Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Arrival to Boston, Massachusetts!!

Here's the email we received from Hermana Rubio's mission president and his wife Kimberly, on Tuesday evening, January 26th.

Hello, this is just a quick note to let you know that Sister Rubio has arrived safely in Boston. We are grateful that she is here and look forward to working with her.

President A. Todd Miller

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 7 - Email and Photos

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Week 6 - Email and Photo

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Week 5 - Email and Photo

The following email came directly to "Mom and Dad only" on January 5th,
but we had to wait another week before we could share it, so enjoy (finally!):

Feliz Ano Nuevo!
       Thank you! I'm so excited for the new year. Hermana Jensen's mom sent us Martinelli's and food, so we had a party last night too! In my mass email I'll mention a movie called Ephraim's Rescue, and you guys HAVE to see it! It's the best church movie I've seen.
       I also will leave out of the mass email (because it isn't official until Sunday) that Hermana Jensen and I were asked to be Sister Training Leaders (Zone Leaders for the sisters in our zone, because Elders are limited from counseling sisters). Isn't that exciting? It's a new calling in the mission world because there are so many sisters. So I'm technically a zone leader! Lol, it's exciting.
      Would you be able to order prints to send to the MTC of the District Christmas Eve photo (the one where we all match)? That would be awesome!! Thanks! Talk to you more soon. I love you!

Sister Rubio

...and now, here's This weeks email received on Tuesday, January 12th:

Tuesday 1/5
Despite being a p-day, this evening I felt more stressed here than I have since I was at school at UCLA. Between preparing for a musical number (on flute, with Elder Cluff on piano), 4 upcoming lessons to prepare for the next day, some STL responsibilities, and Hermana Jensen and I leaving our laundry in the dryers overnight because we ran out of time to get them after the evening devotional, I felt a little overwhelmed. I got through it and tried to just have faith (and remember to never leave my laundry again, lol).
Wednesday 1/6
Heavenly Father really won't give you anything you can't handle. I got to practice difference music pieces with Elder Cluff and it was very helpful. I forgot how comforting and stress-relieving it is to play music, especially beautiful church music. We ended up only having 1 lesson instead of 4, so we were really grateful to be able to plan. Our lesson with Mercedes went okay, but she is a difficult investigator. Even though we were doing better with the language and could feel the spirit, she seemed as if she couldn't and we got seemingly worse results. This was hard on us, but we adjusted our prep for her lessons. Our district always makes each other feel better, though. At lunch Elder Fillmore made a chili dog with salsa and Cholula and called it the "Rubio Roadkill," lol. In the evening we ran the new missionary orientation for our new missionaries in the Zone and it went very well and was a lot of fun. We taught them a lot of things we wished we knew our first day. At the end we gave them a really funny activity to collectively decide what animal each of the ZLs/STLs look like. The Elderes decided that Elder Jensen looked like a meercat and Elder Fillmore looked like a stag. The Sisters decided that Hermana Jensen looked like a chameleon (specifically Pascal, from Disney's Tangled) and that I looked like a chinchilla. Lol, now once in a while someone will call me "Chinchilla Cholula".

Thursday 1/7
In class with Hermano Croft, he asked us what we are willing to sacrifice to be more than just obedient missionaries, but to be consecrated missionaries. Hermana Jensen suggested that we try to only speak Spanish. I didn't really like the idea because I would miss easily sharing stories and joking around with others in our district. When I expressed this to her, she responded that it wasn't for us. I was annoyed, but I knew she was right. Going to our two member TRC lessons (that we had about 20 minutes to prepare for because we didn't find out about it until an hour before), I was praying to feel better about this, and to be more willing to sacrifice. During our TRC's, I forgot about my stress, all the things I had to do, and my fears with speaking the language, and I was able to contribute unique ideas and feelings about our topic (Sabbath Day observance) in good/okay Spanish. Coming out of the lessons, feeling the spirit, I decided that my new goal would be to only speak espanol hasta Domingo. Hermana Jensen was really excited. Because of the new sacrifice, I was also able to more obediently finish planning and go to sleep earlier.

Friday 1/8
So. Much. Estudiando. (y hablando espanol)! I had a better and happier attitude all day. Hermana Jensen and I interviewed some of our new sisters before bed.

Saturday 1/9
Today we learned progressivo, perfect and past, and commands in Spanish. Haber is my new favorite word. It fills in the gaps of what words I didn't know when reading el Libro de Mormon. We interviewed more sisters. One asked me how to get through homesickness. I told her that here I spent Christmas without my family, but that it was my only Christmas with my special family here. Everyone here looks familiar because we knew each other before, and we knew we would serve, and we planned to be here in the MTC together. She really liked that idea.

Sunday 1/10
Our special evening devotional speaker was also our speaking guest in sacrament meeting combined with one other branch. I felt so blessed and learned more and took more notes in his sacrament meeting talk than his devotional talk. Nothing is a coincidence.
Monday 1/11
Busy and quick day. MUCH better lesson with Mercedes.

Tuesday 1/12
Today entrances and some hallways in our main building are closed off because 6 out of the 12 apostles are here for some training thing. The rumor is that one of them will speak at the devotional tonight! Either way I'm really looking forward to it, and the district meeting after.
Two weeks from today I will be flying out to Massachusetts!

Con Amor,
Hermana Rubio

Hermana Rubio sent us just one photo this week.
Here she is with her MTC "Mom and Dad," 
President and Sister Price (they preside over her zone/branch).

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Week 4 - Photos

 Hermana Rubio said:  "Hermanas al templo hoy."

 Hermana Rubio and her companion, Hermana Jensen
at the Provo Temple.

 Hermana Rubio and Hermana Jensen on their P-day
(happy to get to wear jeans for a little while!)
Hermana Rubio said: "You can see everyone's face but Elder Jensen in the selfie. It's from Elder Cluff's camera. It captures our district pretty accurately, lol!"
District photo in front of the Provo Temple.

Week 4 - Email

Surprise! Our zone number and schedule changed for the new year so now I have P-day on Tuesdays until I leave for Massachusetts in a few weeks. My address for now is still the same, though. It's only been a few days since my last email, so I put in a few extra details on each day.

Saturday 1/2
In the morning Hermana Jensen and I studied to prepare for our next lesson with Valentin and our new investigator, Mercedes. We found out that our last lesson with Hely was the last one we would have with her, but we were really glad we had such a great last lesson with her even though we didn't know at the time that it would be the last one. Because our district is really close, we set goals to make Ciclo (daily hour of personal study, hour of companionship study, and hour of language study together in the classroom) more effective so we don't get off track. Our Ciclos since have been really great. In the evening we had a substitute teacher that is a member of BYU Vocal Point. After the class he sang Nearer My God, to Thee (my favorite hymn) for us. During the class, we had the opportunity to have a lesson with him acting as an investigator and it turned out to be almost exactly the lesson we planned for Mercedes. The unexpected answer to our questions of how we should teach her.

Sunday 1/3
In the morning, we had Missionary Conference for fast Sunday. The conference talks had a focus on exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, which was the topic of the lesson that Hermana Jensen and I were asked to teach in District Meeting (Sunday school at the MTC). During Sacrament Meeting with our Branch (Zone) Hermana Jensen and I officially received the assignment to be Sister Training Leaders, or leaders for the sisters in our zone. Our former district leader and his companion are now our Zone Leaders too. Since my district is now the only senior missionary district in our zone, we all have different assignments (music coordinators, sacrament greeters, etc.) We also were able to bear our testimonies in English, so I shared mine. Breakfast and lunch aren't served here on fast Sunday, so it was much easier to fast, lol. Our evening devotional was with the international MTC director and his wife, and they spoke on how the mission will change us, but that those positive changes are not the purpose of our missions. I realized that maybe I had the wrong idea; I really wanted to learn Spanish on my mission, but I'm not actually learning Spanish for me. If I think that I am learning it for me, I won't learn it. Heavenly Father is blessing me with help with the language to do His works, not mine.

Monday 1/4
Today is the first day of our new schedules. Before, we had gym in the middle of the day, either before or after lunch, and now we have it early at 6:40AM, which is much nicer. We taught Mercedes, and my companion and I felt like we did much better than before at introducing who we are and establishing our expectations as missionaries. The lesson got a little repetitive, but it started and ended strong. It motivated me to try harder in speaking Spanish. I decided to set a goal to read through the Book of Mormon in Spanish, with the hope that at some point I will be able to read it fluently and be more comfortable speaking the language. We finally got our second permanent teacher along with Hermano Croft, Hermano Allred. He got back from his mission only 6 months ago and is only 20 years old. We've had a total of 7 different teachers over the past couple weeks, so we're really glad to have him!

Tuesday 1/5
This morning we went to the temple as a Zone (now very small with only two districts) and it was such a great experience to go with so many other missionaries.
Tomorrow we are getting in two new districts, 17 new missionaries, to add to our Zone. 9 out of the 17 are Sisters! An MTC leader told me that this is a neat time of the year because before graduations in June, we will generally have more Sisters coming in than Elders. We're so excited to meet our new "dork dots" and help them adapt to the MTC.

Thank you to everyone for the love and support and prayers! I feel so blessed to be here. Until next Tuesday!

Hermana Rubio

Friday, January 1, 2016

Week 3 - Photos

Hermana Rubio didn't send as many photos this week as she has been,
but we were thrilled to get these three new pics at least!

 Elders from Hermana Rubio's first District:
Elderes Cluff, Minshall, Fillmore, Wallenmeyer, and Jensen
(from left to right).

 Sister's from Hermana Rubio's first District:
Hermanas Rubio, Jensen, Ganger, Adams, Reupena
(from left to right).

Hermana Jensen's mom sent them Martinelli's sparkling cider
and food, so they could have their own little New Year's Eve party!!
 ...and a "Choose The Right" cracker, lol. Yum!

Week 3 - Email