Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful to Be a Missionary!

This week was fantastic!  I feel like it went by SO fast though!  And then tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  And then Friday I get my flight plans!  YAYAY! :D

So, funny story from this week:  One of our investigators had a question about what happens after you die.  So I was trying to explain to her that after death, our personalities don't change. Apparently though I had memorized the wrong word from my Dutch dictionary...  Our investigator kept giving me the weirdest looks and it took me forever to figure out why.  Instead of saying that our personalities don't change, I was saying that our personalities don't "undress"...  Haha oops!  We got a good laugh out of that.

Okay so, I have just a couple pictures this week.  Here's one of me holding a board that explains every missionaries purpose and our goal.  Love it.  It was the first thing I memorized in Dutch.

And one with the Zone Leaders!  They're fantastic!  It's been fun working with them this past week.

Also, Elder Oaks and his wife came yesterday and it was amazing!  One of the things he talked about was how the Savior taught that when you lose yourself in serving Christ, that is when you find yourself.  If you try to "save" your life though by earning praises of the world, that is when you lose yourself.  It has been something I've been thinking about a lot this week, and I really enjoyed his talk.  I am also just so thankful to be missionary and to have this opportunity to put my desires and my worldly ambitions to the side for a bit and lose myself in service.  So far it really has been amazing, and I'm not even in Europe yet!

Another thing I'm super grateful for is the Atonement.  I know, that sounds super missionary cliche, but it's so true!  Elder Oaks touched on it yesterday.  He said that "The Savior's Sacrifice is the ultimate good for the ultimate evil."  Linda K. Burton came last week and talked about it as well.  She challenged us to find a scripture or hymn that personally relates to us about the Atonement.  One of mine is Phil. 4:13. "I can do all through Christ who strengthens me."

 On our own we are so limited.  There is only so much we can do.  But through Christ and His Atonement we can do all things.  Sister Burton also said in her talk that "To make everything right through the Atonement we must choose, through our actions, to do our part."  If we are striving to be righteous, doing our best to do God's will, are "pressing for the mark of Christ," and are praying for help, Christ can help us with our struggles and he can make up for our shortcomings.

Love the emails and the letters!! I really appreciate all of them! <3

Have a great thanksgiving!

-Zuster Jones

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wednesday, November 19th 2014 - Halfway Done with the MTC!

This week flew by!  It started snowing for the first time since I've been here.  That was fun - but SO COLD!  I brought out my big, cozy winter jacket.

On Monday the sisters in our zone who are going to Denmark left, along with an Elder going to the Belgium/Netherlands mission.  The Elder was in our district, and we all are super excited for him!

We took a picture of our district with him at the Provo Temple before he headed out.

One nice one...

Aaand one of us being goofs. ;)

We also took a picture right before the Sisters and Elders left of our whole Zone.  Our Zone is so cool.  There are Elders and Sisters going to Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and the Belgium/Netherlands mission of course. :)  We have a prayer in a different language each night, it's so cool to hear.

We are getting a total of 14 new Sisters for our zone this evening.  My companion and I were recently called as Sister Training Leaders for our Zone, so we've been getting everything ready for them. We are so excited!  After today we are going to have a total of 30 sisters in our Zone!  The work is really hastening!

-Zuster Jones

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tis the Season for Coughs and Sniffles

I have been loving the MTC and the people I have been getting to know here!  I feel like I've been growing so much in these 2 weeks both a person and a missionary.

I have also just been loving the Dutch language.  When I first got my mission call, I looked up Dutch to see how it sounded.  It sounded so much harsher than the romance languages I had studied in high school and college, I was a little nervous.  But, let me tell you, Dutch is beautiful.  And it has so many fun words.  For instance "missionaries" is "zendelingen" and "baptism" is "de doop".  So much fun to say.  We also learned a Dutch hymn this week.  "Zullen Wij Elkaar Ontmoeten" which translates to "Shall we each other meet." It's basically the Dutch version of "God Be With You Til We Meet Again."  It's so pretty.  If there are any recordings, I would definitely suggested listening to it. :)

Also, apparently the season for colds started this week.  Our class, and the whole MTC it seems like, is full of coughs and sniffles.  We've been doing our best to share the gospel, not germs, with each other. (haha)  Our District Leader has been carrying around a bottle of disinfectant and disinfecting everything in class to try to keep us from getting any more sick.  It's rather funny.

On another note, one thing that has really stood out to me this week is that God loves each and every one of His children.  No matter who you are, where you are, what you are struggling with, or what choices/mistakes you have made.  Paul testified to the Romans that "nor height, no depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God." (Romans 8:39)  He knows you, He loves you, and He wants the best for you. (Moses 1:39)

This missionary also loves you, and all of your letters, dearelders, and emails feel like gold!  Dank jullie eel!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I cannot believe I have already been at the MTC for a week!  (I only have 5 more weeks to learn Dutch!  6 weeks seemed like so much longer... haha.)  The MTC is moeilijk (hard) but it is so fantastic.  I have no doubts that this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doinh.  I can't imagine myself being anywhere else right now.

So, I want to give a piece of advice to future missionaries.  (Because, you know, I've been here for a whole week and I am just oh-so-knowledgeable now. ;) )  When you pass through the doors of the MTC forget your worries and forget yourself. When you walk through those doors you are now the Lord's.  Dedicate yourself and your time to the Lord.

This attitude has helped me overcome homesickness and feelings of doubt.  It has helped me to remember to have an attitude simalalr to Nephi's in Nephi 3:7 whenever I start feeling inadicate. You are in the MTC preparing to do the Lord's work, and He will help and bless you as you dilligently strive to do His will.

So what am I doing at the MTC?  Here's an example of my average scheulde:

6:30 Wake up
7:00- 7:30 Personal Study (in classroom)
 7:30 - 8:00 Daily Planning (with companion in classroom)
8:00 - 8:30 Breakfast
8:30 - 9:15 Gym
9:15 - 9:50 Post-gym
9:50 - 10:50 Personal Study
10:50 - 11:50 Companion Study
11:50 - 12:50 Language Study
12:50 - 1:35 Lunch
1:35 - 4:35  Class
4:35 - 5:15 Additional Study
5:45 - 6:30 Dinner!
6:30 - 9:30 Teach "investigator" in your mission language, meetings, and additional study
9:30 - 10:15 Be in resident halls, prepare for bed
10:15 - 10:30 "Quiet Time"
10:30 Lights out

Pretty much every second of your day is planned, and there's no time for naps!  But it's good, each day it feels like you are learning so much and getting so much done!

Also, my district (group of Elders and Zusters going to the same mission I am) is fantastic!  I can't believe I've only known them for a week!  (Probably because I spend at least about 75% of each and every day with them haha.)  Sometimes they (myself included) can be so funny, and occasionally entertaining. But very often I am amazed at how smart, caring, and what strong testimonies these Elders and Zusters have.

Lastly, this week I have just love reading 1st Cor. 2:1-5.  It is fantastic.

-Zuster Jones