Monday, February 23, 2015

"Oh, Lord, I am yet strong. Give me one more mountain."

I'll start this off by bragging that I'm wearing a short sleeve shirt today with no tights because it's +4 degrees and my heart is rejoicing in this tender mercy.  

This week has been emotionally draining, but all in all, the gospel is so real and it is the ONLY thing that will get us through this life.  I didn't realize it was possible to love people this much and truly desire their salvation more than anything else.  


-we were supposed to meet Chaise at dairy queen to teach him but he didn't show up, so we bought some blizzards and decided to take one to him. (even though we don't even know where he lives..)  It sounds lame, but we REALLY felt like we needed to take it to him.  If God wanted us to do this, we figured that He would provide a way for us to find him.  We prayed real hard, then drove and asked a member if she knew, after some very vague directions, we weren't sure if it was the right one, but we knocked and there he was! (sorry for the run-on sentence)  God always provides a way.
-we also got to give him a church tour!  it was during a scouting activity, so tons of members were there and everyone just flocked to him to introduce themselves and it was really neat.  He's also going to participate in our musical fireside next week, so that'll be an awesome experience!  
Precious, the hedgehog!
-on Friday, the Kinniburgh's really wanted to show us their new hedgehog, Precious, so we decided we'd finish our weekly planning there.  We had to get gas before, and we talked to our friend, Anita, who works at the Fas Gas, and she said, "where is your church again??  I lost the card you gave me and I showed up to the wrong church last sunday and didn't see you so I left!"  She totally wants to come to our church, so we gave her another card and got her number so we can start teaching her this week.  As we were walking out of the gas station, her co-worker was just arriving to take over, so if we had left any later, we wouldn't have seen her! Nothing is coincidence.  
-while contacting formers we taught this polish couple.  They're super catholic, and it was a gong show but we were able to leave a book of mormon for them and left with some polish chocolate....which we ate then after realized it tasted like coffee and couldn't read the package because it was in POLISH!  So we potentially broke the word of wisdom.  oops.  
-the stake presidency came to Drayton and  wait for it.... WE GOT A NEW BRANCH PRESIDENCY!!!  Everyone knew it was coming, but guess who our new branch president is..... PRESIDENT GIDDEY!!!  Our branch mission leader who has the greatest south african little family I've ever met.  So we're currently without a branch mission leader, but we'll be getting one soon. :)  When things like this happen, my testimony of the priesthood power just grows tenfold!  It's unreal.  Also, President Wong (the stake president) just gave everyone a smack down about becoming a ward.  He basically said that we almost have the numbers to become a ward, but when it comes to the spiritual maturity of the members, we need to take it up a few notches!  He's basically a general authority.  So cool.  

holy cricket, I have learned so much this week.  There was a speech given by Elder Holland called, "For Times of Trouble" that Sister Whiting showed me, and it gave me a whole new perspective.

give it a good read.  (i know, it's long, but it's worth it!)
there's a line in there that has really hit me this week after lots of trial, "Oh, Lord, I am yet strong.  Give me one more mountain." [Joshua 14:11-12] 
when we are going through times of trouble, what is our attitude?  God will always give us just what we need to become who he has created us to be.  And it's our job to take that mountain, and CLIMB IT!  
He then talks about Enoch, “Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, [I] am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech?” [Moses 6:31

God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called.  And even though I'm just a little 20 year old unexperienced missionary who hasn't dealt with many hard things in her life...with the power of the Lord, I can do all things.   

Onward, ever onward.

Sister Jones

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

a "once more" kind of attitude

What a week!

-we got to stay in the mission home in Sherwood Park on Monday night for Zone Conference on Tuesday.  love that place!
-Zone Conference was SO good.  we learned about having our hearts in the right place and how that can motivate us to be consecrated missionaries.  Our zone leader's trainings are always so awesome.  they're rockstars.  
MTC besties at Zone Conference :)
-we have now contacted about 30 of the former investigators from the area book (out of 89) and have a couple more weeks to contact the rest.  Yes.  We're expecting miracles!  We have been able to set up return appointments with a lot of the formers we've contacted so that'll make for a joyful week!
-we also went ice fishing yesterday which was cold and no we didn't catch anything.  definitely an adventure.
ice fishing!
-we had a pretty good lesson with Lynn, she's still reading the book of mormon, having a rough time with prayer.  But she's progressing.  She doesn't think she is, but she  has been acting in faith and really trying her best.  We're going to have a lesson with her in the church this week to help her feel more comfortable to come on Sunday! :)
-Brandy, a girl who is in Junior High, her family investigated the church a while back, we (basically just Sister Whiting) have been tutoring her with her math.  She told us this week that before we started helping her, she was getting 20-30% on all her tests, and on her last test, she got above 80%!!!  #miraclesonmiraclesonmiracles  #servicesoftenshearts
-We had a lesson with our NEW INVESTIGATOR, Colin!  I'm going to back up for a minute...
a week ago from last Sunday, we were tracting.  We knocked a few doors and after all of them slamming in our faces, we weren't sure if God was telling us to go somewhere else, or if we should stay and try a little longer.  We decided to knock one more house, and we met Colin.  He told us he wasn't religious and wasn't really interested.  we gave him a card and went on to try another area.  About an hour later, we got a text asking if this is the sister missionaries, and it turns out it was Colin!  He said he would have invited us in to teach him if his friends weren't there, so we set up a lesson for later in the week!!!  NO EFFORT IS WASTED!  We gave him a tour of the church building and then started teaching him the nature of God.  He doesn't really have a religious background at all.  We had the lesson in the chapel, and let me just tell you lessons in the chapel are INCREDIBLE!!!  When you walk into the chapel, you can just FEEL a difference.  The spirit resides there and when we enter, we open our hearts a little more to feel its guidance.  I JUST LOVE IT!  Colin said the closing prayer and he hasn't really ever prayed before!!! JDASIOG;HR;AJFRE'AJFE;FJKDS;AJFIO;RJIO;E   it was so awesome.  AND he said he would be baptized when he knows it's true.  NO EFFORT IS WASTED, I TELL YOU!  I have learned that when you develop a "once more" attitude, you truly see miracles.  Let's knock one more house, let's meet with them once more, let's try to talk to one more stranger, etc.  Looking at all we have to do as missionaries can get pretty overwhelming.  But if we just tell ourselves, "one more time."  Eventually, we can attain the summit and sing the song of redeeming love as we serve the Lord with all our hearts!  

whatever it is that you're going through, don't give up. Every time we try one more time, we're exercising our faith, and God ALWAYS blesses his children who exercise their faith.   just try once more. :) 

Onward, ever onward.

Sister Jones

Monday, February 9, 2015

"...but that ALL should come to repentance."

It has been snowing quite a bit this week so we have done LOTS of shoveling for strangers and investigators.  (let me tell you my body is feeling it..hahha) We had a cool experience while shoveling though!  We decided to knock doors and ask if we could shovel their driveways,and do some finding that way.  the first house we knocked on wouldn't let us...awkward..but the next house we knocked on did!  They were so confused, we just told them we wanted to help and it was free!  In the middle of shoveling, the guy comes out (his name was Bill) and asks us, "soooo are you mentally deficient, or....?"  HA maybe we are I don't know but then we just told him that we teach about Christ and what better way to teach than to live as he did.  He thought that was really neat.  We gave him a card and he was so grateful and his heart was softened by service.  Pretty neat.  

We had a really awesome lesson with Lynn on Thursday!!!  In our previous lesson, we had taught the restoration, and she said she needed a little time to let it all sink in, so we watched the 20 minute Restoration video with her.  the spirit was so strong, and I FINALLY felt like we were asking inspired questions and truly teaching to her needs.  she opened up about her concerns and her feelings about it all and we were able to let the spirit testify through us to her.  

I also got bit by a dog this week.  hahahah don't worry mom, it wasn't bad, just bit my hand but my mittens protected me :)  

OH and Gord hasn't been smoking for 2 weeks and they're getting sealed on Valentines Day of next year and I can't even tell you how happy my heart is for them.  I just want to shout out and REJOICE I'm so happy!  

We also talked to a potential named Daisy who is Hispanic!  We gave her a Spanish Book of Mormon and are going to have a Skype lesson with the Spanish elders in the city so they can teach her! :)  

We have been trying to contact all the formers in our area book this transfer, and we now have a few lessons set up for this week with some of them!  

we also had this less active, Brother P, come to church yesterday. I just want to say I thought I was going to faint I was so surprised!  I honestly thought that it would never happen in a million years (oh ye of little faith..) and HE CAME and my heart just rejoiced.  

There's this really cool thing as a missionary when you're teaching a lesson, and all of a sudden this huge spiritual epiphany comes to you and it all just makes sense and your heart is filled with joy! ------->  We were teaching a less active about the sacrament, and then it just dawned on me.  The sacrament is for everyone.  The sacrament is for me.  Here I am, declaring repentance to these people and I haven't even fully taken advantage of the beautiful gift to be given a clean slate every single week as I can repent and partake of the sacrament.  I tend to get down on myself because of my weaknesses and sometimes even think that it is too late to be the best missionary I can be because of past mistakes, but that is SO not true.  We can't limit the power of the atonement.  It reaches every single one of our weaknesses and Jesus Christ can literally pull us out of our natural ways.  We just have to accept his grace as we do all we can to be better than we were yesterday or even 5 seconds ago.  After the Sacrament yesterday, a recent convert, Amber, leans over to me and goes, "now would be the perfect time to die." hahah it was funny but isn't that so true!  The sacrament cleanses us and literally our sins are gone.  GONE!  I can testify that true repentance is daily, even hourly, and Jesus Christ can always always ALWAYS, make us clean again.  

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us, not willing that any should perishbut thaall should come to repentance."     [2 Peter 3:9]

the church is true and God loves all of you!

Onward, ever onward.

Sister Jones

  Everyday I'm shovelin'

Our awesome Branch President owns a car care place and put this sign outside of his shop #preachit

Monday, February 2, 2015

NO unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing

Winter is officially back and it hasn't stopped snowing for like 3 days so that's fun.  Also, we get to go ice fishing in two weeks!!!  (grandpa ken would be proud) :) and my hands are like icicles as I type this so please bear with me.

so much happiness.  We survived our 7 days off of sweets (it'll end at 5 tonight) and let me tell you, 'Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven!"

We think one of our investigators relapsed into old drug addictions, but he finally texted us back and wants to come to church so no, "the works of God cannot be frustrated!'

A cat totally came tracting with us this week.  It followed us around for about an even came up onto people's porches with us hahaha.  #tendermercies

We had a lesson with our investigator, Lynn, and we taught her the restoration.  She has been reading the Book of Mormon for a few weeks now, and finally has acknowledged that she has HOPE!!!  Our first visit with her, she basically told us that she could never have faith again and that we could come back but wasn't promising anything. :)  THE BOOK OF MORMON WORKS WONDERS I TELL YOU!  She accepted the invitation to be baptized when she knows it's true so BAM.  super cool.

We haven't seen Mellisa or heard from her and her family at all this week.  Not sure what's happening there, but nothing can hinder this work of Salvation so we just have to put all fear and doubt out of our minds and hearts and expect miracles.  

We also got lost in a blizzard in a little town called "Wildwood".  yes.  That's what it's called.  

anywho, NO UNHALLOWED HAND CAN STOP THE WORK FROM PROGRESSING!  The very beginning of this week started kind of rough.  We received a few hate texts, were made aware of a situation where someone was somehow bouncing off our  number and calling people leaving creepy voice-mails like, "we're the sister missionaries, you can run but you can't hide" like WHAT??  So we had to get all that cleared up.  Oh and we have been getting hated on on the "drayton valley opinions" fb page apparently and things were looking pretty rough.  Then, during studies on Tuesday morning, Sister Whiting and I decided to recite The Standard of Truth.  

“The Standard of Truth has beeerected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, buthe truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every
swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till thpurposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done”

The tears came and I remembered that we're not alone in this fight. 
 "If sometimes the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived." [Elder Jeffrey R. Holland] 

Onward, ever onward.

Sister Jones

 typical drayton valley scenery :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Odds & Ends (Photos)

our Christmas tree

yes, I held a bearded Dragon

Canadians like to build creepy snowmen...

...and they really like inusuks (I don't even know how to spell that...)


Kinder Eggs are LIFE! (and illegal in the states...)

Wing Night at the Kinniburghs!

Transfer Mtg / Christmas Concert with the greatest missionaries on the planet

When you are a missionary, you make the best of missionary friends!

Finally saw Elder Josh Barlow!  Utah Valley Children's Choir is totally taking over Canada!

Christmas Eve with Garrett & Melissa

our "forever alone" pictures on Christmas Eve

Sister Whiting & me

mini pregnant pony

my new best friend named Zedechiah (he's an alpaca)

this is what -39 looks like!

mini pump jack

flag of the promised land

new windshield!


minnion missionaries

exchanges with sister Douglas

Dinner with the Kinniburghs

Tyler & Raelyn <3

miracle chips

a baby miniature pony!

Beautiful Canadian Sunsets and Landscapes! (photos)