, but because you're just awesome. Don't worry, I shared with Hna Porter & Hna Young.

So I feel like a fun little ball in a pinball machine. Now, instead of working with Elds Wolfe & Harris, I'm now working with Elder Abbott & Hyer. I think this will be a good experience. I think they could use my help a little more. I kind of have a problem though, because to this point, I feel like I have taught my best lessons with the Elders...and I'm not going to be working with them. Oh well!! I've also become a better teacher too, I think. I'm glad that I am here. I know that wherever I am though, that it is the Lord that needs me there. I have no doubt in my mind that if I needed to be in Peru, I would be. But He needed me here, and I needed to be here. My Spanish probably won't be as great as those who do spend 6 weeks in the Peru CCM, but I have faith that the language will come eventually. I already know so much!!! I can understand pretty much everything that my American teachers say in Spanish now. If it's a Latino speaking to me though, I'm kind of lost. So the next month or so will be quite the adventure.

Thank you so much for all of the Christmas presents! I haven't opened them yet, but I am looking forward to having a fun Christmas morning tomorrow. We're going to have a talent show/a firesire/a devotional, so I'm pretty excited for that. I'll let you know how it goes! This Christmas will be a different one, but I think it can be one of the best Christmas's that we have. Remember the Savior. He's the whole reason we celebrate this time. Without Him, I know I would be lost. I know that this Gospel is true. Have a wonderful Christmas!!
Hermana Williams

Friday, December 17, 2010

Jamie's Letter Dec 17, 2010


So this week definitely has been an improvement from last week! I am now working a lot closer with the elders. I have companionship study with them, and I'm teaching with elders now...are you confused yet?

So in the inner most turmoil of my heart last week (okay, not really-that just sounds fun/dramatic to say), I forgot to mention the fact that my companions (hnas morlock y nielsen) were scheduled to fly out on the 14th to the Peru MTC. We weren't sure if they were going to or not, because of visas and everything, but they did! And...who is left? Hermana Williams, the only hermana left in district 22C. So since then, I have become what's called a "solo sister" here in the MTC. What this basically means is that I don't really have a companion. I moved rooms (again) so now I am in a room with sisters in our zone that came in 2 weeks ago. When I'm in class, I do companionship study/teach/pretty much anything else we do in class, with Elder Wolfe & Elder Harris. They, essentially, act as my companions, although technically, a companion is always a sister (in my case-since I AM an hermana). I pretty much spend the whole day with my elders, but then at night I walk back to my room with the Hermanas that I'm in the room with. Basically I just have to make sure that I'm not alone. It feels kind of weird, not having a girl with me all the time. And sometimes I feel like I'm being "babysat"-only because I have to coordinate with different companionships when I'm going to be with them, and when my elders need to pick me up or drop me off. It's been fun though!

I have had a really unique experience here in the MTC. I started off like most people do-I had one companion. We shared a room, life was great. Then my companion left to Peru, and then I got stuck in a trio. I moved into their room, life was great. After that, my companions left to go to Peru, and now I'm alone. I've had all possible different companion experiences that I can have here in the MTC.

I really am so excited to be a solo sister. I get to work with the elders and help them in a way that I couldn't in any other situation. Elder Abbott got his tonsils out last Tuesday, and he has been struggling some-and I think I can be here to help him. I feel like I'm here now to help them. I think the Lord still needs me to be here in Provo. I did go to the travel office, and I asked them about my visa. They said that if it comes, they'll send me to the Peru MTC unless I only have a few days left in my training. I've decided that I don't want my visa to come just yet. Hey-if I'm here long enough I might get to see Cameron! I've told my district about Cameron and the fact that he's coming here. I'm so excited for him. Anywho, I don't know what is going to happen, but I honestly feel like I will be here for the next 2 weeks-ish or so.

Sorry this letter is kind of discombobulated. I have a bajillion thoughts going through my head at once. I love being a missionary. I love my district so much. I don't like thinking about the fact that none of them are going to my mission. It is so true that you love those that you serve. Elder Wolfe and Elder Harris have been so good to me too. I think they view me as an older sister, and they are very protective of me. Sometimes I forget that they are Cameron's age...but then Elder Harris starts talking about Star Wars legos at dinner and I remember quite quickly.

We taught in the TRC this past Wednesday. I taught with Elders Wolfe & Harris, and surprisingly enough, I felt like it was the best lesson I've taught while in a trio. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I finally go back to teaching with one hermana. My Spanish has been getting better too, because I feel like my elders speak in Spanish much more than the hermanas did. It was a pretty awesome experience.

Being here at the MTC during Christmas does have it's perks. On Sunday, we had the BYU Mens' Chorus come and do the fireside. It made me SO so so SO happy!!!! I didn't know anyone in the choir, but my heart was just so happy to hear music, and to remember BYU, and that it still exists! It was probably my favorite fireside so far. Music is just wonderful. It's amazing how music can heal the soul. Just a thought.

I'm so glad to hear that things are going well at home. My prayers will definitely be with Grandpa Williams and Uncle Cam. Prayer is amazing. There is so much power in prayer-I think it's something that I took for granted before coming on my mission. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission. The gospel is amazing. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. What better way to celebrate Christmas than by serving him.

I love you all.
Hermana Williams

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jamie's Letter Dec 3, 2010

To my dear wonderful amazing family and friends and anyone else who might read this:
This week has been a different one. Working in a trio is kind of different from just being in a companionship, but it's still good. I've officially been on a mission for ONE MONTH today! Kind of crazy! I only have 17 months left to change the world! (If my visa comes in time for me to do that...) As far as my visa is concerned, I don't really have any idea what is going on with it. I went and asked the travel office about it on Monday, and the lady there wasn't very helpful. It was slightly discouraging. I don't know if this will be the case, but I've sort of shifted my thinking to be that I will just spend my 9 weeks here. I'm officially half way done with my MTC time anyways (the people who came into the MTC with me and went English speaking are out in the field already!) I'm not worrying too much about it though. If the Lord really needed me in Peru right now, he would provide the way. As I am here right now, there must be something else I need to learn, and I'm going to try and take advantage of everything the MTC has to offer. My companions got their travel plans (again). Right now they are scheduled to leave on the 14th of December, but we aren't really counting on them going. On days that aren't fast Sunday, we get to watch Music and the Spoken Word, and that is a real treat. I take whatever music I can get here.

They do have some Christmas lights put up and a small nativity in the "courtyard" here. Every time we go back to our residence halls at night, I see them and they make me so happy. Right now the only real Christmas music is when we sing in class. I hope we start singing Christmas songs in Sacrament meeting this week. They just make me so happy. You'll have to let me know how Christmas goes this year. I'm sure it will be different, but I'm sure it will be just as good. Christmas is really about remembering the Savior and His Sacrifice for us.

I've had some cool experiences this past week. After transitioning to a new companionship, I had a rough time the first couple of days getting my personal and language study time in, just because I wasn't sure how my companions did things (since they were companions before). Finally, on Sunday I decided that I needed to just buckle down and do it, even if they weren't. On Monday, I spent an hour going over 5 verbs in Spanish that I've gotten confused (poder, poner, pedir, pensar, y perder). Later that night when my teacher came in and started speaking Spanish, I felt that I could understand 95% of what he was saying, even though he wasn't necessarily using those 5 verbs. The Lord really does bless us when we do all that we can do. I feel like I can understand probably 80% of the Spanish that is being spoken to me (granted, I'm not in a native country...I think if a latino were speaking to me, that number would be significantly smaller)...I can understand what I read just about as much too. I know that my Spanish will improve too once I get to Peru. For now, I'm just trying to use it is much as I can. We're supposed to teach the message of the restoration in Spanish this Wednesday...we'll see how that goes. I know it definitely won't be as good as it would be if I could teach it in English, but I know it'll still be good, and the Lord will help me.

We also had a cool experience teaching in the TRC on Wednesday. The lady we were teaching was named Donna, and she had been investigating the Church for a couple of weeks. She had gone to Church on Sunday, and had some people talk about the Word of Wisdom in Sunday School. She liked her coffee, and she smoked, even though she had tried to stop. We talked a lot about the Atonement of Christ and how it could really work in her life, how it is through Christ that all things are possible. We used a scripture in Mosiah 24:13-15 (go look it up) and related her addiction to afflictions. It was such a powerful lesson. We could feel the Lord's love for her and the Spirit was so strong. And even though she was pretending to be an investigator, it felt SO real! I feel like it was definitely the best lesson we've taught as a trio. We're still trying to work things out as far as teaching goes, but I know the Lord will help us if we ask.

I love being a missionary and studying the scriptures. Even though I've only been out for a month, I know that I have changed from the person I was before. I have more trust in the Lord that He will take care of me and those I love. I know that I'm doing what He wants me to do, and it's just amazing.

I do miss you guys, but I know you're being taken care of. You should write down the blessings the Lord sends you, and then I can read about them when I get back! I am so excited for what I get to do! Sometimes it doesn't seem like I'll ever get out of the MTC, but I know that I will end up in the field, teaching real people and invite them to come unto Christ.

I love you.
Hermana Williams

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jamie's Letter November 26th, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

So the past couple of days have been really interesting ones, but they still have been good. On Monday, the travel office called Hna Demke down to tell her that she had her visa. That implied that I didn't, so we asked, and of course, since I'm still in Provo, I didn't have it. They told me to plan on not going to Peru, but that it might come in on Tuesday. So we went and checked on Tuesday, and it still wasn't in. That's when I got to call home. I'm not sure how long our conversation ended up being, but it was definitely more than 5 minutes. I guess your cell phone isn't long distance, (but they thought that it was) and so the lady ended up turning the phone off. So, I love you. That's what I about to say before the phone clicked off Mom. I just wanted you to know that.

So early Wednesday morning, we woke up and got Hnas Demke, Reid, and Flores all ready to go to the Peru MTC. We had 3 of the elders from our district get up and help take their luggage to the travel office/bus. I thought that was really nice of them. Cameron-if that happens to you, (where the sisters in your district leave before you do) you better get up and help them (yes, even if it is only -5 degrees outside and it is 5:45 in the morning). That's one thing that I love about the MTC, is how (most) of the elders really do respect the sisters. Anywho, sorry for that tangent. After saying goodbye to them, I become a trio with Hna Morlock and Hna Nielson. They're both supposed to go to Bolivia, and they'll go to the Peru MTC if there is room. I had to move all of my stuff into the next room (because Hna Demke and I had a room to ourselves). It's been good though. Our district does feel smaller, but I think it does make it easier for us to bond.

Thanksgiving was really good. We had a morning devotional where Elder Holland and his family came. His grandchildren sang "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" and it was so tender. He spoke to us and told us that he didn't want anyone homesick on Thanksgiving and that his family was our family today. It was so amazing. We then got the traditional Thanksgiving dinner (which didn't match up at all with the amazingness of Thanksgiving at home, but that's okay!) Later we had the chance to participate in a humanitarian service project, putting together kits to make backpacks for children who don't have the ability to buy their own school supplies. All together we put together 33,400 backpack kits. It was really cool. We then had another fireside in the evening where a few missionaries got the opportunity to talk about what they were thankful for. I thought a lot about the things in my life that I am thankful for. I am definitely thankful for the big things in my life, like my family and this gospel. Those are the 2 most important things in my life. I would be a compeltely different person if it weren't for those 2 things. I didn't get homesick really. Probably because it didn't feel like Thanksgiving, so even though I knew it was, I didn't miss it. I'm glad that I got to experience Thanksgiving in the MTC

Anywho, as far as my visa goes, I still don't know when it'll come. The travel office is closed today, so I'll stop by on Monday and see if they have any news. I decided that I am going to be happy with wherever I am. If the Lord wants me here in Provo, I am more than happy to stay. I have an awesome district, and my companions are really good. When the Lord wants me to go to Peru, I will be more than happy to go there too. I know that my Spanish is get so much better, and it'll be a good experience. I really am ready to be wherever the Lord wants me to be.

I loved the Thanksgiving pictures! I do love you guys so much, and even though I wasn't there, I could still feel of your love for me. I decided to go ahead and open my presents and I love them!!! The jewelry holder was awesome! Everyone that's seen it has thought it was really cool. I'll have to take a picture and send it to you! And I love the MP3 player too! I haven't used it yet, but I'm excited to get out to the field and to be able to listen to music once more! I think the dear elder letters are delivered Monday-Friday. I get them after dinner. I think if you get them in before noon I'll get them later that day. I don't really know much about what will happen when I fly out. I'll talk to the travel office on Monday and find out. Hopefully my visa will come sometime next week and I'll be able to call you and let you know rather than waiting until next Friday to email you.

So I've gotten the chance to play the piano in Sacrament meeting a couple of times, and the people in my zone (branch) have told me how much they love it. They are always so sweet and telling how many lives I am going to touch through my music. I so hope that that is true. It has been such a powerful influence in my life, and I hope that I can touch the lives of other people through it.

Well, it's time for me to be done again. I love this Gospel. I love the chance that I get to be a missionary. The Lord is trusting me to teach His Gospel to the people in Peru, and I love it! I know that the church is true, and that we are blessed when we are obedient. I love you all!

Hermana Williams

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Update on Jamie

Jamie called her mom yesterday to let her know her visa has not come yet and therefore she did not leave today as planned. Her companion's visa came through so she got to leave today. Jamie is very sad about it. She will now become a threesome with the 2 sisters that are going to Bolivia. As soon as her visa comes she will be sent to the Peru MTC. So continue to send her letters to the Provo MTC address until further notice.
The administrators appoligizes to Jamie's blog followers for being so slow this week at posting Jamie's letter and the pictures she sent (life happens!).

Pictures Jamie sent through snail mail.

Hermana Demke took this really cool picture of the reflection of the temple.

My name tag! That's right! I'm officially Hermana Williams!

This was a cool view of the temple that Hermana Demke was able to get a picture of.

All of the Hermanas in my district, plus Elder Abbott (he's kind of 19!)

Me and Hermana Demke.
It was raining so my hair looks
(Jamie drew a picture of what her hair looks like.
I wish I could copy it here. Just imagine a bunch of scibbles!)
Me in front of the beautiful Provo Temple.

Hermana Demke


I just think it's such a pretty picture with the red trees.

4 Hermanas on our way to the temple.
Hermana Morlock, Hermana Demke, Me!, and Hermana Nielson.
Hermanas Morlock and Nielson are going to Bolivia.
They may not come to Peru with us. We're not sure if they'll get visas in time.

Jamie's Letter November 19, 2010

Hello everyone!

It seems like everything is becoming one big blur. Really, I think the MTC has developed some way to warp time. They could probably make a lot of money off of it.

Thank you so much for the packages and all of the letters. I love getting everyone's letters! They are awesome. I'm still not sure if you can send me packages in the Peru MTC. I'll guess we'll just find out when I get there. You'll have to let me know how Thanksgiving goes. I'll probably be so jetlagged that I won't even realize that it's Thanksgiving.

This week has been a really interesting one. I've had really good parts and really not-so-good parts. On Wednesday, Hna Demke and I ended up teaching what is called a "progressive investigator" here. This woman spoke only in Spanish and since we speak Spanglish (mostly English right now) it was very difficult. It was worse that we didn't even really have a plan going in to the lesson, and therefore the Spirit wasn't able to help us much. After that, we went right into the TRC and taught a woman (who spoke Spanglish too). She had a little probably 14-month old baby boy with her. While he was adorable, he was running all over the place, and it was distracting, and since we didn't really have the Spirit to begin with, it was just rough. Because of these experiences and then the ones we had last week, I really am coming to have such a strong testimony of the importance of having the Spirit in missionary work. It cannot happen without the Spirit. I've experienced trying to do missionary work with and without the Spirit, and the Spirit makes it possible. It is the Spirit which speaks truth to the heart. We are merely instruments in the Lord's hands. That's pretty much a summary of what I learned this week. It is important to focus on the work and have the Spirit. Oh-something else I learned too was that I really can feel the power of people's prayers. One time when I was feeling discouraged, I prayed that I could feel the strength of the prayers that were being said specifically on my behalf and on the behalf of all of the missionaries, and I did. I had never understood that statement "we can feel your prayers" but I did this time. Thank you for all of your prayers for me. It really means so much to me.

Considering I've only been in the MTC for 2 1/2 weeks, my Spanish is coming along fairly well, although I am looking forward to the day when I think and dream in Spanish. Right now it's all just translation going on in my head. I sometimes wish that I was just going English speaking, not because I don't want to learn Spanish, but because I just want to get out there and start teaching people about how wonderful the Gospel is! But I know that learning Spanish is going to be the way that I will be able to find those people in Peru that need the Gospel. I'm not learning Spanish for me, I'm learning it for them, and because of that, the Lord will bless me.

I'm sorry if this seems more like a journal entry than a letter home. I'm just kind of telling you about what I've learned this week and what is going through my head right now.

Oh! So I got some pictures printed out that we took with Hna Demke's camera. They aren't the best, but hopefully you'll be able to tell who is who. I'll try to get those sent out today so hopefully you'll have them by tomorrow. Hopefully you enjoy them.

So this week there were about 700 new missionaries that came into the MTC. It was kind of ridiculous. I guess it's because they aren't going to have people come in the day before Thanksgiving, which is nice. I'm just glad that I already came into the MTC, and that I don't have to say goodbye again. The next time I see you will be to say hello! But I don't really think about it too much. There is still so much I need to do and become!!

So I've heard rumors that Cameron got stuck up on the roof. WITHOUT ME?!?!?! Just kidding, it totally made me smile! I love those moments, smiling and praying for you that you are doing well. And-I got a little package from Ammon (Elder Arcia) yesterday! He sent me a Stripling Warriors coin from Deseret Book. It's nice to know that he still exists, and that he is thinking about me. I should write him sometime.

So I guess you can send pictures to me. I just can't send pictures to you yet. I think I'll be able to email you pictures home once I get out into the field.

Well, I'm going to wrap this up. I know that Christ lives, and that He is my Savior and Redeemer. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove on that beautiful Spring day. I know that the Gospel is true and that we can be together as a family forever. I love you guys so much!

Hermana Williams

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jamie's letter Nov 12, 2010


I'm so sad to hear about Bro Thompson. I will definitely been praying for them and their family. He was such a wonderful man. His testimony strengthened mine so much.

Life at the MTC is fine. I'm finally getting into a routine, which has been good. This really has been an emotional roller coaster. I've learned so much this week, and I'm going to try to answer all the questions you asked, but I'll probably be sending a snail mail letter as well. I'm going to basically try to write as much about my experiences this week in the next 25 minutes or so (and yeah, I only get a half hour to email. The computer has a timer on it, and it'll kick me off when the timer runs out.)

Hna Demke and I had a cool experience on Sunday. We had our companionship study in the morning, and we were studying from Preach My Gospel, in ch 4 about the Holy Ghost. We talked and learned about the difference between the gift of the holy ghost and the power of the holy ghost. We definitely felt the Spirit. Then later, we went to Mission Conference, and while we were there, one of the speakers spoke about the same thing! I got a lot more out of his talk because we had studying about the things he talked about too.

Another thing I've learned this week is that it is impossible to do missionary work without the Spirit. There have been a couple of times this week that I just haven't been feeling the Spirit as much, and it is so hard to do what I need to do. I have no idea what I need to study without the Spirit. I don't know what the investigators need to hear without the Spirit. The Spirit is so essential to missionary work.

Teaching with Hna Demke has been good. We've struggled a little bit to balance out our teaching. She's much more willing to speak up and talk, and I'm much more willing to sit back and let her talk. We realize that it's not the best way to do things, so we're working on fixing that. That means she's going to try and step back a little bit, and I'm going to have to try and step it up. We did have a really good experience in the TRC the other day (The TRC is a place where people from the "world" come and pretend to be investigators while we teach them). We were teaching an older woman named Joann. We started off getting to know her and then Hna Demke started talking about prophets, and then I brought up the Book of Mormon. Joann had some questions which we were able to answer, and then Hna Demke started talking about the Restoration. She touched on it, and then turned to me to let me talk. I recited the First Vision (this was all in English) and I felt the power of the words that I was speaking. Hna Demke and I both felt the Spirit, and we knew that Joann could feel the Spirit as well. It is so amazing the work that the Lord can do through the Spirit. We still are working on our weaknesses in teaching, but we know that when we do let the Spirit work through us, amazing things will happen.

So...just so know, I'm actually going to be speaking Spanglish for the rest of my life. It seems so be a good language. I pray in Spanglish. Good thing Heavenly Father understands all languages! A mission is definitely the best way to learn a language. I figure this is so because we are learning the language not for ourselves, but to communicate to other people who can't speak English that God loves them and that He had a plan for them. And because we aren't learning it for ourselves, the Lord blesses us so much more as missionaries. I love it. I just hope I soak in enough Spanish to survive in Peru.

Oh yeah! I got my flight itineraries! I'm going to make a copy of it and send it to you in the snail mail. It'll be a lot easier than typing it all up in an email, and honestly, who wants to read about it anywho? :)

So this week we the MTC got to hear from Sis Sheri Dew at a Sunday Fireside and Elder Bednar at the Tuesday Devotional. Both were very exceptional. Elder Bednar's talk was really good too. He taught us a lot. I wish you all could have been here. It definitely will help me not only for the rest of my mission but for the rest of life as well. He talked about doctrine, principles, and applications, and how the doctrine is really the basis of application. It was so good.

So I wanted to tell you a little bit about my district. There are 12 of us right now. There are 6 elders and 6 hermanas. All 6 hermanas are leaving to go to the Peru MTC in 2 weeks though. My comp, Hna Demke, is serving in the Peru Lima South Mission. Hnas Flores and Reid and serving in Ecuador Quito, and Hnas Morlock and Nielson are serving in Bolivia Cochabamba. Then, we have 4 elders serving in Torreon, Mexico, and 2 elders going to North Carolina Charlotte Spanish speaking! We're just going all over the world! It's great! I love my district. They really are like my family here at the MTC. We eat together, spend all day in class together, go to the temple together. Even though the elders are a little immature at times, they still do have strong testimonies and they want to do what is right. I love getting to know my district. We have a classroom that is specifically for us. We each have our own desks and can keep stuff there. It feels kind of like I'm back in Elementary school again! We only have 2 teachers- but they're awesome! One of teachers, Hermano Black, married my Relief Society president last year in the Colony. She also served a mission, and I remember one lesson she taught about making decisions that was one of the things that pushed me to serve a mission. So basically they are just awesome people.

Oh-fun little fact about Hna Demke-she loves the movie Oscar!! We spent a while a lunch today quoting it. It made me love her even that much more! We have been getting along pretty well. I definitely think that she will be one of my good good friends when we get back from our missions.

Because today is P-Day, my district got to go to the temple this morning. It was the first time I've been to the Provo Temple so far. It was kind of neat to see that there is more to that building than just the baptistry. It was a really good experience. That temple will always have a special place in my heart though, because of all of the many times that I would go and do baptisms on Wednesday nights with Ilarene and other friends.

Well, I only have 3:30 minutes left, so I should probably wrap this up. Thank you so much for the letters and the packages! I love it! And that shoulder strap you sent me Mom has been a lifesaver. Thank you!! And yeah, I'll definitely be sending you a snail mail letter with answers to all of your questions. I just wanted to get in as much about this week as I could. And I'll be sending Cameron a nice long advice letter too. So be watching for that either this week or next week.

This Gospel is true. I have felt the Spirit in confirm truth to my heart more this week than I have before. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that He restored the Church. I know that God has a plan for everyone, and right now, His plan for me means being on a mission and serving Him with all that I have. I love you all so much!

Hermana Williams

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Letter #2 November 6, 2010

November 6, 2010
Hola mi familia!! Como esta? Oh my word! This has been such a ridiculously insane packed 3 days. It has felt like forever since I said goodbye to you. It's probably a good thing though, because in the MTC they don't really give you time to miss your family and friends. I feel like I've done a pretty good job separating the MTC from BYU, but sometimes there are things that cause me to remember just how close I am to the things and people I love. I've heard the bells from BYU multiple times, as well as seeing the SWKT and bell tower lit up at night. As we were outside today, we heard the cheer from the football game. It made me miss it, but once Hermana Demke and I went to lunch, I was able to focus again. Cheer loud for me!! :) I also ran into Thomas Ferrin the other day. That was fun. He didn't know that I was serving a mission. He was visiting his wife Laura who works in the MTC mail room.

Being a sister on a mission is somewhat special, I think. My teachers, Hermana Black & Hermana Wood have asked us on multiple different occasions why we are serving missions. It's a little easier for the elders to answer, I think, because it is a commandment. Each of the hermanas in my district though have different reasons for being out here. In my district there are 6 elders and 6 hermanas. It's a pretty fun group. Sometimes, the elders are way more immature than the sisters though, and it shows that they are only 19. For example, today in class, we had just finished going over how to ask questions in Spanish. My teacher asked if anyone had any questions. One of the elders rose his hand and asked "is it morally okay to knock people out? Like drug them up, but not do anything?" It was out of the blue. We had to just laugh and kind of roll our eyes. It's been good though.

Mi espanol is coming along. I feel kind of overwhelmed. Everyone else in my district has taken some spanish, whether it was in high school or college. I'm pretty much going off of what Trent taught me (which actually has been a big help). I can bear a simple testimonio en espanol, as well as pray. I had a funny experience though on thursday. Our teacher had given us an assignment to bear our testimonies in spanish to 3 other people who were not in our district by the time the day was done. Hermana Demke and I went out to bear our testimonies, and we found another spanish speaking elder that had been there longer than we had. As I was bearing my testimony, I was trying to say "I know that Jesus Christ is my brother," and I said. "Yo se que Jesucristo es mi hombre." For those of you reading this who don't speak spanish or who don't want to use google translate, I basically just told this elder "I know that Jesus Christ is my man." Needless to say, I got a funny look from the elder as he explained what I had just said.

It's kind of funny, because I've spent a lot of time reading other missionary emails, but now that I'm on the other end, I'm not entirely sure what to write. My companion, Hermana Demke is taking good care of me. She is helping feel good about my Spanish, and the fact that I have only been really learning Spanish for 3 days. I know that the Lord is helping me. I know that if I were just out in the normal world trying to learn Spanish that I would be no where near knowing what it is I know now. I am coming to love the Spanish language. It really is so beautiful and fun to speak. I cannot wait to come back from Peru and be able to speak fluently.

It's been a little bit of an adjustment getting used to the schedule. Hermana Demke and I are the only ones in our room (the other hermanas in our district are in the room next door). We set our alarm to go off at 6:00, instead of 6:30. We're supposed to be in our class be 7:00, and if we wake up at 6:30, it just doesn't get us enough time to get ready.

Thank for the package and the letters. I was so happy to see the pecan tarts. I love those little things! The necklaces are beautiful. As far as sending pictures go, I'm not sure if you can attach them or not. I would just print them out and send them to be safe. Oh-for the next 2 weeks, P-Day will be on Friday. And then the week after that I go to Peru, and I'm not sure when my P-Day will be then. I'll try to get some pictures sent. Right now, the picture machine is backed up by a week and a half or so, and I can't email pictures here in the MTC. I think I'm just going to email you for now, Mom, unless I hear that I can email more than just one person. There is so much I want to tell you all, but the little red letter are counting down so annoyingly.

I know that the Church is true though. There is no way that this many young men and women would come and gather together and do this type of hard work if it wasn't true. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I love Him dearly. Thank you for your prayers. I need them. Know that I am praying for you, and that I am being taken care of.

I love you all so so so much!
Hermana Williams

Jamie's 1st letter

Jamie's first letter was actually a written letter mailed home. I thought I would share a few of the things she wrote in that letter.
Jamie is in dorm 4M or the Matthew Cowley building (how's that for a coincident, not).
She wrote "The Spirit is really strong here. You can't help but feel good about the work that is going on. My companion is Hermana Demke. She's from southern California. She is a fun sister and I think she's just what I need to start out right now.
"Tonight we had the chance to watch some missionaries teach the gospel to an "investigator". I have so much to learn! Good thing the Lord will help me.
"Thanks for all of your prayers in my behalf. It makes me smile to know that you're thinking about me. I just wanted you to know that I am doing well. The Church is true! Isn't that awesome? I love you all so much!
Hermana Williams

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jamie's Favorites

As we were driving into Provo to take Jamie to the MTC, we gave the family a quiz on some of Jamie's favorite things and then Jamie gave us the answer. Here are her answers (the family was right about 95% of the time),
Color - blue
US candy bar - Butterfinger
Canadian chocolate bar- Crunchie or Aero
US candy - whoppers, skittles
Canadian candy - Smarties
Healthy treat/snack - beef jerky, Nature valley sweet & salty pecan or cashew bars,Fiber one bars
Cookie - snickerdoodles, sugar cookies
Christmas cookie - cream cheese cookies
Christmas candy - chocolate orange
Healthy cereal - Honey bunches of Oats or Oatmeal Squares
Sugar cereal - Lucky charms/marshmallow mateys
Restaurant - Cafe Rio - pork salad
Nut - cashews
Junk food snack - Salt & vinegar chips, rice Krispie treats
Pizza - Hawaiian
Fruit - Strawberries
Vegetable - cucumber
Soda pop - 2/3 Sprite with 1/3 lemonade
yogurt - yoplait orange creme
ice cream - strawberry cheese cake/cookies & cream
Hymn - #284, 131, 249
Christmas Carol - What Child is This, O Come all ye Faithful, Silent Night
Fiction book - Fablehaven series
Jewelry - silver

Now we all know a little more about Jamie.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Killing time at the Provo temple.

Jamie and "Princess"

More Jamie and "Princess" (nice van on your shoulder Jamie)!

Sisters are the best!!!

"I love to see the temple"

The cutest sister missionary!

The "Leaning Provo Temple", way to go Jamie!

Yes, I just won a free trip to Peru!!!

Nothing's going to fix that face Jamie!

Nice crown Princess!

Cameron sucking in his gut, at least Jamie looks good.

Finally he can breath.

Yea, for Mom & Dad!

That's my little sister, Emily.

Emily doesn't want to let her go.

Nice reflections!

It's the "fam"!

Off she goes for 18 months.
Watch out Peru!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

MTC Day....

after visiting with Aunt Joanna and good friends (Ilarene and Erin), and one final Cafe Rio lunch, Jamie made it safely to the MTC. There were well-wishes, oh, and LOTS of tears....but we're so proud of Jamie's willingness to serve the Lord. I'm sure Carla will do some picture posting and will give much more information and as soon as we get "mail" from Jamie, we'll post it here.

Thanks for your interest in following Jamie's mission. She and we appreciate your support.

If there are errors here, they are the errors of men (okay, one man. :^) ).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Proud Papa alert!!

Testing, Testing! Yup, Jamie was our guinea pig child, now I get to use her as a blogging guinea pig!

Sister Williams

Beautiful Hermana Williams before she went to the temple with her younger brother!

November 2, 2010

Well folks, this is it! I am going on a mission!! Tonight I was set apart as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Peru Piura Mission. It hasn’t really hit me yet-it’s kind of surreal. My sister Laura is my companion. She and I are both wearing our church clothes. Yay for skirts and dresses for the next 18 months. I’m so excited for this new adventure. Be sure to write me and tell me all about your adventures in your lives. I love you all-and I’ll see you in 18 months! (My mom will keep my blog up for me-so don’t worry about me breaking any rules ;)