Hermana Jones

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Hello all!

This last week has been a week of growth and learning and it was great! The previous week was very difficult. So at the start of this last week I made myself some goals. As I indicated before, I decided to forget myself and get to work and to try to use the Book of Mormon in every single lesson. What a difference both of these goals made in my life. When we turn outward as the Savior ALWAYS did, instead of turning inward like the “natural man,” we gain a new perspective. We are also blessed. Even when things were most difficult for our Savior, He thought of others first. The scriptures are full of examples. For me, instead of feeling frustrated with people who didn't keep commitments or who were simply no shows for our lessons, I felt a desire to really help them instead. One of our baptismal dates with a man we have been teaching, and who was doing so well, fell through this last week. It was really hard. However, my companion and I realized that he has been dealing with some new situations that have arisen in his life. That realization helped our perspective regarding the timing of his baptism. It all helps me to remember that just having a good attitude, no matter what life brings, is so important.

Something I like to do during our long days in the streets is to laugh :) My companion and I have been much better about laughing lately and it helps me feel happier and healthier! Fun little blurb from the mind of Hermana Jones...in English we have the hymn "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today". In Spanish it is "Tengo Gozo en mi Alma Hoy" which translates to "I have joy in my soul today." During my many hours of walking I have discovered that the words "tengo algo en mi ojo hoy" fit perfectly to the tune of this hymn and it translates to "I have something in my eye today" and for some reason I just find this really funny. So whenever I feel a little down or tired I sing to myself "tengo algo en mi ojo hoy" and laugh myself silly...people maybe think I am crazy but it helps me feel better! Basically, the moral of the story is just find happiness in every aspect of life and learn to laugh and enjoy life :) Sorry, I don't know if this made sense :)

Now to the Book of Mormon! Man I love it. So much. The book of Jacob has become my new favorite. He was such an amazing leader who really tried to lead his people in love and righteousness. Also he throws the hammer down with Sherem in chapter 7 and it is a really good example for missionaries to follow. The lessons in which we used the Book of Mormon this past week were powerful. I love knowing that the prophets who came before Christ knew that He would come one day (Jacob 4:4). The Book of Mormon is in reality another Testament and witness of Jesus Christ.

I am looking forward to General Conference this coming weekend (General Conference is where members of our Church all over the world gather to hear from our Prophet and other Church leaders as they speak from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City). How special it will be to possibly witness the sustaining of 3 new Apostles. I will watch Conference on TV (via satellite transmission) in one of the offices in our Church building where it will be broadcast in English. It will be broadcast, viewed and translated in Spanish in the Chapel. I watched the Women’s General Meeting last Saturday, translated in Spanish, and understood mostly everything. The language is getting much better. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week. LLLLOOOOVVVVE YYYYOOOOUUU!

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Viva Mexicooooooooooooo!

Hello family :)

My note this week is a little more culturally flavored. However, first I will say that this past week has been challenging. We have lost a few investigators and not many are progressing. I have learned some things though. Life is a lot happier when you stop focusing on yourself and start thinking about other people. Also, there is nothing better than hard work. When you need to feel better, find someone to serve or something to work hard at, or both! My new motto for this week is "Forget yourself and get to work!" There is a lot I still need to learn here but I am grateful for this opportunity to serve.

As for this great country of Mexico, September 16 was Dia de Independencia (Mexican Independence Day) which meant a huge day of celebration for the country. For wise reasons, we stayed inside after comida on Tuesday and did not go out to work. We ate pozole (a delicious type of soup) and chile en nogada. SO GOOD. Both are traditional foods for the holiday. We celebrated as best we could inside our apartment haha. I wore a hat that was given to me by a person that we taught, a shirt that I recently bought, a skirt that I bought at a little stand outside a grocery store, and the bracelet that was given to me by a Church member who was recently baptized. There were fireworks all night long! Fortunately, I was out like a light as soon as I went to bed but my poor companion couldn't sleep. The next day when we went out to work there was no one in the streets. NO ONE. And that is really strange for one of the largest cities in the world. Everyone stayed up all night partying and waiting for the big Viva Mexico shout that they do at night...so the next day everyone was sleeping. Needless to say we did not teach or contact very much that next day haha and the streets were covered in ripped up newspapers and exploded fireworks.

We also got to visit the Centro last Monday. I loved it. Taking the Metro was a great adventure. It is plum loco...so many people, and a lot of fun :) Mexico City is truly an incredible city with an amazing history and culture. (Click on the pics to enlarge them)

We took the Tourbus which in my opinion was a very good choice as far as seeing the sites of the city. Also Hermana Wolferts and I ate McDonald's for the first time since being here. I love Mexican food but it was nice to have a little taste of home :)

Me at Templo Mayor, which are ancient Aztec ruins near the Catedral Metropolitana (Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral)

The Zocalo (main plaza in central Mexico City). Also people in their traditional wear getting ready for the festivities :)

Palacio Nacional (National Palace, the main government building...it is a long building) and us Hermanas being a little silly :) These are taken looking away from the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral is pretty impressive. We went inside and I must say it is a beautiful cathedral with great history.

Chile en nogada...Mmmmmmmm...

Life in my area. I love the plants in Mexico :) 

These two dogs are ALWAYS together. We see them often in our area.

The other day I stepped on this hole cover by accident. It flipped and my leg went right down! Thankfully, no harm done haha silly me :)

More of the life in my area :)

Study with Hermana Llaguarima (photo credit to Sister Stutznegger).

Love you! Hugs and kisses!

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Atonement is not just a nice message in a pamphlet, it is real.

I am so sorry that this is so late and so short. We had a very fun day today because we went to the Zocalo! That is what they call the main square in central Mexico City, but the formal name is Plaza de la Constitucion. El Centro es tan chido (Mexican slang word for cool). Seriously, I loved it. It was a nice breath of fresh air, and we even got soaked in the rain. They are setting up for a huge Mexican Independence Day celebration at the Zocalo on September 16. 

On our way to write we had a neat experience with a woman in the lobby of our apartment place who asked us if we prayed for people specifically. We talked to her about how we do pray for people specifically and how our Heavenly Father has great blessings in store for each of His children. We also talked to her about the Temple. She wrote her name down for us to and asked us to pray for her and we talked with her more about the gospel. I also felt impressed to ask if she would like us to pray with her right there, which we did, and she was so grateful. I am so grateful for the guidance of the Spirit. It makes what would otherwise be awkward, like me trying to speak Spanish, into a missionary of God. It was a small but special and significant experience for me.  

I know that Heavenly Father guides us and protects us. We have been blessed with the gift of discernment and to feel the guidance of the Holy Ghost. What a blessing that is. There have been several times when my companion and I have had to duck into a store real quick, or things like that, because men like to follow us. But, we have been protected and blessed.

I have also really utilized the Savior’s Atonement here. Feelings of inadequacy are not uncommon. However, the other day when my companion and I were walking through the streets of Mexico City with not much success, and it was hot and tiring, I stopped for a moment to think about my Savior, instead of about myself, and I felt as though He was walking alongside me right then and there. I know that His influence is always here. I was reminded that the Atonement is here for missionaries too. It’s not just a nice, theoretical message in a pamphlet that we share with people in the street. It is real, and it is here for each one of us. I love the scripture in 1 Nephi 21:15-16. As missionaries, even though we cannot do everything, right now, it does not matter because the worst thing we could do is not work. This time is really going by fast and will only get faster, so we need to enjoy every moment we have.

The Mexico City Temple was rededicated yesterday. Amazing! We had the opportunity to watch all three sessions. President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke and man were they amazing as always. Elder Holland talked about Malachi 4:5-6 and about the sealing power. He reminded us about our Heavenly Father’s desire that His children return to Him. He taught about the power of the Priesthood to make that possible. It was a great reminder to me about why I am here and what missionary work is all about. President Eyring also told us to “stay the course.” He was so tender with the people of Mexico and shared his heritage with them. I cannot do justice to what they said in their awesome way but it was powerful.

Other quick updates...I got my haircut and all is well with that. Ugh, we need to wrap up and I am sorry I could not write more or send pics. It's just that a ton of friends wrote me today and I took the time to write notes back. I am so sorry but I want to tell you that I love each one of you so deeply and so strongly and I cannot adequately express it, in ingles o en Español, but I love you and pray for each of you all the time. Tenga un buen semana, and I look forward to reading your emails!

Con amor, 

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I love the scriptures.

Hola! First, I have some great news. Diego was baptized on Saturday! It was such a special experience. First Hermana Wong and Hermana Wolferts had a baptismal service for a family of three. Then Diego was baptized, and then Sergio was baptized (who my companion and I had taught for a little bit but then was taught by the other Hermanas). It felt amazing to be a part of the great work of bringing souls unto Christ. I have learned that I definitely don't have anything to do with conversion; it is all the Spirit and the power of God. I recognize that I am merely an instrument in His hands. If I had to teach in Spanish without Divine help nothing would ever happen! I love this work and know that it is true. Diego has such a strong testimony of the Gospel. It has been amazing to watch him grow and progress. His mom, who has been less active in the Gospel for a very long time, came to his baptism and then to all of the Church services with him yesterday. We have an appointment with her this week :) Diego shared his testimony yesterday as well and it was so powerful. I am looking forward to witnessing his progression in the Gospel. 

I love the scriptures. I love that the Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. With the Bible, it contains the fullness of the Savior’s everlasting Gospel. With the Bible, it serves as a second witness of the reality and divinity of our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a gift for us to have not one, but two witnesses of the most important person and message in the world’s history. As a mission, we are a week into our mission-wide 90 Day Book of Mormon Project and I love it. I am learning so much from these amazing scriptures. We average about 2 to 3 to 4 chapters every day depending on how long they are and we mark them with a coloring system. We will finish in 90 days and every missionary is reading in their native language. I encourage and invite everyone who would like to participate in this with me! My testimony of the Book of Mormon, which was already strong, has already grown so much in just one week. 

I am so grateful for our Heavenly Father’s love. Yesterday at Church I was having a hard time because I was struggling to understand what was being said. Some days I feel like I can understand and say everything I want, and then other days Spanish just doesn't work haha. Frankly, yesterday I was just feeling really discouraged. But then Sacrament meeting came around and it was amazing (for my friends of other faiths, Sacrament meeting is the most sacred and important portion of our worship services on the Sabbath day). I felt the Spirit so strongly. A less active girl with a brand new baby boy came to Church and he received his baby blessing. Diego was confirmed a member of the Church and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. A girl close to my age opened her mission call right there in front of the whole Ward...she will be serving in the Mexico Merida Mission. And, the testimonies that were shared by the Ward members during Sacrament meeting were so powerful. Then afterwards we talked with lots of people in the Ward and I felt so much love from them. I know that Heavenly Father always blesses His missionaries and that the Savior knows how to succor us. I love being a missionary and I love each of you. Thank you for all that you do.

Love Señorita Miel (a name lovingly given to me by the other Hermanas which means Miss Honey :)

We are family! I got all my sisters and me! I love my Hermanas so much and will miss the combi ride to and from the Temple with them almost every day (I won't miss the car-sickness though...seriously so grateful I don't have to drive here because it is crazy!). There are 18 of us - 6 Americanas, 7 Mexicanas, 2 from Guatemala, 1 from Peru, 1 from Honduras, and my companion from Ecuador. They are the beeeeeeest!

This is the giant painting in the reception tent at the Temple and I love it. I have loved my time serving in the Temple...now it is back to a regular schedule.

This is my companion and me with street smoothies...literally just blended up fruit in a sandwich bag with a straw. There are so many fruits here that I have never heard of before and they are delicious! I love Mexico! Mexico is hard to describe but I can assure you that the scenery in my bit of the mission is nothing like people in the States see in movies such as Nacho Libre. Maybe other parts of Mexico but not here.

I haven't seen the horizon since I left the CCM except for when we would drive by the airport and are on an overpass, but that is it. I am in the trenches of the city, which I have been told is the ugliest part of Mexico. I really hope I can come back and see other parts of the country some day but for now I love my concrete mission!! As my dad always says, honeymoons and vacations are about places, but missions are about people. I love these people, and their home is my home.

Parent note: the trenches of Mexico City appear to be surrounded by beauty. This is a great picture of the volcano Popocatepetl that President Stutznegger posted on Facebook. That particular mountain (17,802 ft, aka "Popo") is an active volcano and lies to the southeast of Mexico City beyond Emily's mission boundaries (the hills in the foreground are part of her mission). Also, the volcano Iztaccihuatl is shown in the main picture at the top of Emily's blog, along with her picture and information. The Mexico City Temple is also prominent in the foreground of that picture. Iztaccihuatl (17,160 ft, aka "Izta" and "Ixta") is an extinct volcano also just southeast of Emily's mission boundaries.