Monday, November 25, 2013

Buenos dias

Hola mi familia,

We had a pretty chill week here in El Olivar!! We're just in the groove of missionary work and I can't believe it's been another week!
This week we had a fun little service project.  We painted the house of a less active family so that was pretty fun.  We blasted our mormon tabernacle choir music and sanded (I don't remember what that's called?) and painted their house.  It was fun and mostly I just listened to all the Elders joke around in Spanish.  I know Spanish and can communicate fine but still not well enough to make jokes and be funny haha.  Also we got some shirts for our zone "El Olivar" that I'm wearing in those pictures painting and it is pretty funny because they are bright green and I don't know who chose the color but they didn't think about how all of the people that work for the city wear the same shade of bright green.  All of the gardeners, garbage workers, police officers, and everyone so we put them on and were walking and realized we looked exactly like all of the city workers around.  It was pretty funny.  

Yesterday we had a broadcast for all of the members of ward council in the area. I'm not sure if in other parts of the world they are focusing on ward councils but here just about every training or broadcast we have is a focus on ward councils and how we can "hasten the work of salvation."
They are putting a huge emphasis on missionaries and how everybody together needs to partcipate on three things: Baptize, Retain, and Rescue. Everything that we do in ward council should be focused on people specifically that need help in one of these three aspects.  It's pretty cool and has been changing a lot.  Elder Uceda, the member of the 70 in charge of this area is really great and everything he says is golden.  And he's from Peru so he's even cooler. 
In the broadcast we also heard from Elder C. Scott Grow and Elder Waddell.  You can tell Elder Waddell served in Spain because he has a lisp in his Spanish - Matt, do you have the Spain lisp?

We met a man named Joel this week and he's solid.  He accepted a baptismal date for Dec. 7th and came to church yesterday.  He's great and loves the church.  Also we are teaching a couple who is not married but their daughter is a member living in Spain.  We are working to get them married so they can get baptized because they know the church is true and love it.  

Dad, to answer your question, there are about 40 sister missionaries in the mission and I don't know for sure but I think about half are from The United States.  Maybe a little more.  When I got here there were 25-30 and by the end of the year we will have 50.  Sisters keep coming and we've only had two leave! The mission is growing and the work is hastening. The church is true!

Love you bunches and thanks for everything!!! 
-Hermana Jones 

Friday, November 15, 2013

El Fuego


Felicitaciones a Matt y Jessica!!! Estan comprometidos, que chevare! 

Hello from El Olivar! Things are still going well here and we had a pretty good week this week!

So last week, I forgot to talk about this in my letter but there was a huge fire in one of the areas of our zone/stake.  Apparently there was this neighborhood of a couple hundred houses and they were all made out of wood and were all connected. That doesn't sound like a very good idea... but anyway so one day we were sitting in a park having a lesson with Gustavo.  There was this huge dark cloud and at first we thought it was a rain/storm cloud but then we realized that we are in Lima so that obviously wasn't it.  Then we decided it was from a factory or something.  It turns out that it was actually the huge smoke cloud from the fire.  Somebody in that neighborhood was making lunch and something caught on fire and it just spread until about 200 houses were lost. We didn't find this out until the next day and as a zone we went and did a service activity there to help clean up.
So as a zone we went the next day.  It was crazy, just a huge field of ash.  The Elders went right away and helped clean up the ash and the hermanas stayed a members house nearby.  The church donated tons of rice and chicken and potatoes and so we just cooked it all with a bunch of members and handed it out to all the people that lost everything.  It's pretty sad here because people don't have insurance type things here so when you lose it, you lose it, and you gotta start over.  It was really sad because we handed out all of the food until there was none left and there were still people who didn't get food.  So then we went up and helped clean up the ashes and everything and it was pretty crazy! There were like fried chickens and pigs and dogs.... so that was interesting haha but nobody died so that's good.  It reminded me a lot of Joplin, except with this there wasn't really anything to clean up, we just swept ashes.  
Anyway, this past saturday we had another service activity and the church donated tons of water and clothes and such and so we loaded up a truck full and went and delivered it to all the people.  It was really fun and I gained some serious muscle from carrying all of those 20L boxes of water.  It was a really cool experience and we all had our yellow mormon shirts on and the stake president did some interviews and stuff so it was really good.  I'll attach some pictures... It was all pretty crazy!

Anyway, so we had an interesting week! We've been having a hard time finding new investigators lately so that's been hard because we obviously want to teach and baptize but we need to find those people first.  The members here have been really helpful though and so this week we started to teach a couple of really cool families.  So in the next couple of weeks we'll start having baptisms again! 

Life is good here and I'm so happy to be part of this wonderful work.  I encourage everybody to get involved in missionary work if you're not already because it is so awesome, fun, and rewarding! It is the best. the church is true.

Love you all bunches!!!
Hermana Jones 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Solo un poquito

Hola mi familia!

I don't have much to say this week! I'm actually not really sure how it's already been another week, that's crazy! But yeah, I'm still here and things are going great.  
We had the baptism planned this week for the Family Quiroz, but unfortunately some last minute things came up and the kids had to go stay with their dad this weekend on the other side of Lima.  So that was a bummer.  I DO NOT like rescheduling baptisms.  It gives Satan another week to work and them and make more things go wrong, but it'll be okay because we have the Lord on our side.  They are planned to be baptized this week and they are almost as excited as we are for them! They are so great.  The bishop went and talked to them and is trying to find out ways we can help them and their living situation.  We're planning on building them a floor, a roof, and hopefully getting them some electricity too.  

We got a new ward mission leader the other week and he is great.  He is so excited about the work and is helping the ward a lot.  we had a training yesterday to help train the members on how to share the Gospel and it went really well! The ward is getting really excited about missionary work and is turning around a lot.  The goal of our ward mission leader is that the members do the finding and the missionaries do the teaching.  I'm totally fine with that! haha.  It's a process but the work is hastening and the members are starting to realize it and are helping a lot. 

Like I said, I don't know what else to say but that things are going well I'm so happy to be here serving the Lord and the people of PerĂº.  The church is true! :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

El Olovar for another week


So, we guessed right! Hermana Agle and I will be staying here together In El Olivar for another transfer! Actually, only two people in our zone changed this transfer.  Our President doesn't like changing people around a lot because he wants us to just get comfortable with where we are and get to work, not using a lot of time to adjust to a new area/new companion etc.  Anyway, so Hna Agle and I are together and we'll probably stay together for a while.  Which is totally fine with us because we get along great and work well together as missionaries.  :) 

We've had a pretty good week this week! We are teaching a couple of families right now which is the best.  We are teaching a family of a missionary from our ward.  He is serving in Argentina, but nobody else in his family is a member.  So we are teaching them but they like to take things slow.  We're trying to help them realize that they don't have to know EVERYTHING before their baptism, but it's a slow process with them.  We're hoping and praying for a baptism with them before the end of October. Also we are teaching a family that is a reference from recent convert, so that's cool.  They're progressing really well but we've had a hard time getting them to church.  Actually, we've had a hard time getting most of our investigators to church, because church starts at 8am (whose idea was that?) haha so we get up early and spend our early morning on sundays knocking doors and waking people up, haha.  It's defintely an adventure before  church every Sunday. 
We're teaching another family as well that just keeps growing! Every time we visit them, another nephew or grandma shows up, haha.  So that's pretty fun. 

This week we did another service project with some Elders in our zone which was really fun.  We cleaned the man's roof, which is always interesting.  The roofs here are just like the backyards/garages, meaning there is just lots of STUFF up there.  And dust.  Have I mentioned how dusty Lima is? They have little fly/bug things here that are just full of dust.  You can just kill it with your hand, and there aren't like guts or anything, it's just dusty and just kinda blows off your hand.  Really weird haha.  Anyway, so we cleaned and sweeped his roof.  Sweeping in Lima is kind of like bathing a fish, what's the point? haha but we still had fun and helped him out a lot. 

To answer your question dad, there are 5 religions in Peru. Well, in Lima.  Catholic, Evangelical (is that how you say it in English?), Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Christians.  Everybody is Catholic by default.  The other churches didn't really start growing until probably about 30 years ago so everything else is pretty new.  There are always a TON of JW's and evangelical missionaries out preaching.  And then there are "Christian" churches which is cool but we're Christians too so whatevs.  Anyway,  mostly everybody here has heard of all of the different churches and doesn't really know what to do about it because they all preach different things and have missionaries out all the time.  It makes me think of the time of religious excitement before Joseph Smith restored the church and how confused he was.  Luckily, we don't have to restore the church because it is already here, we just have to go preach it and bring it to the people that have been prepared to hear it!

The church is true! My testimony grows every single day.  It's so cool to see the hastening of the work every day, and how the Lord has prepared so many people.  Go out and be missionaries! Hurrah for Israel!

Hermana Jones

6 weeks?

Hola mi familia!!
What an awesome week this has been! I can't believe it has already been a transfer since I got to Peru! We have transfers this week, and we are supposed to find out today if we are leaving and what not, but we still don't know.  Hermana Agle and I are both pretty sure that we will be staying here together for another transfer, but we'll see!

Two of our investigators, Iran and Cianny, got baptized this week! They are 13, and 9.  Cool story about them: They have been taught by the missionaries for months, because their mom is a member.  The problem is that they haven't wanted to be baptized and kept pushing back their baptismal date.  When we switched areas a couple of weeks ago, they fell into our hands.  We worked with them a lot and it was so difficult to get them to commit to a date.  Then they got chicken pox and it was all just crazy.  They were supposed to get baptized last week but just kept wanting to push it back and we couldn't figure out why.  We finally found out that this whole time, they hadn't been living the word of wisdom! They love their tea.  We talked about it a lot with them and they finally agreed to stop drinking tea, and a miracle happened! The DAY AFTER they stopped, they were so much happier.  They understood better, they were more excited about everything, and they couldn't wait to get baptized this week.  It's so amazing to see the difference it makes to keep all the commandments! So they got baptized this week which was awesome.  The water was freezing, but they did it anyway and they got confirmed on Sunday.

The grandson of our pensionista got baptized this week, and she asked us to do a special musical number.  She requested that we sing "if you could hie to Kolob," because it is the hymn that the missionaries sang at the baptism of her family, 11 years ago.  That hymn is not in the Spanish hymn book, so we got the lyrics from her in spanish, and we did one verse in Spanish, one in English, and then one where Hna Agle sang in English and me and Spanish.  It was really cool and really fun.  And I have total confidence singing in front of people here because they are so nice and don't really know any better if we are singing wrong. It was cool. 

Also this week, we had a really cool conference with Elder Uceda, of the 70.  He and his wife came and spoke to some of the zones in our mission.  It was really really cool and powerful.  I learned a lot about what it means to be a missionary and have been looking at missionary work differently ever since.  He talked a lot about obedience, and how we need to ACT like the representatives of Jesus Christ that we are.  He talked about some other stuff too.  Pretty much it was just super cool and I loved it.  

Near the end of the conference, I realized that I understood everything he was saying and didn't even have to think to hard about it.  He was speaking Spanish the whole time! Woo! I was pretty excited when I realized that.  The Spanish is definitely coming more every day! I'm finally at the point where I'm not hindered in preaching the Gospel.  I still have a lot to improve on, but I can fulfill my purpose!

Love you all and thanks for everything!
-Hermana Jones