Week 13! My Family Has Really Grown = My FAITH Has Really Grown!!

This week flew by. It was the last week of the transfer. Most of our appointments fell through this week, but that didn’t stop Sister Stokes and I. We kept treking. We talked with everyone and found quite a few potentials. We will have to follow-up on all of those (just like Elder Ballard talked about). Conference was really amazing this weekend. A little bit different as a missionary. You actually have to great dressed for the day. Say what? haha I really enjoyed it nonetheless. I felt they talked a lot about standing firm in your faith. That really hit home with me because that is what I have to do every single day. I haven’t had anyone fight with me yet, yet being the key word, but I have had to stand up for what I believe in even when others don’t. No one can ever take our faith away from us, we can let it go, but if we continue to strengthen it and rely on it no one will ever be able to take it away. My family has only grown since being on my mission. At times I have had to rely completely on my faith when we go into lessons or we aren’t sure where to go. Faith is very important and it is like a muscle, when you stop using a muscle you experience atrophy the only way to keep it strong is by exercising it. It is the same way with our faith, when we don’t exercise our faith it weakens, but the adverse reaction happens when we do exercise it. Exercise that faith!!
Oh how could I have forgotten to open up with this!! One of our investigators was baptized on Friday April 4th! 13 year old D was baptized. It was such a neat experience and a privilege to be a part of. When he walked into the church he was all smiles. Being the 13 year old he was he tried to hide it, but it would come right back. The spirit was so strong at his baptism. We did something really cool before he was baptized, we opened up about 10 minutes for whoever wanted to share their story/testimony of their own baptism. It really invited the spirit to be there. Also our ward members are so stinkin’ awesome! The whole Relief Society room was filled with members supporting him. Sister Stokes and I worked really hard to call/text people to get them there. We were so excited that a lot of the ward was there to welcome him in.
Oh and I am not being transferred. I will be staying in Swissvale!! And get this President Topham asked me to train!!! There is only one sister coming out this transfer and he asked me to train her. I will be the only sister training. It’s insane. I just finished my own training. I am really going to be putting my faith in God that I can help this sister be a great missionary. Her name is Sister Zogg and I will meet her tomorrow!! Sister Stokes is being transferred and she got called to be a Sister Training Leader! She is pretty stoked about that. (haha see what I did there) I will be in Swissvale for another two transfers, which means I will have been here for six months. Ew. I can’t believe time is flying by so fast.
Also we set our investigator M with a date. I never thought I would see this happen. I thought he would accept a date maybe years from now. We had a really spiritual experience with this one. So Tuesday night after Addiction Recovery our whole district met together and discussed our investigators and the need to help them progress towards baptism. After the meeting Sister Stokes and I both had the impression that we needed to re-ask M to be baptized. We had a lesson with M the next night at the church. The lesson is going great and then all of a sudden the Elders walk in. They put something then as they are about to leave they turn around and tell us that they felt like they needed to come back to church and were wondering if we needed them. We invited them to sit in on the lesson with us. The spirit was there before they got there but once we resumed the lesson it was super strong. Shortly after that we asked M to set a date to work towards…. and he said yes!! I had asked him to be baptized when I first got here and he said no. Sister Stokes and I were both shocked. We set him with May 10th to work really hard to know if he should be baptized on that date. We felt that if we set him with a date he would be showing his faith to God that if he were to find out it was true that he would actually do something with that answer. Having all four of us missionaries as a vessel of the spirit really helped M know that this was something he needed to do. I am so excited for him and so happy to see what happens.
Missionary work is so much fun. We met this guy on the named J on the bus last monday. We sat behind him and when I went to go sit down I noticed that he was looking up the KJV Bible on his phone. I was like I need to say something to him, but I don’t know how to do it from behind without being awkward. Luckily he ended up turning around and asking me if I could help him figure out how to get to the book and chapter he was looking for. I said yes. Shortly after he noticed our badges which got us on the conversation of church. While trying to help him I continued to talk with him. I asked him question about how he came to know God, what religion he was a part of. He told me that he wasn’t with any church and that he found God later in his life and right now he is just reading the Bible and trying to live the way God wants him to. I gave him a Book of Mormon and told him a little about it and bore my testimony. He told us that he believes God works through others. I agreed but then we had to get off the bus to come email. Well we ran into him again yesterday. We were on our way to a dinner appointment after Conference. We got on the bus and I was about to sit down when I hear “Stokes and Jones.” I look over and it’s him! I say hey John! He was really surprised that I remembered his name. We went and sat by him and talk so more. He has some misconceptions about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith writing it. We cleared that up as we talked more about the history of the Book of Mormon then about the Restoration. I recited the first vision and we talked about the work JS had to do in restoring Christ’s church. We again had to get off the bus because it was our stop (I really dislike when that happens when you are talking to people but eh what can you do?) I say a quick testimony and then tell him to call us. As I get up he says “maybe that is why I haven’t found the right church yet”. It was such a cool experience and I seriously love talking to people on the bus. I really hope he calls.
Another experience happened on the bus this week. I sat next to this man and I felt like I should say something, so I did. We got to talking, having a nice conversation and then I always throw something in about being away from home and on a mission. It always gets them. They always ask for what church. Then we start into the church conversation. Well with this guy I really focused on scripture reading especially the BoM. I gave him one of those and then bore testimony about how it had helped me in my life. How it helps me put on the armor of God before I go out each day. Things got silent. Then he started to laugh. He said “God is good…. All I can say is wow. He said I feel much better after talking to you. It is has been pretty tough because my nephew has been in the hospital and hasn’t been doing too good. I know that God wanted me to meet you.” I told him that I didn’t believe in coincidences and that I knew God wanted us to meet. I told him that God has a plan for him and his nephew. Whatever that plan maybe GOd will take care of them. It touched my heart that he was willing to share that with me and that I was able to share something with him that could help him. This is why I love missionary work. I am able to uplift others and it is by sharing the gospel with them. The gospel really does bring true happiness. Living it and sharing it with others has brought me so much joy.
Share it with as many people as you can!
Love,
Sister Jones

All the food our less active R made us. SHe is so talented and it tastes so good.

All the food our less active R made us. SHe is so talented and it tastes so good.

D's Baptism

D’s Baptism

Our recent convert W that we are teaching. She cracks me up and is seriously my favorite :)

Our recent convert W that we are teaching. She cracks me up and is seriously my favorite 🙂

 Cute kids of someone the elders baptized! They love us!

Cute kids of someone the elders baptized! They love us!

The train in Swissvale

The train in Swissvale

All the food our less active R made us. SHe is so talented and it tastes so good.

All the food our less active R made us. SHe is so talented and it tastes so good.

All the food our less active R made us. SHe is so talented and it tastes so good.

All the food our less active R made us. SHe is so talented and it tastes so good.

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