Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm going to Peru!!!!!!! Thursday, 9-27-12 update

As you can see from the title of this email...I GOT MY VISA YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Originally, my scheduled departure date (had I gotten my visa on time) was Tuesday, but since I hadnt received it, I was a tad bummed, but accepted the fact that I would just get to stay in this fantastically wonderful place with my amazing companions and district a little bit longer. However, Heavenly Father had a different plan. It is currently Thursday morning at 11:00 and I report to the travel office tomorrow morning at 3:00AM!!! I literally can't believe it! I am so excited but also kind of sad because it is such a rushed little process and I have so many people to say goodbye to in just one day! But it's ok. I am going to tell you the story of what happened because it was really exciting. :)

So we were sitting in class as usual, speaking spanish and learning wonderful things, when all of a sudden a voice on the intercom said "Hello, is anyone in this room?" We all replied "Yes!" The voice then said, "Could we please have a Sister Ali and an Elder Lundberg report to the travel office immediately" (Elder Lundberg is an elder in my district who is going to my same mission) We literally both screamed and jumped out of our seats. It was so great. We then walked/ran to the travel office where they informed us that our visa's had indeed arrived and we were to depart Friday the 28th at 3:00am! It was very exciting. Then I got to call my mom and tell her :)

Anyway, so that is that! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D We fly tomorrow from Salt Lake to Dallas, to Miami, and finally to Lima on American Airlines!!! It's so crazy, it hasn't really even hit me yet that Im on my mission, but I think it will tomorrow! Everything in my life for the next 17 months is going to be 100% spanish! I better start praying harder than I already am for the gift of tongues! I get to watch General Conference in Spanish, have church devotionals in spanish (I guess unless a general authority comes who speaks english...that would be nice.. :) The food will be rice, beans, and chicken and fish and AH! I don't even know!

So yea, that is the most exciting part of my week so far :D I don't know when my next Preparation Day (day I can email, write letters etc.) will be so it could be a while until I get back on a  computer, or it might be a couple of days...FROM PERU!!!! :)

I am off on a whole new adventure! I don't know why I didn't get my visa two days ago, but I know that the Lord had a purpose for it. He needs me there on Friday, and He has a plan for me and for each one of you! This gospel blesses my life so much and I feel so humbled and so blessed that the Lord has given me the opportunity to do His work. My experience here at the Provo Missionary Training Center has prepared me for my next adventure at the Peru Missionary Training Center and although I will miss the people and experiences I have had here, I can't wait to begin there!

I love you all!! Thank you so much for your letters and emails! I am truly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends!!! :)

Con amor siempre!

Hermana Ali :)

PS-I was going to send a bunch of pictures but the computer is being dumb sooooo my bad :( There will just be an overload next time I get to a computer with picture capability :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Three Weeks Already!!

Hola mi familia!!!
First things first. Thank you to Mrs. Post, Juli and Jo, and Elise for the letters!! You will be getting replies soon. I love letters! Keep em coming and I will respond asap! :)
I can't even describe to you how much I LOVE it here at the MTC. I know I say that every week but it's true and amazing! My testimony is growing every single day in different aspects of this incredible Gospel, my friendships with my district and companions are growing and growing, spanish is definitely progressing and this whole experience is already flying by! I cannot believe how fast it is going!! It is so good to get emails and letters from people. I love you all more than you will ever know.
I feel like so much has happened in the past week, and I dont even know where to begin! First things first, my visa is not here yet. I was supposed to be leaving on the 25th, but me, along with two other elders in my district going to Peru have not received our visa's yet and so we will be staying here until further notice. Posiibly the whole nine weeks of the MTC and maybe even being sent to another mission in the states while we wait for them to come. I love my district and my language definitely still needs improvement so I am ok with whatever happens. I know that if I stay here, go to Peru sooner, or get sent to another mission for a wee bit, that is where the Lord wants me for that specific time.
Ny companions and I (Hermana Dopp and Hermana Eberle) get along SO WELL. I am so blessed to have them! Hermana Dopp was made coordinating sister over the sisters in our entire zone so that tells you how amazing she is. Both of them have so many things that are examples to me and I am learning from them every single day. Hermana Eberle is an insanely bright scriptorian who knows the scriptures backwards and fowards and finds connections with anything and everything. I just hope I can be as good when I get off of my mission! Hahaha. As for me, I am working on my scripture reference knowledge and my patience, especially this last week with the language. I know it will come with time and everyone keeps telling me, "Don't worry Hermana, you will learn it." Being on week three and still being relatively new at this whole spanish thing has been puttin some doubts in my mind, but I know it will come. We pray for the gift of tongues and the ability to teach our investigators clearly every day, and let me tell you a story that happened with one of our investigators this week (yesterday actually)!
His name is Pablo. (He is one of our teachers, and we just practice on him, but the situation is very similar to what will happen in the field :) So, we were teaching Pablo who he was and is as a literal child of a Heavenly Father and teaching him how important it is to gain that personal relatiopnship with Heavenly Father so that he is able to feel the spirit more fully in his life. Teaching investigators in spanish, when you don't know the language is rather difficult and intimidating, but I mentioned that we have been praying for the gift of tongues and clarity with our investigators right? Well, this particular lesson, our prayers were answered. I was able to bear my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith and of Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ without a hitch! It truly was an answer to a prayer. There is no other explanation.
Also...the quote that I tried quoting last week by Sister Juli B Beck was: "Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles." As I was striving to be more obedient, a miracle happened and I PROMISE that is what happened. It was AMAZING!!!!
Im almost out of time, but another prayer that was answered for language goals in mine and my companions life came in the form of two new roommates Hermana's Quejera and Ganas! They are both native speakers and although they have both only been here since Wednesday, our language is already improving thanks to them!
Heavenly Father knows us. He loves us. He wants what is best for us and He answers prayers! We also had an incredible devotional on Sunday night on the Book of Mormon and the importance of it. I have been studying it through again during personal study and I know without a doubt in my mind that this book is true! I strongly encourage all of you to read it because the words contained in it are answers to prayers/questions, advice for us in our day, counsel from God and examples that we can follow.
I will send a couple of pictures later, but for now, I will talk to you all later.
I love you all and keep the letters coming! :)
Con Amor,
Hermana Elisheva Ali :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


It''s so good to hear from you wonderful family! I have officially been in the Missionary Training Center for a week and a half! Let me just say...the days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days! It feels like just yesterday that I got here, but if my visa gets here in time, I will be leaving in two weeks for Peru! Crazy! I absolutely without a doubt LOVE it here! My companion Hermana Eberle and I got another companion, Hermana Dopp, she is such a wonderful addition to our district and our companionship! I feel so blessed to have such wonderful companions! What can I say, except that I love being a missionary! We have class for about 6 hours every day (spanish and fundamentals of Gospel Doctrine) personal study (scriptures etc.) companionship study, language study, additional study, gym time and something called ""TALL"" which is a language tool to learn vocab/verb conjugation etc. I just found out yesterday that our days are 16 hours long!! We wake up at 6:30am, quiet time at 10:15pm and lights off at 10:30. Everything is scheduled to a T and I love it! The funny thing is, although we have so many hours in the day that we are up and about, it almost seems like there is not enough time to accomplish everything. But, we get it done and everything is great! :)
My district is so amazing. These are the people that I have class with, church with, lunch with and they are all wonderful. This computer doesnt have a camera connector thing so I am going to send a seperate email with pictures attached once I get there. But, you will see all of them. I love them all SO much. I am truly blessed. As for spanish...let me just say that I am far from fluent. BUT it is coming along. My companions and I have taken to carrying vocab notecards around, talking as much as we can in spanish (or spanglish...depending on how you look at it...) singing spanish hymns twice a day, praying in spanish and reading a chapter from the scriptures in spanish every day. All of these little things are helping me work toward being fluent and slowly but surely it is coming. I realized the other day as I was journaling, one of the reasons that I was called to a spanish speaking mission. As most of you know, I am a very stubborn person and I like to rely on myself a lot. However, without the help of Heavenly Father, there is no way that I will be able to become fluent and acquire the gift of tongues without increased faith in Him and humility. If I humble myself and pray multiple times daily, I know that He will bless me with the things I need to be able to communicate with those I teach.
I am also learning how importance obedience is. Being on time to everything every day and abiding by some of the rules here can be really hard, but I have already seen a difference when I am obedient, I am more blessed and I am able to be more attune to the spirit. It''s hard to explain, but we hear a quote this past week that was something to the affect of...''obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings the blessings of the Spirit and the help of the Lord more abundantly. How true that is, that when we keep the commandments and honor our covenants that our lives seem to be more peaceful and the blessings seem to be more abundant.
My testimony is growing every day,, I love my companions, I love my district, I love my teachers and I just LOVE being a missionary SO MUCH!!
I will send another email with pictures a bit later, but for now I am out of time.
If you have time, write me some letters because I love hearing from you all!
Te Amo Mucho!!!!
Hermana Ali


Sunday, September 9, 2012

I LOVE being a missionary!!!!

Let me just say first of all that I absolutely, without a doubt, no questions asked LOVE being a missionary! The Missionary Training Center is so incredibly wonderful I cannot describe it! This week has been just insane, but so great at the same time. From the time I arrived, there has been not even one minute wasted. Everything is planned to a T with timing and everything is run so smoothly. The great thing is that everyone is obedient to the rules therefore everything is run without a hitch. My companion is fantastic. Her name is Hermana Eberle, she is Pennsylvania, and get this, she is a music therapist! She loves to sing and she plays any stringed instrument known to man. I love it so much! Every night before we go to bed, we have taken to singing a spanish hymn, sharing what we learned during the day and having companionship prayer. It has really brought us together and we work really well together. I definietly forgot to grab my camera for pictures, but I will remember next week...if there is anywhere to put in a memory chip..
Gosh I feel like there is so much to tell! Well first of all, my normal P-Days will be on Fridays from here on out so that is when emails will come! Also, I can receive emails from everyone, I just can only reply (via email) to family.
The food here is actually not too shabby, the dorms are pretty nice-very clean, my district is FULL of incredible elders. All of them are 19 and out on full time missions! It is really wonderful to see their testimonies and their example. Spanish class is SO GREAT! My very first class here (about an hour after I was dropped off at the MTC) I walked in the classroom and my teacher was speaking in non stop spanish, super fast, and using a lot of words I didnt know... haha. However, it is really amazing how much I understand! Basically almost everything that my teachers say, I can understand the gist. The problem comes when I have to spanish...hahaha. It's rather difficult. BUT! Something really cool happened yesterday! We had the opportunity to teach a lesson to an investigator yesterday! His name was Valdecir. We prepared a lesson teaching him about how we have a loving Father in Heaven and that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins. We are literal sons and daughters of God and Jesus is our brother. The thing is...the entire lesson had to be in SPANISH! Yep...third day. As we were preparing, both Hermana Eberle and I were suuuuuuuper nervous, but when we got into the lesson to teach, the spirit really was in the room. We obviously stumbled for some words, but we were able to get the message across to Valdecir and testify of the truth of our loving Heavenly Father. At the end of the lesson, I bore my testimony, in spanish, and he understood it even though I dont even remember what I said. I know that the spirit was there guiding us to know what to say because if it hadn't been, there would have been nooooooo way that I could have said what I wanted to. As I taught and studied and sat in class yesterday, it dawned on me that however terrifying and seemingly impossible it might be to learn spanish so fast, it IS possible, through the spirit of our Heavenly Father.
I am just about out of time, but I will talk to ya'll next Friday!
Te Amo Mucho!!!!
Hermana Ali :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Set Apart!

Hello all!

Yay!!! The day is FINALLY here! I was just set apart as a full time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. What a true blessing and amazing adventure I am about to embark upon! I fly out tomorrow to Utah and next time you hear from me, will be from the Missionary Training Center in Provo UT :)

Much Love,
 Hermana Ali :)