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 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