Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Elder Jones week 38

Hey  guys! So like you already know I´m training!  It was so scary for me because tuesday was the day of transfers and they usually tell you if you or your companion have a transfer the day before on monday, or on sunday if you´re training so you can go to the training for new trainers on monday.  But they didn´t tell me until an HOUR before the tranfers that Elder Membrillo is going to Condevilla and that I´m training!  So I wasn´t able to go to the new trainers training but right now I´m a lot more okay with that than I was on Tuesday. 

So my new son is Elder Mestre! He´s from Santiago Chile and he´s 18 years old! He´s a convert, the first member, and the first missionary in his family. We had a great week. So since he´s new we have an hour extra of companionship study together every day. It´s honestly the best. He just loves to learn and get better as a missionary. A couple of days this week we accidentally spent the entire first hour of companionship study just sharing what we learned in personal study. This week we finished our plans for personal study, companionship study, and language study for the first 3 weeks of this transfer. He´s also not afraid to talk to anyone. Since the taxi that brought us from the transfers to Rimac, he´s just been talking to people. I´ve learned so much from him this week and I´m trying my best to teach him in a way that will help him be the best missionary he can be. I´ve learned a lot this week about the power of my example. He does what I do. In the apartment if I take off my shoes he takes off his shoes, or if I take off my tie he takes off his tie. One of the families in our ward gave us all the books of the teachings of all the presidents of the church this week, and honestly it was such a temptation for me to just spend all my time this week reading them, but I decided that after my mission is probably a better time for those books, and that right now I should just anchor my study in the scriptures and preach my gospel, focusing on what my investigators need. 

So this week we had a lot of really great spiritual experiences. 
First of all we met a really amazing family! They are a referral from Hno. Gonzalez, our ward mission leader. His friend, Eucevio, has had some problems with alcohol, and recently his wife told him that he needs to change or she and their two daughters need to leave. So he remembered what Hno. Gonzalez had told him about the church and how it changed his life, so he called Hno Gonzalez on thursday and said he wants to meet the Elders. So on thursday Hno Gonzalez called us and set up an appointment that same night in the church building. Eucevio, his wife Doris, and their daughters,Sofi and Carolina, came. We had a great lesson and at the end Elder Mestre invited Eucevio, Doris, and Sofi to baptism and they accepted! they came to church yesterday and they´re going with our ward to the temple tomorrow! They said that they really enjoyed church and that they want to come back. So I´m really excited to be able to teach them and see them grow. I think if there is one family I´m probably going to be able to see get sealed on my mission it´s them. 

So this week I was thinking about dropping one of our investigators, Hector, because he hasn´t been completing the commitments. He has many many addictions and we´ve invited him to meet the bishop and seek professional help, but he wasn´t willing to do either of those. So I was talking to Elder Mestre this week about how we were probably going to drop Hector as an investigator this week. And his answer surprised me. He said that what we do as missionaries, we do because we don´t want these people to feel lonely or unloved by their heavenly father, and if we leave someone feeling that way we aren´t doing our job. When I heard that I felt like what he was saying was true, even though he hadn´t ever dropped an investigator before. So we visited Hector this week and we had a very spiritual lesson with him. It wasn´t about the word of wisdom, or the law of chastity, or the changing power of the atonement, we just taught about the Book of Mormon. And we invited him to come to church. and with Hector he hand´t ever been able to go to church because it´s hard for him to go so long without smoking, but on Sunday he came! and he met the bishop and now he´s progressing little by little. We asked him what changed and he said that he wasn´t going to go but an angel appeared to him the night after we visited him.  So now he has had a spritual experience that will help him progress in the gospel. 
I hope you guys are doing great! glad you´re reading the scriptures! 
Elder Jones

Me and Elder Mestre:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hermana Jones Week 48

So we had cambios! I was a little sad after having 4 cambios in Sauces.  When I left in the morning it was worse than when I left home to go on the mission.  I am in D.F now (the big city).  It feels really funny because it was about a year ago that I was here in the city and now I am back!

I am Capacitadora now (I dont really know what that it in English, but probably like sister training leader) I am a little nervous because usually there are two, but I am the only one and it is my first time, so I don't really have anyone to learn from, but I am sure it will be a great cambio.

My new companion is Hermana Aguilar, and she is from Mexico.  She is super nice and I knew her from my other zone so that's good. It is also weird to be in the city because it is reversed because in Toluca it is so safe-- our zone had only 6 elders and 14 hermanas.  Here we only have 6 hermanas but I am super excited.  My area seems really nice, and the people are really nice here.  It is funny being an American hermana sometimes, though, because I am the first American hermana ever in this area so the members of the ward are super excited that president sent an American hermana hahha.

This week we brought a girl named Ruth to church.  She is 14 and she loooved it.  When we were on the bus ride home she said "today was magical."  We asked her why and she said that she loved church and she loved all the people there so that made us really happy.  Her family was really interested when Ruth got home from church because she talked about how much they loved it, so I am sure that they are going to get baptized.  It is weird going from such a huge house in Sauces to a tiny house in the city but even though it was sad to change I feel like it feels so much more like an adventure because I haven't changed in so long.

I hope everything is going great there. Anyway this week was super awesome and I am excited to get to be Capacitadora because we get to go to presidents house once a month and talk about things the missionaries need and I heard it was really fun.  It is always fun to be able to see the mission president and his wife because in the mission they are like your parents.  Anyway, I hope you have a great week and I will send you lots of pictures next week of my new area :)

My release date is set for August 17th, but I don't know if that is the exact date or not.

The pictures show a member's house we ate at last week, and also the girl who is getting baptized.  I was sad to leave!  The doll is one that a member made me before I left, and also there is a picture of me with my new companion.

Hermana Jones

Friday, February 27, 2015

Elder Jones Trainer

February 26, 2015

Dear Family of Elder Jones,

I am delighted to inform you that your son, Elder Harry Orville Jones, has been assigned to serve as a trainer in the Peru Lima Central Mission.  He will be the first companion of a new missionary in our mission.  We all feel there is no more important assignment a missionary receives in the mission field. It is the most respected assignment one can receive in our mission.  He will be responsible to teach his companion how to become the most successful missionary he can become.  This significant responsibility has come to your son because he has exemplified the qualities of outstanding missionary service.  Please know that this assignment comes to Elder Jones by the spirit of prophecy and revelation and only after pondering and prayer.

I am sure that you are pleased with the accomplishments and leadership ability that have made him worthy of this great responsibility.  We pray that you, with him, will “lift up your heart and rejoice,” for the hour of this important phase of his mission has come.  (See D&C 31:3)  Thank you for all you have done to make ElderJones the fine young man that he is and for your continuing support of his missionary endeavors.

Warmest regards,

Alan M Borg, Peru Lima Central Mission President                                                                      

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hermana Jones week 47

So this week was good.  We had our meeting with president and three zones, so we didn't have P-day yesterday, so we have a half P-day today.  I was wondering if the message I sent 2 weeks ago ever got to you guys talking about my patriarchal blessing because I was looking for it in my sent mail but I couldn't find it.  Anyway I have questions about school, too. When do you have to start signing up?  also, I was wondering if you could send me the sheet of all the classes you have to take for an English major.  There is a sheet online that tells you all the classes you have to take every semester of college to graduate because it is going to be a little hard trying to help you guys sign up when I don't really know what classes I need. 

Anyway, not a lot happened this week.  I do have a few funny stories though.  Here in Mexico, there isn't clean water, so everyone has their water in huge buckets.  In one home we visited, the little 2 year old put a hot dog in the water bucket and they couldn't get it out, so they were kind of mad!  Kind of a sad story, but still funny.  

We got an investigator to church, and then when we were right in front of the building about to go in, she realized that she forgot her phone in the taxi.  She went running after it and then got in another taxi to chase it...so close to having her there, and yet so far.  Also, on Sunday our ward split! That was the first time I have ever seen that in my life, so it was really cool to be a part of it.  The new Bishop is the guy who took us to the volcano, so he is really nice.  Here in my mission, I have seen a branch become a ward and a ward split for the 4th time in 10 years, so there really is a lot of growth here in Mexico in the church. 

Rachel told me that I need to sign up for classes this week, so I said I would room with her.  It will be good because I don't know any of the housing and my companion said the place Rachel wants to live is good because there are lots of returned missionaries who live there so it would be great if you can work  with Rachel to sign me up for housing.

Hermana Jones 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Elder Jones Week 37

Hey guys! So, as always, I had a great week. We were pretty busy getting everything ready for all the baptisms that happened on Saturday. Olinda, Alonzo, Camila, Xiomara, Rosa, and Cusi were able to get baptized this Saturday. Eileen wasn´t able to get baptized because her mom in the last minute changed her mind again and withdrew her permission.  But we had an amazing baptismal service. 

Cusi is 18 years old and she has been attending church with her mom since she was 5, but she couldn´t ever get baptized because her dad didn´t give her permission.  But despite not being baptized she completed her personal progress and graduated from seminary. She´s inspirational. Rosa was baptized by her son Jean, who is about to leave for his mission. My companion Elder Membrillo baptized Xiomara, Camila and Alonzo were baptized by their grandpa, and Olinda was baptized by one of the elders that taught her while she was visiting her children who live in the other ward´s boundaries but aren´t members.  It was really amazing and I felt really happy to be able to see so many people be able to enter into the waters of baptism.  At the end everyone who was baptized went up and bore their testimony and their testimonies were so powerful. These people knew what they were doing when they got baptized. It was a really great night.

That same night a miracle occurred. Olinda, who got baptized, has been blind for about a year.  She knows that the church is true, and she knows that it is the church led by Jesus Christ, who healed the sick and the blind.  Olinda had been praying and fasting with the other Elders that first taught her that with her baptism she would be healed of her blindness.  The other elders had also given her a priesthood blessing, I believe.  And she had so much faith, I know few people with as much faith as Olinda.  So she was baptized on Saturday and my companion and I accompanied her to her apartment. She lives alone and she doesn´t have light in her house, so we helped her into her apartment and we always have to use the flashlight from our phone because she doesn´t have light.  My companion was using the flashlight to see around the apartment and all of a sudden Olinda told us that she could see a light.  That it seemed to her like there was a light flashing on and off.  At first we thought she was joking with us but every time that the light came near her she could tell.  And that´s something that she couldn´t do before because we had taught her using the flashlight before, but now she can differentiate between light and darkness.  I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ.  That he lives, and that he blesses us with miracles according to our faith. 

I hope you guys have a great week. I´ve been studying the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible along with the Bible, and it´s really interesting to me the small and simple truths that were taken away but that we now have access to because God has newly called prophets. 

Love you guys!
Elder Jones     

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Elder Jones week 36

So this week was the best week of my life. I´ve seen so many miracles and more importantly I´ve been able to feel the pure love of Christ.  We met another Cornelio this week! (Someone that is ready to get baptized right away). Her name is Xiomara. She´s 9 years old and she lives with her mom, who is an active member, and her 8 month old brother. They just moved here from Chiclayo and she hasn´t ever been baptized. But she wants to get baptized right away so she´s going to get baptized this Saturday! On Saturday and Sunday we did a fast of thanks for finding her and for her great desire to get baptized.

Then another miracle occurred. In sacrament meeting the bishop was announcing the 6 baptisms that we´re going to have in our ward this Saturday, and after making the announcement one of our investigators, Eileen, who has been investigating the church for over a year but hasn´t been able to get baptized because she didn´t have permission from her mom, went up and whispered something to the bishop and sat back down. Then the bishop made another announcement and said that there has been a correction and that this Saturday there are going to be 7 baptisms, including Eileen! I was so confused and so happy at the same time because I had no idea that she was going to get baptized this Saturday. We talked to her afterwards and it turns out that in the morning out of the blue her mom changed her mind and gave her permission to get baptized. She wants to get baptized as soon as possible, so this Saturday she´s getting baptized! Along with Alonzo, Camila, Olinda, Xiomara, Cusi, and Rosa. I have no idea if that would have happened if we hadn´t been fasting, but it is a miracle, and it came while I was fasting so I refuse to call it a coincidence.

This transfer I´ve really gained such a great testimony of giving thanks to God for the miracles he´s given me. At the beginning of this transfer we made the decision to fast to give thanks after each miracle we experience, and He has blessed us with 4 Cornelios. This week was great and I´m really happy here on my mission. I hope you guys have a great week!

Elder Jones

Hermana Jones Week 46

I am so grateful that I am able to be here on the mission.  This week we found a less active family and we are going to baptize their nine year old boy to be baptized this Sunday! It is super great to be able to help a family come back to church. We are also helping the dad to receive the priesthood! Also we have a family of three who agreed to be baptized. She is working as a firewoman right now because her husband died about 6 months ago so she has a hard time sometimes but she loves hearing about the plan of salvation and we also had a family of 4 agree to be baptized this week!

Anyway one thing I have learned is the trials that we have change who we are. I feel like this week I have come to understand more what my purpose is as a missionary and why I am really here. This week there was a lady we have been visiting who said that she didn't want to listen to us because of all the things she had read on the internet.  We responded to all her doubts but her heart had become too hard and she wouldn't listen. Afterwards I felt the biggest pain I have ever felt having someone choose not to listen to our message because I realized for probably the first time the depth of how important the gospel of Jesus Christ is in each of our lives. I realized I am not sorry for the trials that we have in our life because every one of them is preparing us to return to live with our Heavenly Father.  This week me and my companion sang in church "I Need Thee Every Hour" and I could feel so strongly how much I needed my Savior in everything that I do.

Oh also one morning this week I decided to make pancakes and it just made me laugh because one of thepancakes looked like the tree of life. Everything in this earth is to give us joy, even our trials, because we appreciate the little things a lot more :)

Have a great week!