Week 34- 8 Months Today!!

It’s my click day! I can’t believe 8 months have already come and gone. I feel like I need 18 more months to learn everything I need to. I remember at the beginning of my mission thinking I had so much time to learn things, but boy was I wrong. It really does go by quickly. I have enjoyed every minute of it!
Last p-day us and the elders went fishing with some members. It was so much fun. This was only my second time fishing in my life. He used live-bait… it kinda grossed me out putting the worms on the hook, but I did it. We fished in a private pond owned by Brother Mathers’ friend. I actually caught a fish! It was a pumpkin-seed fish I believe. It had a spiny dorsal fin that you had be careful when trying to release it. I really enjoyed it! I might have to take up fishing when I get home 🙂
This week was really good. Didn’t have as many lessons as usual. We tried to meet with our only progressing investigator, Valerie, this week and it just never seemed to work out. We had an appointment planned for Tuesday. While eating lunch that day a nonmember named Loretta called us to come over to her house. She works at the soup kitchen that we volunteer at every week. We decided to go over to her house because she doesn’t invite missionaries over very often. We figured we would go and visit with her for a few minutes and then head over to our appointment with Valerie. Well on our way to Loretta’s we saw the same guy that we had seen at the library earlier. We both felt that we needed to talk to him. So we pulled over and got out of the car. We talked with him for a while. He didn’t seem too interested, but we were following the promptings of the Lord so who knows. By the time we got to Loretta’s we wouldn’t have time to see Valerie before she left for work. We tried to reschedule, but she was going to be out of town or doing errands before work so we weren’t able to see her this week. We are definitely going to see her this coming week though! I think the Lord was trying to teach us to listen to the spirit this week.
We did service for an organization called Produce to People. It is so much fun. We help package the produce for families and then pass it out as they come by. I loved being able to talk with them and make them smile. Most of them don’t look happy when they walk in, but my goal is to always get them smiling by the time they leave. It saddens me to see how many people are in need of food or extra help. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to serve them!
We were running low on miles this last week so we decided to walk to places that were close. As we are walking down main street in Butler a man walks passed us and I can tell he wants to talk to us because he slows down and stares at us. I say hi. We start talking with him and he says are you 7th day. We answer no and he immediately says that we are mormons. He goes right into, “You believe you are gods right?” I told him that I am positive I am a human and I make mistakes. This man continued to ask questions and I could tell that he was just trying to trip us up. We bore testimony to him and then we parted our ways. We walk opposite ways and we end up walking down and going back up the other side of the street. On our way back up the other side we run into him again and this time he is sitting with another man outside a restaurant. The other man starts a conversation with us and asks if we’ve talked to a lot of people. This guy was a lot more contentious than the other one. He was persistent that we answered this question: “What would you say to God when he asks,’ Why should I let you into heaven?'” We told him that we didn’t think that that was how our encounter with God was going to be. We believed that it would be joyous and that our Savior, Jesus Christ would be advocating for us. He eventually stood up and said, “This is my job. Pastor Berkeley.” I am grateful for the promise that Heavenly Father has given us that we will never be confounded. It is something I rely on when men try to trip us up and prove us wrong. The way this man and others go about sharing the gospel is different than the way we do. He didn’t make me feel loved, he didn’t make me feel God’s love. The first thing we start of when we teach people is about how we have a loving Heavenly Father. I know that Heavenly Father would want us to preach out of love and show our love towards others.
I gave my first talk as a missionary yesterday. I went 8 months without giving a talk. I was asked to talk on missionary work of course 🙂 This was actually the first time I didn’t write out my whole talk. I wrote bullets points and brief explanations. I decided to leave everything up to the spirit. I was a little nervous before hand but as the sacrament prayers were said the words “Shall always have His spirit to be with you” pierced my heart and comforted me. I had made a covenant with God that if I am worthy I will always have his spirit to be with me. I was guided by the spirit as I spoke. As my family knows… I cried… but it was awesome to just be guided by the spirit. I talked about being converted to the gospel. Being converted means that we have a mighty change of heart, receive a testimony, and then act upon that testimony. Elder Bednar said, “conversion is an offering of self, of love, and loyalty of God on the gratitude for the gift of testimony.” As we are converted our desire to share the gospel increases. Look at Alma the younger. When he was converted to the gospel he labored the rest of his days to share the gospel (Alma 36: 6-24). Also we must be converted because as President James E. Faust said, “you cannot convert people beyond your own conversion.” In order to help someone else become converted we must have received our own testimonies and felt the spirit work within us. I know that I didn’t really have a desire to go on a mission and share the gospel until I had a mighty change within my own heart. Once I felt the redeeming effects of the atonement and changed my desire to conform to God’s will and share the gospel increased. I have a desire to share the joy and happiness that has been brought to me by the gospel and the atonement. My favorite quote that I shared is from Dallin H. Oaks. He said, “The intensity of our desire to share the gospel is a great indicator of the extent of our personal conversion.” If you don’t have a testimony of the gospel fast, pray, study, ask the Lord for a testimony. I know that he will bless you with one. If you have a testimony continue to strengthen it by doing those same things until you have a mighty change of heart. Share the gospel! Joseph Smith said, “All that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to share the gospel.”
We had a really neat experience last night with following the spirit. We were leaving our dinner appointment and we couldn’t decide who would be best for us to visit. WE decided to go visit a less-active named Sister Larimore. We start driving to her house and we both didin’t feel right about it. We stopped and prayed to ask who we should visit. A name of another member popped into my head, Sister Allyson. We prayed to know if that was right. We both felt like that wouldn’t be bad to go see her, but we felt that there was someone we were supposed to find. I was driving so we decided to just drive and follow the spirit. We are driving and I said, “Why can’t we just have a name or an address?” As soon as I said this Sister Thomas said, “The word Oak popped into my mind when you said address.” We plugged Oak into our GPS and we both were drawn to Oak Ridge Dr. After praying we both felt a strong desire to go there. We started driving and this street was all the way back to where we had our dinner appointment. It was around 8:30 pm, it is super dark , no street lights, and it is raining. We had no idea what house we were suppose to go to. We drove slowly down the street looking at all the house. We got to one and felt like it was the one we were supposed to go to. We prayed again… missionaries says lots of prayers. We go to the door. Lights are on inside. We knock twice and no one answers. We decided to leave a flier for a musical celebration that we are helping our ward put on. We put a note on the card with our number. I have no idea why we ended up at that house, but I do know that we were following the spirit and I felt peaceful after we left the house. I don’t know if that person needed us to come or if I just needed to have that experience in following the spirit and trusting in the Lord. I am so grateful for the spirit and the guidance that he gives. I love feeling the spirit. It is the best thing in the world and nothing beats feeling the spirit. I strive everyday to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I know that if I have him there I will never feel alone. He is there to help us feel God’s love and to have a little taste of what it will be like to be in the presence of our Father in Heaven.
I am learning so much on my mission. My relationship with my Heavenly Father has grown and I have discovered so much of what he has blessed me with. I am so grateful for a loving family and friends who support me.
Have a great week!
Love,
Sister Jones

Sister Thomas and I

Sister Thomas and I

 Sister THomas and I with the Elders

Sister THomas and I with the Elders

Little girl named Kenzie that stood by me the whole time. We were fishing buddies. She was the granddaughter of Brother and Sister Mathers.

Little girl named Kenzie that stood by me the whole time. We were fishing buddies. She was the granddaughter of Brother and Sister Mathers.

This is my fishy. I shall call him fishy and he shall be mine.... Well I had to let him go. He's swimming with all his other fishy friends. Remember fish are friends. Not FOOD!

This is my fishy. I shall call him fishy and he shall be mine…. Well I had to let him go. He’s swimming with all his other fishy friends. Remember fish are friends. Not FOOD!

 We were visiting Jeanette and Tiny. They have an awesome garden so we decided to play in the flowers.

We were visiting Jeanette and Tiny. They have an awesome garden so we decided to play in the flowers.

Us being funny with the pumpkins that Jeanette and Tiny are growing. They are HUGE!!

Us being funny with the pumpkins that Jeanette and Tiny are growing. They are HUGE!!

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