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 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