Monday, August 24, 2009

Transfers Stink!

Hi hi hi
Hola hola hola

Okay. Where do I start? I´ll start with today. Transfers stink.

They came today and took away our other half. Hna. Pinto and Hna. Bartholomew have left our area and have only been gone but I already feel a huge emptiness in my heart. I don´t think I ever anticipated the bonds I would make with my companions, I never thought I would make such friendships with my latin friends... It´s one thing to say good bye to another gringa knowing that in months I´ll be seeing them in reunions in Utah, but it´s another thing saying good bye to my companions from different countries! Who knows if I will see them again? I will see Hna. Pinto in conferences coming but Hna. Muñoz (my comp from Machalí) left for her home today and I don´t know If I will ever see her again  I will see what I can do about that in the future... Okay, sorry for being dramatic. But....

I guess I didn´t tell you the reason why they closed out one of the Graneros sectores. It´s because a lot of sisters from the mission left for their homes and very few came into the mission. Which means there are a few sectores left without anyone so they closed a lot of the areas where there were 4 missionaries. I am not going to lie, I´m a weeee bit nervous for this coming transfer!! This last transfer has been for me probably one of the busiest tranfers of the mission. We have never worked with so many progressing investigators (which is a GOOD thing), and now the whole mission is putting a huge emphasis in the less active members trying to re-activate them that there was hardly room to do contacts, but now with the investigators of the hermanas...less!! But I know we can do it... Heavenly Father trusts us. We can do it. Pero...yikes...

Rember Sergio? Well.... We found out that he isn´t married to the woman that he is living with  It turns out that he is married to someone else but his real wife left him about 25 years ago and took a lot of stuff... like his house and a whole bunch of drama is with that but he says it is very unlikely he will be able to get this divorce. He is really sad. Because he wants so badly to be baptized... But you cant get baptized when you're living with someone without being married and he and his pareja dont want to separate, they´ve been together for 30 years. I have never found someone so sincere in his desires. He has read about half the book of mormon and is so excited about the things he is learning. It breaks my heart to see him discouraged about it all, because it´s something that he wants... But he is going to work with lawyers to see what he can do about his divorce.

Mercedes is doing well... She is the CUTEST most dearest old lady next to my grandmas. I love her so much, but she has had some pretty crappy health stuff going on but is so earnest in her desires to learn also.

We are teaching another family. Pamela y Hans and their 3 little kids. They are really great, though have had some really rough times in their marriage. Hans used to always leave on the weekends and drink and do other stuff and it´s been so hard on Pamela. She has wanted to give up so many times. But we started teaching them and things are progressing. Even though there are still problems with Hans, they are progressing!! They started doing Family Prayers and say they can see a difference in their family! Hans called us ¨little angles¨ that have come to their home but it´s not a thing we´ve done, it´s the miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It´s learning repentance and patience and love and respect. And these things and only through Jesus Christ that we change and are made better.

There is a lot more going on but I will keep you updated on these people!

CONGRATULATIONS mommy on getting the new job!! I had no clue that you were looking so intensely. You need to keep me updated on how that all goes. Do you like it? What do you do? Do you work with the patients? And congrats on Geoff graduating! That´s pretty sweet. I enjoyed the pictures. Send more! Of danielle and erik too! If you want...Gracias...  I think it´s funny dad that you asked about the elders being ¨flirts¨ with the sisters. Because I have actually been quite surprised to see it. Usually only between the latin missionaries. It has really surprised me. Nothing bad happens but I would definiely call it flirting. Though they wouldn´t admit it. Except Hna. Pinto had a crush on our district leader. It was hilarious. But the Chruch is true.

Oh how I love you. My heart is full I feel so much for you all I never thought my heart could love my family and my companions and the members and the people we teach so much. Incredible.

I love you!!!

Hermana. Jones AKA: AL

Monday, August 17, 2009

Graneros II is closing in one week!


I am doing well here In Graneros. It´s rained a bit this past week. This makes everything more fun!

Luis and Mercedes are doing so well. The elders from Codegua don’t have a baptismal font in their church, so they have their baptisms in our chapel. So we took Mercedes to their baptism yesterday and she liked it a lot. Before the Jovencito that was going to be baptised wanted to take a big picture of all the people that went, his friends, members and the missionaries so I was about to take the picture for them all when Mercedes hobbles in the photo shot right in the middle of everyone. It was really funny because they don´t know her, she doesn´t know them, but wanted to be in the picture. She is so sweet. But she is going to have to have heart surgery in a few weeks and she is really nervous for that…

We were able to meet another Man named Sergio. He is about 75 years old or more. We taught him and his wife once ( she is a member, but not active) and I was sure that he wasn´t really listening because he kept making comments that didn´t have anything to do with anything (but were really funny)… But we left him a Book of Mormon and marked 3 Nefi 11 So we showed up to their house a few days later and Sergio had finished reading 3 Nefi! He is fascinated by it and kept talking about how the book clears his doubts about all his religious questions… He kept saying how into the book he is and just wants to keep reading more. We invited him to church on Saturday and he came! And he liked it  We taught them again yesterday and He said he wants to be baptised. And he is so excited about! It is pretty darn awesome. He and his wife Ilda are so sweet and I have already fallen in love with them both. I`m really excited for the journey to come!!

So, do you want to hear the news? Maybe this news doesn`t mean much to anyone but it is a pretty big deal here for the missionaries in Graneros. Turns out that few people arrive in the mission this change and many leave. This means that the mission has to close a handful of sectors. They are closing Graneros II in one week. This means that Hna. Bartholemew and Hna. Pinto will be leaving without replacements and THAT means that Hna. Black and I will be taking over all of their investigators and work. And their work is HUGE. These missionaries do a lot. I am a bit nervous for this because we already are really tight with our own work, but we will have to do all that they are doing too, and I´m honestly not sure how that`s all going to work out…but…. What can you do, take it with a grin? I just hope that we will be able to maintain everyone, I really don`t want to kill their sector because they are working great things right now…

Buutttt…. How are things? What will be your new email address mom? That`s really crazy that everyone is starting school again. Time flies and I don`t like it!!! I cant get a grip at how fast time goes. But I love you both so much and I want you to know that!!!


Monday, August 10, 2009

More little miracles

This week has been interesting!! My companion has been really down, and it has made things a little difficult. I don`t resent that, I just feel bad because I want to help her but when I try talking to her about why she`s sad she kind of closes off. It worries me, but yesterday she seemed a lot more cheerful. I think it´s just been a hard adjustment. I think she`ll come around. She really is incredible but she`s really hard on herself. She admitted that she`s a perfectionist and so when things fall through or if she doesn’t understand perfectly she gets upset. But the truth is she is incredible! And she speaks well and teaches well but wants to be the perfect missionary right now. I hope I can at least help her! I know your advice would be to just love her and be patient, and that`s what I`m doing.

But We`ve been able to teach another couple this week named Luis and Mercedes. They are about 65 years old. They are a reference from one of the members that lives across the street. Luis and Mercedes have lived through a lot of really rough things in their life and right now Mercedes is going through some pretty serious health complications. She will have to have a second heart surgery here soon. The first time we taught them they both just cried the whole time. It was heart breaking to hear how Luis loves his wife so much and he just wants her to be happy but feels like God has abandoned them and at times questioned his existence. Mercedes is just tired with life and depressed and doesn`t really feel like going on. But we were able to teach a little bit about Christ and His atonement and how they can find the strength and comfort only through him. The second time we were able to bring one of the members to their house and taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about everything and when we invited them to be baptized Mercedes said something like ¨Well, I would think that first of all I would need to repent of all my sins¨ As if that was something impeding her… but that`s just what will prepare her!

The Hno Roman and Sandra (the members that gave us the reference) went over one night to give Mercedes a blessing of health. She said that when she received the blessing she literally felt like something was being taken away and immediately felt a great relief from much of her pain. She said that she had a lot of faith when Hno. Roman gave her the blessing. Luis became very emotional and described how he felt at that moment as well something warm in his chest. The next day when they told us about this Mercedes was hobbling around so content! It was incredible.

They both said that they probably want to be baptized, but that everything depended if they liked going to church or not. So they went to church…and liked it!! They seem a lot happier, and in just a few days.

It´s incredible to see these miracles. I know that Christ lives, and that his power is being made manifest in the lives of all of us. I feel so blessed to be a part of this work!

There is a talk given in this last Ensign (I think) called ¨Opening the Heavens¨ … read it!! Sometimes we have so much inside of us and know that we need to give it all up to the Savior, but sometimes we don’t necessarily know how lay our burdens, our struggles, our feelings at the Savoir´s feet, but this talk really helped me see the first step of how we can do that. By putting aside personal time with the Lord, I am lucky enough to have an hour extra of study time because my companion has her greenie hour. I have been using some of that time to have ¨personal time¨ and it has been very special to me.

Little Miracles...

This week we`ve had a lot of adventures, we`ve been able to see a LOT of little miracles, a lot of things have been very touching to me.

The other week The familia Suárez wanted to go to church (they are the family with the little girl Jocelyn that just got baptized). But they live a good 25 minutes away from the church. They don`t want anyone to give them a ride but would rather walk. But the other day it was raining pretty hard. When it rains in Chile, everyone becomes a little home hermit and doesn´t go out for anything. I don`t blame them, really. But you can imagine it is hard getting people to go to church when it rains (not many have cars). But this particular Sunday just about a half an hour before church started it stopped raining. And I didn`t even think twice about it, really. But later when we went to a lesson with the Familia Suárez. Juan, the dad told us how they really wanted to go to church, but didn´t want to go out in the rain, so they said a prayer and right after the rain stopped just long enough for them to arrive… and then it started up again. It was so touching to see how much faith this humble little family has.

The other day we were trying to find this family that we had taught one time. They were really receptive and really good but weren`t there on the second visit. So we kept going back and back trying to find them. We found them once and set an appointment and when we went again they weren`t there. It was sad… but then we said, ¨there´s probably a reason we keep being brought out here¨ I was determined to figure it out and so we started knocking doors and the second door that we knocked a young mom answered and let us in. We were able to teach her and she told us that the message was an answer to her prayers because she`s been going through a hard time. We have only taught her that one time, but we`re excited to see what happens next!!

Also, the other day we were looking in la carpeta de los ¨muertos¨ or the folder of all the investigators that have died…or the missionaries have stopped passing by for one reason or an other. We found one lady that the missionaries taught a while ago, but stopped because they she wasn´t really progressing and also wasn’t married and didn`t have plans to do so. We stopped by her house one night and there was obviously a big party going on so I asked her if it was someones birthday and she said they were celebrating a wedding. But she told us to stop by another day in the morning. So we went back like 3 weeks later (because I had almost forgotten about it) and taught her. Turns out that the wedding that they were celebrating her her home was her own wedding with her husband. She also said kind of the same thing how she has been praying a lot for certain answers to her prayers and the very day she had been asking for something we showed up. She accepted a date to be baptized in a few weeks and we are so excited for her! Her name is Mabel and has so much faith in Christ and is a good example for me. It really amazes me how Heavenly Father prepares his children to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen too many small little miracles like these to doubt that this is the Lords work, we are merely the little wheels that keep it rolling.

I feel so blessed to know who I am and what my purpose is. I know that Christ loves me and I can be happy through him, through repentance and forgiveness!!

I am happy to be with my companion. She`s been a little homesick this week, but she`s okay…. I had to eat some food off her plate the other day during lunch at a members house because my poor little companion couldn´t eat it all. She`ll get used to it soon…