June 23, 2013

Monday June 17, 2013

Here's the email from last week. I'm late posting it because I was at Girl's Camp all week.
Mama Jacobs
Hello all!!
I loooooove Georgia!!!

The last few days at the MTC were super tender. It was really good though. We got pictures with our district and our teachers on Monday and I spent the rest of the day tearing up. Man. Goodbyes are no bueno for me.

And then Tuesday happened!!! We woke up at 2am, got to the airport at like 5 and then got on our plane at 8! I remember seeing the Salt Lake Temple as we took off and thinking of the fond memories I've made there over the years. Another tender moment.

Most of the missionaries were sitting with other missionaries on the plane... but I wasn't! There was a family of 5 sitting all along the row, so I got the window seat (score!). At first their little girl was sitting next to me. She thought I was scary. Haha. About 10 minutes into the plane ride, they switched around and the Mom sat next to me. We talked quite a bit. She was from Puerto Rico and was in town for her nephew's high school graduation. He has his mission call to Hong Kong. I really liked her. I almost spoke with her in Spanish, but I could barely hear her in English. Anyway, I talked with her, caught up on my journal and caught a couple hours of sleep. When we landed in Georgia it was 1:45pm. Sister Adorable led all 19 of us (there were 19 staying in Georgia but closer to 50 missionaries on the plane going to various places) to the baggage claim where we met President Wolfert and his wife! It was weird to see them in person, haha. But I love them! It took 3 vehicles to take us all back to the mission home. President got individual pictures of us, had interviews and then we had dinner together! It was so awesome. The Assistants talked to us for a bit and I loved it. Even as they talked to us, as missionaries, I noticed different teaching techniques they teach in the MTC. It was cool. I took notes. :)

That night we were told our areas and our trainers names. I've been assigned to the Webb Bridge Ward in the Roswell Stake in Alpharetta, Georgia! My trainer is Sister Loader from all over the place. Her dad was in the air force. Her most recent residence? Pleasant Grove, Utah. Hold. the phone. I thought to myself.
I asked her where she graduated from high school. Pleasant Grove. What year? 2011. (That's where Ashley went to high school and the same year that she graduated.)

I've never seen her before in my life! Granted, she was only there for a year, but I still don't believe her.  That's a lie. I believe her now. It just took me until she started talking about the teachers there before I believed her. She's been out for 3 months. She just barely finished her own 12 week training and now she's on the other end of it training me! Crazy, right?!

On Wednesday they gave us a bit of information and then sent us on our way! Sister Loader is new to the Webb Bridge area. In fact, we're the first sister missionaries they've had! President gave Sister Loader a packet that had the address of our apartment, the keys to the car (oh yeah. we have a car) and said, "go get em!"

We got to our apartment and cried. It is soooo nice! The ward left notes all over the walls and stocked the cupboards and fridge with food. It was the most humbling experience. And I didn't realize that they furnished the place until yesterday when a gentleman came up to us and said, "I donated one of my desks! I hope you like it!" Such a generous ward. Family, I'm being taken care of, don't you worry. I just hope that I can meet their expectations of what a sister missionary should be like.

Well, because we're new, we don't have any investigators and our Area Book (book of potential investigators from the previous missionaries) is blank! So on Friday we decided to really hit the ground running! We did like 4 hours of tracting that day and found like 5 possible investigators! Peyton has met with us once and is letting us come back and then Blair wanted us to come back, but when we stopped by her place last night we found out that she's in the hospital. So we're praying for her and hoping that she's okay.
Other than that, we've been trying to get to know lots and lots of members.

Every night we have dinner with the Elders at a member's home. I'm telling you. This ward is amazing.  The elders are Elder Anderson from Mississippi and Elder Buhler from (get this) Pleasant Grove, Utah. Um... yeah. 3 out of the 4 missionaries in the same ward graduated from the same high school the same year.
They're really great.

Yesterday church was great. Bishop had both me and Sister Loader bear our testimonies, which was pretty simple. We expected it. The meeting was great and so was the rest of the block! After church we stayed for about an hour so I could practice the piano. I'm playing the opening and closing hymns at our district meeting on Tuesday. I'm so glad I brought that simplified piano book with me. It's already been helpful! It's been a great week!
Here are some answers to questions that I've been getting a lot:
Humidity? The humidity is great!!! Everyone told me I'd hate it and it'd be the worst ever... but it's not nearly as bad as everyone makes it seem! I might be eating my words in a month or two... but right now it's great!
Bike? My bike is awesome! Buuuuut... we have a car. In fact, my trainer hasn't used her bike yet, but her last area didn't really allow it... so we'll see what ends up happening there. The elders are super excited that we have a car. We give them rides. A lot.
Music? I didn't end up singing at the MTC Devotional, but I did a little musical number in sacrament meeting at the MTC. So fun. Actually, on Thursday we did a little bit of tracting and guess what we did? We sang the song "I am a Child of God" at the door. Did it work? Not yet! But it will. I'm excited to try it again.
Mail? My address will always and forever be:
Sister Ashley Jacobs
1150 Cole Drive SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
They forward everything so it takes about a week for me to get snail mail. Transfer weeks they hold the mail from Thursday/Friday until all of the missionaries have been switched around. So that means I won't ever lose mail because of transfers! Woot! Also send packages to that address. I don't really know how that all works, but packages take a bit longer. I think they're hand delivered at zone conferences or something. I'm still confused about it. Oh well. I had a couple of videos that I wanted to send but I couldn't... so if you could post them on the blog when I mail home the USB, that'd be great! Thanks!
I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!
~Sister Jacobs

Sister Jacobs & her companion Sister Brown

Sister Delci Brown & Sister Jacobs (College roommates)

Sister Bryant (Ashley's aunt) & Sister Jacobs in the MTC

President & Sister Wolfert & Sister Jacobs 
at the mission home in Lilburn, GA

Sister Jacobs with the group of  22 missionaries that arrived 
in the Georgia, Atlanta North Mission on June 11th, 2013.

June 17, 2013

Letter from the Atlanta North Mission Home

Sat. June 15, 2013

We received a letter from Ashley from her first night in the mission home in Georgia!
Written Tues. Jun 11, 2013 from the mission home:

Family! I'm sorry for not calling you when I made it but . . . I made it! Guess what, I forgot to say this morning?! Happy Father's Day! In not gonna have a P-day between now and then and I meant to say it this morning  . . . . but I was so rushed at the airport and it slipped my mind.

It's so green here! Trees everywhere! The first thing I noticed when we descended on the plane was the popcorn clouds (love them) and the next was the trees. I'm already dreading returning to the lack of trees in Utah.

The lady I talked to on the plane was from Puerto Rico. I almost asked her if we could speak in Spanish,  but I chickened out! I know Dad, I should've done it, but . . . oh well. Her nephew is serving on Hong Kong. She was super sweet. I also slept some on the plane and got caught up on my journaling. I only slept 2 hours last night! The homes here are so cool! They're so ... SOUTHERN! I LAUV it! Big porches and lots of steps, brick, porch swings, and lemonade!

Guess what?! I just got my area and trainer assignment! Sister Loader is my trainer and I'll be serving in the Webb Bridge Area in the Roswell Ward and Roswell Stake. Which is super cool because I totally ran into a kid from there at the MTC! I'm really excited to show his parents the picture we took. :-)

Time for bed!
Love ya'll, Sister Jacobs

The Great State of Georgia!

June 13, 2013

Bye Bye Utah - Hello Georgia!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Early this morning, we received a delightful phone call from Sister Jacobs! It was so wonderful to hear her voice and to learn of all the fun things going with her experience at the MTC. I could literally 'see' her smile through the phone. She was traveling with a group of 20 or so missionaries going to the Georgia, Atlanta North Mission as well as many others who were stopping for a lay-over in Atlanta & then continuing on to other parts of the South. She sounded excited and happy. We (the family) wanted to talk a lot longer, but  Ashley told us she wanted to share the phone with other missionaries who needed to call their families. Her voice cracked just a bit at the end and then she said she needed to go. I think it was getting a little emotional and she wanted to stay strong. Even though Lincoln & Lexy and I would have loved to talk longer, we understand and agreed.

I used 'Flight Tracker' on my smart phone to watch her plane travel the approximate 3 hours from here to Georgia. I even texted her brother, Tyler and his wife Andrea, who are in Tennessee

for the summer, to let them know that Ashley was flying over head. I was satisfied when the plane landed and knew that she would be meeting her mission president soon.

The rest of the day, I kept thinking about the things that she would be experiencing at the Mission Home, having an interview with her Mission President and his wife and then tomorrow meeting her trainer and her shiny new bike! I'm so grateful for this time in my life that I can be here to share in this incredible experience that my daughter is having. Hooray for missions and hooray for sister missionaries! :-)

Sister Ashley Jacobs

June 7, 2013

First Email from the MTC

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Today we were thrilled get our first email from Sister Jacobs from the MTC. It didn't come until 2:30 this afternoon and I was going a little crazy checking my email all day long for it! Hahaha! She sounds great and I just love hearing from that girl!

Hi! I'm alive!
First of all, this is gonna be super rushed. I have a cute little countdown in the corner telling me that I only have 23:08 minutes left. No pressure! I can't figure out how to send pictures, and I don't have time to either! So, you'll get some my first Pday (preparation day) in the field! (5 days to Georgia!)

Things are great! My district has 11 members. 6 sisters and 5 elders. My comp is Sis Smith from Beaver. She's adorable! I love her soooo much! We get a long super well. The other sisters are... Pabst (from Logan), Larsen (from Idaho), Adorable (Ah-door-ah-bleh from Dallas) and Grimnes (from Logan). Love them all. But I love Sister Smith best. So it's a good thing we're companions :) Our Elders are... Barber (Syracuse), Fowers (Syracuse), Garner (Layton), Freeman (Salt Lake) and Court (Pleasant Grove). Elders Freeman and Court are our Mercy and Justice companionship (haha). Apparently Elder Court and I went to high school for 2 years together... who knew?! More details about them later!

So guess what? Missionary work is... WORK! I love it!! I really do! We get to spend day-in and day-out feeling the spirit, telling people we love them and learning about the Gospel that is, and always will be, my life! So cool, right?!

Our TRC (teaching resource center at the MTC) investigator's name was Arnold. He's like 65 and loooves outdoors. Why do I tell you this? Because teaching him was theee most awesome experience of my life! Sister Smith related to him cause she grew up on a farm and I related to him because I'm dealing with some of the same stuff he dealt with years and years ago. (PS Mom, he says get better!!). I love him. I learned a lot from him. Mostly that he may not be a real investigator, but you can bet he's a real person! And he's a son of God! And Heavenly Father loves him! And I got to feel that! Coolest thing ever! That's the most exciting thing that's happened all week. Other than that, our teachers tell us that we're doing well... so I'll take their word for it, but I'm no where near where I want to be. Figures, right?

I'm trying to follow Pres. Corbridges' (our Stake President) advice about patience with myself, haha :)
I've seen sooo many people from home and school and other things here at the MTC. I kept track of how many people I've seen (teachers, missionaries and others..) and I've seen like 20! It's the best.
My favorite thing is seeing someone I know and forgetting their last name. I'm all "Hey! Sister...... hey!!" and then I have to get closer to remember their last names. Baha. It's the greatest!

On Tuesday I leave for Georgia. My flight is at 7, so I'll probably call between 6 and 7. I know it's early... but it's all I've got! I don't know any other details... but I'll write you when I figure it out for sure!
Sorry to all of you wonderful family and friends that I haven't been able to email individually! This has been theeee fastest 30 minutes of my life!

I love you all and I'll chat with you next week-ish!
~Sister Jacobs.

June 4, 2013

Two Official 'Ashley Sightings'

June 3, 2013

We are blessed to have several friends who volunteer with the missionaries at the Provo MTC. Lincoln and I put the word out that Ashley was at the MTC and for them to look out for her. Friday night some friends saw us at a wedding reception and told us that they had seen Ashley at the MTC and had taken pictures of her and her companion. It made me so tender to see Ashley's beautiful smiling face!

Then Sunday morning, another couple from our home ward ran into Ashley & her companion and they sent us a picture. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, it's so true. I knew that Ashley would thrive in the MTC, but it did my heart good to see it for myself!

Sister Jacobs & Sister Smith

First Letter from the MTC!

We received our first letter from Sister Jacobs in the Provo, MTC on Monday, June 3rd! It was great to hear from her, but we won't get any emails until this coming Thursday. Patience is a virture!

Here it is:
May 29, 2013
Hi! I made it through day one! Woot woot! My companion is Sister Smith from Beaver, UT. I like her. J The rest of our district is cool. I can’t name all of the elders & sisters though. Too much thinking, haha.
Guess where I’m living? The MTC! Up. Main campus, So…I still don’t know what’s up with the address. Meh. It’s all good. Pday is Thursday, but tomorrow isn’t a Pday for us. Basically, it’s gonna be the best week! Really, though. J
Guess who I saw at dinner?! Sister Delci Brown! (Ashley’s roommate from her freshman year at Utah State). I was walking with my comp to grab our stuff and head back to the room and out of the corner of my eye I see this sister bee-lining it my way. I was about to move out of the way when I saw that it was no other than, the Delc-Master herself! I gave her the biggest hug ever! She kept saying, “I'm gonna cry, I’m gonna cry!” Yeah. We both cried. And then I looked up and some Elders were clapping, so I pointed it out to Delci and she said, “Oh yea, they’re in my district. They all know that I’ve been searching for you all day!” I love that girl, so stinkin’ much!
Anyway, it’s lights out and I’m beat. I love you lots!

-Sister Jacobs

June 2, 2013

MTC Drop Off Day

Wed.. May 29, 2013

It was a beautiful day when we dropped Sister Jacobs off at the Provo MTC. We went to lunch first and then headed to Provo for the 'Drop Off.' Here grandparents were with us and her best friend, Rachel, too. We parked at the parking lot above the MTC where we got out to take pictures and say our final good-byes. Seeing all the families hugging their missionaries tugged at my heart strings, but I was bound and determined not to cry like a baby! She was so excited. It was difficult watching her and Rachel say goodbye. Rachel leaves in 3 weeks to serve in Peru. As I hugged my girl, I tried to transfer all of the love, support, and confidence that I have for her through that hug. When I felt tears starting to flow, I quickly stopped the hug and said, "Come on Sister Jacobs, let's do this thing!" She smiled big, wiped her tears, and off we went. 
She was greeted by another cute Sister Missionary who introduced herself and helped Ashley with her luggage. I had the camera and was taking pictures as Ashley said good-bye to Rachel and her dad, one more time. Ashley didn't linger. She was ready to go forth and serve. 

I love my daughter so much and am so excited for the wonderful experiences that await her as the Lord molds her and refines her through the service of the people of Georgia.

Ashley & Lexy - Seesters!

Sister Jacobs & Rachel - Best Friends

Grandpa & Grandma Kimmell

Mom & Dad

Daddy - Daughter Bond

"Let's do this thing!"