Hermana Jones

Hermana Jones

Monday, October 24, 2016

Someone who I needed to find during my mission.

Hello everybody! Only one week til Halloween. I have looked high and low for a pumpkin to carve but have searched in vain... I guess my companion and I will just celebrate by buying and eating our own candy and pan de muerto in the house. Today begins my last cycle/transfer of the mission ): That is all I will say about that. A few neat experiences this past week. First of all, my comp and I waged WWIII in the apartment today, her in the kitchen and me in the bathroom. We basically live in the Titanic due to old pipes and the leaky shower which means water and mold EVERYWHERE! Yuuuusssss. When we pulled a table away from the wall we found little uncooked frijoles all in a row stuck to the wall. I whipped out the good old broom and a fancy new anti-hongo (anti-fungus) spray I bought today and went ham wild in the baño, spraying and scrubbing and screaming in frustration at times, so much so that pretty soon I had a hard time breathing and had to run out for fresh air. Maybe opening the little window before fumigating the place may have been a wise decision. In any event, it is a little bit cleaner now. The water still leaks out of the bathroom and makes a nice puddle outside the door, but we will take what we can get. Also, we made brownies :)

Now to teaching. The week before last we met a sweet old lady named M outside of her business/house (the majority of people here have the two connected in the same building and multiple families live in the same house) while she was weeding. We finished the weeding for her and then began talking with her. When she mentioned that her husband passed away a year ago from cancer, we gave her a folleto (pamphlet) of El Plan de Salvación and sacamos una cita (made an appointment) for a few days later. When we went back, she first started out by saying that she didn't want to waste our time because she cannot change her religion. She said she cannot always come to Church and she is still learning to read and feels that she cannot read and speak as eloquently as other people; but she invited us to come in anyway. As we began talking more she told us of how much she loved the pamphlet we had given her. Although she is still learning to read and write and has partial facial paralysis which makes seeing out of her right eye even more difficult, she had read it little by little until she had finished the whole thing. She told us of how a day after we had given her the folleto, she received news that a dear friend had passed away, which was devastating in and of itself. It also brought back emotions to the surface related to her husband's death. She was going through papers on the table, found the pamphlet, and began reading. She was overwhelmed with peace and comfort reading about the Plan that God has for us and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. She prayed and felt that it was true. As I listened to all of this, I was filled with so much love for this sweet woman. I felt what I am sure is only a little tiny bit of the love that our Heavenly Father and the Savior feel for us, but it was enough to bring tears to my eyes and want her more than anything to be happy. As I offered the opening prayer, I had tears streaming down my face as I pleaded that she could be healthy and strong and know that what we teach is true. After that I couldn't talk much and my companion took over for awhile. Maria continued to ask amazing, sincere questions and by the time we had finished she was wanting to go to Church. I said a prayer in my heart that she would accept baptism, and when Hermana Torres invited her to be baptized on the 26th of November she said yes because she wants to do what God commands us to do. It was so incredible. She is so powerful. I really felt that she is someone who I needed to find during my mission. Two elders will be coming back tomorrow and taking over the other half of the area where she lives but I am grateful for the time we spent with her. We have another new investigator named B who is also amazing. She is 34. Several of her family members are members of the Church but she and her 10 year old son are not. A little over a month ago she was on a motorcycle when she crashed and flew I don't know how far into the street and completely split her head open. She has been left with the left side of her body paralyzed, a severely fractured hand, and other injuries. She is looking for God in her life. From what the doctors had said, it is a miracle that she is alive. She has so much desire to do all that she can to come to know Him better. A Ward member is helping us take her to Church on Sundays which is wonderful. We are grateful that we can teach her during these next several weeks. Hermana Torres and I are finishing things off together this next cycle which I am so thrilled about :) We are going to bust a move in our half of the area while we are here.

We were protected this week. Last night we went to the home of a less active family to have a Family Home Evening and we were planning on just teaching the grandparents of the family. We were unaware that their son-in-law, who is an old investigator of ours, was there. We were in one room talking to the hermana as we started to hear a heated discussion outside. All of the sudden, the old investigator stormed into the room and started shouting and swearing, saying that he doesn't want anything to do with us. Then he stormed out of the room and started fighting, and throwing mirrors and movie discs all over. Then he stormed out of the house with his wife chasing after him. It was really sad because their four year old daughter didn't understand what was going on and began crying. We felt a strong impression to get out of the house, which we did, and a minute after doing so we saw the man storming back to the house. It was a very good thing that we were not there. We felt pretty badly because we don't want anybody to get hurt, while at the same time feeling thankful that we were kept safe. We had another similar experience this week where thankfully we were not in a certain place at a certain time or else who knows what could have happened. The Lord watches over and protects us. Well I need to go but I hope you enjoy your week and I love you all! My camera is being stinky, again, so I apologize for no pictures :/

Love Hermana Jones

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lost sheep.

Hey everybody! I am still here and still preaching the good word. I am sorry that I did not write last week; we got to visit Teotihuacan and returned late. I don’t have much time today either and this may be the lamest letter of my mission. Just know that I am happy, well, and still working hard. Life has been very busy. We had an activity on Saturday in our area with missionaries in our zone, along with a few ward members who helped us out. What we did is my companion and I took a few hours to go through all of the baptism records in our area books, organize them by address, and divide them into groups of about 4 or 5 homes. We marked where to find them on maps and gave each companionship 2 lists, along with maps, and sent them on their way with a Ward member to look for these "lost sheep" -- people who have been baptized in the last 2-5 years and then fell off the face of the earth. There is a lot of retention to do here. My comp and I also had the chance a few weeks ago to do a training on contacting and finding which was fun. Last week Hermana Jonapá and I participated in a training for new district leaders and talked about leadership -- we used the example of Captain Moroni to illustrate the type of leader we should be. Not many of our investigators are progressing which is difficult but we are trying to involve more Ward members in our lessons. Yesterday the Primary in our Ward presented its annual program and it was absolutely incredible. Those little kids are darling. Lilian did very well playing "Soy un hijo de Dios" on the violin. I was able to help her get it tuned and warmed up before the meeting (by the way, I will send pics next week I promise). We had fun teaching families this last week and sharing teachings from the Bible. Man I love the Bible and am grateful for the time I have had on my mission to study it more and to learn it. Well, take care this week! Enjoy the Halloween festivities!

Love Hermana Jones

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I don't want this time to end.

Hello everybody! Sorry for the delay. We went to the Temple today so our p-day was changed (and just a heads up for next week, all of us who go home in December are planning a trip to Teotihuacan next Monday so my writing time may be short but I will do my best). Anyhoooo, what a week. Lots of great stuff going on. I am trying to remember all that has happened but honestly the days just blend together. We are working on cleaning out our list of people we are teaching -- those who are progressing and those who are not. We have been able to find many new people to teach but it is a whole other story getting them on the path and keeping them going. We were able to bring the first counselor of the bishopric to an appointment we had with the Familia S. B. which was cool. They gave us agua azul, which is water with roots in it that dye the water a metallic blue and supposedly helps your kidneys. Some of them are less-active members and others are not Church members. 13 year old B is a champ. He really has a desire to learn. We taught them the Restoration and it was cool to see the countenance of the very closed off dad change throughout the lesson, especially when teaching the First Vision. That is such a powerful event to teach and testify of. I love telling people that los cielos ya no están cerrados, or that the heavens are not sealed/closed and that God reveals His will to a living prophet today.

We got soaked this last week in the rain, actually the last two to three weeks we have been getting poured on but it makes running between appointments a little more exciting. We have started to try and visit more of the active families, sharing basic Gospel principles with them, and get them motivated to share the Gospel with their friends. It was a lot of fun to get people revved up for General Conference which I absolutely loved. I watched it in Spanish in the Neza stake center. I look forward to reading the talks and being able to delve into what they are really saying. When I start to jot down little notes during the conference it is harder for me to listen to all that is being said, especially when the adorable little 3 year old next me starts handing me her my little pony toys or bouncing them around on my arm haha but it was a wonderful experience. I was shedding tears through the whole Saturday afternoon session which was mainly dedicated to missionary work. I also received distinct answers to prayers during that time. I loved listening to the MTC choir sing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" -- it brought back many memories to my mind of all that has happened these past 16 months and all that awaits me in the time I have left. I just don't want to go. I don't want this time to end. I mean, I do but I don't. It is hard to explain, but there is just not anything else quite like the mission. It has been such a special experience for me.

In between the sessions on Saturday we went with the Familia J and taught them the Restoration. A, the dad, accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of November just like that. He is loving learning more and is very excited to continue on this path. Everything that the Spirit taught to him while we were teaching just made sense to him and he gets it. His daughter needs more time to think about it but we are happy for them :) I am enjoying practicing “Soy Un Hijo de Dios” on the violin with L, the bishop's daughter. Brings back good old memories of giving violin lessons to S. W. and Little Jimbo back home :) Yesterday we caught our little buddy who was baptized last year drinking and he began to cry because he feels bad and really does not want to do this any more. We had him take the remaining cans and dump them in the drain on the side of the street right then and there. It was actually a pretty powerful experience and he said that he felt much better afterwards. It is a process but I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that brings us hope and a way to be better people. Being in the Temple this morning was wonderful and I am looking forward to the rest of the week. On Monday my comp got her braces off and we were able to see Hermana Stutznegger again :) So good to see her! We have all missed her dearly. I love you guys and hope you have a nice couple days until I write again!

Hermana Jones

My zone/district at the temple today (October 5 :) These are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. We went to the 8 am session and then enjoyed eating in the Temple cafeteria afterwards and navigating our way through the hot, stuffy metro on the way home. Last night my comp and I spent the night with the Lucero hermanas because Hermana Jonapá and I did divisions with a few other hermanas in Oriental so our hijas worked together yesterday.

My little friend M on the 15 de Septiembre.

Hermana F who we found in the rain during our first week in the area and brought
back to Church with us. She gave us a nice dinner Saturday evening.

These pics are of our recent zone conference. The pushups I was doing (oh gosh I do not even want to see that picture haha) were part of "Chicken Fat" -- it is an exercise routine created for kids back in the 60s. We did that for about 15 minutes as a break during our zone conference.  Photo credit to Sister Stutznegger.

We love President :)