My dearest padre, thank you so much for the emails you send me every week. Thank you also for the scriptures you marked for me, they have been very helpful. You are the wisest person I know. You have always been such a strength and example to me. Thank you. I love you.
Matt, congratulations on making VARSITY! WHAT. So awesome! I am so excited for you! Represent the "Jonesie" name with valor and honor. Also I am excited to hear about how school is going when you start. This year was one of my favorite high school years. It is such a fun time. I love you and pray for you.
Jackson, I can´t wait to hear about your schedule for school! I hope you enjoy your last little bit of vacation! In answer to your questions, I am feeling great and I love the mission! You will be able to do this one day too. Someday I want to bring you back to Mexico. It is a pretty awesome place. I love you and think about you all the time.
Feliz Cumpleanos, Bishop! You the best! You are number 1! Hola my dear friend Makenzie :) miss and love you buddy. I love hearing about everyone back home, at school and on missions. Thank you for the updates. Also tell the Egberts hello for me and that I am happy for them :)
Oh boy what a week. Yesterday my companion and I enjoyed some great experiences. Diego came to Church all on his own as always and is preparing for baptism on September 5. He is amazing. A few months ago he was not interested in the Church at all when my companion contacted him but later had an experience in which he felt as though he had been reborn and contacted us. He keeps every commitment that he makes and his testimony of the Gospel grows every day.
We are also teaching two new really amazing people! One is Julio, a man who contacted us in the street about English classes. He is a musician who lived in Tennessee for awhile and wants to learn English. Since that night he approached us we have kept in contact, and guess what?? Yesterday he came to church on his own! It was so neat. We had lunch with him and his family later that day and afterwards taught them about how the Savior’s Gospel has been brought back to the earth. It was really an interesting experience because many members of Julio´s family are of another faith. His 14 year old nephew just wanted to bible bash (argue about the meaning of scriptures and doctrine) but the Spirit was with us as we taught and we were able to avoid contention. Our purpose is to teach and invite, not to contend and argue. It was a great learning experience for me and it made me appreciate the happy, peaceful feelings the Gospel brings me. It is not just about knowing where scriptures and doctrines are in the Bible. It is about developing faith in Christ and finding truth and light. I was grateful for that experience. Afterwards when we were talking just with Julio, he talked to us about what he felt while we were teaching...he expressed it as a feeling of tranquility...and loved what we taught about God being our Heavenly Father. We are taking him and a few members of his family who are interested to the Temple with us this Wednesday. I have high hopes for him :)
We also had Noche de Hogar with the family of a woman who recently joined the Church and one of them came to Church yesterday too. They loved hearing about the Temple. Noche de Hogar is a really powerful tool here. We try to have at least one a week, if not two, in the home of a Church member and we invite conversos, menos activos, and investigadores to it. It is always so much fun and a great teaching experience. (For my friends of other faiths, Noche de Hogar is Family Home Evening, in which we devote time on Monday evenings to family time which can include family prayer, singing together, discussion of a Gospel topic, family activities and...treats...mmmm!)
Serving at the Temple has been amazing. I get lots of kisses on the cheek from sweet old ladies and little kids. Many people ask to take pics with me. It has also been a great opportunity to grow closer with the other 16 Hermanas in my mission. I love them. Serving a mission is a wonderful way to meet new people. I talk to people every day whom I never knew existed. I love it. Spanish is getting better. Yes, I did see Sister Burt! Haha what a surprise that was (she is from my home area). I really enjoyed talking with her and the family she is staying with. Not gonna lie, I shed a tear or two after she left, but only for 5ish seconds and then I was back to work. I have been more sentimental this week due to the Temple because it is focuses our attention to the eternal nature of families. I know that families can be together forever. It is true and that is that. Families are eternal, not just for this life, and I am grateful for the role that Temples play in family progression.
I love you all. Enjoy the last little bit of summer vacation!
Love Hermana Jones (sometimes pronounced Honess, or Juan, or Joe-ness haha I love it :)
Early Saturday morning at the Temple, ready to serve with the Hermanas of my great mission.
(Photo credit to Sister Stutznegger)