Monday, December 29, 2014

Canadians don't like Mexican food!

Happy belated Christmas!!!
Christmas as a missionary is definitely something special.  It was super cool to be able to literally only focus on Jesus Christ and sharing the gift of His atonement with everyone aruond us. 

Also, huge shoutout to my mom and rest of the fam for putting together that massive Christmas package! 
It was a good week, a bit on the slower side because of the holidays, but I'm still a missionary and that's what makes it good.  :) 
We weren't able to see any of our solid investigators this week which was sad, but we did lots of finding and tried to visit everyone that we could. 
We had a MIRACLE while tracting on Tuesday!  We had some time before an appointment, so we decided to finish a street we had started the week before.  People weren't being super receptive until we knocked on Kristin's door.  She opened it, and her husband Colin was there too, and we told them we had a Christmas message to share with them, they let us in right away!  Colin had to leave, but we shared He Is The Gift with Kristin, and she cried.  She loved it so much and was so happy we stopped by.  They have 3 kids and are pretty active in the Catholic church, but she wants us to come back after the holidays!  :)  The spirit was so strong as we testified to her of Christ's restored gospel.  There are those moments on missions where there's no way you can deny the spirit.  It is SO REAL. 
I also had an early Christmas present on Christmas eve!  Back in Grande Prairie, about 2 weeks into the mission field, I told you all about our investigator, Shauna, who cried when we told her about the Book of Mormon and Plan of Salvation and everything, and we taught her a few times.  There were some crazy things going on in her life that made it hard for us to meet with her, but she still stayed in contact every now and again and found so much peace in the message we shared.  Well, I've been praying and praying and PRAYING to be able to get into contact with her somehow, and Christmas eve, the phone rang, and lo and behold, it was the Bear Creek Sisters!  They told me that she texted them and wanted to get into contact with us, so I got her number and was able to talk to her for a bit!!!  Happy Christmas Sister Jones!  Heavenly Father really does love us so much. 
Skyping home was the best day ever.  Not proselyting on Christmas and Christmas Eve was suuuuuper hard though. 

Friday night, we got fed Mexican food for the first time since I've been in Canada and it was A MIRACLE FROM HEAVEN I TELL YOU!  Canadians hardly ever make Mexican food and it's a bit depressing, so getting it was SO wonderful.  #temdermercies  
I was reading 2 Nephi chapter 4 this week, and it was sooo what I needed to hear.  Nephi is feeling a little down in this chapter about his weaknesses:
17Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness‍ of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched‍ man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth‍ because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. 18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset‍ me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted."
we have been given such an important calling and responsibility, and it's so easy to look at ourselves and see our weaknesses. To see the things we aren't doing right, and if we're not careful, we can quickly become sorrowful and discouraged.  But I absolutely LOVE the last line of 19, Nevertheless, i know in whom i have trusted. 

Reading the rest of the chapter is probably the greatest pep talk ever. 

26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited‍ men in so much mercy, why‍ should my heart‍ weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
27 And why should I yield‍ to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace‍ and afflict my soul? Why am I angry‍ because of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop‍ in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy‍ of my soul.
29 Do not anger‍ again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock‍ of my salvation.
Why have we need to fear or to be discouraged when we literally have the Most Powerful and Omnipotent Being at our aid, every second of every day. 

Anywho, I would like to just copy and paste the whole chapter in here, but I'll leave that to all of you to read it for yourselves.  :) 

THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

Onward, ever onward.

Sister Jones

Monday, December 22, 2014

Caroling, Christmas Conference and Consecration

This week was CRAZY.  Definitely an emotional rollercoaster.  but so great.  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
Transfers were on Wednesday, and we had our Christmas Conference as well.  We got to watch Meet The Mormons, which was SUPER awesome.  President and Sister Manion did a good job of surprising all of us for that.  All the departing missionaries gave their little testimonies, so when Sister James and Sister McEwen gave theirs i just cried.  I'm not even just saying this to be nice, but I'm pretty positive that President Manion gave me the 2 most solid sisters in the whole mission as my first two companions. 
I also cried tears of joy when I saw Sister Rush and Sister McEwen and all the GP missionaries.
I also saw my good pal from Utah Valley Children's Choir, Elder Josh Barlow!!!  I'm pretty sure the children's choir is taking over the Canada Edmonton Mission.  no big deal.   #armyofhelaman
We totally got lost driving back to Drayton Valley from Edmonton..my bad.  But we made it because Heavenly Father answers prayers and WILL NOT leave us without direction.  literally. 
so I have good news: WE FINALLY HAVE A PROGRESSING INVESTIGATOR!!!!!!!
literally the past 7 weeks have been spent trying to find people to actually teach, and now that our teaching pool has grown, we can focus on helping these people to truly progress in the gospel and head toward baptism!  :)  Her name is Mellisa, she's the one we had to knock the whole range road to find.  We left her with a chapter from the Book of Mormon to read regarding the Spirit World, and she read if multiple times, as well as the pamphlet.  She basically taught us the Plan of Salvation and we answered a couple questions....she believes it all and agrees with everything we teach!  She now just needs to really take it into her own hands and pray to know for herself. 
Sister Whiting and I also were asked to put together a musical number for the program yesterday in Sacrament meeting, so she played the piano, Brother Palsky played the flute, while Sister Palsky and I sang "Still Still Still".  We practiced for a total of like 10 minutes before.  Good thing Sister Whiting is pro at the piano and Heavenly Father made sure not to let me epically fail. 
On Saturday, we did a ton of finding.  All of our appointments fell through, so we decided to invite everyone to the musical program in Sacrament Meeting.  We stopped by Sister Curry's before we knocked her neighborhood, and prayed with her and asked if there was anyone specific she wanted us to go see, she told us about a few people and we were on our way.  After about 10 minutes, we knocked on the door of one of the people she knew, Janeice, and she let us in right away!  We watched "He Is The Gift" with her and her husband, and they totally loved it!  We told them a little about the Plan of Salvation, and we now have a return appointment to meet with them tomorrow
   
This morning, I was reading this talk, and it's SO POWERFUL!  I hope you all give it a good read. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/choose-wisely?lang=eng


"In all things we should remember that being “valiant in the testimony of Jesus” is the great dividing test between the celestial and terrestrial kingdoms."    

Onward, ever onward.
Sister Jones

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Range Road Miracle

It's been a crazy week full of ups and downs, but i'll skip the intro and get down to business. 
Monday evening I learned that even though we have plans, God's plans are ALWAYS better.  We had a couple stop bys for less actives that we were going to do, when all of a sudden, we got a text from Kenny!  backing up---> we knocked on Kenny's door about the second week we got to Drayton.  He said we could come back and teach him, but he works in the oil fields, so he's literally NEVER home.  We've tried so many times to set up lessons, but he's too busy.  Anywho, we got a text from him saying he was home and we could stop by!!!  We needed numbers though, so we called around to find a member to come with us.  we called about 5 people with NO LUCK.  Finally, the spirit reminded us of Sister Curry, we called her, and she was free to come!  We had a good lesson with him, we watched He Is The Gift and talked about the Book of Mormon.  As of the end of last week, he said he's been reading!  Hopefully we'll be able to meet with him this week.


Thursday, we stopped by a nonmember named Morna Rae.  She's not very interested in the church, (very catholic) but loves the sisters. We watched He Is The Gift with her, and she cried and cried.  Then we shared Ether 12:8-9 and she loved it.  It was exactly what she needed to hear.  And guess what, SHE ACCEPTED A COPY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON FROM US!  AND said she would read.  (as well as the restoration pamphlet).  I'm telling you, that video softens hearts.  there are so many people who don't seem prepared, but ultimately just need to feel that spirit to give them a little shove in the right direction.  She said she's not converting, but we all know the Book of Mormon does wonders. :) 


Since we got here, we've been searching for an investigator who moved to Drayton from Edmonton.  The only information we had on her was that she lived on a certain range road.  (mind you, that range road stretches about 20 miles).  Saturday, we decided to tract it.  yep.  The whole thing until we found her.  it only took us two hours, but, WE FOUND MELLISA!!!  We're going back on Thursday to teach her.  We have to faithfully work as hard as we can, and God will provide us with the things that we need.  FAITH IS ACTION. 


also, we almost got eaten by some wild animals.  actually, not really, but I thought we were going to. We were visiting a member who lives LITERALLY in the middle of the forest.  We were leaving to head home for the night, when we got to our car it was covered in ice because of the freezing rain!  Where she lives, there are bears, cougars, bobcats, coyotes, wolves...you name it.  So we blasted our good old EFY CD so that they wouldn't come near us as we hacked away at the ice on our car.  Heavenly Father protects his missionaries!
Also, here's this really amazing talk that we've been studying, give it a good read.  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1975/04/obedience-consecration-and-sacrifice?lang=eng
THE CHURCH IS TRUE! 

Onward, ever onward.
Sister Jones

alsoooo i just lost all my pictures from this transfer.  so if anyone knows how to recover files on an sd card pleeeeease let me know. 

Happy American Thanksgiving from the land of Polar/Arctic Vortexes

 yes, we were hit by a "Polar/Arctic Vortex" this week.  (At least that's what the members referred to it as....what it is, I couldn't tell ya)

We were supposed to go out to Evansburg (about a 30 minute drive) for American Thanksgiving Dinner with a member (She's American), but then that vortex thing hit and the roads were SUPER SKETCHY.  Apparently Canadians don't believe in snow plows util the snow stops falling, so you basically have to battle it out  between the piled up snow and the jacked up pickups that think they own the roads.  Don't worry, we only got stuck 3 times on Friday after the snow stopped. 

funny/awkward/weird things that happened this week:
arctic vortex
tracted in snow up to our knees--GONG SHOW
tracted in -40 degrees with the windchill #onwardeveronward
ate ramen noodles for thanksgiving dinner
car got stuck 3 times in the snow in one day
Sister James slipped on the ice
I fell down a less-active member's stairs<----Sister James told me that my life should be a movie....ehhhhh probably not. 




ANYWAYS NOW TO THE IMPORTANT STUFF. 
Michelle won't return our calls or texts or answer her door.  And basically all of our investigators dropped us or said they didn't want to be baptized.  That was really rough. 
Somehow, we managed to get a ton of lessons this week though, and we found a new investigator on Saturday night!!! 
So the church has put together this new Christmas initiative called "He Is The Gift".  You've probably heard about it and seen the video, if not, watch it.  now.  here's the link: christmas.mormon.org
IT'S GOING TO BE HUGE!  We found Mel, a lady from the philippines using the video.  She let us in right away and we showed her the video, and she agreed to let us come back to teach her the restoration.  We also found a really promising potential named Cassandra.  When we told her about the message, she said, "well, it must be a pretty important message if you're out in this weather sharing it!"  She is so right.  We're going back to see her today.  Same with Mel. 
The really cool thing about those two, is they happened between 8:45 and 9pm on Saturday night.  The last 15 minutes of the day.  I remembered what my high school choir director, Mr. Bradshaw, always told us, "Anyone can give 90%.  Anyone can be pretty good, or even great.  But it's those who go that last 10% that truly succeed."  We could have easily just gone back to the apartment early because of the cold, because we were tired, because nobody was listening to us, but we didn't.  We decided to give that last 10% and give it our all.  THEN the miracles happened. One of my all time favorite scriptures illustrates what I'm trying to say here...
"For ye have need of patience , that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise . "  That key word there, AFTER, changes everything. God's promises will ALWAYS be fulfilled when we give all that we have.  It might be seconds after, or it could be years.  But God always keeps His word.
  We've also been doing this "Jar of Sacrifice" thing, where every morning, we write down something we're sacrificing that day (fear,pride,discouragement,etc), put it in the jar, and truly work all day to sacrifice that thing to give it our all.  It's been making such a huge difference.  Even though we don't always see the results of our diligence, they are there. They will come. 
sorry this is so scattered and long...


Onward, ever onward.
Sister Jones

  


We thought this was worth a shot...





zone conference and a book of mormon miracle

What a week! (as always)
We had zone conference and interviews with president this week which was SO EDIFYING I can't even handle it.  President and Sister Manion are literally angels sent from heaven above.  So great.  The training from the zone leaders was on the Atonement.  The atonement is central to EVERY principle and doctrine we teach as missionaries.  And it applies to EVERYONE, because we all fall short, and it is only by Him, through Him, and of Him that we can reach our full potential. 
We taught Michelle again about the Book of Mormon!  She is so eager to read and to continue to learn more. :)  She hasn't come to church yet, work has been getting in the way *cough cough* SATAN *cough cough* but she'll get there, we're going to teach her Sabbath Day along with the Plan of Salvation this week.  It has opened my eyes to how much God is preparing his elect to receive the gospel.  We just have to sift through literally EVERYONE to find those people that are ready and willing. 
We had a STELLAR lesson with a less active named Stacey as well!  We had planned to watch a mormon message with her, but the connection wasn't working....Sister James and I were praying our hearts out that God would make it work aaaaaaand it still didn't work.  We read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon with her and BAM the spirit was so strong!  It was exactly what she needed!  It's amazing how God really does know exactly what he's doing.  He knows his children better than we do, so it's our job to accept his will and follow the guidance he gives us through the spirit.  Stacey said she would read everyday and seemed like she would want to come back to church soon!  I've said it before and I'll say it again,  THERE IS IMMENSE POWER IN THE BOOK OF MORMON! 



Onward, ever onward.
Sister Jones
Canadian Sunrises *sigh*
Me and Sister James 
Our "Scare Attempt"
No Shave November or "Movember" as they call it!
Canadian Pride
Drayton Valley Christmas Parade
Watching the Parade


#askEVERYONEforreferrals

Greetings from Drayton Valley, Alberta!
I had like a bajillion emails this week, so I'm sorry this is going to be short.
I just wanted to share a really neat miracle that happened this week! 
Tuesday night, we decided to stop by a less-active man on the branch list that we didn't know.  We knocked on his door, and lo and behold, he doesn't live there anymore. (story of a missionary's life, right?) but we talked to the guy who did live there, definitely not interested #atheist ...BUT then I had this thought to ask, "do you know of anyone who might need a message of hope?" It went real quiet and he just sat there thinking...I knew he thought of someone, I could just see it in his eyes! FINALLY he said, "Michelle."  Then he gave us her address and sent us on our way!!!  WHHHAT??  This never happens.  So naturally, we drove over to her house as quick as we could (as the icy roads would permit of course) and knocked on her door!  Her boyfriend answered, then she came and we told her what had happened, and she had us come back the next morning.  We taught her the restoration Wednesday morning, and the spirit was so strong!  She said she would read and pray about the Book of Mormon and when she knows it's true, she'll be baptized!!! :) :)  We're so stoked for her.  She's so solid. 
We were also able to contact a referral we got from a member last week, Fay,  and we'll be teaching her and her son, Seth tonight in the Strasbourg's home! Miracles are happening here in Drayton Valley.  (cue princess diaries music...MIRACLES HAPPEN ONCE IN A WHILE, WHEN YOU BELIEEEEVE!)
^^^super great new bible video, give it a watch.


Onward, ever onward.
 Sister Jones







these Alberta skies though...








 






CAUTION: DO NOT LEAVE WATER BOTTLE IN CAR OVER NIGHT, IT WILL FREEZE



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

White washing in a winter wonderland!

hey hey!
 
What a week.  Let me tell you.  Monday and Tuesday were spent saying goodbye to all the wonderful people of Grande Prairie, I miss them so much!  Wednesday was transfer day, so we had to leave at 6:30am to get to Edmonton.  Luckily the weather wasn't bad at all, so we got there safely. 
 
J Squared
Sister James and I are here in Drayton Valley and it's so great.  The first day was reeeeally difficult, we had nothing set up, so we tried to get in contact with the investigators that the sisters before us were teaching, and we have a few appointments set up for this week!  We're super stoked!  Sister James served here in Drayton about 6 months ago, and was surprised to be called back here for her last transfer.  I'm glad she's here, she knows the members so it has been easier to get to know the branch.  The members here are REFERRAL MACHINES!  So many missionary minded people.  Let me tell you, it's amazing. 
The branch covers a pretty big area, so there's lots of driving. 
 
 
The high temp for this week is -14c
the pine and spruce trees covered in snow is the most beautiful sight(site?) in the world
 
 WATCH THIS VIDEO ^^^^ PLEEEASE and I just want to encourage you all to look outside of yourselves this week.  When we are being selfless, everything else falls into place.  There are people out there who are struggling, who need a smile or a helping hand.  If you're struggling, turn to the Lord.  He will lift you higher than you can lift yourself. 
 
 
Sorry this is so short..THE CHURCH IS TRUE! 
 
Onward, ever onward.
 
Sister Jones

Sunday, November 9, 2014

GET OFF MY PORCH YA LITTLE WHIPPERSNAPPERS!

HOLY COW WHAT A WEEK.

first off, transfer calls were this morning......aaaandd.......I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED TO DRAYTON VALLEY!  Definitely did not see that coming.  We thought for sure I would be in Grande Prairie for 6 months, but obviously God always knows better, and although I'm heartbroken to have to say goodbye to all the people I have grown to love so much here, I'm excited for a new adventure.  I'll be with Sister James, who goes home after this transfer.  

We got to go ice skating last Monday which was definitely an adventure!  I only biffed it once, so I call that a success. :)  We had some pretty amazing lessons with our investigators, things really are looking up for the Bear Creek ward!

For Halloween, our ward had a trunk-or-treat/chili cook off!  That was definitely an adventure.  Along with the Elders, we dressed up as old people.....hahaha it was EPIC.  We borrowed canes from a member, and put flour in our hair (which takes like 6 washes to get out btw...don't try this at home, kids.) I probably said the word "whippersnappers" more in one night than I have in my whole life.  (hence the subject line...sorry, i'm running out of ideas people.)


We tracted into this pentecostal lady on Saturday who invited us in!  It wasn't until we got in that we realized she was pentecostal.  We ended up being there for like...2 hours..which was not good, but we semi taught the first lesson, but she was more interested in comparing the things we believe.  We just bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and the power that it has.  the spirit was so strong, and she ended up saying she'd read ours if we would read hers (she gave us a bible study pamphlet from her church) so we agreed!  Hopefully they go back to teach her after I leave!  


Something I have realized this week is how much happier we are when our focus is to become Christlike.  If we can strive for the attributes he has, literally everything else falls into place.  We don't have to be a different person, just a better version of who we already are.  God doesn't see us as who we are, he sees us as who we can become.  Even though I'm so incredibly imperfect, I know that God still loves me.  And he will help me to become the person he sees.

Onward, ever onward.
Sister Jones
Our District Halloween costumes!  (2 peas in a pod)

Photo Update!


District Meeting Costumes


Massive Snowball Fight!


The Elders Jack-o-Lanterns

Saying goodbye to Kristina

Saying goodbye to the Hatch family

Saying goodbye to the Green family

I'm a moose!

Saying goodbye to the Jarvis family

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bear Sausage?

hello hello!

This week went by so fast, so much to say but so little time!  

On Tuesday, we visited with Charlene (a less-active), and her daughter, Natalia, who is 8 and not baptized wants to start taking the lessons so she can be baptized!!!  We're also starting the stop smoking program with Charlene this week, we're so excited!  
We also made prayer rocks with Griffin and Alora.  They're the cutest kids ever, and I really believe they're going to get baptized soon!  We're going to talk about a date this week with them, and really focus on getting them to church.  
WE ALSO ATE BEAR SAUSAGE IT WAS DELICIOUS! 

 Exchanges were Wednesday and Thursday, and we found a couple solid potentials!  Basically all of our appointments fell through, so we did a ton of finding and stopping by people on the ward list that we don't know.  I learn so much from exchanges, I went with Sister Tanner again, she's such an awesome missionary.  

We had a couple lessons on Friday, one with our investigator Ashley.  She has been taking the lessons for a really long time, her common law is an inactive member.  They have committed to come to church a few times, but haven't come.  She knows it's all true, we just need to help her to feel the urgency and the importance of living the gospel.  She'll get there.  

We knocked on this old lady named Jean's door one night, and went back on Saturday to rake her leaves! She was SO happy we came, and we were glad we went when we did, because it snowed yesterday!  She is seriously the sweetest thing.  She was so grateful for our help.  

This weekend was Stake Conference, there were some awesome talks!  We have started to make a new ward mission plan with Bishop and our ward mission leader, and we're really hoping it gets the members excited about missionary work.  THIS IS THE WORK OF SALVATION, PEOPLE!  It's the most important thing you can be doing.  Sharing the gospel is the greatest and most important duty we have as members of the church.  Brother Pahulu said it very well, "if you're not looking for opportunities to share the gospel, you're not converted."  

This life we are all living is a LITERAL battle of good and evil.  I've seen how real Satan is, and the power he has over people's lives, but I've also seen how real God's power is.  If you want to be happy, you absolutely cannot be a fence sitter.  Decide now to take responsibility for your salvation, and always remember the good that you can do.  We have the ability to use God's power here on the earth, so let's use it!  

Onward, ever onward.

Sister Jones

Sunday, October 26, 2014

only week 11 and I'm running out of email titles!

Not a ton happened this week, but it was MUCH better than last!

Last week we had a whopping 3 lessons.  All week.  Not even kidding.  But this week, we had 3 lessons by Tuesday!  We felt so much better about everything after that.  Sometimes you need a really slow week so you can recognize when things are going better.  On Tuesday, we were tracting and met a girl named Sheng.  She's Filipino and right when we said we share a message about Jesus Christ, she invited us in!  We taught her the first lesson, and she said she would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it!  she doesn't have a phone....but we set up a return appointment for Thursday, but when we showed up, she wasn't home.  We've gone back everyday to try to talk to her, but she's never home...but that's the only way we have to get a hold of her, so we'll keep trying!  

We also met with Charlene.  She's a less active who was baptized about 5 years ago, but only stayed active for about 6 months.  She has two kids, Natalia is 8, so she could get baptized!  We've been trying to teach her, but Charlene's schedule is crazy!  We watched a Mormon
message with her, and she actually prayed!  She always says she'll do it "next time", so this time, sister McEwen said, "you said that last time..." and Natalia really wanted her to, so she did!  It was SO GREAT!  Prayer is SO vital to spiritual progression.  There was a baptism of a child in the ward that night, so we invited them.  When we got there, she wasn't there, so we were bummed.  Then about 5 minutes after it started, the door opened, and there she was with her kids!  We were SO EXCITED to see her!  The spirit was strong, and Natalia LOVED the songs.  Helping people to feel the spirit brings the most amazing feeling.  

We also had a couple lessons with Griffin and Alora this week about keeping the Sabbath day holy.  They live about 20 minutes out of town, so that's the excuse their mom gives for not coming to church, but Griffin really wants to come.  His prayers are the sweetest.  This week he prayed that somehow they will be able to get to church next week, and that "the missionaries can keep coming back every week".  

We had 11 people who committed to coming to church (less actives/nonmembers) so we were so stoked about it!  Then when 1o'clock rolled around, none of them came.  NONE.  That was a huge bummer.  Kristina came though.  She's the other sister's investigator in the other ward, but she's also attending the Alliance church, and it's at the same times as their ward. so she comes with us, she's progressing so fast, she just needs to pick between our church and the alliance. She knows our church is true, she's getting there. :)  

This week I have learned so much about the atonement.  We talked to so many people with such rough lives, and it just strengthens my testimony of the atonement.  Because of Jesus Christ, literally ALL is possible.  We can become brand new.  I've really been thinking about the Christlike Attributes in Preach my Gospel, and how I need to stop focusing on becoming a better missionary, because I should be trying to become a more CHRISTLIKE missionary.  If we do everything as He would, people will recognize us for who we are as representatives of Him.   I know you've all probably seen this a million times, but it never gets old.  Watch it.  :)  https://www.lds.org/youth/video/because-of-him?lang=eng

Onward, ever onward.  

Sister Jones
 
 
 
Also, Sister McEwen and I drew these pictures of the elders with our feet...no big deal.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grand Adventures

Holy cow I have literally NO time to write today because we went on the most GRAND adventure to a magical land called Kinuseo Falls.  Our Ward mission leader, Brother Brown and his family took us and it was SUCH a good time.  Also, it's Canadian Thanksgiving.  So we had a Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at Bishop's, and one today after Kinuseo Falls at another member's home.  so. much. food.  I probably don't need to eat for another year.

Soooo...this week was interesting.  We had 6 lessons planned for Tuesday, and were planning on a few of those becoming new investigators, aaaaand literally all of them fell through.  We ended up dropping a few of our investigators because they won't make the time or effort to meet with us and keep commitments...it had been really rough, but we are one step closer to a miracle.  

Yesterday, we went finding in Muskoseepi Park (also another one of nature's wonders here in GP) and ran into a less active family who moved here from Ontario about a month ago!  NOTHING IS COINCIDENCE!  God's hand is definitely in our lives everyday and He makes things happen how He has them planned.  We ended up getting their info and we're going to go visit them!  They have two boys, ages 8 and 10 and we're pretty sure they aren't baptized.  She said she wants them to go to Cubs and she was wondering where the church is!  We're so excited for them, they're making their way back for sure.  :)
 
On Saturday, we went out to Sister King's, and did some service for her.  She has her own ranch where she keeps other people's horses(not sure what the technical term is for that..) and we helped her rip out a few fences and re-wire them, rip out a couple gates and put them in other places.  We were there all day and I'm STILL sore..hahah it's a good kind of sore though.  It was a good time. 
 
 
sorry this is so short, like I said, I have ZERO time, but I absolutely LOVED this talk from conference, so ya'll need to read it!  If you've already read it again since conference, read it again!  Literally every sentence he says is SO powerful.  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/approaching-the-throne-of-god-with-confidence?lang=eng
 
 
Onward, ever onward.  
 
Sister Jones

Monday, October 6, 2014

leaves on leaves on lessons on leaves

The week started off a bit on the downside when we got kicked out of a Filipino family's home Monday evening.  We had tracted into Irene, who let us in immediately to teach her the week before, and she started reading the Book of Mormon and everything!  We went back on Monday and her whole family was home.  We started teaching the Plan of Salvation, and right when I introduced "agency", her nephew who is probably in his 30's FREAKED out.  Ha...in a nutshell he basically told us that agency isn't in the bible and if we teach anything that's not in the bible, we're not welcome in their home.  The spirit was GONE right after that incident..we opened up to Genesis about Adam and Eve and how they had agency, and he didn't even stay to hear our answer.  Irene's daughter had some objections about the Book of Mormon, so we tried to resolve them, but she was DEFINITELY not having it.  We had brought Fanny, a member who is from the Philippines, so she could speak Tagalog with them.  We didn't know what they were saying, then Fanny turns to us, "they're just waiting for you to leave."  So we said a prayer and left.  Afterwards, she told us that we are definitely not welcome there anymore...it made me realize that the missions we are serving really are just a tiny, miniscule glimpse of what the Savior went through.  The message of the Gospel can bring so much happiness and light into people's lives, but only if they let it.  Pride is what keeps people from improving their lives and living the gospel.  And we just have to realize that there's not much we can do as missionaries if people don't have the humility to listen to us.

Also, super funny...our bishop called us Tuesday night, because we had a question for him.  The first thing he says is, "guess what!  I just ran over a bear!"  Say what??!  We were laughing so hard.  Then on Thursday we had supper with them, and he was saying how he was going to feed us bear one day, then I was like, "Oh yeah are you going to go back and get that bear you ran over?" ( I was totally being sarcastic) then Dustin (his son) goes, "He already has it!" HA!  It was kind of a had to be there moment...but it was so funny.  I'm telling you, their family is the greatest.  

Wednesday was a crazy day!  We raked about 7 million leaves between two less actives and it was such a blast.  It was SOOO cold.  I thought my hands were going to fall off, but Heavenly Father protects His missionaries.  :) 
 
 
We also mutilated our tire by accidentally running over a broken glass bottle in the church parking lot.  We called the elders in our ward, and their car was in the shop, so they couldn't help us.  So we called the other elders, who just laughed hysterically at us. . . then the Stake president drives into the parking lot and says, "you look stranded!"  We told him what happened, and he put our spare on for us. :)  We have been driving on our donut since then, but we're getting our new tire today.  So we can actually drive. 

A new investigator moved into our ward!!!!  Her name is Robin and she's so solid.  She's been wanting to get baptized for over a year now, but her family is super anti.  She said now that she's married and moved away, she can do what she wants.  SO EXCITING!  We're just waiting for her husband to get the Melchizedek priesthood so he can confirm her.  MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING!  



Also, conference was AMAZING!  So much about prophets and Joseph Smith and families and the Sacrament.  I absolutely love how simple and clear the messages of the talks are.  The gospel really is so simple.  

In my personal studies a few days ago, I read Alma 2.  I'm not sure how I read this chapter multiple times before my mission and didn't realize how PACKED it is with instructions for us!  As we are prepared, and as we arm ourselves with the tools that the Lord has given us, we will be strengthened by Him and will not fall when the adversary is upon us.  I encourage you all to read it, and find a way to apply it to your daily life.  

Missionary work is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I know without a doubt that it's hard because, as Elder Holland says, "Salvation is NOT a cheap experience."  He's right.  Salvation isn't easy, and the road the Savior walked was the farthest thing from easy.  I'm so grateful I have this opportunity to serve in place of the Savior to bring His people unto Him.  

Onward, ever onward.

Sister Jones

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Platform 9 3/4=Baptism

Hello hello!

This week was an adventure (as always) and it was also the first week of my second transfer!  CRAZY, RIGHT?!  Also, a group of new missionaries came out, so Sister Rush and I got really excited when we realized we're not the new kids anymore. :) 

The Dude

On Tuesday, we went over to the Dude's for what I thought was going to be a testimony meeting, since our District Leader was getting transferred, but it turned out to be a mini birthday party for me!  And I haven't even gotten to the good part...wait for it.....it was a HARRY POTTER PARTY!  My dream, right?  Ha the elders made us all wands.  And Hannah made me a HP birthday cake.  People are the greatest.  
Also, I have an analogy for you all! (hence the subject line).  Baptism is like Platform 9 3/4.  Going through the brick wall (baptism) seems extremely difficult if not impossible to do, but it is the first big step we must take to get to Hogwarts (aka the temple) to learn all the things we must do (spells) to combat Satan's power (aka Lord Voldemort/Horcruxes).  Even though it's a leap of faith to plow through the brick wall not knowing if you'll get through successfully, when you are on time (have faith) things will work out and you won't slam into a brick wall :)  If that made any sense..if it didn't......just go with it :)  
Our District heading to Hogwarts at Platform 9 3/4


We had a really cool experience as well later that day!  We were going over to see if a less active was home (she wasn't) and we felt like we should stop by Mak and Jennifer's (Jennifer dropped us the second week I was here)  We knocked on the door, and Mak opened and was like, "my SISTAS!  Where have you been?? Why haven't you been visiting me!" (also he's so black, and has a SWEET accent) then he invited us in and we were so confused!  We just sat down and talked for a while, then Jennifer came out, and talked with us as well.  Mak really wanted to show off his new MASSIVE sound system in their living room, so we made a compromise and listened to some church songs with them :)  We shared a scripture from Mosiah with them, and Mak had a book mark where the scripture was, so we asked him if he likes the Book of Mormon so far, and he said that it's his second time through....HE ALREADY READ THE WHOLE THING AND IS IN MOSIAH FOR THE SECOND TIME!  We were definitely not expecting that!  We asked him if he thinks it's true, and he said he knows it is.  Jennifer on the other hand hasn't read...which is why she dropped us.  The Book of Mormon is so vital in the conversion process!  It's impossible to gain a testimony of the church if you don't read the Book of Mormon.  So we committed her to read and pray to know if it's true.  She said she would!  I was about to commit Mak to be baptized, and right at that moment he said, "Sister Jones, would you like to close with a prayer?"  ha.  bad timing.  But he works in the oil fields, so he works 21 days straight, then comes home for 3 days...and he doesn't have a sunday off for a few months.  Getting him to church is going to be the only issue we have with him.  Aaaand they need to get married.  Things will happen for them eventually.  We're going to read with Jennifer this week. 


Wednesday was my birthday, and it was swell.  The other sisters decorated our room and we have soooo many balloons since it was Sister Campbell's bday last week and mine this week... we don't know what to do with them all!  We had Donairs for lunch, which was quite the adventure...(and by quite the adventure I mean world war 3 in my stomach) All is well!  :)  We were going to visit with a member in our ward, and we were 5 minutes early, so both of us thought to knock on the house two doors down from her.  We knocked, and got talking to the lady, her name is Eleni, and she's SO SOLID!  Her family is from Greece, so she said she was Greek Orthodox, and her fiance is Mennonite, but there aren't either of those churches here in GP, so she said they were looking for a church!  She went down to Edmonton for the weekend, so she didn't come to church, but we're meeting with her tomorrow to teach her the first lesson!  We are SO STOKED!


We also taught Irene and Vengia, the two women from the Philippines we found last week.  We taught them the first lesson again, Vengia has a ton of questions since she knows some Mormons back home.  We committed them to read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true, and we're teaching them again tonight!  


The rest of the week went a lot slower than we hoped for, Bobbie was sick so we didn't see her all week, and Shauna wasn't able to meet or come to the Women's broadcast or church...and Olivier was busy as well.  Missionary work is really hard when things are slow, but the Lord always has a plan, and things always go according to His plan.  Patience is what I've trying hard to develop this past week.  It's rough when you are really trying to fulfill your purpose, but have nobody to meet with!  But that's when we continue on in patience and diligence and do our best to find those who are prepared to receive the restored gospel.  


In my studies this morning, I read President Monson's talk, "I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee."  (you can find it here)

Basically the whole thing is remarkable, but these two quotes really stood out to me:

"We become impatient for a solution to our problems, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required."

"The history of the Church in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, is replete with the experiences of those who have struggled and yet who have remained steadfast and of good cheer. The reason? They have made the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of their lives. This is what will pull us through whatever comes our way. We will still experience difficult challenges, but we will be able to face them, to meet them head-on, and to emerge victorious."


God knows that we must face challenges to be strengthened!  And He knows what I must face personally to be able to become the person He wants me to be.  THIS right here is the mission I was called to serve, and although the road is long, exhausting, and at times seemingly impossible, "the works of God cannot be frustrated".  
As we are exactly obedient and strive to be like Christ, we will have success.  I have learned that success isn't necessarily the outward results that people can see, but oftentimes the success we get is a change of heart, a new perspective, and a new attitude.  I know I'm supposed to be out here for a reason, and I learn so much everyday.  God knows who he wants us to be, it's our job to submit to His will and reach our fullest potential which is only possible through our Savior, Jesus Christ.  


Onward, ever onward,

Sister Jones 

xoxo



Monday, September 22, 2014

"Lovest thou me more than these [fish]?"

SO MUCH HAPPENED THIS WEEK.  I'll do my best to make sense, but as you all know, my brain goes faster than my fingers, so bear with me...


Last Monday, we drove to Edmonton for Mission Tour/Conference!!!  It's crazy how different people here in Canada are about driving.  It's a 5 hour drive from Grande Prairie to Edmonton, and it's so common for people to just go down to Edmonton for the day....We're spoiled back in Utah where everything is so close together.  The ride was good, AUTUMN HERE IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!  Also, we ate the best donuts I've ever eaten in my life at Crooked Creek, this little gas station on the way to Edmonton.  My life is now complete. 


Mission Conference on Tuesday was INCREDIBLE!  Elder and Sister Martino spoke to us as well as President and Sister Manion.  The Lord is truly hastening His work, it's so exciting to be a part of!  At the beginning, Elder Martino talked about our devotion to the Lord. He referenced John 21, when Christ asked Peter 3 times, "Lovest thou me?"
"Lovest thou me more than these [fish]?" It really got me thinking.  Do I really and truly love the Lord more than these "fishes"?  Do my actions show my love for Jesus Christ?  He then tells Peter for the third time, "Feed my sheep."  If we truly love the Lord, we will feed His sheep, because that is the most important work on the earth.  To spread the Gospel light to those around us.  We don't have to necessarily go out of our way to share the light with others, if you pray for the experiences, God will place them in your path.  All you have to do is act on them when He gives them to you.  I learned so much from Elder Martino, it was SO POWERFUL! 


President Manion also said something super awesome that really struck me.  "See opposition as opportunity."  SO COOL.  I've really been trying to  remember that this week. 

Sister McEwen and I are planning what we are going to call, "Becoming More Christlike By Christmas".  For the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas, we will be having a fireside/activity one night a week and learn about how we can apply certain Christlike attributes from chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel.  The members are going to help us and we're going to invite basically everyone in Grande Prairie to come to this event.  It's going to be strictly focused on Christ and how we can become more like Him.  We're hoping that as nonmembers come, they will be able to realize that Christ really is the center of our religion, in hopes that they will feel the spirit and want to learn more. :) It's going to be amazing! 


Wednesday night, we taught Griffin and Alora.  They're 11 and 9 years old, and their mom is less active.  They haven't been baptized, so we're trying to get them there.  We've been teaching them since I got here and they're finally comfortable with saying prayers in the lessons!  Griffin said in his prayer, "thank you for the missionaries, and please please bless that they will keep visiting us and teaching us." they're so precious!!!  


Thursday was Sister Campbell's birthday, so Sister McEwen, Sister Rush and I got up early to decorate the apartment. :) It was super great!  Then....Sister Campbell got a fun birthday present....Sister Rush comes out of the washroom and says, "umm...the toilet is exploding."  yep.  Toilet water ALL OVER the washroom floor...So we spent our Companion Studies cleaning it up. :)  Sister Campbell decided to use the tiny spots in the middle of the rugs that were dry to hop over to the bathtub and try to plunge the toilet to stop it from overflowing...I could not stop laughing.  And crying.  At the same time.  it was probably the most hilarious thing that's happened thus far in GP. Pretty effective use of our time I would say. ;)  We were laughing so hard...oh my heavens it was ridiculous.  Happy birthday Sister Campbell! :)


Now for the miracle of thew week...
Yesterday after church, ALL of our appointments besides supper fell through...Dahh!  It was such a bummer..so we decided to text a few of our investigators in hopes that maybe one of them would be able to meet.  Shauna texted us back and said she could!  FINALLY WE GOT TO MEET WITH SHAUNA!  We brought Hannah, with us.  She graduated high school last year and is planning on going on a mission, so she's GOLDEN to bring to lessons.  We met at the church and showed Shauna around a bit, but it was already 8:30 so we didn't giver her the full tour.  She brought her friend, Josh, with her, and we taught them lesson one, the Restoration.  I LOVE teaching the restoration so much, mostly because we get to teach the first vision.  I never knew before my mission how powerful the message of the restoration really is.  Reciting the First Vision in Joseph Smith's words brings the spirit like nothing else.  Shauna really wants to change her life around, she said she knows she's doing things that are wrong and she really wants to change, but she doesn't know how.  We committed her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and when she knows it's true to be baptized!  I just lover her so much!  She said she would come to the General Women's broadcast on Saturday and then church on Sunday!  The gospel really is the only thing that brings everlasting light into our lives. 


As we live the principles of the gospel and keep God's commandments, we will have a bigger desire to be better.  The spirit can dwell within us and help our hearts to change.  There is no other way to have lasting joy than to accept Jesus Christ and live by his teachings.  As we act on the faith we do have, he will bless us with more and more faith than we thought we could even have. 
Ether 12:4 <------- SO SOLID


Onward, ever onward.

love
sister jones


Monday, September 15, 2014

There's no such thing as an atheist!

hello hello!

I am super limited on time today, so sorry if none of this makes sense.  :)  We're headed to Edmonton in a bit for mission tour!  Elder Martino is coming to speak to us and it's going to be epic.  

This week....hmm.  I honestly don't even remember what happened.  SO MUCH HAPPENED but things are such a blurr.  


We had our mormon.org time and watched a couple really cool videos!  Y'all need to watch this one for sure:


there are also a few other videos in this section of mormonchannel that are AMAZING, check them out for sure.  

Tuesday night, we had supper with Bishop Jarvis' family, they're my favorite people ever.  I just laugh and laugh when I'm over there, they are amazing.  Sister Jarvis helps us in the work so much, we wouldn't be where we are without her.  That night we went with the Young Women to visit the less active girls and give them a little treat, we only actually talked with one, the others weren't home, but it was good.  

Wednesday, we were going to go meet with a couple potentials we found while on exchanges last week, and we call the number....yeah he gave us a fake number.  NOOOOOOOOO..... it was really sad actually.  I was so stoked to teach this guy.  FAIL.   Oh well, whenever something sad happens, we remind ourselves that we're one step closer to a miracle.  God knows what His plan is.  

THURSDAY WAS FULL OF MIRACLES

First off, we went and visited our investigator, Bobbie.  She isn't doing too well, she's been having a hard time with family issues, but she told us that reading the Book of Mormon helps her so much!  She's been reading and praying and really gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  

After supper that night, we were really wanting to meet with Shauna, one of our other investigators, at the church and give her a church tour before the lesson.  She doesn't ever know her schedule, so meeting with her is tough.  After trying to get a hold of her for a bit, we went into the mothers lounge and prayed our little hearts out.  she didn't end up calling while we were there, so we decided to visit some less actives to invite them to the ward BBQ.  We had the thought to text Olivier, our "atheist" friend we met while tracting a few weeks ago!  We told him about the BBQ, then asked if he could meet.  He texted back really fast and said yes!  We weren't expecting this, and to meet with him we have to have someone else of our same gender, and we couldn't find anyone!!!!  it was so intense.  We didn't want to have to bring the elders, because we felt like it would be overwhelming for him, then we thought of Selena, a girl in our ward who's YSA age!  We called her, and she was all for it!  

Olivier got to the church and we gave him a little tour.  He said he felt bad because he had "only read 20 pages" of the book of mormon!  ONLY?? Most people don't even read!!!  It was so great.  I really think he's just trying to be an atheist...he's totally not.  We taught him the restoration in the chapel and the spirit was so strong.  I hadn't recited the first vision in a lesson yet, and I knew it was coming....but I was so scared.  It came time and I looked at Sister McEwen and she just looked at me...so I said it!  I can't even describe the spirit that was felt.  I just testified of the truthfulness of what we were saying and his eyes just lit up.  So powerful.  We asked him to pray about it and keep reading, but he's so stubborn.  He doesn't think God really cares if we pray, but he'll get there. Also, that was the first time I've ever heard an F word in a chapel...awkward.  OOH I ALMOST FORGOT!  OLIVIER WALKED TO THE CHURCH!  From the church to his house, it's about an 8 minute drive...not sure how many miles, but an atheist wouldn't walk to a church in the cold to learn about God...it just doesn't make sense.  #notanatheist SO MANY MIRACLES

Friday was the ward BBQ!  So much fun.  Our ward is the greatest!  We didn't have any less actives that we invited, but a former investigator showed up!  It was a fun night.  We definitely got to know the ward better.  

Saturday, we had this huge family history fair!  I guess the church puts it on every year.  People come from all over to hear seminars and attend classes to learn more about doing family history.  Not as many nonmembers came as usual, but it was still a huge success.  

Our Saturday afternoon miracle:  Bobbie texted us asking if she could get a book of mormon for her mom.  We were just like, YES OF COURSE!  Then she texts back and asks if she can get ANOTHER for her friend, then she texts AGAIN and says, "wait can I just get 4 more?"  OUR INVESTIGATOR DOES MORE MISSIONARY WORK THAN MOST MEMBERS!!!  Ha it was such a great moment.  We brought them by her house last night and she was so stoked about it.  She LOVES the book of mormon so much. 

Anyways, hopefully this all makes sense.  Being a missionary is so humbling.  I'm so thankful for the time that I've had so far and for all of the things I have learned.  God really is in control and He has a specific plan for each and every one of His children.  It's incredible what miracles can happen when you truly submit to his will.  

I love you all so much!  

Onward, ever onward. 

love,
sister jones