Monday, December 29, 2014

Music and Christmas

Hey Everyone,

Family it was really great to see you on Christmas! And Zoe, I met someone named Jose.

 When we spoke, I didn't talk a whole lot about Christmas Eve. We spent the evening at Nefi's house with his family. Part of it was some music of some mexican line dance that the two little cuties were dancing to. I got to know Nefi's sister Itzel a little better. One thing we have in common is that we LOVE books.[ Speaking of books, one of the bishop's daughter loves John Green.] Back to Nefi's house....
There were these cute little kids dancing. At one point Itzel was trying to grab me off the couch to dance with one of the elders.... but of course as missionaries we aren't allowed to dance. If we weren't missionaries I would totally dance with someone. I love mexican dances, even though I may not be the best, like way back when back at home when I was at the Dia de los Muertos partyt and we were dancing.

 Nefi put up this song and it was a dance. Not a line dance...but like a macerena dance that was super fun. I'll ask Nefi what it was called. At the request of Elder Dial we played macerena as well.  Nefi's family fed us quite well.

We've found a family! A dad,  with his two kids , a son and a daughter. We found them on Friday and taught them, and again on Saturday.  They came to church on Sunday! His daughter said she really liked it and that she thought it was beautiful.  She is 11 and her brother turns thirteen this week.  We snuck her in Sunday school with her brother so they wouldn't be alone. They have a baptism date as well, in January. The dad wants his kids to have a good example and not do all things that he did as a youth.

We found this inactive member this week that stopped going to church as of two years. When we found her, we met some of her grandkids, and we invited them to church. One of them, who´s 8 years old asked us ´´white shirt and black pants?´´ and lo and behold, this eight year old came all by himself to go to church. He's not a member, neither is his mom. So we´re going find her this week to see if we can teach him.

Something that was really funny, we went to visit this inactive. He's a grandpa and said... I can't go to church...that's a lot of walking! He uses a cane. But Hna Jarquin told me once that he had some Jehovoh's Witnesses books and she and her previous companion grabbed them from him  and went running off with them one day. He was chasing after them running.  So this one lady who was super sweet, not even a member, told him ''yes you can, you can totally go to church the way you are".

My apartment is one big room with a bathroom. It's pretty simple. We live with on top of a house of members.

Right now, we, the missionaries, and Nefi are preparing for January 18th, Domingo Misional. Nefi wants us to sing a musical number. Yesterday night we were at his house trying to pick a song. We haven't quite made a decision, and we were trying different songs.  After a while it was singing hymns that we liked best.  I was just listening for a few hymns, and Hna Jarquin and Nefi's aunt were telling me "Sing! You have a beautiful voice!". I've always considered my voice just an everyday normal voice, so it was nice of them to say.    We want to sing a combination of English and Spanish in this number so there were some English hymnbooks. One of the later points in the evening, Elder Dial wanted to sing ' Be Still My Soul' for them, as it's one of his favourite hymns and it's not in Spanish.  So the both of us sang it for Nefi's family and our companions and after Elder Dial explained a little bit about what it meant. It really is a great hymn with a wonderful message.

Hna Jarquin and I ... we have lots of fun and we laugh a lot. She calls me Chela sometimes because that's what they call white people where she's from. And she´s ' the Negra.'

I hope everyone has a great new years!
My plan for this year is to know the Bible better and study it along with the Book of Mormon.

LOVE

Christmas Eve
Dancing Cuties
Christmas Feast
Pinata Christmas day
Hermana Jones

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hello Everyone,

Christmas is this week! Hna Jarquin and I are excited to spend it together. We call ourselves a divine companionship. We're both 20, outsiders of Mexico, we'll be finishing the mission on the same day, we're both scared to finish our missions because we don't know what to do with our lives afterwards.

So 1 de Mayo is awesome. I've already won over the girls in Young Womens because I was singing along to One Direction at the ward party we had on Thursday called a Posada. It's a Mexican thing, a posada. I looked up what it means, and it means inn. So I'm still not entirely sure what it is. But there was food, piñatas, and apparently lots of dancing (after we left...so we hear).

It's still weird that there isn't snow, but the weather here is actually pretty nice. Not extremely hot like it was when I was here for my short time in August. At the bus place in Veracruz I saw all my district from the MTC!!! It was so nice that we were all in the same place for a short moment. Everyone here in the mission knows I'm the Canadian, so this one Elder said to me.. "hey you're from Canada. I'm half Canadian because my mom is from Nova Scotia." Elder Stanfield, Here in this photo.

So in this ward, we're all extranjeros. Elder Dial (my district leader) is from Boise, Idaho and his compa Elder Gonzales is from Bolivia. Walking to the internet server Hna Jarquin was joking that Bolivia copies from Nicoragua because Nic is farther north,... so I said "so that means Canada is the best because we're the farthest north, you know"...some friendly rivalry between our countries.

The other day was a birthday of a little boy and his sister, so we bought them a cake and candles. Hna Jarquin said I should bring my little Canadian flags to put on the cake, so I did. Elder Dial was putting the flags near the flames of the candles and I said "hey...that's my pride" and he said "well pride is bad´´

So here in this area, we're pretty much starting from ground zero. Hna Jarquin said she and her last companion dropped all the investigators because they weren't progressing. But yesterday somone contacted us. She's a former investigator of Hna Orr and Hna Orduña and told us she wants to start taking the discussions again.  We've also made some good contacts.

I love being in a city. Being here let me know that I am a city girl at heart.  At one time I thought I would like to live in a small town .... yeah... that's not my thing. I need some busy.  After being in two large areas, this area is pretty small. We walk everywhere, unless we're going to the mall where we get our groceries.  We get to see the temple a lot! It's so close!

Our ward mission leader is pretty cool. His name is Nefi and he's leaving on his mission to Arkansas in May ..... that seems like such a long time. I attached a picture of him.

Family, I will see you on Thursday!!!!

Love,
Elder Stanfield

Veracruz Temple

Nativity

Posada


Nefi, Hermana Jarquin, Hermana Jones
Reunion of MTC district at the bus station
Hermana Jones

Monday, December 15, 2014

Goodbye Nogales

Hi Everyone!

As I predicted, I'm leaving Nogales and am headed to Veracruz. I'm headed to Mocambo, the zone where if there weren't district or zone leaders it would be purely Hermanas. It is the zone of the temple ...even though we can{t go in for a session... our work is for the living, says President.  My sister Hna Rodriguez is going to be one of my sister training leaders. I'm heading to the birthplace of Hna Orr (mission terms) and my companion will be Hna Jarquin, who was one of my companions for my 3 days when I was in Veracruz.

I will miss the people here. A lot. I have more than one family here in this ward, and friends that I´ve made.  I have learned from some of the members that I was able to help them a lot.

We had a wedding this week! It all happened with a bunch of  us crowded in a little office (us, the elders, hna gladys and hno charly, Angelica and Rafael) where this lady that worked for the city said a few words and asked if anyone objected and a few papers were signed. But it was a wedding! Angelica and Rafael got married and on Sunday Rafael got baptized! They are very happy, but sad that I´m leaving. Rafael was really looking forward to getting baptized.

We went hiking today! I almost felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. Oh I´ve missed it so much. We went with Hno Charly, Hna Gladys and 2 of their sons. They have been so good to us!  It was so fun to be in nature. I know I´ll be far from the mountains when I´m in Veracruz.

I´m trying to think what we did this week...oh. There was a stake Christmas concert and we brought one of our new investigators. His name also is Rafael...but we call him Rafa because it gets really confusing when people have the same names. We found him last week. We got on the same bus at the same stop, and Hna Casabal was saying that he remided her of her friend, because he has really curly hair. He happened to get off at the same stop as us and was walking down the same road that we were walking.  We felt that we should contact him, but we were thinking...he is a boy...hes not going to take us seriously. So we went to try and contact this one lady but she told us she was in a hurry because her daughter was sick.  Rafa, who was behind us, was now infront of us.  I was telling this story to Hna Casabal ...and yes Al it had a point... and then she motions to me that yes we should contact him. When we were about to ... he contacted us. He told us that he felt like he needed to talk to us because we had something different.

Well... I know that Nogales is in good hands.  That brings me some peace.

Until next week in a place that is not Orizaba.

Love,
We are guessing this might be the last picture of Tessa in a coat for a while

Hike


It may not be Everest....but Tessa marked that she was there

Got a bit dirty!

Hermana Jones

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Wedding, a baptism, and more!




Hello Everyone,

Well, it´s not snowing, but it´s raining right now.

Angelica and Rafael are getting married tomorrow! Thanks to Hermano Charly and some miracles that happened, they got all their papers figured out, which means Rafael can get baptized.

I´m going to really try to enjoy this week. Transfers are next week and both Hna Casabal and I feel that for me  to continue more in my progress, I need to leave so I can become senior companion to someone. I feel ready for it, but I will be sad when I leave . I truly love this area and the members here, the people I´ve helped here to convert to the gospel. But that´s mission life for you, I guess.

Natalie and Aunt Kelly... I got your letters! Thankyou!

So one of the hermanas we ate with this week was asking what we studied before the mission. When I said  anthropology everyones said ... that´s so cool! But then I mentioned I plan on changing my studies... I just don´t what yet. Usually they leave it at that, but this hermana said ´´Well then you can study the temple. You´ll be a beautiful returned missionary, what more could a guy want´´ Haha.

Alma continues to be amazing and animated about learning the gospel. When we went to see her on Saturday, she was really excited because she said her husband was planning on coming to church with them. And he came!!!  They stayed after for the baptism of...... IVAN! Yeah, you all haven´t heard of him for a while.  Hna Jensen and I passed him to the Elders. When I went up to congratulate him and shake his hand, he was ready to give me a hug and I´m said ¨uhhh... I can´t hug.´´  He said ´´Oh yeah... i´m a little embarrased.´´ But it´s all good because he´s happy and baptized!

Other things that happened yesterday.
Yesterday the hermana that we were supposed to eat with wasn´t at church, so I was hoping she´d be there at her house because we were prettty hungry. She was, and when we got there she gave me the biggest hug because it had been a little while. This is the same hermana who volunteered to be Alma Marina´s grandma. She´s been a little sick.

After we were walking and the phone rang and Hna Casabal was talking and smiling so much and basically jumping up and down and I still had no idea what was going on. She got off and tells me that Nora´s little sister wanted to start taking the discussions. She´s 11, and even though she´s primary age she wanted to stay with Nora. She  came to gospel principles and Relief Society with us.  Nora said that Isabela loved it! She told us last week that she´d wait until she was 15 because she loves watching the TV.

Christmas Devotional last night! I always look forward to it. It´s always amazing. One of the stories I loved was about how a community planned events of halloween, a birthday, and Christmas all in October so a little boy could experience them before he was to pass away. Definitely a spirit of love there.

After the devotional we went to see Alma Marina. When we were walking home, this dog kept on following us and we were trying to lose it. But it was insistent. 10 streets we were walking. To the point where we reached our house...so Hermana Casabal says to me...open the door to the (our white gate thing in front of it) and I´ll distract it. So I open it and hurry in and shut it. Then Hermana comes and we open it really quick and close it before this dog has the chance to get in. Then it starts crying and we said ´´´nice try...but you don´t even live with us.´´

Well time´s up.
Take care everyone.

Love,
My companion and I trying to be the same size

My District

Flour tortillas with the familia Charlie
Hermana Jones

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dreaming of Snow

Hi Everyone,

It´s DECEMBER!!!! But here in Nogales, Veracruz... even though I´m in the coldest part of the mission...there is no snow. I miss it. I see Christmas trees, and those little christmas villages with fake snow and lights. But it just is not the same without snow. I also miss decorating, but as missionaries, we don´t really have the money to go and spend it on decorations ... plus where would we store them...

Everyone should check out christmas.mormon.org.  If you want it in Spanish, replace Christmas with Navidad. There´s this christmas initiative by the church called' He is The Gift.' It´s a 3 minute video, and it´s nice and beautiful, to remind us that the first Christmas wasn`t expensive, bought online, of what have you. The first gift of Christmas was simple, but grand. It was the Christ child. Watch it and share it with all your friends, family, strangers. Just share it.

This week wasn´t like others we´ve had, but I enjoyed the things we could do. It´s a lot easier trying to be positive with Hermana Casabal. The poor thing got a sick this week, and with that we had to spend a day in the house. That morning I called the Elders to see if they could come and give her a blessing. They said they´d come after their studies.  They still didn´t come... and half an hour passeed and they still didn´t arrive. Then the doorbell rang and it was Hna Gladys returning the fan she borrowed from us.  I was telling her how my companion was sick and the Elders still hadn´t arrived. So she called for Hno Charly to come over, who was a block away, so my companion could get a blessing.   That day with the extra time, I took advantage of it.I read more than a chapter of the Book of Mormon, studied in my spanish textbook a good two chapters, and read some of Jesus the Christ... the chapter where it talks about the time of his birth, and I loved it a lot.

So from what I hear there´s some stuff in the world that´s not so good right now. The day my companion  was sick, one of the chapters I read was 2 Nephi 30.  I loved it. The chapters before were talking about the destruction of the wicked and and how not all people are going to accept the Book of Mormon, but 2 Nephi 30 is a chapter of hope. That in the end, it´s going to be alright.

I´ve had some questions about Spanish. Of course I´m not all the way there, but I´ve been getting better, and it´s a lot easier when I have a spanish speaking companion and I can ask her questions. I wish I had more than an hour to study spanish each day, and I miss that hour on the days I don´t get it. Like when we have district classes or on Sundays and Mondays. A lot of the times when I think back to memories at home, people are speaking Spanish, and then I have to remind myself that not everyone speaks Spanish.

Our only progressing investigator right now is Alma. Everyone we´ve found before seem to be hiding. But yesterday when we were trying to find a reference, we found someone that seems awesome.

Everyone at home, enjoy the snow for me!!!!
And...next time I write I´ll have 9 months and a few days in the mission. Time goes by 100x fast in the mission. There´s an RM in the ward that says his mission felt like a dream. WAHH!

Love you all,
Hermana Jones

Monday, November 24, 2014

Highlights of this week

Hello My Dear Lovelies,

Yesterday was the primary presentation. And those primary kids are so stinkin cute. One of the little ones, named Fabian, came up to the pulpit and he said ´´se me olivido´´  translation..." i forget"... so one of the teachers came up to help and he said ´´oh yeah´´. There are some pretty funny kids, but one reason I love him is we were at his house last Monday for an FHE and his parents said ¨´Fabian, you should go to Canada.¨¨ and he just shouts´´NO!!!´´  I asked him why, and he tells me he wouldn´t understand anything.  I told him that was me when I first came to Mexico.  There´s something about testimonies from little kids. The theme of the FHE was' God is our Loving Heavenly Father' and his testimony was so pure and lovely.

Alma also got confirmed yesterday! Oh she is so lovely. When we went to visit her Saturday night we told her when it would happen and to be sure to be at church on time. So she came a little before sacrament and I was just hoping the bishopric saw her so she could get confirmed. But the sacrament got passed and the primary presentation started. So Hna Casabal and I motion for Elder Cortes to come over and Elder Cortes, being Elder Cortes, says he´s got it covered. He went up to the bishop during the presentation. Near the end of the presentation the primary kids call for the bishop to hand out some certificate to hand out to one of the little ones. While he was up there, he also called for Alma to come up and get confirmed. He confirmed her, and we were happy. I love confirmations.
Something funny.... Saturday night after our visit with her we were walking together a bit. Us to our house and her to the main street which is really close. And I hiccuped. She´s heard my hiccups before, at the goodbye party of Elder Ruiz and she said ´´Ya ...that´s already enough hiccups from you.´´ Joking. That´s when you can tell your converts also consider you their friends.

So our other Alma that´s investigating.... Her little daughter is a little sick, and one of the things we taught her this week was about the priesthood and that we can recieve blessings, and that little Fer could recieve one. We said the Elders could come by her house and give one and she said she would bring Fer to church. They came in the middle of the presentation ... but they came! After sacrament meeting we found the Elders so they could give Fer a blessing. When it was done, Alma was crying. She could feel something special, and that was really neat to see. She was so attentive each hour. Participating in the class...taking notes.... We love her and we love her desire to learn even more.

We had divisions this week and it was my turn to work in Orizaba. One thing we had was a Family Home Evening. The dad is a baker and I said ´´hey, my dad´s a baker.´´ And he thought that was pretty awesome. He has this big working table in the back of the house.  I got to touch some dough and attempt to form some buns. It wasn´t making cookies, but it was dough! Oh I felt so at home.

I love hearing from the people that write me. I love hearing experiences ... missionary or gospel alike.

Keep being super
and
DFTBA!   ... I may be a missionary but I´m still a nerdfighter.

Helping out in a bakery....it felt like home!

Frying donuts


A Canadian touch to breakfast made for Tessa's  companion
Hermana Jones

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 17, 2014 New Companion, New Baptism

Hello From a Cold Day in Nogales,

Yes, it´s getting cold here. I know I shouldn´t complain because there isn´t snow. But just saying.

Monday night we had a goodbye party for Elder Ruiz, who is now in his home. Hermana Orduña, my first mom, is in her house as well. I just want to say that I really apreciate what she did for me, and what she taught me in our six weeks together. At the time, I didn´t understand everything of what she did or what she had me do or whatever. But looking back, she wanted the best for me. To be the best missionary there ever was. She sent a letter with my new companion. It was very sweet, and in part of it she said that I was a large part of her conversion in the mission.

Hermana Casabal is my new companion. We have the same time here in the mission, but I have a month longer than her being  a missionary because of my being in the MTC for 6 weeks. She´s awesome. She's 22, from Puebla and studying psycology.

We found some new people to teach this week. And contacted some good contacts.
One of our investigators also is named A. But this A. is a mom of 3 kids, and has a store in her house. She was a contact from a month or so ago, and when we contacted her we left her with a Book of Mormon. When we came back to visit her, she said that she had been reading it. Well that sure surprised us. The other day she told us she wants to learn from us, as when she goes to the mass she says the priest says the same message again and again. That there may be a different scripture that he will share for 5 minutes but then go back to some same dialogue. But we have something. Something that is more. She accepted baptism when we met her, but not date. But yesterday, she accepted a date!

I remember Al sent me a message while I was in the MTC saying that I would be part of changing eternities. So... E, who got baptized Halloween ... she wants to go on a mission. She wants to share with people what she now feels. Wants them to feel the same. So... that´s changing eternities on a whole new level. I am so happy for her and her desire to help others come to this truth!

Well A. got baptized on Sunday!!!! She is a strong one. We had a visit with her Saturday morning and she said her mom was coming to visit her and she was going to tell her about her choice.  Her mom in the end ... she didn´t approve of this decision Alma made. Alma is a pioneer, she´s a strong one, and she knows this gospel is true. She told us a week or so ago that she was afraid of being alone in this as she´s the only one in her family that is doing this. We told her not to worry, she wouldn´t be alone in this. In fact...her family has grown. She has a whole bunch of family in the ward. A chose Alvin to baptize her, and she had names already for who she wanted to speak. A few of the YSA. She chose me to say the opening prayer, and I felt honored by that. There were quite a few people that stayed after church services to watch her baptism. After the ordinance of the baptism, when she was getting changed, Hno Charly explained how she needed a family in the ward and got pieces of paper so we could all write her a little note. One of the members said ¨¨I´ll be her grandma!¨´  And I thought that was really sweet.
For the closing prayer, it was A. In her prayer she said that she knew she wasn´t alone and that she had the ward as her family. There was a really strong spirit in her baptism.

Teaching A was a process, at first it was really frusterating, but in the midst of teaching, something happened, her conversion, and this is something I will always remember. A. taught me a lot through these 3 months of teaching her.

 I´m not stressed. I haven´t been stressed this past week. I know the area better than I thought I did.

Take Care Everyone!

Hermana Jones

Alma

Hermana Casabal

November 10, 2014 Blessings

Hello My Dear Family and Friends,

I`m quite content with this past week. We didn´t get everything done that we wanted. But we got a lot done.

There are these 9 points of mission work that we are part of....to help everyone continue their path so they can go to the temple. There´s three key points is what it boils down to. Conversion, Retention, and Reactivation. There´s this hermana named L. and she is really awesome. She moved here from Veracruz a few months ago and is less active.  I believe one reason is she doesn´t really know anyone here. This week, we ate with Hna C one day. She used to be inactive, but now she´s really active in the church with a calling and everything. She lives just a field away from Lulu. So we were talking with her and asked if she could visit L and befriend her. She said" Yeah! I can do that! "
Also with Hna C, she´s not endowed yet and we asked about it. She said that she wants to, but she´s not sure what the process is.  We told her how there´s temple prep classes. Sunday.  Hna L. ended up coming  to church and Hna C. attended temple prep.

Alma Marina. We wanted her to really feel the want and need of the gospel in her life. From the first moment we met her to the point where she is right now. Night and day. She´s excited to get baptized (next Sunday!), she´s reading the Book of Mormon, she comes to church on her own, the YSA has been awesome and they´re all friends with her. She´s going to have Alvin, one of the YSA, baptize her. She told us he was the first one who really invited her along and stuff.  People...you really don´t know what an impact you can be to other people...missionaries or not.

Our district leader this week asked us if there were any people that could get baptized , to visit them and see if they wanted to be baptized. There´s this guy named P. and his wife is a member. He´s been to church with her a number of times.On Wednesday, Elder phoned me and told me he wanted me to visit them. That´s when I was on divisions with Hna Terry. And I was just stressed out. I get a little bit more stressed when I´m on divisions in my own area, plus I was stressed about how there would be cambios .  Hna Terry said ``you know...when we follow our leaders and maybe if it doesn´t work out how you want it, the Lord will bless you in another way.´´
Hna Jensen and I went to go visit P. on Thursday. Long story short ... he planched us pretty hard and he made us feel awful. That was not fun at all. And so...when we were going to a house of a contact (aunt to the missionary that left on his mission, Elder Cancino), I related what Hna Terry said to me to Hna Jensen. So we knocked on this aunt´s door and she says to us, I´ve been waiting for you Hermanas. She really is a lovely person.
The Lord really does bless us when we obey.

There was this one morning where we went to find a contact we made, but no one at her house answered. Our plan B was to visit this less active for 10 or so years. A...a. She´s living in free union with her partner R. and we planned to teach them about the commandments and blessings of the law of chastity. They didn´t really know about it / forgot about it. Rafael said ...I want to know more of the commandments. We talked about making a goal for them to get married and R is a new investigador. He´s awesome.  They came to church with us on Sunday and A...a went searching for the bishop after Gospel Principles. And in ward council, the bishop said he made a goal with them that they could get married in 15 days.
Awesome contact of the other day. We were on the bus and this thing fell off from Hna Jensen´s backpack. We were looking for it, and I see it underneath this man´s foot whos was sitting behind us. Hna Jensen said ...leave it, it´s fine. But I go and ask that man if he could get that small white button from under his foot. Then after I get this feeling to contact him. So I did. He lives in the other ciudad, and we invited him to church there. And he asked us a second time where the church was. It all started from a white button thing falling from Hna Jensen´s backpack.

Cambios. Hna Jensen is off to Cordoba as a sister training leader.

These are a few of the things that happened this week.

Love,
Hermana Jones


Monday, November 3, 2014

Why I love October 31


Buenas Tardes de la Cafe Internet 2 minutos de mi casa,

I love October 31. Sure, it´s nice that Halloween falls on that day and we get an excuse to eat candy or dress up as something you´re not. But I for me especially, I love October 31 because that was the day I recieved my mission call. The day where I felt sick in the morning/afternoon turned around when my mom showed me my call. And especially...when I opened my call. How it felt so right, how much joy I felt that I was going to be a servant of the Lord.

I´ll tell you another reason why I love October 31.  Eleanora´s (or Nora) baptism was scheduled for this Sunday. But here´s what was happening on Sunday. We weren´t having church until 1 because Cordoba Stake was using our building for their stake conference, and then we missionaries of Orizaba Stake had a meeting with President and the bishoprics of the stake at 6. And we still needed to eat. Lots of things.  So...the zone leaders asked President if we could baptize her on Friday, as Saturday the building would be used. President said yes.
Friday fell on the 31 of October.

Nora was so excited to hear she could get baptized a few days later. She said that she feels her life has changed a lot since she met us. This was not that long ago. She chose Elder Ruiz  to baptize her. The bishop conducted her baptism and one thing that was cool is he quoted a scripture, which happened to be the first one she told us she really liked 2 Nephi 31 verse 20.
Nora´s family came to support her, which made us really happy. Alma Marina, our other investigator came and she said she felt something really beautiful. Because it was suddenly switched,  we tried to tell members when we ate with them that there´d be a baptism on Friday. We didn´t really know what to expect. But of the few YSA we have, they were all there. I love the YSA of Nogales. They are so welcoming of other people. Well...they basically all came off their missions within 3 months, so they also love the work. Some converts of Hna Jensen also came...2 baptisms she had before I arrived. She asked me to ask Misael (one convert) to offer the closing prayer. She told me afterwords it was because Misael was her first baptism here, and Nora is going be her last. Connection there.

Sunday, when she got confirmed, her mom also came to sacrament meeting. It was wonderful! This Sunday was fast Sunday, so it was testimony meeting. Nora went up to bare her testimony. In it she shared how she felt that for a long time she was in this darkness and she wanted to get out of it. The night she made her goals...she said she prayed like never before. The next day we found her. But just as Ammon says in Alma 26:12, I don´t want to boast of myself, but I want to boast of God. He´s the ones that brings about many mighty miracles.

You hear about those stories about missionaries finding someone at that right moment. To be one of those missionaries is something wonderful to experience. I am someone´s missionary.

Something that´s sad for me... Ana, Oscar, America and little Ana Cristina don´t live here anymore. On Saturday morning we went over to their house to help them pack up and we said our ...in the words of Oscar...see you laters. I will be seeing them later.

Love
Hermana Jones



Baptism Day

Hermanas

See you laters

Cute house where Tessa lives



Friday, October 31, 2014

October 27, 2014 Eleanor's Baptism

My Dear Family and Friends,

Eleanora is getting her baptism interview today, and she´s getting baptized next Sunday!  Hna Jensen and I love her!. One of the days we went to see her this week we were saying how prepared she was and were asking her why she was so prepared to hear this message. She told us the night before we went to go and contact her, she was making a list of things she wants to get better at. The one that was on the top of her list was to find her faith in God and make it better. And when we came the next day, she knew that this was the answer how. God puts people in our paths!Yesterday at church she asked us if we could recieve gifts as missionaries, and she gave us these cute sandle earrings. We´re going to wear them at her baptism. We also had an FHE at her house last night. Dennis, one of the recent RM´s came with us. It was about the atributes of Christ, and it was a matching scripture with atribute game. We were happy because not only her mom participated, but her siblings too. And her brother told us the day before that he wasn´t interested. But there he was!One attribute that her mom picked was virtue, and she´s like  ...YEAH! I want to be a virtuous women! ...  To me and Hna Jensen tjhat was funnty becasue we were saying earlier that day that eventualy when she gets baptized, she´s gonna be a YW or RS president.

 Saturday/Sunday was a mission farewell. Elder Cansino, who is going to the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission. Saturday night there were a bunch of his uncles, and his dad who had wise words for him, and some for me too. One of his uncles said that numberwise, it wasn´t successful,but that the things he gained from his mission made it successful for him. He said `hagas tu maximo´´, which is what I want to do. It was nice hearing a bunch of mission stories, because sometimes in the moment I wonder what I´ll think at the end of it. I hope, like all the family of this new missionary, that I will say it was the best 18 months of my life. On Sunday, in a talk it was mentioned that as a missionary, we get the chance to walk with the Lord everyday.  I just thought, Sometimes that means we need to walk with Him when He´s sad, when one of His sons or daughters isn´t following in His footsteps. But we also get to feel His joy, which is something wonderful.

Something awesome that happened. TYhe other day we decided to hike up a huge hill to visit a family that hasn´t been to church in 3 months. During this hike I was saying how I missed real cookies and Hna Jensen missed real milk. When we visited them, we got cinnamon cookies. They´re not home made...but they were really yummy.  Hna Jensen got some milk that´s from a cow. Ask and you shall recieve? Also...the next day they were at church. It made us so happy!

If you could put a girl named Blanca in your prayers. She´s a convert of a few months, and she wants to go to church, but with her family situation right now, she isn´t able to. I feel so sad for her!

Sorry it wasn´t a whole mass of information this week. But these were the highlights for me. And I forgot to take pictures of our house. OOPS!

LOVE
Hermana Jones

Tanivet and Tessa. She is from Ojo de Agua and was in Nogales for a mission farewell

Monday, October 20, 2014

The latest news.....

Hola Todos,

I forgot to tell you last week that we moved again. The other house had polvo falling from the ceiling and our leaders didn´t like that. Our new landlords are friends of the Charly family and they are wonderful.  The landlady calls us her daughters.It´s pretty new, and we have a boiler! So we don´t have to shower with hot water in a bucket, which is really nice!  I haven´t taken pictures of it yet because we weren`t quite done unpacking, so I´ll send some next week.

Hermana Jensen and I are doing fine as companions. We ate tortas and torta tostadas today for our lunch. They were so good! It´s funny, I have a different food thing with each companion. With Hna Orduña it was chileatoles, Hna Garcia was picaditas, and with Hna Jensen it´s tortas. Tortas are sandwiches with the crispy? type of buns with turkey leg or chicken, and mine with raja peppers. Have  I mentioned I like eating spicy things?I know about her friends and family and she knows about you too. She kept her mission call pretty hush like I did. She´s a new aunt! Her older brothers wife had her baby exactly 2 weeks ago and her middle name is Lluvia, which I think is pretty cool. Lluvia means rain. Her younger brother is in the marines right now working on planes.She also loves wearing my clothes. Haha, it´s fine.Companionships aren´t the easiest things. We are both very different people with different personalities, but we learn together, and when we see the fruits of our work it´s really rewarding.

E., .... She is golden!  She was a ´´reference´´. I put that in quotation marks because we thought she was another person that was a reference. We got a ref from an RM of a friend of his named B.  that works in a papeleria. So one day we went there and asked if she was B. She said yes and we set up an appointment with her. This was  two weeks ago.  When we brought members with us she´d introduce herself as E., so we asked her if she liked that better. So now we refer to her as E. She doesn´t know this RM that refered us to B., but what´s funny is she has another friend that just returned home from a mission. This other B. works there on Sundays. E. first took some discussions with missionaries about a year ago, but then she was a lot more busy with school and work so they had to drop her. She has a baptism set for Nov 2 and she´s really excited for it.

Remember when I talked about A. M. a few weeks ago? She actually came to church with us this Sunday! M. came too. He´s wonderful. He really wants to change for the better.

 I want to share something that happened this week.  We had a couple difficult days this week. One morning as I was getting ready I was thinking about how I was in my reading of the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 4, and I was excited to read that chapter. When it was time for personal study and I got to my desk, my scriptures were open to Alma 26. People, this is my favourite chapter in the Book of Mormon, so I had to read it. I forgot a lot about it, but as I was reading it, it was so personal for me. Ammon is talking about how there were discouragements when he was a missionary and how there were some days that they just wanted to go back home. But God told them to wait and have a little patience, then that the miracles would come.
Family and Friends, My Heavenly Father assigned that chapter to me. It was open to it on my desk. He knows us personally and what we need the most. I am not the most patient person, but I need to try and be better.

Love you all!

Hermana Jones


Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanksgiving

Hello Everyone!

So I totally forgot that it was Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. And today is part of it. So....some things I'm thankful for:

I´m thankful that through being a missionary, I`ve been able to gain more of a testimony in the simple truths of the gospel.

I`m thankful for my leaders here. Sometimes it can be a little hard to accept all their council ... like me talking with a pen in my mouth when I´m at my house. But they are inspired and they are here to help us.
I´m thankful for the sister training leaders, Hna Terry and Hna Johnson and the things they teach us.. even the things that aren´t gospel related. Like when I was in divisions with Hna Johnson, she taught me how I can keep my hair a little more healthy. She also helped me with not stressing about the small stuff ( I kind of sort of lost the cellphone of me and Hna Jensen during our divisions). But it´s fine, there´s another one sent on it´s way and we´re borrowing one of them from the sister training leaders.

I´m thankful for being able to teach and contact people. I´ll expand on the people we´re teaching next week.
One contact, in divisions with Hna Johnson, we were by the church because we had an appointment with a recent convert, and he lives by the church. Well, this recent convert lives by the church, but no one was at his house.  We were going go to our plan B. The road we were going to go dow... this really drunk man just entered it. I didn't feel good about going down the road.  On the corner was this young guy, and Hna Johnson said...hey let´s go contact him. His name is M. A.  We were talking a bit, learning a bit about him and invited him to come to church. Then we asked...do you want to come see it? It´s just up the road. So that night, it was mutual night for the youth. They all came up to him and introduced themselves, offered him juice and cookies. Really welcoming. Then he told us he had to get back home.  When we walked back, he told us a bit about his family. His little brother is mute, but he´s really intelligent.  I just started feeling like bearing my testimony about the Resurrection and told him that one day his little brother would be able to talk. Hna Johnson took out a Book of Mormon to give to him and marked Alma 40 for him to read, which is a wonderful chapter.  He said ``I can`t take it...it`s yours.`` And we said ...its for you!Yesterday we had a set appointment with him, but we were late because comida was still being cooked when we got to our appointment,  and we wanted to ask Hna Gladys if she could come to the lesson. When we found his house, his dad was there and said ` he left 10 minutes ago. He was looking for you and waiting for you. His dad told us that M. told his family about us and that he´s reading the Book of Mormon. and his dad said that he´d like to hear our message as well but he was busy with something else. I am really excited to actually start teaching Migel.

I´m grateful for testimonies. Yesterday was testimony meeting. There were wonderful testimonies. One thing Elder Ruiz said in his testimony was that when he was young, he thought the church and its teachings were true, later he believed they were true. But now, he knows it´s true. And what we know is our testimony. Yesterday, after a sad lesson of a less active telling us that she didn´t believe in Joseph Smith and how he is a prophet, we went to visit a recent convert of the Elders. G. Her son has been a member for a few years, he bore a beautiful testimony yesterday and she was saying how she wished she had the guts to go up there and bare hers. But she basically bore hers to us. She has such faith, and is such a strong women.

I´m grateful for the hard times. They are not fun, but they shape us and they help us to support our companions.


I´m grateful I had the oppurtunity to write you all today.

Love,
Hermana Tessa Marie Jones


I´m thankful for the support of my family and friends back home. I miss you all dearly.

``If you can´t change it, quit worrying about it. If you can change it, change it, and stop worrying about it.`` -Hna Johnson´s wisdom of why she is so stinkin happy all the time.



Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference week

Hello Everyone!

Well this week.... it was a difficult one.

It´s sad to see someone who could progress so much not have the strong enough desires to make time to listen a little more. Or going to set up appointments and being told that they are too busy and when can we come back again.  When we do they say the same thing. Days of trying to find new souls to save and not having any luck. Or a sad investigator that can't just sacrifice a little time to watch a session of conference that would give her joy. She has depression. We want to help her so much but we can´t help her to progress if she´s not keeping her commitments. That`s probably one of the most frusterating parts of a mission.

This was the first week of a new transfer and Hna Jensen and I have another one together. I have a feeling I´m going be in Nogales for 6 months.

Elder Cortez is now our district leader and training Elder Weatherford who`s from Seattle, Washington. I swear he´s the first Elder I´ve met here that´s not from Utah or Idaho. I don't think I´ve ever said that we share Nogales with the zone leaders. We do. Elder Cortes and Elder Ruiz.

So...even though this week wasn't the best, there were some good things that happened too. Thank goodness for those things!

Ana and Oscar. We had a lesson with them on Friday night which started being about obedience. I read that morning about Nephi and his family on the boat and I wanted to share it. So for that part of it, we used my mini whiteboard to draw images of the boat and everything. Then it turned into talking about the Holy Ghost. We were asking Oscar how he felt at the baptism and he was saying he felt really good and welcome. He was saying once he went to this church with Ana of some other religion and he didn´t feel comfortable at all. That usually when he`s with a lot of people he doesn`t know, he feels nervous, but during the baptism he wasn`t. He was saying that when Hna Jensen was singing English, even though he couldn´t understand it, he felt this wonderful feeling. So we read Galations 5 with him where it talks about the fruits of the spirit and he felt all the words he understood.  In his prayer to close the lesson, he asked that God would help him find a way to make his family an eternal one. OH.... Ana told us that when America is older, she wants to go on a mission.

Last night, after conference, we went to visit a friend of a member, she's a new investigator that because of her work, right now we´ll only be able to visit on Sundays. It was a wonderful lesson and she told us that if she thought we didn`t have anything of worth saying, she wouldnt have let us in.  After that, we went to go search for a less active that we´ve been trying to find for 2 weeks. She wasn`t there...so we were trying to think of who else to see in the area. Not many people live around this member.  Hna Jensen remembered this less active we met 2 or so weeks ago.  This member told us that at the end of our lesson, she needed us to visit her and she just felt like it was a big spiritual hug.

I loved conference! and I´m running out of time so I won´t be able to talk about it a lot.  We were able to watch 3 of the sessions in English. When Elder Holland was speaking, we´re were saying ´`oh there´s hna Terry´s uncle´´Something I gained from it is a little more confidence. My leaders and my companion see this potencial in me that I haven´t quite seemed to unleash and I´ve been trying to figure out how. Here´s the thing.... there´s been this little tiny grain of self doubt in me. This little tiny grain is small, but it´s been big enough to impede me from getting one step better. So...I´m gonna squash it. I´m gonna shred it up and blow it away in the wind.  I would appreciate all your prayers to help me with this. I feel like I´ve been better at it this weekend. Like...I absolutley loved the lessons I had last night.  Hna Jensen was saying she sees my own method of teaching coming more to light. And what it is is that I teach with love.

Here´s to more.

Hermana Jones




Note: Tessa's pictures pretty much come without any explanation, or names of who is in them. She did mention the one day was "Red Sunday". Also, you can see that she and her companion were pretty excited about conference.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

September 29 - Ana's Baptism

Hi Everybody!!!!!

So D&C 18 talks about how full your joy is when you bring one soul to unto God. My joy is pretty full. Ana is a baptized and confirmed member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.

She had her baptism on Friday. This came in a lot of factors. Because General Conference is next weekend  (which I'm so excited for) and she´s moving the week after that we weren't really sure where she`d get her confirmation. Oscar also wanted to see her baptism Sop with special permission from President, she got baptized after 4 Sundays of assisting. Oscar`s only day off is Friday. It was a wonderful service! America (their daughter and one of my favourite 5 year olds) was really afraid at first. She has a fear of water, and she was scared that Ana wouldn´t come back up after her baptism. But...she put her faith that everything would be alright. And it was. Oscar gave the opening prayer for the service. He asked that he would nbe able to follow the footsteps of his wife and get baptized one day too. The Bishop was like ...`´I can´t believe he is not a member.´´ Oscar´s prayer was a beautiful one. The Family Charly was quite involved. Hna Gladys gave one f the talks and Hno Charly baptized her. America gave the closing prayer. She's only 5 years old, but her prayers are so wonderful. An RM that gave a talk last week was saying that some of the most sincerest prayers are from little children. SO TRUE! In her prayer, she mentioned how at first she was a little scared, but then she knew it was going to be okay. Hna Jensen and I sang at her baptism. We were trying to figure out in the morning what we should sing and we just weren`t coming up with anything we just felt was THE HYMN. So we decided we would sing one to make our minds up. But during the service she opens her hymnbook to How Great Though Art. A hymn that she was planning on saving for something else, and says she feels like we should sing this one. Hna Jensen wanted to solo the first one in English. She has a wonderful voice. And we sang the other verses together in Spanish. 

So for the closing hymn, we sang Eternas Pueden Ser Las Eternas. I write in Spanish because I think it sounds better in Spanish.Haha. I used to dislike that hymn...but now I love it. What a priveldge we have that because there are temples on the earth, we can be families forever.

Temples and Covanents. What it talked about in the womens conference. I miss going to the temple and I decided that when I return home, I´m gonna make time to go each week. I know that what little sacrifice I have for it the Lord will bless me.

Ana`s confirmation of the Gift of Holy Ghost on Sunday. It made me want to cry of happiness. It almost did. Just another confirmation of how much the Lord loves us and knows us. In her blessing, like near the end...it mentioned that one day she and her family would get sealed in the temple. Hna Jensen and I just looked at eachother with the biggest smiles on our faces. It also mentioned that she would have a calling in the Relief Society presidency. What was cool, is that the Patriarch lives in the ward so he gave her confirmation.

These words I wrote...do not justify the happiness I feel. That through me and my companion, the Lord was able to bring another one of his beloved daughters to the truth. It`s been such a blessing to teach Ana!

Much Love,
Hermana Jones




Monday, September 22, 2014

Christ's Church

Hi Everyone,

I have so much I want to share. I hope I can find the time.

So...I had a little bit of an epiphany, ...a continuation from yesterday to today that I want to share. Yesterday for my study I was studying about Christ's earthly ministry as well as a bit of the Apostacy. There are two scriptures from the bible that PMG provides. One talks about how we don`t just choose Christ, but He chooses us. After Christ and his apostles died, the gospel was gone from the earth. Then there came all those different churches. There came reformers, because they didn`t like what the church they had at that time was teaching, so they took what they wanted and started their own church. There were inspired people, and for that I am grateful. They helped create religous freedom. But that's not how the gospel works. The gospel is of God, not of Man. We can interpret it any way we want to, how we might like it, but the gospel is of God. Joseph Smith, our first prophet in the latter days is a true prophet of God. He was confused by all these different churches, and when he read James 5, he KNEW he had to ask God. God and Jesus Christ answered him. Joseph Smith was chosen to restore the church just as Jesus Christ had it when he was on the earth. This is why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter'Day Saints isn`t just another church to choose from. It is literally Christ´s church.

There's so much to study that's in Preach My Gospel, so many references for us to look up and read...., the mission library... The reason why is because part of building your testimony of something is actively learning it. My understanding of The Apostacy and how it affected the world has really has grown these past few days. I want to study so much more about it.

We had Zone Conference this week. I learned a lot. I already knew it`s important to keep up with the converts and help them grow their testimonies, but it`s also important to keep up in where they're at in other things in activity in the church. I could expand on more... but to sum it up it`s called the Work of Salvation. I have lots I want to write.

One day we were on the bus to go to comida and this clown was on it performing...they do things sometimes on the bus here in Mexico. We were about to get of, and the clown was saying 'getting off already wueras? I love you Canada!´ and it was so weird because everyone uaually assumes I´m from the United States.

I want to talk about Hector. He is a dad of some members in the ward and we met him at the ward Mexico Day party. His daughters wanted us to come visit him this week, so we went Saturday. He's duro ... like he's not sure if there is a God or not. We had such a great lesson. We were there with two of his daughters and his grandson that recently returned home from his mission. Even though he's duro ... we both, Hna Jensen and I, can see such a potential in him, That once he gets that testimony...it's going be a strong one.

Yesterday, some other members told us that we should come visit their neighbours, and that the neighbours knew that we were going to come. The Rodrigues Family. We met four of them yesterday. They're Catholic by belief but they don't attend. We had a really good lesson with them, and they were asking lots of questions about baptism, as they were baptized as babies. Like with Hector, Hna Jensen and I can see some really good potencial with them, like they truely want to known what they should be doing.

We've been doing lessons with converts and less actives about Family History. And with that, I would love to know more about my family history. Starting with my great grandparents...so if I could get info on them, that would be fabulous.

Why does time always run by so fast?

Les Quiero!

Hermana Tessa Marie Jones





Monday, September 15, 2014

Independence Day


Buenas casi Dia de Independencia por Mexico,

It´s tomorrow. There are a lot of flags, and red and green and white.  It makes me think of Christmas. Also, they closed off part of one side of the calle principal for a little carnival. The rides have been sitting there for  2 or 3 days now, and they're not even open yet.

Also...before I forget to add the funny thing that happened this morning, I´m gonna write it now.  Hna Jensen wanted to take a glance at the sky this morning to see if it was going to rain, because it rains a lot here. She opened the front door, and right as she did it this man walked by. So she just says 'Buenas Días!´', because it was a little awkward and then she closed the door.  We just start laughing really hard.

So...last week I lied and said that Ana had to wait 4 more Sundays. It was actually 3. So now she just has to wait 2. We went to go visit her yesterday at her house, and the night before we were wondering what to teach her because she basically has everything.  Saturday night Hna Jensen flipped to a random page in True to the Faith and we decided we'd teach her that topic.  It turned out, it was something she really needed.
Something that breaks my heart a little...she and her husband are moving...basically right after she gets baptized. They're moving to Escamela. I won't get to teach Ana as a recent convert, and I won't be able to see Oscar get baptized for when he finally gets a break on Sundays. Or see their adorable daughters. Tomorrow President is coming here so we're having a zone conference with Orizaba and Cordoba together.  I'm going to tell Hna Kind to take good care of them.

We had divisions this week. I worked in Orizaba with Hna Terry. There, I was part of a lesson  teaching this little girl about baptism.  That was fun. I really do love divisions, and I always feel like in the mornings when we get together to discuss what we learned... they help me. Like they are directed at me.

Let's talk about Keyra. This week she told us that since we've been coming to visit her, she's noticed a change in her house. A good change. She told us that she and her mom are getting along a lot better. The first time I went to her house, we were talking with her mom, and she was telling us about how the relationship between her and her daughter was a little rocky. So to hear that from Keyra felt so good, and that part of my service as a missionary is making changes in peoples lives.

When there comes good, there comes some adversary. I've been struggling a little bit, forgetting the power that I have as a missionary. Sometimes because I can't always understand the people so I'm not exactly sure how to help them. But right now I'm doing okay. I just need to find time to read my scriptures for myself a little more, as reading for myself always gives me a form of peace. I studied about hope this morning, and there's a scripture. Romans 15:4 that talks about how we can find hope through the scriptures, and then a little further in 15:13 it talks about how God is a God of hope. You should all read it. I want to find a scripture about hope everyday.

We found someone new to teach this week. The poor thing. Her daughter passed away 10 years ago and she's having some other trials too. All these people we teach really need the gospel, but it's a little sad when they don't quite see it.

We had to drop Raquel. Whenever we went to her house she was never there, and she didn´t show up at church the past two weeks. I know agency is a gift and we all chose to have it, but sometimes it just kills me a little when people don't use their agency to recieve even more blessings.
Rayo also told us on Sunday when we dropped by her house in the morning to see if she wanted to come to church with us that she was going to continue going to the church of her parents. She has a lot of fear. But I feel that one day she will overcome that fear and join the church.

Continue the prayers for Ivan. He's had so many answers to his prayers...he's basically a walking miracle from what Hna Jensen has told me... but he's not recognizing them as answers. We really do want him to have all the blessings he can get from baptism.

Oh...so the other day we went to visit a less active recent convert of 6 months. He hasn't been at church because he's been opening his store on Sundays and other things that are going on. We saw him at church yesterday, so that made us really happy!

Hopefully nothing too crazy happens tonight, as everyone gets excited for Independence Day here.

Les Quiero!
Hermana Jones




Monday, September 8, 2014

Nogales happenings

Mi Querida Familia a queridos Amigos,

It's raining right now. Just in case you were all curious. It rains a lot here in Nogales.

 Ivan didn't get baptized this Sunday. He does plan to get baptized, but he wishes to be better in health before doing so and is waiting for a firm answer. But he will. We`ve just got to respect his decision for now. Something funny, his son in one of his prayers asked that his dad could make the decision to get baptized.

Ana was able to come to church yesterday! She is so wonderful. She told us the other day that she has a testimony of Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon and the church. She had some insiteful things to say in Gospel Principles. The Elders had a baptism after church, so she stayed to watch that. We`re almost done teaching her all the lessons. We just have a few commandments, and lesson 5 and we still have to wait 4 more Sundays.

Something funny that happened during one of our visit when Oscar was also there.  They wanted to know about the our families and the names of everyone. They asked our names too. Usually we don't give them , but it's Ana and Oscar - so as long as they promised to still call us by Hermanas. So I said 'mi nombre es Tessa'.
Oscar:`Su nombre es casa?¨ looking really confused.  Hna Jensen, Ana, and I started laughing.  For the people that don't know spanish, casa means house, so he first heard that my name was house.

We had to drop some investigators this week. All the set appointments we made...they weren`t there. But we picked up 3.

Rayo. She's a former investigator. Her family is Catholic and when she was getting taught she wasn't 18 yet and didn't get good permission from her parents. So hopefully it can be okay now.
Keyra, another former. Her mom is a less active. Keyra is sisters with Sarai ... from Ojo de Agua.
Raquel,  mother of a recent convert who is less active right now. Valeria. They both don't like wearing skirts.  Valeria says that is one reason why she's not attending. Raquel  wants to be baptized. When we placed a date with her and she asked ' can it be sooner?`` We placed it for October 5th but she needs to change a few things before she can be baptized. So while we have new ones, which is great, it can be a little frustrating when they don't go to church, especially when they say they're planning and the night before they say they're looking forward to it.

We had a zone class this week.  I got to see Hna. Orr. The first thing she asked me is when we're having a cheese party after we get back, and I`m just said...we've got a year to figure this out.
I´ll be back from my mission in less than a year. How weird is that?
I feel like this letter is short, but I must go and preach the gospel. So I hope you're all doing fine and dandy.

Les Quiero!

Hermana Jones

Monday, September 1, 2014

Moving Day

Hola!

 I moved again, but this time it was only 5 minutes away. We were living in this 4th floor apartment.  There was only one room on each floor and there were just stairs. That apartment is part of the reason why there were special transfers. Hna Jensen's last companion for 3 days had back problems.  Thursday morning she phoned President to tell him this and he  said 'You live on the fourth floor. You can't do this to your back.' So that happened and she's in the Port now where she's close to the hospital to do tests.

Now we live in an actual house. It is so cute! When we have everything set up I'll take pictures. It's the kind of house where...you know when you draw a typical house with a square for the house and a triangle for the roof... it's like that. It also has these little skylights...like little windows in the roof. The Elders helped us move as well as Hno Charly. The house we're renting belongs to this guy in the ward. He didn't move his stuff out, and it was 6 in the morning. So we weren't the happiest campers. While the Elders were helping him move his stuff out of the way...Hna Jensen and I were going up and down 4 flights of stairs to move our stuff. After that we needed to clean our apartment. The sister training leaders came after a little bit to help us out. So...that was basically my day. We still have some work to do to get our house all in order. Moving is a pain.

I'm not sure if I've said  how long Hna Jensen has been on the mission. She's just a transfer ahead than me. We're really similar. We both like to be timely people, we love hugs, we love essensial oils... she has this little kit of them. She also likes organic food.  Best of all ... she's a fellow nerdfighter! The other day I said... "so we nerdfighters are preaching the gospel. That's probably one of the best ways to fight against world suck.´´

The way we work our speaking of English and Spanish is we start the Spanish when we begin studying and end it mas o menos when we get home.

 I sang' Oh Canada' this week. We were walking down the street going to an investigators house and ran into the family Charly. I say it backwards cause that's how it is in Spanish. I love them! I think they are the Hernandez family of Nogales.  Hno Charly is the ward mission leader. The older son... I forget his name, asked me what the Canadian Anthem is like ... so I sang it..In the streets with people walking by. No shame. Hna Gladys Charly said 'you should have seen your face. You just lit right up when you were singing your anthem.'

Okay...our investigators... I want to start with Ana because I just love her. She had one or two weeks of being taught before I came here. It was her husband actually who was a reference from the church offices. But Hna Jensen ... or was it Hna Terry... I forget which one... went to their house and Oscar (the husband) wasn't there.  Ana asked if they wanted to come in. Of course! Ana is golden...she accepts everything really easily. When she learned that coffee was against the Word of Wisdom...she just right stopped drinking it. What is hard is that she has to wait 4 more weeks until her baptism because her date keeps falling. Last weekend her baby got sick in the middle of the night and this Sunday her sister in law showed up out of the blue and told her to watch her kid.  This frustrates Ana because she really wants to get baptized. Please pray for her. Really...please pray of all our investigators. Oscar is awesome and really tries to understand what we're saying. But just recently his shifts got switched to Sundays...so he doesn't have a baptism date because he can't attend church. He's also having a little troubles with the not drinking coffee. So keep him in your prayers too. When we taught the Plan of Salvation this week he told us that his end goal was to have an eternal family.

Ivan... he's done getting taught all the lessons, but he's not entirely sure if he's ready for baptism yet. We have a goal for this upcoming Sunday. Ivan is sick...the doctors diagnosed him with cancer but they're not sure where. So he's taking chemotherapy which can really tire him out. One thing our District leader told us to try to help him this past week was to read Alma 24... about the Anti'NephiLehites, so we left that as an assignment with him at the end of one of our lessons.  We read some of it with him during the next lesson. He told us the next time we visited that he read it again.  This Sunday it was talked about during the third hour. Because Ivan doesn't feel the best all the time, he doesn't always stay the three hours of church but this time he did, and he thought it was really cool.

Tabitha. She's the mother of some recent converts in the ward. She tells us that she finds it will be dificult to change, as she's been in her religion for 28 years, but she never says she won't change. One thing we've tried to tell her is that she's not changing... she´s adding on to what she knows about God and Christ, really she´s getting the fullness of the gospel, not just part of it.

Catolina. She's a reference from a member. Please have her in your prayers. Our first meeting with her she was just so confused. The Jehovah's Witnesses are also seeing her ... so she spent about 10 minutes asking if it wrong to put up a Christmas tree at Christmas time. She feels like a bad person because she hasn't been to her own church in a year (she's Catholic) and she's listening to both us and the Jehovah's Witnesses. She has a shell, but our second visit with her it was starting to break a little. She told us that her husband left her a year ago, and she's really having a hard time with that. She didn't go to church though. We passed by her house yesterday and she said she was busy with house chores. We told her that if she really prays to God to know which is the road for her, he will answer. Please pray for her.

This Saturday we started this mission activity. It's movie nights at the church. Movies made by the church. We watched The Testaments. There weren't a whole lot of people there... but some who did come were a reference for us from Hno Charly. They were really  touched by it. We hope we can find them this week and start to teach them.

That was a bit of my week.
I hope all of yours were awesome,

Love,
Hermana Tessa Marie Jones

Monday, August 25, 2014

Surprise transfer

Hello Todos!

So... I'm writing from the city of Orizaba. I promise I'm not joking. I was in Veracruz with my two companions, Hermana Korzenowski and Hermana Jarquin.  Sometimes there are special transfers, and this one involved me. We were walking to our comida when the President's assistant called me and told me "Disculpe" (I'm not sure the best word to translate that into English)" but you are going to Oriziba tomorrow and you're going to be companions with Hna Jensen.'  For some reason...I wasn't entirely shocked. I had a feeling I would stay in Orizaba this transfer.  I'm in a totally different part, a lot more into the valley of the mountains,so it's a lot cooler here than where I was. It's called Nogales.  I'm in the same district as Hna DeFriez. And Hna Orr  is in the zone. So...I´m in the Zone of Orizaba. Or Orizaba Zone...but it sounds weird to say it like that cause it´s backwards in Spanish.

Monday Night...I did a round of goodbyes. I wasn't able to see everyone I wanted as they didn't all live in the same area, but it was a night of goodbyes , and with them, I could tell that I was able to make some kind of impact in the lives of these people.  If people are going to miss you, it means you did something right. Something I found endearing... We were at one members house, and she said  to me 'keep safe'. Why did i find it endearing? As  missionaries, we use usted (formal you) for everyone and people say that to us. She said 'cuidate' informal,  not `'cuidase'. Cuidate is something you would use for your friends or your kids'. So...that felt good..

 When I arrived in Veracruz, I was able to see Hna Orr, Furner, and Fletcher at the big bus station.  Hna Fletcher is training now. Hna Furner is out in the Tuxtlas. They're all doing well.
So...if I cant share everything, because I want to write a lot, I want to share one experience from Veracruz. Hna Korzenowski left her bank card for the mission at the bank machine on Monday. She didn´t realize it until Wednesday, so she phoned the assistant incharge of money and he was going to put her money into my account.  Thursday  when were walking to comida,  this young man came up and asks hna Korzenowski 'is your name (her actual name)´ Hna k 'yes, but in this time i'm hna korzenowski`  He then said,  "I  have your bank card.  I  found you on facebook and sent you a message but got no response.  So here`s your card`  Hna K was saying that they are almost never on this road, and this man...he didn't even live in the area. His work was around there for the day. Coinidence? No. Another solid evidence that God exists and cares about us.

So...apparently this area is really big as well. I hope I`'ll be able to know it well,and better than when I had to lead the area of Ojo in surprise. Hna Jensen is awesome. She's already told me a bunch about her friends and some of her life.  She's been a little stressed lately about some things from before I came. Saturday morning the STL's made a random visit to see what we need.  We found that  a little odd at first, as now it's Hna Zarate and Hna Terry, and Hna Terry was just recently companions with Hna Jensen, so she knew what the house needed.  Hna Jensen was still a bit stressed that morning and the STLs could tell. So Hna Zarate said ´'do you want to do some divisions today?`'  We decided we would. The STL's went to make a quick visit to some other hnas before we did divisions for the day. Hna Jensen went with Hna Zarate to their area and I was working with Hna Terry.  They just started English classes, and they`re on Saturdays.   Hna Terry and I taught our student how to sing  "I am a Child of God  in English. The day with her was really cool. She's an awesome hermana. But why did they visit us if Hna Terry was just at the house?  The STL's were waiting for a bus to take them to the hna`s that lived a little bit farther than us. But...the bus just wasn't coming so they decided they would take a bus to our area and connect with another bus that would take them to the other hna's area.  They thought to drop us a visit on the way.  Hna Jensen told me that today what Hna Zarate told her. Why didn't the bus come in the time they were waiting for it? Who knows...but what I do know...  they needed to visit us. They needed to help Hna Jensen with her needs that I wasn't able to help her with in that moment.

Hna Jensen is awesome. She's from Utah. In a small little town behind a mountain  that's by Lake Utah...or something like that. We've already established that I'm coming to visit her when I´m done and watch all these musicals that I've never seen. Well...I was already making a plan to visit Utah with almost all my of MTC district that lives there.  She was in musical theatre in High School.  She also has an amazing singing voice.
Hna Jensen just told me that she got an email from her mom asking for Hna Jensen to serve on jury duty.  She's s a little too far from Utah to do that,.


Time is up!
And I love you all!
Love the gospel!

Hna Jones