this week has been amazing, and I barely have time to write.

So I'll say some important things I learned:

Alma talks about his brethren in Christ and how when he met up with them, again, he was happy to meet up with them, and that they were well, but most importantly, that they were his brethren in Christ, still.

Today, I realized, as I was trying to help an investigator resolve her concerns about coming to church, that Church is an opportunity to come closer to Christ. Not an obligation. I feel like now, I could do whatever I want, but I KNOW that the truth can be found in this church, and the cornerstone of the Church is Christ. As it is his church.

I got bit by a pitbull....it's fine. ;) more funny really. :)

and we have a bunch of people were teaching that I learn more from than I think they realize.

I love you all! Stay my "brethren in the Gospel"!!!!!!!


Sister Bothwell


Almost no letters this weeeekk!

haha hey everybody! My love to all!I'd just like to alert everyone to the fact that I'm moving to Scott's Mills, Oregon when I grow up.
We've seen miracles this week, mostly consisting of the beautiful scenery and sunsets. Things that leave you speechless. Which for me is hard to be...so be impressed.
We did a hard day's work in Scott's Mills and while we were there, everyone was so nice! About rejecting us. They'd always smile, and tell us to keep warm (It's getting to the high thirties here), and that they were happy in their faith, though. Sister Johnson is a great trainer: fearless and bold, but not high and mighty. She talks to and stops mostly everyone while we're going really anywhere. People never stop to hear what we have to say, but as we try, it makes us bolder, and less afraid. We were tracting down a road in Scott's Mills, and saw a man down the way in his driveway with his dog, (a spunky Marbled Australian Shepherd named Sage :), who said he had the time, we could talk to him. That makes it sound creepy, but honestly, he was so nice: I thought he was a member just messing with us, because no one had said yes before! :) He was a very nice Catholic man, with two daughters and a wife who were out at a basketball game. He'd had some hard times in the recent past, with a 40 wk to term stillborn baby.
We're teaching almost 13 lessons this week, and he'll hopefully be one of them. He had so much strength! It was reassuring to see that there are such good people out there!
FUN GAME: well, we think it's fun.
Flip through the scriptures and say "Pitch." Your opponent then says "swing," picking where you stop flipping. They then say left center, left left, right center, right right, picking where on the page they want to call from. You give them the verses on the page and they pick which one. You read it, and they guess where, (Alma 26) the verses come from. See if you can stump dad! We don't keep track except if the person wasn't even close, and then it's the other person's turn, but if you did, it'd be 1 chapter away and you get three bases, 2 chapters away two bases, 3 chapters away one base, and then an out.
{Did I already tell y'all that Tyler McPhee was one of my Zone Leader's favorite Zone Leaders? Christopher Pister's family is in my stake, and Sister Johnson's cousin is Chase Bastian? A kid I almost had a thing with freshman year at BYU? Funny funny}
We met this lady and she wasn't interested, but we also ask if there's anything we can do for them, and she said if we ever wanted to weed, we could! Haha so we're probably going back on Wednesday, and doing that with her. Non-members are suprised there are "lady missionaries" haha it's so funny. We just say, yep, but there are few of us!
I can't believe I've been out for almost two months! Pssht, sixteen more is nothing, practically. But the thing is, we set goals every week, through inspiration and prayer, and by the time we have our next goal setting thingy, I think WHAT THE HECK, WHERE DID THE WEEK GO?! So I'm not getting "trunky," haha just going crazy and getting really excited about goals. It's fine, haha. I love and miss everyone, but honestly, I just wish y'all could be here with me, because my life's so fun, funny, spiritual, crazy, and humbling, and it'd be a blast to experience it with all y'all, but Sister Johnson's great, as well. I love making her laugh, and trying to feel the Spirit with her 24/7 is a lot easier because of how close she is to being charitable in all things. She prays and prays to love me... it takes a lot, sometimes, I'm sure. ;)
As the people we love and teach progress, I've learned and seen that when people don't progress, they are not happy. I used to think that missionaries just wanted people to come to church for kicks, or they got awarded if all their people made it, or something. But it's the oddest feeling when your investigators don't come, and it's not that you don't care...per se, but it's more along the lines of sad for them, because they missed out on a Sacrament meeting where they could renew their baptismal covenants, and meet all the lovely people who care so much about us in the ward, and then you just try next week.
All I've learned this week, if I could sum it up, would be selfishness is the root of all the unhappiness I experience:
We were closing our day, yesterday, and had half an hour before we had to be back home and talk to our District leaders, plan, etc., and then miracle of miracles, we get forty five minutes, give or take, to write letters!!!!!!! I hadn't gotten to write any last week (a huge thorn in my side, as there was NO WAY I'd even ever catch up), and I was freaking out excited to write some last night.
But, like I said, we had thirty minutes, and Sister Johnson felt prompted for us to go fifteen minutes away to Mt. Angel, Oregon (home of the Benedictine Monastery), to visit a lady and her daughter. The daughter hadn't been at church, and is less active, probably it has a lot to do with how much pain she's in (less actives in Oregon are most often almost to the point of deathly-ill.) However, this lady is A TALKER. A HUGE ONE. And so we told her the lesson would be very brief. (We try and visit less actives and investigators half and half during the week).
It wasn't.
We tried and tried, and well, mostly sat there. (We're getting WAY better though! At jumping in and keeping things relevant!)
All of the sudden, it was practically the time we were supposed to be at our apartment, I was almost dying from anger and frustration because I just wanted to write my letters.
 Then she says, "Well, girls, I started the temple prep classes, today."
 And all of a sudden, it wasn't about us, the less active daughter she had, or anyone I'd ever wanna write a letter to, it was about her. She needed to tell us that, she needed to talk about the temple with us, and how I'm going to be a Visitor's Center missionary, and she's going to take her daughter, and her daughter's going to help her with the classes. It was moving to say the least, and the Spirit rushed in, to be the best lesson we'd had this week, probably.
The Spirit's amazing, and that feeling? I wouldn't trade it for all the drugs, alcohol, immodest clothing, or superficial self-esteem, in the world.
I love it here. I think my heart was already open to Oregon, and Silverton's cracked it WIDE open.
Best experience this week was having a 55 year old and a 77 year old lady who were mother-in-law and daughter-in-law get together in this teeeeeeeeny tiny apartment, seeing as one is in an electric wheelchair, and one's in a wheelchair she pushes around with her feet, and having them chat about the Gospel. One's a Native American who believes that people have gifts, and that God is holding back the Authority from all the other churches because they martyred Joseph Smith, (non-member, baptized in the RLDS church) and the other lady winking at us, so we could share the Gospel with the first.
Best second week, ever.
Love love love,
Sister Bothwell.


Happy one week to me!

Hey, y'all!
I've gotten too many questions about being from the South with no accent, and so I've come up with a thing that I say. "My dad's from Iowa, but my mom's from the South, so I have a Mid-western accent, and Southern values." It's catching on...the other day, the Ward Mission leader's wife, after everyone in Relief Society had protested my lack of accent, said, "But she has those good Southern manners, very very Southern manners."
I love this town, more than I ever thought I would. More than I love Provo, even. . . I know, weird, yeah?
We had a baptism on Sunday, and the poor young man was all alone, in this white jumpsuit, and I think scared out of his mind, but the Spirit was there, and the change that was evident in him, almost immediately, was this sense of relief and happiness, and then I remember, as I often have to do, that this work is not even about us, it's about the true happiness that people Actually have, when they invite the Gospel and the Spirit into their lives. One of the great things I've learned is that faith proceeds the miracle, and I am inspired by the things and the opportunities we have every single second! There was a woman that we've become really close to, that just quit smoking, and you can tell she's scared out of her mind, but she has such a strong testimony! She'll make it through, and be all the stronger for it.
That's another thing! I have gained TOO much knowldge (Ha) from the less-actives and non-members, to even reference. They are incredible people with strong strong testimonies, and it's mind-blowing to hear them teach their children as we come over to teach them the things they really already know. love.
We did a purification fast this week, and it starts out with fasting and praying about ten things that you need to fast from. The Lord inspired me to write up a lot of things, and I know I can only grow further and further as I abstain from natural man habits for the next forty days.
We had kind of a life-changing experience the other day, and Sister Johnson and I grew closer together, but I also gained a true conversion of the power of prayer. We were having some problems, anyway, and we dedicated our home, and the change was unforeseen. I know that dedicating our homes and offices, any place we spend a lot of time, is important, because to dedicate means you strive toward those things, and invokes a blessing on the place you reside/spend most of your time. I loved it, but a life-changing experience, so I encourage everyone to take time to see that that is done. Sister Johnson and I know firmly, that that can help you and protect you from evil.
Haha on a lighter note, we didn't get a whole lot of sleep New Year's day, and have had the best time trying to stay awake and be effective missionaries. One thing in our white binder of resources and references, was a quote by a general authority that effectively was saying we needed to remember and not take lightly the help the Spirit would and could give us, and not (just) rely on the sleep we really really really may desire in the morning. We get up and walk around Silverton every morning, and it is a gem of a town: so sleepy but invigorating at the same time.
I thought I knew every thing there is to know about the Gospel, and I have decided I am sorely mistaken. I encourage you as well, that if you think that, to start reading about a topic you know EVERYTHING about: ie. faith, within conference talks and in the scriptures.To open with a prayer and be ready to receive revelation, because if you think you know everything, there's always more that the Lord through the Holy Spirit, can reveal.
Also, try Book of Mormon Battle. Great game, taught me a lot, totally got schooled by a four year old who was throwing down the first card she had. schooled. It's fine. Hahaa
We're working with a wonderful less active man and his active family. They have taught me about being on top of your game, and being ready and willing for whatever trials the Lord has given you, because they are so diligent that way. I love everyone that I've met so far. Now, we're working on declaring the word in every thing we do... because they already like us. ;) haha
We had training the other day, and I learned the Oregon Portland Temple has an atrium!? for non-members, so I am really excited!!
OH MY GOODNESS! and please look up the talks from April General conference 1985! they look like incredible ones!
I knew I should've been a dietitian... President Monson spoke on the Word of Wisdom and Health, the day I was due! October 1990!! ;)

When you get to the end of your rope: tie a knot, and hang on.
Love you all too much to express, but I try anyway!!!!
Sister Bothwell.

Hello Oregon!

Dear all, I love you. 
 Well. I'm in Oregon. That's cool. some fun facts: It's illegal to pump your own gas, sure, but did you know gas stations keep hours like 6am to 9pm? No late night runs to QT...not that anyone does that...haha
State St. in Salem is the divide for the Portland mission. Anyone north is us, anyone South is the Eugene Oregon Mission.
Here they call Hazelnuts "Filberts," and the Native American word is "Tuckwilla," or something to that effect. Ha :)
oh, and an Elder by the name of Elder Taylor, says that Tyler McPhee was one of his favorite Zone leaders up here. He asked me and I said Tyler was going to school and dating up a storm...hopefully that's alright. Haaaha
Also, cane berries are raspberry or marionberries? and there are many many fields as we drive around, that consist of blueberry, hazelnut, corn, etc. fields.
         Guess what? A boy/man/guy/man walked up to Sister Johnson (my new companion) and Sister Peart (her old trainee), on Sunday, and he wants to be baptized by January 3rd, when he needs to report back to South Carolina to the Military base there. He's a really sweet guy. Doesn't think he's particularly verbose, but he loves the Church and thanked Heavenly Father for the huge opportunity it's presented him. Sweet sweet guy. So we, we may have a baptism on Sunday after church. And he'd be confirmed that night, and then boom, on his way, with no leave until forever after that. We're not positive it'll follow through, but he'd really love it, so I hope for his sake it'll all work out.
         Um, I'm excited for some mail, peeps. Who's gonna be the first one to write me in OREGON!!!?!?! Haha, no, but our apartment is so precious, and so much lovelier than I was expecting. I love it. We have a living room, foyer, roomy kitchen, study room, bedroom, bathroom, and "laundry closet." (Who knows why it's called that. . .)
Oh, and I bought some adorable postcards.
          My first day in the mission...: well, it was an early start, getting up at quarter past three am, and then getting into Portland at 10, their time, 11am ours. We didn't spend the night in the mission home; we got there, took a picture at the temple, which I hope you received, (nope sorry) and filled out some paper work.
We had some mis-adventures getting there, but it mostly involved a wrong turn, going to the wrong stake center, and then a HUGE bump in the road: roller coaster style. Haha :) it was brilliant/ I might've gotten car-ill. Having had nothing to eat for the entire day, apart from 7(+/-) Swedish fish.
       We met our trainers, immediately after lunch, and all were freeeeeaked to separate. (OH MY GOSH! I had a mild dispute with an Elder Egan, regarding usage of the word "majestic" and "vicarious." he says that you can call someone "vicarious" and say, "That person is spunky, feisty, and vicarious." I assured him that he meant vivacious, but he won't give it up. We even looked it up in the dictionary, and then the AP, Elder Blanchard, AGREED WITH HIM! He also says you can't call someone majestic: it's not a quality someone can have. He also didn't understand what it meant. Aaah, the things you use to amuse youselves on a not one, but twwwo??! Hour plane ride to Portland on the day you start your mission.)
My trainer's name is Sister Natalie Ruth Johnson, and she's been homeschooled all her life, out of Sacramento, California. She wants to be an accountant, and has three older brothers, two younger sisters. (She likes to say that at one point her mom was organized) (idk what that means.. haha)
       and then we were off.
The mission home is in Beaverton, about thirty? Forty minutes outside Portland, and then we're in Silverton, on the South East border of the mission, home of Silver falls, Mt. Angel, and Scott's Mills.
I was welcomed into the missionary apartment by our less-active neighbor-upstairs. She is such a sweetheart, but feisty. It's ridiculous. She made a HUGE poster thing with chocolate hugs all over it, and nutella to gos, and chips ahoy stuffs.
(*I'd like to mention: I am going on a real life kick where I pretend to actually care about being a dietitian when I grow up...CRAZY, I know. And have not eaten any sweets in the apartment, since I've been here: two days.. . whaterr. Try being in a candy store. . . they HAVE A CANDY DRAWER...it's fine. And excessively so... haha whaterr.)
I love Oregon already. Duh. And am sups happy there is so much light. We never see the sun, but it's seriously like a church movie wherever you look: all cloud, but sups bright.
I still have to take 2400 units of Vitamin D, ever day, but whaterr whaterr. Oh, yeah, turns out This part of Oregon hasn't gotten any rain in like a million years, or a week, and it's actually real dry. wtheck, yeah? Seriously. Haha BUT I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!
I've all of the sudden gotten this overwhelming happiness about being here and loving the people. . . Thanks for your prayers that I would, haha.
I typically will have P-day on Monday. But I will email on Tuesdays? In Woodburn.
We had district meeting today. I've been allotted to pick and play the hymns, as no one--not even the Elder who wants to be a screamo-rockband-music artist--knows how to play. It's precious. And really difficult to gauge the beat when there's a choisiter, a pianist, and a bunch of people...all following themselves...but it's fine ;) ahha
I'm so healthy here, it's weird. But turns out all people here are not necessarily, ahhhhh.
And I'm so freaking very upset that I didn't talk to Natalie. You know, I won't be able to talk to you on the phone for six months, right? You knew that? Bummer, bummer, foul foul play.
Welp, we're late for an appointment, but just know I'm well loved and taken care of and liked, and send me mail.
much much love!
Sister Bothwell
love you so much, momma! I got your wonderful package ;)
the house smells like cats...go figure, so the smeller thing is WONDERFUL.


Merry Christmas, one and all!

 Yesterday for Christmas Eve, they went wild and let us sing the twelve days of Christmas, missionary style. Then Jingle bells, then to quiet us down, some other hymn, haha ;)
We watched A Christmas Carol with George Scott, for a present, and they got all 21-2400 of us, white chocolate covered popcorn in giant individual bags! :) It was wonderful and moving and Tiny Tim reminded me of James, so that was heart-wrenching, nbd. We were all in quite a rukus every time they kissed or anything creepy happened, which in that version was quite often! But it was fabulous. And so kind of them to let us do that. We packed for most of the day yesterday, and ate a ton of junk food so that we wouldn't have to pack it, and we could use all the money on our cards ( they allot us 6$ a week for sisters, have I mentioned that?) It was fun, but I accidentally took like a four hour nap after packing all of our lives away, and I had major trouble sleeping. OH! And they did the nativity scene last night with some missionaries and some sing alongs to the story, it was masterfully done, and so homey, even though there are so many of us. One of the shepherds had a stuffed sheep that he was petting the whole time, and the Elder playing Joseph had a reallly funny awkward moment, trying to comfort Mary, without touching her, bahaha. But it brought the spirit, and it felt like we were all in just one giant movie theater at home, together. Then, when we got back, the Sisters in my hall did something really cool and arranged another nativity scene with one Sisters this time, and they read the story in Italian, and then English. It was beautiful, and again, so homey. We were all away from our families, and so there was a different feeling last night, than any other Christmas before.
This morning, we got up like five minutes before we had to leave, but I've taught them my ways and so we were all ready to go by the time we needed to, or a little after. We're also pros at eating really really fast, good for the mission field, maybe, but only if no one talks to us, haha :) We got to the devotional three hours, give/take, before sacrament meeting. There was a music and the spoken word at nine thirty and we showed up at seven thirty. The real reason? Because at ten on the dot, a General Authority was going to show up for sacrament meeting. We were never told who, until he showed up.
We were on the second row, and probably five five or ten feet away from the pulpit, when David A. Bednar showed up.
Nothing else really mattters what's happened today so far, because that was super. Duper.
He said he didn't really care if we remembered what they'd said, but he wanted us to remember what we felt. (He actually took a few minutes and gave us note-taking advice.;)so cool.) He basically said: "The Character of Christ is when we would all turn inward and satisfy the natural man, He turns outward, with love, service, and compassion for all men.
The thing I loved the most, was when he taught us about the Brother of Jared. He said the depiction of the story, was a cool painting, but he thought doctrinally inaccurate. He took us to the story and showed us that faith is believing in things we can't see, and so the finger of God was probably not shown unto the brother of Jared until after the trial of his faith. Is this making any sense? He said it so well, that I know I was riveted. And there is no other feeling like the one of wanting to take copious notes, while at the same time, wanting to take none at all, so that you could just stare at his face.
I imagine that the way I feel when I see Elder Bednar's face, was much like a non-member looking on the countenance of a member. I saw the light in his face. He was different than anyone I'd ever seen before, and he was so happy! Even as stern as he was, saying that we're all the natural man, and cookie monsters, basically: wanting everything we wanted and we wanted it now, you could see the edge of a smile on his face a lot of times when he was rebuking or chastening. Haha I keep wanting to capitalize the pronouns describing him. Haha His talk was rich, and I was sitting there taking it all in.
He talked to us about the true conversion of Christ, and said that in six years, many or a significant number of us would have fallen away from the church. He said all of us have testimonies, but testimonies are knowledge of Christ. "But a testimony is NEVER enough."
Testimony is what you know to be true as has been witnessed to you by the Holy Ghost. Conversion is consistently doing what you know.
that hit me. I rarely do those things I know to be true, and I really do tend to whine and say look at me, my life is hard...a lot. just like he was saying, but I was reading in the scriptures and it said, if ye do one part, ye are guilty every wit. BOO :(
Alma 23: 5-6: knowledge of the Lord, and then later AND were converted unto the Lord. The "and" is essential. If you don't have both, you'll fall away.
He said though, "You won't convert yourself if that's what you're trying to do"
You have to turn outward toward others.
Repent means to turn toward God, and to sin, takes you turning further away from God. "Quit worshipping yourself." he said.
"Get over yourself; it's not about you," he also said. Haha it was straight up. But really, what the heck else is an apostle of of the Lord going to be? NOT straight up?
Another thought: I had a really hard time staying awake for a lot of my personal times (it was rough), but Elder David A. was talking about the apostles waiting with Jesus, just briefly, and it's hit me before, but I think, know, wonder if Jesus and God and the Holy Ghost are ever like, "COME ON, Sister Bothwell! Could you not just wait one hour so that you can get revelation? We'd really like to give it to you, but you keep falling asleep." I know revelation's possible, because I've had it big time, while here, and reading the scriptures, and just like Boom feasting on it, but OH! Haha he also talked about getting a new paperback Book of Mormon and markers and for every question you have about the gospel or whatever, marking up the scriptures with the answer to that question.
The first one I'm going to start with, "Is it possible for me to be more like the Savior?"
I've heard that we have to be, right? And I know that's true, or else we can't honor the Atonement and what Jesus has done for us, nor can we return to live with Him, but I wanna know if it's even possible, or what have you.
He said by the time we get to his age, we should have 4-500 copies in a library, marked up with all the answers and questions that he promised us, that if we did that, and were truly converted, we would never fall away.
And I totally believe that's true. It's not brainwashing by any means or sorts, but it's a reaffirming of the truth, daily. Remembering those close and personal experiences you've had with the Savior.
He said, "'People will get up in Sacrament meeting, and say, my great great great Grandfather crossed the plains with the Willy and Martin handcart company,' and I'll say to myself, 'That's great, but what have you done lately?'" 
All the food has been great, today, they really outdid themselves for lunch, but as we did not have a district leader, we almost didn't know we could email home. Good thing we sat across from one, at lunch. Sister O'farrell and a little Sister Arts really had a hard time because we didn't have anyone watching out for us, but honestly, we could've NOT sat by that Elder, just as easily, so really, I think someone was watching out for us, and told them to be quiet about it. Obviously it's not possible for me to be like Christ...just yet.
I love you all so so so so so so much, and even though it's a little hard and scary thinking about tomorrow, the motto I've taken is, "Don't look too far into the future, God's go it in control and it's a little like backseat driving, which no one likes." but mostly, just take it a day at a time; Any more, and it's too scary. ;)
Sister Bednar also spoke and it was wonderful :)
I really hope today was special, and remember, missionaries are happy all the time and anybody can be that. Just keep the Savior in mind all the time.
I am so grateful for the way I was raised, the opportunities I've had throughout my life, and the love I feel from all of you and I know that was all possible because of the Savior.
Everyone is put in the places they need to to best help them grow. No. Question.
Sister Bothwell

Dec 24th

Oh DEAR. I have a lot to say today: hopefully I'll get to everything!
We went to temple square Wednesday morning and got a tour from some Sister missionaries there. I can't even explain, but the spirit was so strong there. Just while we were walking about! They would bear simple testimony and the Spirit would just like woosh in. Crazy. We saw this presentation on How the Gospel Blesses Families. It's this progressive set of videos following the life of this family. I thought of Natalie because she would've liked the part when the Granddaughter is talking to the Grandma and she says, "Grandma, why are your hands so wrinkly?" Grandma: "Because Grandpa holds them so much!" :") It was all kinda cute like that, until the end when the oldest daughter gets married and her Mom, Dad, and Grandma have a small flashback to the scenes you've seen them all have individually with her, throughout the video. I was sobbing, of course, the whole time. I learned very quickly that when my heart is softened, it doesn't take much to set me off. Stinks. Haha but I've only cried out of sadness once here...um, where was I going with that?!? Regardless, I really suggest mi familia go to that little presentation. Pretty sure Dad would love it.
While we were at Temple Square, Brother Kay(e), the director guy over all the visitors' centers around the world (couldn't have been more than thirty), came and spoke to us for thirty minutes? or thereabouts. He told my companions and me all the information we wanted to know about OUR visitors' center: including the fact that it doesn't open until the 24th of February, but when it does, the open house should be crazy. Hopefully. That's just something we inferred, but we're excited. So so so excited. ;) The VC, as we on the inside like to call it (probably so no one has to deal with those pesky apostrophes...) is very verry verryy small, however. One companionship at a time, is present, as well as the director, or something. We're the second transfer of Sister missionaries to go out with training, but no idea what ramifications that will have... OH WELL! At least we know something, haha. :)
Our VC training started Wednesday and so Monday's class was torture. Or we thought it would be, as there was no one there but us, and one other Elder (Mcnamara) in class. As opposed to 8 of us, previously. We ended up all having really good experiences that night at class.
But VC training? You can't even compare. All they do is build you up, tell you how amazing VCs are, (the statistic we heard from Brother Kaye was: 3/4 of all the Church's baptisms come from something related to VCs.
And then we practice.
They say VC missionaries don't do real missions, but I would like you to all experiment walking up to a complete stranger that wanders into your home and discern their needs while giving them a gospel lesson, in sometimes fewer than five minutes.
That's how come we're sups specials ;)
Our teachers told the best stories I've heard yet. (Except for the time Brother Hatch told us about this  really old lady they had to lower into the water, and she decided to start screaming when they were half way. It was an awfullly funny story. :(ahha)
Ohkay, ohkay, no one freak out with happiness, but
 we got to go on Mormon.org chat the other day (Thursday?) and it was beautiful.
They have a feature on Mormon.org, that lets you chat with a missionary, alll over the world, in different languages, and we were those missionaries for like two seconds. Coo Coo.
It's nice to be able to prep while they're typing, and you do it with a companionship, more often than not, so you can talk to each other and collect your thoughts, instead of yelling. My faux-companion still got a little frustrated, but you know what I've learned?
God has prepared people, and if the people we're talking to aren't ready, it doesn't matter, because there are people out there who are.
The coolest part for the Church, was that you can't be under 18 to chat or talk with us: you have to give us your phone number and then we'll call your parents, and ask if it's alright.
I knew I wouldn't have time to tell you all about it, but find Lisa Farren, Alpharetta Ward, and ask her how I'm doing, cause she, my other faux companion and I had a good time talking, that's all :)
It was nice. And simple, but luckily, not my thing. Lucky, cause I'm not going there. 
It's all been really great, and I can't wait for the field. I think. Difficult to say, but here I go :)
I'll be doing the same, calling that morning before 8, as that's when our flight leaves, and after six, cause that's about when we get there.
 And have an especially Christ-centered Christmas this year, for me, would you? :)
I loved all the presents, and HECK NO did we share those cinnamon rolls with the Elders. There were six of us in the room. and don't worrry, I ate like four. bahaha. :) 
Sister Bothwell!


Hola, all!

Sorry everything is out of order. I'll fix it one day....... Maybe.........

December 20, 2011

This week we got to host new sisters coming into the MTC. We helped them get all their books and to get to their rooms with their luggage, safely.
I got to host someone I knew from my freshman year of college: Lauryn Pearl Jensen! She's going to Nicaragua and spending three weeks here before going to the Guatemala MTC for six? I think. We are getting SO MUCH BETTER at working together during lessons and having unity. We have slip ups occasionally, but not too badly. This week, though, we had a doozy of a lesson with a man named Ping. He was Buddhist and from China, studying international business at USC and up here on break. He just wanted to check out what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes. He was asking a lot of questions, and by now, teaching was almost old hat. Until he asked a question, and in my reply to him, I accidentally? called the world irresponsible. i couldn't recover. It was crazy: I couldn't even form sentences that made sense, to try and fix what I had said. Seeing as how I didn't actually know what I had meant to say, it was difficult to backtrack. I was FREAKING OUT. I've probably never been so tongue-tied, yet continued to talk...in my life. Here was this very knowledgeable Buddhist studying international relations, and I was blubbering about saying, "oh, um, well, maybe I meant just all young men in the world are irresponsible." It was horrendous, to say the least. Luckily, Sister O'Farrell stepped in and said, "I think she means they don't all behave like they have the bigger picture..."
Okay, yeah. We'll go with that. The whole meeting was like that, it felt like, but this was the culmination.
He was a member.
I felt like I'd been Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher.
Earlier that day, we had taught another TRC investigator, Jose. We had such a good lesson. A good lesson is really when we all feel the Spirit, and honestly, our investigators teach us way more than we teach them!
We're changing to a Friday P-day, and hopefully I'll learn how to collect my thoughts by then. We fly out of SLC 8:05 on Monday the 26th, and I think all of us are a little freaked. Not really, though, comparatively, we could have gone out yesterday and today like all of our District and Zone. We had IN-field Orientation, and got to meet/be taught by/take pictures of/with, the missionaries form the training videos "The District, 1 & 2." It was crazy, but they were actually really good teachers and we learned so much about planning, working with members, statistics, and all sorts of things. Things here are weird, but good. Almost constantly, the Spirit will testify or prompt or reveal things to me, and everything goes so smoothly when I listen to the feelings I have. Thank you all for your letters and gifts and treats, by the way! Everyone is always saying how much my family must like me!! :) Anyway, (Sister Arts says "anyways" is not a word. I told her she would have to use the correct subjunctive tense, if I had to say anyway;) we were learning about setting goals of how many people to talk to a day, and lessons to teach, and discussions with a member present and things like that: it was kind of feeling like um, multi-level marketing-ish, when all of the sudden, (Elder) Brother Christensen says that we should set a goal, exactly as high as the mission goal, and really no higher. I was blown away. We were learning in that workshop about everything being in its right balance: a cookie with too much salt, sugar, baking powder, etc...type thing. It was like, woah, if we really were all about numbers and helping our membership grow, we would not be getting taught to set exactly as high goals as our mission average. A little testimony building moment, to me.
Sister Arts, on the other hand, got hit on, during one of the ending workshops. OH! And we were in devotional, when some Elders behind us started making small talk. No big deal, it's nice of them, blah, blah.
Two and a half hours later, Sister Arts pulls out her journal to write some inspiration down (during The Mountain of The Lord movie, about the Salt Lake Temple) and BOOM! there's a 3x5 card with the Elder's name and address on it.
It. was. crazy. and sooooo funny. She's much better at taking notes of what happened during the week, and a faster typist...boo. I'll just try and keep notes during the week! Ha ha Our District left and we're very sad, but we can still get our mail, even with the district leader gone, so all's well;)
Mom, I sent home the Christmas decorations, WE ALL LOOOOVED THEM!!!!!!! And PICTURES COMING, SOON!!!!!!
I love you all, and I know without a doubt there's a God in Heaven, because I feel so strongly of it all the time: an investigator described it as " a pressure on my heart, not so much that it hurts," but just so much I know it's true.
Can you imagine feeling that all the time? Welcome to my life.
and I miss you ;)
Googma (Love in Cuebano), 
Sister Jenna Bothwell


Quick note.

Hey everybody this is Jordan really quick, if you guys want to write Jenna that's great! She can always use more letters/emails. Her contact info is simple, old school: Oregon Portland Mission Office 1400 N.W. Compton Dr., Ste. 250 Beaverton, OR 97006. Or on them newfangled "electronic mail" thingys: at jenna.bothwell@myldsmail.net.
She doesn't get long on the computer so your best bet if you want a response is snail mail :(
I've also added a pictures page for when Jenna sends pics which she has promised to do :)


Hey, y'all

I'm sitting in the Mandarin lab right now, tying up this letter, so excuse the weird everything, Haha
I had a great time this week, learning more than I ever thought possible, but I've also learned that spiritual experiences can come when least convenient, and can also be when you feel the absence of the spirit.
It's weird how the Lord knows us, and sends others to be with us when we need it.
Today, I had the opportunity to kind of be that, when the Spirit whispered to me to go find my companion. She had received a rough email, and was wandering around the laundry room. I heard a voice, and felt a feeling to go find her and then just hugged her for a long time. We didn't talk about it or what had happened, but the Lord wanted my companion to feel loved. We had some tough lessons this week. We're still getting used to working all together and taking turns talking; we all really love to talk, and feel we're being inspired...just in completely different directions. But then, we had a break through, the most connected lesson we've had, and the fact that it could even happen; that we could all take turns, feel the spirit, and connect to the investigator the way they needed, was just enough to get through the next forever lessons. The next lesson we forgot everything our teachers had taught us, and it was awful, because I knew we were capable of more, but c'est la vie. I miss alone time, but not really, as I've never felt less alone spiritually. Pretty much I pray so often, it's crazy. I appreciate all the letters everyone sends; they make me so happy! Sallamat! We learn so much in class, and it's hard to juggle everything we learn, and apply it in each lesson, but we're doing our best and focusing on keeping it simple. The Spirit testifies of the truth. Reading the scriptures, singing,  and praying, brings the spirit like nothing else. The spirit testifies that the scriptures are true. I had a role play I participated in, where the missionary teaching me told me to read John 14: 26-27, out loud. Sitting there, in this like fake thing, the Spirit helped me understand things just for me, from that scripture. The scriptures are always there, but the times of our life change. I connected most deeply with the chapter in 2 Nephi about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Can you believe it? What the weird. I was struggling and praying so hard, waiting for one of my companions to go to a meeting she had. I read this chapter, seriously, like I don't even know, I was like wow, I feel loved and strengthened, and what the what. Beautiful stuff. When we don't get to read our scriptures and study every day, Sister Arts and I complain: we just don't feel prepared. Luckily, Sister O'Farrell is there to calm us down and tell us that the lesson didn't go that badly. Until the time we got really frustrated and the spirit left, and we were just blabbering on about being baptized or else. Yeah. Not a good move. We have to be kind, not back talk, not really complain about anything, or boom, the spirit leaves. Ew.
The best times are when you close your mouth and listen to the spirit. Let the investigator think for themselves. This mission is to figure out their own stuff. We teach them and bring the spirit. The spirit testifies of truth, and then they decide for themselves what's up.
We can't use "guys" to describe...anyone. Haha It's SO HARD. Try that one day! Calling people "Sister" has gotten less weird. Help me. Just kidding. I love it here. We play and have fun, share spiritual experiences, and hard days. It's great. :)
I have grown so much: we have to suppress any selfish desires, and just be like, whatever whatever. I think it's really good for me. I need to grow up. No joke. I just have to bite my tongue, and pray. A lot. And hard. Haha it helps a ton. I love the peace I can feel even though what's happening is disturbing to me. Disrespect, ugh. :)

The way sacrament meeting works here!? Yeah. Everyone in the branch: 4+ districts: 12 missionaries a district, prepares a talk. Two people are then called up, when the time comes for speakers. No one knows who's going to do it. Although, Sister Arts was going to give a prayer, and then she wasn't... Haha cause she ended up giving a talk.
Our companionship has found some awesome sauce stuff, like the fact that if you go to choir, and give up an hour, about, of free time, of which we have little, granted...Haha, we get amazing seats, and don't have to sit there saving seats for the last hour of free time. Haha It's good... :)
Also, we really like the wrap bar. It's like having our own personal L+T, at BYU, in the MTC.
I love you all SO SO SO SO SO SO SO much
Googma (love),
Sister Jenna Susann Bothwell


How is everyone!! I've been getting great letters and they've been making my day! So thanks to everyone :)
The first day wasn't bad: I met my two companions, Sisters Arts and O'farrell. They're super sweet and nice, and from Provo and Pittsburgh, respectively. 
 I love our district and zone. The district is made up of four elders going to Birmingham Alabama and one to San Antonio Texas. They're great at role playing, which we do A LOT. It's fascinating to me that the spirit could be there so strongly and helping my companionship with teaching, when it's really a "faux" investigator. Really cool, actually. The piece of advice I learned this week that helped me through the whole week, was: listen to the spirit while you're teaching, and he will tell you what to say, and which direction to go. (A piece of advice I had received from my SCOTTISH! Roommate--Sister Richardson. Her companions are Sisters Pickerel and King, and they're going to temple square. So cool, I've heard.) To have the spirit with me twenty-four/seven, is incredible. mostly because I notice the absence of its testifying, almost immediately. ESPECIALLY while teaching. The fourth day was the hardest for me, because I didn't have the spirit while I was teaching Elder Allan, one of the elders in my district. I got discouraged and was confused and didn't know what to do. I was supremely distracted. I was thinking about how cute the substitute teacher was and what everyone was going to think of me if I messed up. I had done a really good lesson the first time, but then had to redo the lesson to include the restoration. I forgot why I was there: it just turned into an exercise instead of a revelatory experience. A second piece of advice came in handy, helping me to regain my testimony. It was said by one of our teachers: Brother Chubbuck. He was quoting Elder Ballard? Who said, be your own first convert. All the things you want your investigators to do: read fervently the scriptures, pray mightily to understand, and be inspired, Heavenly Father wants for us. I feel the spirit so strongly here, and it's weird how easy it is to tell the difference now, between my own thoughts and the persistent thoughts that will bring me happiness and closeness to my Heavenly Father. I was in testimony meeting with my zone (which includes many Elders and Sisters going to a Philippians mission that speak Cuebano--look it up--it's so COOL and made up of Spanish roots and "jungle language"--words that could change within a week or two, if one person were so inclined to make it that way.) And I felt like I should bear my testimony. I got up and started out by saying that when I came to the MTC, I knew only two things for sure: that I was supposed to be here, and that God loves me. I talked about the convert quote, and then said that was something I needed to work on, but then I bore my testimony that I knew we had modern revelation, that Thomas S. Monson was a prophet, and other things. As I said them, I knew they were truth. I felt a lot like I always knew, like you know two plus two, and you never really have to check on it, but then you learn trigonometry, and you forget two plus two. Whoops, right? But you really just have to check on where your heart and mind are. When your testimony weakens, it's not a tell that the Church and the Gospel aren't true anymore, it's that your relationship with God isn't as close as it could be. Work on it. That. whateves. Haha
BEST STORY EVER! And I dunno if I have time to tell more, but once upon a time, I was FHE co-leaders with Cameron Jensen. We had a great time, went on a date, but then nothing ever happened: I couldn't tell him I liked him, because my roommate did, as well, and blah blah. So he dates other people and we stay super close, telling each other about who we're dating, etc. One week before finals, I get super sick, and he comes over, really nicely with his current girlfriend. They bring me over pediasure, cause I'm dying, and then leave. ... cause I'm dying.
fast forward to last Thursday in the bathroom/common area, and Sister Arts is trying to figure out who we know in common, "Where'd you live last year?" South of campus, 4/6th, I answered. Did you have any moon apartments in your ward? Probably not, right? Oh, yeah, I did. Did you know anyone in moon D? Or whatever building it was. Oh, well, not really... oh, wait, an ex-boyfriend of mine, Cameron.
It was her.
Blew my mind for an easy thirty minutes. We all laugh SO SO SO SO SO SO So hard around here. There's a lot of study time to practice our teaching, but we often break it up with fits of hysteric laughter, because we're all so funny. Hahah.
Thursday morning, my alarm went off to go workout and I could not get out of bed. I wanted to, and prayed to be less selfish, because I knew Sister Arts--a starter on the BYU rugby team, really would want to go. For like ten minutes. Went back to bed cause I felt peaceful. She came and woke me up an hour later, because my alarm had moved forward an hour in the middle of the night. They're all great girls and great Elders, and I've learned so much. The peace class brings, is incredible as well.
2 Nephi 31, people. EVERYONE go read it. And pray about it. We don't ask you to go on our testimonies alone. Not even close. You have to read and pray for yourselves. And I'm serious about that. Cause it and the MTC have changed my life, and I know this chapter will change you, too.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Bothwell