Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh my!

Hello dearest family and friends!

Well this week has been terrific, started it off by going to the zoo last Tuesday!

What a gigantic lizard, totally kinda scary, hoped for no Harry Potter moment :)

Went to an animal show and I got chosen to participate as a competitor against an animal. They were showing us how animals camouflaged and I pulled out my awesome animal detecting skills my dad taught me and found all the animals on the screen lickity split (I think I even surprised the worker).

Such a fun day seeing lots of cool animals. We even watched a few minutes of the alligator feeding show and then got really bored because we'd been so much closer to alligators the week before but it was cool to see 16 alligators get in a line.

On to other news, found out I'm leaving Vanderbilt beach for my last transfer and I'm really sad to leave because I have grown to love this area so much and especially grown to love the people but there will be more adventures waiting for me in ..... Stuart!! Crazy I'm going back up north to Stuart (it's right next to Port St. Lucie) and I'm so excited for this adventure. My new companion is Sister Fernandez and she's from Brazil!! So my second Brazilian companion.

​(the Jackson family)

Well something super cool happened this week, I got to go to the temple!!! (with Sister Neeley's recent convert). Here in our mission we only get to go to the temple if we are showing the grounds to an investigator, our last day in the mission, or if our recent convert goes through the temple for themselves and Carlos Amaya got baptized a year ago and got to go to the temple!!

(Sister Neeley, Mckenna, me)

On Saturday  after the temple the member (Mckenna) who drove us to the temple drove us right to Stake Conference for the pot luck and meeting (since we had an investigator coming). Well pot luck happened at 5:30 and our investigator still wasn't there by 6:15 and we started to get worried that he wouldn't come and there was no way we were gonna get home before it was done (because we can only go to the Saturday session if we have someone coming). Well not only did our investigator come but our eternagator (someone who is investigating for a long time) did as well because she got invited to come by some members. Really cool experience seeing how much our ward loves those we teach and wants to bring them into the gospel.

Well it's been a good week and next week I'll send you my new address from up there in Stuart!

Love ya!
~Sister Jennings

P.S. in other interesting news our house got broken into at 2:00 am this week, but we are okay and nothing was stolen and I won't be living there anymore. Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

el Dia de Amistad

Hey Everyone!

Well this week has been crazy with so many miracles!

Miracle #1: We knocked into this Brazilian family like 2 weeks ago and after the prayer they accepted to come to church, prepare for baptism, and a return appointment for the next day. Problem was when we went back the next day they weren't there and we tried back a few times with no luck. The other day we got a referral from the Spanish Elders of a family with the same last name as this family we had met so we called the elders and found out it was the same family we had previously met. Turns out we prayed with them and the next day they had to move, but they remembered us and still wanted us to come back and teach them and they want to come to church and be baptized. Such a cool miracle about God's timing!!

Miracle #2: About 5 weeks ago (the start of this transfer) me and Sister Neeley tried stopping by this less active to see if we could help her to come back to church and she wasn't very interested. Well this week we got a text from the Creole Elders saying they had just met this less active member Sister Walsh and that she had started reading the Book of Mormon again and wanted to come to church this Sunday. Well she had something come up and wasn't able to make it to church so we went by and visited her yesterday and she wants to come to Stake Conference and she might even drive us to it. Then saw her this morning at Wal-mart!! She's definitely gonna come back to church, God is giving her so many signs.

Miracle #3: I spent more time with guys on Valentine's Day than probably any other Valentine's Day in my entire life!!!!! We started by having dinner with this single guy in our ward whose only available day to feed us just so happened to be Valentine's Day. Super funny he might have started flirting with my companion but I got her back and diffused all awkward moments.....so funny!!! Then we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Thomas and we taught him about the Book of Mormon and he was so excited to read it, he also told us about this cute 8th grader love note he found in the class he was substituting in. Oh junior high boyfriend/girlfriend drama, definitely don't miss that. Then we ended the night visiting this returning member who doesn't really have anyone to celebrate Valentine's Day with and we didn't want him to be alone. We made him cookies, talked about the gospel, and got the best thank you text afterwards! Then we took some cute Valentine's Day pictures as a house!!

Miracle #4: I survived a 8-9 mile bike ride going to the Rookery and seeing alligators!!! Definitely felt like I was dying afterwards and sometimes during the middle but I made it out alive!

(This was the biggest gator we found)

(funny photo of Elder Durrant pretending to jump on the gator) (cute tag photo with me doing yoga in the back)

Miracle #5: Got to celebrate my half-birthday with the best members ever... the Tylers!!! So the Tylers are this cool family who feed the missionaries every single Sunday and last week we found out that Brother Tyler's birthday was February 16th and that he didn't want to celebrate his birthday at all. Well February 16th is my half birthday and Brother Tyler agreed to do cake and ice cream only if we came over to also celebrate my half birthday so of course we went over! Such a fun time hanging with the Tylers.

It's been a great week! Hope all of you have a great week to, until next time!


Sister Jennings

Monday, February 13, 2017

Gateception Galore (Gates within Gates within Gates)

Hey everyone!!

This has been a really good week and we've gotten to see some pretty cool miracles. To start with I'll tell a funny miracle. We went to visit this less active in our area and he lives in a gated community, so we pulled up to the gate and the guard buzzed us through without even asking for my I.d. or even coming out to talk to me. Yes!! Then as we drove further into the community to get to the persons house, we came across a 2nd gate...that's right some people need 2 gates. Well at this one I got stuck because there was no guard and the person wasn't on the box, but while I was playing with the guard box 5 other cars... yes 5 pulled up behind me. They got so impatient waiting for me that they gave me the code so that I could drive it. Yes!! And that's how you get into gateception communities with multiple gates! Yeah that's my life trying to figure out how to go to talk to people who clearly don't want to be talked to but that's whatchya gotta do.

Also in other fun news last week for p-day we got 2 zones (so all of the West Coast) to get together for the West Coast War activity. Basically we had a massive water balloon fight and barbecue and the coolest thing was somebody even brought J-dawg sauce and it just brought be back to my good ole times at BYU going to Jdawgs. It was a super fun activity though!

Then we like to make our zone training fun because no one wants to go to a boring training so we had a teamwork activity where as a team you try to get as many m&m from one plate to another. To make it more fun (for others) you have to find the m&ms in whipping cream. So I had a good time watching others get whipping cream faces. I don't feel too bad though because I did this same activity back in Miami so it's chill.

So in our mission when a missionary is going home soon we call it their death and their last companion is the one who kills them. Well I'm currently killing my companion (she goes home March 2nd) and there are a couple other deaths happening in our zone so we decided to have a big funeral for them. It's the largest funeral I've ever been to, 3 missionaries going home, that will be a sad day for us when they go.

Also in our mission we like to get creative and we like to have awesome zone names and this week we changed our name from the Ricciardi zone (based off an awesome talk that we read) to the Naples Nike Zone - Just Dunk it. So some super cool missionaries even made us a super cool flag with our new zone name.

Also over the course of my mission I've started to study Spanish (I'm not very good at it but I'm trying) and one of the sisters said that a way to loosen your tongue up is to enunciate with a pen in your mouth so that's what we now all do as we read Preach My Gospel in Spanish. It makes it really funny to listen to but hopefully it's actually helping me out.

Sorry theres not a lot of other stuff, right now we are in a finding phase and are trying to find those new people to teach as well as those people to help back to church and so that means we do a lot of knocking, trying former investigators, trying to find part-member families and less actives that we can work with.

Oh also, just forgot, yesterday in church after the sacrament was done being passed they called me and Sister Neeley up to bear our testimonies on the spot. And so with no warning we walked up and bore our testimonies which was super cool and such a great opportunity. 

Well love you all! Happy Valentines Day!!


Sister Jennings

Monday, February 6, 2017

Livin the Life!

Hey Everyone!!

Well this week has been really good and had a lot of interesting turn of events.

For starters we got a new schedule that allows us to have more freedom with our day. Basically the only major changes for us is we now start studies at 8:30am rather than at 8:00 which allows us an extra half hour to get ready in the morning. Lunch is now only 1/2 an hour instead of the full hour and we plan for our day in the morning rather than the night before (which is still weird for me). But other than that nothing really changed because we were kind of already applying most of the things. I think the biggest change though was our p-day now starts at 8:00am rather than 10:00 am so we get 2 extra hours today to do stuff we like (really it's only like an hour after cleaning and junk but still).

Well this week saw the miracle of diligence, because this week we lost contact with our investigator Zonquez and though we tried our hardest none of our stalking him down was working and his phone had been disconnected. Well the other day I was feeling sick and had been told by our Mission President's wife that I should probably go home to get feeling better but I wanted to stick it out to finish our knocking (because I hate not getting our full knocking in). Right as we finished our knocking we got a text from Zonquez saying we could meet with him right then. So we sped over and called a member on our way and had an amazing lesson with Zonquez. After the lesson went home to take care of myself and get feeling better. Truly the miracle of being diligent and God will bless.

Well just a few cool random things from this week:
- had to drive across Alligator Alley on the way to a mission conference in Miami and in the morning there is a lot of fog on the road so I took a cool photo of it. Thank goodness we were headed to Miami rather than to Naples. Also I've gotten a lot better at spotting alligators as we drive I think I saw over 40 on the way back to Naples.

- We introduced our Chilean friend to the corn dog, she'd never had one before and now she knows she's been missing out her whole life. Since we only have a half hour for lunch we've all been looking for ways to cut down on our prep time and the corn dog is an easy way. Yeah for microwaves!!

 My companion decided to cut up all the pictures of the jerk boy she'd been writing for most of her mission and I totally felt like the teen chick movies. Only thing missing was a good bowl of ice cream and a hilarious chick flick movie, we settled instead for some good EspaƱol study instead.

- Also one of the YSA that I used to serve with is on a mission now in Boise Idaho and she made me a planner cover!!! Was so excited when I got it in the mail, because I love my awesome planners and am so glad I don't have an iPad!

Well that's it for now, hope you all have a great week!!


Sister Jennings