About two years ago I received a letter that changed my life forever. It came on my 19th birthday. I still remember the feelings I had as I read the words stating that I would be serving in the Mexico, Mexico City Southeast Mission, preaching the Gospel in the Spanish language. My heart was full of a love for people I didn't even know, and now here I am after 18 months of living amongst the most wonderful people I have had the privilege of knowing. My heart is breaking knowing that my time here has come to an end...the love I felt for this place and this people has only grown. This love does not just come from putting a name-tag on and carrying a bag with scriptures and teaching materials. It comes from viewing people from another perspective -- a heavenly perspective -- in a way that only Heavenly Father and the Savior can do perfectly. It comes from weeping and laughing with them, serving them, teaching them, praying and hoping for a better life for each person. Walking over broken city sidewalks and dirt roads, and up and down hills and mountainsides every day for the last 18 months is not what has made me a missionary. The doors I have knocked and the information I have recorded in my agenda really don't mean anything without the people behind them. I am coming home a different person because of the changes I witnessed in the lives of the people I have met...a change that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I am coming home a different Hermana Jones because these principles have changed me personally. I have had to rely wholly on the Lord and His will and counsel, even though it often meant doing things I was scared of, or out of my comfort zone. Faith is essential to our happiness. Repentance is also essential to our happiness. I have repented and changed and learned every day for the past 18 months. I have had to learn things about myself and understand that I could not be the missionary God wanted me to be without embracing faith, change, and growth. I have grown to more fully understand the importance of covenants -- promises we make with our Heavenly Father -- and how obedience to these covenants, beginning with baptism, brings blessings. The commitments we make with Him and how we fulfill these commitments is all that really matters. Baptism and covenants are essential to our happiness. The communication we have with our Heavenly Father and His influence we feel through the Spirit is a guiding light. When we think about it, why wouldn't we live in such a way that permits us to have Him with us at all times, and in all things, and in all places? I have learned to trust in and follow the promptings I receive and not question them because they always lead to good things that I never could have accomplished without them. Receiving and following the Holy Ghost is essential to our happiness. El perseverar hasta el fin -- enduring to the end -- is where it all comes together. It is the day-in-day-out doing what you need to do, when you need to do it, without being asked, in your own little corner of the world where you become the person the Savior knows you can become. He suffered and provided an infinite Atonement for each of us, and if we come unto Him and rely on Him day in and day out He will make all of the difference. Enduring to the end is essential to our happiness. I love the Gospel and I love my Savior. It has been a blessing to serve Him and under His name this last year and a half. I am excited to continue to do so in the next chapter of my life. I am super excited to see you all :) It has been fun reading your emails the last year and a half. Thank you for your support, love, and prayers. I couldn't have done it without you :) I know that what I have taught and defended here in Mexico is true. It is all true.
Love, Hermana Jones
The group of missionaries departing in December had the opportunity to go to the Mexico City Temple last week with President and Hermana Stutznegger (pics courtesy of Hermana Stutznegger). I began my mission by serving with the other Hermanas at the Mexico City Temple open house before it was re-dedicated. It was fitting to go back near the end of my mission with people that I love so much.