Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recent Pictures from Sister Jones! :)



Ayn's baptism! 

Week 39

May 15, 2012

Hello family!!
This is going to be a shorter email because I don't have much time to write today! Sorry! It's been a busy preparation day! I'll type as fast as I can! Here we go...
It was so good to talk to the majority of you on Mother's Day! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to visit with me. I only wish we had more time than just a half hour with each side of the family. It went by way too fast! But it was great to hear how everybody is doing!! I love you all!
Here are the highlights of the week:
  • We found tons of new investigators this week! We found 8 different people, which is a lot for the little amount of time we had in our area due to working at the Trail Center and the Florence Day parade. Lots of great stories within finding all of these people... but no time to share right now. Sorry!
  • I got to go to the temple this week!! Yay!! That was such a blessing and a great experience! Since I was out in Grand Island I haven't been able to go for about 7 months. I hope that's the longest amount of time I don't go to the temple in my life. Whoever is in the Omaha area gets to go to the temple normally about every 2 transfers. I loved being able to go to the temple with my whole Council Bluffs Zone.
  • Florence Days Parade was this Saturday and I got to dress up like a pioneer again!! It was a blast! For part of the parade I rode in a handcart with an elder pushing it. haha! I felt so ridiculous getting pushed in one of those things by someone else. But they had a lot of sisters doing that. There were about 10 small handcarts that they used and a group of us sisters had to sit in them and wave. Good times! We also passed out a ton of cards and fliers about mormon.org and upcoming events. After the parade we had a singing performance that us sister missionaries put on. It was great! (same concert we did a couple weeks ago at the Trail Center.)
  • I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day! I have been blessed with two great moms. Thank you for all that you do and being great examples! There is a quote that President Kunz told us that I really love... "When God wants a great work done in the world, or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way, He doesn't stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts.  Instead he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother.  And then God puts the idea into the mother's heart and she puts it into the baby's mind.  And then God waits.  The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts.  The greatest forces in the world are babies.  And greater than babies are the mothers who give them life and mold their thoughts and set their highest ideals.  The hand that rocks the cradle is truly the hand that rules the world."  (E.T. Sullivan)
  • We met an amazing woman named Nancy last week whose daughter was murdered just a couple weeks ago. It was a miracle how we found her and got to talking to her. She is was really emotional and opened up to us and said she is so grateful Heavenly Father sent us to her because she really needs hope. We met with her for the 2nd time yesterday and shared parts of the Plan of Salvation with her and also talked a lot about trusting in God and how she can find peace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We also focused a lot on the atonement of Christ. It's so sad because her daughter was shot by a family member and she was only 22. I couldn't even begin to imagine how difficult that must be. I'm so grateful that we were guided to her when we were. Definitely inspired timing.
Well those are the main highlights! Next week I'll go in more detail about everything. Have a wonderful day and I love you all!! Talk to you next week!! :)
Sister Jones

Week 38

May 7, 2012
Hello family!

IMPORTANT!! This Sunday I get to call or skype home for Mother's Day! Yay!! So I need the two families to talk together to find a time frame that works best for everybody. I will have a senior couple call sometime this week to coordinate a time when I can talk with you all! Just like last time, I get to talk to each side of the family for 30 minutes each. I still need to find a family in the ward that has the ability to skype who will be home for the weekend. While I'm working out that minor detail you all make sure to think of a time that works best for you. I have church from 10-1pm Nebraska time. So it could be pretty much any time after as of now until I find somewhere to go and work it out with the family. I'm excited to talk to you soon!! Start thinking of any questions you have for me or what exciting news from your life you would like to share! Thanks!

Did everyone have a fun Cinco de Mayo?! I sure did! I got to dress up as a pioneer and be in a Cinco de Mayo parade in Coucil Bluffs, Iowa! It was awesome!! I attached pictures for you so you can see my awesome pioneer outfit. I love dressing up in goofy clothes so I was a happy camper the whole time. It was fun to walk down the streets attempting to speak spanish and passing out mormon.org cards. By the end of the parade it hurt to smile and my arm was tired from waving so much. What a great feeling! That day it was pretty hot and humid as well so we felt like we were getting an even better pioneer experience. 

That same day one of our investigators, Donny, came to the trail center to watch the Joseph Smith movie. That was a wonderful experience and he was in shock with what the early mormon saints had to go through for their belief and religion. That movie is powerful! Every time I watch it my testimony of Joseph Smith gets reconfirmed and I have an even greater respect for him and his experiences. What a great example of trusting in the Lord and be obedient to Heavenly Father's will, even with so many persecutions.  

We were able to follow up with Anna this week. She is the woman who is suffering from cancer and was told that none of the treatments are working. We were able to teach her about the restoration of the church and she was able to accept it well and believes that we were sent to her for a reason. She starts crying when she talks about that first day we met her when she was at her lowest point with her family all together. She is so grateful to God that He put her in our path so give her hope that day. That will always be a treasured and memorable experience for all of us. 

This week we have had some pretty crazy storms! Luckily they all happen while I'm sleeping. A few days ago I heard the loudest thunder in my life. It vibrated the house every time and then there was some really bright lightning as well. Early Sunday morning there were some really heavy winds and even hail. It knocked down some big tree limbs off of the Buckbee's house. Luckily there wasn't any damage! We live with the Bucksbees who are members of the Plattsmouth ward. They are really nice. We have our own room and bathroom and live right across the hall from them. Brother Bucksbee is really funny, sarcastic, and blunt. I love it! They are really good to us. They give us a shelf in the fridge and our own cabinet for food. It works out really well. I enjoy living with members because it adds a little variety to the day and the people we're around.

This next Saturday is Florence day so we get to dress up as pioneers again and be in that parade. Florence is the city where Winter Quarters used to be so pioneers play a big role in the history of that part of Omaha. Pretty exciting!!! We are also holding our "Singing in the Park" concert again this week after the parade. It's going to be a great way to get the community involved. This month is a fun and crazy one with lots of things happening!

Well I hope you are all doing great! I love you so much! 
Enjoy the pictures and don't make fun of me. haha!

Love your modern pioneer friend,
Sister Jones

Week 37

May 1, 2012
Hi family!!
I am so excited because I just found out I can upload pictures from the library computers to my emails! YAY!!!!
I attached pictures of the zoo, Ayn's baptism, Easter, Brother Gishwiller (ward member) and I with the cross stich he made me, Courtlyne me and sister DuBois, and also Sister Robertson. Not in that order but hopefully you can figure out who is who. Sister Robertson- read head, Sister DuBois- brunette, Courtlyne- short brown hair, Ayn- in white dress. I think the rest is self explanatory.
Guess what?! Ayn was baptized on Saturday and received the Holy Ghost on Sunday!!! Everything ran really smoothly and it was a really special experience. The service went well and there were great speakers! Ayn was glowing with happiness! I am SO grateful I could be a part of her conversion! We will all be eternal friends and that makes me extremely happy and grateful. I love missionary work! :)
On Sunday the trail center sisters had a Pioneer Tribute concert. It was supposed to be at the park that has a stage, but it rained that day so we moved it to the big gallery in the basement. Let me tell you, it was awesome! There were a lot of different musical numbers performed about the pioneers, United States, and then a couple well known hymns. We did this as an out reach to the community and there was a great turn out! About 150 people came! Luckily they didn't give me any serious songs to perform but I was the leader of the group who got the crowd involved in singing Oh Susannah and Home on the Range. haha! It was hilarious! There were three other sisters with me and they are all pretty shy and quite. So you can just imagine me being the really enthusiastic one singing these fun/ funny songs. I never would've thought I would be memorizing all the words to Oh Susannah on my mission. I felt somewhat rebellious singing that song over and over to get the words. Good times! Everyone loved the whole performance though. They ended the performance with some powerful hymns that brought an incredible Spirit. During the rehearsals I was crying like a little baby during the song "How Great Thou Art." We have some very talented and musically inclined sisters here in the mission!
This weekend all together was very different but amazing! So Saturday was Ayn's baptism @ 3pm and then later on that night our ward had a spaghetti dinner for a fundraiser and because we got some of our investigators to come we were able to be there as well. That was a blast! They had a dessert auction afterwards.
I can't remember if I told you last weekend but Tami decided she wants to be baptized and feels like she can make that step now. Before she knew that the Book of Mormon and everything was true but was nervous to get baptized. Luckily that  fear is gradually leaving her and she feels comfortable with it. That happened all because of the priesthood blessing she received last week! She said she felt so much peace and a warm burning sensation throughout her whole blessing. We then got to explain that the feeling she felt was the Spirit. :)
So I have some requests from people to share more about Sister Robertson. Sorry I have forgot or skipped over some of those details. She is from New Mexico. Before the mission she was working and plans to go to school after the mission. She's really nice and charitable. She can get easily frustrated but recognizes when she's not being as friendly and quickly changes. She's really talkative in lessons and then quieter outside of lessons. Kind of a different mix but I've learned how to work with it. We get a long really well and we balance each other out. She's more of the opinionated one and I'm the laid back one, still with opinions and a voice but am willing to negotiate. I'm grateful for her and I love that we can totally focus on the work together and don't let anything hold us back! (even with weird eyes or allergies.)
By the way, my eyes are MUCH better! I can see perfectly again and it's all back to normal! So I'm back in contacts again and it's great! Soft contacts might I add. (The hard ones are evil.)  Thank you all for your prayers. I really appreciate it and I know it helped my eyes heal faster. It's funny because this past transfer was by far the worst health wise but by far the best teaching wise. Funny how Heavenly Father compensates for things like that. I don't mind being sick if it means we see a ton of blessings with out investigators! Totally worth the sacrifice. :)
So next Saturday for Cinco De Mayo me and Sister Robertson get to be in a Spanish parade! We will be dressed up as pioneers next to a hand cart with a few of the Spanish speaking elders and a coupe other sisters. I better refine my Spanish speaking though! I'm really excited for the parade and think it's going to be a blast! I think it's going to be really fun/ funny dressing up as a pioneer... you all know how much I love dressing up in goofy clothes. Sister Robertson isn't too thrilled about that part. haha! I keep talking it up so she can be excited about wearing "old maid" clothes.

Week 36

April 25, 2012
I have so much to update you on and not much time to write... so I'll type as fast as I can and try to sum it all up!
Here we go...
- Transfers are this week and we found out today that me and sister robertson are both staying in the Plattsmouth area! Woohoo!! We are happy about that! I was scared she was going to get transferred!
-Ayn is doing AMAZING! Her baptism is this Saturday! We have had some incredible and spiritual experiences with her and I can't wait for her baptism and to see her progress in the gospel. She bought us both Mormonism for Dummies books because she loves it so much. haha! We can't even read them till after the mission so we'll just have to wait for that.
-I hit my 9 month mark on the mission this week on April 20th. CRAZY!! Time is flying by way too fast. I can't even believe it... half way done.
- As we were walking near an apartment building we saw a lady on the phone and we went up to her to give her a mormon.org card without being too rude and interrupting. I handed her the card and said something to her and she ended up hanging up the phone and started crying and said she would like us to come in and pray with her family. She is about in her late 20's and that day they found out that her mom, who has small cell lung cancer, is not reacting to the treatments they have done and that there's nothing left they can do to help her. When we went into the apartment there were a few adults and then Anna, the lady with cancer. They were all together and just crying and so sad. It was a very humbling experience and they desperately were seeking peace and comfort from this trial. As we prayed with them the Spirit was so strong and we were all in tears. Their family said that they are so grateful God sent us to them and helped them feel at peace. It was truly inspired and an experience I will never forget. Anna said she's scared to die but knows she will be going somewhere better. She said she's been praying to know how she can be more religious and what church to go to and really felt like we were an answer to her pray. She said, "Thank you for being obedient to God and being here today. You two are angels in disguise." I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's divine timing and allowing us to meet Anna and her family in their time of need. I would say that is one of the most spiritual experiences on the mission so far. I wish I had more time to give the experience more justice, but it was incredible. We'll be meeting with Anna again tomorrow. :)
- My eyes are doing much better. I went today to pick up the hard contact and try it out and it was awful. That thing was terrible and my eye immediately went red and watery right when i put it in. and it didn't help my vision... so they said i didn't have to wear it and gave me some diff contacts to try. Thank goodness! I wanted to cry just imagining trying to wear the hard contact on a regular basis. But overall my eyes are MUCH better! I think they healed on their own and it was due a lot to the dryness. I don't know what they want to do about the whole keratakonis deal but the hard contacts were terrible and I would prefer to never touch them again. haha! But seriously, you should've been there.
Well that's about all i have time for! Preparation day should be on Monday so i'll fill you in on everything else then! Love you all!
-Sister Jones