Thursday, January 29, 2015

"We all have our boats we have to build"

This is something my district leader, Elder Lindley, said (a district leader is in charge of 4 or 5 companionships of missionaries and helps them improve and be better missionaries). In this meeting with him, he explained that when we are teaching people about God´s gospel, it is not always easy. Sometimes there are commandments that are really difficult to follow, and those can be their ¨boats¨ (like for Noah, or Nephi).

Anyway, this week was crazy! I left Cartagena on Wednesday morning, so on Monday and Tuesday I just tried to say goodbye to as many people as possible. It was sad, cuz I honestly might never see these people again...but it´s alright. I finally got here with Hermana Merrill (we were in the Missionary Training Center together, Cartagena together, and now we´ll be in Malaga together! Not as companions, but close) and it is SO pretty! The people are so open and friendly here, and there are a LOT who want to hear our message. So that´s really cool. I don´t know how I´m ever going to get to know this area´s a city, and there are a lot of areas where the buildings look exactly the same, and it is just mass confusion for me haha. And, as a Sister Training Leader, one of the things we do is one of us goes to an area of another sister companionship for a day to work with one of them, and the other one comes to Malaga, to our area here. It´s a lot of traveling, but it is so awesome to be able to learn from them. We are in charge of six pairs of sisters, and we have to do these exchanges with each of them at least once a transfer, so that adds up to about one exchange each week. We haven´t done one this week, to let everyone settle in a bit in their new areas, but this coming week we´ll do two. It´s complicated, but I´m so excited! It´s a great opportunity to learn from other missionaries and help them improve as well. 

My new companion, Hermana Miller, is awesome! She´s from Utah, and the nicest person I´ve ever met. And she knows what she´s doing, which I really appreciate cuz most of the time I have NO clue hahaha. I´m excited to spend this transfer (these next 6 weeks) with her.
I can´t really tell you all about the investigators cuz I don´t know them very well yet...but we teach a lot of people from Africa and South America and Spain as well. It´s so cool to learn about these cultures...I seriously never would have had this opportunity if I hadn´t been on my mission. It´s such an amazing experience to be here, because I have a year and a half of just serving people and making their lives better. Not everyone wants to know more about our church, and it´s okay. But for those who want to change and want to know if it´s true, their lives change. It´s a real miracle :)
I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior! He suffered for our sins and died and was resurrcted to break the bonds of death. I´m so blessed to be able to talk and testify about Him every day.
I love you all! Have a good week!
Hermana Jones

This is in Granada...who knew it snowed in Spain?????

A 3 generation photo: Hna smith (my granddaughter), Hna Adrian (my daughter) and me (the grandma) haha

E´s Gantner and West, Hna Merrill and I. We were all in the same district in the MTC

Monday, January 19, 2015


Can you guess where I´m going to serve next? Málaga! And not only that, but I´m going to serve there as a sister training leader. That means that I´ll have the opportunity to go on exchanges with other sister missionaries and learn from them and teach them. I´m super excited! But also super nervous. It´s a big deal, and I don´t feel completely ready, but the Lord qualifies whom He calls.
Well, that was the big announcement that came on Saturday. On Monday, our ward mission leader (A member from the ward here who helps us organize our missionary work in the ward) and his wife took us to La Manga, which is really cool. How do I explain it...There´s the coast of spain, and then theres an island that´s suuuuuper thin that´s attached to one end of Spain by a bridge. The mediteranean sea is on one side (the Big Sea), and then between the island (that almost connects on the other side) is called the Smaller Sea. The Smaller sea is a lot warmer, and saltier, and not as deep, so it´s a great place for families and people to swim. But La Manga is the city that is on this island (la manga means ¨sleeve¨) and in some places, it´s only about 500 feel wide, and you can see the two seas super close. All of you should go Google it, because I don´t think I explained it well haha. But it's cool!

Then my companion went to be trained how to be a trainer in Malaga for two days, so I stayed with the other sister missionaries here in Cartagena. And then I went on an exchange with the sister training leaders in alicante (an exchange is when there are two pairs of missionaries, and one person from each pair switches for a day or so in order to teach and learn from each other. The missionaries in Alicante are sister training leaders; In this next transfer, I´ll be doing exchanges like them.) and it was fun. When I finally returned, it was friday, and we were able to visit a few people. We spent Saturday doing our normal missionary work, and Sunday as well.

But I stayed up last night to pack :( I´m leaving Cartagena on wednesday, but my companion leaves on tuesday to pick up the new missionary, so today is really my last day in Cartagena. So sad! But I´ve worked hard and done all that I can here, and I know the Lord is proud of that. I´m leaving Cartagena in good hands; Hermana Adrian is AWESOME and her next companion (a brand new missionary) is super lucky. 
Well, I hope you all had a good week! I heard the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl.....I´ll be cheering for them from here!

Love and miss you all,
Hermana Jones

Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea

Smaller Sea, all taken from La Manga

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Of course I'm going to be a missionary!"

One of the people who was recently baptized, Brian, said this. His father doesn´t like the church, and his mother likes it but isn´t very supportive, and he still wants to serve the Lord. (He´s 14, so it´ll be a few years still.)

Well :) This week was awesome! It started out a bit rough...from Monday to Friday, we had taught 7 lessons in total, and it made me very nervous. One of our goals this week was to teach 20 lessons during the week, and it didn´t look like we were going to make it. But then,on Saturday and Sunday, things BOOMED and we taught more than the 20 lessons that we had planned. So that was really cool, and a lesson for me that when we make worthy goals, ask for the Lord´s help, and do all we can to acheive those goals, He will help us.

Thursday we went on a search to find a reference from a member. We didn´t know this part of Cartagena well, called Santa Lucia, but we had our map and were doing fine. We walked through a place called Los Mateos, that is really pretty, but a very poor area. As we were walking, we noticed that the streets were SILENT because everyone was staring at us. Eventually two nice young men stopped us and said, in english, ¨You shouldn´t be here.¨ (I guess we looked like we didn´t belong haha) Apparently, Los Mateos is a zone where the missionaries don´t usually go, because it´s dangerous. The men who stopped us had lived in Utah for a while and were very familiar with our church, so it was cool to meet them, and if only for that, I think the trip was worth it. But we won´t be going back haha.

And then on thursday, Isabel finally was baptized! The day was CRAZY for us: We had to pick up another missionary and then drop her off a few hours later, and buy refreshments for the baptism and eat and then run to member´s houses to get some keys for the church was a lío (aka mass confusion) but we were able to do it so that Isabel didn´t feel any stress and was able to just enjoy her baptism. The Spirit was very strong, and I loved it.

And then, yesterday, Hermana Adrian (my companion who just finished 3 months in the mission) received a phone call from our mission president asking if she would trian a new missionary. How cool is that???? We´re both super excited, and she´s totally ready to be a trainer. Our area has had a bunch of new missionaries ( me, hermana Adrian, and now the new hermana who will come in a week or so) but it´s awesome cuz new missionaries bring a type of enthusiasm that older missionaries don´t have. BUT it does mean that I´m officially leaving Cartagena next week....on the 20th or 21st I´ll leave for another part of Spain. I´ll let you know exactly where next week!

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

Brian and I

Me, Isabel, and Hermana Adrian at Isabels´s baptism

Monday, January 5, 2015

Feliz Nuevo Año!

I don´t have a good quote this week...I was sick yesterday and still am a bit sick with a cold, so I didn´t pay attention very well haha. But it´s all good!

We´ve seen a bunch of miracles this week. One huge one was with a woman named Socorro. (it means ¨relief¨ in spanish) She´s from spain, catholic, and elderly, and everyone says that it´s really hard to get through to those people. And it is! haha We´ve been working with her for MONTHS and haven´t had any progress, but everytime we prayed about it, we felt like we should keep teaching her and her husband Mariano. (This is the couple who always invites other people to the lessons; their catholic friends and neighbors, and their reverends too haha.)

Well. This week we went in and talked just with Socorro about how she was feeling about the gospel. She said she´d pray about it that night, and so we told her we´d come back the next day. I wasn´t expecting much (a sure sign that I need to have more faith haha) but she told us that she received the answer that yes, this church was true. Hermana Adrian and I didn´t say anything cuz we were so shocked :) I learned that the Lord loves His children, and He will guide them where they need to go.

Well....New years was very interesting. We went over to the same family that we stayed with for Christmas, and ate a TON of seafood. It was all delicious, but it was stuff I had never tried before. I ate shrimp (like...they cook the shrimp whole and then you have to break off their heads and tails and pick apart their shells to eat it. It was a ton of work) and mussels and these little baby fish that are fried and a big fish called ¨Dorado¨ (like from the movie El Dorado; it means golden). Very interesting. And then, in Spain, they have this tradition where you have 12 grapes. In the 12 seconds before the new year, you have to make a wish and try to eat one grape a second or your wish won´t come true. It was very stressful hahaha but fun.

I miss you all and hope your holidays were great!

Hermana Jones