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