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.  

 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.  :)

Onward, ever onward.  

Sister Jones
Also, Sister McEwen and I drew these pictures of the elders with our 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 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.
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. 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 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