Monday, May 26, 2014

One Transfer Down!

Mis Amigos y familia,

 I have survived one transfer, and the next transfer I can tell is going to be really different.

Other than an Elder in our zone going home, all the transfers are in this single district. Hermana Zarate is going to be an sister training leader in Orizaba and Hermana Ledek is going to Tuxtapec. So There are going to be Hermanas whitewashing Escamela ward. Elder Lopez is going to the port [VERACRUZ] and I will get a new little brother (Elder Boyd is training). And one of our zone leaders is also getting transferred.

AND...... I am getting a new mom. The uncommon things always seem to happen with me on my mission. Hermana Orduña is going to the port and she will finish Hermana Orr's training. Hermana. Orr´s mom is coming here to finish training me. As transfers are tomorrow and all the Hermana´s nearby are going be at the port, I´m going to Cordoba tomorrow to teach with some Hermana´s there. I also get to wake up nice and early. 4am, but hey I´ve gotten up earlier before.

This letter will be shorter because Hermana and I have to make a whole bunch of short visits to members of the ward tonight, and then our district is going for supper at the stake president´s house.

This transfer will be a little bit of a challenge because I´m in charge of the area now, and introducing Hermana Garcia to the members. I still don´t know them all yet. So I could use some prayers for that. Hermana Orduña asked how I was feeling today after the news last night ... for some weird reason I´m feeling pretty calm.  Hermana Orduña says Hernana Garcia will be good for me. 

Elder Boyd is feeling pretty confident about this transfer. It´s his last area and he´s said this has been the hardest area he´s been in. But he feels that we´re gonna get some baptisms next transfer.
Speaking of which... we had to drop our date. V is really hard to find and if investigators don´t come to church for two weeks, we have to drop them.

More members have told me that I´m speaking a lot more, and there are a few words that I´ve picked up this week.

This week I:

was part of a lesson where I felt the Spirit so was SOO nice, you have no idea. At the MTC you are always feeling the Spirit, so it was really nice.

went to a birthday party of a member in the ward in´s gorgeous there. Really, it was the family and us missionaries. And their cute little puppies.

had sushi. It was tasty.

Hermana Sarai gave us a big thing of Chilatoles. We had them at her house twice this week too. A pity that Hernana Orduña can´t have a whole lot more, because we have lots to eat. And they´re not made at the port.

I don´t have my planner with me, so it´s a little hard to remember all that we´ve done.

I had a nightmare the other night. I came home from my mission and I couldn´t remember a thing and I was really unhappy. I was SOOO glad when I woke up. I was telling Hermana Orduña and she said to me "... Well do you pray for good dreams at night?" and I realized I never did. All my dreams on the mission haven´t been very pleasant. So the next night when I said my prayers, I asked to either have a good dream, or no dream at all. I had a good dream, I was helping the people in my ward with something. And last night I had a good dream as well. I´m really grateful that Heavenly Father answers our prayers.

Yesterday when we took a taxi to comida, the driver had a pass along card on his dash. So we asked him who he received it from and he received it from some Hermana´s in another ward. He lives in our boundaries, so I hope I can find his house with the directions he gave us.

Yesterday at the end of Relief Society, Hermano Laulo came in to talk with the RS. Our food calendar for June was pretty empty, and he told the story in the Bible of how there was that one lady that didn´t have a lot of food but a man came and asked her for a meal. And afterwords, because of her faithful service, she was told that she would never hunger again. Well...our calendar got pretty full. So thanks to the families that feed the missionaries everywhere :).

Well, this upcoming transfer comes with responsibilities I didn´t think I would yet be in charge of. If Elder Boyd can do it after being out here in this area for 6 weeks, so can I.

Bring it.

Les Quiero Mucho!

Hermana Jones :)

Elder Boyd's #selfie
It is tradition to get your face smashed into cake on your birthday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blanca Nieves

Hola Everybody!

First, I must congratulate myself. It´s been the first week of me being out here in the field that I haven´t cried once. Okay, last week it was when I was sick and I would have rather been sick at home. gets better!

Sometimes I have dreams where I can´t speak a lick of Spanish and I don´t like those dreams. But I picked up on a few more words this week, such as suyo or cierto. I´m not entirely sure in what context to use them so I´ll keep listening to my trainer. It´s funny the random words I pick up. 

So in the mornings, something I´ve never mentioned yet... we wake up at 6:15 so we can have 10 minutes to read the New Testament before we´s a mission wide thing. I like it because I haven´t been able to really read it since my first year of seminary. But I started reading it in Spanish this week alongside my English. Since this time is just for me, I thought first to just read in English, but now I do first in Spanish, and I only look in English if I don't know a word. story. We have another connection in my area, with home. Jessie Tanner, go get Brandon. You'll see why. Our ward mission leader is Hno. Laulo. The other day he had us and the elders at his house for pizza. He likes to say Canada must be boring...all a joke. He said that he had a mission companion from Alberta. He took down this collage on the wall from his mission and I took a quick glance at it. ¨Elder Tanner¨ he said, and was about to put it back in the wall. The name clicked, and I knew Brandon served in Mexico City. I was just like ¨wait, wait, wait¨. And I was too excited to think in Spanish I said wait in English. So, there was a picture of him and Brandon as mission companions. And so I told them that his wife is a friend of mine.

This week. So remember all those contacts I told about for Tuesday? one was home. However, Hno and Hna Celiceo, the less actives from last week, they were at their house for FHE. Hno. Celiceo taught us about eternal families. And that night I had my first chilatole in what felt like forever. It was amazing! But...earlier on Tuesday we had our meal with a member in the ward who is 5 minutes from our house. I was in the bathroom for a minute and I came out and Hna said ¨Vamos a nuestra casa!". Okay, I didn't entirely understand why, but when we got to the street we starting running to our house. There was rain and thunder, and we had clothes on our clothesline. (we dry our clothes in the sun here). But those elements didn't click to me at that moment. ¨Why are we running¨¨ I asked Hna. ¨Nuestras ropas!!!¨  Yeah...sometimes I can be a little blonde.

This week, my favourite day was Thursday. In the morning we went to the Hernandez house to help Hna Cookies (wife of Hno Hernandez) and Karen decorate some items for the ward activity we would have later that night. They also fed us breakfast, which was nice because we barely have any food in our house. 

We went after to visit a family that was referenced to us as a less active family. They´re a part member family, as they stopped attending their church before their youngest (who is 12) could be baptized.  We're going to their house sometime this week for FHE. We hope for them to return to church and teach their 12 year old so the father can baptize her.

We were to visit an investigador after our visit with them and were hoping for a taxi to come soon. I said a little prayer in my head that we could have one to come soon. So when the taxi came, which wasn´t too long after, we started talking with the driver. He has a Book of Mormon, and knows it to be true. But he works all the time he hasn´t had time for the missionaries to come and teach him. He gave us his contact info. So that was a cool experience. 
With our investigator R, our plan was to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. But he had some other questions and we ended up teaching him some of the commandments, like the Word of Wisdom. He knows English, so he talks to me in English and I teach him in English. Hna says that when I have the oppurtunity, teach in my language. That lesson really reminded me that we are here to teach people, not lessons. Why there is a guide such as Preach My Gospel.

That night, the ward activity was a belated Mother´s Day activity that involved the whole ward. There were different challanges to be done, and we were in charge of two. Hna, Elder Lopez and I had letters of the alphabet. Corresponding with the letters were Hno. Laulo. Hno Hernandez and Elder Boyd. When we flipped to a new letter, they had a theme and had to talk about something corrosponding with that letter. It was quite funny. But afterwords, they wanted to switch roles. anmd have us talk about how it is hard to be women because we have to be dressed up all the time. E. Lopez was the conscience of a women. Hna was worried about me because I don´t know everything in the Spanish language. Elder Boyd said I could do it in English, but that would be no fun for me. So I did it in the limited spanish I know. The ward had quite a laugh. It was fun.

The second challange was for some of the hermanos in the ward to play telephone, but charades style. They all faced one direction and the hermano behind one would tap their shoulder and act it out. We chose movies for them to act out. I chose Snow White. Pretend to eat an apple and fall, right?
The first Hermano pointed at me ... the only guera in the room and bobbed his hand for the seven dwarves. So the trend continued. I found it funny, so now I have the sign on my desk, and why I had Hna take a picture of me in it.

Sunday, for our third hour, we the missionaries were in charge of teaching the hermanos and hermanas together. I was slightly terrified because though I just had to speak 5 minutes, it was the most I would speak at a time in front of a large amount of people. I s`poke of the importance of sharing our testimonues with our friends. Either I did a good job, or the ward wanted to make me feel better about my lack of spanish, or both. But there were some people who came up to me afterwords that said they liked hearing my portion. I think it was good atleast. 

Well, I look forward to this next week, where Hna says that I´m in charge of planning where we go and starting the lessons.

Keep being awesome!

Les Quiero Mucho! 

And a Happy Belated Birthday to the amazing Ali Grant!!!

Hermana Jones


Tessa y Tessa

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We Have a Baptism Date!!!


First, I want to talk about yesterday because it was awesome. Not only because I got to talk with my family but because of some other things.

WE HAVE A BAPTISM DATE!!!! On Sunday, after comida we went to go visit some less actives who haven´t been to church in a long time. Hno. C is a great man and knows that God is very important in his life. There was a lot more good stuff that he said, but when you´re trying to listen and interprate what is being said, that takes a lot of energy. So take my word for it :). One concern about coming back to church was that he didn´t really have church clothes, so Hna shared with him that scripture in Samuel...that God doesn´t care about your outward appearence, he cares about what is in your heart. Which is a lovely message for all of us. As long as we have that desire to follow God, that´s all what he needs.

After our visit with them, V was walking up the street (the guy we had a lesson on the street with the other week). Hna had to talk on the phone for a bit so as we were walking to Abi´s house so I could skype, I talked with him of what I could with my limited Spanish. My Spanish is growing! Little by little. I understand what people mean when the say mandé.
V. When we got to Abi´s, Hna told him to wait a moment. So after I was set up with Skype. Hna and Abi went out to teach him one of the lessons. After skype, after Abi´s, when we were going home in the taxi, Hna told me ¨Tenemos una fecha!¨ I am so excited!!! I don´t even care I wasn´t there for the invitation.

Last Tuesday during our zone conference, Presidente was conducting interviews. It was his last one since he is getting switched soon. He is a good man! And I know the next one will be excellent as well. He really cares about his missionaries. At the end of my interview with him, instead of a closing prayer he asked if he could give a blessing, as it was his last interview with his missionaries. I understood parts here and there. But though I couldn´t understand everything, I could feel love. Love from him and love from my Father in Heaven.

Wednesday. We got up at 4:30-5:00 that day. We had a hermana conference to get ready for in Veracruz! It´s 3 hours away so we had a bus to take at 6:30. It was so good! It was wonderful to see the Hna´s from my district as well as Hna Blankmeyer! (Family, you know some already). They are all serving in zones in Veracruz. Hna´s DeFriez y Blankmeyer are even in the same district. When you spend 6 weeks all the time with Hna´s like them, they become your family. So it felt like an early Christmas present to see them again. They have been wondering where I´ve been all this time.
Hermana Fletcher told me that lately she´s experienced some Tender Mercies. One day, during a zone conference she was thinking how she was going to go through her mission without hearing a Josh Groban song (we´re only allowed to listen to MoTab and EFY songs), and during a presentation came a Josh Groban song (was it a different one because I never heard one at my zone conference). Also...if you remember, she´s one of the biggest Frozen fans I know. Frozen focuses on sisterhood, and one of the themes of the Hermana´s conference was sisterhood. We got to watch the clip with the song Do You Want To Build a Snowman.
Thursday I slept a lot [Tessa got sick]. In the afternoon both Thurs and Fri, we had divisions with the Escamela Hermanas so Hna could go out and do some work. Hna Zarate went with her and Hna Ledek stayed with me. I´ve been able to get to know her a lot better these past few days. She´s an only child, and she was saying that going out on a mission feels like she´s starting her own story. Since she was young she had the thought in her head to go on a mission. Both of her parents have served one.  Her saying that this was a start of her own story was really cool to hear.  She also loves The Fault In Our Stars and is sad that she will miss the release of the movie as well. She gets to see it 6 weeks earlier than me. It´s cool. On Friday night, for part of it we tried to play Spanish scrabble. It was a lot trickier than we thought, but we got a few new words from it.

It was so nice to go out and work again on Saturday! I was so happy! We did some service for Hna Sarai...who is one of our mothers in the ward, other than Hna Cookies. It was trying to make her gelatins look pretty by injecting colour in them...I was really bad at it so I looked for other ways to serve. We also went to Porterillo and got some street contacts for lessons tomorrow. I really hope they follow through. Hna got flowers from Hna. Cookies for mothers day because she´s my mission mother.

On Sunday morning, I could barely speak because my body thinks its fun to give me a cold. When we sang a song in church for the Relief Society in my ward and Sacrament Meeting for Escamela ward, I mouthed it all because it hurt to sing. There were three other voices with the Escamela Hermanas, plus the voice on the recording.

I look forward to working this next week, and building up my props I bought today to go with my lessons.

Les Quiero!

Hermana Jones

They love to see the temple.

Hermana Jones and Hermana Ledek


Hermanas in the Cordoba zone.

Monday, May 5, 2014



Hard week. But here´s something Hna O tells me every day. Disfrutan. Which translates to enjoy it. There are always difficulties. Everywhere. But enjoy it because on a mission, the closest on earth I´ll be with the Savior. The best 18 months of my life. The hardest 18 months of my life. That this mission is preparing me for the rest of my life. So I need to remember that. I need to enjoy every moment.

Yesterday was probably the hardest for me. I woke up and decided to check up on my money. I was already in a bad mood when I woke up because of the stress of this past week. But then I went to check on my money, and for some reason a large portion of it went missing. Don´t know how or when it happened, but it did. It was Fast Sunday yesterday, which meant testomonies. I wasn´t in the mood to go up and bear mine. So in my notebook, I decided to write mine down for the day. Which was basically about the Atonement. That Jesus Christ is here for me and has felt every emotion I´ve felt. Abi, a member who was sitting beside me and wrote "don´t worry. be happy. I love you."  Little notes like that. Kind little gestures. I don´t know if people realize how much they mean to me. The letters that people wrote me before I left and while on the mission. The best. Thank you.

Monday night, we ran into a street contact again. On the street. So we had a lesson on the street. I mainly listened because I didn´t understand everything. His mom died when he was younger and his father drinks...I´m guessing with the saddness that came with that. He´s 19 and he doesn´t know how to read. We want to teach him. We tried to find him at his house with Abi on Friday, but he wasn´t there. So we hope to find him again soon.

Wednesday we had divisions with the STLs (sister training leaders). I was talking the day before with Hna. Ledek, who is a transfer before me, and she was saying that the newbie would go to the STL's area. Guess what ... I stayed in my area. When I found out, I was freaking out. I still don´t know my area that well. Hna O planned the day with me.  Mainly we would go to references and street contacts. It was a good day, I learned a lot. When we all got together at the end of the day to discuss what we learned... they had some wise words.

Thursday or Friday...I forget. But we went to contact a reference who was not at home.  So when we were walking up the street to find another reference, there was this man who yelled out "Hello Hermanas!"  We went to talk to him and see if he was a member. He´s not. But he agreed to be taught again and even referred us to his daughter who lives 3 doors down from him. So I have hopes for him. 

Friday we bussed out to Tuxtlaplan. I probably didn´t spell that  right. It was one of the most beautiful places I´ve seen in this area. I didn´t bring my camera that day. I think you should all google it.

These past few days have been cold. Probably around 10-15 degrees.  I even wore my coat the other day, so I´m happy I brought it.

I´d appreciate some prayers. Getting to know members and who they are is be hard for me in English, names usually fly over my head. But in a different language...yeah... And the area.

I remember Maryn told me to take in the little things on my mission. The sights and sounds and smells. One of my favourite times is in the morning when we exercise because I hear the birds singing and it's like I´m in a rain forest.

Time is up. I must go.

Les Quiero,

Hermana Jones