Monday, November 10, 2014

Baptisms, Identity Crisis', and Southern Drawls (2)

Nov. 3

I always try to think of a creative title to my email so people will actually read them. :)


We had a fantastic Halloween  carving pumpkins at district meeting... and then we took some Halloween treats around to our investigators, which was a good excuse to go and see them all! On our route we pulled into an apartment complex and their were cops EVERYWHERE. Uh Oh.. we know basically everyone in this aparment complex... we were praying it wasn't anyone we knew. It was. We have another investigator in jail. #bummerdeal but I guess things like that happen when you are serving in the meth capitol of Oregon. (No worries mom, all the people are still really nice.) We also had a ward Halloween party that A TON of our people showed up to! 

There are so many miracles and tender mercies which happen in missionary work I never know where to start! It is truly through opposition that you come to understand HOLINESS. 

But I think I had the FUNNIEST lesson I have EVER had on my mission this last week, with a sweet old lady named Linda! Linda has a wild rabbit which just hops around her house. It isn't potty trained either... so you have to be careful where you step. Randomly, throughout the lesson, it will dart acrsoss the living room. She also has a "handicapped" or "disabled" cat. It can't walk in a straight line and is constantly falling over/ tripping over itself... it just hobbles along. She also has a parrot which likes to make comments while you are teaching. Just the situation itself is enough to make you laugh!! Anyway, we were re-teaching her the restoration, and it finally clicked.. Linda said in a really gruff voice, "So YOU are telling ME I have to be baptized mormon?"(linda was baptized Catholic)
Me: "Yes."
Linda, super nonchalantly, "I don't have a problem with that."We then committed her to specifically pray to know the Book of Mormon is true and in her prayer she said, "I already know the book of mormon is true." HAHAHAHA SHE IS THE FUNNIEST PERSON EVER. Sister Vance and I usually leave the lesson laughing hysterically, and Linda is just happy that we are happy :) 

We also have been teaching a little girl, Maddison, who is 11. She LOVES church. Whenever we teach her, she invites all the little kids on the block. So, we end up teaching a heard of little children! Madison will say, "Damion, who is 5, needs to know about God. Can he sit in during our lesson?" What a good little missionary all ready! They are  always super exciting lessons :) All the little kids say their parents are ok with it, but can you truly believe a two year old explained to their mother they are meeting with mormon missionaries? OH WELL :D 

This week Sister Vance felt strongly that there were two new investigators who needed the gospel, so we tracted DOUBLE what we normally tract. Our VERY LAST HOUSE of the week let us inside, and we taught a FAMILY! It was a mom, a dad, and their seven year old son. As I have been studying the Savior's life I have noticed a common theme.. DESPERATION. For example, in the story of Peter walking on water, the disciples rowed until the "fourth watch." The winds were contrary to their rowing, their little boat was being tossed to and fro on the water! It wasn't until the fourth watch, 3-6 in the morning, that the Savior appeared to them. This is often how God is in our life. He allows us to grow. He allows us to stretch. He makes us exert ALL our efforts, until we can't go in more before he steps in and helps us! God is there, he is real, and He wants what is best for us. However, He loves us enough to allow us to FAIL, but He will never allow us to become a FAILURE. It is through trials, tribulations, and exerting our own strength that we grow, and can become the disciples which he wants us to become.

Love you all!

Sister Jones

p.s. the gospel is true. 

Oct. 27-Need strength? FAST

AAAAANNNNDDDD Another week down! :)
Remember how I said the Oregon rain started last week? I lied. It
started THIS week! Everyone keeps telling us this is nothing, but I
don't believe it. Sister Vance and I are constantly laughing
hysterically as we are in the pouring rain with the crazy strong
winds! We think it is hilarious, we must look ridiculous. People keep
saying,"what are you doing outside in this weather?" Well, let me tell
you about this cooool blue book....

Best thing of my week/day/life: Kersha. Last week about half of our
investigators dropped us. Sister Vance and I had been in denial... But
we finally accepted the facts :) however, we had a lesson with Kersha
on Monday and that makes IT ALL WORTH IT! We have started teaching her
son, miles, and her daughter, Mariah. They are adorable kids who love
the missionaries. Mariah always brings her little friends by when we
are there, points at us, then whispers, "look. We have missionaries
who come to our house." However, Kersha's husband (well, hopefully
husband soon... Boyfriend as of 14 years) doesn't want anything to do
with the gospel. He won't even be in the same room as us! Kersha and
her kids came to church, have been reading diligently from the Book of
Mormon, and are getting along well with everyone at church. Sunday we
had the primary program, which was all about families. I couldn't stop
thinking about Kersha, her family, and the blessings which POUR into
our lives as we live e gospel. I know that she will have a forever
family one day, and that God is capable of miracles to soften Tim's

Wednesday was such a fun day! A lady which we know in the community
called us up and asked us to paint the shop windows for Halloween.
Suzanne is a lady who asked us if she could "borrow" a Book of Mormon
a couple of weeks ago. When she called us up tomato us to do service,
she said, "also, I have been reading the book you gave me. I know that
you are super busy, but could you squeeze me in some afternoon to come
by and answer some of my questions?" I guess... It is such a burden to
our schedule... ;) haha we were super excited! During the service
opportunity Suzanne took a BUNCH of pictures and posted them on
Facebook! I will send them to you!

One of our investigators, Avril, is SUPER dying from cancer. She keeps
saying, "this requires too much energy. Can't I just accept before I
die?" I laugh and tell her heck no! She always is sassing me so I sass
her right back :) poor girl.

This week, my testimony of fasting has grown SO MUCH. I realized that
it talks about fasting all over in the scriptures, but I somehow would
always just skip over that word! Alma and he sons of Mosiah are such
great examples of how we should be living our life...

2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first
appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his
brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren
in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the
truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had
searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of

3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and
fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of
revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority
of God.
Alma 17:2-3

They gave themselves to much prayer AND fasting! In conference it was
said,  "I cannot think of any law, any commandment, which, if kept
faithfully, is easier to keep and which provides greater blessings
than the law of the fast." Sister Vance watched how it strengthened us
AND our investigators this week! The crazy thing is that in order to
go 24 hours, and have a deep and meaningful fast, you have to rely and
Christ in order to make it! We need Christ to help us fulfill EVERY
aspect of our lives.

All things are possible through Christ's atonement :)

Sister Jones

Oct. 20th- Numb Fingers, Dead Squirrels, and Polygamist Colonies


This week has been extremely... interesting. But, THE OREGON RAIN HAS OFFICIALLY BEGAN! It is actually a little bit exciting to be trudging through the rain sopping wet. As long as it never gets cold right?? :)
 There are a plethora of thrift shops in Coquille which are super fun to look through :)

The majority of our lessons fell through this week, which happens sometimes. Let me tell you about all the interesting things which happened still. 

1. I shut my finger in the car door...then I couldn't get it out! TALK ABOUT EMBARRASSING. My finger was huge, cut up, and puffy. It looked like the tip of it was practically squished flat. That was last Thursday, and after all the swelling went down, I am left without feeling in the tip of my pointer finger. It is the weirdest sensation. I asked a nurse in the ward about it.. she said either 1. My finger will regain it's feeling in three months or 2. the feeling will never come back and I will just have to be aware of it when it starts to get cold in the winter and make sure to keep it safe. Kind of a cool mission story one day if you ask me. Sister Vance is probably really annoyed because I can't stop poking her... but it just feels so weird that I can't feel anything!

2. I did something horrifying. I was just driving along.. and a squirrel planted itself RIGHT IN FRONT of our moving car... I screamed and cried after hitting the poor little animal.

3. A member in our ward told us a polygamist colony was camping out by her house. She told us they were super nice and wanted us to go and visit them... so we did :) Sister Vance and I put on our longest skirts and then put in a braid in our hair and went and talked to them (we fit right in.) They were the NICEST people who have devoted their lives to God! One man teaches everyone in India about Jesus Christ! It ended up being kind of weird though because we were trying to convert them and they were trying to convert us... But it was a fun experience. and I got a tour of their gypsy caravan. 

BUT Kersha is still doing fantastic. She is the reason why Sister Vance and I are serving in Coquille :) Also, we hadn't seen Mindy in a couple of weeks (she went to the doctor and found out she has a broken back) but she still showed up at church, despite all of the pain!! We are so proud of both of their progress :) 

MIRACLE..we gave a lady which we do service with a copy of the Book of Mormon because she asked if she could borrow one. She called us and said, "I have been reading through your book. Whenever you have a free afternoon, I have some questions for you." Watch out Suzanne, you are feeling the spirit! :) 

Even though a lot of hard things happened this week, I know that it has pushed me to grow. As we were sitting in sacrament meeting, someone played a BEAUTIFUL melody of "Nearer My God to Thee." There is a line which says, "Nearer, my God, to thee, Nearer to thee! E'en though it be a cross That raiseth me." Tears welled up in my eyes as it hit me.. When we go through hard things, when we are "bearing the crosses of the world," we are growing closer to God and Jesus Christ. We understand a SMALL PART of what Christ must have gone through. President Holland states, "When we are spit at, mocked upon, we are standing soldier to soldier with the greatest life who has ever lived." I testify that the Savior is real, and that we have to walk some of the path which he walked in order to truly understand everything which he went through for us. We can cast our burdens on him and receive strength to, "Bear up our burdens with ease" as he did for the people in Mosiah ch. 24.

The gospel is true! I am so honored to be proclaiming it to the world!

Sister Jones