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.  :) 


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 bad.  But we made it because Heavenly Father answers prayers and WILL NOT leave us without direction.  literally. 
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.

"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, 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.

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. 

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:
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


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...