Monday, March 30, 2015

The Lord sees the Bigger Picture

Hey y'all!
Sister Vail was still sick for the first half of this week so we were inside again. But she is better now! =) I love training so much because the 12 week program is so refreshing! We had a really great goal setting session on Saturday and some good role plays. I am so grateful for the example that Sister Kerr set for me when she trained me and I am so grateful for the good habits we started together that I try to pass on.
Jason is doing really well! We have an appointment scheduled with his mom to share with her what Jason is learning and to ask permission to baptize him. We pray that she will be softened! Jason ask me the other day "Sister Jones! When can I get baptized?!" =)
Josh is still progressing really well, we believe his baptism really will be on the 11th.
We are going to try to get a group together to do temple baptisms with our recent converts! Sister Rebecca Jones, Brother Jones, Debbie, and Ben are all getting their reccomends soon and preparing family names! =)
We had a crazy miracle with Sister McCoy (returning to activity). We were teaching tithing and she started to cry and ask "what more can He ask me to sacrifice!" I felt so sad for her and so uncomfortable with what the spirit was telling us to do. The spirit kept pushing us to keep pushing tithing even when she felt so hopeless. So we pushed it even after she was crying. Believe me I did not want to, I just wanted to hug her. We saw her at church 30 minutes later and she was holding a tithing envelope and slip with a big smile on her face! She came up to hug me and said "I get it!"
I learned that we need to follow the spirit no matter how uncomfortable we are! What the Lord wants is much better than what we want. If I followed my own feelings she would have missed out on the blessings, so I continue to try to make my wants and the Lords wants the same. She is going to be soooo blessed for paying her tithing! =)
We were asked to sing at an 8 year old active family member baptism! That shows how much this ward loves the missionaries =) Sister Vail was still sick Saturday so I went on exchanges and sang for little Emma =) she is adorable!
We recieved crazy news that as a mission we are no longer using object lessons, or certain analogies, not even the plan of salvation circles visual! This is going to change our teaching style a lot, but the apostles have said that they distract from the central message of the atonement and investigators only remember the random visual or object instead of the message. It will be kind of exciting to change up the lessons more and dig deeper into the doctrine. =) Aparently we are getting iPads in June! so half my mission will have been without them and half with them. It is kind of cool that I get to experience both ways.
Sister Jones

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hey y'all!
So the assistants forgot to call us and tell us that Sister Terry was actually getting transferred and I am back-up training again! We had to pack super fast on Tuesday! Sister Vail is my new companion. She is from California and she is super sweet! unfortunately she has been sick the whole time we have been together so I have been doing a lot of member exchanges to go out and teach and doing lessons over the phone. We have been to the doctors and she is slowly recovering.  
Sister Rebecca Jones baptism went really well! The spirit was so strong! It was such a miracle and a blessing to be a part of because Brother Jones was less active for years and he and his wife took this journey together and he was able to baptize her! It was so special to be able to see their love for each other and how much the gospel has strengthened their family! Sister Terry was able to come back into town for the baptism and we got to sing together. 
Josh is doing really well! He is progressing so fast, he has this deep understanding of the principles. He is paying tithing and donating to the missionary fund! It really is a sacrifice for him to do that since he is not a member yet, and he is not super well-off.
Jason is also still doing great! He is super excited to come to church every week and continue to learn about the gospel.
On Saturday we called down the potentials list inviting all of them to church. One guy that answered, Fernie, sounded really surprised that we could hear him. Apparently his phone had been broken for two weeks, but it worked for our phone call to invite him to church! So he came! He told us that it felt very "homey" there and he had lots of questions. It was one of the miracles that we saw that came out of sickness because if we had not bee confined to our room we would not have taken so much time to call so many potentials. (potentials are people we have previously met on the street or at doors who said they might be interested in the future). 
I am so grateful to continue the work in The Colony! It really is a blessed town. The spirit of missionary work is on fire in all of the members and the spirit rests upon all the people. I am also so blessed to have all of y'alls support!
Sister Jones

 Rebecca Jones Baptism

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Lord knows us best!

hey y'all!
I can't believe I am already 6 months out and 1/3 of the way through! Time goes by so fast! Sister Terry and I are both staying in the Colony for another transfer!!!!! Which I am very relieved because I can feel that my work in this area is not done yet.

This is a Colony record. We beat it by 2, the previous record was last summer and it was 8. 7 of the 10 were people who came for the very first time! We also had the most lessons taught to an investigator with a member present out of the entire mission! Wow, I have no idea how I was so blessed to be able to serve in this area!  

Last Monday we stopped by a less active family to visit and we found their neighbor there hanging out with all of the boys (ages 19 to 26). We started talking to this neighbor kid, Jason, and he wanted to learn more about the church! I felt like I really connected with him and that I was specifically blessed to be here because he has autism. I felt myself naturally change my teaching style to fit his needs, as people with autism learn differently. The Lord has really prepared me to work with him because of all of my experiences before my mission! This just demonstrates how the Lord knows us so well and He will place us where we need to be when we listen to him. I am so blessed to be able to work with Jason. He even came to church on Sunday and wants to come back every week!

Josh is still doing great! We taught him about tithing and he wants to start paying now instead of waiting to be baptized! His baptismal date is April 11th! =) Josh was at church this week and he brought his dad to church as well!

We have also seen how the devil works on those who are so close to baptism! We had a baptismal interview scheduled with Sister Rebecca Jones, but earlier that day she had received the news that she can't get pregnant. She cancelled her interview and postponed her baptism because she was too upset to talk to anyone. Sister Terry and I were already at the church waiting for her with the AP who was going to interview her. We were so sad! But then she called back about five minutes later and said she would be there in ten minutes and she wants to go through with her baptism this coming Saturday! That was a very emotional drop and climb again within five minutes of time for Sister Terry and I! Sister Jones is so faithful that she beat the trial that Satan put in her way to stop her baptism! 

We had a member see a man on the sidewalk who was rolling his wheel chair. He looked really exhausted so they picked him up to give him a ride. He was headed to CVS to pick up some things and had already wheeled himself 8 miles! He was so exhausted! He has Cerebral Palsy and he can't walk. They talked to him about the gospel in the car and gave him a pass-a-long card. We were able to visit him and teach him the restoration! Our members are amazing! Because they were willing to serve someone and then open up their mouth and share the gospel, a heart was softened and able to be nourished by the word. We are taking the same members who gave him a ride to the lessons with us. The members planted the seed, invited him to learn, and now are nourishing him. 

We met with Daniel and he wants to start meeting with us again about once a week or every other week! But...his girl friend is moving in with him.

Sister Jones


Sis. Germaneri

Monday, March 9, 2015

Led by the Lord

Hey y'all!
This week has been pretty good =)
Josh missed church, but he has really been diving into the scriptures and he has also been reading talks from general conference. We are going to try to set a new baptismal date with him this week. 
Sister Jones is still very solid and looking forward to her date on the 21st! We had a family home evening lesson with her and got to play monopoly. 
We FINALLY got a text from Daniel this week and Sister Terry and I were both cheering and jumping (well I was, sister Terry was mostly smiling). He texted us "Mosiah 18:8-9 don't lose hope." We all know that this is the baptism scripture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We plan to meet with him this Thursday, so we will see how that goes! 
We went through the former investigator records this week and found a few that were taught a while ago that we wanted to re-contact. We felt good about Nathan. He was taught last June by Sister Warren. We went to his house and no one was there. We stopped at a gas station on our way in for the night to get in a few more contacts and we started talking to an African American man who was smoking. He told us he knew Sister Warren so we asked him his name. He just so happened to be Nathan!!!!!!!!! The Lord saw that we wanted to contact Nathan so He led us to where he was! Nathan agreed to meet with us sometime when he gets a day off work.
We saw another miracle in addition to Nathan. About two months ago we tracted into Andrea who said she might be interested in learning more, but then she went out of town for a month and we kind of forgot about her. Last Monday she checked us out at Kroger and she remembered our names and everything! She was excited to see us and wants to visit! Then we were at a member dinner and asked for referrals and they brought up her name saying she met with missionaries like four years ago for one lesson. We had no idea that any members even knew her! The Lord has definitely prepared her and led us back to her. Hopefully she will let us schedule a time to teach her soon. 
Transfers are in one week! I have no idea what will come of them! 
Sister Jones

Monday, March 2, 2015

Ice, Donuts, and Snow =)

Hey y'all!
Josh is doing so well! The other day he gave a a HUGE bag of donuts! It was probably like 15 pounds! Luckily we were able to give it to a less active family with four boys between the ages of 19 and 26 before we ate any. Josh is so funny, he always wants to give us donuts! Whenever we try to schedule a return appointment he makes sure it will be on one of the days that he works at the donut shop in the morning. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he just seems to get it. He understands the gospel so well and it comes so naturally to him. He is always creating his own analogies that make perfect sense about what we are saying. He told us that the pack  of cigarettes that he has right now is his last. He won't buy anymore after he gets through it. He came to church yesterday! He really enjoyed church, but we do have to move back his baptismal date because he hasn't gone enough times to be able to make the date on the 14th. We will set a new goal date with him tomorrow
Sister Terry and I were a funny sight to see in church yesterday because Josh came straight from work so he was wearing jeans covered in paint and a polo shirt and then we had Travis (a less active member) come back to church for the first time wearing jeans and a shirt with bloody nails on it. Sister Terry was sitting with Josh up front and I was sitting with Travis towards the back. I am so glad that they both made the effort and sacrifices required to come to church! and I am so grateful that no one gave them weird looks or judged them based on what they were wearing! =)
Sister Rebecca Jones is doing well with the missionary lessons. She is going through a trying time though and we talked about trusting the Lord's plan for us and His timing in all things. She will be baptized on the 21st.
Unfortunately we had to drop Daniel this week. He hasn't responded to our notes on his door or our texts or calls for two and a half weeks now. =(
We got to be a trio for a day! (it reminded me of the great time I had while in a trio with sister kerr and sister Greenall)
This week we had "district building" so we went on exchanges with the Sister Training leaders and we had to go on exchanges on our exchange night with members because we had two lessons at the same time in The Colony. So we did exchanges while on exchanges! 
Apparently it doesn't usually snow in Texas, it is usually just ice, but it snowed on Friday! It was so beautiful! The snow helped me feel more at home! Even though we were shut inside a few days this week we still had 27 lessons total and 9 of those lessons were with an investigator and a member there to friendship (second highest in the mission!)
I learned that asking for help is a good thing. Sister Terry asked me to do her hair and give her a back massage the other day and I was so glad to be able to serve her and it helped me feel that she trusts me. So never hesitate to ask someone for a favor! It helps the person you are asking feel important and loved =)
Sister Jones