Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First day in Guatemala!!

Hello dear sweet family who I LOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!!

We arrived in Guatemala last night around 8:15 and got to the CCM
 about 10 pm. haha it was CRAZY!!!! I am so exhausted. My body did not
 like the flight. It feels SOOOO super sick. But esta bien :) I am
 SOOOOO happy to be here!!!

I sat next to a man on the plane last night who spoke VERY little
 English and I thought PERFECTO!!!! I can practice my Espanol!!!!! haha
 it was SO fun. We talked for about 30 minutes all in Spanish. And of
 course there were lots of hand motions and things trying to figure out
 what we were saying but I think he understood me for the most part,
 and if he didnt he was just extremely nice haha. Then after that half
 hour my stomach started feeling sick so I tried to sleep as much as I
 could but it just wasnt happening.

As we were about to land everything was completely dark outside, and
 then we saw it. All the magnificent lights from Guatemala City!!!!! It
 was BEAUTIFUL! I was so anxious to get off the plane, out of the
 airport, and onto Guatemala ground :) The Elders I was with were
 cracking me up because they were nervous to go outside. It did look
 kind of sketchy outside the airport, but you know me and I was SOO
 excited! :) They kept saying maybe we should call the CCM and find out
 where the person picking us up was, but I was like "No! They Said
 someone would be here. Lets go check out Guatemala!!!!!!!!" and so I
 became the leader haha and led the group of 6 elders outside. It was
 nice, hot, breezy, and humid and I loved it. We couldn{t understand
 what anyone was saying and a man came up and asked who in the group
 spoke spanish and none of the elders said they could so I told him I
 could a little bit, and he helped us get to the right bus and the CCM

The streets we were on were pretty normal Im guessing, but they do
 drive FAST haha. And we came around the corner from the airport and
 there was a HUUUUUUGE Christmas tree all made of lights and it changed
 colors!!!! I LOOOVED it and I instantly thought of how Kristilyn and
 Talia would scream with joy... so I did for them! The elders probably
 think Im so weird but I am just enjoying myself. haha there were TONS
 of American fast food places: Dominoes, Pizza Hut, Wendy{s, McDonalds,
 etc. etc. I haven{t seen a Taco Bell yet but I{m sure I will. And
 sorry for all the weird symbols I don{t know where the apostrophe is
 on this weird keyboard and dont want to waste time finding it haha.

I knew wed reached the Guatemala CCM when I saw the
 TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was beautiful and glorious and there are huge
 hills behind it. But what you can{t see in the pictures is that there
 are also huge buildings right behind it haha so its just all of a
 sudden there in the city. But every time I go up and down the stairs
 here I see it and just love that its right there. I cant wait to go
 next Wednesday :)

Oh ya, PDays here are Wednesday FYI :)

When we arrived at the CCM all the missionaries in the CCM ran to
 greet us. And they cheered and clapped and yelled Bienvenidos!!! haha
 it was so great :) There were only 9 missionaries here when we arrived
 last night - all American who came from the Provo MTC and one of them
 was even in my zone!"! haha the elders sent me with pictures for him
 so when I met him I gave him the pictures and said hi for Elder Palmer
 and Elder Lundstrom and he was like "YOUU just MADE my DAY!!!!" haha
 and then an Hermana from TUSCON ARIZONA greeted me!! She gave me a
 huge hug and said shed been waiting for me all day. She was the only
 Hermana in the MTC. All the Latinos had left that morning. So she is
 sort of my companion for the next 3 weeks, but not really since she{s
 in the older group. So we will eat together and go to gym together,
 etc. but we never will study together or anything. My companions in
 my district are actually two elders hahaha. Kinda weird. That would be
 WAY against the rules in Provo. But it will be fun :)

One Hermana arrived last night right after we crawled into bed and
 shes from Domican Republic. Very nice :) The rest of the Latinos
 arrived this morning and will keep coming throughout the day. I think
 by the end of the day there will be about 80 of us here :) SOOOO FUN.

This CCM is more like a great big house. It is so much more inviting
 than Provo and the Hermana from Arizon (cant remember her name) says
 she absolutely LOVES it here! So I{m really excited and I know I{ll
 love it too :)

My stomach really hates me right now. Hopefully that goes away soon.
 There is one elder who is sick in bed and I{m guessing he feels about
 as yucky inside as I do but I{m trying to stick it out as long as I

I{m not sure what else to say since I havent even been here 24 hours
 yet, but it is beautiful here I can tell already. Its so green and
 lovely and the air feels great. Its loud at night because of the busy
 street next to us but I was so tired and sick that I didnt really
 notice last night.

It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good to talk to you yesterday!!!!!!! You
 gave me all the encouragement and love I needed and I{m ready to keep
 on trekking :) I am so sorry to those I couldn{t call yesterday and I
 hope that they know that. Mom send them all my love!"

Hermana Keele

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Here's Jenny's last week in the MTC! She left for Guatemala yesterday!!!  Don't forget to write her :)

Hello my sweet and wonderful family! :)
I'm so happy to hear that you had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!! Sorry about Wade's nose. Thanks for all the gorry details (haha I don't think I spelled that right... oh well!) haha But I'm glad you made it home safe after the 8 hour drive through Nevada! Elder Keele and I laughed at that. That's awesome Mike L. paid for the gas since you took movies with you. Randy emailed me and said Josh and Sam still seemed uneasy around him. Tell them next time they see him they have to each give him a huge bear hug for me, mmkay?! :) haha
I'm SOOO excited to talk to all of you at the airport tomorrow!!!!! It made me laugh that you gave me certain times to call each person so I will follow that :) :) :) :)
Please send me addresses for Gma & Gpa Ricks, Gary, Gpa Sticht, and John & Lynette when you can. I need to write them back soon :) Also, Elder Keele and I can't open any youtube links or online greeting cards that Gma Ricks sends so we appreciate the sentiment but we have no idea what they are of haha
Thank John & Lynette's family and Grandma Keele for me please! I loved the goodies they sent this week...and so did my district :)
And a HUUUUUGE thank you to you!!! I LOOOVE my Christmas package and I'm SOOOO excited to open the gifts on the dates you marked :) :) That made my LIFE!! Thank you again for the photo book. I love it SO much and everyone in my zone (even the Elders) all wanted to look at it haha. And we especially loved the GRASSHOPPER cookies! Yummmm my fave :) and thankkkk youuuuu for the camera! Elder Keele and I took our pictures last night and he loves his and so do I :)
I sent a few of my things through our "post office" this morning but they have this special service where if we have a relative in Orem/Provo they can take it to another building and they'll call that person to come pick it up. Hopefully Grandma Keele can pick them up cuz I put her name on them :) But in the brown box is my Christmas present to you among other things I don't need for Guatemala. They should be calling her today or tomorrow to pick it up and its free!! For me and her haha :)
I don't have much time left. the red clock is flashing. AHHHH but Thanksgiving here was SO great! Elder Holland came for a morning devotional and brought his whole family with him :) He said his family was ours that day :) His grandkids sang to us and it was just so special. I loved it!!!!!!!! Then that night all the missionaries participated in a service project and we made over 3000 bags for school kits!!! WHOOOO!!! So fun :)
As a side note, I still haven't been getting any of Jessica or Jordan's emails. Pleeeeeease forward them to me next week :)
Elder Keele and I have seen each other LOTS and I LOOOOVE IT!!!!!!! Especially on Thanksgiving :) I'll tell you lots more tomorrow on the phone cuz my time is about up.
I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART! I loooooove being the Lord's missionary and I know he's looking out for me. I'm being the best I can be for him and for the sweet Guatemalan people I'm about to meet. I'm really looking forward to my new MTC experience starting tomorrow, but i will miss this MTC. I've loved my zone and district here so much. But i love you I know this church is TRUEEEEEEEE and I LOOOOOVE my heavenly Father and Savior!
Hermana KEEELE

Friday, November 26, 2010

Week 2 in the MTC- Jenny LOVES being a missionary!!!

Hello sweet family of mine :)
I am SO happy to write to you today! I have seen so many blessings this week and I am so thankful for Heavenly Father's love that I feel every day :) This truly is the most incredible experience of my life, and it is only just beginning!!!
GOOOOD NEWSSSSSSSS!!! My TRAVEL PLANS CAME! I leave for Guatemala City in 8 days!! SO exciting!! I leave Tuesday, November 30th at 5 am. I have a 5 hour layover in the Dallas airport and should reach Guatemala at 8 pm haha. An all day long travel but it will be great :) My layover is from 12:10 to 5:00 in Dallas so I will be calling sometime around then, but I have no idea on the exact time. Sorry I can't narrow it down any further than that haha. But just be expecting it and I'll call multiple phones if I need to so I can talk to you all :) I MISS YOU AND I LOVE YOU!!! (I do need a calling card, but I can just get one here at the MTC so don't you worry)
Before I forget, I need Grandma & Grandpa Ricks address, Gary's address, and Grandpa Sticht's address. They all wrote me wonderful letters but I can't write back until I have their addresses. So if you could dearelder me those, that would be great :)
I am in need of scripture cases. The ones here are EXPENSIVE! So I will get one in Guatemala so I can have a cool cover for my Spanish set, but if you could send me one for my English set that would be WONDERFUL! Muchas gracias! :) and thank you SO much for the shoulder bag. I love it :)
Dad & Samantha! HAPPPPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYY!!!! I hope they were wonderful, which it sounds like they were :) I'm so glad Mr. Targee danced for you, Samantha :) hahaha that was so funny I laughed so hard. Have you finally stopped shaking silly girl? haha
To answer Samantha's questions:
1. I am doing FANTASTIC! It is hard work being a missionary, but I really do love it and have been giving my whole heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord, and I have already been blessed for it :)
2. I LOVE my companion! She is the sweetest and is always looking for ways to serve so she is great. Our roommates are also wonderful. I especially love talking with Hermana Mortensen because we have tons in common and we look forward to going to BYUI together after our missions :)
3. At the MTC we do LOTS! Mostly lots and lots of studying in the scriptures and studying Spanish. all day long :) haha but we eat 3 times a day and I'm getting really sick of food. Haha It really is so weird. The food is so good but since all we do is study and eat, the eating is getting really old really quick. I mostly just eat now to stay alive and give me energy haha. But we also have firesides and practice teaching.
4. You can ask me ALL the questions you want to, sweetie :) haha
CONGRATS Josh & Sam on your basketball games!!! You are both awesome at basketball. I loved watching you play :) Has Mark yelled at any more refs?! haha
I am looking forward to my picture book :) Today the Hermanas in my district and I had an indoor picnic and showed pictures of our families. So that will be fun once I have that. I did have lots of pictures of family and friends to show, but that will be nice to have :)
Mark, thank you for writing me! I'm so happy to hear you've been hanging out with good friends :) Keep that up and keep letting me know about those fun dates :) haha
I've been playing volleyball at gym everyday with missionaries in my district and a few others. It is SO FUN!!!! Muy divertido! I've missed it SO much! After my mission I want to play on the intermural team for sure!!! Its one of the best parts of my day because it lets me relieve all the stress I feel and just laugh and have so much fun :) :) :)
I haven't been doing any of the early morning gym classes. Its hard enough to wake up at 6:30 every day. I think I'd die if I had to wake up any sooner. haha. But I am able to wake up every morning and get right to work. I am blessed because I remember my purpose: To invite other to Christ. If I don't wake up on time, it will be much harder to get everything done I need to. There is SO little time and SO much to do!!!!!
Samantha, I LOVED your picture and so did Hermana Fernley :) thank you!!!!
I'm glad dad's work project is DONE! How did it turn out?! Are you finally able to relax a bit? I hope so :)
Well I'm running out of time on here haha. I hate that red clock. haha. But I want to bear my testimony to you that I know Heavenly Father loves me and you and every single person who ever has lived, is living, and will ever live. Because of His great love for us He gave us families to be with forever. He also sent his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to live and die for us. They love us SO much! I know they hear every prayer. I LOVE being a missionary and I am beginning to see people through their eyes. That is an incredible things. EVERY soul is great in the sight of God. LOOOOOVE PEOPLE!
If you get a chance, read "Search for Happiness" Its soooo great. I love it :)
Keep praying for me and for Elder Keele. We need it. We love you. We are being the best missionaries we know how to be and the Lord is strengthening us SO much. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)
thank you for being SUCH a wonderful family. You are the best! Have a fabulous week! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I'm SOOOO grateful for you and your constant love and support and for my opportunity to be a missionary. I love it. I love you.
All my love,
Hermana Keele

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Week in the MTC!

So after lots and lots of dearelder letters we finally heard back from Hermana Keele.  Here's what she had to say....
(by the way her family IS writing her, but there was a mixup so Jenny didn't get the letter :( but make sure you guys are writing her too!! It's free on dearelder.com while she is in the Provo MTC!)

Hello family :)
I was SO sad to get on the computer a few hours ago to find that I didn't have any emails from you to print off so I'd know what to say when I wrote to you today. But esta bien. You probably didn't know my Pday is Mondays at the Provo MTC. So now you know and now you can be sure to write me before I get on to write you. PLEASE! :) But thankfully Elder Keele (Jordan) wrote me on here so I had someone to write back :)
Did you get my letter this week? I was SO excited to write you that first night. I'm so grateful they let us :) I definetely needed it to ease my nerves. That first day was the hardest thing in my life. I've never dreamed of having to leave you for a year and a half. I know this is exactly where I need to be, where the Lord wants me, but I struggled a lot on Wednesday when you dropped me off. I truly considered leaving that night but I'm SO glad I stuck it out and have made it 5 days!!! I promise you that you don't have to worry about me. I am SO happy here now, I just needed to make it through Wednesday.
I don't really know what to tell you since you didn't write, but I'll tell as much as I can with the 15 minutes I have left on here. My companion is Hermana Fernley from Herriman, Utah. She is SO sweet and loving and WONDERFUL in a nutshell. She is ALWAYS looking for ways to serve me and the other Hermanas and I am SO grateful to have her as my first companion. She is very understanding of me and thankfully she loves how excited I am when I see Elder Keele (William) around the MTC. She is very quiet so its taken some time for us to talk on a more personal level, but we are getting there and our companionship is GREAT!!!! She is the best :)
Our roommates are also incredible! (Hermana Singleton & Hermana Mortensen). Hermana Mortensen and I have LOTS in common. She spent the last 3 years at BYU-I and we talked a little bit about how sad we are that our roomies will all be graduated when we get back so we are already planning on rooming together :) haha. It will be so fun :) But we all have lots of fun together and we all work hard all day long. We come home and we are exhausted from studying and our feet stink (which according to Grant means we REALLY worked hard!) But we love learning Spanish and the gift of tongues is REAL!!!!!!!!! I testify that Heavenly Father knows each of us and is looking out for us. He knows exactly what we need and how to calm our fears. He truly is helping me. Like Elder Keele (William) I have learned how to pray, bear my testimony, recite my purpose, and form basic sentences in Spanish. I'm so excited to memorize The First Vision in Spanish this week as well as many other phrases. Hermana Fernley and I both take off to different MTCs on November 30th where I know we will be in the minority so we are working REALLY HARD at our Spanish so we can communicate better.
Oh ya!! Hermana Fernley is headed to Barcelona, Spain! (Paulo would be SO thrilled) and the rest of my district is going to Chile!!! But those sweet souls will be in the Provo MTC over Christmas. Bless their hearts :) haha. My district is great. The Elders don't seem to enjoy talking to us much, but they might just be intimidated or something. I guess its unusual to have 6 Hermanas and only 4 Elders in a district. They are in the minority. Muahaha :) Haha but they are here and working hard so us Hermanas love them all the same.
I don't know what to say!! haha There is this red flashing countdown on here of how much time I have left and it stresses me out. Haha no worries whatever I don't include in here I'll say in a letter :)
But I've seen Elder Keele (William) 4 times. On Wednesday THANKFULLY Heavenly Father sent him to me as a tender mercy!!!!!! When I was so sad about leaving he popped up and I was SOOOOO excited!!!!!!! I started jumping up and down and he hugged me and I wanted to scream for JOY I was SOOO happy to see him!! It was in the cafeteria :) He had been watching for me and I had been watching for him. Then I didn't see him AT ALL until yesterday. And its funny cuz I was JUST telling Hna Fernley how I wish I could see him and I missed him SOOO stinkin much and THERE HE WAS!!!!!!! Like BAM!! haha Heavenly Father LOVES ME!!! I know he does cuz it was really a HUGE blessing!!!! So then later I saw him again at CHOIR! (He sings Tenor bahaah his companion told me he can sing REALLY high! So funny :) haha) anyways then I met some Hermanas in his district. They saw my nametag and freaked out they were SO happy! They said he talks about me all the time and it pretty much made my life! Then I got to eat dinner with them and Elder Keele and it was WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! And then AGAIN! haha we parted ways and ran into each other at the fireside! So we watched that and went to the Testaments after :) HAPPY HAPPY DAY!
Well theres only 50 seconds on the clock so I've gotta go. but I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU!!!!!!!! write me PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)