Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Are we doing it our way or the Lord's way?

This is a quote that my companion wrote down from Church yesterday. I
like it because, as a missionary, we cannot do this work our way or
nothing will happen. The Lord knows who needs to be found, He knows
who is ready to accept the gospel; we just need to learn to listen to
His Spirit.
It has been a great week! I think I always say that, but it's because
it is always true :) Looking back, I can't really remember what
happened. We had a great lesson with our friend Edmond who we lost for
a while. We saw him again by chance (I say by chance, but God
organized everything about it) on a bus,and we talked a bit more with
We also celebrated Thanksgiving! All the missionaries here in Alicante
brought something to eat, so we had a nice dinner. It was super fun.
We hand mashed a huge bag of potatoes...and they lasted like two
minutes haha they were really good. It's not like Thanksgiving at
home, but it's a good substitute :)
Afterwards we did an exchange with the Albacete sisters, and it was so
fun! It was FREEZING, but really cool. It's this town about an hour by
train from Alicante. It's super cute, and I really enjoy going there.
Saturday was Hermana Evelo's birthday, and it was super fun. The
missionaries surprised her with a party in the church, and I think she
enjoyed it.
BUT, on the way back, the bus started coming and so we ran to catch
it, like we've done a million times...and literally a foot from the
door I fell and twisted my ankle. I haven't done that my entire
mission, even though I have run in the worst shoes to run in...but
anyway, we did actually make the bus, so that was good.
I rested my ankle a bit, and we went out to work. I walked like twice
as slowly, and we were almost late for our appointment, but it was
SUCH a good lesson. The man we taught came to church the next day, and
it was awesome.
The rest of that night, we worked (slowly haha) and the elders came
over and gave me a blessing. They couldn't come into our apartment
without another man, so we went over to a members house and did it
there in their hallway. It was the sweetest blessing of health ever, I
loved it. God's true priesthood is on the earth!
I miss you all! I go home to Washington next week...crazy to think
about, but it still hasn't hit me yet.
Miss and love you!
Hermana Jones

"We're part of God's plan for others."

This is a quote from a sister here, Hermana Olson. I loved how she
phrased it, and it made me appreciate a lot more the roles people play
in my life, and the role that I play in theirs.
We had a crazy, crazy week. So much happened this week...we did two
exchanges, which were super fun. And then Hermana Anderson gets a
call, on Thursday, from the mission president. He said that there was
a sister in Fuengirola that had to go home, and they needed someone to
take her place, and he felt that he needed to ask Hermana Anderson.
So, the next morning, she was on a bus for Fuengirola, an 8-hour bus
ride. We miss her! But it's good that she is able to help the Hermana
in Fuengirola. She is still a sister training leader, so she is going
to be there at the mission council next week, and on the tenth of
December (when I go home haha) she will be back here in Alicante with
Hermana Evelo.
This week we taught a cute Chinese person, she is super cute! I
managed to explain the Book of Mormon to her, using the pictures at
the front and Google translator. She's so cute!
Also, we met a nice guy named Richard, he's from Portugal. But he
speaks Spanish and English perfectly, and is so great. The only
problem that he lives in Barcelona on the weekends...but we'll work on
Also there, is a woman here who is the mom of a convert. She's really
nice, but doesn't come to church, even though everyone loves her and
invites her. Her reason? She has a 16 year old dog who she has to hand
feed every hour. Isn't that sad? She is losing out on her many many
many blessings of knowing the gospel and living it, just for her dog.
It's a major dog excuse.
Anyway, I hope you have a great week! Miss and love you all!
Hermana Jones

One of our last meals together! We had half an hour before we had to
go to the exchange, and we needed quick, fast food, and everything was
closed...it was really good food though!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Heaven is as close as you want it to be."

President Lopez, the stake president here, said this on Saturday at
the stake women's conference. It was an awesome conference; we got to
go because my companions are super talented and played their
instruments in the conference.
It's all going awesome here! Hermana Evelo got in on Wednesday. She's
from Florida, and she's wonderful. We went to pick her up at the train
station, and two elders were with us to welcome her and take some
bags. She lugged one of her suitcases off, and we ran up to say hello
and hug her...and suddenly the train starts honking and the doors
start closing, and Hermana Evelo goes, "Wait, my bags are still on
it!" I ran to stand by the front of the train to try to wave down the
conductor, and the elders pulled the doors open and ran onto the
train. Thankfully, they were able to throw out the bags and get off
before the train pulled away. So that was an adventure :)
We've had such a good week! Today, we are celebrating Hermana
Anderson's birthday, and it has been super fun figuring out the
surprise. She guessed, but that's okay:)
Here are some fun pictures from this week!
1. Our district at Dominos! We met some British people who were there
for a soccer game, and they were really nice! But I've discovered that
I struggle to understand people from northern England haha.

"We come here to do things. But the goal is that we become someone when we do these things..."

"...we should do the things that will help us become e people we want
to be." An Elder here, Elder Durrant, said this, and I thought it was
so profound. We do what we do to become who we want to be, and if our
actions aren't in line with who we want to be, we should change
What an incredible week! On Monday we had the Missionary Leadership
Council, and it was fantastic. I have noticed a huge change in myself
since then...it's like I have new energy to work, and this week has
been amazing, I think for that reason.
We have met so many great new friends this week to teach, and it has
been so cool. But, it hasn't been without it's difficulties...a less
active member that we work with got mad, but the worst part was
watching his wife cry from how he was treating us. Their two daughters
are serving missions too, and she looks at us like her
daughters...that was a rough time.
But! We had the BEST lesson yesterday, with our friend Juan who came
to church. He is great, but has a lot of affects from all the drugs
and alcohol that he took for a large part of his life, and those
affects make it hard for him to understand sometimes. We have been so
stressed out about him, and haven't know what to do. But he just
understood yesterday...he understood the Restoration of the gospel! It
was such an incredible moment. He said, "Wait. There WAS an apostasy,
the gospel of Christ WAS lost. Do people know about this?" Hahaha we
were like, "Well, that's why we're here." It was great.
Okay, so overall it was a great week...here are some pictures!
1. We got cupcakes for Hermana Anderson's 11 month mark!

Monday, November 2, 2015

"Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good..."

"...let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon
my rock, they cannot prevail.
"Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform
with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
"Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the
nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye
shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen."
This scripture is found in Doctrine and Covenants (a book of
revelations given to Joseph Smith) 6:34-37. My companion pointed it
out to me, and I love the first part: fear not little flock. This is
Jesus Christ speaking to us, and telling us that there is no need to
fear, because He's already gone through it all. He has already
overcome it all, already suffered it all, already walked that painful
and thorny path. Now He's guiding us, His flock, down the same path,
and He knows exactly where all the stones and thorns and ditches are.
That is why He asks us to keep His commandments. They aren't just
because He wants to confine us to a box, but because He wants us to be
safe and free and painless.
I have grown to appreciate my Savior so much! And even then, I
understand that I really don't understand even a fraction of what He
did for me--but someday we will all know. That, I think, is when
"every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess" (Mosiah 27:33) that
He is Christ.
It was such a great week! Our friend Paul is wonderful, and He just
loves when we come over to his work to teach him. Sometimes there are
others there, and they will ask us who we are and what we teach
people. We have met so many great people who are so ready to hear
about the Gospel!
Oh, and there is a member here, his name is Tom. He was baptized two
years ago, is the president of the young men's program, and is
amazing. He is the only member of his family. A few days (last week,
or the week before) ago, we talked to his brother in the street, and
we didn't know it was his brother. He said he'd like to hear our
message, so we wrote down his contact information, and he went on his
way. Tom was SUPER excited that we had talked to his brother.
Well, also, Tom's mother is really nice and comes to church with him
every so often. But she never wanted us to go and teach her or
anything. Out of the blue, 5 weeks ago, she invited us to go out to
eat, and it was so nice. She has really sincere desires to know if all
this is true.
We haven't been able to meet with her at all, until last night, when
we made cookies to take to all the members (it's a plan we have to
have better relations with all the members--they're so awesome). So,
knowing that Tom's mom Mary has never wanted us to come in her house,
we called Tom to come down to his door and get the cookies, and he
talked a minute with his mom, and said, "Hermanas, do you want to come
up for a few minutes?" We went up, and had a great talk with them.
Mary is so awesome! She said the last prayer, and said, "God...help me
know which is the right path. If it is this church, please tell me."
It was so perfect :)
We did two exchanges this week, and they were awesome! I went to a
small town called Albacete, and it was so fun, so cute.  And I also
went to another called Elche (which is also adorable--I've been there
four or five times now, so I feel like it's one of my areas). Super
Transfers are next week! I do not think I will be transferred to
another area, with a month left on my mission...but you never know :)
Miss and love you all!
Hermana Jones

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"If we do what the rest of the world does, we'll have what the rest of the world has."

One of the teachers in Church today said this. I appreciated the
reminder that there is a reason that we're different. Something I've
grown to understand a lot better on my mission is the eternalness of
what we're doing and of who we are. If we really will live after
death, if we really will have the opportunity to keep progressing
forever, the pain and suffering we have to go through really isn't
that bad.  If we really will be resurrected, the physical trials and
pains don't have eternal consequences; they're temporary, to help us
Anyway, this week was INCREDIBLE. And it was incredible for one
specific reason: Paul.
One night, I think it was Friday night, we were walking in our area.
Our plans and back-up plans had failed us, and we going to see if any
of the people we taught a long time ago were home. I had a thought
that we should cross the street, so we did, and passed an Internet
cafe where a person worked who was listening to our message two years
ago, with other missionaries. We stopped and decided to see if he
still was there, and he wasn't. But the guy who we talked to at the
counter was so nice, and we explained that we are missionaries, and we
teach people about Jesus Christ. He said, "I actually have lost a lot
of my faith, but I want to have it back again." We said, "Well, we
have the perfect thing to help you." We gave him, Paul, the Book of
Mormon, and he was so grateful for it! It warmed my heart to see how
open and humble and faithful he was. Ah, he's the best. We met with
him yesterday as well, and we explained the Book of Mormon better. He
asked us how Church was, and said he wanted to come next Sunday. We
left his Internet cafe almost skipping. The Lord is so wonderful, to
guide us to the people who need Him!
But, the most amazing part of this story, is that when I had the
thought to cross the street, I was kinda annoyed. It's been a problem
my whole mission: I just cannot tell if my thoughts come from
inspiration from God, or are simply my thoughts. So, when I had that
thought, I told my companion, "Let's cross," and she, being so
wonderful, didn't even question it. The whole time, I was talking to
God, asking Him, "God, I really would appreciate some clarity here. It
annoys me that I don't know if these thoughts come from Thee or if I'm
just wandering around for no reason, thinking that I'm being inspired
by Thee when really I'm not." Literally less than a minute after, we
walked into Paul's store, and it was all cleared up. It was as if God
were telling me, "Trust in me, and trust in yourself. I will guide
your path in my own way; just keep on following those thoughts, and I
will show you miracles." God is the best :)
Other than that, this week was fairly uneventful. Oh, on the street we
met and talked to a brother of one of he members here, although we
didn't realize it was his brother at first. And he accepted a time to
meet with us! So many miracles.
Oh, and I hit my 16-month mark on Saturday...I've been here in Spain
for 16 months!  It's crazy. It has gone by really fast, but I also
feel like it has been a long time.  We did exchanges with Elche, and
so my companion went there and we all got Smooey ice cream :) It's the
best ice cream I've tasted here in Spain.
I miss and love you all! Have a great week.
Hermana Jones

1. Smooey in Elche...you can't see my name tag because it's being
hidden by the giant Smooey cup. :)
2. Sunrise in Alicante

Monday, October 19, 2015

"Against the Spirit, there is no argument."

Elder Obando from the area seventy said this in the Stake Conference that we had yesterday. I liked the quote, and it is very, very applicable to our work as missionaries.  But Elder Obando was also the area seventy when I was in Malaga and we had a stake conference. I don't remember if I told you all the story, but we had a friend come to church that day, and he had come for a few weeks. He said his friend from Puerto Rico, the one who had introduced him to the church, knew someone named Adonai who lived here in Spain, and we said we didn't know him. Then, as it turns out, Adonai Obando was the speaker in that conference in Malaga, and afterward, he called our friend up to the front to meet him. It was so cool! My companion, Hermana Giler, and I were shocked, but really excited. So, it was good to see Elder Obando again.
Great week! We saw so many miracles, and met some great great people. One miracle: Jessie, a guy we met a while ago with a recent convert, moved to Mallorca to work. But now he's back! We went to the recent convert's house, and there he was. He's awesome.
Also, we met this INCREDIBLE guy named Oliver. We were sitting on a bench Monday night, looking for the address of a less-active member in the member list, and a nice guy passed by and said, "Studying, huh?" And kept walking. I said, "Darn, we should have talked to him, he was nice. God will have to send him to us again." And what did God do? He sent Oliver to pass by us again! So, then we had to talk to him. And he was so awesome! He decided to come with us to the family home evening at the church the next day, and he was going to take us in his car.
So, the next day, we went to pick up a member who would go with us. It had been drizzling a bit, but as soon as she came out of her house, it started POURING. (Refer to the video below.)  we waited a bit for Oliver, and then went and passed by his house. We were so wet...I felt bad that we got his car all wet, but he liked the Family Home Evening at the church and met a lot of the members. On the way home, he said, "Of course I'll come to Church on Sunday, at what time?" He's so awesome.
So, that was my week, and it was great. I hope you all enjoy the coming week! Love and miss you all!
Hermana Jones

Video: the crazy rain while we were waiting for Oliver
Photo 1: prettiest sunset ever!
Photo 2: riding the train on the way to Stake conference...the sister missionaries serving in Elche came and spent the night with us.

Missionary Leadership Council

Hello! It was a wonderful week this week. We found a lot of new people
to teach, and we overall had a great time.
One of my FAVORITE things is that this past week, we went to Málaga to
the Missionary Leadership Council. I think I've explained it before,
but basically all the zone leaders and sister training leaders from
the entire mission go to Málaga, to the mission president's home, and
we have trainings, practices, and talks about things we can do to
improve the work. For example, there was one presentation from a man
in Sevilla who does a lot of Family History; he helped us understand a
bit better the "why" of Family History. It is so special knowing that
one day we will be reunited with our beloved family members who have
already passed away. So many people don't know that, and for them,
death is a horrible thing. Thanks to the Restoration of the gospel of
Jesus Christ, we know the truth: families can be together forever!
So, at the council, we learned about Family History, we clarified a
few rules, and we talked about how to be better leaders. Someone
mentioned the scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 35:13-15:

13 Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are
unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my

14 And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their
buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully
for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let
fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation
will I preserve them.

15 And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them,
and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is
nigh at hand--

It was good to be reminded that the Lord called us to these positions,
not because we know a lot or are perfect missionaries, but because we
are weak and need to rely on Him.

The members here are INCREDIBLE.  They are so amazing. We have been
trying to share the message of the Restoration with each of them these
months, and the Member Plan is working great. This week, at like 11 at
night, a member called us. We called her back, wondering why she'd
call us so late, and she asked us what we were doing the next day at
6. We had an appointment at 6:39, but we said that we could help her
with whatever she needed. Turns out she has a friend who she's been
sharing the gospel with, and she invited him to come and meet us at 6.
She said, "Could you come, or is it too late notice...?" We were like,
"YES we will come!" She's awesome. At the end, her friend couldn't be
there, but we taught her family, and it was a great experience. And
there were a ton of members at church on Sunday that came up to us and
asked when they could come out with us. They're so wonderful!
So, that was my week, and it was a great week. Thank you all for your
letters and emails, I really appreciate them!

Love and miss you all!
Hermana Jones

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference!

This week was general Conference--definitely the best time of the year. I LOVED all the talks, and every time I feel as though they speak directly to me. It was such a blessing to see real, live revelation at work and know that the three new apostles called were called of God through a living prophet. We spent this entire past week talking to people and asking them, "Would you like to listen to a prophet speak? He is a man like Moses, and he speaks for God." There were so many people who said, "There is a prophet today? I didn't know that. What's his name?" Others said, "Yes, I want to come and hear him speak."  We are so blessed!
One of my favorite quotes from conference actually came from a song that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang. It says, "if the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?" It made me think of how, really, He is here, and He is beside us, watching what we do and say. That knowledge should make a difference in our lives.
I have a new companion! She's Hermana Anderson, and she's awesome. She's from New Hampshire and so great. I did an exchange with her nine months ago when she first entered the mission, and again in Cartagena, and she is an amazing missionary. I'm so excited to serve with her :)
Well, this week was awesome, and I don't have much to talk about, and it's also the Monday of he missionary leadership council, so I'm in Malaga :) but I promise I will write more next week!

Love and miss you ALL!
Hermana Jones

Monday, September 28, 2015

“Do you say in your prayers: ‘Thy will be done’?"

"...Did you say, ‘Heavenly Father, if you will inspire and impress me with the right, I will do that right’? … Did you say, ‘Father in Heaven, I love you, I believe in you, I know you are omniscient. I am honest. I am sincerely desirous of doing right. I know you can see the end from the beginning. You can see the future. You can discern if under this situation I present, I will have peace or turmoil, happiness or sorrow, success or failure. Tell me, please, loved Heavenly Father, and I promise to do what you tell me to do.’ Have you prayed that way? Don’t you think it might be wise? Are you courageous enough to pray that prayer?” This is a quote by President Spencer Kimball, and I especially love the last line. Many times I find that I tell myself, "Of course, I will do whatever the Lord asks of me." But in my prayers, I ask for what I want, and although I might say "Thy will be done," I don't mean it.
So this week, after reading that quote, we got on a bus and I thought, Why aren't things going perfectly right now? Why doesn't anyone want to listen? I'm doing all I can. I prayed, and, following Pres. Kimball's advice, said, "Lord, I will do Thy will." Immediately, the impression came to talk to a lady a few seats in front of me on the bus. I'll be honest, my first thought was, ugh, darn, now I have to go talk to her. Haha I realized that many times I am not courageous enough to pray that prayer. So, at the end, I did talk to her, and she was very nice. But the most important thing I learned was to follow His will, whatever the cost.
Well, this week was really fun. We did a lot-- a lot of contacting, a lot of teaching, and we implemented The Member Plan. We came up with it last Thursday, and it's a way for us to help the members of the church focus a bit more on missionary work. They're fantastic here in Alicante, and do a lot to help us already. The Member Plan includes bringing them cookies, so I don't think they'll complain haha.
Oh, and we got transfer calls! There was a bit of confusion because we got a call that one of us was going to Almería and we didn't know which one...at the end, my companion, Hermana Merrill, is leaving to go to Almería, and I'm staying here with a new companion, Hermana Anderson. It'll be fun! But I'll miss Hermana Merrill a lot, she's one of the best companions I've ever had.
I'm gonna include a bunch of photos! We went to a castle this morning, and it was super beautiful.
Love and miss you all!
Hermana Jones

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Who was helping whom?"

In the scriptures, it mentions that Jesus, after having borne the sins and pains of he world, after having been brought before the rulers, after having been hurt and spit on and scourged, had to carry His cross to Calvary. Luke 23:26 says, "And as they led [Christ] away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country,
and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus." There is a lot of symbolism with this, but, focusing on Christ, one Elder said, "Some say that Simon was asked to carry the cross because Jesus was tired and couldn't bear any more. That is a lie. He is and was a god, and He could have done any thing that was asked of Him. Why did Simon bear His cross then? I ask you, who was helping whom?" That made me think a lot about the crosses I carry, and why I do it. Sometimes I think, why do I need to be suffering so much in this work, when Christ could do it so easily and so much better than I could?
These precious people deserve to have the Gospel preached to them through the mouth of the Son of God, not a young woman who still struggles with their language. But this Elder made me consider something: what is important is that the cross gets to Calvary. It doesn't matter if Simon's slower, if Christ could have taken it
Himself. He allowed Simon to carry it because it helped Simon to grow and become stronger. What greater blessing could we have than to carry a bit of the burden for Jesus Christ on His painful path?
Anyway, those were my thoughts this week :) it was a good week, we had a lot of help from the members and our investigator friends are so great. One, Mary, is going to get married, but the process in Spain is SO long and frustrating...she'll get married in a month or so, we think. Yay!
Transfers are next week,and Hermana Merrill is probably going to go :(
although I would love it if she stayed with me again. I could honestly spend my entire mission with her as my companion, she's awesome! We have been in areas next to each other our entire missions...I don't
know what we'll do these last few months! Speaking of that, I realized this week that I have only 11 weeks left
of my mission. It all goes by so fast!

I hope your weeks are great! Love and miss you all!
Hermana Jones

"We haven't forgotten the promise we made when we were baptized..."

"...we haven't forgotten that we need to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. We've forgotten that we have already said yes. And we need to do it." This is a quote by one of the young women here who is leaving on her mission soon. She's an incredible example to me, and I have learned a lot from her. One of the most important things that we have done in our lives, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is that we made a promise to God when we got baptized. That promise was to save us, to help us, to make us more like Christ, and sometimes we forget why we made it.
I had a strong feeling yesterday at church. At the beginning, I was a bit bummed because none of our friends came to church, and so they still don't know all the blessings that come from it. But, in the last
class, we had a teacher and she was talking about one of the Savior's commandments. She asked, to a random woman in the class, "What did you think when the missionaries first taught you about this commandment?"  The woman responded, and she asked another, and another...I realized that I was one of three people in that entire class who had grown up in the Church. Every other one had met and been taught by the missionaries. It was such a powerful moment to sit there and think about how each one had come to know the Church through friends or missionaries or however it was that they came to be there.  I probably won't have many experiences like that in the States, and I am so grateful that the Lord has sent me here.
This week was a good week. Kind of slow as well--I was talking with my companion, and we decided that now that we don't have to do so many intercambios, the weeks seem to go by really slow.  But this week we did an intercambio with the sisters in Albacete. I got to be with Hermana Morrow...I don't know if you all will remember her, but we were in the missionary training center together and were companions for a day. So it was so cool to serve with her again!
We have been looking for new people to teach, and so we've been contacting them in the street a lot. There's a guy who lives in front of us, named Tommy, from Colorado. He's super nice, here on a study abroad, and we haven't been able to talk to him much, but he said,  "Yeah, I had a lot of Mormon friends back home, and I'm not super religious. But I'd like to learn more about this." Awesome! One of the best men I taught in Malaga, his name is Samuel, was baptized! He was baptized in Malaga, but my old companion Hermana Giler has been keeping me updated. I was super happy :) and it is good to know that the work that I (or any other missionary or any other person) extends past where I am currently working.

I hope that you all have a great week! Love and miss you!
Hermana Jones
We made garbanzo beans! It's kind of like chile...but super good!

Monday, September 7, 2015

"Elders and Sister, welcome to the work of angels."

That's a quote by Jeffery R. Holland, one of the apostles. He was talking to a group of missionaries, and I just really liked that part.  Angels are helping us!
Okay, as I was thinking about what to write today, I thought, "well, I don't know, it's been a boring week..." But it really hasn't! We did a LOT.
First of all, we had the mission leadership council. It was super fun, but my companion and I had to give a taller (in English that translates to a workshop, or like a talk or a presentation...I don't know how to translate it well) about the exchanges. And we were like, "Um, that's terrifying!" It was very intimidating to write the talk, but it went so well and everyone participated and it was great. We went down to Malaga with the pair of Hermana trainers in Cartagena and it was super fun.
Anyways, we got here to Alicante Tuesday night, and the rest of the week was pretty good and normal. We did an intercambio with the other pair of Hermanas here in Alicante, and I was with the one who is from Albania. She's so cool! She's 26, an English teacher, and has taught English in Albania, China, y Italy...incredible. I had sooooo many questions about learning another language and everything--I learned a lot from her.
Okay, what else....oh haha. Okay, so from council we brought this suitcase full of copies of the Book of Mormon to give to the missionaries to replenish their supplies. Well, on Friday, when we did the intercambios, Hermana Merrill and the other Hermana were taking the suitcase home on the bus. They buckled it in by the entrance and
went to go sit down, and then got off at the stop...without the suitcase! They realized like an hour later, had to call a member to get the bus phone number, called the bus people, who told them it was at the police station. They went to the police station, and they start trying to explain the situation: "We are looking for a suitcase, it's
full of Books of Mormon, because we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was belted in on the bus..." and the police said they could get it on Monday. So, all was good with that, but then we realized one little problem: once we get to the police station, they'd ask to see our residency cards... And they're
expired. They expired two months ago, and the mission is in the process of renewing it, but either way you look at it, they should have been renewed earlier.
So...we didn't know what to do and called the mission secretary who takes care of our residency stuff, and he told us that we should try taking passports, and if that didn't work, he sent us a document showing that he's in the process of renewing it. We got it all ready, and this morning we went to the police station. It was very anticlimactic; we went in, they brought out the suitcase, they checked my companions passport, and we went home. Hahaha but it was a fun adventure!

I love and miss you all! Have a great week,
Hermana Jones

Monday, August 31, 2015

"Be patient in your afflictions, because thou shalt have many..."

"...But endure them, for lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days." D&C 24:8. This is a scripture that we have shared a lot with our members and friends here. It seems like there are always problems. We were talking the other day, and my companion said, "you know, there is never a missionary that we meet who is having an easy mission."  And it's very true, about the missionaries or any other person in the world. There is never a person that we meet who is having an easy life.
Anyway, I'm sorry, but this week I don't have much time to write...we're in Malaga for the mission leadership council. I love Malaga, it's great getting to see it again.
This week we had a MIRACLE. There's a man, named Josh that lives with a recent convert in Alicante. We met him, and he started telling us, what God? His daughter died when she was very young, and he has never been able to understand why. We invited him to church, and the recent convert invited him, and so, yesterday, he came to church.
It was incredible. He loved it. He said he felt the Spirit so strongly and love all of the talks and classes given. They talked about tithing, and afterward, when we met with him, he said, "Hermanas, how do I pay tithing?" We told him that, as members of this church, we give that money back to God, but he wasn't a member, so he wasn't obligated to pay tithing. He said, "I want to, though."
It really was a testimony to me of how the Lord works. At first, I thought Josh is wasn't going to be open to us at all. He seemed very against the idea that God loved him. But the Lord touched his heart.
All in all, it was a great week. We only did one intercambio this week! My old area in Cartagena was changed to a sister training leader are, so they are the leaders for some of our Hermanas that we did intercambios with before. With that, and the fact that a few areas were closed, we only have four companion ships of Hermanas to do intercambios with! It's a really nice break haha.
I miss and love you all! I hope you have a great week!
Hermana Jones

In order to achieve perfection: action and obedience

This was a quote that my district leader told us, and I really liked it. It made me think about how important obedience is, but not just obedience. We need to act and do all we can, and the Lord will make us perfect bit by bit.
This week has been pretty uneventful...we've done a lot but it was one of those weeks that flies by and you can't really remember what you did.
But! We had a few miracles.
1. We met a lady on the bus. She started to talk to us, and it turns out that she's a member of the church who hasn't come in a while. She's SUPER nice and wants us to meet and teach all her family. We've been looking for her this week, and we couldn't find her, cuz she moved. It's incredible how the Lord works--when we have done all we can, the Lord does the rest.
2. It was transfers this week, and my companion and I are staying the same in Alicante. But, as we passed the day with an Hermana who was getting a new companion, we get a call from one of the other missionaries here.  He told us that there was a missionary who was traveling from La Mancha to Murcia and had to pass through Alicante, but he was lost. He didn't have a phone, of course, because the phones stay in the area.  He was able to get into touch with his new companion in Murcia by iMessage, but the last message his new companion received from him was, "I am lost in the Alicante train station. My iPad is dying right now. Help." So we go off running to the train station (the Hermana we were staying with was in the middle of teaching us how to make lentils, but we had to abandon it) to find the missionary. We found him easily enough, and, with one percent battery on his iPad, told his new companion, "I have made contact with the hermanas. I am safe." Hahaha it was a fun experience. We got him to his next bus and went home to finish our lentils.
Sorry I don't have more interesting things to write...but I'll try to do super fun things this week :)
Love and miss you all!
Hermana Jones
successful lentils!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Be worthy to receive miracles

One of the assistants to President said this. I like it a lot. We can all be worthy in some ways, but to be able to see miracles, it requires a bit more.
Okay, this week was CRAZY. CRAZY!  As the sister training leaders here in Alicante, we have nine pairs of Hermanas to do exchanges with. We've done 6 so far, so this week, we had three more, all in Cartagena. There are three pairs of Hermanas there, and because Cartagena is three hours away, we have to do them all in a week, cuz it doesn't make sense to go and come back three individual times.
So. On Tuesday, I traveled to Cartagena at 2 and got there at 5, and then stayed there with the Hermanas in the first ward. I was here from Tuesday to Wednesday. Then, the next day, at about 2, I went to the second ward and was there from Wednesday to Thursday. On Thursday, I went to the Hermanas in third ward, which is where I started my mission, so that was so cool.  I got to talk a bit on the phone with one of my converts (Brian, remember him?) it was so good to talk to him....I was there until Friday at 2, and then I took the bus back to Alicante (honestly, I have never ridden the bus so much in my life as I do here in Spain), met my companion, walked with her and another sister missionary to the train station, and took a train to Elche. There, I did an emergency intercambio with a sister until Saturday. My companion and  the other sister from Elche that she was with came down to Elche and we all ate lunch together, and then I went with Hermana Merrill back to Alicante. We worked a bit Saturday night and then went to an activity I the church where we watched Meet the Mormons (I loved it!). Sunday morning we had church, which was great, and Sunday evening we visited a few people and did our weekly planning.
Okay, so that's how I spent my week. It was insane. I spent the night in a different bed every night, and traveled so much that I got headaches, but it was fantastic. Normally, the intercambios are incredible, amazing experiences, but also really hard because they just take so much out of you. I was worried that I'd just be super exhausted and not be able to do all the intercambios well, but the Lord carried my companion and I through it all and we had a great time. They were incredible. And I wasn't in my area, but they taught a ton and met a ton of new investigators. It was a great week!

Love and miss you all! Have a great week!
Hermana Jones

Cartagena! The reddish building behind is where I used to live.

Monday, August 10, 2015

4 months left!

It's been a great week! I realized that as of today, I have four months left on my mission. It's incredible, the way that the Lord works. In my time here (and I still have a lot left haha) I have
learned so much and changed so much. It has been such a blessing to be a missionary...I will always be so grateful for this experience. Okay, well, this week was fun. We went to Malaga for the missionary leadership council on Monday and Tuesday, and my companion and I had a few hours to go visit some of our friends in Malaga. Such a great experience! They're all doing well. Then, we had zone meeting, where my companion and I spoke. It was good because everyone spoke and participated. I really appreciated that.

Let's see...afterwards, we went on an intercambio with Benidorm, and it was really fun. Oh, and on Sunday, there was a miracle! Sunday morning, we went and stopped by some of our friends to bring them to church. They said they couldn't come, so we were sad. But then, we got to church, and the other missionaries told us that there was a man from Lebanon there, Joseph, who was with his friend from Germany, who was a member. But Joseph is not a member. He speaks a bit of English,
a bit of Spanish, and so we translated for him. It was a good meeting (I gave a talk), and when we all sang "Families can be together forever", he said he got goosebumps. We visited him after in his home, and he's so great! We're really excited to be able to meet with him. Well, that was my week. I hope that you all have a good week, and I miss you all!
Hermana Jones
1. Today we went to this fun park thing with the other missionaries.
2. Playing futbol in Malaga

"Have courage for the great trials in life..."

"...patience for the small ones. When you have laboriously completed your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace--God is awake."  I was trying to think of a quote that I could put as the subject line, and my
companion told me this one. I thought it was super cute! And I love the idea that, when we have done our best and stretched to our limits, God does the rest. It's a great reminder the need to always rely on
Him.  This week was awesome. I feel like it went by slowly, but then it also feels like it was JUST Monday. We only did one exchange this week, which was nice. I stayed in Alicante, which was cool. I didn't get lost, but it was a bit of a slow week for the work.  We had a few miracles: 1. A family we hadn't seen in a while said they'd be baptized! They've had baptismal dates before, but something always happened. We asked them, "Do you feel like you have all done your part to find out if this is true?" All of them said no. So we said, "Okay. We're going to schedule another baptismal service, but you have to do your part to see if it's true." So that was cool. 2. We called one of our investigators (who isn't married, but she's Spanish and so is her boyfriend, so it's fairly easy to get married) yesterday, and told her that on Wednesday, we are going to go with her and her boyfriend and
kids to go get the papers signed to get them married, and she said yes! Yay!!! I'm excited. Anyway, I feel like we did a lot this week, but we really didn't do that much. On Tuesday, we went to an activity in the church. Here's the backstory: we were planning on doing three intercambio soldiers this week (there are three pairs of hermanas in Cartagena, and it's three hours away, so one of us just goes there for like three days and it's crazy, planning it all out). But, President Andersen came up to Alicante and Cartagena to do interviews, and so we had to postpone for two more weeks. So then, we we're going  to do only one intercambio instead, from Tuesday to Wednesday. Weekly planning is usually
Thursday's, but since before we had thought that I would be in Cartagena still on Thursday, we planned  weekly planning for Friday morning and made appointments for Thursday morning. To top it off, we had a few investigators in the hospital and went to go visit them on Tuesday, and that was a stressful experience. But the mom appreciated that we went to go see her daughter.
Okay, so that all happened before the activity on Tuesday. At the end, we were snacking, and talking to some of the other elders (we were trying to explain the mess of intercambios we had, but they weren't being very supportive), and our ward mission leader came up to us and said, "on Friday, there will be a meeting of the missionaries from the two wards and the ward mission leaders." And we said, of course, that's fine. But then he walked away and we looked at each other and were like, we are never going to plan for next week! On top of all the stress from before, it was almost too much. Our zone leader saw our faces, and he asked us what was up, and so we explained it all to him.
At the end, after listening to us explain everything, he said, "Well, I can't help you with your schedule, the two of you are going to have to do that alone. But I can tell you that you both have been called to come here at this time, to have these trials, because God needs you and knows you can do it." That was nice of him to say. And it helped us both realize that we could do it. We figured out weekly planning and the intercambio and everything went really well. But it was stressful haha.
I love and miss you all! Have a wonderful week.
Hermana Jones
This is the view from a castle in Alicante--super cool!

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

This is a scripture from Mathew 11:28. It has been on my mind this week a lot, the idea of finding rest and relief in Christ. It´s as if He´s saying, ¨Come. You are hurt, or sad, or tired--come to me. I will take your burden, I will carry it for you. Just come.¨ And it is painful to think that, after all Christ did for us (suffering EVERY pain we´ve ever felt, every sin we´ve ever committed, and dying for us) that after all that, He still says, ¨Let me carry your burdens.¨ He deserves more thanks that what we give Him. Really, He deserves our complete obedience.

This week was an awesome, incredible week--but it didn´t feel that way. Here, as the sister training leaders in Alicante, we have to do exchanges with 9 pairs of sisters each transfer, and we have to travel to get to almost every one. Since there are six weeks in a transfer, that means one or more exchanges each week. An exchange lasts one day (we usually do it from lunch time one day to lunch time the next day). I (since I´m new to this area and don´t know it as well) go to their area and one of the sisters from that area comes here to Alicante to be with Hermana Merrill. They are super powerful experiences. Miracles ALWAYS happen on the exchanges, so it´s actually great for Alicante and for the Lord´s work....but it is exhausting. I enjoy traveling, and I LOVE that I get to see so much of Spain, but I always get to Alicante so tired afterwards, and we still have a whole afternoon of work ahead of us.

So, that´s what´s been happening this week. On Monday, we had our preparation day, and then worked a bit in the night. We found 3 new people to teach, so that was super miraculous. Tuesday morning we had a district meeting, and then we did an exchange with the other sisters here in Alicante. It was a lot of fun, and very tiring because we were running everywhere and super busy. The next morning was more of the same, and then at lunch time I went back with Hermana Merrill, my companion, and we worked the afternoon Wednesday. 

Thursday morning was weekly planning, and honestly, it was not the best, because we were both really tired and had way too much on our to do list. but it was fine. We worked that afternoon and the next morning, and at lunch time I took a bus to Murcia for another exchange. I caught up on my Book of Mormon reading (I´m trying to read the entire Book of Mormon this summer) and made some calls. Murcia was really fun, but wow, HOT. It was 42 degrees there (in Celcius--I don´t know what it is in Farenheit but I was dying and got a bit sunburned). So, my time in Murcia was really fun, and the next day I got on another bus to come back to Alicante. That afternoon (Saturday) we worked here, and at like 10:20, right before we were going in, we met this guy in the park who had known the missionaries before. He said he would come to church with us the next day (!!!) and so we made plans to take him. 

Sunday morning was church, which is always crazy. It´s hard, making sure all the people we invited come and that they enjoy it and make friends with the members and feel the Spirit and don´t feel weird and that they don´t get lost or anything...crazy. But four of our friends that we´re teaching came to church, and it was such a great experience for all of us.
Sunday afternoon was loooong...by Sunday, it always feels like you have the whole week on your shoulders (as my old companion said). It was a hard day, and we worked as hard as we could, but it was rough. Both of us were exhausted haha. 
But, that night, our leader called us to have us report on what we did that week, and afterwards he said, ¨Wow, Hermanas, you two are incredible. You did so much, and found a TON of new people to teach...you´re an example for us.¨ That really struck me. This week, when we´ve felt completely exhausted and yet still worked hard, has been one of the best weeks of my mission, numbers-wise and work-wise. It was touching to me to realize that the Lord, in all His mercy and kindness, helped us to move His work forward, even though we couldn´t have done it by ourselves. I know that, in many of those hard moments this week, my Heavenly Father was sustaining me, so that I could be more than I am. I am so grateful for Him, for His help, and for this amazing work. I love being a missionary!

I miss and love you all!!! Have an amazing week,
Hermana Jones

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Cast out into the deep"

Jesus Christ said this, in Luke 5:4. It's become sort of a motto for us here in Alicante. He said it right after Peter and the rest had been fishing all night, and they hadn't caught anything, and they were sad and going home. But he said, paraphrasing, "Try again. One more time. Cast out into the deep. Trust me and keep going." So they did, and He blessed them with so many fish that their boat couldn't carry
them all.

There are some days here, when everything fails us and we have been walking for hours with no one who will even listen to us. Some days the sun is so hot and it's super humid and you don't want to continue. But the Lord knows us, and He know our potential, and He knows how far He needs to push us before we are capable of receiving all the blessings He has to give us. They will come, but we need to follow that voice that we hear, that says, "Keep going."

This week was a wonderful week. We had Missionary Leadership Council, which is in Malaga, and from Alicante to Malaga it takes about 8 hours. So, we left early Monday morning, and got there at like 3--and wow, it was super hard because we drove through my old area and it made me miss Malaga SO much. But then, leaving the next morning, we got back to Alicante at 11 at night on Tuesday. But THEN we realized that there were no buses that ran that late, so we had to walk home
(which was ok, because we had been sitting all day). We barely got home before 11:30, the time when we had to go to bed. It was a long day, but I learned a ton. We also had zone meeting, and we had to give a talk, and then we did exchanges and I went to Elche, which was cool.  There are a lot of palm trees there...they say it's the palm tree capital of Europe. We talked to a man in the street who was from Italy. He had just gone to visit the "imperial Palm" (I don't know what that is). And the coolest thing is, he was talking in Italian, and I could understand him!!! The gift of tongues for missionaries is real haha.

So yeah. This week went by really fast and was kind of a blur. But it was a good week, and I'll send pictures :)

Love and miss you all!

Hermana Jones

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"Are we content with just having left Egypt, or do we want to get to the promised land?"

This is a quote from the stake president here in Alicante. I liked the analogy of the Israelites leaving Egypt, and it's true that sometimes we are content with a lot less than our potential happiness.
Well, this week was awesome. It was crazy and strange to be in a new area...I don't know how missionaries do it, moving areas. For me it is very difficult to adjust. But the people in Alicante are really nice and really friendly, so I'm doing just fine :)

I got to Alicante and found out that Hermana Merrills old companion, Hermana Herrera (the missionary who trained me those first months in Cartagena) was supposed to go open a new area for missionaries. BUT, it was very fast, so they still didn't have an apartment there in her new area. Her companion got there to Alicante, and they stayed with us for a few days. I got to go out working with Hermana Herrera, and she's incredible. I learned so much from her...it brought back a lot
of good memories, to be able to work with her again.

So, Alicante...it's great. It's big and there are a lot of people who are interested in Christ. Oh, but one night, we got home and found a note on our door saying that we need to knock on our neighbors door. So we do, and it was like 10:45, and she said, "go knock on the people right below you, they say that there is water falling on them." We hurried down there, thinking, oh no, something in the bathroom exploded or there's a leak in the floor...when we knocked on their door, they told us that the air conditioning unit had been leaking on them, and that we should fix it. So we go back up, look at he air conditioning unit...and it was ALL dry. There was no wetness anywhere near it. Eventually we figured that the bucket that collected the water must have overflowed earlier and dried up (which is very probable, because it gets to over 100 degrees there). So that was an adventure.
Anyway, I don't have too much to share about my week...those were a
few highlights. I really do like Alicante, and I'm excited to serve
Love and miss you all,
Hermana Jones

We found this awesome graffiti in our area....it says Hermanas :)

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Saturday, July 11, 2015


Well, I think I'll start with the fact that I'm getting transferred! I'm going to Alicante, and I will continue being a sister training leader, which is great because I'll be able to go on exchanges with my
"granddaughters" in the mission.  AND I'll be with Hermana Merrill! We have been in the same city our entire missions, except this past transfer when she went to Alicante and I stayed here in Malaga. I'm so excited for the chance to serve with her, and I here that Alicante has an AMAZING ward. Yay!
But, I think it very well might break my heart to leave Malaga...I love the people here so much, and I feel so blessed to have had the chance to meet them and serve them.  It's been hard for me to leave my areas...and I think the major reason is because I've been here for so long, and I was in Cartagena for so long, that I get very accustomed to the area and very accustomed to the people, and I really do love them.  But, change is good, change means that you're growing. Okay, so that is exciting information.  BUT, the best best best thing that happened this week was by far more important than me getting transferred, more important than anything else.  Our friend, that we've been working with, Frank, was baptized!

"This is a gospel of joy, of happiness. If it´s not that way, you´re missing something."

This is something that a member said a few weeks ago in his talk in Sacrament meeting.  It was a great talk, and it really touched the heart of our investigator friend.
It was a WONDERFUL week this week.  Our friend, Frank, that we met last week, is seeing MIRACLES in his life, seriously.  He was introduced to the church by his girlfriend, who is living in Mexico, and who is a Mormon.  Whenever I talk to him, I think about that quote that Ruth says to Noemi in the Bible, that ¨Your God will be my God.¨ It really defines him, and it´s incredible to see how much he wants to know about God and follow His commandments.  He has smoked his entire life, but now, with God´s help, he´s been able to quit from one day to the next.  It´s not easy, but he´s doing it.  He´s incredible.
I don´t have much time, but some highlights would be:

1. Today we went and hiked a mountain and played soccer and volleyball with our mission president and his wife.  Super fun!
2. We have an AMAZING ward mission leader here (a member whose calling is to help the missionaries, and be a link between the missionaries and the members).  The rest of his family moved here from paraguay, and they are just the best.
3. A less active family that we´ve been working with has been coming back to church, and it´s incredible to see their change.  It´s very humbling as well; it´s not easy to admit your mistakes and come back to God, but they are doing it, and it humbles me to see how much humility and courage and love they have for God to do it.

Anyway, that´s been my week! I´ll try to send pictures soon haha
Love and miss you all,
Hermana Jones

Monday, June 22, 2015

"I had a premonition that I needed to go to church, and then you called me."

That's what one of our friends said to us the other day. He is a member of the Church, but hasn't come in a while. He came to church last Sunday, and it was wonderful. We also had 4 of our friends who
are investigating the church come yesterday. It was an incredible day.

Well, this week, except Sunday, was pretty normal. Me had a zone conference with our president and his wife to say goodbye, because they're going to leave this next week. Crazy!

Okay, I don't have much to talk about, so I think I'll talk a bit about my friends here:
Mani is this amazing man who has a friend in Puerto Rico who told him about the Church. He's been coming ever since. He hasn't told us where he lives, so we just meet with him in the church building. But he really is awesome. And he started reading the Book of Mormon by himself, and has some really great questions...he's super cool.
Then there's Joe, who was taught by missionaries like 6 years ago, but back then he smoked and everything, and wasn't ready. We met him on the street and have been explaining everything to him...he's super awesome, and loves church and everything. My companion contacted Samuel in an exchange: they were walking in the park, and they saw a man sitting on a bench, and started talking to him. He's AMAZING... It's so humbling talking to him, because he has so many doubts, but he's so sincere and wonderful. He FINALLY came to church, so that was super cool!

I love and miss you all! Have a great week!
Hermana Jones

"That's the point--you don't have to be here."

This is a quote by Elder Holland, one of the 12 apostles. He was giving a talk to a group of missionaries in Frankfurt, and he was telling them about how, at any point in their lives, past or present, they have a choice. "No one is forcing you to serve a mission, no one forced you to come here to earth. But a long time ago, you made a choice to follow God and Jesus Christ, so here you are." I thought that was very profound...sometimes, when things are difficult, it helps to remember that we're here, passing through everything that we have to endure, because we CHOSE to come. And, we can stop. We can stop following Him, because we have the agency to choose what we want to do. But we also know the right thing to do--and that is follow Christ, even when it's hard, even when we're tired, even if we don't really want to, because that's what He did for us. This week I really saw God's hand here in Malaga. We were able to go on two exchanges, had a sister stay with us for a day, and go up to Granada for a stake conference. It was a FANTASTIC week. And there was a miracle! There's this guy here, Mani. He just showed up to church one day, but said he just wanted to watch and learn, and didn't want us to visit him or anything, which is fine. But one day we were sitting outside the church talking to him, and he said, "do
either of you know Adonai, who' s in Granada?" We said no. Apparently this Adonai person was a member of our church, and a friend of Mani's friend, and hey both live in Puerto Rico. His friend told Mani that Adonai wanted to meet him. WELL, we go to the stake conference this past Saturday, and GUESS WHO IS THE LAST SPEAKER. Elder Adonai, a member of the quorum of the Seventy! After the conference, Elder Adonai called Mani up to the front so that they could meet. Isn't that incredible??? It really proves to me that this work is the Lord's

I don't have much to write...it was a crazy week, but really fun.
Love and miss you all!
Hermana Jones

                                                                    Fuengirola in the morning!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

"The best happiness is sharing the gospel with others."

The assistant to the president, Elder Phipps, said this the other day in church. It struck me, because it is so simple, but so true. A day before, my companion and I were talking with a family who had been
baptized almost a year ago, but right now, they're going through a lot of problems. We asked them how they're doing, and they explained a bit more. The mom asked us, "Well, how are you two doing." We said great, like always, and described the miracles that we'd seen that day. She joked, "You just don't have any problems. Life is perfect for you." I wanted to tell her that no, it isn't it's hard for
everyone, but in a way she's right. When we keep the commandments, our lives are a bit easier, because we won't have the problems that come as consequences of our sins. We'll still have difficulties, but God will help us, because we're doing what He's asked us to do.

As always, it was a great week. We went to Fuengirola on Monday, and ate kebab with the other missionaries. Then we had the missionary leadership council, which was a lot of fun. Then on Tuesday we did an exchange, and on Thursday we had weekly planning, and on Friday we had
Zone meeting (we had to give a talk, and before that we cleaned the baptismal font because there would be a baptism later), and then on Saturday we had a fun ping-pong championship. Everything went well, and it was an awesome week, but it has gone by SO fast. Hermana Giler and I have decided that the exchanges that we do every week make the transfers go by really fast, which I don't really like. But the exchanges are really fun, so that makes up for it. So, I don't rally have much else to say...so I think I'll explain a bit about the iPads. It's an iPad mini 2, and it's wonderful. We
have the Gospel Library app (that has all the scriptures, manuals, and talks given since like 1987, in English AND Spanish), Skype, FaceTime, iMessage, FamilySearch, and all sorts of apps to help us learn the language. So, basically, we can just carry around our iPad and not even need a bag! (Except for all the random things I put in my bag, like Kleenex and Chapstick and band aids and pens haha.) and we don't usually just take our iPads, because we work in some sketchy areas. There's actually some concern for the missionaries that, if it starts to get around that missionaries have iPads, we'll be followed and robbed to get our iPads. But I don't think that'll happen :)

Let's see...we don't have our Area Book (where we keep all the information about the people who are investigating the church and what we've taught them) on the iPad, because in Europe there are some
privacy issues that they're working out. And to make basically all the apps work, you need wifi, and we don't have it in our apartments...we go to the church. Or, as Hermana Giler and I did a few weeks ago, we got library cards! It was very exciting. I'm writing from the library right now.
I love and miss you all, and I hope you have great weeks!

Hermana Jones

cleaning the baptismal font

My companion and I getting our ipads!

"The blessings are arriving"

This is a quote from my previous companion, Hermana Herrera. She finished her mission a few weeks ago, and she came back to visit our ward here.

Well, our week started out interestingly; Hermana Giler and I were playing volleyball with the other missionaries, and the ball hit her hand and bent it back...long story short, we had to go to the hospital
and get an x-Ray. She's fine, it's just a sprain, but it was an interesting day. And then, the next day, we had a lesson with our investigator friend, and while we were talking about what happens after we die, this lady came up and started insulting us, saying that what we were doing was useless, that our church wasn't true...at one point, she said, "I bet you just come here to Spain to have a good time, and that nothing ever happens to you." And my wonderful companion goes, "Well, sometimes people come up to us and yell at us." And the lady was like, "Really?" It was pretty funny. But also really sad, because she wasn't very nice, and our friend was there listening to all of this.But it's all good :)
And then we got our iPads! We went to a meeting, and they handed out the iPads, and we set them up...but mine didn't work! So I got a new one on Sunday. I'm writing from my iPad now, yay!
And then on Saturday, we went to meet a new investigator friend, and he took us across the street to his evangelical church. It was very interesting, but cool. They were doing baptisms, so that was cool to see.

I love and miss you all! Have a great week,
Hermana Jones

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"There´s a time in your life when you have to have God..."

"...because you have no one else.¨ This is a missionary from The District videos, Sister Voyles. I have gained such a testimony here of the fact that there will come a time (or there will come TIMES) when we need God, when everything else fails and we have the option to rely on Him, or we can just continue spiraling down in sadness. I´ve gotten to see a few of those times in other people´s lives, and it is incredible.

This week was INSANE. It is the last week in the six-week transfer, and at the end of the week we receive calls to tell us if we will be changing areas or not. I´ve been in Malaga for a while now (over 4 months) and so I was pretty sure I was going. So, anyway, that was stressful.

In addition, we are a trio right now, because there was a missionary who didn´t have a companion. She spent the week with us, and it has been so fun! I´ve learned a lot from her. She´s from Norway, which is pretty cool.

Well, on Monday, we saw a recent convert, named Toby, who is from Nigeria. He had an accident--he was pushed down the appartment stairs, and had to go to the hospital. We brought the elders, the missionaries, over to give him a blessing for the sick, and it was INCREDIBLE. We all felt the Spirit so strongly, and it was humbling to be there and witness God´s power in work.

On Tuesday to Wednesday we did exchanges, and that was really fun. I always learn so much from the sisters. This one, Hermana Cook, is an amazing missionary, even though she´s only been here for like 4 months.

Oh, and then on Wednesday afternoon we had a miracle: There were these less active members who we went to go visit, and they answered the door saying, oh, we´re tired, today isn´t a good day, we really don´t feel like it. We started chatting a bit more, and the mom mentioned that she had some pet ducks, and if we wanted to see them. We said yes, and she let us into her home to see them. (Sidenote: it is so amazing that people let us into their homes, and I´m always so grateful for it. We carry the most important message ever to be shared, but I understand that it is really hard for someone to open their door and receive a pair of young people. So I´m grateful that they do.) This family is amazing, and super good and sweet. We´re looking forward to working with them more.

Also, Hermana Cook taught me how to make french toast :)

The miracle on Thursday was that we were hurrying to an eating appointment, and we have to take a 40 min. bus ride to get there. As we were walking, we see the bus go past...on the other side! So we start running, and we crossed half the street, but cars were coming by on the other side, so we had to wait. I shrugged at the bus driver (because he saw us running) so that he could keep going, but he stopped and waited for us!!! It sounds kind of silly when I´m writing it, but it was really nice of him, and it saved us a lot of time. There are some really good people here!

And then, on Thursday night, we were waiting for the elevator to visit a friend we had in a building, and we started talking to the woman there. We talked for a minute, and suddenly she opened up and started telling us how there were problems with her pregnancy and she was really worried. We told her about a priesthood blessing (like how I mentioned before) for the sick and afflicted, like what Jesus Christ did for the people in His time, and she said we could come over the next morning.

So, we talked to the bishop, who lives right next to us. He said he couldn´t, but his sons could come. We went over the next morning with the sons to give her the blessing, and she explained that she felt the Spirit very strongly. She went to the doctor that night, and they operated on her the next day. We haven´t talked to her since then, but we´ve been praying for her, and the Lord will protect her.

Also, fun fact, I got a library card! So that we can use the library computers for free. But then we found out.....THE IPADS ARE FINALLY HERE! We´re going to get them this Friday. It´s super exciting.

On Saturday was when we were supposed to get the calls for transfers. We waited, and waited...finally it was lunchtime, and we ate together with the sisters in the other Malaga ward, and the assistants to the president, and the office elders. They took pity on me (because I was DYING to know where I was going, and my zone leaders--the ones who were supposed to tell me--hadn´t called and weren´t answering their phones) and told me that..... I´M STAYING IN MALAGA! Yay!!! That means I´ll spend 6 months in Malaga. It´s very exciting.

And then on Sunday, I went with the Norweigan sister to her ward in Fuengirola, while my companion stayed with a member in our ward here. It was cool to see another ward and how they do things.

Anyway, it was a great week. There are a lot of changes coming up! It´s very exciting. I´ll keep you updated.

Love and miss you all,

Hermana Jones

Some of the wonderful missionaries here! They´re awesome.  Hna. Cook, Elder Mangum, E. LLavina, H. Giler, E. Alomia, Me, E. Sykes, and H. Merrill.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Compared to me, you and your companion aren't that different."

So, there´s this story about a missionary. He was obedient and happy and diligent and everything that a mission president wants in his missionaries. One transfer, he got paired with a missionary who was completely the opposite: lazy and pessimistic and selfish and who didn´t want to work. The first missionary had such a hard time--he struggled helping this missionary to find joy in missionary work, but he felt dragged down by his companion. One day he and his companion were riding their bikes, and the second missionary stopped, got off, sat down on the sidewalk and wouldn´t move. The first missionary prayed in his head, ¨Heavenly Father, how can I do this? I have to drag him everywhere, and his attitude isn´t good, and he doesn´t do missionary work well.¨ He heard a thought in his mind, as if it came from God: ¨Compared to me, you and your companion aren´t so different.¨

I was struck by that. In the grand scheme of things, there are no ¨investigators¨ and missionaries. We´re all investigators, compared with God. We´re all trying to get back to Him, and even though some are a bit farther along in the path, we are all there together. This missionary and his companion were trying to get back to God, in different ways and at different speeds, but they were both trying.


My week was GREAT. On Monday and Tuesday was the Missionary Leadership Council, when the leaders in the mission get together and we talk about what our missionaries need. It´s really spiritual, and you can feel how much love President Deere has for all of us.

So that was fun. And then on Tuesday afternoon we did exchanges with another pair of sisters here in Malaga who are AMAZING. I really enjoyed it, and I thought about how blessed I am to be able to go and visit all these areas and meet all these new people and learn from and help other missionaries. It´s the best!

And then, on Friday, we had a Zone Meeting. We had to prepare a talk for it, which is always interesting haha. And then night before, some sister missionaries came and spent the night in our apartment because they lived far away. One of their birthdays was that day, so we had a mini party (with weird spanish birthday cake and pudding). We got up early the next morning to play soccer with our zone, and it was super fun!

And then we had a miracle: On Saturday we were walking in the street, and saw a little older lady carrying groceries, and so we offered to help her with them. She said, ¨No, thank you, but I´m a member of this church.¨ Apparently she went out of the country for four years (and just moved back LAST MONTH) and hasn´t been able to go to church, but she wants to. So that was super cool! She didn´t end up coming on Sunday, but next week she will :)

So, all in all, it was an awesome day! But Sunday was really cool: it was the 17th of May. 12 years ago from that date, I was baptized. And 1 year ago from that date, I went to the temple. It´s a special day!

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


Hermana Jones

PS Here´s a cool quote from President Hinckley: “Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike.”