Yep, that`s right. One year from TODAY I will be on an airplane home. So crazy! Time is flying and most of the time I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants but so far this whole thing called a full time mission has been an amazing experience that is changing my life.
Well I have had a fun/interesting week this week. On Tuesday I watched poor Hermana Wong as she was wheeled out of the little prep room in the hospital for her medical procedure and was later there when she began waking up from the anesthesia. All I can say is it was fun to listen to her talk while still being loopy and seeing the looks on the nurses' faces. Hehe :) Then, as we were all leaving the hospital and heading back to President's house I began to feel pretty lousy. He and Sister Stutznegger sent me straight to bed and I laid there for three hours, not able to fall asleep because of the aches, pains, and chills I had all over my body. Later Hermana Stutznegger came in to check on me and we realized that I had a 101.3 degree temp so they pumped me with a bunch of ibuprofen and aspirin. I slept for 12 HOURS that night (first time in six months). My comps went back to work on Wednesday and I just chilled with President and his wife. Best time ever :) They are SO WONDERFUL! I even got to help plan for zone conferences this week.
Ok funny side story here - I will be helping give flu vaccinations to all of the missionaries because vaccinating calves on grandpa’s ranch totally qualifies me for this kind of thing hahahahahaha I am so excited and hope all you ranch folk back home are proud of me! Also I am putting a musical number together the morning of so that should be fun - this and helping with the shots means I will get to see Los Reyes tomorrow! I stayed with the Stutzneggers until Friday morning to get my temp back to normal. Feeling just fine now so don't worry :) Still waiting to get sick from the food which hasn't happened yet. Many opportunities lie ahead.
Ok BIG NEWS about our mission. Starting in January our mission will be significantly growing in size and there are new areas for the hermanas to work! I am so excited! We will be gaining a huge chunk of the northern part of the Mexico City Chalco Mission (southeast of us). I don't remember all of the details exactly but I am sure you can read more about it from Hermana Stutznegger's blog. I'll try to get more deets for next week. Anywho, so happy about this. Apparently these new areas are much more like little Mexican pueblas instead of the city so I really hope that I will have the opportunity to serve there at some point. I have been in the same area, the same 15 streets, for almost a third of my mission now. Haha basically it is time for a change :) President is aware of that so hopefully soon! Maybe after I finish training. By the way, my companions are great. Being in a trio is definitely a different dynamic, and training is draining (haha that rhymes) but I am learning and growing a lot.
Well needless to say I didn't get a whole lot of work done this week but there is one experience I had that I would like to share. There is a part-member family we have been working with for a long time now. Erick, the husband and dad, is a less active in the Gospel. His wife Aide and her daughter Ingrid, who is 11, are not members of the Church. Erick and Aide also have a little daughter named Camilla who is 3. For the longest time it was so hard for us to teach them, especially Aide, but over time they have really changed and opened up to us. This past Saturday we went with them to the Visitors Center by the Temple (after lots of stressing and trying to arrange plans we found a member from another Ward who took us in his van). It was a wonderful experience and we really focused on talking about eternal families and covenants. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony to them about eternal families. As I thought about my own family at home, and how this wonderful family right here had the potential to be eternal like mine, I felt words that were not my own come to me as I testified. It was a beautiful experience. They accepted our invitation to come to church the next day. That night as I prayed before going to bed I had the distinct impression to specifically fast for, and pray that, Aide and Ingrid would feel and recognize the Spirit in Church, desire to be baptized, and specifically tell me that they wanted to be baptized. Well, the next day they came to Sacrament Meeting and we had the most wonderful meeting where the members shared their testimonies of the Gospel - literally perfect for them. After the last person spoke, Ingrid, who was sitting behind me, leaned forward to me and whispered "Hermana, a lo mejor, yo quiero bautizarse" which means "sister, perhaps, I want to be baptized". In that moment, my heart was thumping so hard and so fast and all I could do was beam from ear to ear, pat her on the face and say "muy bien Ingrid". Then, after the meeting ended, Erick and Aide began asking when they could meet with the Bishop so that Erick could baptize Ingrid, and Aide could also be baptized. Literally that is one of the happiest moments of my life. Lately I have struggling because I have walked the same streets for weeks trying to help people and nothing has seemed to be happening. This was a direct answer to a specific prayer to Heavenly Father after following a prompting. I know that He is aware of me, and the people I am teaching. All of the walking and stressing and pleading is not in vain. Sometimes things happen right away and others take years, but I know that as we keep trying and doing our part the Lord blesses us.
I love you all and hope you enjoy your second week of December! (I will be staying in on Friday and Saturday for security reasons - it's Virgin Day down here in Mexico.)
Love Hermana Jones