Monday, August 26, 2013

Que Tal

What an awesome week! 
First off, one of our investigators got baptized! Woo! His name is Jose and he is 27 and awesome and he got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday.  I have a picture attached. 
On saturday, we there was a huge stake activity at our building.  They have these dancing activities here where all the wards prepare different culturual dances and such, and then they kind of perform/compete every once in a while.  Anyway, so saturday was the huge event.  I also have a picture attached and it was so cool to see all the different outfits and dances and be part of that culture! So our investigator, Jose, was kind of in charge of a lot of the dances (even though he wasn't a member) haha.  That lasted pretty much the whole day and he was really tired that night when we were supposed to have the baptism, but it ended up working out (huge miracle!) and he got baptized! It was cool because we had a "Noche Blanco" in our zone/stake.  All of the baptisms from our zone got baptized in one service, so there were 14 people baptized that night! The Stake President came and so did President Archibald.  It's amazing to see things like that and realize how much the work is progressing! The Spirit was really strong and everybody was happy.  Jose got confirmed on sunday and is happy. Yay! 

This saturday we had a mission conference with our mission and Lima North Mission.  Elder Callister came and Elder Grove from the area 70, I believe.  It was really powerful and motivating.  I love hearing Elder Callister speak. He spoke about the Great Apostasy.  He said that to be able to appreciate the Restoration as much as we need to, we have to understand the Apostasy, and that is very important doctrine to teach to our investigators so that they will appreciate the Restoration.  He gave us a lot of really cool insight on that.  We all got to go shake their hands, and when I shook Elder Callister's hand, I brought up the fact that he stayed at our house once and he said, "Oh of course! Creed Jones from Joplin!" haha, so he definitely remembers you, Dad! 

Last sunday, a lady showed up to church that we had never seen before.  The other Hermana in the ward said that they briefly met her on the street and told her what time church starts and where it was.  (We probably tell that to people 10 times a day, and usually nothing comes of it.) Anyway, so this lady, Maria, showed up to church! What? that never happens! So it turns out that she is in our area.  We went and taught her this last week, and on the first lesson she asked when she could be baptized.  We said, uh yeah. We can definitely help you out there. Haha.  So she is going to get baptized this week! 
We have been trying to work so hard this week and it's been so awesome to see the results.  We've seen so many cool things happen that can only be explained by the Hand of the Lord.  We are so committed to baptizing weekly, and that is making us work really hard.  The harder we work and the more Faith we have, more miracles happen.  It's incredible to see the Lord's hand in this work and I absolutely love it.  Missionary Work is the best and I am so glad to be here and be part of it.  The Church is true!

Love you all and best wishes for the week,
Hermana Jones

Thursday, August 22, 2013

La Vida en Peru

Qué Tal!
Okay, everybody, let me just say.  Perú is the COOLEST place ever. I LOVE it here! This letter I'm pretty much just going to be talking about how awesome it is, so be prepared.
So I flew out early on Tuesday morning and spent the day in planes and airports.  We got on the plane to Lima and I sat next to a Peruvian lady! I greeted her and she screamed and got so excited that I spoke Spanish so we had a really awesome conversation for like an hour! It was so fun and she spoke so clearly and beautifully. She is an evangelic missionary, so she wasn´t interested in our church but she was so humble and so nice and it made me fall in love with all of Perú already.  So we landed a little before 11pm that night and then had to go through customs and everything which was long but ran smoothly.  It’s funny because you just push a button and it randomly chooses if they have to search your suitcases or not.  It was scary but I got a green light and all was well! There were 39 missionaries on the plane but only an Elder and I were in the Lima West mission.  President Archibald, his wife, their children, and the two Assistants to the President were there to pick us up.  I went with the Archibalds and the Elder went with the assistants.  We drove back to the mission home and I stayed the night there.  It was about 2am by the time we got to sleep! I got up the next morning and ate breakfast with them and then we went to the beach! We had a little mini-orientation for the four of us (2 from Guatemala MTC) that weren’t there the day before.  Then we all went to the mission office and met with the other 14 new missionaries straight from the Peru MTC and met our trainers and did orientation for the day. 
My Trainer is awesome! Her name is Hermana Agle.  She is from Boston.  She just entered the MTC 6 weeks before me, so both of us are very new.  We´re pretty much the same person which is hilarious.  She went to BYU, we’re the same age, studying the same things, and a ton of other things.  We just have really similar personalities and get along really well.  And we are both stoked to literally “Save Lima.” Haha.  So we are serving in the El Olivar zone and ward here in our mission.  It is the most central part of our mission, and our area borders the Lima Central mission.  Our areas are Previ and Condevilla which are in Callao.  Our area is pretty small so we just walk around all day and always see people we know around. I love it here! The first couple of days I was just in awe of how awesome everything was and how much I love it. Seriously.
Our apartment is pretty nice.  I say nice because it’s just like a normal apartment but apparently it’s like a mansion compared to the rest of town.  Apparently we have the nicest apartment in the mission as well, and the best pensionista in the mission.  Her name is Hermana Juanita and she is so sweet and makes the BEST food.  I love her food.  Next Pday we are going to start going over and having her teach us how to cook Peruvian food.   
Lima is a very dirty city.  There are dogs everywhere and trash everywhere.  And people don’t ever clean bathrooms.  It’s very different and smells very different than anything I’m used to but it’s so awesome and I love it.  I only get to be here for 15 more months which is so sad! But I’m loving it while I’m here.  I’m already forgetting what America is like and how fancy everything is there and am getting used to life here.
It’s pretty cold here.  Well, 50s and 60s which totally isn’t bad at all.  There aren’t any heaters or air conditioning or anything though so it does get cold in our apartment, but I’m used to it now and we just study in our sweats and everything.  It is just cloudy every day.  I haven’t seen the sun yet! Haha.  But it never ever rains.  Some people only have roofs on half of their houses because it never rains so they don’t need roofs.  Sometimes at night there is a little “Aguita” but it’s pretty much just mist coming from the ocean. 
It is so FUN to drive in Taxis here! I see why they don’t ever let missionaries drive because it is INSANE.  The traffic rules are all just suggestions.  Cars just do what they want but it’s sweet because people are actually really really good drivers, they just are crazy.  Every other second we are almost getting in wrecks, but I’ve never actually seen a wreck the entire time I’ve been here because they’re always aware and alert.  And if you try to be a nice and courteous driver, everyone gets mad at you and you usually do end up getting in wrecks.  It’s like riding a roller coaster every time and is so fun.  
I am so in awe of how humble everybody is here, and how strong they are in the Gospel.  They are SO willing to help in every way in missionary work.  We always have about twice as many member-present lessons than other lessons every week because they love coming out with us. We had ward council and asked if anyone could come out with us and like 5 people raised their hands and were all talking at once asking when they could.  It was so cool.  Then on Sunday we were walking to appointments and we kept seeing members walking to the houses of less actives and visiting them.  They were doing that all day which is awesome.  So solid. 
Our mission president has really been emphasizing trying to baptize weekly.  Hermana Agle and I have been so stoked on missionary work and are excited to do it.  President Archibald said he would take out the companionship which the most monthly baptisms out to eat in a ritzy place in Miraflores.  And we are so excited to do that.  It’s so cool that He and the Lord trust us enough to be two Gringas in a foreign country that barely speak Spanish, preaching the Gospel.  We have been using this to our advantage because people are always staring at us thinking, why are there two white girls walking around? We definitely stand out and so many contacts have been made because of it.  This Saturday we are starting our pattern of baptizing weekly. 
Missionary work is the best and Peru is the best.
The Gospel is true. Don’t ever forget it!
Hermana Jones

Monday, August 12, 2013


What a week what a week!
I have so much to tell, but I'm crunched on time today so I will just talk about a couple of things.

1. I'm going to PERU tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've LOVED being in Texas but I've been thinking about Peru since January so I'm definitely excited to go there.  Since I got that note from Dad, I kind of already knew I was leaving, but wasn't 100% yet because I hadn't been told anything else.  So on Friday I got a phone call saying that I am leaving on the 13th! The other two Elders that are here with me are leaving as well.  So tonight a member is taking me to an apartment of some other sisters that live closer to the airport, and I'm going to stay the night there.  Then sometime tomorrow morning, somebody is going to pick me up and take me to the airport.  That's all I know. I have no idea of times or anything, but I imagine it's going to be somewhat in the morning because I traveling to another continent, so I'd have to leave earlier rather than later.  I'm not sure if I get to call at the airport, or if I'll have time or layovers or what.  Sorry for the uncertainty but I guess the only way to know is if I end up calling tomorrow sometime! Anyway, I'm very excited.  I haven't been letting myself think about it until today because I didn't want to get "trunky." But today I'm going to pack and am getting stoked.

2. Lots of super cool experiences this week, but one was way awesome!  Well, it was cool to me anyway.  We went to appointment last Wednesday and they weren't there.  (That happened to us a lot this week.)  Anyway, so we decided to go find some of the inactive members in the area that were on our ward list. (the ward gave us a list and asked us to update it- if people had moved and such.) So we stopped at one, and the guy was in jail.  So we walked over to the next block and the lady hadn't lived there in 6 years.  So we were going to walk back to our car, and Sister George suggested that we walked the long way around the block just to see if anyone was out that we could talk to. (Why would anybody be out in the 110 degree weather?) So we walked around and as we were walking, a guy sitting in a car rolled down his window.  We thought that was interesting so we decided to go over and talk to him.  We start chatting (in English) and one of the first things he said is, "Just so you know I'm a cop and we're scoping out this house right now so don't get scared of my gun right here." So of course that brought up a couple of questions and turns out that he is like an investigator/detective something and was undercover watching a house down the road a bit and waiting for a guy to leave so they could go get him.  So that was pretty awesome in itself.  But he said that he'd still like to talk to us and if he has to leave then he will.  So we started telling him about our church and he was super duper interested.  He said that he has been looking for a church to go to because he is a spiritual person, but doesn't go to church.  So when he saw us walking over he thought, 'oh I hope those are missionaries, because I need to find a church.'  And that's why he rolled down his window as we walked by.  (By the way, this whole conversation was intense because he kept getting phone calls the whole time about the whole investigation situation.) We gave him a Book of Mormon and he was very excited to read it.  So we tried to get his name and number/address so we could send the English sisters to go teach him.  But here's the killer: he couldn't give us any of his info! Too many people in the world hate him for putting them in prison, that he never gives out his info.  But he gave us his word that he would come to church on Sunday.  I'm not sure if he ended up coming, because we told him when and where the English ward meets, and we warned the English sisters that he would be there.  I'm so glad we were able to talk to him!

I've loved being in Texas and I'm going to miss it all! Except maybe the heat. :)
I'm glad that I've been able to serve here and help out some people here! A couple of our investigators are getting baptized this Saturday so I'm sad that I have to miss their baptisms but happy for them. 

Love you all tons,
Hermana Jones

P.S. Mom, yesterday I was playing the piano in sacrament meeting and the stake president wanted me to thank you for making me take lessons all those years so he could enjoy the music I was making. Haha.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

hace mucho calor


So this past saturday I was just chilling in our apartment and we went to go get the mail.  I got a letter from dad with a note attached that said something like "you probably already know by know but your visa has been approved and you will be flying to Peru on August 13th." Whaaaaattt?? Yeah I definitely didn't know and I'm so excited now! I still haven't heard anything from my mission president or anything so my question is, Dad: How did you find that out? I don't know if they're just not telling me so I can focus for the next week or what but my zone leaders said they didn't know.  Anyway I'm super excited and I'm putting all my effort in this last week I have here in Texas!  So I hope you're right Dad.... haha. And if not, oh well and I'll be working hard anyway. Texas is definitely going to send me off with some great 107 degree weather this week so that's exciting!
Last week we were able to do an exchange with the other Spanish sisters in our district.  They work the other side of Fort Worth.  So I went there and stayed with Sister Gomez for 24hours and it was super awesome.  She was also the Junior companion in her companionship so both of us were used to not really talking much in lessons with our broken Spanish so it was an awesome learning experience for both of us.  I learned a lot more of how to teach and became a lot more confident in my teaching and in my Spanish so it was good. 

So yesterday we had an interesting experience.  We went to an appointment after church and they weren't home and neither was our back-up plan so we were out just knocking doors and we found a man that was willing to let us give him a message out on his porch.  Right after the opening prayer a car drives up and the man starts laughing and goes, "oh! That's my friend. He's a testigo de Jehovah" (Jehovah's Witness) We were thinking, oh boy. This is about to get interesting.  The man walked up and started talking to us so we played it cool like, "Oh we're missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have you ever seen missionaries like us before?" And then he just started to go off like none other and quoting all these Bible scriptures and we didn't even say anything! Oh man. It was so stressful.  After him lecturing us for a while we just said, okay well we've got to go so can we have a closing prayer? And then he started lecturing us more so we just said bye and have a nice day haha.  We're going to try to go back to the man that lives there sometime and actually teach him. 

We have an investigator named Jose who is super awesome.  He's probably in his 60s, I'm not really sure.  He's super solid but his wife doesn't like us coming over and she never answers the door when we come over.  So we started looking in the back yard and he's always there and sees us and lets us back there to teach him.  He's eating up the Book of Mormon and reads more than we ever assign.  the other day he started reading from the very beginning without us even asking him to.  The introduction and testimonies of the witnesses and stuff.  We're praying that his wife will open up so that he'll be more willing to be baptized.  Plus he's a really cool guy.  He has like 20 gollos (roosters) in his backyard so yesterday he was showing us them and their names and how he feeds them and stuff haha.  Oh and this one time a couple of years ago he accidentally chopped off one of his fingers or something and so when we were teaching him the Resurrection he got super excited because he'll get to play the guitar again haha.  He's awesome, and hopefully one of these days he'll accept our baptismal invitation.  The Spirit just needs to work on him a little more, and he needs to recognize it.

Well folks, this week has been great! I'm not really sure about my whole visa/Peru situation but I'll let y'all know when I found out.
Love you tons!
-Hermana Jones