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