Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

Hey y'all!
Sister Kerr and I biked all week because we ran out of miles! our area is huge! About two days ago though some Elders from a different area donated their miles to us and they are biking instead for the last week of October before our miles start over. They were so nice and Christ-like to give up their miles for us =) 
We have more good news! The maintenance team is spraying our apartment for bugs today!!! =D 
We had most of our appointments fall through this week, but we still witness many miracles! Sister Kerr claims that the reason our appointments fell through is because she prayed to work on patience this week. So Heavenly Father answers prayers in a variety of ways. =) 
My solo in sacrament meeting went well! and not only did the investigator finally come to church that was playing piano for me but her husband came too! I also think my musical number helped with ward trust so they like us enough to give us referrals =) 
We got a 6th baptism date this week! She is a very sweet and very shy woman with a 9 year old son. 
I had a bag of Reses that I got at the MTC that my companion and I were saving for a special occasion since it is both of our favorite candy. We are also currently trying to friendship a part member family. The 11 year old daughter had a birthday and we asked her mom what her favorite candy was so we could drop it by and she said Reses so we sacrificed our Reses for her. It was a very hard sacrifice for both of us, but the Lord recognized our sacrifice!!!!!! about a week later the same girl made us two homemade peanut butter cups and was super excited to give them to us!!! =) We feel that it is one way the Lord let us know we should continue to make sacrifices for His work. 
Hope y'all are having a great week!
Sister Melina Lillie Jones

Monday, October 20, 2014

One month into the mission!

Hey y'all!
I LOVE my companion, Sister Kerr! I have been finding small ways to serve her this last week because that was one of my goals. I learn so much from her example!
This Sunday Sister Kerr and I got to speak in Sacrament meeting and teach gospel essentials. coming up with lessons really fast has gotten easier and easier. 
We had some MAJOR miracles this week! We contacted into a family of five and were able to set a baptismal date (Dec. 6th) for all five of them! There are two girls ages 8 and 10 and their mom and her brother and the grandma. They loved to hear the message of the restored gospel and the spirit was so strong! The grandma even asked why there were so many churches, but only one God. She said our answer made complete sense to her. At the end of the lesson she prayed thanking God that we came as an answer to her prayers. I can't help but think how special it will be and amazing for the ward when all five  family members are confirmed in the same Sacrament meeting.
Our second miracle was Jose. He was one of my first Spanish contacts! He said he speaks Spanish so I was able to introduce us in Spanish and invite him to hear our message. After a pause that was literally 30 seconds long (I was worried he didn't understand me) he finally said yes. Luckily he spoke and understood enough English for us to teach the restoration right there on the lawn he was in the middle of mowing. He said that he had noticed a lot of churches changing things from the way Jesus Christ had done them and that ministers shouldn't be paid. So when he heard that no one in our church is paid and that we baptize the way Christ was baptized he was really open and interested in learning more. He committed to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it and meet with the Spanish missionaries. Everything about his demeanor was so sincere, he was truly prepared by the Lord and the Lord has blessed Sister Kerr and I so much to lead us to him and to the family of five. 
We had to drop a few investigators this week who were not progressing, but the Lord may soften their hearts over time. 
Sister Kerr and I decided to get creative with our daily contact with our sci-fi loving investigator. We drew a third eye on our foreheads with make-up and stood behind each other to add extra arms to look like aliens and we used these pictures to put a scripture on for him to look up each day. He loved the cards we left and her has been faithfully reading the scriptures every day since we started. He FINALLY turned off the twilight zone/star trek music for our lesson! 
Another miracle was Aron. We contacted into him in a parking lot and set up a time to meet with him. I invited him to be baptized at the end of our lesson and he said yes! but we had to give him to the singles ward missionaries because he is 26. 
When I have enough hope, faith, and obedience, the Lord puts so many miracles in our path and gives us individuals who are prepared!
I will be singing a special musical number in sacrament meeting next week with one of our investigators playing the piano! 
We do not have very many miles on our car so we have been biking and walking a ton the last week. Its a good thing I love biking and walking and its really flat here. I saw my district leader get hit by a car on his bike though...so I will be careful. We still don't know if he is ok or how serious his injuries are, but we are praying for him.
Last week we had 249 contacts total! and apparently most missionaries are stretching themselves to get 140 contacts in a week. We try to talk to EVERYONE even though a whole lot of people reject us. But you never know when you will run into people like Jose or Aron or the family of five. 
Everyone here is scared and talking a lot about the Ebola outbreak in Dallas. I wonder if people away from Texas have heard about that?
Our car broke down today and we thought we wouldn't be able to email or grocery shop but then a ward member miraculously got off work early and saw us and took us to the grocery store and then another member jump started our car and we drove to the repair shop and apparently the corroded battery just needed to be clean and it was done in five minutes! We were SO blessed! 
Over-all it has been a great week! 
Sister Melina Lillie Jones

Monday, October 13, 2014

Quick update - Write her!

I don't really have time to write a letter for my blog or even much of a letter to y'all so sorry!
Ill have to write a good one next week! 
I saw Chloe on the day we go to see meet the Mormons with the entire mission. My companion and I were matching! and the weather is weird one day is was suuuper hot and the next it was like 60 degree and storming. Writing letters actually gets to me faster than emails because we check the mail everyday and I don't have much email time so you can keep emailing me but id also encourage letters if possible =)
Sister Melina Lillie Jones

District - 1st Transfer

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 1 in Texas! - Dallas 6th

Hi everyone!
My trainer is amazing! Her name is sister Kerr and she is from pleasant grove Utah. She is a BYU student and she is going to study elementary ed when she goes back in January. We laugh at all of our silly mistakes and it has just been a very positive and loving companionship! We got doubled in replacing elders that used to be here so its been an adventure trying to figure everything out since neither of us knows the area or the people. It has also been an adventure cleaning the apartment that was occupied by Elders for the last 4-6 years. 
We were asked to teach a Zone training on my second day in the field and that was kind of surprising to me, but it went really well! 
We had a very interesting appointment on my first day...Sister Kerr and I were both shot with a ray gun. This was the same investigator who played twilight zone music in the background and showed us all of his alien and sci-fi drawings. He also spoke everything like someone who was telling a horror story. He is an awesome guy! He would be baptized except he doesn't have a testimony of tithing, so we are working on that. One of our other investigators is a super sweet lady who LOVES to talk nonstop and go off on lots of tangents. She would also be baptized except she is deathly afraid of putting her head under water. We do have a baptism date with a different woman who was sooo prepared to hear the gospel! she loved general conference! We have also been visiting a lot of less active members and pulling the "we are new and just wanted to meet the ward card" (not letting on that we know they are less active) and some of them are starting to be more active because they don't want to be embarrassed in front of us for being less active.
As we were contacting in a park yesterday a man tried to bible bash us and prayed for us that our "eyes would be opened"....sound familiar anyone? 
Texas is perfect right now, the temperatures have been in the 70s. We have a car because our area is huge! It is the Dallas 6th ward and it has part of Dallas, Irving, Farmers Branch, and Addison in it. I am not in the heart of Dallas, but I am near it. hopefully I will have the opportunity to serve out east sometime in my mission. Our car has a small amount of miles allowed though so we will be biking a lot of the time as well. 
I am sure there are a lot of stories I am forgetting to tell y'all, but that's ok! I love y'all and I love the being a missionary and the people in Texas!!!
Sister Melina Lillie Jones

MTC Pictures