Thursday, December 29, 2011

Week 7 in CCM - 12/29/2011


Place: Provo MTC

Companions: Hermana Thacker y Hermana Latham

Date: 12/29/2011

Hola Mi Familia!!

Buenos Dias!!! How are all of you doing this fabulous day? I really hope things are going well and that Christmas was really good, I can tell you that mine went amazingly well! Before I start I just want to say I got mom's dear elder and I'm sorry to hear about ginger; it was really sad to hear about but I agree with mom that she is doing much better now that she is gone and she was really old for a lab, and I'm sure that she knows that she was and still is dearly loved by all of us, you could see it in that smile of hers, if you look at that painting I painted of her with Amy I made sure to add that smile because that was my absolute favorite part about her! and I'm thankful that you sent me that picture of me and her before I left, I love to look at it!

Ok on to what occured during Christmas! So I was able to kindof tell you things that happened on Christmas Eve, we had that fireside and watched a Christmas Carol. But Christmas was really fun! Before our morning devotional one of my favorite parts was when we were all waiting outside to go into the devotional and all the missionaries were singing christmas hymns, songs and carols!! but to tell you a little more about Elder Bednars talk, which really was amazing! He talked to us about like I said in my last letter, testimonies and being converted; one of the things that he told us was that "A testimony will never be enough you must be converted unto the Lord as well!" I can testify that I know that this is true because a testimony is what leads us to a more deepened conversion and a stronger relationship with Christ! He told us that it is that conversion that helps us stay very close to christ when others aren't able to. He told us a story from when he was on his mission and said that his I think mission president asked this hypothetical question, asking "would you fall away if one of the twelve apostles decieded the church wasn't true anymore?" ok I know that, that is a very drastic situation but if you are able to strengthan your testimony in Christ and deepen your conversion, if doesn't matter what happenens around you, you will know personally for yourself that the Church is true and that Christ is the center of this church and you will always do whatever he would do. Something that I like to think about a deepening conversion is that the tie you have with our Heavenly Father and Christ as you first start our your testimony and conversion unto Him is like a piece of string, it is very weak as you begin but through daily study of him, doing what he would do and testifying of the things you know to me true and as your conversion becomes stronger so does the piece of string that binds you to him, that piece of string I believe as your conversion unto Him becomes stronger begins to become more than a piece of string but more like a metal chain or as strong as the iron rod, which is very hard to break.

Another thing that he talked about was the charcteristics of Christ and how we need to daily strive to learn about those characteristics so that we can become more like Him day, by day. One of the characteristics that Elder Bednar told us about was how Christ was always turning outward and cared for the people around Him and never turned inward and thought about himself. Think about the story in Matt. right after his 40 day fast and the situation He had with satan, he must have been very tired and if it were me I would be thinking about myself at that moment but He didn't, it says that angels came and ministered unto him, but if you look in the footnotes you will see that it wasn't Christ that the angels were ministering unto, Christ knew that John the Baptist was in jail and Christ sent those angels to minister unto John, even during a situation like that Christ always turned outward and cared about others and not himself. Elder Bednar told us that the reason we turn in is because of the natural man that is in each of us, he related the natural man to the cookie monster from Sesame Street, "I want cookie now", I just want to add the voice he said along with that was awesome and very funny, especially when he related it to us as missionaries saying, "I want baptism now" "I want investigator now" haha! but in all seriousness we should all do our best to continually think outward and think of others more than ourselves, to become like Christ we can't think "I want" we need to tell ourselve "What do they need." Elder Bednar talked about some very amazing things and I hope that I can and that all who reads this, (Which I hope it makes sense cause I don't have time to read through it) will be willing to worry and think about others and learn about Christ; I like to think that as we learn more about Christ, we become more like Him, and when we become like Him, we become someone he can trust and we are instruments in His hands.

I'm very sorry but I'm running out of time again, but I want you to know that Christmas was amazing and that the Spirit I felt was so amazingly strong, It was such a special opportunity to have my complete focus on Him throughout the whole day. I hope that everyone can think about Him in their lives always! Remember He is always there for you! Ok I have to go, our district has been asked to clean the temple today!!! can you say mucho animado!!! I want you to know I love you all so much and I hope all is well!!

Love Always and Forever!

Hermana Aubrey Jo England

Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 6 Part 2 in MTC - 12/25/2011

WEEK 6 part 2
Place: Provo MTC
Companions: Hermana Latham and Hermana Thacker
Date: 12/25/2011
Hola Mi Familia!!!!!
FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!! Ok can I just tell you how excited I am that I am able to write you today!!! I really didn't think that we were going to be able to email home today, but I get to so it is so awesome!!! Can I just tell you I have been having one ablsolutely amazing Chirstmas!!! I have learned so many wonderful things and being able to have my focus completely on the Lord makes it one of the best things that I have ever felt in my life. So last night we have a Christmas Eve Devotional where we started out singing some christmas songs and one of the songs I want to share with you, but before I do I need to explain the computer keeps freezing up on me so I hope that you are able to get this letter because everyone is on the computer right now and the internet is freaking out and pausing every 5 seconds it is kind of making me upset but that is just fine I'm choosing to be happy cause I actually get to write home, think of the positive always and your life turns out so much better then focusing on the negative. ok so the song we sung was "For the 12 days of Christmas a missionary needs" and these are the words I love it!
1. a copy of the Book of Mormon
2 Heavy bags
3 meals a day
4 referral calls
5 golden contacts
6 bowls of ice cream
7 sessions planning
8 teachers teaching
9 sisters singing
10 prayers for blessings
11 Elders preaching
12 apostles speaking
Haha I really liked the song cause it awesome and my companions and I were trying to come up with words and now we don't have to we can just sing it now! :) We sing Christmas songs all the time while we do service cleaning the bathrooms it makes it so much fun and the time flies by in no time and it makes it that much more fun. . After we sung the chritsmas songs we had a little play of the Christmas Story while someone read the words from luke and the other scriptures about Chirst's birth. it was very amazing and the spirit was so strong. Later that night we got to watch a movie!! We watched George C. Scott's "A Christmas Carol" It was a really good movie and we had popcorn while we watched it!!! After the movie we went back to our room and we read the christmas story in luke again as a companionship said a companionship prayer and then we laid in bed with Hermana Lathams christmas tree on and I listened to my companions sing Christmas songs and it was so much fun and a really fun night to lay there look at a chirstmas tree and be together. We then woke up in the morning and took pictures with eachother and opened some of our presents and then we got ready and went to breakfast. So it was so much fun after breakfast we got to go and watch music and the spoken word which was really good I have to admit right now but when is it never good, hmm let me think, oh that is right, never!! It is always amazing and I love the message that is share with the beautiful music. After music and the spoken word guess what we had an Apostle come! It was Elder David A. Bednar and his beautiful wife Sister Susan Bednar!! They had sacrement meeting with us and it was the most elders I have ever seen passing the sacrement there was about 80 elders passing the sacrement and about 15 blessing it. But can I just tell you that Sister Bednar and Elder Bednar's talks were so amazing!!! Sister Bednar talked about Missionary work and how we get to go amoung all nations kindreds tongues and people preaching about the birth of Christ and shouting great tidings of great  joy like the angels at Christs birth. Then Elder Bednar was telling me about testimonys and conversion with in yourself I just want to say cause I don't have a lot of time I need to go but It was one of the most amazing talks I have heard and I will have to expalin more later this week and whatever apostle comes tonight!
I love you all so very much and I hope you are all having an amazing christmas and that all is going well here and I can't wait to call you next month, I will be writing again on thursday! Before I sign off I want to echo the words of Tiny Tim from the Christmas Carol "God Bless us Every One!!!"
Love Always and Forever!!
Hermana Aubrey Jo England

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Week 6 in MTC - 12/22/11

Place: Provo MTC
Companions: Hermana Latham y Hermana Thacker
Date: 12/22/11
Buenos Dias Mi Familia!!!!
FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!! wow I really can't believe that Christmas is almost here it is so crazy!! I just want to thank you right from the start, Thank you so much for those packages that you sent me, Oh My that was the biggest stocking I have ever seen in my life!! It was at least 4 feet long if not longer, but it was so awesome to get that and all the treats! I'll admit I did open everything that was in it before Christmas, one becauase mom gave me permission ;) and two she said there was something that needed to be refrigerated so I had to find it, I should have read the card sooner telling me what it was but oops oh well, I loved being able to open all of them! :) Oh and muchas gracias for sending me that music! I'm going to have so much fun playing it!! In a couple weeks Hermana Latham and Elder Stapel are going to be singing a childs prayer in sacrament while I play the piano, they will be singing the first two verses in Espanol and then the last where they combine will be in English it is going to be really cool they are really good so far, I just need to get use to someone singing while I play cause I usually haven't had that happen. Oh so speaking about people singing while I play, guess you just got a calling to be the new piano player for Branch 8? yep that would be me! Can I just tell you it really scared me half to death when they asked me because I'm not the best at playing hymns and the Spanish hymns have a few extra note here and there, but I told them I would and I'm excited for this opportunity cause it will make me better at playing these hymns; and something else so the previous person that played for the Branch was Hermana Waldron and later that night she came to me and handed me a spanish hymn book, she told me that this book has been passed down from each person who has been called to play the piano for that branch and when you recieve it you write you name and mission in the book. So this may sound very weird or it may not, but when that hymn book was placed in my hands the spirit just immediatly came to rushing into me and it was so cool to see all the names written in the book, I am actually number 15 that this book has been passed down too. I'm really excited for this calling and I know that this will be a great opportunity and I know that this will only make me better at playing the hymns as long as I dedicate each and every time I play to the Lord, He will be right by my side helping me play.
So your probably wondering how the goal with speaking todo Espanol week this past week, all I can say is it really didn't go well at all, we as a district pretty much had an epic fail, but this week we made a new goal and we are going to do our best to stick to it and this time there isn't a punishment, we are going to be responsible for our own actions, and just remind others we need to speak spanish on the days we need too, which is going to be every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will be speaking total espanol the entire day no english whatsoever! So this week I would really appriciate if you could keep our district in your prayers, so that we can do our best to speak spanish, cause I know for me it is really hard I'm getting really good at understanding what is being said to me, but when it comes to speaking it, that is really hard, but I know it will just come with time. I've changed my attitude while here in the CCM, instead of being worried about "I need to learn Spanish, I need to learn Spanish" I'm not going to worry about it I'm going to learn as much as I can as I'm learning it, but my main focus while here in the CCM is going to be learning the Doctrine of the Gospel, because that is the most important thing I can do, it isn't going to matter how well my Spanish is if I don't know the Doctrine and can teach people the lessons and things they need to hear in their life, there is really no purpose to that! I know right now I need to learn how to rely on the Spirit to learn what the needs of my investigators are so that I can fulfill my purpose which is bringing others unto Christ.
Oh so speaking about investigators I just have to tell you muchas gracias for sending those christmans M&Ms they came in great handy when we taught out lesson the other day, so we have been teaching Jorge who is a senior in High school and this last lesson we have been teaching him the Commandments, and I taught him about the Law of tithing, I bet you can imagine what I did! Well I still don't know enough spanish to completely explain myself so i brought the m&ms with me and used them as a visual to explain what tithing is, and you are never going to believe this but when I reached into the bag to grab ten m&ms I didn't notice until I handed them to him that there were 9 green and 1 red it was awesome and so not planned!! but after he gave me the one red one I told him that when we pay our tithing God blesses us with many many blessings and I dumped like half of the bag in his hands, and he loved it!! he was acutally eating them in the lesson and after he was passing out them to other elders saying here eat some blessings!! haha! :)
Ok so I'm running out of time so I just want to quickly tell you that I hope you were able to read what I left you last time if you haven't I hope that you will this week cause it is amazing and I have learned so much, Elder L. Whitney Clayton spoke to us this week in our devo. and told us something that an apostle said, he told us that there are many people who complain that others start Christmas too early, but this apostle said "It is never too early to start celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ" I thought that was amazing let us all remember that this Christmas and remember that Wise men still seek him today! Watch the new mormon message it is awesome. Ok I got to go I love you all so much and have a wonderful Christmas!!!!
Feliz Navidad!!
Love always and forever!!
Hermana Aubrey Jo England

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Week 5 MTC - 12/15/11


Place: Provo MTC

Companions: Hermana Latham and Hermana Thacker

Date: 12/15/11

Buenas Dias Mi Familia!!

How is everything going for all of you? I really hope things are going really well! I really cannot believe that it is already p-day again and I'm writing you, it felt as though I just wrote all of you a couple days ago; again time really does fly so fast here. Things here are going absolutely amazing! Oh so I have to tell you about this goal that we have set as a district for this week! So we made a goal that we were going to habla su idioma, or in other words Speak your Language, and we decided to do it all week at all times, so basically the only times we are allowed to talk in English is when we are getting ready in the morning in our dorms, during class intruction, during p-day, during gym, when we talk to someone who doesn't know spanish at all, and at night when we are in our dorms again, other then those things we have been having to speak todo Espanol!! Can I just say it has definitly been more quite this week than it usually is, but I guess not too bad! Oh and hear this we have a punishment if we talk in English, for every word you say in English outside of time that you can speak, you have to either do 5 situps or pushups for each word you say, and it was sad I had to do about 115 sits ups on monday because I caught myself talking english a little to late to an hermana in another district, it wasn't fun having to do that many in gym the next day, but Esta bien it will make me stronger and will give me the encouragement to not speak english and speak Espanol. This goal will definitly be a really good one for us and I feel it is pushing me to learn more words which is nice. Slow and Steady the Spanish is coming but it will come, I know it!!

There are so many things I want to tell you it is crazy but I know I don't have much time but I will try to the best of my ablility to tell you most of the things. So on Sunday for Relief Society we got to hear from Sister Ann Dibb, the Second counselor in the gerneral YW presidency! She was amazing and I guess I didn't put two and two together but I found out that she was the daughter of President Monson, which is so cool!!! After she gave her lesson about the spirit and that by small and simple things great things come, she spent a half an hour more telling us really amazing things about President Monson, things he likes and experiences growing up with her father! It was so amazing and my testimony that President Monson is a Prophet has grown that much stronger!! and after Relief Society we go to go and shake her hand and talk to her which was so amazing! Later that night for our Sunday night devotional we got to hear from the BYU Men's Chorus and they were ablsolutely amazing with their testimonies and the songs they sing it really brought a strong spirit! And it was nice to hear music because while we are in the MTC we can't listen to our music so it is nice to hear any music when you can.

Oh I need to tell you something very important before I continue, if you send anymore packages you need to send them before dec. 23 they will not accept anymore past that date untill next year I think? but I'm pretty sure that is how it is. oh and I Will NOT be able to call you on christmas no one in the MTC calls home on christmas you call in the airport before you leave so I'm going to need a calling card if you could please send me one cause I would really love to call you before I leave in Jan. it is coming really fast it is crazy!! oh and if you could, could you please send me a copy of the music "Child's Prayer" from the childrens hymn book and there is a music piece called "The Power of His Love" it is on a black contruction paper, and it is either in the piano bench up stairs or downstairs on the piano. if you could find that I would really appriciate it cause I really want to play it for Sacrament meeting and have my hermanas sing along, they sing so beautiful and we want to do something for Sacrament! I really hope you can find them if not let me know, oh and I was stupid and didn't bring the book that has my address in Chile and the check off list could you send that too so that I have the address to give to people here. I would really appriciate it!

Ok really quick before time is up. so On tuesday for devotional we got to hear from Sister Elaine S. Dalton and can I just say she was absolutely amazing and said exactly what I needed to hear, one of the elders in our district called her "the female version of Elder Holland" haha! :) She was so powerful and told us many great things about spiritual gifts and our endowment and missionary work and how they all go together. She told us that Christ gives us so many gifts this christmans season and always with the many spiritual gifts we have or obtain over time. Which is so true. Sorry I'm running out of time so I can't completely tell you all she said, but I would really highly encourage that this week you all join me in reading the Christmas story with me and learning about Christ in Matt. 1:18-25 and ch. 2 Luke1:26-55 and ch 2:1-20, Helamen 14:2-8 1nephi 11:8-23 please join me along and read these this week and I will talk about it next week in what I learend and I would love to hear from you. Sorry times up!!

Love Always and Forever

Hermana Aubrey Jo England

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Week 4 in MTC - 12/08/2011

Place: Provo MTC
Companions: Hermana Thacker and Hermana Latham
Date: 12/8/2011
Hola Familia!!!!
         How is everyone doing? I really hope that everything is going well!!! So this week has been super awesome! Like everyweek is in the CCM. I really can't believe that it is already my fourth week here!! Time is flying by so fast! and yet it isn't. What we like to say is that "the days pass like weeks and the weeks pass like days" it is so true, I mean time here is blended so much that you can't remember if you had lunch or not. Oh by the way Muchas Gracias for the pictures that you sent me!!!! I love being able to see your faces each morning as I'm getting ready! Oh so do you want to know one good things about P-Day besides that I get to write my awesome familia and I get a day of rest, the next coolest thing is that we get to sleep in until 6:30! so it doesn't seem like that much of a difference from 6:00 in the morning but trust me it is nice to have 30 extra minutes to sleep. we usually have to wake up at 6 because a half and hour is definilty not enough time we have figured out to get ready, be out the door and in our class room at 7. so we all decided it would be better to get up at 6 so that is what we have been doing, and it works great!!
       So last P-Day I got to go to the temple!!!! I love, love, love the Provo Temple!!! It is so beautiful inside and I loved being about to go and do an endowment session with mi companions and the district! it was such a needed thing to revitalize myself. I just love being able to go to the temple and do the work that needed to be down for someone who as passed on, it is fun to see the name that you get and while your in the chaple to think of them and wonder about who they were and what their life was like. Which reminds me of something, so on Sunday we has a mission conference and one of the speakers that spoke was President and sister Wilkens, and something that Sister Wilkens said just popped into my mind, she told us that her granddaughter looked at her one day and told her "Grandma I want to be just like you!" isn't that so sweet!!! Then she posed this question to us, which was "What do you want your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren and others to remember you for?" I started thinking about that seriously throughout the week and I'm still thinking about it, but I hope for one thing that they will be able to remember me as someone who was strong in the faith! Which also reminds me of the movie 17 Miracles, which by the way we got to watch here and it was really fun to watch again, we got to watch it on Thanksgiving!! but one part I liked was when the older pioneers were saying things of what they wanted their family to remember before they were gone and it really makes you think, how people will remember you when you are gone and I don't mean just passed away but when you aren't in their lifes any more, such as I'm only going to be in Chile for 18 months and I hope that I will be a good example for the Lord and people can see in my eyes the love I have and the love our Heavenly Father has for them!! President Hollister came and talked to us again, and he is such an amazing man!!! He told us that "You won't know the effect you have on many people until after your gone!" He gave us a hypothetical situation where say I was in a park and was talking to a man whose name is Jose and handed him a pamphlet and we didn't here from him again, but President Hollister said that one day a boy will come up to you and say Hermana England how are you doing? and you aren't going to know this boy but he will say "I know you don't know me but do you remember being in a park and talking to a man Jose? and I'll say yes of course I remember. Then the boy will tell me well that man thought about your messages for many years and ten years after your encounter in the park he decided to learn more about the church and was baptized and not long after found a wonderful woman and was married in the temple and has had many kids and grandkids who have gone one missions and through the temple, and I want to let you know that I am the Grandson of Jose, and I want to thank you for talking with him that day in the park, getting to know him and handing him that pamphlet, He still talks about you!!" When President Hollister told us that I was filled with the spirit with excitement and I'm really happy to be on my mission!!
I'm running out of time, but I just want you all to remember how much I love each of you and how much of a wonderful example that you are in my life and I want to tell each of you personally, dad and mom and my grandparents that "I want to be just like you!!!" I will be writing by responses to all your letters today so you should get them hopefully soon. I love you all and I'm sorry I don't have more time to talk and that this email makes sense as you read it cause I don't have time to look over it. I love you all again, God Speed
Love Always and Forever!!
Hermana Aubrey Jo England

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Week 3 MTC - 12/01/2011

Place: Prove CCM
Companions: Hermana Thacker and Hermana Latham
Date: 12/01/11
Hola Mi Familia!!!
               How has everything been going for you all? I really hope things are going a bit smoother than they have been. Things here at the CCM are amazing!!! oh and by the way CCM does not at this point mean Chile Concepcion Mission; at this point it still means MTC it is just the Spanish way to say MTC. So I have been dying all week to tell you everything that happened last week with Thanksgiving. Can I just say it was Super, Super Bien!!!! We got to hear from two apostles which is such a treat, we heard from Elder D. Todd Christofferson, and Elder Russel M. Nelson, both of these men and their wifes are so amazing and taught really wonderful things to learn about. Something the Elder Christofferson told us about that I thought was really cool and hadn't thought about before is that; we as missionaries not only have the companions that we are put with during our missions but we also that each member in the 70, the 12 apostles and the first Presidency are our companions as well! Isn't that so cool!!? :) So I have many, many companions!! and Elder Christofferson also told us that they give us as missionaries the Apostolic authority to teach, and we share that authority with them, and I thought that we the most amazing of it all! Elder Nelson also spoke to us and he has a messages for each of you at home that he wanted me to tell you personally! He wanted me to tell each of you THANK YOU! He wanted to thank each of you for supporting me while I'm on my mission and letting me come on my mission to preach the gospel. And I just want to send the love that both Elder Nelson and Elder Christofferson have for each of you!
          So Thanksgiving was awesome, we had a wonderful Turkey dinner and we got to do a cool service project as well, we made 8000 first aid kits to be sent to somewhere in Africa, it was so much fun to make all of those and to talk and sing with all the missionaries, yeah it was awesome they played different versions of primary songs while we were putting them together it was really awesome!! Thanksgiving was great! and I'm glad to hear that you guys had a good Thanksgiving as well!
        Oh quickly I would like to tell you, I don't have many of the addresses for people to send them any letters too, and so if there is anyone waiting for a letter from me and hasn't already gotten one it is because through all the hustle of moving here to the MTC they got misplaced somewhere, so if you could write me a letter so that I have your addresses please, I would really like to recieve some letters it is my only connection to the outside world at this point. Amy and Danny I am in the proccess of sending you a reply to your letters you should hopefully get them by tomorrow or Saturday, and Nanny you should have a letter coming as well. but I really need your addresses if you want me to write you, I'm very grateful for the few letters that I have recieved from all of you. oh and Dear Elder if that would be easier for any of you is a great way to send a letter to me, if you write it by 2:00pm I'll get your letter that night when Elder Lowery gets the mail. It is crazy that we have to wait till 9:15 to get our letters you should have seen the Elders last night, they were litterally bouncing off the walls and counting down as if it were New Years waiting for the mail, and to be honest I was a little of the same way.
Just so that you know I am not able to use the here at the MTC so I''m not really sure how I''m suppose to get pictures to you except for printing a few and sending them to you through the mail. I''m sorry that is is that way, hopefully things will be different when I get to Chile! oh and if you could please send me a pair of shoes that are flats, size 9 or 9 1/2, preferably in black, the reddish shoes that I have, I don''t know why but I have nearly twisted my ankle at least 6 times already and I''m lucky I haven''t broken it yet, the Lord really does bless his missionaries. 
I really hate this time limit because there is so much I want to tell you but I don''t have time, so if you guys write me the letters I can tell you more when I reply back to you. I just want you all to know that I love you so very much and that I miss you all! It is great being here and being able to learn the language, even though it is really hard at times and I feel like jumping out the classroom window, I know this is just a short time and I will understand it as long as I have patience, I''m just still trying to figure out my learning style, but it is coming along real well! Ok times up, Love you all and hope things are going well!
Love Always and Forever, 
Hermana Aubrey Jo England