Thursday, May 12, 2016

Remember that one time I served a Mission?

It's been fun.

Ammon does a pretty good job explaining my feelings right now.

Our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring abouthis great work.

Therefore, let us gloryyea, we will glory in the Lord;yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in theLord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercyand of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, say unto you, cannot say the smallest part which feel.


The "blessing" he talks about is missionary work.  I really am so grateful that God allows his work be done through imperfect individuals.  It is such a blessing to have had this time to be an instrument in the hands of God.

And yeah, I really can not say the smallest part of which I feel.

Okay love you bye,
Zr Jones

PS week update - now in Antwerpen was just in Dordrecht.  Crazy stories man.  shoot me an email at micahbells@gmail.com or facebook.  I'll fill you in.  liefs!

Friday, March 4, 2016

This week!

Quick sum up of this week:

Pday Mariama, this girl who got baptized last transfer came and cut out hair while we were emailing! We were able to have a lesson with her after she cut our hair.  Let me tell you, the Lord BLESSES you when you have lessons on Pday.  She opened up to us, and we were able to have a really powerful lesson with her.

We started the week really focussed on Kate, an investigator.  We decided to fast for her on PDay (never go grovery shopping while fasting...  Such a funny experience of getting just all the things...).  She was supposed to get baptized end of April, but all of a sudden she dropped of the face of the earth and a couple members told me that they got a FB notifacation that she cancelled her facebook event to get baptized.  (Facebook....)  We found out Tuesday, after fasting that she was able to really talk to one of the members about it and he told us that her parents told her that they'd kick her out of the house and her boiyfriend told her he didn't want to be with her if she got baptized.  She also emailed us and told us that she didn't really want a lesson, but she's down to have a PDay with us.  We're hoping if we can help her feel the Spirit again it will help her overcome all these outside influences.  Zr Goodman made a really good point.  She doesn't have the gift of the Holy Ghost, so when she's not meeting with us or going to church its so easy to quickly forget how the Spirit feels.

Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Zusters in Zoetemeer.  Their so good.  It was really fun working with them.  As a district we decided to fast Tuesday night to Wenesday about getting new investigators, and right after Zr Manning and I started our fast, we got a little lost and our plans changed.  But the Lord's hand was in it.  He put us in the path of a young man searching for truth, and we taught him a little bit about the restoration on his door step.  We were able to pray with him and set up a new appointment.  Lord answered our fast right after we started it, it was cool to see.

We also had a crazy lesson with this guy from Africa. 
We were teaching the first lesson and we still in the first point, we were talking about how "God is Our Loving Heavenly Father" and he paused us and said "Can I ask a quick question?  How did Mary get pregnant?"

........

He's not even muslim!  (We get that question all the time from muslims) He's catholic.  So I don't know why he had a problem with that.

He also just can't seem to comprend an apostacy.  So yeah.  But he loved talking about Christ.

We also started teaching the girl from Finland who just showed up in church a couple weeks ago.  She's super smart.  We were wondering what her story was, and why she's not baptized because she knows a lot.  We were talking about it, and it seems to really stem down to her understanding of the restoration.  She seemed to think the whole point of the missionaries was to get people baptized, and she was working towards it but then she started to stress out about it.  It seems she forgot the why.  In our missionary purpose it says "Help others come closer to Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel."  The restoration is the center of it.  If Christ's church wasn't restored, it wouldn't matter which church we were baptized in, where we go, just as long as we were following His teachings.  We talked to her about it, and told we just want her to focus on praying and gaining a testimony on the restoration right now.   I think that releived a lot of stress off her shoulders about meeting with us.

Because the gospel isn't meant to be a stress or a burdon.  that's not why God has given it to us.  If we are doing it for the right reasons and right motives it's meant to help us.  The restored gospel brings such peace and joy into our lives, but only when we are living it willingly and joyfully, not guiltily or because we feel like that's what we should be doing so we simply go through the motions.


So yeah, that's my thought for the day.
Liefs!
Zr Jones

PS. 

Ponderizing verse for this week:

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2/1/16

Heee iederen!

​Woooo, transfer weeks are always exciting!

Zr Huber got transfered up to lovely Leeuwarden.  I am so excited for her, love Friesland!  She was here in Den Haag for 6 months, so its been fun finding everything with out her.  Thankfully we only got super lost the first day.  And then Zr Goodman just got an unplanned tour of Den Haag's beautful centrum.

But really.  Pretty much an impromptu tour of literally the whole centrum.

But that's okay!  Prayer works.  Pray to not get lost again, and God blesses you.

It's also been fun workng with Zr Goodman, because she has also only served in smaller cities so we freak out about how cool it is to serve in a bigger city together.  Its a lot of fun.

Church yesterday was really great.  Dominique came for the first time!  We met him at the tram halte and walked with him to our building.  Turns out, he was on the tram with members!  So they were able to talk to him and he felt super welcomed right off the bat!  And then after sacrament meeting, Jeffery, a member we brought on Joint Teach last week, took him and introduced him to the bishop and a bunch of other members.  It was really cool of Jeffery to do that.  We were then able to talk to all of our other investigators and less acctives who came.  The ward just did such a good job welcoming everyone.  I think Dominique really enjoyed his first Sunday.  He was telling Zr Goodman that he came today because he really just wants to start being better, so he can be a better dad for his two little girls.

I think it's been a while since he's been to church. He waited to go in the chapel until all the women were seated.  He said "Zorgen over vrouwen heerst."  I think he was trying to be polite and chivalrous.  It was sweet.

And Mawha was there as well!  She had to leave after sacrament, so I didn't get a chance to talk to her.  But I found out the have an English class with a bunch of brothers from Africa, so hopefully she can go there next week because I think she would greatly enjoy it!

With fast Sunday coming up, yesterday in church I was thinking about last month's fast Sunday.  The man who translates, paused from his duties and got up to bear his testimony.  He had a really strong testimony but what struck me was that he didn't make any excuses for not bearing his testimony.  He was busy translating, but he still took the time to pause and go up there and share what he knew was true.

We also spent pretty much the whole day a couple days ago with a less active, Michelle,
​ we are working with.  She went on Joint Teach to two lessons. But one fell through, so she instead just went contacting with us.  She's a gem.  A couple weeks ago for Pday we went wedding dress shopping with her.  That was exciting.

Enjoy our super serious district photo from last transfer.

Inline image 1



Liefs
Zr Jones

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1/25/16

Okay not much time, so I'll try to make this snel maar krachtig.

So.  Yesterday we got transfer calls.  Zr Huber is getting transfered up to Leeuwarden.  We actually found out when we got to church.  President and Zr Bunnell were actually in our ward today (fun fact, Den haag ward is actually the ward they live in) and President Bunnell gave a great talk about member missionary work.  As missionaries we are full time teachers, but often we do a lot of finding.  The work goes better when the members do that.  Have the courage to open your mouth!

After church we dinner with a member who I don't think has ever had the missionaries over before.  It was a really cool dinner appointment.  He asked us for a book of mormon last week, and told us how he travels a lot for work and he always brings a pamphlet from the church when he flies and before he boards a plane prays that he will be able to give it to someone on the plane.

Pray for oppurtunties, then have the courage to open your mouth :)

He also showed us a song on youtube his daughter Lizzy wrote when she was 12.  It's called "Heavenly Voices".  She wrote after a terrioest attack last year, and it was really powerful.  We discussed Alma 5 after listening to it.

Other cool things.  Had another powerful lesson with Dominque.  Our first lesson with him, he said he'd never really prayed to God.  Thursday we went over, he told us "So I was talking to Hevenly Father this week..."  :)

Mawha came to church again.  She loved it.  After gospel principles, she asked where we baptise.  We didn't have a chance in the bustle of things to show her the doopvont, but I'm excited to next week.

Went to watch the world wide missionary broadcast at an American member's house.  They made us BYU mint brownies!  That was super sweet.  It was a really powerful broadcast.  Nothing new or life changing.  But good reminders.  Something that stood out to me was getting on your knees to pray with investigators.  We've been doing that more often this week, and its been really powerful!  There's something about humbling yourself to kneel down to talk to God that just helps you be more intune with the Spirit.

Wiith the scherf family


And also missionary broadcast and selfie!

Liefs!Zr Jones

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A lot of Walking - Monday 1/18/16

Hey hey,

Quick sum up of the week:  Flat tires = a lot of walking.

But God really blessed us, while walking to appointments he really put a lot of people into our paths who are currently looking a faith and are looking for truth.  We are actually bringing a book of mormon tonight to a girl around our age that we found while walkng to an appoinment.

Gitta, our dear miracle find was awfully sick this week.  We both felt really prompted that we should try to still have contact this week, so we swung by with banana bread, and the poor thing opened the door just looking so wiped.  She was super grateful for the bread though, she said that she hasn't had the energy to make anything all day.  It was cute because in Dutch to say "see you later" or say "tot ziens" but as we were leaving she said "tot snel!" which translates to "until soon/fast!"

She's a sweetheart.

We are also currently teaching the Stake Presidents 11 year old nephew, and its been really fun going through the lessons with him.  We try to use a lot of object lessons because he's younger, and this week we taught the Word of Wisdom.  We decided to make "koekjes" with the family.  But we brought all the ingredients.  We brought flowers instead of flour (in dutch "bloemen" is flowers and "bloem" is flour.)  and "soda" in plaats van "baking soda" and salt instead of sugar (that was hilarious, we asked them to taste it real quick to see what it was, and their faces were hilarious.)  We followed the directions, but are cookies didn't work!  And no one wanted to eat them!

We didn't put the right things in it though.  We had a list of ingredients from a master chef, and we put ingredients samilar to it in the cookies, but because we didn't listen to the mast chef it didn't come out lekker, it didn't work.  Like putting ingredients in the cookies, we also need to be careful with what we put into our bodies.  We need to care for the gift that God has given us.  And if we listen to the directions He has given us, our bodies will be able to work better, they shall be blessed!

We also taught a lot of first lessons this week.  Saturday we had a first lesson with this lady from Sierra Leone named Mawha, and yesterday she came to church!  They spoke Englsih where she grew up, but its a different accent, so we have to talk reaallyyyy slowly with her.  Funny story though, the first talk yesterday was from a man from Africa, and he gave his talk in English.  I had a super hard time understanding him, the Dutch translation actually made more sense to me (Made me have a lot more respect for Elder Jones, you are practically learning a new language!)   But Mahwa loved his talk!  She also knew Mariama, someone we work with who got baptised last month, and Mariama sat next to her during sacrament and explained everything to her.  It was really cool to see! :)

And then we also had a first lesson with a family yesterday!   They have 2 little girls, and there are frozen toys everywhere in their house!  The dad wasn't sure about bringing his girls to church, but we talked to him about it, and I think he'll bring the oldest next week. :)

Also, the photo of our feet is on a swing we found that is made out of rope and is made for two people to sit on it.  We finished weekly planning on it.  It was perfect for comp invertery. ;)  The other photo is sunday morning walking wiht Mawha to church.  It was a beautiful day

Gotta jet,
veel veel liefs!
Zr Jones 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Miracles in Den Haag

Zr. Huber and I were blessed to see just a lost of wonders this week.

Last Friday the APs made an annoucment about a new way of doing exchanges. I'm not sure if it was just for Europe or for missions accross the world. The idea with the new way of exchanges is that the leader's city would be a "model city" for the other missionaries to come and learn in. We've been doing a lot of finding here in den haag, mostly just building the city back up since transfers, but last week we found a lot of new investigators from area book and just normal contacting. Right before they made the annoucement the work here started to pick up and it really is becoming a "model city."

If you put in the work and do your best, the Lord really does qualify those He calls and thats really cool to see.

The way we've found new investigators has really been with the Lord's help though.  Especially with this one investigator, G-, that we found Tuesday.  That was such a miracle.  

I shall tell you the full story real quick:

We had an appointment with a less active on Tuesday after district meeting, but she wasn't home.  So we went to do a look up who lived close by.  After the look up, the less active called us, telling us she was home, so we just left our bikes and walked over.  Why we decided not to bike, I'm not sure (probably God prompting us there.)  After the lesson, and after we walked bike we unlocked our bikes and were talking real quick about where to go next, and what we were going to teach the next look-up, when this sweet little middle aged woman pops her head out the window of the appartment right next to us and tells us that we rang her doorbell last week, but she wasn't able to come to the door, and that she was so glad that she saw us before we biked away, because she was wondering actually if we could set an appointment.

We told her we were actually free right then.  We parked our bikes, and taught her a lesson.

I'm not going to lie, my first thought was wondering if she was crazy.  But ah, I felt the Spirit so strong while we were teaching.  God really loves her, and He really wanted us to find her that day. She is such a sweet lady, who's trying to do her best right now.  And just in the last 2 years she's been really searching for truth and studying the Bible. After the prayer she started crying.  She told us that she just had such a good feeling in her heart.

Miracles happen, and God answers our prayers. :)

Liefs
Zr Jones

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016

Hey all, happy 2016!

Its CRAZY here during new years.  New years day we were out for a bit, and there were a ton of teenaggers just walking around setting fireworks off everywhere.  We stayed inside from off 4pm though, because after 4 is when its legal to set off fireworks and it was a mad house outside!  They were going off consintently the whole day.  They were beautiful to see inside though.

It was pretty cool, our mission president asked us all to think of three goals for how to build our testimony, three goals for three years in the future, three for ten years in the future, and three for 25 years in the future.  And then to make three action plans for each goal.  I thought it was going to be really hard to think of goals for 25 years in the future, but it was actually really cool to do.  Especally because on the mission I've learned a lot from the members and investigators I've worked with, and so I was able to apply what I've learned from different examples and try to see what I want to be like and what I want my future family to be like.

Also I learned I've become a really deep sleeper on the mission.  I slept through midnight...  We even set an alarm!  And apparently there were a ton of fireworks.


Just means I've been working hard right?

We also had a really cool weekend.  Saturday we volunteered at a refugee camp.  We went to play football, but then a bunch of them wanted to play these type of hand slapping games that I haven't played since elementry school.  One of them you were supposed to say the days of the weeks in english and move your hand when you get to friday.  That was cute.  And the other one you counted for it, that was cool.  It was a mixture of counting in english, dutch and arabic.

And yesterday we saw a real miracle.  We met this guy on new years day, and set an appointment at a different address for sunday, and when we got there yesterday this middle aged women opened the door.  Turns out the fake address this guy gave us, was the house of a less active that we've been meaning to visit.  That was really cool.  God apparently really wanted us to visit her.  She's a sweetheart, she's from Canada and the only reason she doesn't come is because she's really sick.  Apparently one of the Osmond kids baptized her.

And then we had this really cool lesson with this investigator from Romania.  She is so sweet.  She has a little daughter named Ana (like in Frozen!) and when we walked in she was studying all these books on how to be a better mother.  She really loves her and wants to take care of her.  We shared the new years video with her http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/new-years-look-not-behind-thee?cid=HP_MO_12-28-2015_dPFD_fMRMN_xLIDyL1-A_. She loved it and really appreciated hearing how she can move on from the past and how through Christ we can move forward each new day and each new year.

Okay, gotta jet!
Liefs!
Zr Jones!

PS quote from studies:

"God has sent you here to prepare for a future greater then anything you can image' That future, a day at a time, comes alive when you do more than just exist; it comes alive when you live youre life to fill the measure of your creation.  This invites the Lord into your lifef, and you beginto let His will become yous."

PPS New address:  Apeldoornselaan 105
                            2573 LD Den Haag
                             Nederland