Archive | September, 2014

Week 77 Scotland

23 Sep
Dear Family and Friends,
This week was pretty alright!
We went on exchanges with the STL’s Tuesday to Wednesday. Sister Caswell came here to Killie. We had a great time!
Tuesday night was a womans broadcast for the Europe area. Elder Bednar and Elder Ballard spoke at it. It was broadcasted from Germany. It was excellent!! The Brethren have so much love for the sisters. It was a good reminder that we as sisters can be influential in the gospel. There are so many wonderful woman in the church!
Thursday morning I met with the Bodens! They are the senior couple over welfare services. I took a test type thing and we bascially talked about my future career! It was good fun and it definitely helped me have a better idea of where to look into when I get home. All of the missionaries who are about to go home have the opportunity to do this so that we can transition easily into focusing on family and education. So cool. My results were a little bit unexpected but totally neat! I’ll go over all of that with you when I get home. I have some papers that explain it all.
Saturday night we had dinner with Dave and Ruth. Dave made haggis!! It was Sister Smith’s first time having it and my 3rd. I love it!! It really is good. It was a proper Burn’s meal. YUM! Gosh I am really going to miss it here… Next week Dave is going to make a Scotish meal for me! We are allowed to choose what we want to have for our last meal and I chose the good stuff! haha I hope I can learn how to make it all for you!
Church yesterday was fantastic! The talks and the lessons were really uplifting. I am speaking in church next Sunday! I will be so sad to leave the Kilmarnock ward! They have become my family!
Yes, this is indeed a bitter sweet feeling. I just don’t understand how time can feel like it moves so quickly.
I have loved every minute of my mission. The ups and the downs. It’s been challenging and a struggle but it has been so worth it. I have wistnessed so many miracles and I have recieved so many blessings. I have learned so much from other missionaries, leaders, and my Heavenly Father. I feel as if I have been reshaped and refined. I am so blessed to know that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father who knows and cares about me. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been given the greatest gifts.
I am so grateful for all that I have been through. I has been really amazing. I love this gospel so much. I have loved being a missionary. It will be the hardest thing not to be called Sister Jones anymore and not be set apart to preach the gospel. But I except to work hard as a memeber missionary. This work isn’t over!
I love my Saviour Jesus Chirst and I am grateful for His example. I hope to be just like Him.
I love you all so much!! Thank you for all of your love, prayers, and support. I can feel it all the way over here!
I am so excited to see you next week!
I love you so much!!!!!!!
Love Sister Jones

Week 76 Scotland

23 Sep
Dear Family and Friends,
Sister Smith and I can’t seem to agree but to me this past week was soooo long! It was a bit of a blur and it went by quick but it seemed to be never ending. We had a good week though!
Last Monday night we had dinner with the Matthews. They made us… wait for it…. Cafe Rio burritos!! Oh ya! It was sooo good to have Mexican food again. They are so good to us. Last night they gave us our own bottle of salsa. So good. Leah has a blog! She wanted me to share it with all of you. It’s all about their new adventure here in Scotland. They are such a sweet family!
This past weekend was Stake Conference. We went with Matthew and Keir-nan Saturday night. It was all about Hastening the Work of Salvation. My favorite. The speakers did really well! Then on Sunday we went with Gemma. The Sunday session was really great as well.
Since President Brown was at the conference he mentioned it in his email. This is what he said about it. His words are much better than mine.
“It was a glorious weekend not only in the wonderful sunshine which continues to shine upon Scotland (haven’t been in Ireland this week??), but there was a great outpouring of the spirit at the Paisley Stake Conference. Sister Brown and I were privileged to attend the Saturday evening and Sunday sessions and enjoyed a very uplifting time with the saints there. President Yates gave a wonderful message on forgiveness and reconciliation which caused me some serious reflection on how blessed my life has been as others have been kind and forgiving to me when I have made mistakes or wrong choices. Of course the natural thought process from there is to remember how merciful the Lord has been as I have received the forgiveness of heaven, too, and given the great blessing of serving amongst you in spite of my weaknesses.The visiting authority at conference, Elder Christian Fingerle, gave a wonderful presentation on Saturday about sharing the gospel in easy ways by simply inviting lots of people to special events. Things like a baptism of your child or grandchild, or to support you when you have a talk to give or when you are singing in the ward or stake choir or there’s an activity – anything that is a little different. Then on Sunday he taught us to be prepared not only in temporal matters but in spiritual things and especially in family unity and love. Close family relationships will be of great importance to us in times of distress and will be just as crucial to our survival as will having a store of food and clothing.  Included in his remarks was the parable of the Prodigal son and the reconciliation of that family. He shared stories of his own family history and heritage including some things he learned about his grandfather who was killed in action in Berlin in the closing days of the Second World War. The things he shared would not have come to light if the family had not been engaged in family history and sharing of information and photographs. Although he did not mention this directly, the spirit spoke to me of the need to follow the brethren in preparedness and in the work of salvation.” -President Brown.
Elder Fingerle’s talk about sharing the gospel in easy ways made me really motivated to share the gospel with all of my non-member friends. The spirit was very strong in both meetings. I love Stake Conference!
We finally got in contact with Evelyn! We saw her on the bus. We haven’t seen her in weeks! I asked her if I could come and say goodbye so we are going to see her on Friday. She has been hit really hard with damaging mental health problems and unfortunately she has put off the gospel completely. It’s really sad to see but I still have so much hope for her. I love her so much and I want the very best for her. Hopefully our wee meeting on Friday will go well.
It’s a bit surreal… I only have two weeks left. I keep going back and forth with emotions. I’m not that nervous but every so often I get an overwhelming feeling that just shoots through my body. I really love being a missionary and I know it is going to be really hard for all of that to come to a sudden stop. I love serving the Lord.
I’m trying my very best to sprint to the end! My mission has blessed me a great deal. I have learned so much.
I know Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior. He can heal us and help us through any trial or achievement. He is our Redeemer.
I hope everyone has many missionary opportunities this week! Pray for them and search for them. Heavenly Father WILL provide you with opportunities to share what we treasure most with those we meet. This is Salvation.
I love you all so much!!!! Have a good week!
Love Sister Jones
P.S. The library will be closed on the 22nd (my last Monday and on Tuesday I will be in Edinburgh) which means we won’t be able to email.
So that means that next Monday will be my last email!!!

Week 75 Scotland

23 Sep
Dear Family and Friends,
This week was really great! Nothing new unfortunately.
Thursday was Zone Interview Training. It was so good to see President Brown and have time to sit down with him and just talk. After me interview he said “I’ll see you in a few weeks!… AH!” hahaha
Our training was on a few things. The sister training leaders trained on allowing the Holy Ghost to work through us. We really cannot do missionary work without him!
The APs helped us practice talking with people about the Restoration and referring to it quickly so that everyone can know what sets us apart from other faiths.
It was a really good meeting! We have Zone Conference tomorrow! Can’t wait.
Last night we had a really good lesson with the Miligans. They are such a kind couple. We’ve been visiting them for quite sometime now. They are members that haven’t been out to church in a while. Sister Miligan made gorgeous chocolate cake that only took us a total of two minutes to eat. Then we watched Finding Faith in Christ with them. I love that film because it really portrays Christ life so beautifully. It helps me understand who He is and what He has done for all of us. I know it really made the Miligans think. They both have such a strong testimony of the gospel. They just need to exercise their faith a little bit. After we watched the film it didn’t take very long to start talking about the church. Sister Smith and I didn’t need to say much. The spirit was very strong and they both pondered pretty hard. Their countenances lighted up as they discussed coming to church. Jesus Christ provides a way for everyone to follow Him.
The other night Sister Smith let me cut her hair! I used her REAL purple cheetah print shears and talked me through a proper hair cut haha it was good fun.
Funny story. We had dinner with the Matthews family (the American family that just moved into the ward) and afterwords we were helping with the dishes. We started talking about some differences between America and the UK (because they are just getting used to it all) I brought up how in America you can put stuff down the drain and it sucks it up and gets rid of it. Sinks aren’t like that here. So I said “what is it called?? I can’t remember… is it the dispenser?” Then Sister Matthews said “no it’s the dishwasher disposal” then Sister Smith and I said “no that doesn’t sound right” We couldn’t figure it out! I TOTALLY forgot! So then when we left we were walking to the church and Sis Smith and I were still trying to figure it out. Then Sis Smith got it! GARBAGE DISPOSAL!!! hahahaha We had totally and completely forgotten! I died laughing! This probably seems really daft to you all but it was a big deal! We don’t use the word “garbage” so that’s probably why we forgot about it so easily. The Matthews also have a dishwasher but I haven’t used one in a year and a half so I kinda forgot how to use it… like I didn’t know where to put everything. It was a disaster! And now I know that the family will be making fun of me loads right when I get home because I am just not used to anything American anymore hahaha!
Sister Smith got sick again! But not for as long this time. We took a wee trip to the Doctor on Friday. She got some medicine and is doing lots better! She had to give some blood so I was moral support. She almost squeezed my hand off! hahaha but she did great.
This is an excerpt from my mission President’s email this week that I want to share with you!
“I want to share with you a brief insight which came to me this past week. I read the 24th verse of Alma 13 “For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.” And in verse 16 of chapter 16 “the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which would be taught among them at the time of his coming.” In D&C 29:7 “ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;” We learn elsewhere that the “elect” are few in number and as I considered our work I came to the conclusion that perhaps we have a dual role; first – find those who are the elect and will receive the word now and secondly we are part of that angelic force which prepares the hearts of the children of men to receive the word at the time of His coming. This gave me comfort and hope that those who may be taught just one or two lessons and then stop learning, or even just have a brief conversation on the street or doorstep, are some of those whose hearts are nevertheless being prepared to receive the word at the time of His coming. As we learn in PMG, “no effort is wasted”, and I most firmly believe that to be true! Till the work is done!” -President Brown
Missionary work is the best! I love everything about it!
I really can’t believe that I will be home so soon. Time has really flown by.
I love you all so so much!
Love Sister Jones

Week 74 Scotland

23 Sep
Dear Family and Friends,
Oh boy… only one month left. Where did my mission go?!
Yesterday we had Zone Development. At the end we had a Zone testimony meeting and all of the trainees got up and kept saying “all of you experienced missionaries that have been out forever have made a great impression.” I really felt old hahaha. I am the Paisley Queen! I have been in the Zone the longest. A good 7 months!
The whole day was really great. We traveled to Ayr and ate lunch right away. Then we went out to a park that had a really cool play ground. I’ve never seen so many young adults on a play ground acting like children before hahaha it was so fun!!! Then we played some sports. Well… I watched hahaha! It was a really beautiful day. The sun was shining and it wasn’t cold. It was really windy though.
Then we went back to the church and played some more games. It was a good day to relax and unwind. All of the missionaries in the Paisley Zone are really really great! We all got to know each other better and gained friendships. The testimony meeting was especially great. The spirit was tangible!! It felt like EFY. So good.
This Thursday is Zone Interview Training. That’ll be my last interview with President before my exit interview! All of my “lasts” are starting to come forth… oh boy.
We also have Zone Meeting next Tuesday and our Stake Conference is two weeks form now. Then we’re going on exchanges the following week. In other words this transfer is going to FLY by!
Sister Smith and I are doing fantastic. We get along so well and we work really well together. She has only been out about 5 months and she is an outstanding missionary! A really great teacher. We are both learning so much from one another. She is also helping me not be so nervous about going home! Well I’m more anxious than nervous. I’ve been clearing out my things and giving her loads of stuff! haha.
The poor thing got the stomach flu on Saturday! AH! That bug has been circling Killie. Thankfully I already had it. We went to Dave and Ruth’s Saturday night and Ruth could tell that Sister Smith wasn’t feeling well so she told us to go home and rest haha. So they drove us home. She is a good mom with spot on instincts. Sister Smith was still pretty ill on Sunday so we only went to Sacrament meeting. That felt a little strange but you gotta do what you gotta do! I made her go back to bed when we got home because she just wasn’t herself yet. I ended up taking a 2 hour nap as well! It really is amazing how tired missionaries get haha. She’s all better now though!! Thank goodness for that!
This past week was pretty good. We weren’t able to see our investigators but we moved right along and kept working anyway. We helped a woman in the ward move to a new house! Sister Smith and I helped her get her living room in place. Obviously I was in heaven. We were also able to visit some less actives and we had really good lessons with them.
About a month ago Sister Larsen and I met a woman on the street and we had a really great talk with her about the Plan of Salvation. She told us about some concerns that she had and we were able to answer her questions. The spirit was very strong and we left her with a leaflet to look over. She told us to try by once school started again. So now that school is back in session, Sister Smith and I went by to see her. She was happy to see us and told us what she learned from the leaflet. She had a couple of questions about it. She really liked the idea that we RETURN to Heavenly Father. She was still unsure about what was really true though. We did all that we could possibly do to persuade her to take the lessons. She said “no not just now” but we left her a Book of Mormon. We invited her to read and pray to know if it is the word of God. We promised her that she will come to know the truth. She seemed very much on the fence. She just needs a little help finding out. She told us more about her family life and the struggles that she has had. We were able to testify to her that the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes all the unfair things about life seem right and we can be relieved of the burdens that we feel. It was a touching experience and we could really feel the spirit working through us. I could see in her eyes that she is prepared and ready to accept Jesus Christ as her Savior. I know she is a daughter of God and is thirsty for His love. I have no idea what will happen. We don’t even have a return appointment. But we will try back again soon. We will offer to read the Book of Mormon with her and answer her questions. I hope and pray that we will be able to teach her. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. I have seen it bless so many lives. Even my own.
I am so grateful to be here! Only 4 weeks left. I doing my very best to work as hard as I can while I have the time. Sprinting to the end! Then when I’m home I’ll go out teaching with the missionaries all the time and cry because I can’t wear my badge haha. I love this work!!!!!
I love you all so much!! I hope you all have a good week! Please be safe in all that you do!
Love Sister Jones
Ps. I had a dream last night that no one was at the airport when I got there so I took a taxi home hahahaha!! That better not happen!!!

Week 73 Scotland

23 Sep
Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been so great!! My new companion is Sister Molly Kay Smith!! She is so fantastic and I love her so much! She has been out for four and a half months. She just came from Letterkenny Northern Ireland. She is from Gilbert Arizona. She is 20, a licensed cosmetologist, and has a man (engaged)… basically she has life figured out! She is so cool. We get along so great. We are very similar and she reminds me a lot of Heather and Aubrey (it must be a hairdresser thing)
The ward has been so great welcoming her in with open arms. She was really nervous to meet everyone at church but it went great! She is picking up the names really well. She has already taught me so much. I know this is where I need to be and who I need to be with!
We have worked really hard this week. We didn’t have many appointments and we weren’t able to see our investigators… but we were able to meet some really prepared people! I won’t tell you who they are because I don’t want to jinx it.
The weather has been so rubbish! SOOOOO WET! All of my shoes have holes now so whatever shoes I have on my feet have their very own swimming pool! hahah I think I might have to buy some wellies for the next wee while. Sister Smith and I have gotten really soaked but we just laugh and stay positive about it.
Elder Wu’s new companion is Elder Allen. All four of us sang in Sacrament meeting yesterday! We sang “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.” It went well and the spirit was very strong. The members love it when we sing!
Saying goodbye to Sister Larsen was soooo hard! Rita picked us up Tuesday morning at 5am! We had to be on a train at half 5. So then we traveled to Glasgow and said our goodbyes. I cried. Not fun. Then I got together with Sister Montgomery and we traveled back to her area in Ayr. Then I spent the whole day with her in Ayr. Worst rain ever! I had to wear her waterproof boots and put one of her coats over mine haha. Good fun. I spent the night in Ayr and then Wednesday morning we traveled to Glasgow again and met up with Sister Brand. Then the 3 of us spent a good 6 hours in Glasgow! It was fun. We went out to dinner and did some shopping. It felt a little strange…. then around half 8 we went to the bus station and met our new companions!! It was so good to finally meet Sister Smith!
Then the Glasgow zone leaders took Sister Smith and I to the Knightswood sisters flat and we stayed the night with them (Sister Cannon and Sister Giaz) We had a good time with them. Then Thursday morning we finally made it home to Killie! Sister McAteer picked us up from the train station. She is a saint.
Yesterday we went over to the Matthews new home! They are the new family in the ward from the States. We got to know them a bit better and had a good time with them. They have 3 young kids. They are such a cute family. And guess what they had?? Chips and salsa!!!! I almost cried! We sat at the table and just inhaled it all. There is a Costco in Glasgow that they got it from. Cream puffs as well! We were in heaven!!!! I really miss salsa.
So ya that’s mostly what has happened. I am trying to tell Sister Smith everything I know about Killie because it’ll be all her in 5 weeks!
I am so grateful that I am staying here! I love it so much!
I only had an hour today so I’m sorry this is short… I hope you all have a really good week!!
Love Sister Jones

Week 72 Scotland

23 Sep
Dear Family and Friends,
Moves call update! I am staying here in Kilmarnock for my last 6 weeks!!! I am so thrilled! I love it here and am so not ready to say goodbye to it or the people here. My new companion will be Sister Smith! She has been on her mission for about 4 months so she is still pretty new. I haven’t met her yet because she has been in Northern Ireland the whole time. She will come to Kilmarnock on Wednesday! I’m really excited for this next transfer! I know it will go by really quickly and I know it will be filled with miracles and happiness.
Sister Larsen is all packed and ready to go. It has been quit nerve racking for her… and I. We were going to go to Glasgow today but we found out this morning that we have to go tomorrow morning instead. I will get together with Sister Montgomery for Tuesday and Wednesday. She is serving in Ayr and her comp, Sister Kline, is going home with Sister Larsen. Then on Wednesday we will get our new companions! It’ll be a busy/stressful few days. Moves week is always insane haha.
This week was really good. We saw Evelyn! She is doing a lot better and it was so good to see her! We read from the Book of Mormon with her and we could feel the spirit very strongly. We also saw Veronica last night. Sister Larsen told her about the Restoration while I was on the phone getting my moves call! haha they always come at a bit of an awkward time. Veronica is doing really well. She is such a kind woman! She gave us a bit of a snack and we had a really good talk about the Book of Mormon. She said “there’s a phrase that comes up a whole lot…” then I said “And it came to pass??” then she goes “yes! If anything else comes to pass I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up!” hahaha it was so funny! Sciprute language is hard to get used to.
Sister Larsen said all of her goodbyes throughout the week and yesterday at church. It was bitter sweet and everyone was sad to see her go. But I know they will welcome Sister Smith with open arms!
We went to a wedding!!! Bishop King’s daughter, Heather, got married on Saturday. I don’t know if I ever told you this or not but here in Bitain members of the church have to get married in the church before they go down to the temple to get sealed. So Heather and Adam got married at the church and the ceremony was so wonderful! They were so happy and Sister Larsen and I totally cried! haha I LOVE weddings! I also saw the McNally family from East Kilbride there! It was so good to see them again! It’s been just over a year since the last time I saw them. They were shocked when I told them I only have 6 weeks left. Time flies so it does.
The rain is worse than ever! It has been really bucketing the past few days so everything is always soaked. It’s not cold uet though so it’s ok. Just wet.
So many changes! It can be a bit hard to make the adjustments but we’re used to it. Missionaries learn to move quickly at the last minute when needed. I know it trains us to be more receptive to the Lord’s will for the rest of our lives.
I am so grateful for all that I have been to experience so far on my mission. It has been a real joy.
I hope everyone has a good week!! I love you all so much!
Love Sister Jones