Archive | October, 2013

Week 30 Ireland

27 Oct

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow has it really been 30 weeks? My 7th month mark is next Sunday! Time is slipping away all too fast…
Well good news! Stephen is officially getting baptized on November 3rd!! Woot woo! He is so awesome! He loves the church and is really getting along tremendously with the YSA. He is excited to make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father and is ready to endure to the end with the help and guidance of the Holy Ghost. We honestly didn’t do anything… we just taught the lessons. The spirit has gently whispered to Stephen the truthfulness of this Gospel and, on his own, has come unto Christ! It is so wonderful to be a witness of it!! Stephen is like an older brother to me. (Well we’re all brothers and sisters aren’t we?) I am so grateful to be a part of this time in his life!
Thursday was Zone Interview Training. Our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders trained us while President did interviews. The training was all about dealing with the stress of missionary life! The elders talked about eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Then the sisters talked about study. Our new moto is “stay physically and spiritually fit!” haha it was way good.
My time with President was very special. We were able to discuss very sacred things. I had been carrying a very heavy burden and with the guidance of the spirit he was able to take it away from me. I feel so light now and I can feel the spirit more strongly than I did before. We cried, we laughed, we shook hands…. I’m like way bummed that I’m not allowed to hug him! hahaha It was a really great day for me. Everything that I was standing in need of was met.
On Friday we went out to Balbriggan to visit a member of our ward named Glenda. She is from South Africa and she is so sweet! When we got there she wasn’t feeling to good. So we forced her to allow us to serve her! We made her some herbal tea and did her dishes. Then we sat with her and listened to a conference talk. It was very relaxing. Then after a little bit she was feeling more upbeat and invited us to go with her to visit her daughter, Bridget, who lives in a nursing home. I have heard so many stories about Bridget and I have always wanted to meet her! So off we went. It was such a humbling experience! Bridget has severe brain damage so there really isn’t anything she can physically do. All she can do is move her head and limbs a little bit and raise her finger up for “yes” and down for “no.” She is 31 and has only been like this for the past 10 years. Glenda is such an amazing mom and she is so positive and faithful. Sister Huntsman and I sang some hymns for Bridget and told her how much Heavenly Father loves her. It was so wonderful! It took most of our day. We didn’t have any appointments because non of them worked out but Sis H and I believe nothing worked out because we needed the time to have a special experience with Glenda and Bridget.
Our Friday night ended with Stephen! We talked about daily prayer and scripture study. Then Stephen told us that ever since he picked a date things have been a bit hard. Temptation is everywhere! We assured that Satan is a jerk as always and it’s because he doesn’t want Stephen to be baptized. But Stephen has so much faith and we know he can get through it!! With the help of the YSA, us, and most importantly, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, he will be able to make it to his baptism! He told us that it’s a bit hard to be the only one in his family and group of friends that is going to church and all that. So we showed him the “Dare to Stand Alone” Mormon Message by President Thomas S. Monson. He loved it! (It’s one of my absolute favorites!!) Stephen is so great!!
Saturday we cleaned to church building with the elders for a whole two hours! It was fun 🙂 Then afterwords, Sis H and I stayed for the Stake Relief Society activity. It was so much fun! There was a great turn out as well. Sis Rob and Sis Douglas were able to go as well. That night our app canceled so we spent some time on Family Search and it was so cool! Family History is so cool!! Everyone should do it!!
The Sunday we had so many people at church! We even had some visitors from America! I love it when they come… This week I met Sister VanDuzer from the Paseo Verde ward! She is friends with Rhonda Leavitt! She also said that she knows the Mellors and is keeping up with Cassandra’s mission. It was so fun to talk to her! Her parents, Bro and Sis Dilley, were there too. They live in Vegas as well but I don’t know which ward. So fun! I asked them all if they knew dad or uncle David but they said no (that’s a first!) hahaha anyways that was my excitement 🙂 Stephen also brought his sweet mom, Judith, to church! She is a lovely woman! I give her props for making it through all three hours! haha She said she would like to come again and she is excited for her son’s baptism.
So as you can tell things are going well!! The Finglas ward is blossoming and I am learning each day. I also figured out that I have been totally stressed out my whole mission!!! hahahaha I didn’t understand what stress really was until we got our new manual at the zone training! But now, thanks to the manual, I have new ideas about how to deal with it. I am so grateful for my leaders that I have to assist me in the work. I am also eternally grateful for the Savior in assisting me in His work.
Moves call is next Sunday!!! Sister Huntsman and I are pretty certain nothing will change with us but I’ll let you know next week!
I love you all so much!!!!!
Love Sister Jones
This picture was when Sister H was still in the Hospital and we all came to visit her.
This place is called Balbriggan. We go there once a week to visit some members in our ward. I just love the little light house and beach! Since winter is coming the sea has been a bit aggressive haha
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Week 29 Ireland

27 Oct
Dear Family and Friends,

There are many mixed emotions I have been feeling this past week. I’m not even too sure how to describe it. Missionary life is just a ROLLER COASTER!

Sister Huntsman finally came home from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. She is doing much much better and is now on a super strict diet: no dairy, no gluten, less water. I’m watching her like a hawk! She’s been doing really good jumping back into the swing of things. The Lord is continuing to bless us is DRASTIC ways! I don’t know what we did to deserve this!

Last Monday was Elder Austins birthday and he wanted everyone to meet together for lunch at Boojums… not a problem! So we ate there and then went around the city a bit. It was fun to be with everyone! Almost our whole zone was with us. I ended the night with the Terenure Sisters and went with them to teach a man and his wife. Then they took me back over to my flat where I met Sis Rob and Sis Douglas.

Tuesday we had a good district meeting about finding more YSA! They are the new generation! Our YSA in our stake is absolutley wonderful. We were able to see Khanyo and we talked about trials. Goodness that woman has been through so much! But she is so much stronger from it all! She KNOWS Heavenly Father is looking out for her. Her faith has grown so much and this gospel has blessed her life! She can feel the comforting love each and every day. She has come so far and baptism is in the NEAR future. We are doing all we can for her!
Later we taught Stephen about the commmandments and obedience. All he could say was “it just makes sense.” Yes it does! We receive so many blessings from being obedient to God’s commandments! And while we are being obedient, we will have the spirit with us constantly! Who wouldn’t want that? He downloaded the gospel library app on his phone and iPad and LOVES it! It’s literally like a whole new world for him! hahaha I talked with him a bit more about baptism and we went over the baptismal interview questions. Everything just makes sense to him! He is so prepared! We also taught a YSA girl named Avril. She is so wonderful! She met with sister missionaries while she was living in the Netherlands and then moved back over here and wants to continue to learn! We went over the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it! We are going to see her again this Tuesday. The YSA are really good at fellowshipping everyone! They are so Christ like! That night we died Sis Rob’s hair! Nothing drastic but it was pretty fun. We used box color (sorry Aub and Heather!) and I did it! I felt just like my sisters 🙂 hahaha we had a really good night.

Wednesday we started our day off with visiting a member. Claire is so great! She has a new motor scooter bike wheelchair thing and she told us all her plans to “girl it up” haha what a great way to stay positive about a thing like that! Then Sister Hunstman came home!!! Sis Rob and Sis Douglas went back to their area and Sis H and I stayed in for the night so that Sis H could rest. We got her settled and organized and I updated her on all of the wonderful things that she missed out on.

We had a good rest of the week! It was pretty normal. I tend to get kinda grumpy sometimes though… I think Satan is trying to get to me… but I won’t let him!! We are having some great success and I don’t want to spoil it!

Church yesterday was fantastic! We had a good fast and testimony meeting and most of the members bore their testimonies on missionary work. Our ward is getting really pumped up! It was Stephen’s first time at a normal church service. He got so excited while taking the Sacrament! Hamilton (Elders investigator) was confirmed a member! It was lovely to wittness! After church we talked with Stephen a bit and he was telling us how much he enjoyed church. Then he told me about a guy that he has been following on Youtube for years and come to find out he is LDS and is on the new mormon message about families! Awesome! Stephen thought that was so neat! Emmanuel was only able to attend Priesthood but he LOVED it! The poor guy works soooo much and is only available to meet with us on Sundays. So next Sunday we will teach him and prepare him for baptism. He LOVES the gospel. He keeps putting himself down for not finding the church sooner. But we asure him that it’s never too late to follow Christ!
The Elders have two people they are teaching at the moment that have dates for baptism. So between the Elders and us we have 4 friends wanting to be baptized! That will be so wonderful for the Finglas ward!!!!! 🙂

Thank you all for all your prayers! I am so humbled to know that all the missionaries in the world are being prayed for! We really need it! But more importantly, our investigators need it. Thank you for your prayers towards Khanyo, Stephen and Emmanuel! They can feel your love and have found the Savior in their lives!

The comfort I receive from our Father in Heaven truly brings JOY! This gospel is so perfect! Someone we taught this week told me I don’t know enough about my religion to teach it. All I could do was testify. Sure I don’t know everything. I don’t have every scripture memorized and sometimes I can’t name all the twelve apostles. But I KNOW that the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-Day Saints is the ONLY TURE church on the earth today. I KNOW that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God and that he RESTORED this church. I KNOW that Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I learn from the prophets of old each day as I read their testimonies. I KNOW that I have a Father in Heaven who knows and LOVES me. I KNOW my Savoir lives. I KNOW I will be with my family for ETERNITY. But how do I really KNOW these things? I know them becuase I have PRAYED and have FELT the comforting peace and assurance by the power of the Holy Ghost. So no… I may not be the best teacher. I may not know all the facts and history of the church. But I know it is true. No one can take that away from me. Through Jesus Christ we can all understand the mysteries of God. We have been promised so much! The Lord WILL fulfill His promises! I love this gospel and I am so priviledge to help others come to love it for themselves. I have WITNESSED Khanyo, Stephen, and Emmanuel find Christ in their lives. I have witnessed Alison and Brother Smith find Him too. This work is His work and it is REAL!
I love you all so so much! I hope and pray you are all well! Go to church and be obedient!

Love Sister Jones

Week 28 Ireland

27 Oct
Dear Family and Friends,

I honestly don’t know where to start with this one… I usually say that every week but this week I really am stumped! I think I’ll start with the bad news and then end with allll of the good news!

Soooo…. my companion is in the HOSPITAL!!! 😦 Poor Sister Huntsman has been there for 4 almost 5 days! She’s fine though! But let me back up…. she hasn’t been feeling 100% for the past two weeks while being here in Ireland but she’s been well enough to do what she needs to each day. But then Wednesday came… We were on our way to teach Stephen and the second we sat down on the bus it hit her! She felt light headed and dizzy. We ended up getting off the bus so she could throw up on the side of the road. (sorry TMI) So I called the McKendricks (senior couple) to come pick us up and take her home. I canceled our apps and she just went to bed. Boy was she out of it! That night Elder Holm and a member in their ward came over to give her a blessing. Then Thursday we stayed in all day so she could rest. Then since we had another app with Stephen, Sister Rob and Sister Douglas came over to do splits. So Sister Rob and I went to teach Stephen while Sis Douglas hung out with Sis Huntsman. (I’ll talk about the lesson with Stephen later) When I got home and the Sisters left it was clear that Sister Huntsman was doing a lot worse. So I called Sister Brown and she advised me to take her to the Hospital. So off we went! A member gave us a ride and then we… WAITED!! Bleh! haha we got there around 10 at night and she was seen by a Dr around 2… we were there ALL NIGHT LONG!!! Yes you guessed it…. we pulled an all nighter!!! hahaha I haven’t done that since college! I sat in a hard hospital chair for a total of 12 hours!! The next morning the Zone Leaders brought me some food and the Terenure Sisters picked me up. (Sister H stayed in the hospital) Sister Knab went to my flat with me so I could get some sleep. I took a solid 3 hour nap and then got up to get ready for the afternoon haha. Sister McKendrick stayed with Sister Huntsman while I went with the other Sisters to their area. We went to a few apps and the Sister Morgan came home with me for the night. So now we’re on Saturday. Sister Morgan came with me to teach Emmanuel! (I’ll talk about that later) Then we stayed for a baptism! The Elders in my ward baptized a man named Hamilton… but I’ll get to that later!! So then we went to visit Sister H in the hospital… she wasn’t doing very good emotionally so we decided to stay as late as we could. We cheered her up by playing fun card games. Then 5 Elders and two other Sisters showed up! So there we were… 10 missionaries in a little hospital room hahaha it was so much fun!! Then the 5 elders gave her another blessing and then we all had to go. The McKendricks have been staying with her most of the time. She is doing much better but they are still running test after test after test because they don’t know whats wrong! AH! She should be out by tomorrow! Fingers crossed!!!

So now for all of the good news…. Stephen’s lesson was so fantastic!!! He said he wants to get baptized before the new year! Wonderful! We showed him the font and explained everything. He has been officially swallowed up by all of the YSA and he loves it! He was able to attend most of conference! And the ZL’s had a baptism that Stephen was able to attend which was wonderful. He looked like a member yesterday in a white shirt and tie! hahaha He is so awesome!!! Plus it was so much fun to teach with Sister Rob again!!!

Emmanuel… oh Emmanuel. I really cannot describe to all of you how much that man LOVES the gospel!!! We met with him on Monday night and talked a bit about his spiritual journey that he is on. He told us all he wants to do is learn how to gain eternal life. Um basically that’s the message we share!! haha we invited him to come to Hamiltons Baptism that Saturday. Then we taught him on Saturday before the baptism. But since he was early we gave him a church tour. He LOVED it! He said he felt like he was at HOME!! Then Sister Morgan and I taught him the Restoration. We had Khanyo in the lesson with us. We explained the apostasy to him and talked about the priesthood. Then he wanted to make sure that he understood it well so he said it all back to us. Then he took a moment to think about it and then asked “Sisters…. was there a restoration?” Wellllll…. YES! hahaha we then told him about Joseph Smith and he was blown away! He then connected all the dots! In the Bible it says there will be “Latter-Days” and a man will be called in the last dispensation.. etc. It all made sense to him! Then we invited him to be baptized… he said YES!!! Thennnn we asked him to be baptized on November 2nd and you know what he said?? “I couldn’t wait any longer!” AHHHH!! YES!! Emmanuel will be baptized on November 2nd!!!! He is so so excited!! Then right after our lesson we walked down the hall to the baptism. (During my down time I like to day dream about things I wish would happen with my investigators. Throughout the week I imagined that when Emmanuel would go to Hamiltons baptism they would somehow know each other because they’re both from Africa haha not possible right? Well… you guessed it!!) Right when we walked in Emmanuel and Hamilton embraced each other and were over joyed!! They are totally friends!! Well they call each other brothers haha but ahhhh!!! So I flipped and wanted to cry but I was waaaay too happy! Hamiltons baptism was wonderful! He was soooo excited!!! And now he is in the Finglas ward! And when Emmanuel gets baptized he will be to so they will be member brothers for life! haha! I hope that all made sense!! At the baptism there was a time for testimonies and Emmanuel got up and bore his testimony!! Like WHAT?! hahaha so wonderful!

Khanyo went to the baptism as well and afterwords she was so happy that she kept saying “I’m next! I’m next!”

Emmanuel came to conference Sunday afternoon (which was the Saturday afternoon session) and he LOVED it!! He took sooo many notes and loves the fact that we have a prophet and apostles! haha all of the other missionaries love talking to him and he calls all of us the “mission team” hahaha so good.

I love the little bit of conference that I was able to see! I only saw Saturday Afternoon and Sunday Morning! I cried so much when our beloved prophet talked about his sweet wife! Happy Anniversary to them!

So as you can see…. through all of this trial…. we are being BLESSED!! The Lord has provided Sister Huntsman and I with three of His children that LOVE the gospel and have the desire to follow Christ. I tend to forget how much I really take it for granted. I feel so honored that the Lord has put His trust in me to teach Stephen, Khanyo, and Emmanuel.

I am so grateful for each and every day I have to be a tool in the Lord’s hand! I love His work!

I wish you all the very best and hope you all have a fantastic week!
I love you all!!!

Love Sister Jones

Week 27 Ireland

27 Oct

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been full of miracles!! I hope I have time to tell you about all of them!
Monday Sis H and I went to the Glasnevin Cemetery! It’s MASSIVE cemetery right by our church building. It was a beautiful day and we even had an awesome lunch in their cafe. So yummy!
Tuesday we had a really good lesson with our investigator Khanyo. She was having a really rough day so we adjusted our lesson a bit and read (my favorite) Nephi’s testimony about trusting God during hard times. She loved it and it really helped her! She left feeling so much better! She is about to change some things in her life here pretty soon which will make it possible for her to get baptized! We even got her home teachers (yes… our investigator has home teachers) to give her a priesthood blessing on Sunday. It was her first time getting a blessing and she thought it was so cool! And of course it made her feel even better than before! God loves her so much! Later that night we went to see Dorrie and of course she had to prank Sis. H like she did to me! It was so so funny and it felt a whole lot better to be in on the joke hahaha
Thursday night we taught our investigator Stephen the Plan of Salvation. He is doing so awesome!!! I can’t even tell you how much I love teaching him! He is just soaking up the Gospel and he understands everything. He asks great questions too. He already knew a lot about the POS so it wasn’t totally new but with our added testimonies I think it really hit him. At the end of the lesson we invited him to say the closing prayer. He was super nervous and a bit shy but he did it! And he did an excellent job! The spirit was so strong! Afterwords he told us that during the week he was starting to think that meeting with us wasn’t such a good idea. He thought that this whole church thing was a dumb idea and because he was feeling that way he thought it would be a good idea to go out drinking. Then he decided he better text us. So did and we made an appointment (for Thursday night) Then he said as soon as he texted us he immediately felt better and the temptation to drink instantly went away. How cool is that? The spirit of God is so wonderful!! That night was institute for the YSA. We got him to stay! He was a bit nervous about it because he doesn’t know anyone but we promised him that everyone there was really nice. So since we had our investigator there we were allowed to stay! It was the first night for the semester and this year they are studying the Book of Mormon. Perfect for Stephen! The class was so so good!! At one point Elder McKendrick (senior couple in charge of YSA) split the room into three groups and we were to discuss a scripture that changed our life or meant a lot to us. Sis H and I went over to Stephens group to help out a bit. We asked Stephen if there was anything he liked in the recent chapters that he has read. He thought for a minute then said “I really like the part when that guy had a vision and everyone was following the straight and narrow path and they were holding onto the rod, which was the word of God, and then they all got to partake of the good fruit. That was just so cool.” Ummm ok… investigators don’t just talk like that! Stephen LOVES the stories in the Book of Mormon and he is doing so well! We had to leave institute early in order to get home on time so we left him with the YSA! It felt like sending your kid to kindergarten! haha but he had a great time and he met loads of people! So great!!!!!
Friday we went on exchanges with the sister training leaders. Sister Morgan came over to our area and we had a GREAT day! We taught our investigator Aldona and boy was she a Bible basher that day! She would NOT listen to what we had to say! But at the same time she was totally nice and she is super excited to have us over again…. hahaha hopefully we can invite her to General Conference! After that we went to Swords and tried by a FORMER! She was so nice and willing to learn again. Her neighbor was there and so we taught her too! We taught the whole restoration and when we told the friend that we have a modern day prophet she starting bustin up laughing! hahaha then we laughed too because we realized how funny that actually sounds! hahaha but she was super sweet and committed to pray about it. We’re going to teach them again on Friday! After that lesson we were stumped about what to do next…. stay in Swords or head back to Dublin City. So we prayed! We felt the impression that we needed to stay in Swords. The names we had to try by weren’t home/moved/weren’t interested. So while we were walking to another address we stopped a man on the way. Sister Morgan simply said “hello, we’re talking to people about Jesus Christ today.” The mans face LIT up and when he read our tags he basically jumped for joy! His name is Emanuel. He is from Africa and come to find out he met with missionaries two years ago and then somehow lost contact. He has been SEARCHING for us ever since!!! So amazing!! He said we were an answer to his prayers! Then we told him that we had just prayed about where to go and the Lord told us we needed to stay in that area. Obviously to meet him! We exchanged contact information and gave him a Book of Mormon. He is so excited to read it and be taught more. We’re seeing him tonight 🙂 The Lord truly does GUIDE us!
That night we celebrated my 6 month mark by eating McDonalds (mostly because we both have companions who hate it so it was our only chance haha) It was such a good day!! 
 
Ok I don’t have time for the rest by long story short… our stake did a fair at this charity place and Jason Smyth was there! Sis H and I got to sit with him and sell his signed posters. He is such a cool and humble guy! Look him up on Mormon.org. It was loads of fun! All of us missionaries got to wear our stylish yellow shirts! 🙂 
 
I love you all so so much!!!! Have a good week!!!
 
Love Sister Jones

Week 26 Ireland

27 Oct

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week gone by! And this Friday will be SIX MONTHS!!!! AHHH! That is so long! I don’t know where the time has gone! I’m 1/3 of the way through and I haven’t even learned everything yet! It makes me want to soak up all that I can! I really goes by super fast and I don’t want to miss it!
Sister Brand is gone! 😦 But Sister Huntsman is here now and she is wonderful!! She is from Salt Lake City, she is the oldest of 8, she is 19, and Elder Ballard set her a part…. what?! hahaha she is so humble and sweet! She is soft spoken and kind…. so basically I’m with her to learn a great lesson hahaha!
Last Monday and Tuesday was super busy! Sister Brand wanted to say goodbye to everyone that she could so we were running from member to member getting last minute hugs and pictures. We were up late almost every night trying to get her packed! Then on Wednesday morning we woke up around 5 so that we could get ready to go to the bus station! The Elders picked us up and we said our goodbyes. It was so sad! But we were strong and didn’t cry! (good job to me) She was a bit nervous to leave but I told her everything would be ok! So then after she left I went with Sister Knab and Sister Condie (because their comps left too) and I took a nap while they got ready for the day. Then we got together with just about our whole zone! Sister Rob and Sister Douglas were there! We all went to the National Museum of Ireland! It was cool! There was a lot of reading so it wasn’t too interesting but it was a lot of fun to be with everyone. Then that evening I went to pick up Sister Huntsman! It was so nice to finally have a companion! haha
Thursday was mostly spent with weekly planning, cleaning the flat (total deep clean!) and shopping for some necessities. We had an appointment but it got canceled due to the guy not showing up hahaha. Oh well. That night I started to not feel so good….
Then Friday I woke up feeling awful!! I ended up staying in bed ALL DAY! I had major exhaustion and sinus bleh and I just felt crummy! I felt so bad for Sis H! She just got to Dublin and she didn’t even get to go out! haha I felt terrible. So I called Presidents wife and she told me I needed to take the weekend off and rest. She told me not to feel guilty about it… but that’s the hard part! I want to work! But I can’t when my body won’t move hahaha. So we called up the sisters and decided to do splits for Sis H!
So Saturday I got babysat…. yep. Sis H went with Sis Morgan and Sis Knab while Sis Lewis stayed with me (while I slept) and then later in the day Sis Lewis and Sis Morgan switched. So Sis H got to go out and teach! It helped to have lots of rest but I just felt so bad for the sister who had to babysit me! hahaha
Sunday I felt much much better so I decided I was well enough to go to church! It was our Stake Conference and President Brown and his wife were there! It was a great Conference but I couldn’t hear any of the speakers…. we were kinda in the back. Then afterwords the senior couples provided a lunch for all the missionaries! It was so yummy and fun. Later that night Sis H and I stayed in to tackle the formers! (There was a football match yesterday so there were thousands of crazy drunk people all over the place!) We called everyone we had numbers for and were able to set up a few appointments! So it was very productive!
We have an investigator at the moment named Stephen. He is YSA age and he is so cool! He referred himself via mormon. org. He feels as if he is missing something in his life and he is trying to find the truth! We have already taught him the Restoration and we will be teaching him the Plan of Salvation this Tuesday! He is already well into the BOM and is loving it! He even got this next Sunday off work so that he can come to church. I’m not too sure how to describe this! Stephen is such a blessing! I love teaching him! He is so prepared for the gospel!
I love being a missionary! This work is so amazing! These past six months have been a tremendous roller coaster of learning and getting to know the Savior. I love all that He has done for me and I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve. I realize now how fast this will go! I’m trying to soak in every minute!
I love all of you so much and I am so grateful for your love and support! I hope everyone has a good week!
Happy Birthday to Kyle and Dad!!!
Love Sister Jones