Thursday, April 11, 2013

Week 80 (Apr 2, 2013): Sarah, Dario, and Natalia are Baptized

Dear familia,

Okay sorry but dont have a lot of time.  Sunday night we took the 6 hour bus ride to the office to have my exit interview and then got back last night at 6 or 7 soo i am writing really fast to say that i am alive, and will be happy! 

Sarah and Dario got baptized and Natalia too!  They are diong great.  The ward is having a temple trip the 13th and Natalia is going. Thank you for praying for them.  I love you all so much!


Hermana Jones

Week 79 (Mar 25, 2013): Yes, I trust You.

Querida familia,

Ah well I am here in Paraguay and I am happy.  I have been so lazy and have noT written in my journal... (if Hermana Arnell reads this, it is because i am depressed that she is not here with me and i dont have her good and dedicated example to follow haha).  Soo once again, I dont know what to share!  Okay, sorrry, I will be better at this.

Natalia had her interview yesterday and will be baptized this saturday at six or seven!!  She is so ready to be baptized.  It was fun yesterday as we taught about tithing and we went around in a circle, her, Hermana Espinoza and I and talked about all of the blessings that God has given us and then we talked about how much more He wants to bless us as we pay our tithing.  She talked about how greatful she was that God had helped her come to church and help her know that this was His church.  She really is an amazing girl.  I gave her that cd mom and dad that you sent me with primary songs from paul cardaul... she almost started crying when i said it was from you guys... (I said that because I know that if you knew her you would want her to have it... ). She was so excited when we gave her her knew bible and triple.

Sarah and Dario did not get baptized yet, but are reallllly ready and will have their interview this wednesday and will be baptized with Natalia.  Oh we are so so happy!!!!

Mom, Dad, Jess, Nick, Spencer, Caden... everyone!  If I had of gone home as was originally planned, I would have never been able to be here to get to know, love, help and baptize Natalia, Sarah and Dario.  Wow... do you remember the email when I explained the answer that I had gotten to my prayers- "Do you trust me?".  Well my faith is growing and I know now better than I have before in my life that I can trust my Father in Heaven.

Love you all, so much.

I know that we are children of God.  He hears us and knows us so perfectly.  He knows my desires and hopes than I do myself.  He guides us.  I love that.  I love this gospel.

Happy Easter familiy!... FELIZ PASCUA!!!


Hermana Jones

This is the foto that we took last night with a familiy in our ward. They are planning on going to the temple soon! They are all going to have a ward temple trip on the 13th of abril.

Week 78 (Mar 18, 2013): Hurrah For Israel!

Lo siento! 

Okay and Sarah and Dario will be getting baptized this saturday... please pray for Dario that he can quit smoking!!!  They are so ready to be baptized.  Cristian and Cyntia are preparing to go to the temple to do baptisms the 13th of april!!!!  Natalia is 19 and incredible.  She has had an incredibly hard life, but recognizes the spirit so quickly and easily. 

I just want to you to all know that I am happy and loving my mission.  I love you all.  I know that this is the Lords work and that all of our lives we have promised Him to serve and teach our brothers and sisters.  HURRAH FOR ISRAEL1!!


For the relief society talent show we did Elvira.  hahah bad memories jess. BAD memories!
Natalia!!!!!!! She will be getting baptized the 30th of this month!  She is so incredible!!!

Week 77 (Mar 11, 2013): The Light of Repentance

Querida familia, 

Well Mom said that this might be my last letter that they will read in the ward and asked if I had any special stories to share or something.  Well... I really to realize that I will be finishing my mission.  I talked to President and he has offered to allow me to extend my mission one transfer more if I feel that I should...okay, sometimes I think that if I could I would.  Dont worry Mom and Jess... I am not going to be coming home later :). 

This week has been a great week.  

I dont know if I have a specific story to share or no, but my heart fills full for a love for my brothers here in Paraguay.  I know that Heavenly Father loves us so much.  I know that He chooses imperfect people to do His work because He loves us so much and wants us to repent and help our brothers and sisters to do the same.  Satan makes repentance look impossible and undesiarable.  It is not!!  We just have to be humble.  I know that maybe I havent made huge mistakes in my life... I have made PLENTY, but i am talking about sins that would be "harder" to repent of... but I have met a lot of people who have.  Those who have just been humble and have searched for guidance and help from our loving Father in Heaven have been able to repent and their lives are filled with light.  There is no better way to describe it.  You can see it in their eyes.  I am learning to repent and as I do so it is the most humbling experience helping others to do the same... or better said, inviting them to do so.  

We are working with Sarah and Dario.  Dario has given up smoking for a week.  They are preparing to be baptized on the 23rd of this month.  They both work every day until 7 at night and so they havent been reading a lot in their book of mormon.

Norma and Yamile... they were going to be baptized this upcoming saturday, but Norma is a little scared to get married... Please pray that they can read their scriptures more so that they can feel the spirit and so that they can be baptized soon... and that we can listen to the spirit... yo y la Hna. Espinoza.  I know that if we do so, they will be able to be baptized. 

Natalia is the girlfriend (19)of a member that we have started teaching.  She is INCREDIBLE.  She is getting ready to be baptized the 30th of this month.  We are trying to prepare her for the 23rd because we fill that she can be ready... we can only teach her on saturdays because she studies and works from 6 am to 10pm every day.  She is very humble and it was SO FUNN to teach her the plan of salvation this saturday!  She was so excited as she learned everything.  I lvoe her lots.

I know that as we follow the spirit and I stay focused in fulfilling my duty as a missionary in these last weeks in my mission, the Lord will help us to have a lot of success.  It will require miracles... which is okay because He is a God of miracles... (2 Nefi 27... 23 somehting) :) and we just have to show our faith.

Cristian and Cyntia are taking their geneaology tree... pedegree chart on their vacations to fill them out and will be ready to take them to the temple.  Cristian and Cyntia said that they wanted to adopt me... ha. ummmm I am 22 and they are 26. But everyone here thinks that I am 14 or 16 so its okay.  

Well, I love you all SO STINKIN MUCCHHOOOOO.  Thanks for your prayers.  I will pray for you too. 


Hermana Jones

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

7 Enero 2013

Dear Family,

Can you believe it is a new year?!  It's amazing how many things...amazing things happen in just one year!  Today I wanted to share some stories:

#1  As we were in sacrament  meeting (I am the ward pianist and it stresses me out!!  ha ha just a little)  It was fast and testimony meeting and the meeting went over almost thirty or forty minutes because so many people wanted to bear their testimonies!  but, two testimonies stood out to me.  The little daughter Katia of the less active member, Hermana Goday (who comes regularly now) stood up and said, "I am so grateful for my mom, she is the most marvelous mom in the world because she brings me to church each week."  ....then the daughter of a recently baptized family (la familia Martinez who were baptized a year ago) stood up and said how grateful she was that her dad, "is always there with the Book of Mormon, teaching me how the things are and how I should be..." You could feel the spirit testify of the power of the Gospel and how it changes lives.  The ward's goal, with three pairs of missionaries, for the year 2013, is to have 40 baptisms...They accomplished 24 in 2012!

#2  I was thinking of the power of the Atonement y...........
Yesterday as I was studying, we could hear sirens outside.  I remember my freshman year in BYU and one of my first nights there, there was a huge, terrible accident in the intersection that was in front of the stadium, and I remember all of my rom mates wanted me to go outside with them to see what had happened, but I said I had to go to the bathroom and I went and closed the door and sobbed silently on the floor, just shaking because it felt like the accident all over again.  Well, years later, I don't cry...sometimes I do, when I hear an ambulance.  Yes, it makes me sad, and I naturally always pray that they will be okay, and that Heavenly Father will send angels to them.  It was interesting as I realized and recognized the change- the healing that I had received as I said a prayer and said, "thanks for taking care of them."  I know that He cries when we cry and wants us to recognize and realize that, "O esta, todo bien"....All is well.

17 Diciembre, 2012

Dear Family,

Well...I am here in a new area!  I was so sad when Elder Narena (from Hondura) told me that we were going to be having changes.  I started to have tears in my eyes...poor Elder...he had been in Ita Enramada for the six months that I was there and was used to the fact that "Hermand Jones cries"  ha ha.  He came up after and said, "uh....are you okay, Hermana Jones?"  I asked for a blessing and...I know/I knew that it was where the Lord needed me but I love the people there so much and I did not want to leave them.  So, I asked for a blessing, like I would have asked Dad, and I felt so much better afterwards and so much excitement.

The ward that I am in now has double the church attendance and I have never received a bigger "bienvenida" from a ward.  They are SO, SOO excited to have sisters.  It kinda scares me!  About 10 different Hermanas came up to us and told us they could go with us to lessons any day, all day!

We were able to talk in sacrament meeting (oh...and I am the ward pianist ahora jaja..I am grateful that Mom always taught us to play and made us practice and that Dad always made me feel special when I sang or played so that I could have this talent).

Well, I felt like I should share very briefly about Alexandra.  I held up that blue card with the family pictures that I made for everyone two or three Christmases ago and testified of the importance of the Gospel.  Our investigator Lourdes came just for sacrament meeting.  The other day she just cried and cried in a lesson saying that she just wanted paz en su vida.  As I sat down next to her after talking, she asked to see the picture.  As she looked at it, I could feel the spirit strongly.  I said, "Lourdes, my family and I found that peace that you were looking for in this church and gospel...that peace you are looking for, "I whispered as Hermand Espinoza spoke, "it is her."  She didn't say anything, but I know she knew what I said was true...the Spirit bore witness of it.

Well, I love you all.  Jess, your story about the Book of Mormon made me cry.  Thanks so much for following the spirit.  You will never know in this life what great impact you had on her and her daughter's life...for sure her daughter has listened to missionaries on the other side.  "Sister Porter", keep following the Spirit to share the Gospel.  (una escritura  que me ha ayudado hacer las cosas pequenda...Alma 36:6-7)

Dad and Spencer, thanks for your notes-your card about Alexandra touched me.  I feel that she is helping me serve this mission with me.

Nick, we can talk all the Spanish you want. :) And, you can teach me German (everyone asks me if I am from Germany) and Russian and Mandarin!  I don't doubt you can learn them if that's what you want to do!)

Mom...I am sorry, but in 5-20 of your emails you have asked me if anything from my packages was stolen.  ha worries! I was overwhelmed with the gifts and felt once again your love, from you and Dad.  Thanks so much!

Hermana Jones
Handwritten letter sent on Nov. 11th, .2012

"Dear Mom and Dad",
Every time I think of all of the gifts you sent to me and Hermana Santiago, and all of my Paraguayan faily, I can't talk because I feel like I'm going to cry. 

#1  Dad, I thought this might make you feel better to know that we have to pay for our packages to receive them and because you both sent me half of WalMart and the DI (like the Salvation Army in Utah), I don't have money this month to wash clothes, so I bought 50 cent soap and am "super quapa" as they say and wash by hand for the month!  Please don't feel bad...I'm only telling you this because I am is teaching me to know how it feels  to "need"...just a little. :)

#2  When my District Leader received the "announcement" that I had four packages waiting for me...he asked jokingly if I had been ASKING for packages...(Let me clarify...Shauna, who is typing this...the Mom...Our ward donated dozens of skirts, white shirts and ties and the Achievement Day Girls and Young Women made flower headbands to donate to all the people in Natasha's area and investigators who wanted, but didn't have, nicer clothes for church...this lead to me sending several packages and for her companion to have a Christmas, too.  I also sent several bottles of mosquito spray one time, because of all the heat, humidity and annoying, no...I don't just go to WalMart and randomly send Natasha lots of extra stuff) :)
Natasha...continued...My district leader asked if my parents were really worried about me or something...ha ha...nope, they just love me lots and want to be a part of my mission, too, by blessing the people that I love here in Paraguay!

#3  Hermana Santiago hasn't received a single card from her family.  We opened my Christmas boxes that day because I assumed we will have transfers and I wanted HER to have the gifts because she has so little.  Mom and Dad, she felt so special.  I think the thinks that you sent her are some of the nicest things she has ever had.  As I pulled out the CDs, skirt...then the earrings, etc. and everything else, she looked so surprised!  "Wow", she said, almost with tears in her eyes...."it's too much."  She said softly with a smile.  (no, they didn't steal anything from our packages, Mom :)

#4   I can't make a list of "thank you for the watch, the book the piano music, the music CD's skirt, etc. because I would never be able to it it all on here.  I carry the gum around and it's so fun to give.  Small, silly gifts actually soften people's hearts to be willing to listen to the Gospel. 

Thank you Mom and Dad for the gifts.  It was so much and I feel overwhelmed as I look at them and then I think of my friends that are in my area that have barely enough to buy cheap bread.  Oh, Mom and Dad, we are blessed so much in every single aspect of our lives.  Thanks for teaching me the Gospel of Christ so that I could learn to love others. 

Tu hija,
Hermana Jones