Tuesday, January 23, 2018

blessings

****From Braeden's mom...I asked Braeden what blessings he has received since serving a mission. This was his response:

I would say that it's really just been that I've changed. I feel like I'm more like the Savior and that's something that I know will help me later in life when I get married and become a father. It's helped me to become a better son, a better brother, better grandson, companion, leader, and everything. And it's odd, because I'm really still the same person I was. I still tell dumb jokes, and I like rap music, and I'm really looking forward to Taco Bell when I get home. But my heart has changed, and my character has developed a lot. And I would say that's the biggest blessing in my mission.






Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2 nephi 4

Hello everyone, just a short email this week.

A few weeks ago we went to go eat with the familia Esquivel, who got baptized in March, my old companion and I had recently reactivated them. However, that time that we had gone to visit them I noted that something was wrong with the Hermano. I wasn't sure what but he didn't sit down to eat with us or anything like that.  When we went to share a message with them he sat down with us and I realized that there was something wrong because he wouldn't even look me in the eyes whenever I spoke. Afterwards, he just opened up with us, and talked about how he was never good enough for his wife or his parents or brothers or friends or anyone and was just really down. I started trying to help him, and my companion talked about the sacrament and how we can become new people, and I mentioned how one hermano a few weeks ago at church said that what he learned in his mission is that ANYONE can change, and I mentioned that and he said "but not me...everyone can except me...just ask anyone that lives close to me". He was really, really down and said he wasn't even going go to church anymore. I told him that I couldn't help him then. That if his attitude was that way that it was true, he would never change. But I asked him to read this and I wrote 2 Nephi 4 on a napkin and passed it to him. That was a Tuesday. That Sunday we got to church and I saw him there and was a little confused but super excited so I went and said hi and then sat down. He then got up to share his testimony, which surprised me even more. And then he started to talk, and I was even more surprised. He shared a little of what he had shared with us and then shared what we had told him, and proceeded to say "I want to personally and publicly thank Elder Jones for what he shared with me." He said a few more things and shared his testimony. 

A lot of times as a missionary I kinda just feel like I'm wasting my time. IDK why I'm supposed to be here or why I do what I do...that I'm not really helping. But every once in a while, things like that happen, and it's a big testimony to me that maybe I am supposed to be here, and the spirit is working through me. I love seeing those miracles and being able to be part of them. 

I know this church is true and that miracles do exist, depending on the faith that we have. 


enjoy this barbecue that we made

the best district in the entire mission
back row: hna Martinez, hna Yanza, hna Oropeza, hna Burgos
front row: e Bowles, me, elder Pearson (one of our zone leaders)

love you guys, have a great week!!

Elder Jones

Monday, January 8, 2018

missionary ethos

I'll get to the subject hear in a minute.

Muy buenas tardes de Sauces Toluca. Today we had a dope Elders conference. It was the first time that all the Elders in the mission were together at the same time. 

I haven't been this tired in MONTHS. But I'm still decent at soccer so that's good. 



​These are my homies I'm gonna room with at BYU (except the kid in the middle. He's cool though.)

These past two weeks have been kinda lazy because in our area. No one who lives here is from here so during the holidays they all leave. This week we're excited to get back into the grind. 

Two weeks ago on the 24th we combined wards and the Primary president from another ward spoke. Here in Mexico there's a tradition that sometimes is more popular than Christmas, It's el dia de los reyes magos ( or day of the wise men) and it's January 6th. That day the wise men bring the gifts to the kids. however, in Guadalajara she said that normally the niño dios brings the gifts. The niño dios is Jesus. That was really interesting because it really is Jesus who brings the best gift, which is eternal life. Because of his sacrifice, we will someday be able to overcome death the same way he did and be able to live with our families forever. 

Also with the dia de los reyes magos, there's a special cake thing called a rosca, and it has a lot of plastic niños dioses inside the cake. So basically everyone cuts the cake, and if you get a niño dios, then on February 2nd you have to bring everyone tamales. It's a pretty fun tradition. 

Finally, one of the best young men's leaders ever (well all of mine were actually the best ever....I got lucky) but anyway Brother Fisher sent me the Seal Ethos  (the Navy Seal Creed) in a letter a little while ago, and it seemed really interesting to me. I decided to make a missionary version. (if anyone who was a Seal gets offended by this sorry, not my intentions.) Here it is:

Missionary Ethos
(modeled after the SEAL Ethos)
In times of war uncertainty, there is a special breed of man ready to answer the Lord's call. A common young, but with an uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside the greatest missionaries that have ever existed to serve God, the people, and bring them eternal life. I am that man.

My plaque is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by God himself, it embodies the trust of those I have promised to serve. By wearing the plaque I accept the responsibility of my calling and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn everyday. My loyalty to God and the people is beyond reproach. I humbly serve God's children wherever I'm assigned to serve, and whatever the language may be. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent trials of my calling, placing first the happiness and eternal life of others. I serve with honor in public and in private. The ability to control my thoughts, words, and actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncomprising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of leadership I will take charge, lead my companions, and accomplish our purpose. I lead by example in all situations.  I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. The Lord expects me to be more obedient and more dedicated than others. If knocked down or rejected, I will get back up and try again, every time. I will draw on every ounce of remaining strength to bring salvation to the souls of men. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect dedication. The salvation and happiness of my fellow brothers and sisters depend on me--my obedience, my dedication, and the spirit I carry with me. My training is never complete. We're constantly training and have an eye single to the glory of God. I stand ready to share the gospel anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. The execution of my duties will always be done with the utmost love. Braver and greater men than I am have gone before me, and have built a grand reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the love I have for God and those that I serve steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.


To finish, I just want to share one more saying that I learned which is "no hay viento que favorezca un barco sin rumbo" or in other words, there's no wind behind a boat without direction. I hope that makes sense. But this new year as we're making new resolutions and trying to change, we need to remember that if we have no direction, there's no wind that is really useful for our boats in life. One time another super good leader named Brother Rawlins said "a goal not written down in just a wish" (I'm sure other more famous people have said that, but one time Brother Rawlins said it too). Lets all put goals this year, so that there will be wind behind our boats all year long. 

I love you guys and hope you all have a great week! 


Elder Jones

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Hey everyone! Sorry no email this week bc I'm just exhausted and talking with my parents and I'll tell you this joke in spanish. Your assignment is to tell me what in the world it means.

cual es la diferencia entre una oveja y una oveja naca?


una oveja dice "veeeeee", y una oveja naca dice "ira ira ira"

Love you guys! Put some good resolutions this year.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

miracles on miracles on miracles

Christmas miracles are real people, because we are living them up here in Sauces this week.

I hope that this email finds you all sound and well, and I hope you all enjoy this list of Christmas miracles:

1 - We had a baptism. We've been teaching a part member family for a while now and the dad is taking forever to get baptized (we're making sure he's nice and ready but he's got lots of doubts) His daughter has also not been baptized yet! Well she has now, but this past week the Hermana got in touch with us and wanted her daughter to get baptized before they went out of town for Christmas! So we ran around to ´put everything together and Romina got baptized on Saturday!


2 - I have learned around 4 more or less complicated songs on the piano this week, and have played for about 1000 people in total. That's quite a miracle that it didn't sound terrible. If you guys remember the event I mentioned a few weeks ago that we did for light the world...we did two more on an even bigger scale on Saturday and Sunday! I played several pieces between the two days. There are no videos from the event of me playing (that I have), but I'll be making one public that I have on google drive of a duet that Elder Jacobsen and I played during the event, we will also be playing in a talent show on Friday. (WARNING ITS A VERY ROUGH DRAFT, IT DOESN'T SOUND GREAT) but I hope you all like it. Here's some fotos of my compa and I and Elder Jacobsen at the event on Sunday.



3 - I haven't died yet. I've been quite sick since Monday (hence the sweater, jacket, and scarf in those pictuires) and then being outside in the cold all Saturday and Sunday night didn't help the most. I've been taking very yucky medicine and doing all kinds of Mexican home remedies to try and stay alive, and I'm still sick, but I'm also still alive. Pray for me people.

4 - This is probably the biggest miracle: we went to the movie theater today to go and watch Coco. The area president sent a letter to all the missionaries this past week telling them that the missionaries need to go and watch Coco. So they gave us permission to go to the movie theater and watch it . So that is exactly what we did today:

​I can now say that Coco is my favorite movie of all time, and I promise you all that the movie is way better in Spanish with all the expressions and stuff, and it's even better when you've actually lived most of what's seen in the movie haha. I thought it was really interesting watching the movie how much it has to do with family history. The movie is based in the catholic religion with the ofrendas and stuff, but I think it's really interesting how much importance the movie puts into remembering our ancestors (it took me a while to remember that word) and never forgetting them. In the movie, when the people in the world of the dead are forgotten, they disappear forever, and it's kinda the same in real life. When we forget our ancestors, they disappear, because if we don't remember our family, people who aren't our family are definitely not going to remember our family. So I think that would be the odd invitation for this week leading up to Christmas. to first off, watch Coco if you haven't seen it because it's the best movie ever, and also, remember our families more, so that they don't get forgotten forever and "disappear." 

Those are some miracles I've seen this week! Last invitation would be to think about the Christmas miracles you guys have seen! Because they're always there, we just have to search for them. Also go watch this video: because its cool:


If it doesn't work just tell my mom to share it on facebook haha

Love you guys! Have a great week and a Merrry Christmas!

Love,
Elder Jones

Friday, December 15, 2017

life is good

life is good everyone. i sent a short video for you all to hear my beautiful voice. but thats all ive got this week! 

​enjoy this pictures until my mom uploads the other video to facebook or the blog or somewhere. love you guys!!!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

lightthelmundo

That's the inciative of the church combined in English and Spanish if you were wondering. This past week has been DOPE. Lets start with last Friday or maybe it was Saturday. Anway. we had this HUGE event in a park for iluminaelmundo. There was a big tent with tables on the inside for self reliance, the Book of Mormon, the family and family history, and we had a stand for the iniciative itself, which we got assigned to cover. There were missionaries in the street that would contact and bring people to us, we'd explain them the inciative, and then a Bishop would take them right in to the other tables. It was super awesome. There was also a choir that we all sang in, and a huge inflatable dome with videos of the life of Christ on the inside. At the end we had a bunch of white balloons that we were released.  They gave me this huge bunch to let go, we counted down , and I was filming, I let them all go, and..uh...they may or may not have...

​gotten stuck in a power line... but oh well that's the story of my life. It was still fun. 

I got to make two more Texas creations this past week, which were pork loin with our famous rub and sweet potato pie. It was DELICIOUS. Some members let us use their kitchen and I  went to work. And then we took out the grill and again went to work, enjoy the picture of these beautiful creations.

​and I did it with a coal grill, not a gas grill.

​Now to start with this week, I got a new companion. His name is Elder Bowles. and as of right now he has about 2 and a half days in the mission field, which means I GET TO TRAIN!!! I've been wanting to train almost my whole mission now and finally President gave me the opportunity. His Spanish is okay, but this kid has brought some miracles. On Monday night we went out to work and we passed by this lady and I recognized her as an old investigator. We stopped teaching here because she always stood us up. So we started talking. Just earlier in the day I saw the other missionaries that had taught before. She said to me, "I actually just asked God that I would see you guys again" and so now we have an appt with her at 4 this afternoon. Pray for her, her name is Araceli. Also we found Nancy yesterday, she just let us right in her house and listened to us and said she liked the message a lot. I taught the whole time bc my compa didn't really know too well what was happening. But at the end he said "I know my Spanish isn't very good, but I want to testify of what my companion just said." He went on to give one of the best testimonies I've ever heard, and I felt the spirit so strongly. I love the new missionaries and the power they bring. Pray for her too, we meet with her tomorrow at 12. Those are small things that really just blow ones mind, and it's great to have those experiences early on in your mission.

​Me and Elder Bowles

Finally to end, I'd like to tell you all something I learned this past change. This past change I would honestly say that I changed me life. Up to that point I had a while of just working around, kinda halfing it, trying to do good but letting the natural man win a lot. But last change I really tried to just change, in the sense of humbling myself, learning to love, and serving others wholeheartedly and with everything I have. I try to spend as little on myself as I can so that I can bring my district small breakfasts, or treats, or things like that...so that they feel loved. I feel like my time to train came at a perfect moment, bc maybe I wouldn't have had the patience before last change. After 15 months, I really feel like I'm learning well how to represent the Lord. It's something beautiful to learn...how to live the law of consecration. Consecrate everything you have to the Lord....and to others. That means time, talents, possessions, and everything in between. I really do love the Lord. It's hard to express that love sometimes, but when we can learn how to show Him that we love Him, he blesses us, and we're just so much happier. I know that loving the Lord means that we're going to do something abut it. They can be small things, but we have to do them. The inciative this Christmas helps us to do just that, and be more like Christ.

I love you guys a lot!! Have a great Christmas, go do service just like Christ did! Have a great week

Elder Jones