Sunday, December 28, 2014

Whenever I don't want to do something

...I leave behind my ¨don´t want¨ and I do it.¨ That´s a quote from one of the Sunday meetings this week, and I loved it! When we are in the service of our God, there will be some things that we just don´t want to do. I, for example, would love to get more sleep here haha. But I get a full 8 hours, and I know that each day, the Lord has other things planned for me to do for His work than an extra hour of sleep. 
Well! It´s almost Christmas! And I´ll have been in Spain for six months! It´s cazy to think about... It feels like it´s flown by, but it also feels like a REALLY long time. I miss all of you a ton, but only a year left! A year and a half to give everything to the Lord isn´t much that He´s asked of me :)

We were visiting a less active member the other day, and he asked us, ¨how´s the work going?¨ We said wonderful, and we´ve seen so many miracles. He replied, ¨Where? I´ve lived here for 6 years and haven´t seen a single miracle.¨ So we explained about a few miracles that we´ve seen this week.
One of them was that we found an investigator that we hadn´t seen in MONTHS. Her name´s Glenda...I´ve talked about her before, how amazing she is. I hope she can still feel the Spirit and be a little bit more open to following God´s commandments.

And then, there were two baptisms in our ward this week, and when Isabel, our investigator, saw them, she completely changed. She hasn´t smoked, has been reading the Book of Mormon, and praying morning and night. She´s awesome, and might be baptized this Sunday. 

I hope you all have a great Christmas week! The members of the Church here are taking good care of us; we have two or three eating appointments every day haha :)
Thanks for your emails and cards!

Hermana Jones

Thursday, December 18, 2014

We Can't Be Scared

"...When we´re scared, it means that there is something more that we should do, that we aren´t doing." One of the leaders in the church here said this, and sorry for the weird translation haha. It sounds better in spanish :P
Well! It was a great week. We had an open house in the church, which was a success. We had a few investigators there, and they were taught about where they came from, their purpose here, and where they´re going. They´re questions that are so important, but many people don´t know the answers.

We had plenty of miracles this week, but also some really frustrating events. We´re teaching a few people who are smokers, and trying to help them quit is stressing me out. One, Isa, is a woman who has been through so much and is still fighting even when she should have given up a long time ago. She wants to quit smoking, and wants to change her life, but she doesn´t have a big enough reason to do it yet. We´ve been focusing on the Book of Mormon, to help her build faith in Jesus Christ, because He is the only one who can help her have more determination and resolve to change. I have such a testimony now of the Word of Wisdom (the health code that God revealed to Joseph Smith; in it, it says not to drink alcohol or to smoke.). Tobacco ruins lives! Ack. Frustrating.

BUT. I´ve been reading this talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland that is called, ¨None were with Him.¨ In it, it talks about how completely along Jesus was. On the cross, He says, ¨My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?¨ Elder Holland says that this wasn´t God abandoning Christ; in order to make a complete atonement, Jesus had to not only suffer for our sins, but also feel how we feel when we sin: God´s spirit, the Holy Ghost, leaves us, and we feel completely alone. That must have been incredibly hard for Jesus, who had never sinned, and so had never felt separated from His Father. Elder Holland says this afterward, ¨But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith totriumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by toldHim in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, thatGod is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us.¨

It´s good to remember what Christ did for us, and how He did it.
I hope you all have a great week! Christmas here isn´t the same as in the states, but it´s still fun, with all the lights and presents :)

Love you all!
Hermana Jones

Monday, December 8, 2014

"If Christ were here right now, where would He be?"

(Besides on Sundays, when He´d be in church, of course haha) One of the Sunday teachers asked that question, and it made me think. I think that, if He was walking in Cartagena, He´d stop and talk to all the poor people, the ones who need His help. It´s a good reminder that, even though Christmas time is super happy and fun for most of us, it can be a sad time for others, being away from their family and friends, or unable to buy their kids presents. 
Well, this week was great! It was busy and interesting. We talked to a lot of people on the street about Jesus Christ. The Church has this program now, called He is the Gift (I´s ¨El es la Dádiva in Spanish haha). There´s a cool video on about Christ, and how He is the greatest Christmas gift our Father in Heaven could have ever given us. 
Well, I thought I´d update you all on some of the people here. There´s Brian, the guy who was baptized about two months ago. He´s still going strong, wants to receive the priesthood, go to the temple and go on a mission. There are days when I think, ¨Man, even if I just came to Cartagena for him, it would be completely worth it.¨ He´s just so great. I´m so blessed to be a part of his search for God. It makes me realize that there ARE people who want to know God, and who need to know that He loves them. I get to be a messenger of that´s the best :)

Let´s see...Our other ¨recent convert¨, Monica, is a little bit worse. She works in something called ¨Interna¨ which means you go and live in an old persons home and take care of them 24 hours a day. The people she watches over, an old man and woman, don´t let her have books of other religions, or pray out loud, or have Sundays off to go to the church. And so she´s forgotten a lot of what it is that we do in Church, and what we believe, and how to talk to God. It´s super sad. BUT we got back in touch with her, so I hope things will start to improve. Poor thing. Her kid is due in January.

Oh! The other big news: Transfer calls came, and I´m staying here in Cartagena! Transfers are every 6 weeks for missionaries, and I have already been in Cartagena for almost 5 months, so I wasn´t sure if I was staying. I´m super happy I am staying though, because we´re still in the middle of the 3 month training for Hermana Adrian, and I just love Cartagena so much :) 
Speaking of Hermana Adrian, I´ve been learning some cool words from her in Spanish. Since she´s from the Dominican Republic, and it´s pretty close to the States, they use a lot of English words. But, for example, there are a bunch of words that mean cool: guay (guh-why), chulo (chooo-low), and jevi (pronounced ¨Heavy¨ and it means SUPER cool). Here they also use words like ¨okay¨ and ¨shopping¨ and ¨feeling¨. It´s very interesting to see how they picked up some american culture.
I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week.

Hermana Jones

Monday, December 1, 2014


Hi! We had a GREAT week here :) I left my agenda in the appartment, so I don´t remember everything we did...I´ll go in reverse order to see if I can remember more.

Sunday: Church! It was amazing, the Primary Program. This is when the little kids are in charge of the Sacrament Meeting, and they share their testimonies and sing...It´s the best. We had quite a few investigators there, and they all loved it.

We also ate lunch with a member family. The father is a doctor, so it was cool to talk to him about that. And the food was SO good...

Saturday: We had an activity in the church with the three wards in this area. It was a Game Day: there were board games, basketball, ping-pong... a 14 year old member and I won like 5 games of Foosball :) But now I have blisters on my hands haha.
Friday: ...I can´t remember...haha

Well, you´ll just have to believe me when I say that it was an awesome week haha :) Today was fun as well. Some members took my district hiking, and we went to an old Spanish military base. There were these HUGE cannons that we were able to enter and look around. It was amazing, and super nice to just be able to chill and enjoy hanging out. In an hour we hit the streets again to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. But I wouldn't want to do anything else...I feel like I have the best "job" in the world. The people here are super nice and I love Spain, especially with all the holidays. And I get to talk about Jesus Christ every's awesome :)

I hope you all have an amazing week!

       my district :) Elders Robinson, Erickson, Whetten, H. Adrian, me, and Elder Allen

The Mediterranean Sea !!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Soy yo, Señor?"

¨Is it me, Lord?¨ 

We had a lesson in Relief Society (the class for women in the Church) this week about when the Savior told His apostles that one of them was going to betray Him. They didn't look around, saying, "Well, I bet it´s Peter, he didn't have enough faith to walk on the water that one time," or, "It's definitely Thomas, he doubts too much." They were humble, and they knew that they had weaknesses. I think it's so important to be humble, because without it, we can't be instruments for the Lord. Can you imagine if we went to use a shovel and it told us, "Nope, I can dig that hole myself"? I think that;s what it's like for Heavenly Father, when we aren't humble and accept that we need Him to make us better than we are. 

This week was great, as usual. Jesus, the investigator from last week, is still going strong. He's super faithful and wants to learn all he can. And then there´s Isabel, who absolutely LOVES the Church and the lessons that we teach. It's always a relief to talk to people who are really interested in our message.

I don´t have much to report today, so I´m going to send pictures!

Love you all,

Hermana Jones

Cool Spain sun :)

On our way to a conference with Elder Kearon, a member of the 70. H. Adrian, me, H. Daines and H. Rodriguez

Monday, November 10, 2014

Zebra Path

This week´s title isn´t a quote but I thought it was cool: in Spanish, crosswalk translates to zebra path (or at least, in the Dominican Republic)! Isn´t that awesome?

Well, it was a hard week. Monday, preparation day, was great as always, and we met these amazingly prepared people. But then on Tuesday and Wednesday, we were just stuck. We didn´t have very many lessons, and we walked around Torre Pacheco the entire day, looking for people to talk to and teach. All of our appointments fell through, or weren´t there, or something else happened. And to top it all off, it was FREEZING. It was 16 degrees Celsius! I don´t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but as a comparison, it is usually 30 degrees or higher here. So we left our apartment in our normal summer clothes, with a sweater cuz there were a few clouds. But out in the Pueblos, in the desert/plain area of Spain, there´s no cover from the wind, and we were SO cold. When we finally got back to Cartagena in the night (we have to take a train to the pueblos, and it isn´t very long, but the schedule´s weird, so we usually just stay there), we ran to the apartment to get winter coats before we went back out.

The same thing happened on Wednesday, and we were prepared with all of our winter gear, but honestly, I think it was even colder. Ack. And still few appointments...I think the cold scared everyone into their house haha. I kept apologizing to Hermana Adrian for how miserable it was, but she was doing great! She was smiling and laughing the whole time, even when we had visited every single back up plan and nobody answered. 

Then the rest of the week was just AWESOME. Honestly, I think we just had to go through a rough patch to be able to appreciate how amazing God is and how He guides His work. We had some amazing lessons, and I just loved seeing how the gospel affects people´s lives. And as servants of God, He isn´t going to waste our work. I have such a strong testimony that we are led to people who need us, who need to know that God loves them. Missionary work is the best!
I miss and love you all! Have an awesome week.
Hermana Jones

Monday, November 3, 2014

"This Book of Mormon will save a life..."

"...You cannot leave it sitting in your house." This is a quote from my Stake president here when he handed out a Book of Mormon in Church yesterday.

Well! I have a new companion! Her name´s Hermana Adrian, and she´s from the Dominican Republic. I LOVE her accent, and she speaks english really well. Missionaries who don´t speak english as a first language have to learn it on their missions, so we´re working on speaking english in the appartment, and spanish outside (cuz I definitely need to work on my spanish as well hahaha). We´re doing really well together...she´s super excited to be here, loves the area and the people...she´s just perfect! I don´t feel like I´m training her, I feel like she already knew exactly how to be a great missionary.

So, This week I headed to Malaga to pick her up, and we all ate together and had a great night there. Then we rode home (note: Cartagena is a full 7 hours away from Malaga, so it was an all-day thing). We´ve had a great week together, and are focusing on being exactly obedient.
Oh, and I cooked yesterday! 

This week has been kind of dull ...we´ve had a lot of people cancel our lessons, and none of our investigators came to church :( That always makes us sad, because in the church, you can feel the Spirit so strongly. And it gives the investigators a chance to see what our meetings are like, and that we´re normal people. 
We have an AMAZING investigator, Felipe. He´s from Africa and speaks English and Spanish and french and twi (his native language). He took the Book of Mormon that we gave him and said, ¨You know, you´ve been telling me that this is the true church, that there is a prophet on the earth today, and that this book is true. I want to know the truth for myself. I don´t have work in the evenings this week; I will read it, and then I will pray to God, and He will tell me if it is true.¨ We were both like, Yes! Do it! Hahaha

I love being a missionary :) I get to testify every day that Jesus is the Christ, that He suffered for our sins and because of Him, we can like with God and with our families again. I get to testify that there is a real prophet today and 12 apostles, like in Jesus´ time. It´s the best! 

I love you all! 
Have an amazing week,

Hermana Jones

     The group of trainers this transfer

hermana Adrian and I!

A 3 generation picture... My trainer, me, and my trainee

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Uhm...I don´t speak French..."

Hi all!

One thing I love about being here is that it´s a crossroad for many, many different languages. There´s Spanish (and I´m pleased to report that all is going well for me with that one haha...I learned the word for mushy today), Arabic (which I can´t even begin to decipher...I know the Koran is pronounced Kor-AHN--you have to kinda shout the last part hahaha) and we now have an investigator who speaks French. I cringe every time I talk with him on the phone because he understands most spanish (or so he says) but just goes off talking in french and I literally have NO clue what he´s saying...oy. I have to say multiple times, ¨No, I don´t speak French...wait wait repeat please!¨ It´s difficult. But he´s awesome!

I dunno, not much happened this week. As a mission, we had a ¨finding week¨ which is when we work really hard to find and teach new people. It was amazing, and we saw a lot of miracles.
One was that we have an investigator, Joaquina (Wah-key-nuh). Shes great, and we brought her a Book of Mormon with a dedication from us to her. But we forgot that we had brought her one the last week...So there we were, with an extra Book of Mormon that we couldn´t just hand out because it was dedicated specifically to her. And those books weigh a lot! They´re all hardcover, and they´re beautiful, but they are not light haha.

And, like the good missionaries we are, we decided to look to God. After all, this is His work, not ours. We prayed that we would meet another Joaquina to whom we can give this book. And guess what happened?

A few hours later, we were in the house of some investigators (they´re older spanish people...very set in their ways, but we keep feeling like we need to visit them). They were reciting their rosaries, and we waited with them. It took a good 15 minutes, but when it was finished, we shared a quick message. There were four other people there reciting the rosary, one was Yago, who has been there the past few times we´ve taught, and who we just realized yesterday is a REVEREND; the other was JOAQUINA!!! not the same Joaquina hahah. We shared this miracle with her, and she said she would read it. The Church is true, and this is God´s work :)

I love you all! I get my new companion tomorrow, so you´ll all hear from me again in a week.

Hermana Jones

We preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone ;)

I don´t know who lives in this house, but it´s cool, huh???

Monday, October 20, 2014

"English doesn't make any sense"

This quote is from my wonderful companion, Hermana Herrera. She and our mini-missionary were studying english together from the Church pamplets, and translating the english one into spanish. They got to the word followers, which is seguidores in spanish. Later, they found the word following, which is despues in spanish. H. Herrera said, ¨This language doesn´t make any sense. It´s the same word with different endings in english, but they mean completely different things in Spanish!¨
Well...Not much happened this week. The big news is that we have a mini-missionary! She´s from Almeria, and is waiting for her mission call, so she decided to spend a few weeks with the missionaries while she waits. Plot twist: Three days after she got here, her call came! So now she has to wait a whole other week to read it haha. But her name´s Angie, and she´s great :) She´ll be with us until next monday. And then next tuesday, I go to pick up my new missionary, and H. Herrera leaves. It´ll be a crazy week next week!

Oh, that reminds me. I spent the beginning part of this week, Tuesday and Wednesday, in Malaga, being trained on how to be a trainer haha. It was awesome! There are nine of us who will be training this transfer. Usually they have the meeting only one week before the new missionaries come, but there were some scheduling issues so it was two weeks early this time. It was so nice to be able to get together with President and Sister Deere, and they always have really good food haha. But I did NOT like the travel time: 8 hours one way, blech. 

Well, sorry this letter isn´t as interesting as normal...not as much happened this week haha. And the USB port on the computer I´m using doesn´t work, so I can´t even send photos...But I´m sending my love!


Hermana Jones

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Go get em and bring em home."

(The quote is courtesy of my mission president, Pres. Deere. He´s speaking about how we need to go find our lost brothers and sisters and show them the path so that they can return home to our Heavenly Father.)

Hi all! it was an interesting week. A bit of a faith-building one; we didn´t have as many lessons as usual because it was Fiesta week in Torre Pacheco. I don´t think I can describe spanish fiestas, there isn´t really an english equivalent...It has the community-ness of the 4th of July with the religious-ness of Christmas, and there are many many many drunk people. Soooooo we tried our best haha.
But there were some pretty funny experiences. There was this appartment building that we were knocking on (here, every appartment building has an intercom, you can´t just go up and knock on peoples doors). Some men came out and let us in, but once the door closed, we heard one of them say into the intercom, ¨Mom, there are some Mormon girls coming up. If they knock on the door, don´t let them in!¨ We looked at each other and started laughing. It was funny, and also sad. But we kept going in, and went to the top of the stairs. As we were about to knock on a door, I looked up, and there was this dog just glaring at us, and growling...It started to bark and we RAN down 4 flights of stairs and out the door in like 10 seconds flat.

So...unfortunately, those people didn´t get to hear our message that day hahaha. But we´ll return soon to give it another go.

Oh, and THEN the next day we walked by this house, completely normal, and said hi to the older man inside the doorway as we passed. He had a bucket, and without saying anything, started to throw the water at us! We didn´t get wet, and I´m not sure he even meant to throw it at us or if we were just in the way of the street or whatever. But for the next 10 minutes my companion was huffing about how dare he, we didn´t do anything to him, maybe he heard something bad about our was the FUNNIEST moment of my week :) 

But, this Saturday, I received a call from President Deere. I´m going to be training a new missionary in two weeks.
I know. 
It´s terrifying! Usually trainers have a bit more experience...not to mention, they should be able to speak Spanish well to teach their trainees. But hey, if this is what God needs me to do, then I´ll do anything He asks :)
I am excited, too :) She´ll be American, like me haha, so we´ll scrape by on my less-than-perfect spanish, and I´ll be the one who has more experience in the mission field. How weird is that haha? I´m excited to meet her! I´m going to Malaga this week to be taught how to be a trainer, and then in two weeks I´ll return to Malaga to pick her up.

How weird is it that 3 months ago, I was new, and completely dependent on my companion (I had NO idea how to live in Spain, or how to communicate, how to buy food...not to mention how to actually do missionary work haha) and now I´ll be the one who she´s going to rely on? Lots of responsibility, but I can´t wait!

OH, other exciting news, we might have a baptism this week! Her name´s Glenda, and she´s perfect: super prepared to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and super prepared to be a member of His only church. I´ll let you know if it actually happens; we´ll know this week if it´s this week or in the next few weeks.

Miss you all! Hope you´re doing well.


Hermana Jones

(PS, one of the investigators here calls me Hermana Diana Jones....I was trying to explain how to say my name, and I said ¨It´s like Indiana Jones, the movie¨, and he said, ¨Oh, your name is Diana Jones.¨ And it stuck with him haha)

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference Week!

This week was amazing, full of so many opportunities for spiritual feasting. First, we had a baptism this week! Brian is 14 years old (I think I might have written about him in other emails) and FINALLY decided to get baptized. The decision to be baptized is a big one, but also necessary, because we can´t return to live with God unless we are baptized into His church with His proper authority. And then, right after baptism, worthy priesthood holders gave him the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is the ability to have the Holy Ghost with you forever as long as you keep God´s commandments. It´s an amazing gift, and one Brian was really excited to receive. He bore his testimony afterward and said, ¨I feel something new inside me, something different. It´s good, and I am grateful to the Hermanas for helping me get to this place.¨ I almost cried :)

And then, the next awesome thing was General Conference! This is a time when the Prophet and Apostles that we have today get together and talk to us about the gospel. There were so many amazing parts...I have to say, I think it is so COOL that they were able to speak in their native languages! We (the English-speaking missionaries) were able to watch it in English, but we would run down to the Spanish room when an authority gave his talk in Spanish, so we could hear how he expressed it. So awesome.

Well...the only other thing I´ve got is an experience with an investigator. Her name is Glenda, and she´s GOLDEN. We met her a Saturday night, she agreed to come to church on Sunday, and then she even gave a prayer in one of the classes in church! She´s just so fearless about searching for the truth (and she has an awesome cat named Silvestre). 

In one visit we had with her, she told us that she has always had these really awful, difficult, scary dreams, and she is sometimes afraid to go to bed at night. Nevertheless, she´s still close to God and is trying her best to follow Him. We made her a promise, as representatives of Jesus Christ: if she would read the Book of Mormon, she would not have bad dreams.
The next day we returned, and she was all smiles and excitement. She said, ¨I didn´t have any bad dreams last night! I dreamed of Jesus.¨
That´s the power of the Book of Mormon. THAT is why I am here: to help people live better lives, to invite them to come unto Christ, to know Him. Because He knows exactly what we´re going through, He is the only one who can help us when we have nowhere else to turn. I´m so blessed to be able to testify of that reality every single day. It´s the best!

I love you all! Thank you so much for your letters and emails. They make my day so much better :)
Hermana Jones

Brian (in the middle, in white) and the rest of his family
and extended family, all of whom are listening to our lessons.
Me, Pepe Ponce (ward mission leader), Brian, and H. Herrera 
Glenda, H. Herrera, Monica (the one baptized a few weeks ago)
and me :) at General Conference in the meeting house

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When we promise 'si' at baptism, we promise 'siempre'


It´s been a good week. This quote is from H. Trendler, who is serving in South America right now :)
Monday there was a lightning storm! I got a fairly good picture of it. In spanish, they have one word for the rays of lightning, and one for the flash of light.
On wednesday I had intercambios, which is when the Sister Training Leader companionship splits with us, so my companion went to their area, and H. Blake came here with me, for a whole day. I had to be without my companion for a whole day! And more importantly, I had to know where I was going and what I was doing for a whole day! It was scary, but really fun. We visited a few people, and then went to our investigator Bryan´s house. He´s been having the lessons for a few months, and is really conflicted about being baptized (he wants to be confirmed in another church like the rest of his family--keep in mind, hes only 14). ¨We´ve been doing Family Home Evenings with his family (his mom´s a less active member) for a few weeks. We started talking to him, and he said, ¨You know, I was talking with my mom, and I want to be baptized. Not this week, but next week.¨ Hearing that...ahhh it made my heart melt! Baptism is an essential step in Heavenly Fathers plan for us, and we have to be baptized in order to live with Him and our families after this life. It is really important for people to come to their own decision regarding baptism, because, especially for Bryan, it might bring family difficulties because his dad doesn´t like the church. But being baptized for the remission of sins and later receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost brings so many more blessings! I´m so happy for him. It will be this next friday, so I´ll send pictures next week :)

I taught my first english class this week! And guess what? only kids showed up! It was this group of like 11 kids, and I just had NO idea what to teach them. We worked on how to introduce ourselves, and I tried to get them to sing the alphabet song with me (I was not successful with that).

OH and on friday there was this massive rainstorm! The streets were flooded, and we still had to work...some members gave us umbrellas, but we were COMPLETELY soaked. It was ridiculous. I felt so bad that we got everyone´s floors wet that we visited, and I think some of them only invited us in cuz they felt bad for us haha. It´s been raining off and on ever since...everyone says this is not very normal haha.

Well, I´ll let you know if there´s any new developements, but I´m doing well! Thanks for your emails and letters...I don´t always have time to write back, but I LOVE reading them :)

Hermana Jones

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Hey, if it's for mission work, Adelante!"

Hello :) 

The quote for this week is courtesy of my companion, Hermana Herrera. A member called us and asked for 8 copies of the Book of Mormon, and we have about 20 in our apartment. I wasn´t sure if we were allowed to give that many to the members, but she said this, and it just made me laugh.
I think that mission work is always great, but sometimes different degrees of great. We´ve experienced the lower edge of great this week haha.

On Monday, we sat down with the Tres Mujeres and told them what we expected of these lessons, and they told us their thoughts about baptism. It was a wonderful lesson, and we really cleared up some things about our church that they didn´t know. Our purpose as missionaries is not to invite others to Christ, not to only sit in a park and chat. We left feeling really good about that lesson.
And then Wednesday came around. It started out fine, but in the afternoon, we had a really difficult lesson. We´re teaching four young people, my age, who are all friends (two couples). They´re amazing, and I love them all, but they tend to try to see us as friends, not as representatives of Jesus Christ. We spent an hour trying to teach about Joseph Smith and the Restauration, but in the end only shared a scripture and left. It was disheartening, but I was looking forward to our lesson with the Tres Mujeres.

When we got there, they were all very sad looking, very serious. I pointed out that one of them had brought her Book of Mormon like we´d asked last time, and she said, ¨Yes, I have all the things you gave me,¨ and gave them to my companion. She started explaining something about her husband in Spanish, and the other two women were talking as well, something about Mary, and I was like, what is going on...I realized that basically, her husband doesn´t like that we´re teaching them, and the other woman doesn´t like that we don´t worship the Virgin Mary, and the third was being supportive of her friends. They said they didn´t want to have the lessons anymore.

We understood, and completely respect their decision and right to make it. But afterward, we went to a bench a block away and just cried. I haven´t ever before felt like I did in that moment, when I watched them reject us. Because really, they weren´t rejecting us, they were rejecting Christ, who is the center of all our lessons. They were rejecting a chance to know God, to have peace in their homes and with their families. It made me so sad, because they didn´t realize that that is what they were rejecting.

So, that was hard. The rest of the day felt off, and to be honest, the rest of the week. We still see them and say hi, but of course it´s different. Something my companion said was this: ¨They aren´t ready now, they can´t do it now. But maybe in the next life, we´ll have the chance to teach them again.¨ That was very comforting.

The rest of the week was uneventful, honestly haha. Transfers came, so we have two new missionaries in my district, and they seem nice. We had a lot of investigators at church yesterday, and it was awesome. I´d say it was one of my most spiritual experiences at church so far on my mission, because I was praying the entire time for our investigators to feel the Spirit. They all enjoyed the meeting, and it was great for us as well. 
Well, spiritual thought for the week: ¨God gives a testimony to those who are willing to share it.¨ President Uchtdorf (this is paraphrased, cuz I don´t remember the exact way he said it haha)

Love you all! I hope your weeks were great,
Hermana Jones

Monday, September 15, 2014

End of My Second Transfer

Hi! I hope you all had a great week! It was weird for me to realize that I just finished my second transfer (every 6 weeks is called a transfer). I´ve been in Spain for 12 weeks, although it definitely feels like longer.
I thought I´d make a list of what I did/accomplished these past 6 weeks:
1. I communicated with people in Spanish--that is one of my biggest accomplishments haha. I am far from being good at Spanish, but I can talk and understand most people.
2. I got food poisening for the first time :)
3. I ate kebob (a type of food here that isn´t in the States) and paella every week, and who know what else. I usually don´t ask what type of food the people feed us primarily because I wouldn´t know the English equivalent, and also because I feel like I probably wouldn´t want to know :P
4. Spent time every day walking in the sun, in 90+ degree weather, and I am still here!
5. Became a resident of Spain
6. Made friends with the local dogs (literally every person has a dog here. We try to be on good terms with them so that the people will like us, and so that the dogs won´t attack us).
7. Ran out of money and phone minutes multiple times
8. Ridden (and ran for) the train more times than I can count. They really need to give us a car; we spend 10 or more euros a day on the train to get to our pueblos.
9. Already broke my Book of Mormon. My companion says it´s because I´m too enthusiastic when I read hahaha
10. Had a baptism and confirmation! Her name is Monica, and she was baptized on Saturday. We started teaching her almost a month ago, and she´s a gem. The baptismal service was so special, even though before hand we were running around like crazy trying to get things done. Monica bore a really sweet testimony about how she came to know that God exists and that this is His church and, more importantly, His gospel. Then yesterday, she was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and her smile was so big. It was the best weekend ever :)

Well, I´m looking forward to the next 6 weeks! We´re going to start teaching English classes...that´ll be an adventure.
I love you all! Have a great week,
Hermana Jones

1. a picture of one of the AMAZING sunsets here

2. I call this an ice cream shovel. It´s the proper utensil to use when eating ice cream, apparently (and they have Burger King here!). 

3. Jose, a member who baptized Monica, Monica, H. Herrera, and me :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Everything the light touches is our area"

Hey! So, I think I forgot to send a letter this past week...Sorry about that. I really don´t have an excuse other than that I forgot haha. We have an hour and a half to email, so I have plenty of time.
The good news is that I didn´t have much to write about anyway haha. We had a lot of lesson cancelations (On Saturday, every single one of our nine lessons fell through). BUT that´s why we have back up plans for every hour of every day! We were able to meet some new people to teach.
For example, the pueblo we work in most, Torre Pacheco, has like 50 small parks. We were walking in one of them, and these three ladies stopped us. Apparently they sit in the park every day and talk. They asked who we were and what our church was about, so we taught them about the Plan of Salvation, that everyone can be with their families and with God after this life. We´ve continued teaching them a few times a week in this park. It´s kind of an odd situation...we just show up and all of us gather around this bench/table thing and learn about the gospel. H. Herrera and I call them The Tres Mujeres (The three women), because they´re always together.
We also are teaching this sweet woman, Monica. She´s pregnant, and the first time we met with her, she started bawling, saying she wanted to change her life. We were thrilled, because that´s exactly what we try to teach people, how to have better lives. More about her next week :)
Those are just some of our investigators. Each pair of missionaries is assigned to a certain area to share the gospel, and we rarely leave our area. I just LOVE my area, love it. The people are odd sometimes, and it makes me sad when some of them reject what we teach. But I´m responsible to bring them the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they have the right to reject or accept it. Even if I am sad for those people, I know that there are men and women here who I need to find, who the Lord has prepared to hear His gospel. It´s an amazing feeling. Kinda like a scavenger hunt haha. In fact, today our ward mission leader took us on a tour of Cartagena and the surrounding pueblos. Basically a tour of our area. Remember how I said that we have 11 pueblos in my area? I´ve only been to two of them! But we got to the top of a mountain outside Cartagena, and you could see all the little pueblos and areas there. Our leader was pointing out the different parts, and I was like, ¨So...basically everything we can see right now is our area.¨ It´s awe inspiring, and very humbling.
Well, I think that covers my week pretty well. I am being well taken care of here by the members, so don´t worry about me :) I love you all!
Hermana Jones

PS points to anyone who can guess the reference to the subject line!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 3!

Hey all! I´m already three weeks into my time here in Cartagena, it´s crazy! And this week has been rough, not gonna lie...literally EVERYTHING went wrong!

1. Our washer broke. This is a problem...especially because our landlord is out of town for 3 MONTHS in the US. We had someone come check it out, and he said it would be cheaper to just buy a new one. Hopefully that´ll happen this week.

2. The transportation here is a nightmare. The buses work pretty well, but the train that we use most often, from Cartagena to Torre Pacheco (one of our pueblos) is always late, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. We´ve learned not to plan any lessons in that time.

3. We ran out of money, due to the transportation. The Church gives us an allotted 140 € per month, for food and transportation, although the transportation is reimbursable (is that a word?). It takes a week or two to get our reimbursals back though...and because we work so much in the pueblos, we are on trains or buses up to 4 times a day! That figures out to anywhere from 10 to 20€ a day, and if you do the math, that leaves us very little money for the last week or so of the month. We are due to get more money tomorrow, so it´s all good.

4. I got food poisening. I know! I´ve never had it before, but it was not fun. We spent all of yesterday, Sunday, in the apartment because I couldn´t walk around. But I feel great today! No worries there.

So, even though it´s been a nightmare of a week, it has honestly been the best week so far. We have seen so many miracles! People have stopped us on the street, and they ask who we are, what church we represent. There was one guy who said, ¨Do you know my father in your church? He said you could come teach me. When?¨ It was the most amazing thing. We also were able to get ahold of some old investigators who were really receptive, who love church and love the missionaries, but their work schedule is crazy so they can´t visit with missionaries very often.
And the last miracle...because I was sick, I got to sleep for like 20 hours! On missions, they say you never sleep in unless you´re sick. So it was nice to have that break.
I hope you all are doing well! 

Hermana Jones

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 2

Hi! I´m doing great here. I´m starting to feel like a real missionary, to know the area and take a more active part in teaching the lessons. My spanish isn´t perfect yet, but people can understand me well, so I´m doing okay for now haha. It´s starting to cool down during the day, which is one of the best things that has happened so far haha :)
I decided to give an example of my daily schedule here:
7:30 wake up, exercise, get ready
9 start studying. We do (more or less) four hours of studying a day, Including personal, companion and language study. But, because my area is so large, and because our only form of transportation is by bus or train, I usually study en route, or during meals, or at 10 at night. We try to do it all in the morning, but we have to work around the bus and train schedules.
1-5 Medio dia! This is the best and worst time of the day. These four hours are when you do not contact anybody or set up appointments because it interrupts meal and siesta time. The stores all shut down, and no one´s on the streets...It´s very interesting. And every day members invite us to eat the main meal, called Comida, with them. It´s always delicious, and they usually give us some to take home as well. Then, if we have time, we relax and study some more. But the bad part is, we don´t take naps! Usually we´re teaching or studying for our investigators or something like that. She here we are, having eaten a huge meal and it´s like 100 degrees outside, and we can´t sleep. It´s a daily test of my self control haha.
5-10:30 More Appointments. This is when we usually meet with our investigators and I do the rest of my studies. There are days when we take a round trip bus ride, come home to switch materials, and then take a train to other appointments. We´re usually out until 10:30, cuz it´s still light and people are up till midnight or later.
10:30-11:30 prepare for the next day an sleep :) Bedtime is one of the best parts of the day.

I´ve started dreaming in Spanish, which you would think would be a good thing. It isn´t, though,because I dream of teaching the gospel lessons to our investigators! I can´t stop teaching even in my sleep.
But this work is amazing. I get to teach people how to have better lives, how to feel the love of God and how to be happy. And I get to do this in Spain, which is awesome :)
We have a family who recently joined the church, Aida and her kids. They´re completely amazing, and they talk to all of their friends about the gospel. Aida owns a store, and this woman, Monica, would always come in and want to talk with Aida, so finally she invited Monica to dinner. They gave her a Book of Mormon with their testimonies, and we started to meet with her.
The moment my companion offered a prayer at the beginning of the lesson, Monica started crying. She said, "I just want to change. I want to live a better life for my kids, and for myself." I think I sometimes take the Gospel for granted. As members of this church, we know that God loves us, and we know that we can live with Him and our families forever. We also know that one of the purposes of life is to be happy, and we know how to be truly happy. That is what I´m trying to teach the people here, that the way to be truly happy is through Jesus Christ and His gospel.

I love you all! It´s always great to hear from you. I hope your weeks are great!
Hermana Jones

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome to Cartegena!

Hello! It's been a long week since I last wrote. On the 5th I left Madrid for Malaga (where the mission home is) and then went from Malaga to Cartegena (where my area is). I was pretty much constantly traveling, but it's alright, cuz I'm here!
My trainer is H. Herrera, who's from Ecuador. She´s hilarious. But she only speaks Spanish. We communicate well though, so its alright.
There's another hermana, H. Brown. She leaves in 2 weeks to go home cuz it's the end of her mission. It's weird for both of us haha.
I really like my area. We're in the city of Cartegena, but we're only in charge of 2 or 3 streets. However, we have ELEVEN pueblos ( or small suburb/towns) that we are also in charge of and have investigators in. Every day we take the train or the busto some small, run down town in the middle of nowhere to see investigators (people who are interested in the church).
The Ward (congregation) here is amazing! They´re so welcoming and love the Hermanas. There's about 170 members, and it's one of the biggest wards in my mission. In fact, there are THREE pairs of missionaries in this one ward. We have visited members a lot, and they always feed us and send food home with us.
I'm not kidding. One member gives us a melon every time (in Spain they don't differentiate between types of melon, it's all just melon). Another recent convert is from a tribe in Africa where it's very rude not to give gifts to visitors. So we're just checking up on him to see how he's doing, and out he comes with two HUGE bags of food! We had to carry them between the three of us cuz they were so heavy. There was a ton of fruit and an entire frozen chicken. And get this, last week he gave the Hermanas a chicken as well! We now have two whole chickens in the freezer.
So. If anyone has recipes for how to cook whole chickens, I would greatly appreciate it! There's a store next to us, so we can buy potatoes or anything like that. (PS if you do send recipes, it would be great if you could convert the temperature to Celsius haha). But on the bright side, I never am hungry, cuz the members always feed us! It´s a great system.
Oh, and on my first day here, I committed someone to baptism! It was great. Hopefully this coming week it´ll happen, but we'll see.
So, I've enjoyed being here. The language is a struggle, but as long as I'm looking at the speaker, I can understand what they're saying. I don't know much about the area here, but I think it's good. H. Brown said that you see more miracles at the beginning of your mission than at any other time, and I think it's because newbies rely on the Lord. Without the Lord or my companions, I literally couldn't survive here! It sounds dramatic, but it's not at all haha, I am completely incompetent without them. Eventually I'll be more capable, but right now, I'm just relying on the Lord.
Well, I miss everyone! Thanks so much for your letters, it's great to here from you.
Hermana Jones

(PS this picture is my new area and H. Herrera! The two Elders in the background are Assistants to the President, we needed them to hold the map haha)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Moving on to Malaga!

Hi everyone! 
I'm on my way to Malaga tomorrow, where I think my normal emailing day will be Monday. So yeah...I'll be back in touch then.
These past few days have been great. It's sad leaving the MTC, but I can't wait to be off! I will be going to the Malaga Mission presidents home on Tuesday, sleeping there, and then will hop on a train to my next area. How exciting is that?? Incredibly exciting!
Well, that´s the main news...I´ll let you know more next Monday!
Hermana Jones

Made it to Malaga!

Well, the subject line says it pretty well...I'm finally here!
It was crazy. We had to wake up at 5 and be on the train by 7:30, and then there wasn't room for our suitcases...But my companion and I were able to talk to this family from Argentina, and they seemed interested in learning more. Even though I was tired, it was a good day.
And I met President and Hermana Deere! They're great.
I can't wait to serve the people of Malaga.
Hermana Jones

Friday, August 1, 2014

Week 5/6

Hey everyone!

It's been a good week. We had an Area Seventy come and talk to us, Elder Reina, this past Sunday. He said 3 important things we need to tell investigators about our church: We are Christians, and Christ is the center of our church; This is the same church that Christ organized 2000 years ago; and that when I live according to the principles of the gospel, I am happy.

This past week, I (well, the Church) started my residency process! I´ll be a resident of Spain for a year, and then have to start the process again.

Now for my park story. I was with my temporary companion, H.M, (who goes to BYU too!) and we ended up in the random far corners of the park. There was an older man we talked to, Luis, who was hardcore Catholic and asked us plenty of questions about the Church. Thankfully, between the two of us, we were able to answer them all. At one point, I started to explain to him the Restauration of the Church (in Spanish, of course), and he interupted me. He said, "You know, people go to America and learn English. They go to Japan and learn Japanese. You should learn Spanish. How do you expect to be able to convert me if you can´t speak my language?"

I was shocked! Who says that stuff to strangers!?!? But I held my head up and said, "By the Holy Spirit." I was so embarassed and mad (my Spanish is NOT that bad), and it felt like the most awkward moment in the world! But its okay, because I know what I said is true. I don't convert people. Nothing I say will make them believe in the gospel. The feelings they get from the Holy Spirit will convert them. So it's okay if my Spanish isn't great (and besides, I've only been here 6 weeks!).

Speaking of that, I leave the CCM on August 5. So don't send me any more letters here! Send them to this address:

Sister Alexandra Jones
Spain Malaga Mission
Av. Jesus Santos Rein Nº2, 3 D-E
Edif. Ofisol
29640 Fuengirola, Malaga

My email is still, and I love hearing from you all! Miss you, and have a wonderful week!

Hermana Jones

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 4

Buenas Dias!

I hope your weeks were great. We got some new Spanish missionaries two days ago, and they're wonderful! I got to translate for them in a zone meeting when there weren't any teachers, and even though it was very basic and I missed a bunch of stuff, I still enjoyed it.

The day I leave here, they're gonna get 60 new missionaries. 60! There's about 24 of us now, and I honestly don't know how they're gonna fit all those missionaries in the building. The CCM only uses 3 floors of the building, and they aren't very big floors either.

Oh, and a cool thing happened this week. My companion and I were teaching our “investigators” (who are really our teachers), and in walks one of the kitchen ladies. We all said hi and got to know her. Turns out shes not a member of the Church, so we gave her a Book of Mormon with our testimonies in it. She's going to keep coming to the lessons. Guys, we have a real investigator!!!

Well, it's been a great week. Sorry this letter isn't very long…I think it's also been a bit of a boring week haha. I hope you all are doing well. I love hearing from you!

Hermana Jones

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Week 3

Hola everybody!

Gracias for your letters! I received some of them yesterday, and it made me so happy. I love hearing about your lives.

My friend, Nash Miller, from BYU is here! He was in charge of my FHE group, and he's going to Russia for his mission.

The park this past Saturday was great. There are always great experiences there, and I love talking to the people. Even if they don't want to hear about religion, they are usually really nice. Afterwards, a sister said, "The park changes you". That is definitely true. I have learned how to talk to people without seeming weird or inconsiderate. That's a good thing haha.

Oh, and I don't know if I mentioned it last time in my letter but two Saturdays ago, my companion and I had been talking to these two nice, if a tad weird, men near the entrance of the park. We gave them pass along cards about the temple, but we were in a hurry so we couldn't talk to them too much. We said we'd be back  the next week but we haven't seen them since.

Yesterday, I learned from my Spanish teachers that those men were drug dealers! They sit at the entrance to the park every day. They're always nice to the missionaries, and I didn't feel like I was in danger talking to them...but I think I'll avoid that area of the park from now on. Can you imagine? Me, Lexie Jones, trying to teach Spanish drug dealers about the gospel. So strange.

We had a devotional broadcast by Neil L. Anderson, one of the apostles of the church. My favorite quote was, "There are souls to save and miracles to find, so get to work".

Now, for some fun Spain/language facts: Sponge Bob is called Bob Espongea, marshmallows are nuves (the Spanish word for clouds), and my Swiss-German district leader explained that kindergarten means "child garden".

I hope your weeks were great! Email or write me! I love hearing from you.


Hermana Jones

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Greetings from Spain!

Things are still going great here. The Russian Missionaries left, and we now have some missionaries from Ukraine. Another batch of missionaries from Provo will be here learning Russian on Friday.

Well, last Thursday was great. After I sent out my emails, we went on a tour of Madrid. We saw the neighborhood of Sol, the Royal Palace, an Egyptian temple, and a large statue of Don Quioxte (sp?). I just kept thinking how cool it was that I was walking around Spain. I don't think I'll ever get over it! (Pictures will come later, I don´t have time to upload them today)

Then, on Saturday, we had a fantastic day at the park. Everyone we talked to was kind, and many wanted to hear more. It was just so great, because I felt like I was really helping people. The gospel changes lives for the better, and I hope that I can help people find the joy that I feel because of it.

Oh, also, I found out that I can receive letters! The address is

Sister Alexandra Jones
Spain Malaga Mission
Centro de Capacitacion Misional
Calle de Templo, 2-4ª planta
28030 Madrid

Letters take up to 1.5 weeks to get here, so if you send it too late, I might not get it. But I'd love to hear from you!

Yesterday I was released from my calling as Ward Chorister and given a new one: Sister Training Leader. I make sure all the sisters have what they need and counsel with them if they need it. I'm super excited! It's an honor to be called, and I´m excited to serve them.

A sister in my district made a list of the most entertaining things here at the CCm, and I´m going to share them with you. 1: the Map. There´s a big map hanging in the classroom hallway, and during breaks all 25 of us missionaries gather around it, pointing out our homes and quizzing each other on the African countries. 2: Looking out the Window. This one is for missionaries and teachers alike. During study time, for a short break, we get up and stand in front of the window. I don´t know why its so fascinating, but I think it just reminds us where we are and that there is an outside world out there. 3: The chairs. The church invested a lot of money in these chairs, which is good because we sit in them for 6 or more hours a day. Each week we find new features.

Fun Spain fact: they have Dora the Explorer here! But instead of teaching kids Spanish, she teaches English.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week.

Love, Hermana Jones

Thursday, July 3, 2014

First Week

Hola everyone!!! I miss you all so much.

The CCM (Centro de Capitacion Misional; the Mission Training Center) is great! Everyone is so kind and wonderful here, and I feel very comfortable. It was a struggle to sleep at the beginning, cuz of the time difference, but I´m good. Also, the food here is weird…the nice lunch people try to make American food for us, but it doesn´t work out very well haha.

My companion is Hermana Finch. She´s great! Always so happy and cheerful. She´s an awesome companion.

Remember how I was really worried about being able to learn the language? Well, I had nothing to worry about. It´s coming so easily! I was shocked, but I´m not complaining. I know that God is helping me, because I could never learn Spanish this easily on my own.

I´m also learning a bit of Portuguese. They have many languages here at the CCM, like Spanish, Italian, Russian…there are some Sisters going to Portugal. I´ve been learning some simple words because, in my mission, there is a city where the missionaries can go into Portugal to preach. (How cool is that???) The pronunciation is a bit different, because they say “s” like “sh”, but it´s very similar. The Russian is not coming easily at all though, I think I´m gonna give up on that one.

All this language learning has led to some interesting stories. For example, the words for fish (pescado) and sins (pecado) sound very similar. When one of the Sisters was trying to say “Christ paid for our sins,” she said, “Christ paid for our fish.” I couldn´t stop laughing. I think things like that are funnier in the CCM than they would be outside…

We have a pretty cool schedule here. Every day, we get an hour of physical activity. Usually we go out and play futbol in the park, and some local kids join us.

Let me just say that again: I¨VE BEEN PLAYING SOCCER IN SPAIN. WITH SPAINARDS. Sooooooo cool. Every day I wake up and think how wonderful it is here, and how blessed I am (I also made a really awesome goal the other day by accident, so everyone thinks that I´m actually good at soccer haha).

On Saturdays, we get to go to a park and talk to people. It´s such a great opportunity to learn how to teach real people. I mean, we practice teaching investigators who we teach every day, but it is very cool to talk to real people.

I have a calling (or responsibility) at church here! I´m the ward chorister. It´s fun haha.

Well, I miss you all! Thanks for all your emails

Hermana Jones

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Spain MTC

Hello all! I made it to Spain. It´s actually raining here…it reminds me of Seattle.

My flight was great, I met two Elders who I traveled here with. The MTC president and his wife are super nice and everyone is very welcoming. I think I´ll enjoy it here!

The P-day here at the MTC is on Thursday, except this week there is no P-day. The next time I will be able to email is the 3rd of July.

I look forward to hearing from all of you!


Hermana Jones

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Adios Amigos!

Spain here I come! Leaving tomorrow for the Missionary Training Center in Madrid!