Monday, August 25, 2014

Finding, finding, finding

This week has been such a blur!!! Holy moly..sorry if this doesn't make any sense. 
We had a really full week planned, but SO MANY of our appointments just didn't answer their doors or cancelled at the last minute, which was really frustrating..but since we had more time, we did a ton of knocking doors.  It goes to show that Heavenly Father really always has a plan, because we found 6 NPI's (New potential investigator) this week!  Almost one everyday!  We were super stoked about it!  This week should be full of appointments with them!
Tuesday morning, we visited The Dude.  The Dude is this guy who, 27 years ago, got into an ATV accident.  He can't talk and he can barely move, but he talks to us with his fingers.  It's pretty crazy, super cool though!  We go with the elders in our ward and Brother Meyers and get to share a message with him.  Aaand have nerf gun wars hahah.  He's really incredible though! 
Thursday night, we went to a baptism!!!  Her name is Twyla, the other sisters have been working with her.  But she has basically been a member of the church her whole life.  Her mom is a member, but her dad isn't, and he wouldn't let her get baptized.  So on her 18th birthday, she was finally able to be baptized!  It was really cool, we had our investigator, Mary, come and she also brought her daughter!  We're really hoping she'll be ready for baptism soon, she's progressing..but very very slowly.  She's been taking the lessons for a really long time and has already been taught everything.  Now she just has to act on it.  So we're working really hard with her. 
We had a lesson with Mary and another with a less active.  We had a few other appointments that day, and afterwards, we only had about 25 minutes til we had to be into our apartments.  We decided to tract for that time, and the first door we knocked on, nobody answered.  Across the street there was a guy standing out on his patio.  We went over to talk to him and he was like, "I believe in Lucifer!!!" we just kept talking to him.  A lady poked her head out the door, and he was like, "Oh!  Talk to her, she's a real strong catholic woman!!!" (he thought we were nuns lol) so we started talking to her.  She was really weirded out at first, but we started talking about the Book of Mormon.  She was really intrigued.  We told her that unlike the bible, there is only one interpretation of it and it contains the fulness of the gospel.  She asked us about baptizing babies, and we told her that we baptize after the age of 8, because children aren't accountable before then. She was really relieved!  We then got into the Plan of Salvation somehow and she just asked us if it was bad that she felt like crying.  We taught her that it was the spirit, and the spirit testifies of truth.  She started crying then we started was SO POWERFUL I CAN'T EVEN EXPLAIN IT!  But we're meeting with her tomorrow!!!  I'm so stoked! 
Also, our investigator, Bobbie, has been praying everyday and she always texts us about how she feels that God is with her and she is so happy with herself when she prays!  #winning  We're so excited.

I can't believe it's already week three in Canada, time really does fly.
Sister McEwen and I had an epiphany the other day.  We realized every time we got an NPI, it was because we invited them to learn about SPECIFIC principles in the gospel, not just the gospel in general.  For example: would you be interested in learning more about life after death?  Stuff like that.  It has worked SO MUCH BETTER! 
I want to encourage all of you to really get into Preach My Gospel.  Your confidence in sharing the gospel will increase so much as you study the truth and learn the basics.  Simplicity is power! 
I love you all so much and really appreciate your support! 
Sister Jones

Monday, August 18, 2014

In The Promised Land (where record breaking heat is mid 80's)


It has been such a crazy couple of weeks!  Sorry I didn't get to email last week, our pday in the MTC was Wednesdays, and we left last Tuesday.  So I'll try to tell you all everything that I remember!
My district!
The last Sunday in the MTC was so bittersweet!  We sang our district farewell hymn in sacrament meeting, which was Come Thou Fount, and now every time I hear it I die inside a little.  In a good way..sort of.  It's great.  But lo and behold, guess who gets called out of the congregation to speak?  Sister Jones!  Ha I had a feeling it would happen though.  I just spoke on Repentance.  Good thing they pound the 5 principles of the Gospel into your head in the MTC, right?

So our MTC district was so great!  Saying goodbye to them was awful enough, and do you know what's even worse? Saying goodbye with a handshake.  A HANDSHAKE!  Ha oh well, #missionarylife I guess.  Anyways, Sister Rush, Sister Burton and I were the only ones who came to Canada, the Elders and Sister Rigby went to Seattle. 
Sister Rush, Sister Burton and me!
On Monday night, we basically only got 40 minutes of sleep!  We had to be at the travel office by 2:30am, and we still had to pack and clean out our residency and all that fun stuff, so that was exciting.  We went to the travel office and our traveling party was I think 23 missionaries!  Crazy, right?  So many missionaries.  The flights weren't too bad, I was hoping for a missionary experience, but I sat by a member lady on the first flight, then after the layover in Denver, I sad by Sister Burton.  Oh well I guess!  We were then greeted by President and Sister Manion after getting our visas and such (which took like 8 years).  We went to the church and right from the get go started street contacting in Edmonton!  We got rejected so many times it was crazy.  But we actually got into a really good conversation with 3 people who were very strong christians.  The girl seemed really interested so we gave her a book of mormon and the restoration pamphlet.  Super cool.  Hopefully the missionaries in Edmonton get in contact with her soon. 
Sister McEwen, Myself & Bro & Sis Manion

We stayed at the mission home that night and had a devotional and such, President Manion is so great.  Such a funny guy!  They're so sweet!  On Wednesday, we had transfer meeting where I met my trainer and found out where I would be serving!!! :)  My trainer's name is Sister McEwen and she has been out for 14 months! She's from Idaho and is a great missionary!  We are serving in Grande Prairie which is about 5 hours north west ish from Edmonton.  It's super pretty here, but we only get mail like once a month since it's so far away.  Sister Rush, my MTC companion is here as well and we get to live together!!!!!  We were so happy when we realized that!  Oh, also, Grande Prairie is the furthest north that they send Sisters.  All the sisters say they want to go here, so we're lucky!  Sister McEwen says we'll probably be here for about 6 months!  But you never know. 

NOW TO THE GOOD STUFF!  My first lesson was with an 83 year old man who lives in Wembly named Don.  He's such a sweet guy, he's Christian and reads the bible quite a bit.  It's really hard to get into lessons with him though because he talks SO MUCH.  his wife passed away in 2005 so he's a really lonely guy.  We only talked about prophets ahhaha but we gave him a book of mormon and invited him to read it and pray about it.  Hopefully he does!  We're meeting with him again tomorrow.  Ha and at the end of the lesson he goes to hug sister McEwen and it was awkward but then she just hugged him then I did.  hahahah oops.  I mean he's 83, what could we do?? :) 
On Friday we visited a less active lady, she has two kids and they're so adorable!  She really knows she needs to be back at church, her friends are really bad influences on her though.  She has stopped drinking though and really wants to come back!  We just gotta keep working with her, we're having FHE with her and her fam tonight, I'm excited! 

Saturday, we went out to another less active lady's house and she lives out in the boonies!  She has a horse ranch and we helped her wire up her new fence with the Elders who are serving in our ward.  It was pretty hot, but not compared to Utah!  Also, fun fact: DADDY LONG LEGS BITE IN CANADA!  Creepy, right??  Yeah I think Heavenly Father is trying to make me less scared of spiders because they were crawling all over me and I didn't quite freak out too bad..hahahah.  Sister McEwen got bit by on though it was crazy.  On our way back, we get a call from a high priest who was speaking in our Sacrament meeting the next day, and asked if one of us would speak with I volunteered because I knew I'd speak in the next couple weeks anyway, may as well, right?  I just spoke on our purpose (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, enduring to the end) super easy just coming out of the MTC. 

Also.....WE GOT A NEW INVESTIGATOR!!!!  she was a potential, so we went over to see if we could meet with her and she was sitting on her porch! We talked to her for a while, and she seemed kind of stand-offish, but we just jumped right in.  We talked about a lot from the first lesson, and she said she really feels good when she talks to us.  She read the first vision, and told us she just got a really good feeling when she read it.  THAT'S THE HOLY GHOST PLEASE JUST BE BAPTIZED!  Ha but really.  She also said she'd read the book of mormon and pray about it.  SCORE!  So that's my first new investigator story. 

We've also done a little bit of tracting, but mostly we work with less actives.  It's good!  We really want to try to get the members to be more involved in the work, sot that's my goal while I'm out here!  Also, President Manion said it's possible I could be training after 12 weeks...DAHH!  So I'm really trying to prepare for that! :)  

Sorry this is so long there's just so much!  I love you all so much!  MISSIONARY WORK ROCKS
Also, read 1 Nephi 1, and put yourself in Lehi or Nephi's shoes. It's pretty cool. 
love ya'll! 
Also, everyone here talks really weird, I hope I don't pick up on it hahah :) 
Sister Jones
MTC Pics!

  Pics of me, Sister Rigby, Sister Burton and Sister Rush!

 My zone!

 Sister Rush & Me!

Oh Look!  We match!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Provo MTC: The Happiest Place on Earth

Hey ya'll!!!!

Okay I only have an hour to email, but I want to tell everything, so bear with me if I jump around quite a bit! :) Also, thank you mommy for the package of healthy snacks and the box of cupcakes, you know me too well. :)

Sooo...Wednesday! After getting dropped off I got my badge and books and ID card and everything, and was then taken to my residence! I ran into my wonderful companion, Sister Rush when we were putting my luggage there, and BAM! Instant best friends! She's from Lehi! We both work really well together and have learned so much! Our first lesson was a little rocky, but we've most definitely improved since then. I'll get into that later :) Sister Rush is now the Sister Training leader and she does such a great job! Sister Burton and Sister Rigby are the other two sisters in our residence and district. All of us sisters are going to Edmonton, except Sister Rigby.

Our district is the greatest thing on this planet. There are 4 elders and 4 sisters, and the first day we didn't get to know the elders very well. It's amazing what sitting in a classroom for 9+ hours a day with the same people will do to you though. The elders are like my little brothers and we are all so close! They're going to Seattle Washington with Sister Rigby, and thinking about saying goodbye to them makes me want to cry. I just love our district. Our teachers are sooooooooo great as well. Basically everyone is great here, it's awesome. The other district in our zone is 6 elders who are gonig to Edmonton as well! they're great.

The food here makes me want to cry. It's great but awful at the same time...cafeteria food...hahaha it's definitely an adventure at meal time everyday! The first few days, everything I ate made me sick, but I've found what doesn't make me sick and am trying to lay off the desserrts with practically every meal (the chocolate chip cookies are ABSOLUTELY IRRESISTABLE, #sorrynotsorry). Now I understand how people gain so much weight here. There are some people who have to learn two languages, so they stay here for 12 weeks. 12 WEEKS I KID YOU NOT! I would die. I mean I love this place, but I would probably gain like 600 pounds if I were here that long.

Aside from getting locked out of our bedroom Thursday morning, it was a really great day! Luckily the Sisters in our zone who left this week were able to help us...they are seriously angels! The other districts who were in our Branch were all heading to Louisville Kentucky! They're amazing missionaries. We really miss them. Anyway, on Thursday night, we got callings and such, where they called district leaders, zone leaders, sister training leaders, and then found callings for all of the other missionaries (hahahah pity callings) but I was called as Branch Music Coordinator! Not too hard, right? Wrong. I'm in the process of getting together a "district farewell hymn" they call it. On the Sunday before you go, you have to do a musical number with your district. But I think we're going to do the Battle Hymn of The Republic! The only trick is to get the Elders to sing loud, but they're getting there. :) I also am the only one in our zone who plays the piano....guess what that means. I had to play for Sacrament meeting. I almost died of nervousness. But as we all know, Heavenly Father will qualify us for whatever we are asked to do in His name. I'm glad to say that I didn't mess up and ruin the spirit of the hymns! (I can thank Heavenly Father for that one).

Now to the really important stuff here! So, each companionship has two investigators. Our first investigator is called a PI (progressing investigator) who essentially is acted out by our teachers. But the people they act like are real people they know who took the lessons and did or didn't get baptized and such. They're really good actors, I honestly don't feel like they're our teachers while we're in there. Our investigator is Charlie. She has two kids and has been going through some really hard things in her life right now. We started off teaching her the Restoration (the first lesson) and felt alright about it. It was our very first lesson EVER, and Sister Rush and I had a hard time knowing who had something to say out of the two of us, but after teaching the second lesson, we make a really good balance! Charlie FINALLY prayed with us and is reading the Book of Mormon. We've been trying to focus on the Atonement with her, and we're not quite sure if she understands very well. It's amazing though how much you grow to love the people you serve and teach the gospel.

Our TRC investigators name is Olivia. The thing with TRC investigators is that they could possibly be nonmembers. . . CRAZY, RIGHT?? Most of them are converts who basically reenact their conversion, but some are just people who work here for money and who aren't members. We're 99.99999% positive that Olivia isn't a member in real life. She goes to BYU, but grew up in Montana. Her parents are atheist, and she was as well until the 4th grade when she started thinking that there had to be a God. 4th grade??? This girl is incredible. (female version of Joseph Smith) She has been church searching ever since, but her parents don't know. She truly has a desire to find the true church on the earth and she really has incredible faith in God. In our first lesson with her on Monday, we taught her the restoration, only to find out that she knew it all...hahaha embarassing, right? She is required to take religion classes at BYU, so she knows a lot about the church and what we believe, but she hasn't really taken the step to know for herself. Yesterday, Sister Rush and I had to go pick up 3 international sisters who arrived, and that made us like 20 minutes late for our appointment!!! We felt so awful and when we got there, Olivia asked if wanted to cancel, but I was NOT going to let that happen! This time we really wanted to teach the Plan of Salvation, but we wanted to make sure we weren't just giving her a giant review. We asked her what she knew about the plan of salvation, and she literally drew it all out on the board after saying she "kind of remembers it from an intro to LDS class at BYU" was nuts. So we just addressed the questions she had. We ended up talking about the Atonement a lot, and the spirit was so strong. When I say that, I honestly mean that I haven't felt the spirit so strong in a long time. She understood the concept of the atonement, but didn't undesrtand how to really use it. I just bore my testimony of prayer and the atonement and almsot started crying, and Sister Rush also bore her testimony of it. Like I said, the spirit there was incredible. After we bore testimony of it, Olivia just looked at us and said, "hmm...I'll give it a try." WHAT??? YES YES YES this was the greatest moment ever!!! She is so willing to act on the faith that she has in God to find out for herself. We are so excited to teach her again tomorrow to hear of her experience. I love her sooo much and I know God does as well! This Gospel really is the way.

Scripture of the Week!!! Ether 12:6 and Ether 12:12. Study it up. I've realized that God isn't going to just hand over blessings or growth, we have to take a leap of faith and show him that we believe for Him to help us out. He will help you when you have done all you can.
(also, I've been able to remember scriptures so well on the spot...I've definitely been blessed as a missionary)
Sorry this is so long...hahahah but really I have grown so much. I don't think you guys would recognize me.. I have changed for the better in so many ways!!! Classes are long, but it's fun when you're with your best friends learning about how to spread the Love of Heavenly Father to our brothers and sisters. There is no better feeling in the world.

Also, we leave for Canada on Tuesday morning...and we have to be at the travel office at 2:30AM...Our flight to Denver leaves at 5:45 and from Denver we head up to Edmonton! I honestly can't believe I'm almost out of the MTC..I kind of don't want to leave, but at the same time I'm so stoked to teach those Canadians the Gospel. :) Thank you all for all your support, I love you all!!!

Sister Jones