Monday, April 13, 2015

Transfer week!

Hello! This week is transfer week, which is when the missionaries who are going to different areas get calls about where they are going. I´m staying here in Malaga, but since Hermana Herrera is finishing her mission in a few days and going home. So...I´m getting a new companion! Her name is Hermana Giler, and we were in the MTC together. I´m SUPER excited that we get to work together, it´ll be awesome.

This week really wasn´t that interesting...I don´t have much to report, besides the transfers. Sorry about that.......

But! I did eat some new food this week: chickens foot and pig tongue. It was...interesting. They literally cut off the foot of the pig and took out the bones and nails, and then cooked it. The sauce tasted fine, but the texture was really weird. And then the pig tongue was odd was very dense, and it didn´t taste good unless you dipped it into this other type of sauce. But hey, at least I can say I've tried it, and it wasn't that bad :)

Well, sorry this letter is so boring, but I promise I´ll write a good one next week! 

Love and miss you all,
Hermana Jones

"At the end of the day, just let it go..."

¨...give it all to the Lord, and wake up to a new day.¨ This is a quote by one of the sisters we do exchanges with. She´s amazing, and when she told me this, I had to write it down. It´s so true; we work hard and do the best we can, and then at the end of the day just offer it to the Lord and try to work even harder the next day.

Well! This has been an exciting week! First of all, it´s Holy Week here, to celebrate the events of Jesus´ last week on earth. They have parades and spring break, and it´s a huge deal. I´ll attach some photos :) We stumbled upon some of the parades, and it was cool to see them.

Other news...our mission is getting iPads!!! In a month we´re all going to Sevilla to pick them up. We´ll get to use fb and have our area book on the iPad, and we´ll get to skype home for mothers day (I think). I´m super excited! It´ll be awesome finding out how to use them--the leaders in the mission are going to get together to be trained in how to use them, and then we´re going to train everyone else. So...that´s exciting :)

Thanks so much for your birthday wishes!!! It was a great day. We had zone conference so I had to give a talk, and then the all sang to me and there was was super fun.
Miss and love you all!

Hermana Jones

Saturday, April 4, 2015

"The photos ARE useful."

This is a funny quote from a leader in the stake here in Malaga. As missionaries, every time we baptize someone, we fill out a form that shows the steps they need to take to be able to go to the temple, and then we attach a photo. We bring it to the ward leadership meetings, and people started saying that they didn´t know who these people were so how could they help them, etc. One of the Elders started showing them the photos that we had of that person, and it helped the leaders remember who it was. (It sounds like kind of a lame quote right now, but it was really funny at the time, I promise)

Sorry I couldn´t write earlier! This monday we had the mission leadership council (concilio) so we didn´t have much time to write home, but earlier we went with the elders and some of the youth from our ward to play soccer. It was SUPER fun, even though it was insanely hot. We played from 12 to 2 (which, looking back, was a bad decision on our part. There´s a reason Spain has siestas in the middle of the day--it´s too hot to do anything else!) But we had so much fun, and were able to get a lot of our energy out.

And the rest of the week, earlier, was a lot of fun too. We have some really amazing investigator friends right now, and they´re so sincere. One, named Kilian, is AWESOME and like half his family´s already mormon and live in Utah. He loves the Book of Mormon, and all the members love him. He´s very accepting of spiritual things as well.

Oh, and another pair of elders in our ward here had a baptism, and I had to give a talk! It was only like 3 minutes long, but I was still nervous. But it really was an amazing baptism, and you could feel the Spirit really strong. Something I liked that a member of the bishopric said there: ¨Somewhere in the world, there are kings and politicians deciding the fate of nations, there are movie stars and famous people changing the world, but right now in heaven, everyone is looking down at us.¨ Baptisms are so important, and it´s amazing to be able to witness one.
I love and miss you all! Thanks for all that you do for me!!!

Hermana Jones

"I'm not going to fall back into what He got me out of"

This is a quote from a return missionary here in Malaga. It was a very inspiring talk that he gave in Church; he talked about how we are all very imperfect, but that doesn´t mean that we can´t always be improving.

Well, it was a great week! I´m over my cold and everything, so that´s good. Last preparation day we had a sleepover with some of the other sister missionaries that live by us, and then about 40 missionaries here in Malaga went and we played volleyball. It was super fun, even though I couldn´t play that well haha.

Monday evening, we went to visit one of our friends who´s getting to know the church, and she wasn´t there. So, we went over to a building close by to visit another friend. As we´re walking up the stairs to his door on the third floor, he bursts out of his house with the Book of Mormon in hand, gives it to us, and starts to go back in. We were like, ¨Wait! Where are you going??¨ Turns out he´s going to join the military in a few days, and knew he wouldn´t be able to see us again, so he was going to return our book. We explained that the book was his, that he could keep it and even take it with him on his travels, and he became really excited. We talked with him a little more, and it was awesome to see how excited he was about the Book of Mormon. He´s going to Africa to do his training, but we gave him the address of the mission so that he could write us and tell us how his reading of the book is going.

And then we were able to do exchanges again this week with the Granada sisters. One of them is in my group--we all entered the mission together. It was so cool to work with her! She´s a maquina (machine).
But we had a great week; we found a lot of new people to teach (yesterday, it was a Bulgarian family) who are really interested in the gospel. One had been taught by us before, and then he moved to Fuengirola, but last week he moved back to Malaga! It was a huge miracle :) I´m excited! And I love this work!
I hope you all have a great week!

Love and miss you,
Hermana Jones

"You´re not here to baptize the whole world"

¨--You´re here to find and teach lost Israel who they are.¨ This is a quote from Brad Wilcox. He came and did a fireside last night for missionaries and young single adults, and it was FANTASTIC. He explained that, as missionaries, as youth in Christ´s Church, we have a responsability. And that is to find those who God needs us to find. When Christ comes again and says, ¨Hey, I´m a Mormon,¨ there will be a LOT of people suddenly interested in the Church (understandably), But, if we have a million new converts overnight, will the Church now be able to handle it? Will we have enough bishops and relief society presidents and leaders to help the new converts as they come to know their Savior? That´s why we, as missionaries, are here: we need to find lost Israel, find and teach those whom God has chosen to to build the Church in preparation for the second coming of our Savior. (How cool is that? It puts the whole ¨gathering of Israel¨ thing in a different perspective).

A great week this week! On Monday and Tuesday, we had Concilio, which is the Mission Leadership Council. It is made up of zone leaders and sister training leaders, and we talk about what the mission needs. This time, we talked about how to make our exchanges with the missionaries better, and we talked about cleaning (apparently that´s something the mission needs to work on). It was a great few days, and I grew a lot from what I learned there.

Then, Tuesday night, we went to work. I had started feeling a bit sick that morning, but it wasn´t affecting my ability to work or anything...until an investigator finally said, ¨Hermana, are you okay? You´re super pale.¨ We went to a farmacy and bought me some medicine (it´s not as hard to get medicine here as I thought), and then I went home and slept for a few hours. We went out to work again in the night, and it was rough. I was super out of it, and tired and my head was all stuffy...but there were some people that we needed to visit, so I just dealt with it. But as we were going up this hill to an area about half an hour away, I was praying in my mind, ¨Heavenly Father, I´m struggling, and I want to be able to do Thy work. Please, help me.¨ 

I looked around me and had the thought, ¨There are angels here.¨ I felt that there were angels, people I love who have passed on to the next world, there with me. They were supporting me and I knew I wasn´t alone at all. My head felt clearer, and my bag lighter, as if it wasn´t me who was carrying it. And like that, we went to a few more appointments.

And then we came back to our appartment early and I slept some more. The next morning I was still as sick as the night before and I couldn´t speak because my throat hurt, but we had a meeting with one of the leaders in the ward, and so we had to go (I know it sounds like I was pushing myself super hard, and I kinda was, but I also did get a lot of rest, so it´s okay). In the meeting, I was half asleep, and totally out of it, and by the end, I asked the elders (the male missionaries) for a priesthood blessing. That is when they, exercising the priesthood that they hold, put their hands on your head and bless you with health, and other things as they are directed by the Spirit. They put their hands on my head, and almost imediatly I started crying haha. But afterwards, I felt a little better, and my throat didn´t hurt.

We went home and an awesome member of the Church made me soup, and I slept for a few more hours. That afternoon, my companion and I went to the Family Home Evening that they do at the church every wednesday night here, and I felt almost 100% better. I haven´t had any problems since.
I´m so grateful for the priesthood and that, through my faith, God was able to work a miracle in my life. Because it really was a miracle for me that I recovered so quickly, and I know that it was a huge blessing from God. When we work hard, in doing what He asks us to do, we are blessed.
Well, the rest of my week was fairly normal. Thanks for all your cards and letters! I love getting them.

Have an awesome week!

Hermana Jones

Last monday, we went hiking to a castle.  This is Hermanas Cook, Merrill, me, and my companion Hermana Herrera