Hermana Jones

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Happy Easter!

Hello and Happy Easter to all! I cannot believe it is that time of year again, which is by far one of my favorites. I am always amazed at the love I continue to feel from my Savior and really what His infinite sacrifice means for me and each one of us. We as missionaries have been using little cards while contacting that highlight the new "Aleluya -- Siguelo" video from the Church; I think it is called “Follow Him” en ingles. I encourage everyone to watch and share it throughout this coming week! It is so beautiful and focuses on the Savior in a way that all who believe in Him have in common. Check it out at LDS.org. This morning for study time I began reading "Jesus El Cristo" or "Jesus the Christ" and I LOVE it. I am only 5 pages in and am learning and finding so much. It will be my P-day study project for the next long while (it is a huge book). I will be preparing to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting in the MC Ward this coming Easter Sunday about how we can desarollar, or develop, Christlike attributes that will help us be more faithful. I am very excited because in studying for this talk I will learn so much more! We can always come closer to the Savior.

This week Hermana Lambert and I really focused on having more member-present lessons and we saw results because of it. Our goal is to have a Church member with us every time we go to teach in RF. We are working very hard to move things forward from a near stand-still in that area. However, we will not be working much this Friday or Saturday due to La Semana Santa. Here, on Friday, they will be doing a representación of the Crucifixion. They have chosen someone to act in the role of Jesus who will be paraded around the pueblo carrying a cross to a hill nearby and will crucify him. I understand that here they only tie him to the cross here but there are some places where they actually use nails. He won't be killed of course but that is part of how they celebrate here. On Saturday it is customary to "mojar" people; that means pour buckets of water on random people in the streets. I am not exactly sure about the history of this custom, but that is one of the reasons why we will be keeping a lower profile near the weekend ha ha :)

Okay, I must say that I just love my companion. First, because she is an amazing missionary all around! Second, because she is totally my spokesman for this whole recent food/we need to take care of Hermana Jones because she is having some health issues development. Yesterday in the J Ward Relief Society (that is who will be organizing meals for us during April) she announced to the dear Heramanas that the doctor has said that I cannot eat a ton of food anymore in an effort to help regulate my diet and sugar levels. However, she told them that she will gladly eat whatever I don't. They were all laughing and took it really well so I think we successfully avoided offending anyone and I am in the clear! She also has taken it upon herself to intercede at meals and tell the wonderful people who feed us, when they ask if I would like seconds, that I can't eat too much but that she would LOVE some more. They always say "of course, that's fine!" Thanks to her, I may get this thing worked out. Three big cheers for the amazing Hermana Lambert!! Seriously, love her. The intermittent snacks have been helping and it is really easy to find things like Snickers and pumpkin seeds etc. I will be honest, I do not like mineral water at all but I will drink it if it helps. I will keep you posted.

We played soccer today with a few Elders in our Zone and a family who was baptized about 9 months ago. SO FUN! I love being in a country that loves its futbol. We are also teaching a woman named Margarita who works in a torilleria (I believe I mentioned her awhile back) and is so cool. We contacted her awhile ago because in the tortilleria there is a picture of the Resurrected Christ but have had less contact with her for a bit because she told us she didn't have time. The other day we decided to drop in again and she got super excited and told us she had some doubts/questions for us related to the folleto (pamphlet) about the Restauracion. When she turned around to get the folleto, Hermana Lambert and I did a few little air fist pumps -- we love when people have questions because it means they are actually reading and thinking! It is encouraging when people study with a sincere intent to learn rather than with guile. We had a great time with her, gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon to add to her studies, and she has been reading it! We hope that she comes to recognize for herself that it is a second witness of Christ, along with the Bible. Good stuff :)

Ok well that's all I have time for for now. Have a great week and a wonderful Easter! LOVE YOU!

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Just about anything can be turned into a taco.

Hello! I promised last week that I would send more pictures today so here goes.

Last Monday, the members of our zone -- Ixtapaluca 2 -- and the other Ixtapaluca Zone came up to the mountain and visited a Church ranch. This is my lovely comp Hermana Lamby and I. Mission life can be hard at times. But this whole experience is so rich and valuable in so many ways, and I am grateful to be serving. I love the people here and the missionaries that I serve with!

This is my zone all jam packed into a super rickety old combi on our way up to the mountain last Monday. It kept making noises and jerking forward and so on, and so forth, and what not, but we made it up the mountain! We had a great time with the other zone from Ixtapaluca grilling food, playing kickball, volleyball and soccer, and ended with a great zone meeting.

This is my district :) I'm sad because I think the District will be getting changed a bit this next cycle.

What I have discovered here in Mexico is that just about anything can be turned into a taco. So here we are with Elder Reyes holding a lovely taco de hamberguesa -- a hamburger between two tortillas.

We had a great time making carne asada on the grill with puree de papa, arroz, y tortillas.

I can see the volcanoes where I am every day, La Mujer Dormida (Iztaccihuatl in this pictured) and Popocatepetl (Smoking Mountain) farther south. They are so beautiful and covered in snow right now, and Popo is always smoking just a little bit.

My District Leader, Elder C, and me. We planned a training activity with him and his companion from Guatemala Elder R about how to study better in order to more effectively teach the Restoration. As it turns out we matched without even trying hahaha he put his head in his hands on that one.

Me with two of the little girls who are part of the group of little kids who run around following us and giggling. This is in a field near the street where we started contacting all these people. Below you can see RF and beyond that is the highway that takes us back to the Mexico City area (if you're going right) or to Puebla (if you're going left). Chilly day with double layers top to bottom!

Me with a less active woman named Herman E. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel and she just lit up, beaming and smiling as she was reminded of principles that she has loved before in her life. She got so excited telling us about how her mom is a convert to the Church, and began talking about one of her friends who she is going to invite into her home to listen to us. Here we are outside her home with her little daughter. Right when we took this picture it began SNOWING. That's right. For about two minutes it snowed up here in little AC. I never ever ever would have thought I would live in a little pueblo in Mexico, let alone see SNOW! It was a Christmas miracle (lisp added).

Me in a ridiculously large Mexican poncho that a nice lady let me borrow because it was FREEZING and raining all the blessed day long. This was taken right after we finished divisions where my companion and I go each went with other missionaries for the day (my first one ever as a STL). I went down the hill to work with Hermana Ramirez and Hermana Carrasco came back up to her old stomping grounds with Hermana Lambert. We all walked in the rain and wind all day. That's just the way I like it! So this is me with my poncho...wish I could have kept it honestly because it's pretty cool and really flattering I think... :)

Hermana Ramirez and me just minutes after leaving the house when the wind totally trashed our umbrella...literally turned it inside out. So, needless to say it was completely and utterly useless to us for the entire day. Blasted wind!

This is chicharron -- deepfried pig fat and skin and possibly other various parts. A really nice woman named G who we contacted was stirring a big giant pot of it and gave us a few bags. We bought some tortillas and made a dinner of it. So delicious but so not good for you, especially when you find a hairy pig wart in the mixture...mmmmmm...:(

I love you all!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


NUEVE MESES PEOPLE. What is going on!!?? I am halfway done with my mission! It is so hard to believe. I never thought this day would come and, I'll be honest, I am REALLY sad that it has. Time is going way too fast, and there is still so much more for me to learn and improve and DO while I'm here! Not meaning to discount all of you back home of course -- you know I love you all so so so much :) Anywaaaaayyyyys, Hermana Lambert and I are very excited because this last week in one of our pueblos, after all of our plans and investigators we had been excited about fell through, and a very angry man yelled at us for entering his property and knocking on his door, we decided to go down a long dirt road we had never explored. We were to the point of giving up but we decided to give it a go. We ended up finding a long street going upward lined with houses on one side and with a beautiful view of the pueblo and a field on the other. We began talking with the first woman we saw. Her name is J. She was very nice and accepted a visit from us for this coming week. So we continued down the lane, talking to every person we saw. Each one of the accepted us to come back :) We soon had a huge group of adorable little Mexican children giggling and following us to every door, both fascinated and I think a bit scared of us hahaha :) They are so cute! I think we may have found our future little group of Missionaries out here in this little pueblo! :D There is always something better in store for us if we keep trying!

I also forgot to tell you about an experience we had in the little pueblo to the east a few weeks ago. We were walking down a lllllooooonnnnnggggg country road outside the pueblo when we passed by a very old cemetery. We entered and found a man weeding the area by his wife's grave. We helped him and began talking a little. He thanked us numerous times for our help and congratulated us for being two young people walking around preaching "la palabra de Dios" -- the word of God. We talked with him a little about our Heavenly Father's Plan of Salvation for His children, the Savior’s teachings, and our beliefs. While he kindly declined our offer to teach him more, I am grateful for this special moment I had with my companion as missionaries to touch another life for good. I remember you talking to me about that Dad, how it truly is a blessing to come in contact with other people and share just a few moments of our lives with them, even if we never see them again.

I began the Book of Mormon over again in Spanish yesterday and I love it. I feel so happy every time I start that book again. I know it is true. I love reading it en Español and feel so grateful that, aside from a few little words here and there, I understand everything I read and continue to learn new things and feel the Spirit just as strongly as when I read it en Ingles. I am highlighting all of the references to Christ/His name in red, His words in yellow, His attributes in green, and doctrine/principles I find in blue. It is an excellent way to discover how El Libro de Mormón truly is un Otro Testamento de Jesu Cristo, another testament of Jesus Christ (along with the Bible).

Well, once again, I am really short on time today and I must close now.  I am getting a late start writing because we had a huge zone activity at an AWESOME church ranch out here that we pass by every day when going to our other little pueblo. I don't have time to send pics but I will next week. I love you family and love reading your letters :) Also know that I continue to freeze my little tail off here like you have all been doing...well, probably not nearly as much as you four but sorta haha :) Love you all!

Love Hermana Jonesie (Hermana Tirado called me that this week hahahaha)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

So Happy

(Parent Note: the first part of the note below was sent last week and the second was sent yesterday).

February 22, 2016. Basically I am SO HAPPY right now. I love Hermana Lambert so much. We just get out and work and have a great time while doing it! Don't worry about our Spanish, though . We have made a rule that while studying, planning, and working throughout the day we can only speak Spanish. At night after we finish planning and on P days we can converse in English. We have also made a study plan for Spanish so things are going well! It is very rare for two American sisters to serve together in this Mission since there are so few of us. I absolutely love my comp and all that she brings to this area. I also look forward to learning to be a sister training leader with her. We did a lot of hiking and walking and contacting and exploring this week. Also still in the process of cleaning all the mold in our house. I would have normally waged war on it much quicker but for the past six weeks I have been learning a new area, two wards, and training a missionary. But all is much better now! We also have running water in the house again. I have felt like Jack and Jill the past several days, always going out to the cistern for more buckets of water (thankfully no one broke their crown and no one came tumbling after ;) Now that would have been quite a show. Wednesday was a really great day for us this past week. We found three new investigators! One of them is named Margarita and lives in the town to the east of us. We contacted her while she was working in a tortillería because there is a painting from the Christ descending in the clouds with angels. We asked her if she knew where that painting is from and started talking to her about the Church. Turns out that the owner is a Church member and Margarita has had some exposure to the Church before. She showed a lot of interest and we will be following up with her on Wednesday! Also, great experience with our investigator Eufrosina. She is dealing with a lot of difficulties so we mentioned Priesthood blessings to her and asked if she would like one. We went back the next day with the ward mission leader of that part of the area, and his son. We explained how faith is required for Priesthood blessings to truly work miracles and shared the story of the woman who was healed because of her faith when touching the hem of the Savior's clothes. She cried during and after the blessing and felt so grateful. We explained the restoration of the Savior’s Priesthood to the earth and invited her to be baptized. She said she needed to talk to her husband about it first. She has come along since we first started teaching her though. She is happy to offer the prayers and talks openly with Heavenly Father whereas before she was nervous to do it. The Bishop and his wife are helping serve her and her three little boys and husband a lot as well so little by little we will get them there.

February 29, 2016. This week has been different and there is not as much to report. It has consisted of staying with President and Mama Stutznegger because my dear sweet companion has been quite ill these past few days. Poor thing! But I did train at the leadership council last week which was actually pretty fun. We stayed the night before in Neza with my trainer, Hermana Llaguarima, and Hermana Wolferts. I had a wonderful talk with Hermana Llaguarima and we had a great time catching up. It was so nice to talk to her again. She made me eggs with hotdogs like she did my first night in the mission and kept complimenting me on how good my Spanish has become (not trying to brag, just reporting what happened :) We talked and laughed for quite awhile. The next morning, Hermana Wolferts took Hermana Lambert to the hospital so Hermana Llaguarima and I trained together at the meeting! haha It was super fun working with her again but actually feeling like I contributed :) Hermana Lambert can now talk again (her throat has been in really bad shape) so we will be training at two zone conferences this coming week. Looking forward to that. Hermana Stutznegger and I went shopping together in the streets of Mexico a little so that was fun :) I also road tripped a little with President and the other Hermana Jones as well to do a Family Home Evening in my two wards back up the mountain. Also, as for cultural experiences, I ate rellena - dark brown cow tripe (stomach) filled with solidified dark brown cow blood - wrapped in a tortilla the other week. It actually didn't taste too bad. Then again, you can eat just about anything wrapped in a tortilla. Story of my life. I love you all so so so much :) Don't you forget it!

Love Hermana Jones

Sights of the countryside in part of my area.

It is very pretty in the mountains here.

We hiked all the way up to this house only to find that it is uninhabited. We are still exploring and finding new parts of our area (this is in the pueblo where we live). We have decided to start focusing more of our time and energies on our other pueblito where there are no Church members.

Hermana Lambert.

Path leading around the house we hiked up to. There are a few houses up there.

This is Hermana Yessica Aldama Macias who lives right down the street from us and served in President and Sister Bowler's mission! She just got back in December and is a sweetheart. 

I meant to send these awhile back but this is when Hermana Carrasco and I went for almost 48 hours without electricity - the whole pueblo was out haha - so we did our planning by candlelight and fried eggs in a pot with a fire-poker, over the fire we successfully made in our fireplace. Not too shabby. Good memories :)