Sunday, December 27, 2015

12/28/15

Hey hey hey,

Ah, can I just quickly tell you all how much a love Christmas?  I just love seeing all the bright and cheery lights biking around the beautiful city.  There is just such a special spirit during this time of the year.  And I love, how even though its in hte middle of winter, and its cold and dark there is just such light and happiness in the city with all lights and Christmas songs.  Its a beautiful time the world has set aside for us to focus on the birth of Christ :)

But Sister Huber and I had a lovely Christmas.  We made lunch as a Christmas gift for a lady who just got baptised last week.  We made American pancakes, and she was just so excited.  

We visited a loy of less actives with the Elders and sang Christmas songs to them.  This one man we found though said he hadn't had contact with the church in 50 years.  Home teaching and visiting teaching is so importent guys!  Don't let that happen in your area!  But we also have been asking people what Kerst means to them.  We've gotten a wide range of answers.  Everything from "hope" "joy" "family" to "nix" or "veel eten."

And now we're going into the new year.  In ZHV all the zusters were saying, we'll see you next year!  And that was weird to hear.

Anywho, here's something I read in studies this week that I love:
"Prayer should turn into an honest deep and ongoing communion with your Father.. So when you are going from point A to point B, or wherever you have a free moment consider spending less time listening to music or texting a little more time praying in your heart."

As you do that, you can deepen your relationship with your Heavenly Father! :)  He loves you!

Liefs!
Zr Jones




Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015

I've forgotten most lyrics to most songs, except if its hymns or efy.  But while biking through the beautiful city of Dan Haag, one line from a Journey song has been stuck in my head:

"Just a small town girl..."


I totally feel like a small town girl moved out into the big city.  I love it! it's so much fun and so exciting!  Den Haag is so big!  Its beautiful with all the Christmas lights up.  Also  I think the ward here is bigger than my home ward.  I went up to bear my testimony yesterday, and there were SO many people!

There are also so many missionaries here!  There're as many missionaries in our ward as there were in my last district!  It's been fun working with them.

We had 2 baptisms last Saturday, one investigator from the Elders and one investigators from that the Sisters have been teaching.  M--- , the young lady the sisters have been teaching just came out of the water GLOWING.  It was so cool to see.  She just had the biggest smile on her face.  L----, the other lady that got baptised, bore her testimony on it in ZHV yesterday, and she was just so happy!

We had dinner at the Stake president's house last night, and we were actually talking about baptism with their family.  It was really cool hearing all of their experiences.  A lot of their kids, even though they got baptized at age 8, they could still remember the Spriit that they felt.  The parents though, talked about the Spirit that they felt before and in their life afterwards. The mom shared some really cool thoughts about how its importent to keep continue seeing the little instances and feeling the little promptings of the Spirit through out your life, and holding on to and recognizing those  little promptings.  We also read Mosiah 4:12, and talked about how baptism isn't the end, we need to keep the promises we made, continue to feel God's love and then grow in knoweldge.

also, the subject line is from a talk on Sunday about return missionaries and how they seem to have an "eternal smile" on their faces :)

Sent with Pugs and Kisses for Christmas (Zr Huber is the one in green I'm the one in red ;) )
Zr Jones

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 13, 2015

Ah, I LOVE LELYSTAD.
Seriously.  We've been teaching a lot of families here and its so cool to see.

We had a Zone Christmas Conference last Tuesday, and we had a really cool training on a new teaching style.  With this new teaching style, the idea is that our lessons last only about 15 -20 minutes and that we meet with our investigators about 3 - 4 times a week.  Its also very heavily question based, the idea is that people basically teach themselves, and then we confirm the truths that they've come for themselves to understand. We've seen a lat of miracles this week teaching this way.

One them, was with -----, the mom I wrote about last week who's 7 yr old daughter said the closing prayer.  We had a solid lesson with her Thursday, it was so cool.  We taught the third lesson by reading through 2 Nephi 31 with her. Right after we said the opening prayer, before we started reading, she paused and said (translated into English) "Oh and Sisters, do you remember how you asked to pray about the lesson last week?  I've been praying about it.  And I didn't get any big sort of answer.  But it just felt good.  I felt good about reading in the Book of Mormon and meeting with you."


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah,  we just were bursting with joy.  Praying about it is SO importent, and so simple.  But I've seen so many times on my mission people just don't do this first simple step, or they don't recognize the answer.  And ------- experience was just so cool.  She just went and did it, she knew what she was praying about and she was able to recognize the still promptings of the Holy Ghost.  We asked her if we could come by Sunday, to try to start meeting more regularly, and she told us that all her 4 kids would be there and also her sisters 4 kids.  But that if we were okay with that, she thought it would be really cool to go and share a lesson with all of them.

Ah, so yesterday we went over and did a quick 20 min message about Christmas to 2 adults, and 8 kids ranging from 3 months to 17 years old.  It was one of the coolest lessons of my mission.  We showed up and -------- told us that all the kids were really excited to meet us and hear what we had to say.  After our message, ---------- turned to all the kids and asked if they had any questions for us.  She told them we were only 20 so theres no need for them to be scared ;)  One of the teenagers asked how to pray.

Ah.  I'm just smiling so big right now just thinking about.  The gospel blesses families. It's cool to see.

Also, another mother we have been teaching told us she's going to ask her husband about baptism, and if he's okay with she said, and I quote "I don't want to wait very long." !! :D  She came to stake conference yesterday, and she was so cute.  She forgot it was starting later, so she showed up at the regular time and ended up just setting up.  She's what we call a dry Mormon.  I'm really excited for her to get baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, because really she is practically almost already a member.  She's just going to receive so much more blessings and strength through it.


Okay I got to jet.  But here's a photo from helping an older member from South Africa decorate her tree and also last week having PDay with a bunch of girls from Brazil that we are working with right now in Amsterdam :)

Oh also, last night I found out I'm getting transfered to Den Haag.  My first big city and also first one that doesn't start with an L. ;)  I am really really going to miss the people and the work here.  Lelystad has a big piece of my heart.  But I've heard great things about Den Haag, so I'm excited.

Til next weeks.

liefs
Zr. Jones

PS. Need FHE ideas?  Do this:



Lets be God's angels this Christmas and shout to the world that their Savior was born :)


Saturday, December 12, 2015

November 2015 part 1

There is an art to the schedule of missionary work. There is a delicate balance of scheduling appointments with enough space in between so you have enough time to meet the persons needs, and so you won't be late for your next appointment, but also trying to be the most efficient with your time.  This week we met that balance by simply biking incredibly fast.

That's okay, we're working off all that vla and chocolate right? ;)

This week was so good .  We saw so many blessings this week, ah I have just felt God's love for us as missionaries and for the people here in Lelystad so strongly the past couple of days!

Thursday especially was just a day jam packed full of wonders.  We left studies kind of early to visit this one lady from Brazil who really wants to get baptized.  We taught her the word of wisdom, because we've had a feeling that that is something that could potentially be a stumbling block for her.  (There last couple times we've gone over it's smelled faintly like marijuana...) It was the most positive word of wisdom lesson I've seen taught to someone who has concerns with it.  At first she was really unsure about koffie, but randomly in the middle of our conversation she remembered that her grandma had always told her not to drink koffie.  And then with marijuana, she at first kept telling us that she only takes it to help her sleep and that she believes that everything that comes from the earth is from God.  But almost immediately after she said that, she paused  and turned to us and said "You know what though, I was so much healthier before."  She then got out a pen, and in the front of her copy of the Book of Mormon she made of list of things she wants to ask Christ help for/things she wants to do.  The first was stop smoking marijuana, and then the second was to be more patient and loving with her kids. (She's so good to them already.  She always talks about how the are first in her life.  Her first priority.)

She's really excited to get baptized, and we are so excited for her.  We've started meeting with her 2-3x a week to help her get ready.  Ah she's so cool.  She just has such a strong faith and really wants to be better mom and help her children.  The gospel is SUCH a blessing for families!

Also, just another quick cool story:  Friday we were jam packed with appointments, but we had about a 15 minute bike ride or so inbetween 2 appointments in the middle of the day.  Not bad at all.   But for those 15 minutes, it started POURING DOWN RAINING.  We were SOAKED for the rest of the day.  But, right after the weather just drenched us, and the clouds parted, we looked up at the sky and there was a giant rainbow and one of the most beautiful sunsets.  Ah, Zr. Watts and I just turned to each other with the biggest smiles on our faces.

God is good.

Liefs
Zr. Jones



Inline image 1


November 2015

To start off, just want to let everyone know all us missionaries here are doing well and staying safe.  The missionaries in Belgie have stricter rules for the time being, but we're still having our normal meetings here in the Netherlands.  We're being careful.

Secondly, something we shared that I wanted to copy here: "Vandaag zijn wij dankbaar dat wij, twee amerikaanse meisjes, rond Lelystad in onze helmen mogen fietsen en een glimp van jullie leven mogen opvangen."  I really am thankful to be a missionary :)  And for the people we meet and lives we get to be a part of.


It's struck us the importance of knowing God's love for us.  The people we work with who know that seem to tackle life challenges with an extra strength.  There's this new investigator Zr. Watts and I are teaching, who lives in one of the netjes areas in Lelystad, you would think she has her life completely in order and is perfectly happy, but she struggles with her testimony that God loves her.  She knows He exists, but she struggles to feel His love.  It amazes us the faith she has in two 20 year olds to help her recognize this love and develop a relationship with him.

Zr. Watts and I have also been working with some older and  younger people dealing with some health concerns.  It's hard because there is really not much we can do to help them but love them, and also let the branch love them.

Both of these experiences have made me really think about the impotence of progression and staying close to the gospel in our life, and making the most of our time here.  God has given us the gospel as a way to progress in happiness.  He's given us the gospel and covenants here because HE loves us so dearly!  He's given us His SON because of the great love He has for us, and it is through Christ and His Atonement that we may continually progress.

Our mission president sent us a story in his letter last week that I wanted to attach:

" 'The story is told of a youngman, who at the last moment  decided to sign up to run in a school race.  As his parens waited for him at the finish line, he did not appear in the first part of the pack.  But then, out of the last group came their son, speeding past those he was with with ease.  When asked what happened, he simply said, “had I known how short the race was, I would have run faster sooner.” 
Don’t find yourself surprised at the end of your mission that it was so short.  Run, knowing that time is your enemy "

As missionaries, we compare our time here to life a lot.  When we first enter the mission field you are a "baby" and the missionary who trains you is your "mother" (or "father" for elders...) your first city is your "baby city" usually your 3rd transfer is around your teenage years ;)  Some missionaries have a mid life crisis, and eventually we all die and go to the afterlife where our names don't begin with Zuster or Elder.

Zusters Watts and I were talking the past few days though how our missions really are like a mini life.  It's going to hopefully be a building block for the rest of our life.  But we feel like you can also compare time on the mission to time in life.  I'm only 20, so I'm not the most experienced on to say this, but I have a feeling that it's not just on the mission that time seems to fly by.  We've been recently starting to have Family Home Evening with some families here in our branch, and our focus has been on goals.  There's an activity we use sometimes for it, with a piece of string.  We tie a knot at the center of it, and then hold the string out.  The tiny little knot represents our life on earth.  The string before it is our life before earth, and the string ahead of it is our life after earth.  Our souls are eternal.  Voor eeuwig.  What a wonderful knowledge.  But our time here on earth is so short.  Lets make the best of it, eh? Don't wast time by letting yourself get distracted by the world We need to enjoy the moment we are in, but not be standing still. Be reaching towards goals and reaching for our great potential.  In district meeting, one of the Elders said something I really liked. "The Lord doesn't expect immediate perfection, but he does expect immediate progression"

Anyway though, mission life is going well here!  Still teaching some really cool families.  Right now just really trying to help them make progress and start making a goal with the first convent of baptism!  Het komt goed volgens mij. :)  Love the people here, Lelystad is such a good branch/almost ward.

Also funny story, everytime we've started teaching the law of chastity to an investigator, she always has surprise visitors!  It's an interesting lesson to have people randomly show hope to.

Hope all is going well with you all and that you all have had great thanksgiving!
Liefs
Zr. Jones

December 7, 2015

Two things.

1. HOW IS IT ALREADY DECEMBER???  

2. I LOVE missionary work.  <3  Really though, what a blessed work.  (Alma 26: 3, 16)

Ah really though.

We started the week really powerfully.  Because we switched Pday last week, to have a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at a members home, Monday was just a normal day.  But man, it was a powerful day!  We started with a lesson in the morning for this newer family we're teaching.  It was our second lesson with them, and it was so good!  We're teaching the mom band she has 3 cute little kids.  One of her boys, he's probably 4 was dressed up like spiderman while we were there.  And her little girl, who's about 7 I think said the closing prayer.  It's just so sweet because her reasons with meeting with us are just so sincere and pure.  She's been really busy with just having a baby and she feels bad that she's put her relationship with God on the side and she really wants to have that back in her life, especially for her kids to grow up knowing about the gospel and having a strong relationship with their Father in Heaven.

And then, right before our dinner appointment, we got a panicked call from a less active saying she needed Elders over to give her daughter a blessing.  There aren't any Elders in our branch here, so we hurriedly called one of the JOVOs here to see if he could come.  It was really cool, he had to go to Almere for something, but he still made time to hurriedly grab a tie and bike in the pouring rain to give this little girl a blessing and really bring some comfort in this family's home.

It was one of those moments that you felt like a superhero just biking like crazy in crazy weather trying to go save the day.  The priesthood really is like a superpower though.  It's such a blessing.

We also had a really powerful district meeting this week.  Elder Bernier, our district leader, asked me to share the Christlike Attribute, but he asked me to choose one that's "personal to me." It was hard to pick!  I ended up choosing "Charity and Love" because I feel like these 2 traits have been very important to me on my mission.  My dad's advise before leaving was "Love the people.  Love the moment."  The longer I've been out, the more I've realized how important it is to do those two things.  It really struck me the other day how as missionaries, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. I forget sometimes how much that means.  And Christ loves these people so much.  As representatives its part of our responsibility to make sure these people get the chance to feel a little bit of His love for them.  Because He loves them just so much.

I also went on exchanges to Amsterdam this week.  That was exciting.  Amsterdam is a lot different then all the little cities I've served in...  I usually have a policy that everyone deserves a first lesson, deserves the chance to hear about the restoration and accept it and change their life around.  But well, there are a lot of interesting people in Amsterdam.  We met this cool Bob Marley twin.  He was hilarious.


Also, my favorite cover artists did a cover of one of my favorite christmas songs.  It's wonderful https://www.mormon.org/christmas/alex-boye  My commitment for you is to go watch it,  Enjoy.  You're welcome.

Also, there's a new website and video for Christmas, and it's called "A Savior is Born."  O wanted to ask you all, why do we need a Savior?

Can't wait to hear and learn from all of your answers!

Liefs
Zr. Jones

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 2, 2015

Hey all!

This week has been lovely.  My dear new companion Zr. Watts is a fantastic missionary and I have enjoyed the past few days with her.  I'm excited to get to know her more this transfer and serve the people here in Lelystad with her!

General Conference was also lovely.  We watched it at the church in Almere on Saturday because they weren't showing it here.  It was fun though, we got together with the Elders in our district before hand and a member from here in Lelystad and made dinner together and then watched it with a couple more members from Almere.

  And then Sunday morning we went over to an investigators house to watch it with them in Dutch.  It was great, I could really tell they felt the spirit.  One of the investigators, at the end turned to us to say: "Ïederen moet dit zien!" She started talking about how the message really was all about vrede and hope and how that's something the world really needs right now.

It was a really cool experience.  She kept saying what good speakers they were and we were able to testify that's because they were speaking with the Spirit!

Vrede (or joy) is something I've actually been thinking a lot about.  I loved the talk by Elder Cook, how joy and happiness isn't just for the next life. "Men are that they might have joy."  God wants us to be happy in this life, and no matter what we are currently going through.  Missionary work can be hard, school is challenging, being a teenager is hard, being an adult can be scary, life is just plain hard sometimes. It is, for every everyone.  But we should never feel like we got the more challenging end of the stick.  We need to remember Christ.  And what He went through for our salvation.  Our challenges our so small compared to that.  I think as we change our perspectives, as we have a positive outlook, you can see the joys and what a blessed opportunity it is to be a missionary, or what an exciting part of life we are at, whatever part it is, and we will see that (as our investigator M would say) our glass is not half empty, it's not half full, but it is overflowing.

I also loved the stress on the Holy Ghost.  In my personal studies I was reading in 2 Nephi and I loved the description on the Holy Ghost in 2 Nephi 32:4-5.  It's not needed for us to remain in darkness.  We are perfectly capable to pray and recieve light and direction through the promptings of the Spirit!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17, 2015


I feel like I could sum up this week in 2 sentences:
 
The Book of Mormon's true.
Getting transferred is a sad thing.
 
Okay but really this week was just fantastic.  Sadly it was my last full week in Leeuwarden, I found out last night I'll be headed over to Lelystad on Wednesday.  Hopefully I'll be able to come back up here though later when a couple of our investigators get baptized.
 
Ah, Zuster Manning and I saw such blessings this week!  For starters, ------- IS ALL DONE WITH SMOKING!  Like completely all done.  You can just see the difference.  In his home, but also with him.  He just looks and acts more healthy. He went to all 3 hours of church again, and also dinner at a members house and it was just hilarious.  We found he doesn't like spicy foods.
 
And then last night we made a baptismal date with ------!!!! Ah, we were so excited.  We haven't met with her for a couple weeks because she was on vacation, and we knew that if she wasn't willing to take more action we'd have to drop her.  We talked to 'her about the Atonement, and she mentioned how she feels like she's been stuck in a "Spiritual Circle."  we asked her if she wanted to break that circle.  When she answered yes, we turned to a powerful example in the Book of Mormon of someone who changed their life around. (See Alma 36.)  And he turned his life around through the Atonement.  We told ------that we know that it is through the Atonement that she can break that "Spiritual Circle," and can taste that sort of indescribable joy that he described in the chapter.  And one way we apply the Atonement is by being baptized. And that we will be having a baptismal service the 14 of November and we want to invite her to make that a goal to prepare to make that covenant with God and be able to leave all her pain behind and start a new life with the power of the Gift of the Holy Ghost to help her tackle her daily challenges.
 
She at first said, oh a service so I can see someone getting baptized.  And then we informed her that no, that was a goal we wanted to set for her to get baptized.
 
There was a long silence in the room.
 
And then she said YESSSSSS!!!!  She checked calendar and everything.  We are so excited for her. We told her she can come to ------'s baptism to see how it goes and that she can continue to pray about it and that we are here for her to prepare to make that convent.
 
I am so excited for her.
 
Ah.  I thouhgt I was mentally prepared to leave, because I had a feeling this would be my last transfer.  But mine I'm slightly heartbroken.  I'm going to miss dear Friesland and all the people I've met here.  The branch here are full of powerful members with strong testimonies, and I have felt God's love for the people we have taught here.  I know I will grow to love Lelystad, but I also know just like a piece of my heart is in Belgium, another piece of it is in Friesland.
 
Oant sjen,
Zuster Jones
 
P.S.  I shall also attach a segment of my darling companions email to update you all of the rest of our adventures this week.  I'm going to miss this girl too.  She's really just inspired me to be such a better missionary, to always stay focused on the work, and the blessings that come from exact white hand book obedience and constantly striving to improve. Love this!

Zuster Manning:

Hello everyone! Things are going great here in lovely Friesland. I am surronded by the beauty of change-kids going back to school, changing of the weather to constant rain, saying goodbye to people, meeting new. My dad told me before I left on my mission that "the only thing that is constant in a mission is change." Beautiful and scary and amazing. That being said, transfers are next week! I will be staying in Leeuwarden (hoorah!!) but my dear companion Sister Jones is being transfered:,( I will miss her so much! I could write a book about the things I learned from her, she is such a good friend and kind and loving and a hard worker but also a powerhouse packed into a little person. Her ability to be bold has changed my mission. Just to show you all how amazing she is I have copied in some random segments from some of her emails and will put it at the end of this email. Plus she writes way better than I can. This week was great! Big news, our investigator ----- is stopped with smoking completely! Hoorah! (happy dance here!) He is progressing really well towards baptism and learning so much. We have three people on date to be baptized now which is quite exciting. Our mission president and his wife, the Bunnells visited our branch this Sunday which was quite nice. Sister Jones and I started a cute little art project for our branch- I painted a tree on a canvas and we cut out little paper leaves that people write on and paste on the board about reasons why we love our branch. we are hoping it will create more of a feeling of positivty and home. Our little branch really is amazing. did I ever mention that we meet in a building that used to be a bank? It is really beautiful and 4 stories so classrooms you have to go up the glass stairs for. Also our ward mission leader is so kind and fixed up a missionary's old bike with a bunch of new things and gave it to me! he was concerned that my mountain bike would ruin my clothes with no mud flap(which is was). I was insisted not to take it because I loved my american blue mountian bike so much...but I must say I am super happy with my new bike! Last p-day we watched a video with our relief society presiedent called "journey of faith" about the archelogical evidence for the book of mormon-It was awesome! totally changed by perspective. also shout out to my byu professor ball who was a guest start in it:) would recommend! We also visited an older woman in our ward who was in a recovery hospital from a fall-she is was so courageuos and cheery!and is still radiates with her testimony. I am amazed every day by the awesome people here on planet earth. Speaking of which, I would also like to give a shout out to brother -----(what am I, at a concert or something??) who has us missionaries over for dinner every week, despite his health problems and hardships. He keeps moving forward, taking care of his faithful dog, diesel, and riding around town in his scoot-mobile:)
 
****Usually I don't write enough and today was a big rant so if you don't read any of that please read this:
My biggest take-away from this week is a strengthened testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. completely true. 100%. that Book has changed lives, it's changed mine and helped me come closer to Christ. The stories are lively, the message heart-softening. There is a power therein that helps us come closer to Godliness. Every time I get on my knees to ask God if it is His word, I feel the peace come into my heart and assurance that God has not left us alone. Read it. Every day, do not miss out of that opportunity to fill your life with light. Let me share two experinces with my investigators. One comes from Uganda, a freedom fighter I guess you could say. We hadn't met with him in a long time, he wasn't too interested in baptism, so we when we showed up this week, we had the intention of dropping him if he showed no commitment. To our wonderful surprise, after we said the opening prayer, he started testifying to us about how he had been reading and the doctrine in the Book was so clear and helped him understand the Bible and expressed his desire to be baptized. happy birthday sister misisonaries. Another Dutch woman who we had met a couple weeks ago and only had one lesson with so far, also saw the change. When we came for our second appointment, she showed us all of the passages she read and how they brought her comfort. I know the Lord was guiding her reading because she flipped to the isaiah passage about forgeting the shame of her childhood, and this woman had expereinced some servere abuse earlier in her life. As we taught her the plan of salvation, it was all new to her but she was really touched and recognized it's truth. we are looking forward to teaching her.
Well I love you all and hope you have amazing weeks! Peace, love, and Belgium chocolate!
-Sister Manning

From Zuster Jones
 
"Another new investigator might possibly be a Brazilian popstar.  He's leaving soon to do a tour in Brazil with this guy who apparently sings this smash hit called "Babalala" or something.  It was super powerful when we first met him.  He was telling us that he was actually just thinking about religion a couple weeks ago, and how he was thinking about the Christian people he knows and how they all seem to have a certain strength.  We were able to testify of the atonment and the strength we can recieve through Christ. We left behind Ether 12, and last time we talked to him he just couldn't stop talking about it.  It was exciting to see. :)
 
Also, I just need to to have another shout out for the amazing branch Zuster Manning and I are serving in.  We have been really wanting to do some activities or do something to help the branch get excited and bring more unity.  Yesterday though in fast and testimony meeting the Spirit was just SO strong!  There's a ward member who's a little mentally challenged and he went up and bore his testimony, and then 2 ward members got up right after him, supported his testimony and spoke with such love about him, the branch and they just testified so powerful about God's love for us.  It left me beaming from ear-to-ear, and the spirit was so strong in our chapel.  I could just feel God's love for the members here in Leeuwarden.
Also, someone from the stake was visiting and he asked all us missionaries to go and bear our testimonies, and then after we all did that the Relief Society president bore such a strong testimony of missionary work, ah it just gave Zuster Manning and I so much strength and confidence. 
 
Also.  There's a new rule in our mission that we need to wear helmets.  So here's a lovely picture of Zuster Manning, our District Leader, his greeny, and I wearing our lovely helmets.  When president made the anouncement we all sang "Nephi's courage."  REplace "building a ship" with "Wearing helmets in Nederlands." Try to keep a serious face, I dare you ;)
 
It was really cool though.  I was talking to Zuster Johanson about it on exchanges and her perspective on it was powerful.  She was saying how we ask people to live the law of chastity, word of wisdom, keep the sabbeth day holy, and change their lives around.  What are so common concerns?  "That's not the culture anymore." "People will mock me" "It's not cool."
 
Maybe we all just needed to be reminded what our investigators feel sometimes.
 
Well.  This week was probably the first week I´ve seen where it didn´t rain at all!  So, that was a miracle.  Zuster Manning and I have gotten lovely tan lines on our feet from our flats and handbar tan lines from our bikes on our hands.
Also, we found this really sweet, rather new investagorter who is just so... kind.  I can just feel God´s love for her as we were talking to her.She was a potential from a couple weeks ago, but said that she wasn´t interested in us coming back, but we just felt super strongly prompted to go back and see if she had the chance to read in the Book of Mormon.  And she ended up letting us in and we were able to teach her about the restoration and the atonment.    She´s had a really hard life, and we talked about the atonment with her and you could just see the hope in her eyes.  She kind of scared though to make commitments with anything, but I just know, I can just feel how badly she needs this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015




This is Micah's reaction when she watched her brother open up his mission call.













August 10, 2015



The Sun is Out in 
Friesland!

Well.  This week was probably the first week I´ve seen where it didn´t rain at all!  So, that was a miracle.  Zuster Manning and I have gotten lovely tan lines on our feet from our flats and handbar tan lines from our bikes on our hands.
Well, I don´t have a lot of time today.  So to sum up:
_______ is still working on stopping smoking.  He was a little confused when we taught him about prophets.  I think there´s a bit of a language barrier still, but hopefully we will be able to bring a member for a Joint Teach soon so that should work.  He was telling a couple members about his baptismal date in October, so that was exciting.
________ is praying about a baptismal date in September, but something just happened with family members so she might need to take a pause for a bit.  We´re meeting with her real quick today to see what´s up and how we can help.
We have two new investigators.  They´re two younger guys from here in Friesland.  They're super strong Christian. 
Also, we found this really sweet, rather new investigator who is just so... kind.  I can just feel God´s love for her as we were talking to her.She was a potential from a couple weeks ago, but said that she wasn´t interested in us coming back, but we just felt super strongly prompted to go back and see if she had the chance to read in the Book of Mormon.  And she ended up letting us in and we were able to teach her about the restoration and the atonement.    She´s had a really hard life, and we talked about the atonement with her and you could just see the hope in her eyes.  She's kind of scared though to make commitments with anything, but I just know, I can just feel how badly she needs this. 
Okay, gotta jet.  Gospel´s true!
Thanks for all your love and support!
Veel liefs
Zuster Jones

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 3rd, 2015

Okay first off I need to do a shout out to my brother back home in the States who just got his mission call to 
SOUTH AFRICA!!!
I am so excited for him!!  And so dang proud of him.
This week was quite fantastic.  We dropped a lot of investigators last week, but the Lord blessed us with a bunch of new investigators this week, and we have more first lessons scheduled for this coming week. And also last Saturday someone Zuster Johanson and I taught in Lokeren just got baptised, by her fiance who formally was inactive.  We were unable to attend, but we both slightly freaked out over the Phone when we heard. <3  They are getting married in September and we are so excited for these choices that they are currently making and for the many blessings that are ahead of them.
One of our new investigators is from Uganda.  She actually used to be married to an investigator we recently sort of dropped, and she was actually quite positive!  Zuster Begazo and I taught her during exchanges, and I just learned so much from Zuster Begazo how she taught with boldness but was also just so loving.
Another new investigator might possibly be a Brazilian popstar.  He's leaving soon to do a tour in Brazil with this guy who apparently sings this smash hit called "Babalala" or something.  It was super powerful when we first met him.  He was telling us that he was actually just thinking about religion a couple weeks ago, and how he was thinking about the Christian people he knows and how they all seem to have a certain strength.  We were able to testify of the atonment and the strength we can recieve through Christ. We left behind Ether 12, and last time we talked to him he just couldn't stop talking about it.  It was exciting to see. :)
Also, I just need to to have another shout out for the amazing branch Zuster Manning and I are serving in.  We have been really wanting to do some activities or do something to help the branch get excited and bring more unity.  Yesterday though in fast and testimony meeting the Spirit was just SO strong!  There's a ward member who's a little challenged and he went up and bore his testimony, and then 2 ward members got up right after him, supported his testimony and spoke with such love about him, the branch and they just testified so powerful about God's love for us.  It left me beaming from ear-to-ear, and the spirit was so strong in our chapel.  I could just feel God's love for the members here in Leeuwarden.
Also, someone from the stake was visiting and he asked all us missionaries to go and bear our testimonies, and then after we all did that the Relief Society president bore such a strong testimony of missionary work, ah it just gave Zuster Manning and I so much strength and confidence. 
Also.  There's a new rule in our mission that we need to wear helmets.  So here's a lovely picture of Zuster Manning, our District Leader, his greeny, and I wearing our lovely helmets.  When president made the anouncement we all sang "Nephi's courage."  REplace "building a ship" with "Wearing helmets in Nederlands." Try to keep a serious face, I dare you ;)



 Rocking the "not cool" helmets


It was really cool though.  I was talking to Zuster Johanson about it on exchanges and her perspective on it was powerful.  She was saying how we ask people to live the law of chastity, word of wisdom, keep the sabbeth day holy, and change their lives around.  What are so common concerns?  "That's not the culture anymore." "People will mock me" "It's not cool."
Maybe we all just needed to be reminded what our investigators feel sometimes.
Speaking of which, ____ has gotten down to smoking 10 ciggaretes to 7 a day!  His goal for this week is getting down to 5 or so.  We are so pumped for him.  He was telling a couple ward members about his baptismal date in October.
Lastly, the other photo is me freaking out just ten seconds ago watching the video of my brother opening his mission call.
Veel Liefs,
Zuster Jones
PS Moroni 10:31.  Look it up. It's powerful

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer in Friesland

Happy 4th of July!



It looks like summer finally made it to 
The Netherlands 




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

6/29/15 - Micah in Friesland




Micah in Friesland

Where is Friesland you ask? 
Friesland is a province in northwest Netherlands and has two official languages, Frisian and Dutch. 


The Friesians are very proud of their flag and their own unique culture.

Most importantly - 
Micah loves it!


















 
This week was full of funny adventures - Guess that's missionary life though, right? ;)
 
It started with Zone Conference, which is always just so powerful.  Getting there was an adventure though.  We got directions to the wrong church.  We showed up, and I was joking to Zuster Romney that only for missionary meetings it doesn't concern me when I don't see cars in the driveway.  But then no one was there.  So we had to hop on a couple trams, take a couple busses to get to Rotterdam.  We were a little late, a little chagrin, but it was also rather funny.  Directions and getting lost have always been one of my biggest challenges I guess you could say and it's for sure something I've pretty much gotten over on my mission.  Gotten lost plenty of times, but we've always somehow found our way to where we're supposed to go. 
 
We talked a lot about Grace and iPads. 
 
One of the biggest adventures and miracles this week was Zaterdag.  We had only ONE MORE EASTER REFERAL.  Last month there was a campaign on facebook where people could order "Finding Faith in Christ" DVDs and then we would go visit them and see what they thought and if they wanted to learn more about how to come close to Christ. And we've had a ton in Leeuwarden.  And most of them have been in tiny little villages that's about an hour or so bus and/or train ride away.  But we've finally contacted them all.  But one.
 
The problem with this last one though, no busses go to the little village where they live!  And it´s about 30 kilometers from where we live.  All of our plans fell through last Saturday though, and we prayed about it and we really felt like that was what we should do.
 
So we wrote down ghetto instructions on how to get there.

And left with a prayer in our hearts that we would have contact with the refferal.
 
 
And let me tell you the whole ride was just glorious.  It started out super dreary and cold.  But about 15 minutes in, the sun came out and it was beautiful.
 
We also passed a ton of fantastic graffiti on the way.  Nederland graffiti really is just so... cool.  Much classier than back home.

 And another sign that said `Promised land` and yet another one that said `Alma.`
 
It really was just an inspired ride. It was great. 
 
And by the time we got there, it took forever to get to the refferals door.  We went to the wrong house at first (It was in 7A not just plain 7...)  And then it took forever to figure out how to get to the front door. But literally the moment we finally got to the doorbell, someone came up one their bike.  IT WAS OUR REFFERAL!  It was crazy, right before we left he told us that he just had a feeling that he should come home real quick.  It really was SUCH a blessing.  The timing was no coincidence.  He wasn´t interested in changing religions, but we ended up chatting with him for almost an hour and saying a prayer with him.  He told us he was really impressed and could tell we were really sincere and that this was something important.  He just felt at home in his current church.  I think he felt the spirit there though, and it was really cool praying with him right there on the doorstep.
 





Monday, May 18, 2015

5/18/15

his week was just full of miracles and funny adentures!
 
Guess that's missionary life though, right? ;)
 
It started with Zone Conference, which is always just so powerful.  Getting there was an adventure though.  We got directions to the wrong church.  We showed up, and I was joking to Zuster Romney that only for missionary meetings it doesn't concern me when I don't see cars in the driveway.  But then no one was there.  So we had to hop on a couple trams, take a couple busses to get to Rotterdam.  We were a little late, a little chagrin, but it was also rather funny.  Directions and getting lost have always been one of my biggest challenges I guess you could say and it's for sure something I've pretty much gotten over on my mission.  Gotten lost plenty of times, but we've always somehow found our way to where we're supposed to go. 
 
We talked a lot about Grace and iPads. 
 
One of the biggest adventures and miracles this week was Zaterdag.  We had only ONE MORE EASTER REFERAL.  Last month there was a campaign on facebook where people could order "Finding Faith in Christ" DVDs and then we would go visit them and see what they thought and if they wanted to learn more about how to come close to Christ. And we've had a ton in Leeuwarden.  And most of them have been in tiny little villages that's about an hour or so bus and/or train ride away.  But we've finally contacted them all.  But one.
 
The problem with this last one though, no busses go to the little village where they live!  And it´s about 30 kilometers from where we live.  All of our plans fell through last Saturday though, and we prayed about it and we really felt like that was what we should do.
 
So we wrote down ghetto instructions on how to get there:
 
And left with a prayer in our hearts that we would have contact with the refferal.
 
 
And let me tell you the whole ride was just glorious.  It started out super dreary and cold.  But about 15 minutes in, the sun came out and it was beautiful.
 
We also passed a ton of fantastic graffiti on the way.  Nederland graffiti really is just so... cool.  Much classier then back home.
 
Voorbeelden:
 



 
See, cool eh?
 
Also we passed by this sign

 
And another sign that said `Promised land` and yet another one that said `Alma.`
 
It really was just an inspired ride. It was great. 
 
And by the time we got there, it took forever to get to the refferals door.  We went to the wrong house at first (It was in 7A not just plain 7...)  And then it took forever to figure out how to get to the front door. But literally the moment we finally got to the doorbell, someone came up one their bike.  IT WAS OUR REFFERAL!  It was crazy, right before we left he told us that he just had a feeling that he should come home real quick.  It really was SUCH a blessing.  The timing was no coincidence.  He wasn´t interested in changing religions, but we ended up chatting with him for almost an hour and saying a prayer with him.  He told us he was really impressed and could tell we were really sincere and that this was something importent.  He just felt at home in his current church.  I think he felt the spirit there though, and it was really cool praying with him right there on the doorstep.
 
Other then that though, the rest of the week was really good!  We´ve started doing Family Home Evening each week with a nonactive family.  we are trying to help themnmake their way to the temple, and are hoping through family home evening they will be able to help support and strengthen each other and will come closer to each other as a family through learning more about the gospel together.
 
We also found a couple new investigators.  One´s last name is Christmas.  He´s super positive, he just disagrees with the Sabbath being one Sunday and not Saturday.  Another one is from Africa. His stories are crazy.  He´s one of the kindest and respectful person I´ve ever met though.  He doesn´t quite see the need for organized religion though.  we tried explaining to him how it´s the things we do in church that are importnet, like baptism and sacrament.  But he didn´t quite seem to get it.  yet.
 
 
Well, this turned into a pretty long email.  And I gotta jet.  But before I go, here´s a pretty picture of a swan.  Apparently there really big here in Friesland.
 
Veel liefs
Zuster Jones

Mother's Day 2015

Hey guys!

For starters, I hope you all had a great Mother's day!!!

Secondly, things have been warming up way up North here in Friesland. I don't even have a cardigan today, it's a wonder for sure.

And with the warmer weather, we've just been staying super busy! We have no time in our week, it's crazy!

We started teaching a new investigator this week.  Well, actually older investigator.  I'm super used to just working hard and going door-to-door in any spare time we have, but Zuster Romney is really good at working smart.  We tackled the area book last week and found a couple positive formers.  


We also started doing Family Home Evening with this one family in our area. We talked about goals and made an collage board of our goals.


Saturday was also pretty exciting.  We go to Drachten in the morning to play soccer with some of the members, and some friends of the members (it's kind of like dodgeball in Veneta ward earlier.)  The Elders brought an investigator.  He killed it, he's super good at soccer.  He was super determined that I was going to be the star of the game though, so he set me up each time.  I made like 6 goals.  Most I made in my life.  None of it was because of my own talent, but it was still cool.  Jarl, one of the members in the bishopric, got a kick out when he heard about though...  He keeps telling me they need more young men in the branch, and I need to flirt to convert more...  Awkward Zuster probs......  BUT the elders said they had a killer lesson with the investigator after soccer so that's good!

Last week we also had a couple lessons with some university students.  This week is Spring vacation though, so hopefully we can set an appointment for next week sometime in the next couple of days.  It's really cool teaching them because they are younger and tend to be more open to listening to us.

Also, Sunday was really cool.  It's interesting how prayer is something that is rather hard for a lot of people.  Because I've grown up with prayer, it's just so natural.  It's SO IMPORTENT THOUGH.  I don't want people to be trusting me, I'm just a 19 year old girl.  I want people to be getting their answers and finding truth from God.  And I know that they can, they just need to ask Him. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Even more pictures

More pictures

Tulips and Transfers 4/12/15

Last week of transfers are always pretty sad, but this week was just so incredible!

Highlights:

-Sometimes you get served pig's brain, pig's blood, and chicken intestines all in the same dinner meal.  (No that's not a typical Belgium meal.)

-WENT TO THE TEMPLE IN NEDERLAND!  Ah, really though, I can't tell you how fantastic that was.  It was such a cool experience.  It was also just so cool to go with a bunch of missionaries.  I really draw strength from the other people serving in my mission, they are such good examples of missionaries and just good examples in general.

-Went to Keukenhof after temple!  It's this beautiful tulip garden in Nederland.  Ah, it was so much fun to just wandle through tulips for a a while in the sunshine.

-We had some really AWESOME lessons this week.  I really love the gospel and seeing how living it really does change people's lives.  The gospel really is for us and is how we can have more joy and happiness in this life guys!  It's awesome.

-Showed how greatly I trust my companion by letting her cut my hair.  (Never get an A-line before going out on a mission.  Worst idea ever.)

-Just going on normal adventures here in Belgium with the Jo-Jo Team (Me and Zuster Johanson) ;)

-Transfer Calls.  Going to Leeuwarden!  All the way up North!  It's going to be SO different!  I'm SUPER sad to leave my baby city, sad that Jo-Jo team is coming to an end (we've had way too much fun), and just sad to leave the work here!  But I'm also super excited to have some totally new and totally different adventures this summer!