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
MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON MISSION
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Monday, January 25, 2016
It's not P-day, but this is my last evening in the MTC so here's this week's email!
A very productive P-day! I read more of Pearl of Great Price than I ever have in one sitting in the Provo temple, and had yet another great Tuesday Night Devotional. I was so happy all day after hearing about Rothinny Honghin's baptism. Congrats Rothinny!
We had a Missionary Broadcast that was broadcasted to ALL missionaries everywhere in the world. I learned so much and took more notes than I ever have of a devotional here.
In the morning we had our last MTC service assignment. This day I really struggled with Spanish up until the evening. We had our second (and last) skype member TRC that went really well even though I struggled so much. Later we had a lesson with Pedro that also went well despite my awful Spanish. I was really grateful for my companion because I felt so frustrated with myself that it became difficult for me to feel the spirit. Then, in the evening we had to practice teaching our companions about a commandment from lección 4 y extend an invitation. I finally stopped thinking about my issues, and I just taught about the blessings and importance of living la ley de castidad. I did it, and the spirit was so strong and my tongue was loosed to speak spanish. Hermana and I started crying because the spirit was so strong even though it was only a practice. Heavenly Father hadn´t forgotten to help and bless me, I forgot to let Him. And yet, I was still able to have success before that experience because of the faith and trust of my companion and my willingness to try even though I was struggling so much. The spirit is the most powerful force there is.
Today we had our 9-hour in-field orientation. We learned so much about what to expect in the field and what some of our responsibilities are that we hadn't thought about yet. We did a lot of role play as well, and it was interesting to see the difference between the English speakers that have been here for two weeks and the language learners that have been here for several. I'm so grateful for my experience.
My last normal day with my whole district was today. I got printed MTC photos from my mom in the mail and was able to give a photo or two to everyone in my district. They were all really grateful and I felt so blessed to have such a thoughtful mom.
Today was the hardest day in the MTC and the most spiritual, because it was my last day with my district family. In the morning we had a Sister's conference. At sacrament meeting I accompanied Hermana Reupena singing "How Shall I Serve?" and it went so well, she sang so beautifully. As a district we sang Jesús es mi luz, with an extra chorus in english at the end acapella. After sacrament meeting, we as a zone, continued the tradition and sang Hast ver, with our district on the podium facing the rest of the zone. Relief society and the evening devotionals were about obedience and how it will bless us in the field as we are shepherds for Jesus Christ, representing Him. In the evening, after our last Sunday evening devotional, we went back to our classroom instead of watching one of the films they show every Sunday night. We had a testimony meeting and went around sharing something we each love about every other person. It was a very emotional and spiritual time that we had together before going out in the field.
I am amazed at the experience that I have had here at the MTC. If my mission ended here, it still would have been worth missing these two years at UCLA. It is something I will always cherish. The people I was here to learn from were really a gift to me from my Heavenly Father. Before we got here, our district changed a few times and two of the members were even originally supposed to be in different MTCs. A lot had to happen to bring us together, and I know that it was for a reason. I had an amazing companion, that I hope will be my companion again. I made lifelong friends here. I am a little worried that this great experience is preparing me for a very difficult one in the field, only because I am so amazed at the blessings. In a few hours I will be on a flight to Boston. Thank you for all your love and support. #BostonBound
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
LAST P-DAY IN THE MTC!
So after my last P-day and email, our evening devotional speaker was Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve! It was amazing and I felt so blessed to once again be so close to and hear from another apostle.
We had two lessons, one with Mercedes and one with Pedro. Pedro committed to going to church and Mercedes finally opened up and told us about some of her life struggles. It was great to finally feel like we could apply principles we were teaching specifically to Mercedes. I'm excited to soon be able to have a similar experience with someone who is actually investigating the church for the first time. Our new district that came in are Intermediate Spanish speakers, so they are a new and interesting addition to the zone! It's interesting to be the senior missionaries of the zone.
Today I've been determined to be more exactly obedient and diligent. This morning I went running during gym time and I've tried to be more prayerful in everything I do today. We had our first skype lesson with a member in COSTA RICA. It was really cool, and even though she spoke Spanish really really fast we were able to understand almost everything she said. The topic was repentance and renewing our covenants through la Santa Cena, and I'm pretty sure she taught us more than we taught her. It was a really cool experience. We later had our last ever lesson with Mercedes, and she committed to baptism. The spirit definitely got us through the lesson, because as soon as we got out, Hermana Jensen's migraine flared. She had already taken medicine an hour and a half before, so we decided to go to the health center to ask a nurse if there was anything else she could take. Long story short they ended up putting us on a shuttle to the BYU urgent care center to give her a shot that would make it go away. She's had migraines for 3 years and has seen different doctors for it, but no one really knew an answer. This doctor seems to be an answer to prayers and her family's fasting because the doctor started her with new medicine and physical therapy, thinking that it is tension in her neck that causes it. Since the new therapy and medicine, she's been feeling SO much better. Yay! That evening we had dinner and went to bed early (a rare occurrence in the MTC, but doctor's orders).
This morning and this afternoon we went on splits (Hermanas Jensen and Adams went to the doctors together for different things). I got to teach Pedro with Hermanas Reupena and Ganger. IT was a new and cool experience to teach with a different companionship. I did miss mi compañera, though. In the evening we did weekly interviews of some sisters and for the first time we didn´t do Ciclo at all and needed to really sit down and counsel some of them. Long story short, felt really humbled and was reminded of the importance of our assignment Sister Training Leaders, as well as the real power of the priesthood that our Elders hold. The spirit was very strong and I kept thinking back to something Grandpa Steve shared with me this past week: "The kingdom of God is not and cannot be complete without women...who can speak with the power and authority of God!" What a blessing and privilege it is to be led by the spirit to know what to say and what God wanted these sisters to know. What a great time to be here, with so many strong Sister missionaries. Huge experience.
We started teaching our first inactive member, Juan. He's an RM, so it was very difficult to teach because we don't know what to tell him that will be new and open his heart to what he taught on his mission.
Our classes and morning meetings all had a strong spirit today, and the presidency asked new missionaries to take the ZL/STL assignments, but we won't know who they are for sure until Tuesday or Wednesday. Whoever they will be, they'll shadow us in our Zone leader meetings this next week. Elder Cluff and I got to do our musical number in Sacrament meeting. Our devotional speaker was Janice Kapp Perry!!! We listened to her story and testimony and sang songs with her. This is really the best time I could've been in the MTC being able to hear from general authorities, Elder Bednar, Elder Anderson, Janice Kapp Perry, and David Archuletta.
Busy day! We learned the subjunctive tense in Spanish, which doesn't exist in English, but it is used SO much in Spanish. It's used so much that we pretty much found out today that almost every leccion we've had we've been saying so many things wrong, lol. It's great to know now though.
Today 1/19 - One week from today I will land in Boston, Massachusetts!
Tomorrow we are getting another district of 10 missionaries (6 Hermanas and 4 Elderes). Our last week that our zone will consist of 26 Elderes and 30 Hermanas! It's so cool that SO many sisters are here! I may or may not be able to email Monday or Tuesday. Thank you so much for the love and support!
Hasta ver, para siempre Dios este con vos.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
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!
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!
...and now, here's This weeks email received on Tuesday, January 12th:
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).
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
Busy and quick day. MUCH better lesson with Mercedes.
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!
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Friday, January 1, 2016
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 food, so they could have their own little New Year's Eve party!!
...and a "Choose The Right" cracker, lol. Yum!
Feliz Ano Nuevo!
In the morning we had a wonderful devotional with Elder Bednar speaking, and it was so cool to hear from him. It felt like watching our own personal General Conference. The meeting was seen and/or broadcasted to 12 out of the 14 MTC's around the world. We were even able to see a broadcast of two MTC's watching it, from Ghana and Chile. About 1,840 missionaries watched the meeting, and I was one of a lucky few hundred that got to see and hear it live. It was amazing to realize just what a world-wide organization the restored Church of Christ is. The gospel is being preached almost everywhere. How do you get 85,000 young people to give 1.5-2 years of their lives? Through the love of Christ and a true restoration of the gospel.
I got to call my family and hear from almost everyone at the Rubio Christmas dinner, so although for a short time, I was able to be a part of Christmas with my family. I felt so blessed and happy to hear so many familiar voices with words of encouragement.
That evening we were very spoiled and got to have an FHE-like devotional with DAVID ARCHULETTA, who got back from his mission in Chile last year. It was amazing, but the best part was when he sang Glorious, which is a song he was asked to record for the Meet the Mormons movie while he was at the end of his mission. My mom is obsessed with that song, so it reminded me of her. At the end of the night we watched Ephraim's Rescue and I highly recommend it.
Christmas away from home was hard, but it really was a great experience in the MTC. They definitely spoiled us.
We did lots of studying. In my journal I wrote an update to my testimony. Here is a part of it: I am convinced that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. If he was not, the church would not have grown so much so quickly. The first two temples could not have been built. People would not have followed despite persecution. Missionaries would not have traveled oversees to England to preach it. Those in England converted would not have traveled oversees and then across the plains in winter just to help build Zion. Miracles couldn't have taken place that allowed those early saints to cross the plains. If the church wasn't true, it would have died with Joseph Smith and would not have become the worldwide organization under Christ that it is today. Only Christ's church could transcend borders and languages like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does. Although denouncing the truth would have made his life on earth much easier, and probably would have saved his life, Smith stood his ground: "For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew by doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation." JSH 1:25
I made it to another Sunday! I played piano for Sacrament meeting. It was another great Sabbath day.
This day I learned a lot and the morning was very difficult. Hermana Jensen and I had a lesson planned for Hely, continuing on the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. It didn't go as planned at all. Hely kept talking about irrelevant things and we had a hard time staying on track. We finally tried to ask if she had any questions about the church (taking "teach people, not lessons" a little too seriously) and all she wanted to talk about was the word of wisdom and drinking coffee and alcohol. We were not prepared for that in Spanish at all, but we tried to answer and it took up the rest of our time. My companion and I tried to keep the spirit with us, handling questions with very, very bad Spanish. I got mad at my Hermana because she went into nervous mode and kept teaching by herself too much and didn't let me say very much (pretty ironic). I got frustrated, but tried to be patient. It was our worst lesson. Afterwards, we talked about it and she was so remorseful and humble about the whole thing. I realized that if it had been me, I probably wouldn't have had as much humility, and that I should actually be more like her in that way. In the same day I felt the most frustrated with my companion, I later felt the most grateful. Neither of us are perfect, but I feel very blessed.
We did our first two member lessons, they were on prayer. At lunch my district was asked to Usher for the evening devotional. It was so cool, few missionaries get to do it, let alone as a district! After ushering, we all got to sit together in reserved seats in the first two rows. The speakers were Elder Arnold of the Seventy and his wife. They both said things everyone in our district needed to hear, and it was our favorite devotional so far. The most uplifting time with my district that I've had was the devotional review after. When us sisters got back to the room we talked about the mature love and respect the Elders in our district have for us, and how blessed we are because not every district has that. My district is my family here.
2 week mark in the MTC! Hermana Jensen, Elder Jensen, Elder Fillmore, and I got to help welcome and give a tour to the "dork-dots" (new missionaries that have a circle sticker on their tag so you know that they are new so you can welcome them or help them if they get lost, lol) that are new to our Zone. We love our new dork-dots, although in a couple weeks they'll know just as much as we do now, lol. Our senior missionaries in our zone are leaving, so in the next couple weeks when new missionaries come in it will be just the four of us welcoming them to the zone.
Hermana Jensen and I redeemed ourselves with our lessons with Hely and had a much better lesson that we could control. We even set a baptismal date for her! Hermana said that this time when she wanted to keep talking she would hold back, and then I would say exactly what she was going too. The spirit really is the teacher!
Today, Friday 1/1/2016
We figured out that we spend 11 hours a day in the classroom studying or in lessons, so I'm so glad today is P-day. I can't believe it's already my third P-day, too.
Estoy muy animada por el ano nuevo!