January 1, 1998

Well, here I am... I don't really have much time to say anything except that we (my roommates) all seem to get along quite well. I am trying to get into the hang of the times to wake up and sleep and all of that... but the food is good. The thing that I am worried about is that I am starting to feel a shy bit homesick which is strange for me because I am always away from home... But then I guess that I always have had the chance to call home. Anyway, life is good, the teachers are great, even if they do contradict everything that my past teachers have taught me... It is getting late, so I should probably be going to bed, but fear not because I will be back a lot, you see, I have a lot more space to fill up with the transcript of my life. I shall return, Jake

January 4, 1998

Hola mi amigo! Yo damo gracias por todo el dia! And in case I have lost you (being that I truly don't understand what I am saying either) let me translate. Hello, my friend, I am thankful for this day! Now, moving on... So far the day has gone well, and I know that it should here at the MTC, but I wanted to let you know that I was enjoying myself. I probably shouldn't spend to much time in this journal fir I do have a lot of people to write to, but I suppose that can wait. Anyhow, I think that I am doing better witht the homesick thing, I have found that as time goes by, the constant reminiscing of ffamily and friends turns into a vacant lot of my mind leaving room for spanish and the gospel. Elder Warren, one of my roomates just told me that he thought that it was about time to be going, so I will write in later to let you know how things are going... Bye the way - I woke up at 5:30 today and church meetings started at 6:30. So it has been a busy Sunday. Adios o Chowsita mi amigo, Jake

January 8, 1998

Well, here I am again, I am sorry that it takes me so long to write in, but you know how these missionary days go... I don't even sleep enough, but anyway, I just wanted to write something down in here so that I don't forget it... This thought came to me last night as I was in bed and so I wrote it down on a scratch pad so that I could tell you about it today. And now, here you are...

I didn't realize until now, but I am here right now because I want my Heavenly Father to be able to tell me that he is proud of me, and as he gives me a hug of love, with tears streaming down his cheeks, I want to hear him whisper in my ear, "Well done my son, well done."

Well, it is time for me to go ahead and end today's entry because it is now time to study the scriptures and I don't want to miss out on anything so wonderful like that, but fear not, I shall return. !Chowsita! Jake

January 9, 1998

Hola, como estas usted? I don't really have much to say about today except that I have been here for an official week and now I am starting to have my sleepless nights catch up with me, but no worries, I will do better and catch up with my sleep in between one of our many breaks on Sunday... Well it is time to go now, but for future reference, I think that I will be able to write in my journal during personal goal acheivement time, right after lunch, so for tonight, goodnight. Jake
Oh - before I forget, I just wanted to let you know that I have already made my list of people that I have to write to and what questions I need to answer for them. Maybe this will help me get my letters written faster, or at least I hope so... Anyhow, adios my dear friend, adios, ME

January 10, 1998

Well, I think I blew it yesterday, I was trying to get to sleep still around 11:30 last night and the other Elders were still up and being loud, so I covered my head with my pillow and then tried to sleep, but they were so loud that the pillow didn't help much, so when I started having trouble breathing from under the pillow, I got kind of mad and sat up and asked them if they knew it was 11:30 at night, and then I said I was sorry but if they could please finish their conversation and not go into another topic, I would appreciate it. Well, the quit what they were saying right then and there and the room got very quiet, and I have felt bad ever since, because I did kind of ask in a rude manner. Oh well! I really did need to sleep, but I suppose I shall appololgize. I'll write in later and let you know how it goes!

Supplemental January 10, 1998

Well, it went well, and we seem to have mended our differences, so that is good, but anyway, last night I only had to cough a few times to get them to go to bed and if that is all that it takes, I will be a happy camper - well - I suppose I shall write today's items in now in the right place, adios.

January 11, 1998

Well, here I am again, today has been much better than yesterday so I have an optimistic outlook on life. Yesterday I was really worried about Elder Spencer, he seemed to be fighting a war within himself, but now I think that I can help him through whatever is troubling him. I wrote a little letter to the Stake President asking him for guidance, we will just have to wait and see what his response is... But President Adams did come up to me in Sacrament Meeting and said that he was glad I wrote to him, and that I should hang in there and keep helping out my companion... Which I intend to do... On a more pleasant note, the (almost entire) district went up to the temple grounds for a walk and we all got lots of pictures... I love my district so much, it has become a second family to me and it is going to be hard for me to leave them when the time comes for me to go down to McAllen, Texas... But I have faith that the lord will bless me with strength. Adios my friend. Jake

January 12, 1998

Hi again! And here I am, back in the class during personal study time. I just spent about twenty minutes on reading the Book of Mormon, it is truly a marvelous book! I find that as I read it in class, and any time here in the MTC, I just love almost all of it. I find it so refreshing to have found a joy in this wonderous book. I was just reading in 2 Nephi Chapter 9 and I have just about highlighted the entire book... I had to stop myself before I got carried away, and even now, as I reflect on what I have read and then glimpse over the chapter, I find more things that are in need of being highlighted! There, now I think that I have gotten about all of it, well at least for now. Oh well, I am out of space for now, but I shall return Silly Goose. Jake

January 13, 1998

Okay, here I am again, just like I promised. But anyway, I just wnted to let you know that if I mess up with my writing it is because I am in 18M - the place for Large Group Meetings, and I am on the bleachers, so I am not exactly on the sturdiest of things, and I am getting bumped around alot also - but anyway, now for the new news... I have officially joined the QUAD pluma club - or in english, Club of the four colored pens... and in case you didn't notice, I am using mine right now. I don't know how all of this got started, but it did, and now almost everyone in the class has one of these pens... It's become our trademark of sorts... And just one more thing before I finish, I just wanted to let you know that Elder Ferrin, my first AP is leaving tomorrow morning for his mission in Russia, hopefully I will be as prepared as he is, but only time will tell, thank you for your interest, and I will try to write in more fun stuff tomorrow, Jake.

January 15, 1998

Well, here I am again! (of course I am, you'd think that I could come up with something better) Well, anyway, I just thought that I would stop in for a moment... You see, I stayed in from Gym because I haven't been feeling to well, it is kind of like I have a stomach ache, but I don't know, anyhow, I think that I will try to take a nap, because I truly am quite tired, so anyway, I will write back later to let you know what happens, but before I go, I wanted to let you know what my mom wrote to me from home... She said that the Bishop quoted my letter in Sacrament Meeting and also that the boys were doing better with church being at a later time, oh and the other neat news is that Michael can now count to 50 on his own. I am so proud of him, but anyway, I will write in later tonight - adios

Okay, I am back, the doctor didn't think that I needed any meds, like I told them! But then again, she didn't think that I was sick either... and I know that I am. Oh well, so much for that excursion, I'll catch you later... bye. Jake

January 18, 1998

Hola mi amigo... So glad to have you back again. Just thought that I would check in with you to let you know what is going on with my life in my neck of the woods... So anyway, lets begin... The only major news is that I the MTC will now be an eleven week experience instead of the anticipated eight weeks due to a change in the teaching program. Anyhow, let's see, what else, Oh yes, believe it or not, I actually got a nap today, yes it was only a half of an hour, but oh the difference... Sunday is the only relaxing day here at the MTC, and it is also the day that I write to the family... Ooops, looks like the devotional is starting, so I will have to get back to you a little later to let you know what else is up.

Sorry, ran out of time and I must go to bed now, it is 10:30 - adios - Jake

January 23, 1998

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you, I will try no to ever let that much time go by again in between journal entries - because - when I do - I seem to forget what has happened over the last few days... You see, the days all seem to run together here at the MTC, and to tell you the truth, I am starting to have problems with telling the different days apart now. I know it's terrible but I just can't help it. It seems like you never see the sun rise or set in this place, and the only outside sun you get to see here is the sun that makes it through the tinted windows. Anyhow, lets move on to a more interesting topic... Starting Monday, my entire district will be speaking only spanish to one another... yes that includes practicing the discussions, singing, praying, talking and everything in between. Oh well, it is all good I suppose and the teacher said that once we start speaking only spanish, our ability will go right through the roof. As for the other news, there is none except that my room was found commendable in every way - which is a first so that means that in three weeks, you can outsmart the cleaning inspection... because you learn to throw it all in the closet, he he he he he, I'll be back! Love, Jake

January 27, 1998

Yes, I know that I promised that I would be back again soon, but apparently I have enven less time here than I thought. :) But anyhow, I wanted to share with you my first experience in an all english, oops, pardon me - I mean all spanish class. Le me tell you, it was a nightmare! I thought that I was going to loose my mind by the end of the class. The whole time I was practically lost. I did not have a clue as to what was going on at all during the entire class. I am so lost - but it was a humbling experience. I hated not being able to share my feelings about the topic, I hated it. Anyhow, I don't know what else to say about that experience so let us now move on.

One of the things that you might be interested in is that Elder M. Russell ballard is about to come in to talk to our group and I am only about six feet from where he is going to be talking to us. I will let you know what he says to us in just a minute. Well he just came, extended the love of the First Presidency and said hello and then left the room for the main froomn, wow, what a spirit he brought in with him, I love it, be back soon. Love, Jake.

Supplemental January 27, 1998

Yes, can you believe it, twice in one day, I know, it is even hard for me to believe and right after I got done telling you that I don't have time for this. But I am back because I wanted to share an experience with you.

I was converted yet again! Just like the last time that Heavenly Father was with us. And I knew that I was loved and that Heavenly Father was proud of me, andall of the sudden, my time was well spent. I found a great love for all tonight and I discovered that I had a soul I had never known before. I had a great gift from Heavenly Father and I hadn't ever used it before. It made me realize that I have so much to offer and I am so very thankful for the love that the district has for one another and I want you to know that this very night I came to love the district all over again. I realized that, just like Elder Wood said, "We have formed a life-long and eternal friendship that will never fade. I love you, I truly do, and so does Heavenly Father. Adieu, Jake.

January 28, 1998

I got to thinking and I don't recall telling you that last night at the end of the devotional, I got to "shake" Elder Ballard's hand. you see, he held out his hand from the podium and shook it about in the air, while telling all of the missionaries out in the audience to do the same thing. Thus, we shook hands together. But now, on to the other (better?) news... Today we went to the temple and found ourselves doing baptisms. I actually got to do the confirming and the baptizing. It was wonderful. I also got to do the proxy work, but I really enjoyed being able to DO the work.

Another little tidbit for the day is that I was number 500 through the sack lunch line. Not that I got anything special for it, but it sure made the day for the lady that was scanning the ID cards... However, besides that, I don't hink that I have any other new news because it is only 8:18 a.m. Isn't it amazing how much can happen and how many experiences we get every day... Just think about all of the life stories there are out here on this earth... All I can say is wow! Well, I am out of space. Adieu, Jake

January 29, 1998

Salutations! I had a few minutes left over from dinner-time so I thought that I would stop in and just quickly let you know that I am craving mail... I only got one short note from Grandma Pugsley, the one person who writes constantly... anyhow, I only got one letter today so i am feeling somewhat left out. A funny little tidbit to note is that new news has a hard time getting into the MTC but that once it is in, we just can't get enough of it... The whole message spreads like wildfire and is considered the whole truth until the next wave comes in.... Yes, I am speaking in regards to the whole President Clinton impeachment thing... all I want to know is if this is something that he can lie his way out of or if it is really going to nail him... Well anyway, I don't really have that much else to say except that I have recruited T~ to smuggle star Trek into the MTC for me, hey, what are friends for? Well I am out of room... chow! Jake.

January 30, 1998

Well, I think that class has finally gone crazy - you see today Hermana Barlow brought a stuffed Tony the Tiger doll to class and by the end of the night we were all laughing hysterically at Elder Kammerer and Elder Spencer who put on a puppet show with the tiger and a tie... It was very interesante! Anyhow, just wanted to let you know what I was up to... Oh one other thing that happened today is that Elder Nunnery and Elder Purcell got the entire class a little gift... It was neat - there was a peppermint patty, a picture of Joseph Smith, an Ensign article about doing what is right, and a sheet of smiling face stickers. Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that I was alive and that not much happened today, infact, I wasn't even going to write in my journal until I saw the "Write in you journal" reminder note stuck on the desk light, and yes, I started to feel a shy bit guilty, and thus, here I be! Happy Journal reading and hopefully I can come up with something better tomorrow... Adieu, Jake