Baptism picture received July 22, 2013

Baptism picture received July 22, 2013

Our first picture of Sister Vanderhoef with her companions at a baptism – BEAUTIFUL!


July 2013

So, I can not believe it is July and this very loving, well-intentioned Mom has not updated Jessica’s blog since Mother’s Day – that is just plain embarrassing.  But she sounds so happy.  The is one very grateful mother that her daughter has spent the last 4 months doing something way out of her comfort zone and blessing the lives of so many people (including her own) in the process.  So yes, as of July 13th, 3 more days it will be 4 months out and 14 more to hug her mother in person.  Her is a brief summary of some of the letters we have received. 

April 29th: Sister Vanderhoef is in Biddeford, Maine (still)

She found a fun candy store.  It’s in old Orchard Beach which is the Elder’s area so they don’t get to it very often but it has bulk candy.  It has really soft sour watermelon candy (one of her favorites) and Boston Baked Beans (Dad’s favorite).  The ocean is so annoying.  It is so pretty, that Jessica wants to sit there all day long and listen to the waves, but of course she can not.  She knows she definitely wants to live by the ocean after she is done freezing in Logan.  (ok, we are switching to first person, it will be easier)

There are so many birds out here.  I love it!  I see cardinals every time we go to Brother Smith’s house for coordination meeting.  I also saw a wild turkey.  I had no idea they were even out here.  The Elders and Bro. Smith gave me a funny look when I got excited about the turkey. 

June 17th:

We have 3 investigators:  Madison is 10; Milton is a former investigator we picked back up; and Linda.  This transfer is going to be crazy.  For some reason it seems like adding a 3rd person makes us look overwhelming.  (This was Jessica’s 3rd 6 week rotation)  The first time, she was with a trainer, the 2nd time she was a trainer and the 3rd time she was a trainer again but for 2 sisters instead of one)  So this meant going through the 12-week program in 6 weeks for a third time.  I guess they spend a lot of time studying together.

June 24th:

Things have been good.  right now we’re sitting on some rocks at the beach.  They’re really cool.  It’s nice because it is hidden away so we don’t have yucky people here.  (yes, I am using the ‘real’ words)  We got 2 new investigators this week:  Harvey and Shanna.  Harvey is 16;  his family is semi-active.  Shanna is 15. She and her mom just moved to Maine from Ohio.  Her mom is baptized, but she is not.  She wants to though.  

Here is my favorite ‘totally Jessica’ part of the letter:  My hair is getting annoying.  I need to get it cut really bad but I’m really nervous about it.  I just don’t really trust anyone (see what happens when you grow up with a sister who is totally amazing with hair?)

Right before BriAnne’s wedding:  I feel like the worst friend for not being there.  Will you let her know how sorry I am (BriAnne, if you are reading this, I think it is wonderful because now you will be able to be in the temple with Jessica when she gets married, which your invitation for us to be in the temple with you was the greatest gift you could have given us)Things are going ok out here, I am trying my hardest to do what I am supposed to and talk to everyone.  I think I am starting to figure out what to say to people. 

We have an investigator named Jim.  He has a massive dog named Matt.  Matt is really soft, but covered my skirt in dog hair.  He also has a snake.  I have chosen not to look at it yet.  Hopefully I won’t ever have to see it. 

I told you about Madison (the 10 year old)  she is so cute – she reminds me of Ellie, red hair and everything. 

It is finally starting to get warm last week it just rained and rained.  Most of the time it wasn’t actually raining, it was just mist – I was still wet after walking around, but it didn’t actually rain, so weird!  (Mom comment:  sounds just like San Francisco)

You and dad need to look up Fisher cats.  Weirdest things in the world!  They are wolverine looking things, but scary. 

July 3rd:  President and Sister Wilkey are home now – they called me on the 27th and sang ‘Happy Birthday’  It was so nice, we meet the new president and his wife on the 4th.  I tried fish chowder.  It was really interesting.  I really liked it, as surprising as that is.  We are having lobster on Friday, I’m a little nervous to try it.  It is expensive, but Bro Smith is excited for us to try it.(you can tell from her picture, thank you Brother Smith for sending it, that she loved it). 

That was from my letter, here is what she wrote her dad:

We’re meeting Pres and Sis Stocker on Thursday in Topsham which is an hour away from Saco, and district mtg on Wednesday.  Usually if we have a meeting in Topsham it will take the place of district meeting, but not this week.  I’m excited we’re doing both, we’re just losing a lot of time we were going to use meeting with families in towns farther away.  It will be good though.  I really like district mtg.  The 2 sets of Elders in our district are really fun.  Plus it helps me realize I am doing ok. 

We meet with this less active woman, Faith.  She is so sweet and knows the Bible so well.  She is reading 2 Nephi and she is so funny because she gets so angry with Laman and Lemuel.  It makes me laugh. 

Then, as with most notes and letters, the familiar closing, well I better get going, have to finish my laundry – have a good week!  Love, Jess

I LOVE these notes – please take time to email or write, she will update you on her progress, probably quicker than I.  Love you all, Mom