Week 46- Progression…

Another amazing week in Bulter πŸ™‚ I hope you all had a great week and that you had opportunities to share the gospel with people you know.
This week started off by going out to try and find someone hispanic people to teach. It is kinda of like searching for gold in a gold mine. Not too many live here in Butler. But we exercised our faith and we acutally found two potential people! We knocked on the door and this lady comes to the door and speaks english. Sister Tolman didn’t want to assume she spoke Spanish, so I pointed at a Puerto Rican flag that I saw and asked if she was from there. She answered yes and then Sister Tolman started speaking to her in spanish. Sister Tolman asked if she could practice her spanish with her so we came back on Wednesday and talked with Vimari about the Book of Mormon. I still don’t speak the language very well, but I can understand a lot of it. I didn’t do much talking during the lessons, but it has been a really awesome opportunity to hear it and allow Sister Tolman to practice speaking. From studying it everyday I can say a lot more, but it still takes me a while to form sentences. Well see how it goes teaching Vimari.
We had a couple lessons with the Hoy Family this week. On Wednesday we actually had the whole family minus their dad in the room for the lesson: Lemont, Shana, Tiara, Shekera, and Teresa. It was a really awesome lesson. We talked about the importance of prayer and ready our scriptures. At the end of the lesson we asked if one of them would say the closing prayer and Shana said that she would. I LOVE hearing investigators and recent converts pray. It is so innocent and so heartfelt. After she prayed her dad was in the room behind Teresa and he said, “that was a great prayer Shana.” He always sits in the kitchen while we have the lessons. We know that he is listening even though he doesn’t come in the room. We met with them again on Friday and this time it was only the three girls and Teresa. The first thing the girls say when we walk into the house is, “We read what you told us to read and we even wrote things down!” It was so awesome to see how excited they were to read and that they were keeping their commitments. We talked about obedience, keeping the commandments (I have little hand gestures for these that help you remember them… so we talk them to the girls), following the prophet, and keeping the sabbath day holy. The girls are really taking things in and are showing that they are excited to learn. We asked Tiara and Shekera if they would be baptized as well. Tiara said yes and that she wants to do it on the same day as Shana. Shekera, who is only 13, was hesitant and said that she wanted to think about it. As of right now we have Shana and Tiara set with December 6th! They came to church again this Sunday and were excited as usual. We had a lesson with them on Sunday as well. I asked them how their prayers were going and they said good. I asked them how often they pray a day and they told us that they prayed twice a day. I was so shocked. At their age I didn’t say morning and evening prayers. I asked them if they had always done this and they said that they didn’t start until we started teaching them πŸ™‚ I asked if praying twice a day has made a difference in their lives. Shana told us that it made her happier when she prayed. They also told us that they read together out of the Book of Mormon as well. These little girls have just blown me away! I definitely did not do all those things when I was younger. It helped me know that they are learning and that they have felt the spirit as we have taught them. Their baptisms are coming up soon and we want to make sure that they are ready so we are going to be meeting with them a couple of times this week.
Oh and Shana told me that she wanted to go on a mission when she is older! That made me so happy to hear that and I know that it made Heavenly Father happy to. I hope she stays true to that and that she does go on a mission. She would make one fantastic missionary πŸ™‚
Kristin Green came to church this week! We had a really good lesson with her on Thursday. We talked about the importance of church and why we need to go in order to help us learn. She told us that it isn’t that she doesn’t want to go to church, but that she has to drive her mom around for work on Sundays. We finally told Kristin that we have done all that we can to try and help her, but now it is up to her whether or not she wants to start coming back to church. Kristin said that she understood and that she would work something out with her mom. Sure enough she was there!
Although the weather is nice today as I am emailing it was not so nice the other night. Thrusday night we had an appointment cancel on us so we decided to go tracting to invite people to a Forum that we are having on the Book of Mormon. We don’t have any places to OYM in our area of Butler so this was our only option. When we started out it was around 7:45pm and about 24 degrees. I bundled up with two coats, three pairs of socks, fleece tights, a scarf, and two pairs of gloves. I learned from last winter to not mess around. The only thing I didn’t have was a hood on. We knock a couple of houses and little flurries start coming down, nothing too bad. We keep going. A few more houses in it starts to snow really heeavy. We were already far from our car so we decided to track the houses on our way back. People probably thought we were crazy. By the end of it we were both covered in SNOW so was the ground, the car, and it was 19 degrees! We could have given up and gone straight back to the car, but we decided that we needed to perservere. I knew that we needed to show Heavenly Father our faith and that we were willing to do whatever it took to find people to share the gospel with. My mission has taught me to never give up and always trust in the Lord.
The work has really been picking up in Butler and it has been awesome to see it grow. I am loving it here and have enjoyed every moment!
I hope you all have a great week!
Love yins!
Sister Jones ❀

Our night of tracting

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Sister Tolman and I

Sister Tolman and I

Week 45- Its gonna take work…

I feel like I was just at this computer yesterday! This week went by so fast! I can’t believe that I have been in Butler for almost five months. I don’t feel like it has been that long. The weather is slowly starting to get colder and it actually snowed this past week. Thankfully it hasn’t stuck yet, but people have said that this week is going to get colder. We shall see what the future holds!
This week we went on exchanges with the Cranberry Sisters. I stayed in Butler with Sister Hansen. Heavenly Father definitely has a sense of humor! I prayed for things to go smoothly during the exchange and of course everything fell through, BUT we still had a wonderful exchange. We met with some less actives and had dinner with some members. While on exchanges I decided to call the first name in our phone because I had no idea who it was. It turned out that it was someone who met elders about a year ago. He never really got to talk with the Elders because he was moving. I asked if we could meet with and talk about the gospel and he said sure! We are meeting with him this Wednesday so hopefully it goes well!
Our investigator Shana is doing so awesome! She loved church and loves coming to mutual and volleyball. Her sisters are starting to become more interested. They actually came with Shana to church this week and they loved it! Her sister’s names are Shakara and Tiara. We actually picked up Tiara as an investigator and we are working on Shakara. We want to set them all with a baptismal date. It is just funny to see how they are have slowly trickled in to listen to our lessons. We had a really good experience with their mother, Teresa. We asked her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She told us that she did it but she didn’t feel like she got an answer. We encouraged her to keep reading and that she needed to keep acting in faith to show Heavenly Father that she truly desired an answer and that she was willing to do something with that answer. She told us that would keep reading and keep praying.
We had a really good lesson with Nick last night. He is coming along and is starting to get more interested in reading the Book of Mormon. We have been reading out of the Book of Mormon with him to help him understand it better and last night he committed himself to read it without us. I know that the Spirit is working on him! Before he said he didn’t have time to read and now he wants to read on his own. He also told us that he prayed so we asked him if he felt anything and he said that he felt a little different after he prayed! This is progress people! He didn’t like praying because it made him uncomfortable and he never felt anything. I don’t know when Nick will know it is true, but I do know that Heavenly Father is working on Nick’s heart and he becoming more and more open everytime πŸ™‚
Things are going really well with Sister Tolman. She is such an awesome missionary. Sister Tolman and I have been working really hard this week. We both have a vision for the Butler area to make it better than when we got here. We have been contacting a lot of new less-actives which is really good. I didn’t do much less-active work in Pittsburgh, but there is a lot of work to be done here. We both have a huge drive to find people to teach because as it says in Preach My Gospel, “nothing happens until you find someone to teach.” We both came from walk areas and they way we found in those areas was to talk to people as we were walking around or riding on the bus. Unfortunately we don’t really have either of those capabilities in Butler. Most of our area is farmland so we have realized that the way we are going to find people is by relying on the members. We have decided that we need to involve the members more in missionary work and then invite them to invite their friends to meet with us. One big thing I have realized in Butler is that missionary work can’t go forth unless the missionaries and the members are working together. I remember being at home and the missionaries would come over for dinner and ask if I knew anyone who could benefit from hearing the gospel. Of course I could think of lots of people, but I never invited my friends to meet with the missionaries. I was scared! What if my friends said no? More importantly, what would I even say? I didn’t understand what the missionaries roles were and I most certainly did not understand what my role was. Being on the other side of the table has given me a new perspective. Missionaries are here soley to help our friends have the same happiness and blessings that we enjoy from the gospel. They desire to help our friends just as much as we do. Our role as a members is to invite our friends to hear the gospel. We can’t make my friends say yes, but they can’t make a choice if we never give them option. If we are worried about knwoing what to say turn to Heavenly Father in prayer and ask Him for the words, write it down, or ask the missionaries to help you know what to say. I have learned that it is so vitally important that we work alongside the missionaries. We know our friends better than the missionaries do and our friends are likely to be more receptive if someone they care about shares what makes them happy. I would challenge you all to prayerfully think about someone that you can invite to hear the gospel from the missionaries and then do it. I can promise you that Heavenly Father will bless you in your efforts. If they say yes, that is fantastic! You can be a guide to help them learn with the missionaries. And if they say no, don’t be discouraged. They have their own agency just like you do. Recognize that you have done your part and that is all that Heavenly Father asks of you. I would love to hear your stories πŸ™‚
I love yinz and I hope yinz guys have a great week!
Love,
Sister Jones

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Week 44- Nueva CompaΓ±era..

Hola! Familia y amigos!
You are probably wondering why I’m speaking in Spanish. Well my nueva compaΓ±era es Hermana Tolman. She is a Spanish speaking missionary. Since she speaks Spanish we get to have language study every day which is pretty awesome. So I have picked up a few things here and there. So far I can pray for the basics in spanish, greet people, ask some questions, and bear my testimony. It has been a lot of fun. I see this as an opportunity that Heavenly Father has blessed me with to try and learn Spanish. Hermana Tolman is from South Carolina. She is super awesome! We have had a great week so far. SHe has been out as long as I have so we will go home together next July. Sister Thomas ended up going to Elizabethtown which is where she actually started her mission, so she was really happy about that.
Transfers were a little different this time. In the past I have always gone with my companions to the meeting and then picked up my new one, but this time I actually went out to Beaver and worked with a Sister out there for the day. Sister Thomas went to transfers with the other Sister from Beaver. I worked with Sister Romero and then in the evening Hermana Tolman met us in Beaver and we drove home to Butler from there. Sister Tolman is really short and super tiny. We have gotten along really well this past week. We have been working super hard too. It was hard to say goodbye to Sister Thomas, but I am so excited to see what these next weeks will hold with Hermana Tolman.
Within the week that we have been together we have contacted some new people and picked up a lot of potentials. I just feel like something amazing is going to happen within this next transfer πŸ™‚
MLC happened this week and we were invited by President and Sister Johnson to stay in the mission home with all the other Sister Training Leaders. So we drove to Pittsburgh Thursday night and had MLC Friday. It was such a great MLC. We acutally had an Area Seventy come to our meeting. We talked a lot about working with the members which is something that I have been pondering about recently. The members here love missionaries and they desire to share the gospel, but they never come out with us or give us referrals. Hermana Tolman and I have been talking about getting the members to come out to lessons with us and helping them feel the spirit. Our hope is that this will in turn cause them to invite their friends to meet with the missionaries.
Saturday was a great day for us. We taught a lot of lessons. Hermana Tolman was able to meet Tiny and Jeanette and that was a great lesson. We are reteaching Tiny the lessons and he always tells us that he already knows these things or that he was just studying about this stuff. It is great to see that he is really going strong and putting forth effort.
That day we also met with our investigators Shana and Teresa. We started out by following up! We asked her what her experience was like when she prayed to know what church she should be baptized in, our church or the baptist church? She told us that she wanted to get baptized at our church! We asked her how to she came to this decision and she told us that she likes the way we teach, it feels different than the Baptist Church. So we set her with a date and she is planning to be baptized on December 6th! SHe is really excited about this πŸ™‚ They had told us previously that they are visual learners so we were racking our brains and came up with a way to explain the Restoration. It worked really well. We were able to help her understand that Christ established a church which was then lost and has now been established once again. At the end we invited them to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Shana said she would and so we turned to Teresa. She told us that she doesn’t get answers from God. She told us that she had prayed about the other churches and didn’t get an answer so she just decided to not join any church. As she said this a thought came into my mind that had never occurred to me before. I was told that by Heavenly Father not giving her an answer He was actually giving her an answer. He was telling her that those were not the right churches. I explained this to Teresa and she pondered for a moment. She told us that that made sense and that she would pray to know. Heavenly Father was definitely guiding me in that moment because she had told us this before, but it had never occurred that it was answer. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and sometimes it is in a way that we didn’t expect, but He does answer.
We also invited Shana to church and she actually came yesterday! She really enjoyed it and the kids really helped her feel welcome. It was funny. During the lesson she asked if she had to come to our church every Sunday and we told her yes, she smiled and said ok πŸ™‚ I am so excited for Shana and she had definitely grown spiritually since we first started teaching her. Our vision is to really help her understand who her Savior is and what His atonement can do for her in her life.
We had dinner yesterdary with this really awesome family. They are the Sanders and they just moved back into the ward. They lived here and then moved to Las Vegas and then moved back. Sister Sanders is from Sweden and is a Nuclear Engineer and Brother Sanders is from South Carolina and is a Lawyer. They are a super funny family and are very down to earth. They have traveled all over the world and speak quite a few languages. They sang the Cookie Monster’s song to us in Swedish. It was awesome!
We had a really neat experience last night. Yesterday at church Jan, the wife of Nick our investigator, asked if we wanted to come over and have a lesson with Nick. (Keep in mind that we still had Weekly Planning to do because we were able to get it down on Friday due to MLC) We told her that we would love to come have a lesson and that we could be there around 7 which would give us enough time to go to dinner and then drop off the Elders back in their area. Well when we got to dinner it wasn’t quite finished and then dinner ended up being a three course meal, which was really good by the way. ANyways back to the story. We ended up leaving their place later than planned so wwe debated whether or not we should go to Nick and Jan’s or just go home and finish weekly planning. As we talked I kept feeling like we needed to go see Nick. We didn’t get to Jan and Nick’s until 7:45. We always say a prayer before we go into a lesson and it was my turn to offer it. I know that in the past Nick gets really tired at night so I prayed that he would be awake and alert for the lesson so that he could feel the spirit. The great lesson with Nick went great. We read the Tesimony of Joseph Smith and he was asking a lot of questions. He has become more open since we have started meeting with him. He smiles a lot more and we can get him to laugh a lot. Hermana Tolman asked him if he believed that he could know if the Book of Mormon was true. Nick told us that he would like to know if it was true. I felt prompted to ask him to pray about the Book of Mormon again. He said he would so we asked if he knew how and his reply was, “I hear you pray all the time so I think I can.” We went over prayer briefly and talked about how God might answer. He then looked at me and asked me how I came to know that the Book of Mormon was true. I told him that when I was in high school I decided to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover. I needed to know for myself whether or not the Book of Mormon was true and if I wanted to stay apart of this church. The night I finished the last page of the Book of Mormon I knelt down beside my bed and offerred up a prayer to Heavenly Father. I asked Him if the Book of Mormon was true. A thought came to my mind, “You have always known it is true.” I hadn’t realized that I knew it was true until the Spirit whispered that to me. Ever since then I have never doubted that the Book of Mormon was true. He then joked and said, “So if God tells me this is true, I don’t have to keep reading right?” We laughed and told him it was qutie the opposite. As we were leaving the house Jan came out and talked to us in private. She told us that Nick was excited for us to come and that he had been waiting. When he thought we weren’t going to show he came into the kitchen and sadly said, “They probably aren’t going to come.” Remember how I said that we almost didn’t go? Well I am sure glad that the Spirit told us to go because we would have disappointed Nick. The Spirit is definitely working on him because he is happy when we come over and he is becoming more comfortable around us. I know that Heavenly Father has great plans in store for Nick. I really hope I am here to see them unfold!
This week has just been super awesome! I am loving being companions with Hermana Tolman. I’ll bear my testimony in Spanish.
Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es veradero. Este conocimiento ayudame a superar desafios. Yo se que JesuCristo es mi Salvador. Estoy agradecida por este conocimiento que Dios es mi PAdre Celesital y su hijo es mi Redentor. Esta creencia ayudame a tener esperanza y vivir feliz. Yo dijo estas cosas en el nombre de JesuCristo, Amen.

Hermana Tolman and I

Hermana Tolman and I

Hermana Tolman and I

Hermana Tolman and I

Week 43- “The Sister’s are here!”

Transfers are tomorrow… We found out Saturday night that Sister Thomas will be leaving and that I will be staying in Butler. I am super sad that Sister Thomas is leaving. She has been my favorite companion and we have had so much fun and seen so many miracles. Transfers always make me nervous because you never know who you are going to spend the next transfer or two with. I have definitely learned that who ever I am put with is who the Lord wants me to be with. I am dying to find out who it will be. Stay tuned and you will be able to find out next week πŸ™‚
To start off this week we went on an exchange with the Brookville Sisters. I stayed in Butler with Sister Hansen. We ended up painting a less-active’s house again. We had a lot of fun. She is pretty quiet and shy, but I kept praying to know what to ask and how to get her out of her shell. During the whole exchange I had questions come to my mind and was able to get her talking and laughing. I know the Lord was helping me and guiding me through the whole exchange.
We have an awesome opportunity to go and play volleyball with a bunch of nonmembers and a member family every Tuesday night. I love going each week and I have definitely noticed a different in the kids since we have started coming. Whenever we walk in they always yell, “The Sisters are here!” And when they pick teams they always pick us first. It wasn’t like that in the beginning. I have learned that just our attitude or presence can make all the difference in someone’s life. Also, that we never really know the impact that we have on people, so we should always strive our best to live as our Savior would.
Crazy thing happened this week. We had to get a safety and emissions inspection done on our car this week. We took it in on Friday expecting it took take maybe an hour. Nope we were there for two and we ended up leaving without our car! Our car passed emissions, but it didn’t pass safety. It needed all new tires, new break pads, and an alignment. The people at the dealership didn’t feel comfortable with us driving our car home while they order tires. So we had to call a member to come pick us up from the dealership. The workers said that they were surprised that our tires didn’t blow-out because of how bad they were. I am not telling you this mom to make you worried, but that I know that Heavenly Father protects his servants. He was definitely watching out for us and allowing us to be safe until we were able to get our car checked. I am in good hands mom πŸ™‚ The sad part was that we had Trunk or Treat on Wednesday night. We now didn’t have a car to do it with. But we decided that we would be the heel-toe-express and walk around and park it occasionally between cars. The activity turned out great. I actually “dressed” up. I was a cat and Sister Thomas was a bunny. A lady in our ward had cat and bunny ears. Pictures will follow. Cool thing of the night! We actually had a potential family of investigators show up! They are a family that we have stopped by a couple of times, but haven’t started teaching. We invited them and they said they would come, but based off of previous experiences with other investigators we didn’t think they would show. Welp, we were wrong! They came and even passed out candy. I was surprised that they came because they didn’t know anyone in the ward. We told members to introduce themselves and thankfully they did πŸ™‚ Their three little girls had such a good time and we were able to talk to John more. I think it was a great opportunity for them to see the fun side of our ward and to feel the spirit that is present. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but my prayers are going up that something does!
We had another really neat opportunity this weekend. We had the privilege of going out with a General Authority’s wife to do missionary work. Elder Dale Renlund and Sister Ruth Renlund came and visited our stake. We went out with Sister Renlund and our Stake President’s wife, Sister Carter. We went and saw Jeanette and Tiny. It was such an awesome experience. It was neat because they were able to ask questions to Tiny about how he felt about being baptized and just the whole thing. Tiny explained everything from the beginning. How God had been preparing him all his life to accept the gospel, he just wondered why it took so long! He cries everytime we go over. His heart has definitely been softened. Jeanette and Tiny were super torn up that Sister Thomas is going to be leaving. Both Sister Renlund and Sister Carter encouraged us to get Tiny connected in the ward and to always stay in touch with him. Tiny made us promise that we would both keep in touch after we leave Butler. Of course we said we would! It is crazy how attached you can get to people in such a short time. I will never forget Jeanette or Tiny and the miracle that occurred in Butler.
We also had Stake Conference this weekend. It was fantastic! Saturday night they focused heavily on missionary work and that the members need to start working with the missionaries. Elder Renlund gave us an equation:
Hastening the Work of Salvation = (FaithxPrayerxEffort)(Individual+Families+Full-time Missionaries)
He said that if we calculate the work that one Full-Time Missionary can do we would put in
(10X10X10)(0+0+1)= 1000 missionary units
now add another individual
(10X10X10)(1+0+1)=2000 missionary units
now add a family
(10X10X10)(1+1+1)=3000 missionary units
He talked about how much work we could do if all of us were working together. Our capacity to share the gospel increases with every person that is added. I thought it was pretty clever and helped me understand how important it is that members and missionaries work together. I would encourage you all to invite someone to meet with the missionaries. Our job as members isn’t to teach our friends, but it is to invite our friends to learn from the missionaries. We aren’t expected to do everything, but we are expected to do something. Members are to be the finders and missionaries the teachers.
The Elders have a super awesome potential family of investigators that invites us over for dinner. They are the nicest couple ever! His name is Kevin and her name is Jenny. Kevin was working for an international health company that builds hospitals around the world, but has now decided to be a CEO of a hospital. Because of this they are going to be moving 😦 I have a very strong feeling that they are going to become members when they move to their new house. They told us yesterday that they love having us come over and that they are really going to miss us. We helped clean up their leaves in the their yard. Side note: when leaves fall off the trees here they fall off the trees. They literally cover the entire ground. I could pretty much swim through them if I wanted to. Kevin and Jenny have a huge yard, so we all worked together to get it done. I had the opportunity to use a leaf blower for the first time. It was a ton of fun. You strap it on like a jet pack and just start blowing the leaves. Kevin went around with this high-tech tractor and sucked all the leaves up. It is really sad that they are going to be moving, but I know the Lord has been preparing them and something spectacular is going to happen in their new place.
The weather is changing and things are starting to get colder, but not bad yet. Oh we had this super awesome referral that we contacted this week. He told us some pretty funny jokes.
1. The signs of the second coming are happening. The Pope gathers together all of the Cardinals and Priests at the Vatican so that they may pray for the Lord’s coming. They gather together over a couple of months praying for His return. One day a Cardinal comes running in saying, “Pope I have some good news and some bad news!” The Pope says, “Well we all like good news so lets start with that. What is the good news?” The Cardinal replies, “He has come. The Savior is here, just as it was spoken by the prophets of old!” The Pope is so happy that he gathers everyone together to pray to thank God for sending His son once again. After the prayer the Pope looks at the Cardinal and says, “You also said you had bad news… What was the bad news?” The Cardinal answers, “The bad news is… that he appeared in Salt Lake.”
2. There is this man that decides he wants to write a book on all of the religions across the U.S. He decides to start in New York. He is there at St. Peter’s Cathedral look around, taking pictures, and talking with people. He notices a sign with a red phone underneath. The sign says, “$10,000 for 1 minute”. He was confused as to what this sign was for. He asked an police officer near by what the sign meant. The officer said, “That phone is a direct line to God.” The writer was intrigued by how expensive the call was, but kept moving on. As he traveled west he saw those signs all around and all of them said “$10,000 for 1 minute”. HE eventually arrived in Salt Lake. As he is looking around, taking pictures, and talking with people he sees the sign and phone again. But this time the sign said, “25 cents for 1 minute”. Again he was confused. All the other signs said, “$10,000 for 1 minute” why was this sign different than all the rest. Well he did what any good writer would do and he asked the man next to him. He said,” Why does this sign say “25 cents for 1 minute” when all the rest say “$10,000 for 1 minute”? The man looked at him and said, “You’re in God’s country. It’s a local call.”
Hopefully you got a kick out of those! I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!
Love,
Sister Jones

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service

service

Carving Pumpkins last p-day

Carving Pumpkins last p-day

 Trunk or treat

Trunk or treat

Trunk or Treat Costumes

Trunk or Treat Costumes

Katie's Kitchen. A soup kitchen that we volunteer at every week

Katie’s Kitchen. A soup kitchen that we volunteer at every week

Service at Kevin and Jenny's

Service at Kevin and Jenny’s

Members of our ward

Members of our ward

Members of our ward

Members of our ward

Our investigator Shana

Our investigator Shana