A peek into the journal of sister missionary

By Jen Nuckols

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 12 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Jen Nuckols is a returned missionary who served in Brazil.

Russell Andes

Editor's note: This excerpt is from "Do Not Attempt in Heels: Mission Stories and Advice from Sisters Who’ve Been There” (Cedar Fort, $14.99), compiled by Elise Babbel Hahl and Jennifer Rockwood Knight. This excerpt is titled "The First Three Months: The Diary of a Greenie" and includes excerpts from her journal as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Sister Nuckols has embarked! My time at the CTM (Centro de Treinamento Missionário, the MTC in São Paulo, Brazil) has ended, and I am about to missionary as soon as this plane lands in João Pessoa. Holy excitement! I’m not nervous or worried or sad, just peaceful and ready. I already miss my two great CTM companions, but in a few hours, I will have a mission president, a companion and an area. I have felt the searing power of the Holy Ghost confirm to me the reality of the existence of God, of the Savior, of the Book of Mormon. It is all true! I love it and am privileged to be a part of it.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Oh, my gosh! This is so hard. I’m in shock. I’ve been all teary these last two days. I cried last night when I was going to bed, and again when Sister Santos (another missionary in my house) asked if there was anything she could do to help me. This morning, I did a good job holding it in until I got into the shower, but when the cold water hit the back of my neck, I sobbed. Later, I had to say a prayer at the home of one of our investigators, and as soon as I said, "Pai Celestial"(Heavenly Father), I lost it. I felt the Spirit a lot while we were teaching, but as soon as we would walk outside into the street, I would start to cry again.

What am I doing here?! There was one good hour today in the middle of the afternoon when I was able to focus and get some memorizing done (I have to get all these discussions passed off!), but for the most part, I have been walking around in a shocked daze. Yesterday the excitement from the airport wore off, and I didn’t even have the desire to go out and contact, and it was my FIRST day! My companion, Sister W, does not like tracting or contacting people, and I think that we spent too much time visiting members. The hours between 2 p.m., when lunch ends, and 9:30, when we go home, seem SO LONG especially because we do not have things scheduled.

This is a bigger sacrifice than I ever before realized. A year seems impossibly long, not to mention 16 more months.

Friday, July 19, 2002

I had a good cry today at lunch and let it all out. What if this emotional overload is just PMS? Sometimes it seems like I’m watching a movie of someone else’s life, because this does not feel like my reality. When the Lord asks us to sacrifice all that we have and all that we are, he was not asking for a little. This is the big time! I really feel the magnitude of this sacrifice. I don’t even have time to explore or enjoy the culture because it’s all about teach, teach, teach. I can’t really imagine this level of intensity for 16 more months: an endless Sabbath!

Saturday, July 20, 2002

I’ve been praying so much during free time that I have hardly been working on memorizing at all. I’ve needed so much help! I’ve especially needed help controlling my thoughts and keeping them focused on people here, and not elsewhere, or on other people from other parts of my life.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

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