Hermana Jones

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I should be able to see the Light of Christ in my countenance.

Hellooooooo! It was fun to hear from all of you and read your emails this week. Thank you! It is always so much for fun to read than to write haha. We had a good week full of work and meetings and divisions and everything that comes with being a missionary. It was very special to have el élder Jesús Alfonso Ortiz Tirado, of the Seventy, and his wife Olga Lydia. They are a powerhouse couple. I mean WOW. Talk about stellar people. Elder Mafi and I organized a musical number for the Friday conference with the zones Neza, Oriental, Pantitlan, and La Perla 1 y 2. We sang “Calma Mi Alma” -- "Be Still My Soul" -- that just recently came out in Spanish. I started out with a solo and then slowly other people joined in (we got the Stutzneggers crying so I hope that means it turned out alright :P). Before the conference started I had the opportunity to have an interview with Elder Ortiz. He is such a kind man and knows so much about life and the Gospel. I will have to tell you more about him when I get back. He and his wife's story is incredible. Anyways, we had a chance to talk and when he asked me if I had any questions for him, I asked him what is the best thing I could do when I am home as a returned missionary. He gave me some great counsel that I have written down that I really appreciate. The rest of the conference was great! I learned so much. Everything seemed to be geared to how to use this time we have now so that we are prepared to go home and be returned missionaries who remain faithful. Then on Saturday during the leadership council many of the same principles were discussed but in a different way to say them. Basically the whole conference was for me!!!! It really helped and I feel contenta right now with where I am at in the mission and with regards to coming home. It was funny because during the conference on Friday Elder Ortiz called me up in front of everyone so I could share with them a little of what we had talked about in the interview. Essentially, as a returned missionary I will have many other obligations and things to take care of and simply will not be able to study in depth from the scriptures for 2 hours every day, or go out and spend hours in the streets preaching the gospel every day, nor should I reprimand my family for not doing "companionship study" with me every day hahahaha and things like that and THAT IS OKAY. He told me that it is normal to be thinking about home a lot during these last few weeks because I need to start preparing myself for what lies ahead. What he did counsel me to do that I later shared with the missionaries is that we need to live what we have just spent 18 months or 2 years teaching people and I do not have to lower myself to all the vulgar and vain things of the world after having been set apart as a missionary (PME pg. 4 the quote by President Spencer W. Kimball). I should be able to look in the mirror and see the Light of Christ still there in my countenance. If I can no longer see that, something is wrong. He also shared with me that, although I can no longer do it for two hours every day, real scripture study for 15 minutes every day is essential. In front of all the missionaries he told them that I had told him that "I don't want it all to end and that I would like to stay here." Then he said how he was just thinking of my dear parents back at home and how they would feel about that decision hahaha and said, "Oh hermana, como verás que no es así" (translated in context: oh sister, you will see when you get home that your parents don't want you to extend your mission) it was really funny how he said it and I understand that it probably doesn't make sense when I say it in English. (Parent note: we are definitely looking forward to being with her, but actually wish that she could stay longer because it has been such a blessing for her and us both!). He gave me his email to write him when I get home so that he can get me in contact with his unmarried son living in Utah hahaha he said that we can be friends because he doesn't have a lot of friends in Utah so that will be fun.

I had a nice time doing divisions with an hermana last Tuesday in Oriental, helping her feel more comfortable with contacting in the streets and knocking doors. It is so much fun because we never know quite what we are getting ourselves into when we contact! Ok, to a certain extent we can sometimes predict the outcome but not always. We followed the Spirit and knocked two doors where two people accepted us and we were able to teach some of the Restoration there at the door. I miss my combi days when I could sit up front with the driver and chat. In Neza we walk every where or take a mototaxi and it is just not the same. Today I will start saying goodbye to my old areas, starting with Oriental/Fovissste where it all began. I am also planning on going to the Museum of Natural Art and History (I think that is what it is called) next week and will have to change my P-day for that visit because it is closed on Mondays...just a heads up. This week my companion has her last interview with President as well as her pictures and interview for her visa. Next week we will be at President's for Thanksgiving! Woohooo!

In answer to questions, I have had a few comments about Donald Trump here jaja. Friday we had a super fun Ward activity making carne asada with all the fixings and playing basquetbol y futbol. A few investigators, converts, and less actives who we have been working with a lot lately came which was great (the sad part is that none of the people we are teaching from our half of the Ward came on Sunday so once again their baptism dates fell). After realizing that playing in skirts and Crocs flats simply just wouldn't do, H took us back real quick to change and we arrived just in time to kick some trash on the court. I was brought back to my glory days of high school soccer and Church-bball and had all the hermanas on my team shouting "hermana güera!" (blonde girl) to pass them the ball. I think I surprised quite a few people with how aggressive I can be when it comes to sports, particularly basketball and soccer hahaha we had a good time and there was a great turnout :) Well, I will try to send some pics from my companion’s camera really quick...mine seems to be toast. I love you all very much and hope this week treats you well!

Hermana Güera Jones

Mission Conference with Elder Jesus A. Ortiz

Mission Leadership Conference last week. 

I am getting very excited to have a dryer again at home because here we have to hang the wash to dry and when it rains (like it did every day this last week) we are left to our own devices hahaha wet laundry strewn all over the apartment!

This is a group picture of those who went to the visitor's center for the family home evening (minus the Bishop who took the picture).

The jack-o-lantern we carved for Halloween that President and Mama Stutz gave us (it was the first time ever for my companion!)

Eating ice cream with H last Monday after playing basketball and soccer with a bunch of other missionaries. He has been wanting to take us to ice cream for a long time now hahaha :)

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