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.


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 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!!!!

Elder Stanfield

Veracruz Temple



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.

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


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 Hermana Casabal says to 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.

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  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!!!! 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