Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 23rd- My Week in a Nutshell


Howdy! Love you all! One month down, 17 to go...

So this week we went to see Gwen who is 11. She has the attention span of a goldfish. She also collects bugs (gross, but kinda cool) and has a legit skull collection (also gross, but kinda cool). She showed us her mouse skull, her coyote skull,... the list goes on and on. Before we left we asked if we could leave with a prayer. We then asked Gwen what she wanted us to pray for. Bad idea. She said, "Will you pray for my lizard? It is dead and has been decomposing for about a year now, and I really need it to decompose faster so that I can keep its skull." My one month of experience has not taught me how to tactfully pray for a decomposing lizard. So I straight up prayed that Gwen's lizard would decompose faster. I tried to keep my composure but then I could hear Sister Hamilton giggling... Then I lost it. It was totally irreverent and I feel super bad, but oh well. It was a struggle to finish that prayer, but it makes for good story right?

Also I went on exchanges which I was really nervous about... But it was great and I learned a lot! We played sports night with some of the youth, which no one told me, so I only had a pair of tight pants. (tight for missionary standard. I sleep in them. ) I was super embarrassed, but it was fun to play volleyball nonetheless. 
Exchanges with Sister Brookings

This week has been great!! It was full of so many miracles! It is amazing the way the Lord places people in your path that are ready to hear the gospel. We were walking the other day and someone yelled, "How many miles do you walk a day?" Bingo, perfect way to start talking to someone about the gospel! After telling them we walk about a zillion, they asked US about the Book of Mormon. What? After telling them all about it, one of the girls, Melissa, just started bawling. She asked, "Do you really mean it that God knows and loves me?" YES MELISSA WE MEAN IT. GOD KNOWS AND LOVES EVERYBODY!! It was amazing, and I am so excited to go and teach her!

We also taught this cute couple in their 50's who didn't disbelieve everything we told them which is a start. They are probably my favorite people, they are so easy and fun to talk to! 


Sister Jones

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16th- Another Week Down!

Corinne with Sister Hamilton and President & Sister Young
Hey Family!! 

SO. This has been a great week!! First off, we have only ran into a couple bible bashers since being here. They are my FAVORITE PEOPLE. Not even kidding! I usually just start laughing hysterically because Sister Hamilton starts getting really upset and so do the people that are arguing religion with us. Whenever people get mad I laugh, which usually only aggravates the situation. I always want to go back and visit them. One of these "bible bashers" called me a persistent little... terd. I was really actually quite complimented. He did walk away with a Book of Mormon though, so whatever works I guess right? ;)

Blonde moment of the week.. We were vacuuming out our car and I set the vacuum on the grass. Then I turned the vacuum on and turned toward the car. I vaguely realized the vacuum was making weird noises. I turned back around and realized that I was accidentally vacuuming the front lawn. Oops. Poor vacuum.

We had so many miracles this week! We are teaching a man named Todd. He is really buff, an ex-marine, has a bunch of tattoos, but has a heart of gold. He told us he would come to church if we found his daughter, China. The only thing he knew is that China lives with a family named McWilliams. Challenge accepted! Sister Hamilton and I put on our top notch stalking hat and looked up McWilliams in the phone book. Good news, there are only three in all of our area. 

Off we headed on our adventure to find China! We started driving to myrtle point, which is about 15 minutes from coquille, since that is where their addresses were. As we were driving we realized the McWilliams lived clear out in the boonies, half an hour away form myrtle point. We were at a dilemma; we had an appointment in half an hour and we didn't really have enough car miles. Oh well, we drove on for Todd's sake. As we reached their house there was a giant "Private Property" sign. We also were pretty nervous that if we were so far out in the middle of no where, no one would hear our screams if something happened. The spirit told us to keep going, so we did. The first house we reached was abandoned. However, at the second house we met Stacey. Stacey is a super cute young mom who has foster kids, a couple kids of her own, is all ready driving out to church every Sunday, and has great faith. She knew China, but told us that China wasn't there but might be at her parents house. However, SHE SAID SHE WANTED TO LEARN ABOUT OUR CHURCH. Whaaa? That doesn't happen very often. We ran over to her parents house... WHO ALSO WANT TO LEARN ABOUT OUR CHURCH. They are the sweetest people, and are so ready to hear the gospel. We never should have ran into that family, I know that God was directing our paths. 

We still haven't found China, however, but Todd texted us and said, "I hear you are looking for my daughter. Even though she might not come, I think I am going to come anyway. LDS is like the Marine of the Faiths." HAHAHAHAHA that is quite the compliment coming from Todd :) 

Also, Mary Ann is getting baptized on June 28th. I don't know if I have told you guys about her? She is an amazing lady who quit smoking this week after 45 years!! This week we tracted into her son. That was another miracle. We got talking to him about religion and then asked if we could teach him sometime. After agreeing, we asked if we could leave with a prayer. We asked, "is there anyone we could pray for?" He answered, "My mother is exploring religion, could you pray for her? Her name is Mary Ann." WE FREAKED OUT!! We excitedly exclaimed, we are teaching Mary Ann! That was pretty crazy.

The work is about to explode in Coquille, I just know it! So many people are being prepared. This week I have started to understand what it means in D&C 122 when it says, "Fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever." So often we fear man more than God; What will people think of me if I share the gospel with them? When we fear God, we share the gospel, because we know he will be with us forever and ever! I testify that God plays an active role not only in my life as a missionary, but everyone else's lives as well! 

Love you all!

Sister Jones

June 9th- First week in Coquille, OR

Hey Fam-Bam!

SO. I made it to Oregon! EVERYTHING IS SO GREEN. I absolutely love it! I need to take more pictures, I can't believe I am here, everything seems so surreal. 
My trainer is amazing! Her name is Sister Hamilton and she has been here about nine months! Crazy coincidence.. I found her blog before she came out here! Before we knew we were going to be companions she sat next to me at dinner. We got talking about how I found her on her blog and then stalked her on the mission blog after she made it to Oregon... THEN BAM! We become companions!  I have so much that I can learn from her!Hey Fam-Bam!

SO. I made it to Oregon! EVERYTHING IS SO GREEN. I absolutely love it! I need to take more pictures, I can't believe I am here, everything seems so surreal. 
My trainer is amazing! Her name is Sister Hamilton and she has been here about nine months! Crazy coincidence.. I found her blog before she came out here! Before we knew we were going to be companions she sat next to me at dinner. We got talking about how I found her on her blog and then stalked her on the mission blog after she made it to Oregon... THEN BAM! We become companions!  I have so much that I can learn from her!

(I think this is Sister Hamilton! Corinne is not sending any photos, so I stole the photo from Sister Lisa Hamilton's blog- Amy)

So far my mission has been amazing!! Well, my first couple of days were rough... why? Because I honestly didn't do any missionary work until about Friday evening! Sister Hamilton is a Sister Trainer Leader, so she had a conference she had to go to on Thursday (the day after we got here). We didn't have time to drive back to our area, so we drove an hour and a half to another place to spend the night. Thursday I was stuck in a trio with some sisters who were both new to their area, so we drove around all day trying to find different people for them to teach with no success. Then Friday Sister Hamilton had another conference and I sat around Coos Bay all day. Going from being really busy in the MTC to having plenty of time to think was NOT GOOD. Then we finally started teaching lessons, tracting, and everything was fine!

I am in a little town called Coquille. And it is ADORABLE. I feel like I was taken out of the year 2014 and placed into about 1980. I love these people! Everybody loves the missionaries! The ward is amazing! This is a place of miracles! It is economically depressed, which is good for us, because we get into more houses! As a missionary it is really amazing how the hand of the lord is in your life. I can not even number all the miracles we have seen. The first door we tracked was a lady named Jailene. We taught her the restoration and committed her to be baptized, which she said yes. She also came to church on Sunday and had been reading out of the Book of Mormon. She holds that book like it is a precious little baby! Her story ended up being a lot more complicated than we thought, but I love her all the same.

It is crazy how different my life is- I get ecstatic when strangers let me into their home, and I go out of my way to talk to people I used to do everything to avoid! I also can feel the love God has for everybody. We ran into an old man name Efton who sat and taught me what I didn't know about the bible even though literally everything he told me lines up with our beliefs. Then he told me about how I couldn't trust my feelings or the Book of Mormon! But the crazy thing is that I LOVE him and can't wait to talk to him again! Little Efton doesn't know what is coming for him ;) We haven't been in our area for very long, so I am excited for this upcoming week.

 I found out the mission scripture is D&C 6:36, which is my favorite scripture  "Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not." The church is true, we don't need to doubt or fear that. God watches out for his sheep! 

I love you all! 
Sister Jones

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 2nd

Why hello family and friends :)

This week has been AMAZING. Not because everything in the MTC is joyful and dandy, but because I have learned a lot! When I got to the MTC I looked up to the missionaries who had been here a week longer than me. They seemed so old and wise! I didn't think I was ever going to get to the point they were at! Then the new missionaries came in this week. As we were helping them teach I realized how much I have learned. I have a long way to go, but I have come a long was as well!

So I will start of by telling ya'll my awko taco moment of the week. Having gone to BYU, the MTC has turned into a giant BYU party. My entire single adult ward is here. Really. As I was talking to Sister Zimmbelman, a girl who lived in the apartment next door to me, her companion was looking at me with a blank expression. Sister Zimmbelman is headed to Africa and her companion is african american. I turned to her companion, not wanting her to be left out of the conversation, and asked, "Do you speak English?" SHE SPEAKS ENGLISH PEOPLE. She responded, "yes?" I FELT SO AWKWARD. I then made up a story about how I was talking to a girl for like five minutes who didn't speak English and only spoke Cambodian. After that I felt really guilty that I lied. SO I repented, and hopefully I will stop making inappropriate comments.

Sister Clawson and I are still having a blast! We get in trouble a lot for being loud, and one of our teachers is always lecturing us. Ooops. We really have been working on that! It is difficult to focus sometimes because we are the same person. We have so many weird quirks that are the exact same it is weird. For example, we both have to wear fuzzy socks to bed, we have a couple weird obsessions that are similar, and we both can't control our bladders (but no accidents since we have been here thankfully). Those are just a few.

Before I came out on a mission I would always get so annoyed at the fact that missionaries always talked about people they were teaching. Isn't that horrible? But having been out here the people I teach are the purpose of my mission! When teaching someone about the gospel you grow to love them, a lot! So I am going to tell you all about them :) We are teaching a girl named Michelle. She has so much faith, I just wish that she could see it. She always does whatever  we invite her to do. She is struggling understanding the book of Mormon, so we gave her a true to the faith. SHE READ THE WHOLE THING. She also always prays, but doesn't believe that she receives answers. I know that Heavenly Father talks to Michelle, and finally after meeting with her for four times, we helped her realize that! I can not explain the excitement I felt once it dawned on her that God does speak to her! Sadly I don't get to teach her anymore :( I just hope the next set of
missionaries can help her understand what she needs with all her Faith she has. We also had a really cool experience with a girl named Kenzie. She doesn't believe in God. After talking with her for a second she abruptly stated, "I need to go. Just open the Book of Mormon and share a little message with me. Actually, I will just open it and find one." She grabbed the Book of Mormon from my hands and opened up to Ether 12:4. It said something about how believing in God gives you a hope for a better world. THE SPIRIT IS AWESOME. It was so amazing to watch her countenance change. She sat there in deep thought, took a picture of the verse with her phone, and we were off! I found out that the next day some missionaries made some great progress with her; she told them she believes in God. The Holy Ghost helped her find her answer that day! Nothing that I say will EVER convert anybody to the gospel. It is the spirit that does all of the converting. As a
missionary, I am just here to help the investigator have inspiration from God.

I am terrified to head out to Oregon, but I know that Christ is there to meet His chosen flock. Christ helped many people while on the earth. He healed the sick, caused the blind to see. He was the salvation and hope for many people. He isn't here today, but somebody has to do His work. As missionaries we represent Christ. Christ has chosen many missionaries to heal the spiritually sick, help the spiritually blind to see. We are to, "feed his sheep!" As a person I am inadequate, imperfect, and unworthy, but with His help and the guidance of the spirit I will touch someone!


Sista Jones

p.s. I am going to be heading out to Oregon on Wednesday. I will be calling home sometime between 8 and 10:30. PLEASE ANSWER.

p.s.s. I am also sending you guys a letter today!

p.s.s.s. I really do love you all :)  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

First email-May 26th

My dearest Family and Friends,

BRING ME COUGH DROPS. When I first got here I had pressure in my head
behind my ears, but it wasn't a big deal. Slowly it turned into a pounding
head ache and a throat which hurts super bad! The book store is closed
since it is memorial day or else I would go and buy some. Other than that
minor setback I have been feeling great!

So I made it!! :) The MTC has been so amazing! When you walk in, the spirit
hits you like a brick wall! You can feel the power of the people here.
Don't get me wrong, these people are still people. The church must be true
since 18 year old boys are teaching the gospel! For example, the other day
Elder Coburn prayed, "Thank thee that we get to take a break from the
spirit." HAHAHA that was right before we played volleyball. Everyone is
just normal but they have power since they are acting in the name of
Christ. (Also, speaking of volleyball, I am better than half these Elders.
That should tell you how pitiful our volleyball games are." My companion is
Sister Clawson! (Remember how I went to the temple with a bunch of girls
that were going to Eugene? Well she was one of them! We started off
friends, and I seriously love her so much. She makes me LAUGH AND LAUGH AND
LAUGH, which is good, because without her I would probably be a mess.)

The first day that I was here everyone kept smiling and saying, "Welcome to
the MTC!!!" I kept asking my companion.. why in the world does everyone
know it is my first day? Do I have a giant arrow pointing at me that says
NEWBIE?? By the end of the day I figured out that I had an orange dot on my
name tag. No figure, I took that thing off REAL fast. That first day they
keep you super busy! Actually scratch that... everyday they keep you super
busy!! You don't have a lot of time to think about home, which is really
good. I have been learning ALOT. The second day we were here we taught our
first investigator, Jimmy. Sister Clawson and I were super excited, but
little did I know it would be a huge slap in the face. Jimmy was so MEAN! I
really wanted to kick him in the shin and then run away, but I realized
that is not something that the Savior would do. It was a really humbling
experience. I have a lot to learn! Since that first day we have improved a
lot, but we are still figuring so many things out!

I wouldn't be Sister Jones if I didn't do a couple blonde things every now
and then. I have a couple great stories!

*We are sitting in class* Oh look, I have a key ring. I insert thumbs into
key ring. Thumbs get stuck in key ring. Sister Clawson, help me! I really
can't get my thumbs out of my key ring! We then proceeded to laugh
ridiculously loud at how ridiculous that I am, and the whole class turned

Story number two. The teacher asked, "What is the end result of an apple
tree?" In a very sweet voice I exclaimed, "A cherry blossom." Everyone
busted up laughing at me! I wont even try and explain my train of thought.

The teachers teach a lot of things. (Who would have thought that?) But it
is amazing the things you learn when you let the spirit teach to you! We
have read 3 Nephi chapter (crap I can't remember the chapter) about a
billion times. In this chapter it talks about the mission of the Savior and
the Doctrine of Christ. As I went through this chapter, I realized that my
"missionary purpose" is almost word for word the same as Christ's. The
magnitude of my calling hit me. Although missionary work is going to me
hard, if I am yoked to the Savior I can't fail. That doesn't require him to
do all the pulling, but if we pull together, I will be able to figure these
things out.

I also have figured out why missionary work is so hard. You see these
people and are filled with the love that Christ has for them. You yearn to
teach them the truth, knowing it can fill the gaps in their lives. But
there is something standing in the way between the investigator and God,
and that is yourself as a missionary. I am an imperfect vessel who is
trying to show people the joy that the gospel can bring. I just need to
strive, like I said before, to teach with the Holy Ghost. He knows what
people need to hear, not me.

I love you all and am slowly figuring this all out!! :)

Sister Jones

P.s. So much has happened I could barely touch on all of it. Hopefully it
makes sense, just know I love and appreciate the support!

P.s.s. The first day we were here I got 6 dear elders! Almost all from
family!! It made my day, you have no idea how much they meant to me! MY
FAMILY IS SO AWESOME. Also, the MTC is like a giant BYU ward reunion. I
know so many people here, that also makes it easier!

It's official-she's a missionary!

Before Corinne was set apart as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, she was nervous and felt very inadequate to teach the gospel.  She said she has lived her whole life around Mormons in Morgan County and was apprehensive about preaching to total strangers who didn't believe or even know anything about the gospel. She was teaching me a lesson yesterday afternoon as I was pretending to be the investigator and I asked her a couple of questions that threw her for a loop.  "My invisible friend that I have been teaching to in my mind never ask any questions!" she said. I think this made her realize that she will have her work cut out for her. But in her setting apart she was promised many wonderful things, one of which was confidence in her ability to teach with power and authority and that the mysteries of the gospel would be opened to her mind as she studied. She was also blessed that she will see those around her as Christ sees them, recognizing the potential and worth of each person she comes in contact with, including her companions :).

Corinne adding her photo to the missionary board in the Stake Center. We now have 13 missionaries from our ward!

We all went home and cried (except the boys, who aren't quite as emotional as the rest of us.). Little Gabriella said, with tears rolling down her cheeks, "So Corinne's not going to be here for my birthday? And who is going to jump on the tramp with me all summer? Corinne is my best friend!"
But the next morning the tears were gone and there was an excitement in the air. You should have seen Corinne in her missionary attire with a huge smile on her face and eyes sparkling, ready to conquer the world, or at least the part of the world around Eugene, Oregon! I felt like Hannah, offering my child to the Lord. I know that He will take good care of her while she is doing his work...We sure love this girl and although we will miss her terribly, we are so excited for her and the great adventure she will have for the next 18 months of her life!