Sister Jenika Hull will be serving in the Ecuador, Quito North mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Follow her weekly updates here............

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I just really love the Temple and challenge everyone to go to the Temple.

Hey Mom,

Well here I am again writing.... wow weeks go by fast but I am so grateful for each day I get to write my family. Wow a lot has happened this week.

First I did not get to watch the Womens General session which is a bummer but I will hopefully get the Ensign in English so I can read the talks.

JADEN IS GOING TO PROM EVERYONE!!!!!!!!! WHATTTTTTTTTTT! I am so excited for him. He is such a stud and I love him so much and any girl that takes him out or he will take out will be the luckiest girl in the world because my little brother is top notch!!!! I love you Jaden

Happy Birthday Jasmine!!! I wrote you a quick note last week but Happy Birthday Again. I love you Jasmine!!

Jordan I got your Dear Elder.... I love you Jordan!!

Mom I am so thankful for your letter each week!! I love hearing about what has happened. I love you MOM!

So to my week then,  I got a Latina companion. It has been sooooo hard but soooo good for my Spanish. I have learned twice as much as I did in the first four weeks I have been here. I actually have had two. My first was Hma Castillo from Venezuela. She is super kind is 22 years old and speaks very clear Spanish. She isn't my comp anymore but she is in my room and is super fun. She became a Sister leader with another Hma so I got a new companion. Her name is Hma Castro and she is from......... wait for it....... bet you will never guess......Jordan will be excited......she is from Bolivia. Tarija exactly. Not sure if that was in his mission but I think it is pretty cool that she is from there because of Jordan. It was a rough start with her. Her Espanol is not quite as clear as Hma Castillos and just a few personality differences that caused some hard times but altogether we are a pretty okay companionship.
Yesterday was probably the hardest day at the CCM for me. We were trying to plan a lesson and I just couldn't get what I needed across. I was so frustrated and about just walked out of the room. And blew up in English. I really just couldn't take it at that moment, because I wasn't understanding and when I did she wanted to teach about things that weren't needed at that time and I felt what we needed to teach but couldn't explain why because I don't have the words and I was just frustrated but through it learned.   I really need to be patient with myself and others. Because if I am not I will be frustrated my whole mission. One thing I have thought a lot is that I am very comfortable with being confused most the time, but, sometimes I just tip past that point and need to be patient in those times. That is when Heavenly Father is humbling me reminding me that I need to be humble to teach and that is why I didn't go English speaking because I would have been very prideful but I have learned that even though I know so little that is okay because I can bring the spirit with my simple testimony and he is what is important in the lesson.

Soccer was super fun this week. I played a lot and have made quite a few goals not to toot my own horn or anything ;)

Also I had a super cool opportunity this morning. My comp hadn't gone through the temple yet and I got to be her escort. It was such a great temple experience. It reminded me of my first time and those who were with me. The temple is such a blessing. It was fun to go and listen to what they say before the sessions starts again but it was in Spanish but I understood which was super cool. I just really love the Temple and challenge everyone to go to the Temple. If you read in Alma 26 verses 5 and 6 and think of the temple as the place where the storm won't be able to get you you will want to go to the temple. It offers protection in so many things and if you take the time to go you will feel the power. I really want everyone to go!! It is the best and if you can't prepare and go!! It will bless your life. Also talk by Elder Bednar in April 2009 about the temple I don't remember the title but soooooooo good read it study it and GO!!! :)

Man I am so excited for General Conference and to know you will all be listening to it too makes it even better. I can't wait to hear what needs to be said that will help me be a better missionary and what I need to hear personally. Every time conference comes my testimony is strengthened and I am so excited. :D

Man I sure do love you!! And miss you but I have learned to turn that into power to work harder and my focus. It helps me to know that I can do hard things with your support.

I love you so much with my whole heart!!!!! Have a great week! Laugh, smile and make someones day because I want you to but also the Savior does too. Serve it helps!
Love you all so much!!!!!!
Jenika Hermana Hull

Oh also just a shout out to my Grandparents just cuz I love them and want them to know I pray for them!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I do have a testimony of this gospel


Wow it sounds like you have had a pretty crazy week full of dad with surgeries and other fun stuff. I love to hear all about it because it makes me know you guys are still living life. I miss it a lot sometimes but it is good here too.

It has been a month can you believe it. I have been on my mission for a month now. We were talking last night at cena and were telling where we would have been a month ago doing the night before we left and about the next morning. Wow I cant believe it. It has felt like an eternity but as short  as a day. It is true when they say on the mission a day feels like a week and a week feels like a day. I still feel brand new here but I am four weeks in and I get a Latina companion tomorrow. All of my district is being split up and even all the Hermanas in my room are being put in different rooms. So I am in my same room with three Latinas. Hma Harris is in the same way and then the other two are in the big habitacion with 12 Latinas. Nothing but Spanish from here. I can't believe it. I really am super nervous because my Spanish is still really bad and if they talk straight to me really fast I still don't understand. But alas I will work through it. Also I am in a different district which should be fun. I was in Nefi and now will be in Mosiah. I am excited.

Well Mom I just have to let you know that I haven't missed a day of my probiotic or my vitamins and it has been a blessing. We had a crazy week full of sickness here. I got a little stomach problem, but it went away quickly and is normal, because of the food. But a lot of Hmas and Elders were sick throwing up and Hma Robison and Elder W both passed out. Hma Robison was suppose to leave to the field today but they are keeping her here still because of the way she is doing. She actually passed out twice and Hmas were everywhere screaming and running around freaking out. It was crazy then that same day a few others in my district were sick and not doing to well but they are better now. The really scary one was Elder W. He got sick and passed out and after he woke up he couldn't remember anything and still can't remember anything in the CCM. the last thing he remembers is being at home. Weird. So yeah crazy few days with that.

Mostly this week was a lot of study and food and rice and more rice. We have service every Wednesday and that is fun but not enough. The CCM is really small, like we compared it to many things with my favorite being a hamster cage. Not much to do. Except on Saturday we went out proselyting again. That was fun. We got to go out into the city for four hours this time. I talked a lot more and actually placed my first Book of Mormon on my own. It was really cool. I just felt hey they need it and pulled it out and told them about it and bore my testimony about it. It was really cool. Also a funny story... we talked to this old guy and he said he didn't want to listen because he didn't want to go to heaven cause heck is warmer. That gave us a chuckle and then another was when this guy was walking passed us and we said hi and he said he had no time....well I took out a pass along card and in my best English told him that is was for him but that is not all....I tried to do it in a Spanish accent. Haha yeah that was good and he took it though. But I think the coolest experience was when we were about halfway through. We decided to stop and pray cause we both were struggling a bit. Well right after I said the prayer we started walking and saw a lady and said hola. Well you will never guess she said, "hi how are you?" in English. She spoke English. It was such a tender mercy. We stopped and talked to her and could really bear our testimonies and feel the spirit. It was a boost that I needed, to know that I do know things just that it is hard to say them in Spanish right now but one day I will.

I do have a testimony of this gospel. I know that familias can be together forever and that Padre Celestial is our loving father. I know that Jesucristo created a perfect atonement and that through it we can all be forgiven of our sins. And also through the power of the Atonement we can overcome all our hardships and that is what I am relying on a lot lately. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet that truly saw God the father and Jesus Christ. I love this gospel and know that I can do this even though it is so hard but I can.

I love you!!!! Have a great week!!!

Hermana Maynez and Hull

Hermanas Maynez, Harris, Duff and Hull

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Oh my heck!!!!!

You want to know my reaction well here it is!! OH MY FLIPPING GOODNESS I AM SO STOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sam Yorgason is coming to my mission!!! We are in the same ward and our testimonies were strengthened by each other and now we get to use our testimonies to teach the people of Ecuador!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like this is such a tender mercy!!! Super tender mercy of happiness beyond comprehension in my brain right now!! I needed that. Wow this is so super flipping cool!!! Question. What MTC? I hope it is this one. Because even though it is hard I have some of the bestest teachers ever and it is fun to think that she could meet them because they are super stars!!

Man that is so cool. I got Jaden´s dear elder today and it made me cry. I love that kid so much and am so happy I have him as an example to me in my life. He said that in two years he could have his call!! That was crazy to me!! Wowzers!!!!

Sounds like you had a great week and I love hearing about it all. It really brings peace to me to hear that you are just living life and having a good time. I really can't believe it sometimes. It feels like you should just pause and when I get back it should be the same but I decided that would be no bueno. Or fun!! cause then I wouldn't get to hear about you adventures while you hear about mine.

Well this week in the CCM has been a hill to climb. We had a new set of Latins come in. They come in every two weeks and my last 2 weeks that I will be here I will have a Latina comp. But until then with nortes. It was a change to go from a very outgoing bunch to a not so very outgoing bunch. But after the week I feel like I am pretty good friends with them. It is fun though. The week was full of just classes upon classes upon teaching investigators (teacher) upon classes upon classes upon studying upon classes. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through is thinking that the next meal or gym is coming up in 43 minutes. Yeah got it down to the minutes. We also got some new nortes. 3 Elders. They are nice and kind of crazy but fun. We really have become close as a district this week and I feel like I have made some pretty good friends. Like Elder Wadley is such a goof but it is fun to talk to him and just to hear about things he did before. And not only him but the others in my district as well.

Oh also iI got a new comp. It is Hma. Maynez. I met her on the plane. She is great and it is fun not to be in a trio but still hard to be with someone 24/7. But I have learned a lot from her.

Today was crazy too!! We got to go to the temple this morning.....awesome!!! Love it!!! Then pday. We were suppose to write earlier but the internet was slow. So we just got to play and hang. I THREW MY DISC FINALLY!!!!!!! I found someone to catch for a few minutes and oh my goodness yes the stress was gone for that time. It felt so good!!!! Then went and played volleyball and soccer. We played all Hermanas vs Elders in soccer and guess what we won 4 to 2!! Oh yes but then one Hma we think broke her ankle so we stopped playing then played volleyball. and another Hma almost tore her mcl but with prayer and faith we just found out that it was just a really bad sprain instead of what they thought was a torn mcl. Then class and now writing!!!!

On Sunday we had a lot of talks of obedience. But one of the things that stood out to me was something Presidente said that wasn't even about that. It was about how his mission or Chile became a sacred place to him. How the people and the culture and the work he did became like his sacred grove. Well I started thinking. And I know that Dad and Jordan and Jasmine all feel the same way about there mission. And I am Pretty sure that You mom have one too!! That Ecuador will become one of my sacred places and one day in the future Jaden will have one. I also thought about Grandpa Danny's mission and Grandpa Kenneths and even  all my uncles and friends. But one that stood out in my mind was Grandpa Neeley's. I was just thinking that with all my loved ones we have created sacred places for ourselves all over the world!! That they not only are sacred to us personally but to our whole family. I know that those sacred places have blessed me in my life and I am not even sure how sometimes but I know they do and that they are real and Heavenly Father gives them to us to feel of his love. And also to have missionaries that I can look up to that have gone before me, are out there now, and those who will be going. Make themselves sacred places and I know that blessings will come upon you and everyone you love and care about.

I still can't believe that Sam is coming to my mission!!!! Oh I am so stoked.

It is still hard here but I am getting through. I know that if I keep working at it I will be okay. I love you so much and am so thankful you are mine!!! And for everyone that cares about me and is supporting me! I need it and love you so much for it!!!!  Have a fantastic week!! And write me all the days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you so much!!
Jenika (Hermana Hull)

sorry no pictures this week cause the computers have been struggling.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It is PDay!!

Well it is Tuesday and I get to write again. I am so thankful I have this time. It really is a time of joy. I get to read emails from you and know you are doing okay.

Well first to answer your questions. The food at the MTC is pretty interesting. Not in the type but in the combination of what they give us. There is rice, rice and more rice. Rice almost every meal. In the morning we usually have some sort of egg, bread, and fruit along with juice and my chocolate. It isn´t the same type of hot chocolate but it is still good stuff. Then for lunch it is rice with some sort of meat usually and soup with other combinations of fruit and salad. The salad is so fresh that Hma Harris found a caterpillar in her salad one day. Then for dinner is is sometimes like pizza or lasagna or something totally random with whatever they have like rice and french fries. Then they give us desert. There are these things call alfajores that are like a really good cookie thing. But i think probably my favorite thing we had for dinner was a fruit bowl with ice cream.....,mmmmhhmmm that was good.

Next, so far we packed really well. Like I don´t think I am missing anything major but I haven´t had time to really go through everything but what I need now I have :)

Favorite scripture: Alma 7:11-13 :)

Well over the past four days a lot have happened. Friday was pday and we got to hang out and chill for a while. I ran around the CCM. The campus is really small and you have to run like a million laps to get to a mile but I needed it. I also have to run with someone and that is hard so a lot of running a few then walking then stopping. That night after pday was over it was rough. I just am really missing home. So I talked with hma Maynez and Robison. It isn´t quite the same as talking to any of you cause I barely know them but it did help. Then I got a blessing from the Elders in my district. That was a really good thing that helped too.
On Saturday in the morning we went proselyting. What!?! Already. It was crazy. I was with Hma Maynez and did some talking to people but she did most of it because she knows more than I do. But we placed two books of Mormon and I did bear my testimony to some people even though it was baby :) It was hard and fun. Then we just had classes for the rest of the day with our teachers. We have gramtica and fundamentals and lessons and devotionals. It really is great. I also have a teacher name Hermano Herrera and he reminds me a lot of Mr. Hoggan. That is funny and kind of weird because he only speaks Spanish with very little English.
Sunday was crazy. Like three of the Hmas in our room were sick all day. Not Me!! So we had sacrament regular meetings. Then it was full of devotionals because this guy from the mission department was here. Then We had an amazing devotional from Elder Torres of the 70. It gave me a lot of peace. It was so good. It was about how at first we worry about our families and he gave us scriptures and talked about it and that gave me peace about you all. Then talked about living every minute of our mission. It was so good and I really needed it. We finished the night by watching Meet the Mormons. It was in English with Spanish subtitles. Happiness. It reminded me of when we went and saw it in the theater and at the end of the movie where they send the missionary off I cried because it was at Salt Lake where you dropped me off and in was just real all over again. But it is good. Good memories.
Monday was a normal day with classes and Spanish. During gym time I finally got brave enough to play soccer and it was so fun. I even scored! The Latinos are so good but I held my own. Also had some good laughs because I kept singing In Our Lovely Deseret. It is a great hymn and it actually is in the Spanish hymn book surprisingly. And Hace Calor the song from Spanish class is a hit. Then had a long night because the Latinos were leaving for there missions. Two hmas in my room left. Hma Tanner who is from Arizona. I got to know her a little so I woke up to say bye. Long night.
Today was fun. We got up and immediately went to the temple. Oh how I love the temple and the strength and peace it gives me. I love it so much. Then we had pday with just us nortes. We got to go on tour. Which is where they take us to a few places in Bogota. We went to this really old church which to get there you had to take a thing like at snowbird.....I can't remember what it is called. It was pretty great and I will send pics. Then we went to a gold museum which was cool too. Then back to the CCM for dinner and now writing.

Oh just so you know they changed the schedule of Pday. It will always be on Tuesday every week now. So plan on hearing from me then.

I know this gospel is true and that we are so blessed to have it. I know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven of our sins. And through him we can do all things because he knows us perfectly. I know that Our Heavenly Father loves me and that he is carrying me day to day. The Book of Mormon is his word and that through it we may learn so much about what he wants us to know. I know these things and so many more and it is so good to be apart of this Gospel.

I love you so much and am so thankful I have you! Have a wonderful week. I love you.
Jenika (Hermana Hull)

Overlooking Bogota

Hermanas Hull, Harris and Duff

CCM Closet

Friend Lesli Blau at SLC Airport(also leaving for a mission)

Friday, March 6, 2015

It has been crazy

MOM!! Hi, it has been crazy but now I have time to sit and write. Well the schedule for pday is.... I write today which is Friday then I get to write again on Tuesday. This is because the Latinos are here for two weeks so on Tuesday it will be only the nortes here. there are 12 of us that will be here that day all by ourselves. Then the next time I will get to write is the week from Friday so 10 days. It is weird so I get to write every week but it is on different days because the Latinos are only here for the two weeks rather than 6.

It sounds like everything back home is going good. I actually thought about Jaden's concert and hoped it went well. I sure do miss music. They took away our music players and cameras and snack food while here and we get it on pday but that is something I do miss. They take pictures of us in the mtc and i will get a cd of all the pictures at the end so don't worry about that, I will still have pictures. The MARCHING BAND show was announced!!!!! THAT WILL BE SO EPIC!!!!! actually right before I came to write me and another Hermana were talking about band and marching band and I just kind of was really happy about it cause I love it so much. The Voyage.... that sounds so epic!!! Jaden totally go for leadership!! you will be so good and others already look to you as a leader....DO IT!!

Happy Birthday Grandpa!! I love you and am so glad that you are mine!!

I also hope that Mary Poppins is going well. It sounds like a great show!!!

Well there has been a lot that has happened over the passed week and a half so here goes to start. First when we got here it was kind of crazy. We got here really late and mostly just went to bed. Then the next day i got my companions. Yes there are two. I am in a trio with Hermana Duff and Hermana Harris. Hermana Duff is the one who got my passport and is from Idaho. Hma. Harris is from Canada but lived in California and goes to BYU. Actually everyone goes to BYU here that are from the states. They are fun but it is hard to have to keep track of 2 companions instead of one. We also all have very different personalities but we are learning from each other. That day was just full of paperwork and stuff. Then gym came....Gym hour is a blessing sent from heaven!! and hour of doing what I love....exercise!! I play a lot of volleyball because none of the other Hermanas like to play soccer or are willing to play, also basketball is hard cause the Elders don't think I can play but volleyball is super fun and I have kind of made a name for myself with being able to overhand serve and play. It is fun especially with the Latinos because they get so into it.

The next few days after we got here were just full of meetings and classed explaining the CCM and what goes on here but also start of learning more about the doctrine and Spanish. The first few classes were in English but now everything.... and I mean everything is in Spanish....todo dia cada dia. All the days long.  I understand a whole lot more than I ever knew before. I can almost understand all of class and what they are talking about but sometimes I am just lost. But overall I am overwhelmed by it all. One thing that is really exciting is that I can pray in Spanish, not perfectly but i can get what i want to say out even if it isn't everything I want to say but I like it. I pray all the time and it helps to be able to pray in my new language. Might I say that Sundays and Tuesdays are probably the best days of the week.... Sundays because I get to take the sacrament and we learn the doctrine of the gospel in.....English.....what a refreshing thing that is. And Tuesdays are the day I get to go to the Temple!! I get to go every week while I am in the CCM. This is because the day when the Latinos leave we get to go to the temple that day too!! It is definitely the best. While driving to the temple the other day we rode in the sketchy buses and it was absolutely the craziest thing i have seen in my life. There are cars everywhere and motorcycles weaving through everything and people on the streets chasing cars to sell drinks to them and no one stops ever and graffiti everywhere on everything and I loved it!! It was so crazy but so fun to see how different everything is here in Colombia. The Temple, oh my goodness, so beautiful!!! I truly know that the Temple is the house of our Heavenly Father. And it gave me strength to continue in the week.

I am definitely not going to say that this has been a walk in the park or that I haven't cried a lot about missing home or you guys or being able to understand what is being said. I have really struggled. I have struggled with the language. I am slow at speaking and learning the grammar. I have struggled with wanting to be at home with you. I have struggled just feeling happy. BUT I have learned so much and am going to keep going. I will study harder and will work harder and will cry if I need to but will look at that as motivation because when I went to the Temple on Tuesday I felt something. I have a family who supports me and loves me and would do anything for me. My family has the gospel and has made covenants that if we keep we can be together for eternity. And even though I miss you like to the moon and back a thousand million times..... If I feel that about my family others do too. But what they lack is to know that they can be together forever too through the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is our Savior and Redeemer and who is with me and you all the time. I have had a hard time but this thought is what has kept me going and the thought that i have you!! That I have a mom and a dad that were sealed in the Temple for time and all eternity. That i have a big sister and brother and a little brother that I would do anything for and I love with my whole heart. That I have extended family that support me in everything. That I have friends who I cherish and keep dear to my heart that believe in me. That is something that has kept me going and will keep me going as I struggle learning a new language and learning so much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and being able to share that with complete strangers.

I love you so much!!! I love love love love love love you!! I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you will go to the Temple because it will do wonders every time you go!!
Talk to you on Tuesday!!
Love with all my heart,
Jenika aka Hermana Hull