Monday, September 29, 2014

Sept 22- Almost Went to Jail


This week has been very... interesting. 

The beginning of the week was fantastic! We were teaching Stephanie and her daughter Emily the rest of the Restoration. At the end of the lesson, we asked the usual question... "Will you read the book of Mormon and pray to know that it is true?" Stephanie responded.. "Well, here is the thing about that." (What do you mean? My stomach dropped in my stomach.. not after we had such a spiritual lesson on the atonement! I was waiting in anticipation..) She nonchalantly replied, "I have all ready read the book of Mormon and know that it is true." (Spiritual fist bump) Her and her daughter accepted a date to be baptized in November :) This just goes to show that the Lord is preparing the hearts of his people. 

Then, Wednesday, Sister Vance and I were planning on talking to a couple people about progressing toward the temple. We showed up at BOTH of their houses and they BOTH told US they have a goal to make it to the temple. 

We found another GOLDEN investigator. Holly also knows that the church is true. (Where have all these people been the first three months of my mission? ;)

Anyway, moral of the story, there are a lot of miracles taking place in Coquille! So many people that Sister Hamilton and I had been trying to teach are finally agreeing to meet with us. Sister Vance is a miracle worker! :)

Then, on Friday, I get a phone call. Joanna, one of my FAVORITE investigators, calls to tell me that her husband, Michael, wanted to ask us a favor. We show up at her house and she tells us that Michael is in jail and has requested us to come and visit him. He is allowed to see "clergy" and we counted as clergy. Um.. I had no idea if we were allowed to visit people in jail or not. We called the AP's and they said that I could go see him if I brought a member, and sister Vance would have to go on a split with someone else. We made all the arrangements, called the jail, and then president called! He didn't think it was a very good idea for us to go and talk to someone in a room full of convicts. Don't blame him! But that is the story about how I almost got to go to jail! :) :) :) It is really depressing when your investigators go to jail. Especially when they are progressing. Bummer. Michael also used to make us really great prime rib steak and shrimp. 

Mindy, (our investigator who is on date) has a slipped disc in her back, but she still came to church. Wow. I was really impressed with her commitment! She has such a sincere heart. I said, "Mindy! I am so impressed that you still came to church with your back problems!" She said, "Girl, I have tried everything else to fix my life. This church is the last shot that I have." HAHAHA if you knew Mindy you would be laughing at that comment! 

There are so many good things happening in Coquille. I have grown to love the ward and the people. Coquille is so small that you get to know almost the entire town! It is amazing to watch people take steps of faith, and to watch the blessings start to flow into their life. Sometimes a blessing isn't a bigger house, better conditions, or greater income. These blessings come in the form of HAPPINESS, KNOWLEDGE, AND HOPE. I promise that as we follow the Lords plan, he WILL hold up is end of the deal, and everything will be worth it! 

The gospel is true. 

Sister Jones

p.s. Sounds like everyone had fun at the Ogden temple dedication! :) I am so jealous, I can't wait to see it all finished! 

p.s.s. Gabriella, you should read your homework assignments without being asked by mom! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sept 15th- HOLA! (Don't be deceived, I actually DON'T know spanish.)

Things are going great in Coquille! We had a really slow week. For example, Saturday, 7 of our 7 appointments fell through. Actually I should 9 of our 9. Our dinner appointment and correlation fell through as well! Luckily Sister Vance is the best and we just laugh everything off :) 

We have started to be convinced that EVERYTHING has an underlying gospel message. For example, in High School musical, the song "We're all in this together" is about members doing missionary work with missionaries. It is a real thing. I crack up just thinking about how funny that is! (also, I think you know you are a missionary when your source of humor is finding gospel analogies in the movie High School Musical. Does anyone in the real world think that is hilarious?) Here is another example. We re-wrote the words to the song "Magic" by B.O.B. The way it was supposed to be written goes like this.. "I got the magic in me, The power I get from reading a book once made out of Gold.. pick a verse, any verse it will enlighten your mind!" Too much? 

We had some great things happen this week as well though! Mindy has accepted a baptismal date on October 18th :) :) :) THIS IS HUGE PEOPLE. Mindy has felt the spirit before and really wants to change her life around! It is pretty funny though, we need to start back from ground 0 because she doesn't remember anything that we have told her (she was drunk during her first lesson) We will stop by her house and she will be really frustrated because she can't find Nephi in the bible. We try not to laugh, but it is cute how hard she is trying! :D Keep her in your prayers! She came to church which was GREAT! Also, Mary Ann spoke in sacrament. I had a proud momma moment! She acts like a lifetime member. She told a cool story about how she receives answers to her prayers whenever the sisters come over. For example, the other day we stopped by and as we were leaving she walked us out to the car. She gasped and I asked, "What is it Mary Ann?" She exclaimed, "I saw a shooting star!" I replied, "That was just for you!"

One of my favorite scriptures is in Mosiah 7:33. It states, "But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage." This is a scripture I usually share with people struggling with addiction. This week it hit me though.. we ALL are in some type of bondage, whether it is complacency, feeling inadequate, being lazy... It is in each of our lives. Being in bondage is our biggest WEAKNESS as well as our biggest STRENGTH. It is a strength in the essence that it requires us to rely holy on the lord. We have to TRUST IN HIM, and SERVE HIM with ALL diligence of mind. It is only through doing this that he can heal us of our inadequacies. Dallin H. Oaks said, "Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a "healing" cures our illness or lifts our burden. But sometimes we are "healed" by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us." I testify that through Christ we CAN all be healed by his power! Our pains can be soothed! Our worries can be encompassed by his peace :)

The church is true!

Sister Jones

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sept 8th- Another day in Paradise!


I can't figure out how to send group emails via iPad! Yes, I have had
an iPad my whole mission... It is probably my best friend. Next to all
of you of course. :)

CRAZY WEEK. hahaha. So since I am the senior companion I get to drive
the car.. (Scary music in the background) we have a tiwi which tracts
EVERYTHING we do, it sounds a little bit like the things which all of
you have! So far since driving, (keep in mind it has been a week and a
half) I have 1. Forgotten to lock the car multiple times. We aren't in
Morgan anymore. 2.left ALL of the windows completely rolled down 3. I
left the light on all night 4. Tiwi gave me an aggressive driving! I
was just going over a speed bump.. We are only allowed to get three
total our ENTIRE mission. 5. For the biggest adventure of the week..
Refer to the story below.

Last Monday was a glorious pday! We got everything done we needed to
then headed over to some members house for dinner. They gave us some
little flashlights to carry around with us since it is getting dark
earlier. We eat dinner, then leave to go and see a couple of people. I
lock the car, close the door, and start walking. Miracle #1 of the
night, I checked to see if I had the keys. I didn't, the keys were
sitting safely on the front seat of the car. (People always talk about
how silly sisters are... For the first time on my mission, I was THOSE
sisters.) we called the mission leader, the zone leaders, and then
finally the senior couple who is in charge of the cars. (Miracle #2.
sometimes they aren't the happiest of campers since missionaries do
silly things. Luckily a couple days previous I had gotten on their
good side.) miracle #3 when the lock smith finally came, it was dark.
He couldn't see what he needed to in order to get into our car. WE
BOTH HAD FLASHLIGHTS! So we safely broke into the car and were able to
drive home. We rolled into our driveway at exactly nine o clock.

It was a really good week! We taught a lot of new investigators! No
one came to church, but there is a lot of potential in this area! We
are working hard to help people progress :) earlier this week we had
stopped by a former investigators house to check on her. Last transfer
sis. Hamilton had a feeling we should stop by and the lady was just
about to have her baby. Anyway, we stopped by since she has had her
baby to talk with her and she said," I really need to be taking lessons
from the missionaries again!" (Her husband was the one who made them
stop taking lessons about a year ago. Miracle, he is in jail.) we
taught her the restoration and the spirit was so strong! Stephanie
cried and cried! It was one of my most spiritual lessons on my mission

Being a trainer is stressful, but I am relying on God! Neither of us
really know what we are doing most if the time, but we are figuring it
out! My comp has been struggling with homesickness, and I try to my
sympathetic because I remember how she feels! Everything about
missionary work is weird and awkward (we knock on strangers doors and
rejoice when they let us inside) but after a while you learn to roll
with the punches! I love being a missionary so much, this is such a
great work! (I can't really remember what else happened this week
because I forgot to bring my journal.) I can feel all of your prayers,
I really appreciate that you are praying and fasting for me! It gives
me a lot of strength!

Love you all,

Sister Jones

P.S. So this turtle.. one time I thought that it was real. I had to take a picture next to it since it is most definitely not real! Everyone always teases me about it :)

P.S.S. Our email time is cut short today, I only read the emails from
the three of you and then Wrote this email! Today I don't have time to
write you all back individually but I want to! I love you all and
laugh and cry when I read your emails, keep up the great work! Love
you all.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Aug. 31st- My Sweet Family!



Refer to the title of my email. Now freak out. ;) President called us on Friday night! We new that something big was going to happen because normally President doesn't call to relay the message. He said, "The only thing constant is change." The first thing that flashed through my mind was.. "OH MY GOSH HE IS GOING TO MAKE ME LEARN CHINESE." (they are making a giant push for Chinese speaking missionaries in the OEM) But then he said I am training a new missionary which ties my stomach in a knot just as much as learning another language! I still don't know what I am doing 80% of the time, but I know that Heavenly Father knows where we need to be and who we need to be with. It will be a huge learning experience, and I know that whom the Lord chooses the Lord qualifies! 
                       Here's a selfie of Sister Hamilton and me with Mariah. I love this girl!

On Tuesday Elder Nielson of the seventy came to visit! It was such a spiritual experience! I couldn't write fast enough to keep up with all of the wonderful things which they were talking about! Sister Nielson talked to us about finding holiness in everyday life! She talked about how holiness can only be learned in opposition. We need to change our perspective on things in order to see the GOOD which is in everything! (She gave the example of.. instead of looking at her disastrous house as a young mother and becoming upset, she would be grateful that there was someone in the world who cared enough about her children to buy them clothes, toys, and feed them so they don't go hungry.) My favorite thing Elder Nielson talked about was what it truly means to have faith in Jesus Christ. We aren't suppose to have faith in prayer, in fasting, in blessings, but faith in Jesus Christ. If we have faith in Jesus Christ then we believe that he has the power to answer prayer, the power to heal through fasting and blessings, but we also understand that if we aren't healed that our faith is still in Jesus Christ, not in the healing itself. (for example, he asked, would you still believe the church was true if an apostle feel away? He boldly declared, I would! My faith isn't in the apostles, it is in Jesus Christ! It would be sad how many peoples conversion would be affected, but it wouldn't affect his.) All around it was just a very uplifting experience!

That was probably the highlight of the week! We had an interesting lesson with a man named Robert who wears ski goggles everywhere and is constantly talking about something scientific. It would probably be HILARIOUS to watch Sister Hamilton and mine's blank faces! Something about citric acid? But he read Enos and is convinced it is a prophesy of his life, which is fantastic! Needless to say we are handing him over to the elders.

We got to meet the man walking around Coquille with a cow on a leash. That is pretty exciting since he is pretty famous. 

Other than that I can't figure out what happened this week since every day in my journal I am either writing anxiously about transfer calls coming up or freaking out that we got transfer calls. Things are going great though, I love coquille, my mission, and all of the wonderful people here! The church is true!

I will let you know if I am still alive by the end of next week ;)


Sister Jones

Copy of Advancement Letter