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 


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.

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.  


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. 

sister jones

Time out for...Pics

 Canadian Skies...*sigh*...Incredible!

 Wax on, Wax off

  Study time...

 Eating Perogies for the first time (heart attack in a box)

 Eating Mr. Maples...mmmm!

 Bundling up!

 Hiding in closet waiting to scare the other sisters...hehe!

My other twin

Jump-roping at the ward BBQ with a tug-o-war rope!

Ward BBQ friend:)

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like...Christmas??

Hey everyone!

yeah.  It snowed last night and all of this morning.  Actually, it's still going pretty strong.  Apparently it's the earliest they've seen snow up here, so that's exciting I guess!  First time I'll have snow for my birthday!!!  ......

Anyways, this week was good!
On Tuesday we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders.  Since Grande Prairie is 5 hours away, when we do exchanges, both of them come here and we basically have to double book our appointments and such, so it's a bit stressful.  I was really nervous because I feel like I'm still super new and don't know the area well enough to not get lost and all that, but it was SO GOOD!  Sister Tanner was my companion for the day and we started off by going out to Wembley for an appointment.  We planned on teaching Donald about our life on earth and the atonement, but he was super confused about the Book of Mormon.  Apparently we didn't explain it very well and he thought it was our version of the bible. oops.  So we got that all cleared up!  He has like over 20 different versions of the bible, but alas, no king james version.  We are getting him one this week so he can read the most correct one.  We weren't sure we should keep teaching him, because he hasn't been progressing at all, but now I feel like he totally will!  So that was good.
We tracted for a while out in Wembley and actually got a few new potentials!  SO EXCITING!  We'll be teaching them this week, I'm stoked.
We also had supper with a less active family, they have a little girl and she TOTALLY reminds me of Sophi!  It's so great.

I learned so much on exchanges.  I had to take the lead in lessons and felt so great about it after.  You truly do grow so much when you get out of your comfort zone.  "there's no comfort in the growing zone and no growing in the comfort zone".

I was pretty sick with a cold this week, and it was pretty frustrating.  Being sick on a mission is the WORST.  But now I'm all better after loading up on the cold medicine.  But now Sister McEwen has it...oops.  :)

Like I said before, we've really been trying to involve the members in missionary work.  We asked a few specific people to bear their testimonies in fast and testimony meeting about missionary work yesterday.  Let me tell you, it was SO GOOD!  The spirit was so strong, and I think it got some people really excited about missionary work.  Things are definitely looking up.

We got dropped by one of our investigators though...that was a shot right to the heart.  It's hard when people literally say no their eternal salvation...I didn't realize how big of a deal it is until I got out here.
I was a little discouraged, but read in the September Ensign an article called, Your Journey of Giving (y'all should give it a good read) and this quote really stood out to me:
"In the days ahead you will find many occasions to murmur. But remember that God is in control and is never absent. Remember that your call is to work after the manner of the Lord, not after the manner of men, and that by following His voice, you will become a powerful instrument in His hands for doing good."

Also, this talk by Pres. Uchtdorf is PHENOMENAL!  Read it.  

By being obedient, we show our love for God.  I've found that God is literally WAITING to give us blessings, he is just waiting for us to obey his commandments, and once we do, he will pour them out upon us and we won't even have room enough to receive them!  It's incredible.  

I love you all!  this work is truly amazing.  Rough at times, but "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven", right? :)  I am so thankful to be here and I know without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one and only true church here on the earth.  It is the same church that Jesus Christ organized in His earthly ministry, and there is no other way to happiness.  Satan tries to fool us into thinking that his way will bring happiness, but it only brings temporary satisfaction.  Accepting Jesus Christ and living according to His teachings is the only way to gain true joy in this life, as well as in the life to come.  

keep up the good work, my friends, onward, ever onward.  

sister jones 

Our faces when it starts snowing on September 7th.... -___-

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Agents of Jesus Christ, Peddlers of the Bike of Righteousness, and SOLICITORS OF SALVATION

If you're wondering about the subject line, Sister McEwen and I thought we were pretty smart while thinking it up.  Ha lots of people here have signs on their doors that say "no agents, peddlers, or solicitors"..and as a missionary sometimes you think you're hilarious and this is one of those times.  Carry on.
This week has been an adventure (as always).  We had half of our lessons fall through due to less actives really not wanting to meet with us.... it's frustrating.  But we did a whole lot of tracting!  Good ol' tracting..we actually find quite a bit of success while tracting, believe it or not!  Anyways, I'll tell ya about my week. 

Monday was pday!  After emailing and such, we had supper with a member and then went to the YSA FHE!  We played dodgeball which was such a good time.  Then I got DRILLED in the face by an Elder in our district...hahaha and afterwards we were visiting a less active and she goes, "was it this side of your face?...I can tell..."  HA!  I had a pretty good fat lip, but it was gone by tuesday :)  Good times...

Tuesday was good, the two wards in Grande Prairie had a relief society dinner activity, so we went to that!  We've been really trying to get close with the members!  Missionary work without the members is nothing.  NOTHING I TELL YOU!  so all of you non missionaries, GET ON IT!  :)  

Wednesday morning, we did some service and helped with a "street store"!  It was the first one the community put on.  Basically what it is, is a TON  of donated clothes that they put out and people who can't afford clothes for themselves come by and take what they need!  They literally had MOUNTAINS of garbage sacks full of clothes.  

Thursday we had district meeting and all that fun stuff.  We got a new investigator!!!! Her name is Christa and she's so wonderful.  She and her husband have two little kids.  We taught her the Restoration, and she really seemed to understand it all.  BUT their family is going out of town for two weeks...NOOOOO!  so we'll have to get in touch with her in a couple weeks.  She said she would read the Book of Mormon on the drive though!  She's so solid.  

Friday and Saturday...we did so. much. tracting.  It was tiring.  We found a couple potentials though!  SCORE!  Tracting on saturday nights isn't very effective at all though...our appointments fell through so that was basically our only option..yeah drunk people aren't really all that receptive to the spirit...who woulda thought?? :)  But I did get asked which wife I was.  That was funny.  WE'RE NOT POLYGAMISTS I PROMISE!  Oh well.  good stuff.  We had supper with a member family on Saturday, they're the greatest.  Everyone here has babies and I just want to hold them but I can't and it's depressing!!! We went over to the Bishop's to visit, and literally, they are my favorite people ever.  The kids are HILARIOUS I can't stop laughing when I'm over there.  They made me a cupcake with the letter J on it for Jones.  cute, right?  They're so wonderful.  
Yesterday, we had supper with the Wheelers after church.  They are literally the funniest people I've ever met.  They all have british accents, and are recently coming back from inactivity.  They're going to the temple in October and it's so exciting!!!  I love them so much! 

I realized on Saturday that I've been out for a month!!!  It's nuts.  missions are just a giant time warp I don't understand it.  I'm so happy to be here. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!  

Like I said before, we've been working really hard to get the members involved.  It's coming along...slowly but surely.  Most people can't remember the last time they had a convert baptism in our ward, so the members don't really think it's all that possible.  It'll happen here pretty soon though, I know it!

One thing Sister McEwen and I have talked a lot about lately is that the works of God cannot be frustrated.
D&C 3:1-3  look it up!  Even though sometimes we may feel that things aren't going as planned, they totally are.  God is always in control and He has a plan.  Whenever someone would cancel an appointment, we would get frustrated, but then have to realize that God is in control.  He knows where he wants us to be and he will make a way for success as long as we are working our hardest.

I love you all so much!  Don't be afraid to seek missionary experiences.  Pray for them and God WILL give them to you.  He will place people in your path that you are meant to share your light with.  Sharing the gospel not only strengthens those around you, but it strengthens YOU!  

Onward, ever onward.

Sister Jones