Week 71- #DisciplesintheDigitalAge

Hello! Happy Memorial Day everyone! Today has been really fun. We just
got back from a ward picnic! We had three of our investigators there.
Yay! Christine, Chris, their 4 kids, and their friend Daniel came
today. We had members pick them up this morning and we were there just
to introduce. Them and the kids had a great time. The ward did an
awesome job at making them feel welcomed! Paulo, Victoria, and
Victoria’s sister Maria came too. They had a great time as well. There
was good food and we played softball. I was in heaven of course. I
haven’t played my whole mission so I was so excited when the ward said
that they were going to be playing today.

This past week flew by! I can’t believe it. We are in the last week of
this transfer. Training will be done after this week. I don’t feel
like Sister Wilson has been here for this long. This has probably been
the fasting training yet! It has been a lot of fun and a lot of hard
work . Our has been really picking up lately. We have been finding
people and having success.

So our zone is still doing that competition that I told you about a
couple of weeks ago called the last companionship standing. We have to
have at least one lesson a day to stay in it. Out of 10 companionships
there are only 3 left. We are one of them. We were almost out of it on
Monday. We tried our hardest to get a lesson that night and we almost
didn’t. We had lesson scheduled but then they cancelled. We tried our
backups and those weren’t success. We had people that we could have
seen and had a lesson but I wanted to go where the Lord wanted us to
go regardless if we had a lesson. So we go I. The car and we said a
prayer. Afterwards I had the impression that we needed to go around
the corner behind us and OYM. I told Sister Wilson and we headed that
way. As soon as we turned the corner I saw a family sitting on their
porch. Their was a mom and three kids. We stopped and talked with
them. We got to know them, I did the jump rope for her kids and then
we started talking about the restoration. In the middle of our
conversation it started to pour rain! I mean it was coming down!!
Jamie, the mother we were talking to, invited us inside to get out of
the rain. So we went inside. The kids absolutely loved us. They were
showing us all their toys and yearbooks. As we talked with Jamie I was
trying to think of ways to invite her to learn more, but nothing was
coming to my mind. I don’t know why I couldn’t think of anything maybe
she wasn’t quite ready for it yet, but when the rain let up we asked
if we could come back. She said we could. We need to go back and see
her and her kids this week and see where the Lord wants us to take it.
Maybe it was just an opportunity for me to exercise my faith and learn
to listen to the Spirit. Well after that it was 5 to 9 and we still
hadn’t had a lesson. We decided to call Chris and Christine and have a
lesson with them over the phone. They were actually ok with it. We had
a lesson and everything with them. One door closed and another
opportunity opened. The Lord allowed us to have a lesson even though
we weren’t able to be successful with Jamie.

Our week was really crazy busy with lessons which is awesome!! We had
our highest amount of lessons this week. Woohoo!!

Paulo is doing ok. He has been struggling lately with a desire to know
if it is true. He comes up with a lot of surface concerns and we
haven’t been able to uncover the whole iceberg. There is something
that is down deeper that he isn’t ready to let surface. I know that
the Spirit will continue to work with Hamas long as his heart remains
open. It kills me to see him fight it. I have come really close to him
and Victoria and I want them to be happy together. He gets so close
and then we take a couple of steps back. I am not going to give up on
him though. He came to church on Sunday and it was a really great day,
we got a new Bishop and Bishopric. It was a really powerful sacrament
meeting as all those men bore their testimonies. We just need to keep
him coming to church, reading, and praying. He’ll come to know the
truth.

If you haven’t noticed or haven’t scrolled to them bottom yet, our
mission received iPads on Thursday. We had a mission wide conference
in Cranberry which is near Pittsburgh. We left earlier Thursday
morning. I drove us and 2 Elders to cranberry. The drive is about 4
hours. We had a 4 hour training, got our iPads and then headed back to
Carlisle. It was a long day of sitting, but we got iPads. It was a
really cool moment for me. I learned what the true purpose of
technology is. It is to spread the gospel. It isn’t for all of the
things I used to do like watching shows, Pinterest, Instagram, or
Facebook. Those things are great and all of us to keep in contact with
each other, but the true purpose is so that we can spread the gospel
farther and do it faster than ever before. Isn’t that a cool thought.
I thought so! We aren’t Facebook missionaries yet and I don’t think we
will be by the time I go home, but within the next 2ish months we will
be.

Like I said Chris and Christine are doing awesome! Today Chris told a
member that we were breaking, in a good way, him slowly πŸ˜† I knew it!
It made me smile to hear that. They are coming along really well.

We have a new investigator named Theresa. She is so sweet and funny.
She has different colored hair every time we see her and she loves us.
She met with elders about 8 years ago in Chambersburg. She was ready
to be baptized but then she had to leave before she could be. We now
have just gotten in contact with her again. She wants to be baptized
again! There are some things that we need to work out before, but she
has a desire. Our goal is to get her to church this week. She
remembers a lot of the things the elders taught her despite that fact
she has trouble remembering some of her past.

I am excited for this next week! We will find out this Saturday if one
of us is leaving. I don’t know what is going to happen but I trust it
will be where the Lord wants me 😁

I love yinz guys!!! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Have a great week!
Love,
Sister Jones

Sent from my iPad

Blair!! He is an investigator. He loves to tell stories. Anytime we say something it always reminds him of a story!

Blair!! He is an investigator. He loves to tell stories. Anytime we say something it always reminds him of a story!

Our mission wide conference

Our mission wide conference

Week 70- The Gospel Is True!

Well this week started off with a bang! Monday night we went on exchanges with our STLs. I went to Hanover, which is near Gettysburg and Sister Wilson took over Carlisle for the first time. She was super nervous about it, but I told her that she would do great. And she did! They had an awesome day here in Carlisle and picked up a new investigator. Monday I noticed a red dot on my arm, but didn’t think anything of it because it was small and I didn’t know where it came from. I woke up Tuesday morning with 3 huge raising red marks on my arm and one on my face with another forming. I was freaked out! My first thought was shingles because last Sunday we visited a lady who had shingles. I didn’t touch her or get close to her but I started to second guess myself so I told my STL and we went to the urgent care just to be safe. I met with the PA and it turned out it wasn’t shingles, apparently I was having an allergic reaction to something. I don’t know what caused it, but all the red dots went away after a couple of days. I said a bazillion prayers that morning so I am grateful that Heavenly Father heard my cries πŸ™‚
Being in Hanover was a lot of fun. Sister Talbot, who I was with, has been helping a member do physical therapy. His whole body is basically paralyzed except for his left arm and he can move his head from side to side a little. It was really cool because I got to help with the physical therapy. She told me what to do I went right along. She has been doing exercises to help strengthen his arms. It is crazy because he is actually really strong he just can’t move his body himself.
While out on exchanges we ended up finding a less-active family that she didn’t know where they lived. We went to go see one of their investigators and she wasn’t home so we talked to her neighbor who was outside. It turns out that the neighbor was living with members, she didn’t know and neither did we. It was cool to see that we were at the right place at the right time. The members actually pulled up while we were talking with the lady that lives with them. The members said that they would love to have us come by again.
We did some more service for Sister Bailey in our ward. We helped her make some tutus for her daughters running team. Afterwards she fed us some more Japanese food. It was somen noodles with a really tasty broth. We eat it with chop sticks! You pick up noodles, put them in your little bowl filled with broth, pick up the bowl and put the noodles into your mouth. It was really good! I get foreign food without having to go out of the country πŸ™‚
Our investigator Buddy is doing good. Our only concern is that he hasn’t been reading the Book of Mormon. During the last lesson we had with him we told him that he couldn’t expect an answer from God about the Book of Mormon if he wasn’t even reading it. Just like we can’t expect a teacher to tell us all the answers to a test. We have to do the work in order to find the answer.
Things have been going so well with Chris and Christine. It has been incredible to watch the change within Chris. They are both trying to figure things out, but I think Chris has a greater desire to know than Christine. Our STL who was here with Sister Wilson got to see Chris while on their exchange. She told us that Chris is different than the last time she saw him. She said that their is a light about him that wasn’t there before. I totally agree with her. I have been working with Chris since the beginning and there is something noticeably different about him. He is slowly but surely letting the light of Christ come to the surface again. The Spirit is working with him through that Light. The other day I asked them if that had both been praying and to my surprise they both said yes, every night. I was so thrilled to hear that. Chris says he doesn’t believe and that he hasn’t felt anything since he tried doing what we have said, but I know he has. Because why would he keep praying every night if he didn’t feel good or didn’t feel like it was helping. I know he has felt something he just hasn’t recognized it yet. Last time we went over he asked when we were coming back. Usually it is Christine or us that asks, but Chris actually asked this time. I love going to their place because everyone, even their friends, know why we are there. We tell them that we are going to read the Book of Mormon so everyone comes out on the porch and reads with us. Last time we had Chris, Christine, Zac, Kenny, John, and Mike all reading scriptures with us. All of them plus the 4 kids are coming to our Ward Memorial Day Picnic next Monday. I am super excited! This will be their first time at one of our Churches πŸ™‚
Our new investigator Angie is awesome! She is 20 and married but her husband is in jail right now. She is so sweet. She has such a strong faith in Christ and she wants to learn as much as she can about Him. We gave her a Book of Mormon last week and when we saw her 4 days later she had read all the way to Mosiah 9. I was really impressed. She really likes reading the Book of Mormon. She told us that she was outside reading it when her friends to her to come over to a park that they were at. She told them she was reading so they told her to bring the book with. She did πŸ™‚ We invited her to be baptized, but she said that she was baptized when she was little. We need to help her gain a testimony of the Restoration so that she can she why baptism by someone holding the Priesthood is important.
I probably say this every week, but I seriously LOVE being a missionary. It is so much fun to go around and talk with people about the gospel. I absolutely love seeing the change that comes as people feel the Spirit and they begin to live the gospel.
Our ward has been doing a 40 day fast for missionary work and we have definitely seen the blessings of it already. We started it this past fast Sunday as a ward and it will go until June 11. We are having success and so are the members!
I watched the most touching video the other day. Yinz should check it out! Service is the best thing we can. I love how the man says that “it’s interesting the dichotomy between healing the body and healing the soul. When we heal the body it is always an inward effort, we’re always paying attention to our self. When we heal the soul, turning inward doesn’t work and the triage of the soul is found in turning outward to other people.” That is so true. It we went to heal our souls we must turn to those around us and find ways that we can serve them. In the Book of Mormon King Benjamin teaches us : “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom ; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)
http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/lift-the-power-of-service
Go out and Just Serve!! Love you all!
Sister Jones

My allergic reaction

My allergic reaction

My allergic reaction

My allergic reaction

Japanese food :)

Japanese food πŸ™‚

WEEK 69- It’s Like I Just Saw You Yesterday!

It was a great Mother’s Day yesterday! I loved getting to see yinz and for those I didn’t see I hope you had a fantastic day. Our sacrament service was amazing. It made me reflect on all the things my mom has done for me over the past 21 years. Let me tell you it is a lot! I have decided that Heavenly Father has spoiled me and given me the best mom ever!
This week was such a good week! We taught the most lessons this week since Sister Wilson and I have been together πŸ™‚
We saw a less-active named Mary. She just came back home from going through a really rough time of being at the hospital and in a nursing home. She is a diabetic and has really bad arthritis that makes is hard for her to do anything. She had to go to the hospital because she was malnourished and her health was deteriorating. Now that she is doing better a ward member asked us to go visit her. Mary is so sweet. She calls herself a grumpy old lady, but she has the sweetest heart. She can barely lift her arms to do anything and so we had to help her with cleaning her bed and preparing food so that it was easier for her to get to. I love getting to serve people. You really come to love them as you serve them.
We had a lesson with Paulo this week. It went really well. We talked about having an eternal perspective. Paulo tends to focus on the here and now, our goal was to help him expand his vision. We asked him what his goals were for the eternities. He didn’t really know. He mentioned that he has thought about being married to Victoria in the temple πŸ™‚ We read with him in Acts 9, the story of Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. We talked about how Saul’s perspective must have changed after he came to know the Lord. We gain an eternal perspective when we come unto the Lord. It is something that automatically comes as learn of Him and what He has done for us and what we can achieve because of it. As we were teaching I had a thought come into my head: Before Saul became Paul he had potential. He had potential to do a lot of bad in the world. He was strong in the sense of a man. He could accomplish things on his own. But when he came unto the Lord and became Paul his potential reached far greater. It now spanned into the eternities. It affected not only himself, but everyone that he taught the gospel to. He was helping them have eternal potential also. I told Paulo that he can accomplish things on his own, but by coming to the Lord and gaining an eternal perspective he will have so much potential to do good in Christ’s Church. The Lord needs Paulo to use his talents to bless the lives of God’s other children. We all have an eternal potential of becoming like our Father in Heaven. As we come closer to the Lord we will see it and want to do all that we can to achieve it.
Chris and Christine and doing great too! Chris prayed everyday but one day that he forgot. He told us that it didn’t really help. He felt like it only made his day worse. The night he didn’t pray he had a better day the next day. As he said this I wondered why that would be. I know that when I pray I always feel better. Then it came to me that as he has been praying all of the past sins that he hasn’t repented for are coming to the surface. As we talked with him he brought up the thought of, is God punishing me because of all the things I have done wrong. We shared with him the story of Alma the younger found in Alma 36. We talked about Alma being harrowed up with the memories of all his sins and he didn’t receive joy until he called upon the Savior to forgive him for the things he had done. We asked Chris if he had ever asked for forgiveness. He said no. We taught him about the atonement and how if we call upon the Savior He can relieve us from the burden of guilt. Chris said that it was selfish to let the Lord take it. We told him that it wasn’t. It was selfish to let him not. He has already suffered for it and by not accepting what He did you are saying that it wasn’t good enough. We bore powerful testimony of the Atonement and committed him to pray and seek for forgiveness. I know he will receive it if he truly desires it.
We had a break through with a less-active named Ashley. We saw her this week and she is doing so much better. She opened up to us and told us that she feels like she is stuck spiritually and that she isn’t progressing. She said she didn’t know what to do. Ashley does all she can to take care of herself in the world, but when it comes to taking care of the spiritual things she doesn’t do them. We challenged her to pray every day. She said that she would. We talked about coming to church. She said that she doesn’t like coming because there are too many people and she feels like they are all judging her. I thought about what to do and I told her that we could sit in the way back and she could seat on the end seat and we would sit right next to her. If she ever needed to get up she could walk out the door right next to her. She said that she would think about it but she wanted to give it some time before she came. We said that was ok. BY the end of the lesson she said I can’t go to church this week because I am going to see my mother, but next Sunday I will be at church. It was so awesome to here that! She hasn’t been to church in a long while so it was amazing to see how the spirit was working with her. She knows she needs to put the Lord first and everything will work out.
We have been talking with a lot of people and trying our best to find those whom the Lord has prepared.
I hope yinz enjoy the nice weather this week πŸ™‚
Love,
Sister Jones

Harrisburg!

Harrisburg!

Week 68- T’was An Incredible Week!

This week started out super awesome!! We had a member take us out to Gettysburg. She got us a tour guide and he drove us all around the battlefields and told us exactly what happened during the 3 day battle. It was so cool to hear all the stories of what took place during the battle at Gettysburg. It was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. As we drove through the town I could just picture all of the men that were there fighting. A lot of men died during those 3 days, but only one civilian died. Her name was Jennie Wade. During the battle all the civilians hid in their basements until the battle was over. One day Jennie decided to come up to make some bread. Well a stray bullet happened to pass through two doors and it struck Jennie and she died. The house that she died is still there today. There is an original bullet hole in one of the outside doors. There is a legend that if your ring finger fits into the bullet hole you are due to be married. The member who took us really wanted us to try it… Sister Wilson’s finger didn’t fit, but mine did. So apparently I am suppose to be getting married soon. Obviously that can’t happen because I still have time left on my mission. There was just a bunch of fun things like that and so much to see and to learn while we were there. There were so many amazing stories of the men and how they were inspired to act. After the tour we then went to this restaurant called the Dobbin House. It is an actual historic tavern that was a hiding place on the underground railroad. You go down into the basement to eat, there is minimal lighting coming from candles, and everything is rustic. Even the waiters are dressed for the time period. It was so much fun and the food was really good! There is a door in the wall that the runaway slaves would go into and hide in the wall when officers would come in. There is so much history here in Pennsylvania I love it!!
We did a ton of service this week! We helped a member family in their 80s pack up their house and move. It was a lot of work, it took a couple of days, but it was fun getting to know them. They had so much stuff from all the places that they have traveled to. It was awesome getting to look at it all. We also helped an investigator of ours named Blair get rid of some of his Japanese Maple Trees. We have a member in our ward from Japan and she really wanted some. IT was quite the adventure getting the trees to her house in our tiny little 2012 Toyota corolla. Thankfully there were saplings, but one of them was taller than me in the bucket. We had to lay them from the front seat into the back seat. I had to ride in the back while Sister Wilson drove to the member’s house. Later in the week we helped this member make tutus for the little girls running team that she coaching. She fed up Japanese food. Onigiri (traditional Japanese lunch: sticky rice in a ball, with salmon, spices all wrapped in seaweed), umeboshi (a pickled plum), and Ramune (which is a type of soda). It actually was really good. The pickled plum was extremely sour, pretty much like a warhead. They usually put it in the onigiri to preserve it a little longer.
As for teaching, the work has been going really well. Our zone is doing a competition called the Last Companionship Standing. It is whoever can teach at least one lesson a day for the longest period of time. It has been going on for about a week now. We are still in the running!!
Paulo and Victoria are doing great! Paulo is out of the casino and no longer working there. He invited us over to come and celebrate him getting his new jobs with his family. We were the only people there that couldn’t speak Spanish. Thankfully they were really kind and would translate for us. It was great getting to know his family and we fit right in, based not speaking spanish πŸ™‚ As for Paulo and the lessons, he is doing ok. He is still trying to figure things out within himself. We try to help him as much as we can but he has to open up to the Spirit completely. With time he will come.
We haven’t been able to see Somer or Braydan in the last week and half so his baptismal date for May 30th is going to have to be pushed back. He is still coming to cub scouts, but they aren’t coming to church. We want to meet with Somer and help her see that she needs to be active before we baptize Braydan. We are trying to catch her while she is home, but we haven’t had any success.
Our investigator Chris is doing so awesome!!! We have had some really great lesson and miracles with him. We are also teaching his fiancee Christine too. They have 3 kids together plus 2 that Christine had before. They have been going through a rough patch lately in their relationship. We have been teaching Chris more than we have Christine which is interesting because we started out teaching Christine. Chris would always try to give us a hard time in a friendly way and said he believes in “science”. Well Tuesday night we showed up at their house and knocked on the door. Chris came to the door and told us that Christine had just left to Walmart but that she should be back soon. He said that we could wait out on the porch and talk until we got home. I told him that we could read the Book of Mormon with him. He said that was fine so he went inside to grab a Book of Mormon. We had a really powerful lesson with Chris. He opened up to a lot about his life and why he stopped believing in God. We read verses with him out of the Book of Mormon and testified that God is there. I know that he was feeling the Spirit, I could see it in his eyes. I could feel the love that Heavenly Father has for Chris as were teaching him. I wanted to cry, but I held back the tears. I know that Chris is struggling and that the gospel can help him with his struggles. We committed him to read Alma 7: 10-16 and he said he would. We gave him and Christine some time and finally went back this Sunday. A miracle had taken place. As we walked up Chris came outside with Christine and they sat on the porch. Chris told us that he had read a quarter of the Book of Mormon. He felt like something needed to change so he read the Book of Mormon the day after we committed him. He couldn’t remember what we had told him to read so he read from the beginning all the way to Alma 16. I was amazed!! I couldn’t believe it!! That is not even the best part. It gets better. He then tells us that he decided to try praying, which he hasn’t offered a sincere prayer since he was 10 years old. He got an answer! He asked to know something and right after he prayed he got his answer. Once he got his answer he realized that he didn’t really want to know what he thought he wanted to know. We told him that he asked and he received. He was a little shaken up by his answer, but I know that the Lord is softening Chris’ heart. He said that he hasn’t cried since he was 10 and he cried like “a little girl” as he said. It was such a testimony to me that even the most unlikely people are searching for the gospel. Chris knows that something needs to change he just doesn’t know how. We had a lesson with him about faith and putting his trust in the Lord. We committed him to pray at least once a day every day. He said that he would!
I have had some cool experiences with following the promptings of the Spirit to talk to people this week. We tried to see Somer and Braydan one day and someone was inside, but no one was answering. As we stood on the porch and I looked to my left and saw a family sitting on their porch. A thought came to go talk to them. I told Heavenly Father that if Somer didn’t answer I would go talk to them. As I said she didn’t answer so I had to go talk to them. We walked up and got to talking. Eventually the grandma on the porch asked who we were. I answered her and bore testimony to her of the message of the Restoration of Christ’s church that we are sharing with everyone. Her name was Dorothy. I told her about our churches’ website and she said that she would really like to check it out and that she would give us a call. Later in the week we were walking out of the library and out of the corner of my eye I saw this man sitting on a bench looking through his backpack a thought came again that I should talk to him. I explained it away because we had to be somewhere. As we walked away and got into the car I felt super bad that I didn’t listen. I asked Heavenly Father to forgive me for my weaknesses and that I would do what He asked. Thankfully we have a loving Heavenly Father that is willing to give us more chances to prove ourselves. On Saturday we had just gotten out of a really awesome lesson with our investigator Becky. We were walking back to our car and I saw this man sitting on the grass under a tree enjoying the weather. The thought came to go talk to him, this time I listened. I went over and Sister Wilson followed. I started talking to him and got to know him. We found out that his name was Buddy and that he was 71 years old. He had been to churches in Lebanon and Harrisburg multiple times and he really enjoyed it. He just found a place to live, he had been homeless for a while. I asked him if we could share a message with him. He said sure, so Sister Wilson and I sat on the grass and taught Buddy the Restoration and picked him up as a new investigator. It was so cool. He understood it and remembered things from church. We committed him to baptism!! He said that he would! We have him set from May 30th. We have a return appointment for tomorrow and we are bringing this member couple with us to help teach him. I am so glad that I listened because my natural man me wanted to judge him and say that he is old and he won’t want to change. But Buddy has been prepared and he desires to be happy.
A less-active named Sandy that we are working with is doing well. We taught her about the temple this week and set her with the goal to prepare herself to go do baptisms in the temple. She has never been before and she wants to go. We are still working on getting her to church. She says that she will come, but her family doesn’t know she is a member so when they invite her to come to church with them she goes there instead of our church. We encouraged her to pray about telling her family that she is a member. We don’t want to make her do it, but we think that it will help her to be able to live the gospel more fully if her family knows. Plus her family can be blessed if they learn about the gospel too!
Basically this week has been super awesome and we are doing some great work out here. Heavenly Father blesses us everyday and people are always being placed in our path. I just have to keep my eyes open to see them and my heart open to feel the Spirit. I couldn’t do this work without the Spirit!
I hope yinz guys have a fantastic week!!
Love,
Sister Jones

DSC00331

Japanese food

Japanese food

7. The inside

7. The inside

The Dobbin House we ate at

The Dobbin House we ate at

Top of the tower :) Sister Wilson and I

Top of the tower πŸ™‚ Sister Wilson and I

Climbed this 90 foot tower that is on top of Culp's Hill. You can look out and see all of the battlefield of Gettysburg.

Climbed this 90 foot tower that is on top of Culp’s Hill. You can look out and see all of the battlefield of Gettysburg.

The Jennie Wade House. It fits!

The Jennie Wade House. It fits!

Partying with Sister Manwaring as we packed up her house

Partying with Sister Manwaring as we packed up her house

Abe's my bestfriend :)

Abe’s my bestfriend πŸ™‚

House that still has the bullet holes in it

House that still has the bullet holes in it

The battle on July 1st took place here in these woods

The battle on July 1st took place here in these woods

This depicts days 2 and 3 of the battle

This depicts days 2 and 3 of the battle