Hermana Jones

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What a week it has been

Happy Monday! Wow what a week it has been. I once again find myself in a maze of concrete and buildings, unable to see the horizon but LOVING being here in Neza. For one thing, the streets are all lined up where they should be as found on the map, they have names, they have street signs with the corresponding names, and the houses have numbers all lined up neat and tidy in numerical order where they should be. That makes my life MUCH easier. A little less adventurous but more efficient time haha no more "the red house next to the tienda with two windows by the people who own a brown dog on the third street from the top of the hill with a bush that sings" hehehe anyhoo, life is good here :) I feel no stress whatsoever and am just happy to be here! I am in el barrio J E where many legendary missionaries have gone before me. It is an awesome Ward -- the capilla (chapel) was full to the brim yesterday. I love my companion! Her name is Hermana Torres and she is from Campeche by the coast. She is so tiny and so precious! She is here until her visa is finalized and them she will be serving a Spanish speaking mission in St. George and working in the visitor's center there. It is so much fun working with her and I am grateful for the opportunity to train again. The first time training I stressed too much. It is amazing how much I have changed in just 8 months. The Lord has given me so many opportunities and experiences to grow and become better. Right now I feel completely happy and stress free opening an area and training. I also feel like I can help my companion a lot more than I did with Hermana Carrasco. I just feel much more confident in my abilities. The Ward is divided into two areas. A companionship of Elders are on the south side and we are on the North side. It is a much smaller area than what I have been used to the last eight months but it is bigger than my first area. We are working on finding less active families, following lists and registros, as well as following referencias from the Ward members. The members are angels here. LOVE them. We live in what is called the "edificio mormona" because of the five families who live there, only one are not Church members. We are also picking up on where the Elders who were here before us left off in terms of investigators. Almost all of them are family members of recent converts which is great. We are also working off of the old lists of investigadores futuros -- basically lists of names of people who other missionaries contacted awhile ago and may have interest. Yesterday we had a really cool experience thanks to that. We decided to look for a man named Oliver on one of these lists. We knocked his door and he looked out from his top window. When we told him that we are missionaries and that we were looking for Oliver, he got a huge grin on his face and came down to meet us. He is a really big guy with a huge beard. He had a Sixers jersey and flat-brim on. The missionaries contacted him a few months ago but wasn't there when they went back and they never talked again. He told us that he wants to make changes in his life and feel peace again. We taught him La Restauración right there in the street outside his front door. He loved everything we taught and is so excited to come to Church this next Sunday. I felt a really good vibe from him and am confident that he will progress. It was so much fun to talk with him; my companion and I walked away from that lesson fist pumping the air and such :) Another cool experience -- we were walking in the rain last week when we crossed paths with a nice lady who invited us into her house. We began talking with her and realized that she is a Church member. We shared a scripture with her and then her husband who had been listening from the other room came in. We asked them if we would be seeing them on Sunday in Church and, after looking at each other for a moment, they said yes. They came yesterday along with their daughter and granddaughter. The daughter got up and shared her testimony, shedding tears and saying that even though she had not been in a long time she knew the Church is true and could feel the Spirit there. Later on we were called out of the second hour class by the Bishopric first counselor to meet with this family. Turns out they have been inactive or going to another ward or something for a long time and the ward does not have there records. They want to take care of that so they can be in this ward and set things right. Also, the daughter told us about her husband who is not a member and has not wanted to accept visits from anybody but now that we are here she wants us to visit him. We went last night and had a great experience. He is a military man who has been through a lot of tough stuff and does not have interest in religion but has a firm belief in God. Honestly I don't remember much of what my companion and I said but all I know is that we all felt the Spirit and he wants to learn more. His heart was definitely softened by the end. There have been other people like that who we met this week. It helps confirm to me that I am in the place where I need to be in the right time with the right people. One other experience this last week...because I am training we do more practicing during study time in the mornings. I put a picture of you four with me -- us as a family -- in front of us and we began "teaching" the Jones Family about the restoration of the Gospel to the earth. From the moment we started with Dios es nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial, I felt the Spirit so strongly there in our apartment. When I taught about the First Vision, and when my companion talked about the Book of Mormon and its role as a second witness of Jesus Christ, tears welled up in my eyes as I felt it all confirmed to me that this is true. I felt so grateful to know that we are an eternal family who has the restored gospel in our lives. It made me realize all over again why I am here and that this message is so important to share with as many families as possible. I want them to have the same reassurance and peace that we have as a family. I love you all so much :) Have a great week!

Love Hermana Jones

La Familia Matías Olivares - Dulce and Luis were just baptized and mom and dad will be following their examples. They made tamales for the Elders and us on our last night in the area. Love them so much! They had a huge impact on my life! Hermana Villalobos from Honduras is now with my old companion in the area.

Hermana T and her two adorable grandkids, E A and U. She made us delicious bean-filled homemade corn tortillas with all kids of yummy delights to put on top. She also made me a bag :) This was last Monday as well. She is the one who introduced us to Abigail and her kids. She is a top notch member missionary and I love her and her family a lot too :)

A few pics of the casa de oración in my old area. It is the house of the family S P. The green room is where we try to stuff as many people as possible for Sacrament Meeting and where we also have held Relief Society for the last couple weeks. The bottom-two pictures show the front part where you walk in; it also serves as space for Sacrament Meeting overflow. We put a speaker out there so that attendees can hear the person speaking (although you can't see them very well). Above are two empty cinder block rooms where we have other classes. Every week the Elders and we took turns teaching the jovenes/principios del evangelio. I loved being in this place.

This is F and he is one of my most favorite people EVER.

Hermana Lambert and Elder Miller. Hermana Lambert came running to me when she saw me and we had a big hug. Hermana Lambert está en Ayotla in a trio with Hermana Wong and Hermana Jones. Also, I am still serving as sister training leader with Hermana Gonzalez who is also training another missionary. We get to work with the hermanas in Neza and Oriental. Hermana Martinez (my old companion) and Hermana Villalobos work with the hermanas in Ixtapaluca.

These are pics of our apartment. I bought light bulbs today to brighten up the space (it is a bit cave-like) and when I installed them my companion called me a genius because I know how to change light bulbs haha it is now a little brighter and more cheerful :) I kind of feel like Buddy the Elf in the shower but otherwise it is a nice little place :) We also have couches. That is a first for me!

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