Week 36-I went to Mars, PA that is :)

We have entered into the last week of this transfer! Crazy! I have been in Butler for almost 13 weeks. It feels like I just got here yesterday. I’ll probably have another two transfers here as a Sister Training Leader. Butler is a ton of fun!
Last p-day we had a ward member named Jan take Sister Thomas and I to get manicures and pedicures. It was luxurious! Jan spoils us 🙂 She is one of my very favorite people that I have met on my mission. She loves having the missionaries over and she loves to take care of us. Damage control was done on my feet and it was great! 8 months of walking around has done a lot to them.
We went on an exchange this week. I went to Beaver, Pa with Sister Wilde on Tuesday. It was such a great exchange. I moved a lawn for the first time in my life! Almost 21 years without mowing a lawn. We saw a lot of people. One in particular was a woman named Aiesha. She has been through a lot in her life. Abandoned by her parents when in elementary school, adopted, drugs, alcohol, abuse, you name it. She has been through it all. The sisters found her about three months ago outside of a women’s shelter in Beaver. Since that day Aiesha has come such a long way. She was so excited to see us. She expressed to us how much she loves prayer and good she feels when she does it. Aiesha didn’t believe in God before the sisters met her. She told us that she was 135 days clean from drugs and that she was getting her 3 months old daughter back this Thursday. Since she has meet the sisters she has made a lot of changes in her life. The gospel has really helped her to do this. It was amazing to see the light that was in her eyes. She wants her children to be baptized but they aren’t at the age of accountability. She desires to do what is right and make better decisions in her life.
Wednesday we drove back to Butler and had a Zone Conference with another zone and President Johnson. We talked about family history and the importance of it. Sister Thomas and I were asked to bear our testimonies on the what our experience was with family history. I bore my testimony on the power of the spirit of Elijah. It is a real thing. As I have been learning how to do family history this past month my desire to help my ancestors has grown. Their salvation is just as important as my own.
Thursday we went to a member’s house and made raspberry jam. It was so good and quite easy actually! It was my first time canning something. People do it a lot in Butler. They even can meat… don’t know if I’ll ever do that. Jan came with us to learn how to do it too. I even picked the raspberries to put in it. That was a first as well. We had a good time cookin’ in the kitchen.
After we made jam we left to go see Angie’s son and check on how he was doing. He wasn’t home, but as we were leaving his neighbor came outside. We started talking with her and getting to know her. Then we started talking about the gospel. This experience for me showed me that we can always be finding. Whenever we meet someone new we use that as an opportunity to share the gospel. Not to shove it in their face, but to give them opportunity to learn more. We talked with her for quite sometime about the church. Her name is Penny and her eleven year old granddaughter lives with her. She adopted her when she was younger. We told her all about the programs that we have in our church for the youth. Penny really liked that. I brought up the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. I realized I didn’t have a Book of Mormon to give her, but then she mentioned that she only had a couple of DVDs to watch and that was it. A thought popped into my head, “You have a copy of The Restoration DVD that you could give to her.” This DVD had been in my bag for a couple of weeks now. I saw it everyday, but never took it out. I was unsure if it was just a thought of mine or a whispering of the spirit, so I didn’t act upon it. But then the thought came again and I realized that it didn’t matter whether it was my thought or the spirit it was a good thought. So I took it out and offered it to her as I explained what it was about. She gladly accepted. Afterwards Sister Thomas told me that she didn’t know what to do because she didn’t have a Book of Mormon to give out either. I don’t know if Penny will watch it, but it was a lesson for me in learning to listen to the spirit. The spirit is the only way that we are able to do this work.
Our stake had an awesome Relief Society Activity called Sisterfest on Saturday. It was so much fun. So many women showed up. It was all about letting our light shine forth, realizing we are enough, and that we should focus on the positive rather than the negative. I really liked the last part in focusing on the positive things in life rather than the negative. When we put more effort into focusing on the negative we become weighed down by these things. The opposite happens when we choose to focus on the positive. Our countenance is lighter and we are happier. As a missionary lots of negative things happen, but I have tried to put a conscious effort in to focus on the good of every day. Let me tell you. It really makes a difference. Try it. I can promise you that you will be happier and at the end of the day you will be lighter. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, so do it! Choose to be happy by focusing on the good 🙂
That night we went out to Evan’s City to see Jeanette, who is a less-active, and her nonmember husband, Tiny. We went inside today since it has been getting colder here. It’s only September! This can’t be happening yet! Anyways… back to the story. As we go into sit down Tiny goes into the other room saying he couldn’t wait anymore to give me something. They told me to close my eyes, so I did. They had bought me a porcelain doll that looked just like me for birthday. They bought her, brought her home, and then realized that her dress had September embroidered on her dress. They said they knew it was the perfect gift for me. It was such a nice thing for them to do. They are the sweetest couple ever. Tiny wasn’t feeling well so we were just going to leave a short spiritual thought and go. We were planning to teach the Word of Wisdom since that is something Tiny struggles with. We talked about prayer and the importance of it. We talked about the greater responsibility that comes when God gives us answers to our prayers. We asked Tiny what he needed to do with the answer he received about the Book of Mormon. He said he knows it is true, but there are things that he needs to work out with the Lord. He wouldn’t tell us what, but I felt that I needed to talk about the temples. I bore my testimony to Tiny of the importance of the temples. I said to him that God told him the Book of Mormon was true so that he would go to the temple to be sealed to his wife Jeanette. No shocker here, but I cried as I told Tiny that I knew he could get to the temple. He told me that he also knew that he would get there too, but there are things he needed to work out. Tiny then asks if I were to get baptized could my sister be baptized at the same time as me. His sister passed away about two years ago. We told him that it would have to be done in the temple after he was baptized, but he couldn’t be the one being proxy for her. He explained that he already had his mother and father baptized, but his brother in law wouldn’t let him have his sister be baptized. He broke down in tears as he explained that he and his sister, Dot, did everything together. I couldn’t help but cry as he cried. I didn’t know what to do. It broke my heart to see this grown man weeping. He told us that this is what has been weighing him down and keeping him from being baptized. Before he is baptized he wants to know that Dot is baptized. He apologized for breaking down and he looked at me and said it was my fault, that I had drug it out of him. I didn’t do anything that night. It was the spirit speaking to him and he was finally able to voice his true concern. As we are sitting there all of a sudden Sister Thomas asks, “Can Sister Jones and I sing to you Tiny?” My heart skipped a beat! He said yes and we decided to sing I Know that My Redeemer Lives. As we sang the words”He lives to hear my soul’s complaint. He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears. He lives to calm my troubled heart.” He began to cry again. We bore our testimony to Tiny that we would do all that we could to find out if we can have his sister be baptized in the temple and that we knew everything would work out. I know that Heavenly Father is very aware of Tiny and the righteous desire he has to have his sister be baptized. I know that everything will work out. I don’t know when, but I know that it will. As we left my body was shaking because of the spirit that I felt during the lesson. It was powerful and I know that Tiny felt it. I know that that night was one of the reasons I needed to come on a mission and serve specifically in Butler. Tiny has never opened up to missionaries like that let alone he hasn’t ever taken the discussions from them. Moments like this help me know that I did the right thing by coming on a mission. It has been the greatest experience these past eight months.
Love yinz!
Sister Jones

getting the royal treatment all thanks to Jan!

getting the royal treatment all thanks to Jan!

getting the royal treatment all thanks to Jan!

getting the royal treatment all thanks to Jan!

We drove through Mars with Jan on our way home from Sisterfest. Cutest little town ever.

We drove through Mars with Jan on our way home from Sisterfest. Cutest little town ever.

We drove through Mars with Jan on our way home from Sisterfest. Cutest little town ever. They really have spaceships and aliens and everything!

We drove through Mars with Jan on our way home from Sisterfest. Cutest little town ever. They really have spaceships and aliens and everything!

The doll Tiny and Jeanette gave me

The doll Tiny and Jeanette gave me

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Mars, PA!

Mars, PA!

We drove through Mars with Jan on our way home from Sisterfest. Cutest little town ever. They really have spaceships and aliens and everything!

We drove through Mars with Jan on our way home from Sisterfest. Cutest little town ever. They really have spaceships and aliens and everything!

Still more fun on our way home!

Still more fun on our way home!

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Pickin' Raspberries!

Pickin’ Raspberries!

Oh I forgot to mention that we went to our favorite restaurant to celebrate my birthday. (just in case Sister Thomas leaves)... Chilis!

Oh I forgot to mention that we went to our favorite restaurant to celebrate my birthday. (just in case Sister Thomas leaves)… Chilis!

Pickin' Raspberries!

Pickin’ Raspberries!

mowing my first lawn

mowing my first lawn

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One thought on “Week 36-I went to Mars, PA that is :)

  1. Hello you wonderful missionary, I love to read your beautiful posts. Your enthusiasm for the gospel and the people you serve is palpable. Heavenly Father must adore you! I’m totally with you on looking for the good in life. I’m a Pollyanna! Love!

    Kris 🌹 AKA Honey, Mom and and Grandma

    >

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