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!