Monday, January 26, 2015

"Nothing shall be impossible unto you"


well, I have at least 6 more weeks in the promised land of Drayton Valley with Sister Whiting and I am SO GRATEFUL for that.  I think I'll probably move back here after the mish in all honesty.  

lots happened so here we go:

-we prayed for DV to  be humbled and oil prices plummeted
-Mellisa is on date for Feb28 and we're now teaching her husband and her son!  
-we wore short sleeve shirts while tracting on Saturday  IT WAS +8 
-we saw two moose
-one of the elders here was called to be assistant to the president and elders have been removed from DV, so now it's just Sister Whiting and I

so the first one is from a couple weeks ago, Sister Whiting and I were tracting in a particularly rich neighborhood (also just a fun fact, Drayton Valley has more millionaires per capita than any other place in Alberta) and people were being super prideful so we thought, "something needs to humble Drayton Valley!"  so we prayed that something big would happen here, and literally the next week, oil prices plummeted and thousands lost their about a mustard seed! 
If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:6)
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (Matthew 17:20)

soooo it's kind of our fault everyone is loosing their jobs.  oops!

also we had a funny experience...we've been trying to receive more specific revelation for our investigators on what their exact needs are, and during studies on Friday  morning, I was reading back on some of my notes from stake conference in GP, I had written down the "recipe for the spirit" in the which one of the "ingredients" is hymns and prayer.  I thought about starting the lesson with Chaise that day with a hymn, but then thought, "no that's awkward" but then come to find out in comp study, Sister Whiting had the same thought come to her this morning and we were just like.....dang it we didn't want that revelation!  But if we don't act on the revelation we receive, Heavenly Father isn't going to give us we did it and it wasn't too awkward and the lesson went pretty well even though our voices were all scratchy and our faces were bright red.  Lesson learned: fear God more than man! 

it's a 7 day program, we're so stoked it's going to be the best week ever.  we're going over for supper and then let the games begin!  We also made him some spiritual cigarettes- rolled up pieces of paper with power scriptures and quotes inside that he can read when he wants a smoke.  #familiesareforever #familiesarebetterthancigarettes #andlungcancer  

10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.
 11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
 12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true."
We owe it all to Him.  
Onward, ever onward.  

Sister Jones

Monday, January 19, 2015

"moving into the realm of the miraculous"

-We started off the week on Tuesday with exchanges.  Sister Douglas came down to Drayton with me, and Sister Whiting went up to Lakewood with Sister Gardner.  Sister Douglas served here in DV before I did, and let me tell you she is one solid missionary.  Seriously.  Sometimes exchanges are bleh but this was a H U G E answer to my prayers.
sometimes I think I have to be a perfect missionary and I get bugged with myself because I'm human and humans are really dumb sometimes, but I learned so much from her.  We got 3 new investigators that day, so I guess you could say it was a success. 
We had a lesson with a family that was baptized a little over a year ago, and we watched the "Temples are A Beacon" video.  The husband is still smoking, so to get to the temple, he has to quit for a year.  We challenged them to pick a date that they want to go to the temple, then work toward it.  TWO DAYS LATER we went out to supper with them and he told us he was quitting by February 14, so that next year, they can be sealed on Valentines Day.  TALK ABOUT BEING ON CLOUD 9!!!  the joy that you feel when the people you love are progressing in the gospel is completely indescribable and I can't even begin to say how grateful I am.  Such a miraculous day. 
Random/awesome/terrible/funny happenings this week
*Mellisa committed to baptism (picking a date after she comes to church this week)
*we had our very first facebook lesson
*Monica dropped us like hot tamales
*We declared major repentance
*6 or 7 less actives we've been working with came to church yesterday
*we found these little weird plastic looking squares in our cupboard (weren't sure what they were, so naturally we put them in the microwave) then they miraculously turned into rice crackers.  #miracle
*we did some hard core spirit tracting and found a pretty promising potential
*I held a minitaure baby pony
*we saw the most beautiful sunset i've ever seen in my whole life
and a whole bunch of other crazy intense things. 
-Backing up bit.... Monica dropped us on Thursday.  We started off our day so gung ho about everything, and went over to her house.  She hadn't been reading from the Book of Mormon consistently like the week before, and she had an issue with "adding to the bible" like it talks about in Revelations.  We attempted to resolve her concern with a bunch of other bible/BoM verses and the spirit, but she wasn't convinced.  She told us it would be her last meeting with us.  *heart shatters*  It's SO HARD when people don't keep their commitments, and because of that, aren't receptive to the spirit.   talk about a rough start to the day.
-BUT GOOD THING HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES US SO MUCH AND DOESN'T LET US GET TOO DOWN!  We had a lesson with our invesigator, Lynn, we taught the Plan of Salvation.  She has been reading the Book of Mormon and said she would continue to meet with us. 
-then we had a lesson with a less active lady who is in a really messy situation in life..lots of sketchy things, but we helped her do her dishes a bit and showed her "The Hope of God's Light" and she cried and cried and loved it so much.  in visiting with her the past 2 weeks, we have already seen an INCREDIBLE change in her countenance.  She came to church yesterday and was SO HAPPY!  When we left her house, I just had this vision of her being totally active and changing her life around.  Needless to say, it was pretty neat. 
-this was the day of the first miracle I mentioned above about this family getting to the temple :)
-then we had a lesson with our investigator, Tyler. and his sister, Raelyn, who are 10 and 8.  We brought Sister Heileger, the primary chorister, with us, and guess what, THEY FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH YESTERADAY!!!  The love I have for these kids is indescribable. 
Sister Whiting and I were talking about the blessing it is to be a missionary, because you just automatically love all these people so much and desire their salvation.  We get to see them as our Father in Heaven sees them.  All the time. 
-and here's our f a c e b o o k m i r a c l e! ! !
Sister Whiting and I were both added by Chaise, whom neither of us knew. He was a mutual friend of a lady who was baptized a little over a year ago (such a killer testimony) so we asked her about him.  We decided to accept his request, then ended up having a little lesson over facebook about the Book of Mormon with him.  He agreed to learn more, so we had a lesson in a member's home with him last night and it the spirit was UNREAL.  We taught him about the restoration, and he accepted it all and said he would read the Book of Mormon and come to church.  So cool.  As we were talking about God and his plan he has for each of us, he was like, "Honestly, I don't even know why I added you on facebook, you were just under the 'suggested friends' section, so I did." then he went on to say that nothing is coincidence and it was SUPER COOL! 
We also get to go to the Serenity House once a week, which is a home for elderly people who have dimensia.  It's sad because they don't remember us when we come back every week, but Lorraine said something super funny I have to share.
we were leaving, so I said, "can we give you a hug?"  Then she goes, "well...I guess.  Where do I go for that?"   super cute and super funny.  Ron also beat Sister Whiting and I both in checkers (he was totally cheating), and he goes, "good game...except ya got BEAT!" They're so great.
I love being a missionary. 
Onward, ever onward.
Sister Jones

Monday, January 12, 2015

CEM - Now a Facebook Mission!

So, we're now authorized to be facebook missionaries here in the Canada Edmonton Mission, and it has been really weird.  Getting on facebook made me feel so apostate it's super awkward, but the work is hastening and we're going to be able to connect with people even more this way! 
Let me start off and just say that DRAYTON VALLEY IS ON FIRE!  Holy man it's so great.  Miracles are happening and people are progressing in the gospel.  What more can we ask for?? 
Our investigators Kristin and Collin are SUPER great.  We tracted into Kristin and showed her the He is The Gift video a few weeks ago, and we were able to teach her and her husband twice this week.  He's super catholic and she grew up united, they have their kids going to catholic school, so they're very religious.  He's very strong in his belief, but he keeps saying, "I know God doesn't just put random people in our path, so I'm excited to see why he has put you in ours."  IT'S BECAUSE THIS IS SALVATION, THAT'S WHY! :)  We brought our branch president and his wife with us to their lesson, because President Henriksen was born into the catholic church, then later converted.  He's so smart, he basically just taught the whole lesson with a globe about how the apostasy and restoration happened and it was really powerful.  Collin is still hesitant about adding to the bible, but he agreed to continue to meet with us and give it a try.  :) 
On Sunday, we had a zone wide fast for the finding efforts in our areas, Sister Whiting and I made it more specific to find people through the members who are prepared to be baptized, and by Tuesday, we had 3 NEW INVESTIGATORS!!!  If that's not a testimony builder of God's love for us, then I don't know what is. 
We were out in evansburg on Thursday, and had extra time to knock just a few doors, there was a lady sitting in her truck, so we walked up and she got out and invited us into her house!  Her name is Lindsay, and she was so excited to see us.  She has been talking with the Jehovah's Witnesses, but she was happy we were there, she's had a really rough life and recently decided she believes in God, but doesn't know where to start.  We're going to go back and teach her on Wednesday! :)   
Monica is reading the Book of Mormon and making connections with the bible and it's incredible!  We had an amazing lesson with her, and she was so excited to find for herself that in Ezekiel, it prophesies of the Book of Mormon coming forth.  #theholyghostworkswonders
^^^please watch this video and remember how vital the Book of Mormon really is to our everyday life.  If we didn't need it, we wouldn't have it.  Since we have it, it's our job to use it to its fullest capacity and LIVE it.  It contains SALVATION!
the church is true!
Onward, ever onward.
Sister Jones

Monday, January 5, 2015

anotha day [week] anotha [spiritual] dolla $$$

There were lots of ups and downs this week from the promised land of Drayton Valley! 
After the new year, things really started looking up.  The holidays are great and all, but I think being a missionary has made me an Ebeneezer Scrooge because people don't want to meet with us/accept salvation, but now that this week life is back to normal, everyone wants to meet with us!  We have lots of investigator lessons planned and we're STOKED!  We also have ZedTM (yeah, the letter Z in Canada is pronounced: zed...weird, hey?) and we're going to be trained for ONLINE PROSELYTING!!!  We'll be facebook missionaries which is super exciting. 
New years Eve was definitely a gong show of a day, but we survived.  We had a lesson with our investigator, Monica, who is the sweetest person who really just loves Jesus.  She's super active in her church, and a few years ago went to africa as a missionary and prayed over people and all that.  We've really been trying to focus on priesthood authority, and she's getting there.  She's reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, yay!!
We also got 3 new investigators this week!  Laverna and Rolando are very active in their church, but they're so nice and love talking to us about Jesus Christ!  Laverna has a Book of Mormon, and she said she's interested in reading it.  They're also from Belize, so their kids are like.....adorable. 
Yesterday in Fast and Testimony meeting, Sister Whiting and I both bore our testimonies, and basically rebuked everyone...hahhah definitely wasn't planning on that, but the spirit was so strong.  90% of our teaching pool is from our personal finding, and to help the branch to grow, we NEED referrals from members.  Member missionary work is SO VITAL.  As missionaries, we're called to a certain area to build up the ward or branch in which we serve.  It's our job to help the members do their own missionary work.  I've realized so much lately, that its' not our place as members OR missionaires to decide who is ready for the gospel.  It's God's place to do that.  It's our job to invite EVERYONE we know to partake of the goodness of the gospel and to come to know Jesus Christ for themselves.  If we really love our friends and family, why wouldn't we want them to experience the joy and peace that the gospel offers??!  If everything fails, what is the absolute worst thing that can happen??  Probably they say, "no thank you" and things are awkward for a minute but then you all get over it and life goes on.  If you don't have any other reason to share the gospel, do it because you love the Lord and you understand that His will is greater than yours.  He will help you to do his will, always. 
God has commanded,
"Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you."
And remember what Nephi said about God's commandments?
"I will‍ go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments‍ unto the children of men, save he shall prepare‍ a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
Anyways, THE WORK OF SALVATION IS REAL, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to "happiness in this life, and eternal life in the world to come."
Onward, ever onward.
Sister Jones