Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"i'm with the devil"

Hey guys! Hope everyone is having a nice October week, hopefully its not 90 degrees outside too many days this month.

I heard a lot about the devil this week. We had interchanges this week. As we were walking down the street some guy just says "hey we've gotta give thanks to the devil too right? Without him we wouldn't have bad, and without the bad we wouldn't know the good." The guy makes some sense but there's no way I'm giving the devil thanks for anything. My compa asked if he would like to come closer to Jesus and he said that he'd rather keep smoking weed. That's a normal thing in the life of a missionary btw. 
Hermano Gino shared a pretty funny story with me.. He said he was in a taxi coming to church but he was gonna get down a lot before the church because he only had 24 pesos and 24 pesos wasn't enough to get all the way to church. So he tells the chauffeur to let him down when it got to 24 pesos. The taxi driver said, "no worries man you just tell me where you're going and I'll take you there, I like you guys". So he keeps going and they get to the church and Hermano Gino decides to share something with him about the church, and invites him to church and the taxi driver says "nah man Im with the devil but you guys are bien chidos" I think with Hermano Gino's story is funny, but I learned something from it. Through our example people recognize members of the church, and if some day they meet some missionaries the first thing that will come to their mind will be "hey I have a Mormon friend" and they'll think of that example. Just some food for thought.

I'm not sure if salsa valentina exists in the United States but it's eaten with many, many things here. so anyway sangria (if you don't know what that is its a soda and you can buy it in Kroger) can be prepared a certain way so that it becomes a "sangria preparada" and it's got like the salt and all that kinda like a margarita. A sangria preparada is: valentina negra (valentina but the really spicy version), salt, and tajin. Tajin is like spicy powder stuff that you put on fruit so that its kinda spicy. But anyway you mix all that up with the soda and then you drink it. Basically it's gross and just tastes like you're drinking valentina. I tried that this week.

To end I wanted to share something from general conference. There was this one talk where the brother said "mirar mas alla de lo que vemos" which basically means that we have to look a little farther than what we see. I'm not sure how to translate it very well. Anyway, something came to mind that my dad always, always talks to me about which is perspective. and more so eternal perspective. In life lots of stuff happens, trials come and sometimes like stinks. We have to have an eternal perspective. We have to be able to realize that this life is just a short part of our existence and some day we're going to be back with our Heavenly Father with all the experience we've gained. Sometimes life is hard and not very fun, but if we can have that eternal perspective, we'll be able to understand a little better why those things happen.

I hope everyone has a great week! Stay safe, love you guys!

Elder Jones

This is Cristian, he's a convert of Elder Hernandez that we talked to today, he was super cool. He used to be a Freemason. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

my back hurts

I'm pretty sure that everyone knows by now about the earthquakes here in Mexico City. The earthquakes have provided a lot of opportunities to serve. In our area there's not anything to do really but we had two days organized by the mission to go to a place called Chimalpa to go and serve. About 40% of the houses there had fallen so we went to go help out. Huge trucks of cement bricks and rebar were brought in to build new houses. Our job was to unload them and carry the bricks to the houses. It was pretty hard work. OTuesday I got the job of getting on top of the truck and pulling rebar up on top, then I got to ride on top of the truck to the destination. Then I touched every single brick that went off the truck bc I passed them off. That's why my back hurts. haha. On Friday we had an even harder job. About 20 of us went with a truck to go unload it, but the house was at the bottom of a really steep and muddy hill so we couldn't take the truck down. We had to carry three to four blocks at a time and walk them down until we got to the house. It was brutal. Like really brutal. But then we finished and the lady that lived there gave us coke. We asked if we could sing a hymn for her. So we all sang I'm a child of God. I haven't felt the spirit so strongly in a long time. We all sang from memory bc we didn't have hymn books, so some of the guys didn't know the words, and we didn't sound the greatest, but I looked over at the sister and she just started crying. She then thanked us so much for our work and we left. My body hurt but it felt so good to be able to do that for her. I mentioned to a friend "sometimes the mission is just really hard, but the moments like these are the ones that make everything worth it, and I remember why I came."

The other thing I want to share is about something that a friend shared in a training we had on Monday. He talked about how there are 2 types of animals in the jungle.  I think we all know that you either eat or you get eaten. He mentioned that both animals run all the time, but for different reasons. One runs so that he doesn't get eaten. The other runs so that he can eat. So the question is, why do we run? To eat or to not get eaten? Do we run as a result of our own initiative, or because someone is telling us to? Do we obey the commandments and go to church bc we have to and people will see we're not there, or because we want to? That's something that really impacted me this week, and it's the thought I leave with ya'll today. Why do I run? And then try to run for the right reasons.

Love you guys! Have a great week. Stay safe.

- ElderJones

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Questions

1. What is the question you are asked the most on your mission?
2. What is the scripture that you quote the most?
3. What is the food that members feed you the most?
4. What is the best part about being in the MTC?
5. What is the first thing that you ask your family to send you on your mission?
6. What is something that you do on your Preparation day?
7. What is a reason to call the Mission Nurse?

Answers:
1 - Are you guys Jehovah's Witnesses? Are you hear to charge the bills? Why is there so much bad stuff in the world if God exists? Why did (x thing) happen to me? Why me?

2 - Alma 7:11-12, 3 Nephi 18:20 (all of them that talk about praying and stuff)

3 - Chicken in whatever form, sopa de fideo. I've never eaten so much chicken in my life. TORTILLAS, TORTILLAS AND, MORE TORTILLAS

4 - it's like being able to hangout with your best friends all the time (if you have an awesome district like I did) and learning about the gospel at the same time. It's a lot of work, but it's a lot of fun if you make it fun. I learned more in those six weeks than in most of my life before.

5 - Swedish fish, pictures from home, things I wish I would have brought

6 - Write home. haha. There are areas where you can do a lot but at this point in my mission I really just look forward to writing my family. 

7 - You basically need to be dying to go to the nurse. If you wake up with diarrhea and throwing up...just diahrrea and throw up all day to get it out of your system. If you're still throwing up at 8pm, you can call...basically he always says "take pepto bismol and tylenol".

the world is ending

and people still don't want to repent. hahah. But it's okay. We're helping people to understand.

Hello world! Forgive me for not sending any emails in a while but nothing has really happened. Thanks to everyone who responded to my earth quake email on Tuesday. Sorry I won't be responding personally, but I wanted to say thanks here!!

These past few weeks have been kinda difficult due to my companion. He goes home in 4 weeks and in missionary terms he is frito, muerto, y apesta. If you speak Spanish you'll know what I mean. haha! He's a great guy and I'm learning a few things from him, but he's also very disobedient. It's been difficult, but I'm trying to learn from this situatino. I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to learn from this, but I'll keep you guys informed in coming weeks. I feel like the reason might be so that I can see what I don't want to be like at the end of my mission. Or in any aspect of my life. Whether it be in the mission or studying, or in a job or marriage, if I just stop working then I won't be able to receive the blessings that God has for me. I read this morning in a church magazine that one of ten ways to be financially stable is work. It's pretty obvious, but we can't just earn whatever thing, money, blessings, or eternal life, unless we're willing to work for them.

If this keyboard didn't suck so bad I would tell you all about the robbery we saw but I'll save that for another week or maybe after the mission.

One thing I think about a lot when I play piano is Brother Hauth. Whenever we were in mutual he would always bug me to play piano and I didn't like to because "playing piano while people sung was hard" but now I've played piano every Sunday in some wards and in most mission meetings. It's something that I've been trying to develop even more. So youth that want to go on a mission, learn to play piano because if you go to Mexico, basically no one plays the piano and you may need to use that talent.

Finally, I'll end with Carlos. We've starting teaching him this past week. He's the boyfriend of a member. I love teaching Carlos bc he asks us a lot of questions. It's great because he's similar to the way I was a few years ago. I feel like maybe that's why president sent me to this area so that I could help him. I was really mad about being sent to this area at first but now I can see why.  The Lord has a plan bigger than mine. He can see the whole picture and I can't. We need to go with his will and we'll understand why a little later. I'm grateful for the experiences I've had in my life so that I can share them with others and help them the same way that I was helped.

Love you guys! Stay safe!

Elder Jones

bday of Hermana Guerrero (in yellow

Squadddd

me, Noris, hermano that I don't know his name, Quetzally, Tita, and Metzi. They're my homies


​​my homies....really blurry in the terminal. I lost my name tag.


mi casa



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

my first earthquake

Well today I experienced my first earthquake and I will let you all know that it was very scary. Haha! I'll just give you guys a short rundown of how it went. We were on the third floor of the temple whenever it started. We were sitting down when the temple began to shake so we started to get up, but one of the temple workers was like "no sit down!". Then it started to get really violent and the chandeliers were moving like crazy (I thought they were gonna fall off) and then all the lights went out and we started falling over because of how violently it was shaking. So we all had to evacuate and I'm not gonna lie I think the scariness of an earthquake compares with the scariness of being robbed. Haha. But the spiritual-ness of all this was something really profound. We were all scared but while we were evacuating the temple worker said, "Don't worry everyone. The temple is built to last until the second coming. There's not a safer place we could be." In the midst of all the scariness and confusion that brought a lot of relief to my soul. The temple is the House of the Lord. When he comes again to visit the earth, he'll visit those temples. I know that there's no where safer that I could have been. Anyway, I'm alive and well! Lots of people have lost their lives and there's been a lot of destruction so keep the people of Puebla and CDMX in your prayers! Love you guys, Thanks for your prayers! Stay safe!

​Elder Romero and I alive and smiling after the earthquake

Just a tiny bit of the damage we saw on the way back from the temple​.

- Elder Jones

Friday, September 8, 2017

Earthquake

***President Grossen had all the missionaries contact their parents about the Earthquake that happened overnight in Mexico. This is the short message we received from Braeden letting us know he is OK:

"Just to let you know I survived the earthquake thingy. I heard the siren go off...and supposedly we should go outside but it was like 12 and my compa was asleep so I was like nah, so I just prayed that I would live and laid back down. I felt my bed shake and listened to the house creak. It's crazy that we felt it. First earthquake...."


Monday, September 4, 2017

365



Hello everyone, I now have 1 year in the mission. That's kinda crazy but it's gone by fast and I'm enjoying it.

Just a short email this week: first crazy story is about the metro. Last Monday we had a zone activity and we had to use the metro to get there. We knew it was going to be full because it's always jam packed from 6-9am. We get into the metro and they have it closed because there are so many people. It's kept closed for a little bit until some people leave. We finally get down there and it's RIDICULOUSLY packed!  It's so packed people are taking pictures and everything like that. When the doors of the metro open everyone just starts pushing and it's like a huge fight throwing elbows and all that fun stuff. I had a bag with a soccer ball in it and one time the doors opened and everyone started pushing, and long story short: my ball got inside the metro, but I did not. That was really sad. Next we actually get pushed in too, and then someone says "hey is there a shoe over there?" and so everyone starts looking for a shoe and finally we found it and passed it to the guy looking for it. It was pretty funny. Then it was time to get off (which is almost harder than getting on) and we all started to push off.  Me and some guys behind me didn't make it, and so I'm like "guys I need to get off" and I turn around and this guy is like "are you getting off?" and I was like "yeah" and then he says "lets do this". In my head I was laughing so hard. I start pushing and this guy starts pushing me and another guy is pushing the guy that's pushing me and then this police man grabs my arm and starts pulling me out of the metro. It was so epic!  As I get off I see that I have black marks all over my shirt from squeezing in through the doors and some lip stick stain on my pants (no idea how that happened).

Now for the spiritual. This week we ate with Hermana Niño two times. The first time we showed up to her house and had to call her so that she would come down and open the door. We arrived at the same time as this joven. Hermana opens the door and the joven goes to the dept of the hermana.....turns out he's her nephew. He hasn't been to church in a while.Fast forward to Sunday when we go back to Herman's house and she tells us this: "after you guys left, my nephew just started laughing, so I asked him why. He told me that a few days before you guys came to eat the first time he had a dream, and he saw his grandma that had passed away. He said she was trying to talk to him but he couldn't understand what she wanted to tell him. He said that the day he showed up at my door and saw you guys (the missionaries) he knew what his grandma wanted to tell him. His grandma was trying to tell him he needed to go back to church. He thought it was funny." Isn't that an awesome experience?? I'm not sure if he'll come back to church or not, but he'll always have that reminder that his grandma wants him to come back to church. I think little things like that are just miracles but we don't always see them as miracles. That experience was really cool to me.

Finally, I'll talk a little bit about one year.  Here is a list of 5 things I've learned to do in the past year, and 5 things that have changed about me:

5 things I've learned:
to eat whatever is on my plate
speak Spanish
give 10 to 15 minutes talks with no preparation
what a REAL taco is (hard shells is apostasy)
to wash clothes by hand

5 ways I've changed:
I'm kinda chubby now
I'm more grateful for everything
I'm more service minded
I love more
I appreciate family more

I've become all sentimental and write poems now....so I wrote one for one year in the mission:
One Year in the Mission
One year down in the mission,
Only one more to go.
There's still so much to learn;
So much more I could grow

The time has flown by,
It's passed by so very fast;
But the experiences I've gained
Are ones that will last.

There's no where near enough time
To do the work that must be done,
But I'll put in my best effort
Because I represent God's son.

My call comes from on high,
"Recommended as one worthy,"
And so when the hard times come
I'll just try to keep on working.

He is the reason for my work.
His life - my perfect example.
That's why I try to keep in mind
As I share his love so ample.

One year left in the mission,
Time to stand tall.
As I go preach the truth
I must give it my all.

One year left and I'll be home. I hope that I keep learning and growing. Love you guys! Stay safe....and send me an email or two

Elder Jones





Tuesday, August 22, 2017

que le pasa calabaza

I learned that phrase this week and I think it's funny so I decided to throw it as my subject line this week.
Two weeks ago in the zone we prayed all week for someone to have a miracle on Sunday. Some days I forgot to pray specifically about it but most days I did pray about it (this is like the most milagrous (miraculous maybe?) thing that has ever happened to me in the mission). Anyway all week we were praying and then on Friday I needed to call the mission leader of one of our 5 wards. I call him and explain him what's going on. He says "okay, great now I have something to tell you. There's a girl that had her records lost and she's going to get baptized on Sunday. it counts for you guys but she needs an interview." It just so happens that I am the district leader and I had to do the interview. I call her mother and said "I have to interview your daughter so she can be baptized on Sunday. We can be in your house in 30 minutes if that's okay with you." She says "I'm not in my house..." and we're like dang it...what do we do now. Then she says "I'm in the chapel" and we're like GREAT we'll be there in 10. So we sprint to the chapel, I interview her, and she gets baptized on Sunday. Isn't that a miracle????? Like it says in Moroni 7, today is still a day of miracles, but as long as men have faith, we can see miracles. Man, gotta love missionary miracles! Aren't they the best???
I went to my first wedding this week. We had to marry some of our investigators so that was pretty cool. They got married in the chapel and then the husband (the investigator) comes up to me and says "well, you obligated me to do this, and here we are" haha! It was so funny but he's a great guy and he was happy. It was a tender moment.
This past week I experience the metro more full than ever. It was the best thing ever. The metro at around 8am in a station called el rosario is like WWE smackdown or something. Except it's not acting. Elbows flying, everyone pushing and cussing at each other, and squeezing in as many bodies as you can is what its like. This past week we got in around 6pm in a different station, and it was so packed that you didn't even need to grab on to anything. It was like sardines in a can. I couldn't help but laugh so hard because if the metro went around a curve and everyone just leans and smooshes each other. You haven't experienced Mexico until you experience the metro like that.
One of the members in one of the wards has this painting in their house and in Spanish its called "discutiendo la divina comedia" and it's DOPE. Google it and someone buy it for me please. :)
On Saturday we baptized Gerardo (the homie that we got married) and it was just great. I was able to give a talk in the baptism and mentioned eternal families a lot because his wife has been a member and finally they're all members and in a year they'll be able to be sealed. It's sad because I wont be here in a year so it'll be more difficult but I hope I can go to their sealing. 

LOOK WHAT I FOUND THIS WEEK IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE IN AUGUST

We were eating this week with an hermana and talking about all the dangerous places in our area and dangerous things that have happened in the mission. I told her that the other day we went out at night to buy some pancake mix and passed this sketchy guy and she was like "omg no you didn't. let me go get you some right now so you don't leave you're house again" and she gave us a box of Krusteaz pancake mix. #blessings
Yesterday we went to the baptism of the son of Gerardo (he got to baptize him. How tender.) It was so funny because he got confirmed after and they finished confirming him and he stands up and says "do I have the spirit now???" It was super cute. 
To finish, I would like to share 1 Nephi 15:27 
27 And I said unto them that the water which my father saw was filthiness; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water.
Is that not just so interesting? So many times in life we think "how in the world can I avoid temptation or bad things or whatever it may be?" For example with pornography: we can put filters and block websites and check phones and all that stuff, but the best way to avoid whatever form of evil in the world, is to be so swallowed up in other things that we don't see that evil. We always need to study the scriptures and pray and do all those things that are good for us to help us stay on track. 
Thanks so much for your support and prayers and help. It's all downhill from here! Love you guys, stay safe!
PS: Pray for Andrea so she can get baptized this coming Sunday.



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

welcome home

Hello everyone. As I mentioned last week this change we will be in 5 areas.The Elders who covered some of the areas that were closed left a lot of work for us, so this past Saturday we had a baptism!


​This baptism is quite the tender story. This little joven is called Ines. Ines lives really close to my first convert in my whole mission, called Juana Maria. They spend a lot of time in Juana Maria's home. Ines is Juana Maria's granddaughter!!!! Isn't that amazing?? It's amazing how one convert really does lead to more. Sometimes as missionaries we're upset because we don't baptize much, but Ines is a living testimony that one baptism always leads to more.
I was also able to go to the services of Tezozomoc on Sunday to confirm her and it was like coming home. Lots of people were really excited to see me, and turns out some members had even been asking for me. It was quite the tender mercy to be able to come back to that ward. It felt like home.
We ate some cake this week. It was weird. I'm not sure how many of you have eaten a cake made out of shredded jicama, carrot, and cucumber, with mango and gummy bears on top. And then it was sprinkled with spicy sweet Mexican stuff on it. Not gonna lie it wasn't bad, but it was REALLY weird.
I'd like to share this poem I stole from Elder Nielsen's email (homie from my CCM district):


"In whose hands"

In my hands a basketball is worth $20
The hands of Lebron James worth thousands

A baseball in my hands is worth 8$ 
A baseball in the hands of Babe Ruth is worth millions

Some mud in my hands will get me dirty
Mud in his hands will heal the blind

With couple of Nails in my hands I can build a bird house
A couple of nails in his he saved all of us. 

Whose hands are we in?


This made me think...what can we be in the hands of the Lord? It's interesting to take this perspective about things and really think about: whose hands are we in?? Each of us has the divine potential to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. Sometimes we may think, we're just another human. Why would God care about me when there are billions of others to care about? But in God's hands, we're a priceless work of art. 

I love you guys! I hope everyone has great week. I almost have a year in the mission! Letters and emails are greatly appreciated.😉

- Elder Jones

PS....Perks of a waterproof camera: you can take selfies from beneath the water of the baptismal font. Cool, huh? Someone should make this tumbler worthy with a cool quote.







Tuesday, August 1, 2017

11 months

Hello friends and family! After 11 months in the mission, thank you for still reading my emails😂.

Today are transfers!! I'm still here so basically me and Elder Noris are hoping to rock out 8 baptisms this transfer. We're covering 5 wards right now because President closed the area next to ours. We are covering the same 5 areas that I did at one point in my first two transfers. I'm just living in a different house now. So good times. We're going to baptize the grandchild of my first baptism!! Isn't that cool? Small blessings of the Lord.

Few cool food things: I discovered A&W Cream Soda close by, so you can all be sure that I bought a case of 12 cans. You can also all be sure that all 12 cans were gone on Saturday night. Also, there's a sister in our area that has a sister that comes to sell chicken wings in her house on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Those wings are free for missionaries. We eat free food so much. It's a blessing.

One of the very last things I did before the mission was build a trampoline. Well last week, I put together a trampoline as service. It was fun. Too bad the hermano didn't let us jump on it

We went to go eat with the Hermana Miranda Iniestra (those are both last names btw) and she has a son that's in the military. Mexico doesn't really fight any wars, but they do fight the narcos. Her son is in the north in the mountains searching narcos and for a long time she didn't want him to do it because she was scared. On Sunday she said something that really hit me for some reason. She said "solo estamos aqui de paso" which more or less translates to "we're only here to pass by". Before the mission I didn't really fear death. I just knew it was a part of life and if I died I would move on. But now that I'm in the mission and I know that next comes studying/school, working, and most importantly having a family, it scares me some times. I want to be able to have a family and enjoy that for a while before parting ways with the world. haha. But when she said that, I realized that really we're just here for a time. We're not entitled to a certain age, but when we go we go, and it's because the Lord knows that it's our time. I pondered on that for a bit and it gave me some comfort.  Hopefully that can bring us all comfort. Eternity awaits us after this life, so there's no need to worry about how long we'll be here.

Hermana Tita is this lady in our ward who loves the missionaries.  Yesterday we went to go visit her and we just talked about life and all this stuff. I asked if we could share something and she said "of course because I know that you guys always say what I need to hear". I got scared  because I was thinking what if I don't share what she needs to hear?? So I opened my scriptures and found Mosiah 4:14 which talks about our children and how we should teach them and help them to be obedient. I explained how our duty is to teach our children, but that doesn't mean they'll always be obedient. I explained that if our kids make some not so great choices, it's not always the parents fault. As parents we need to teach them correct principles. That is our duty. As I was explaining that the hermana just started crying. She explained how that is what she needed to hear. This is something that kind of scares me....that my future kids may or may not make good choices and may not be obedient at times. But then I think about myself and how I was at one point in my life. We can all return and repent. The Lord has his mysterious ways of doing things, and we just have to trust in him. 

Thanks for everything! I appreciate your prayers and support. Have a great week!!

-Elder Jones


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

i've been really wet this week

It's the rainy season in Mexico so it rains EVERY SINGLE DAY. So EVERY SINGLE DAY when I get home I'm normally soaking wet from the waist down. We've been working so hard so one of my pairs of shoes has got holes in them so when it's not raining its nice ventilation. When it's raining it's just not very fun.
We had this dope lesson with Rafaela this week. We got to her house early in the week (or maybe the end of last week?) but anyway, she started telling us about how she didn't want to listen to us anymore and that we were wasting our time. I was so upset because we had been planning her baptism for the next week (last Saturday). We started to share our thoughts and do our best to help her feel better and by the end of the lesson she had committed to do even more things! She decided to go to all three hours of church and get baptized no matter what...and lo and behold:


​Rafaela got baptized, and lots of people came. It was my favorite baptismal service by far. I was able to play piano as a special musical number and the pila was very full, and the water was warm, and lots of people came. It was just a wonderful experience all around.

A few weeks ago we were going in the metro coming back from the doctor. It was really late. It's really common in Mexico for people to sell things in the metro or ask for money on the streets or in the buses, or they just rob you and take your money, but that hasn't happened to me recently. This night there was this lady on the metro. We sat down and she sat down next to us. She looked rough. She was an older lady. I could see through her shoes and she smelled kinda bad. I asked where she was going and she said that she was going to deliver something to someone and was going to get paid for doing it. I just felt so sad for this lady. We talked with her for a while. She was nice and funny. As we were getting off the metro I went to shake her hand and gave her a 200 peso bill and asked her to buy herself some new shoes. Some people have so little, even less than what they need to survive, and are still just happy people. Those are the people that keep me motivated to just keep pushing on.

This week was crazy. For the past two weeks, I have been the final speaker in sacrament meeting in two different wards. First speaking about missionary work and eternal families, and the next week about baptism. I invited everyone there that wasn't a member to get baptized. I love being able to speak and teach and just share my thoughts with people. 

I directed my first funeral service this week. Around noon on Friday we got a call from one of our Bishops saying that he needed us to come by his house. So we stop by and he tells us that there's this less active lady in the ward that had a family member who died, no idea who or how but he passed away. The Bishop said that the family wanted someone to go and share a message about where he's going and all the great knowledge we have in the church. So I'm like sure, cool we can help these guys out....just talking with a  few family members to help them feel better. We later find out that it's going to be a legit funeral service with the body in the casket and everything. I begin to  freak out a bit. I'm like nope, I'm not going. I don't know who it is or who's going to be there. This is not what I signed up for. So I decide that I'm not going to go but my companion says we have to....it'll just be like talking with people and seeing how they are and it'll be easy. We decide to go. We're looking for the house (never been there before, don't know who lives there or who died still) and we pass a house full of candles, people dressed in black, and a casket. I just keep walking. I said NOPE....and kept walking. My compa is like dude just ask for Ana, and we argue about who will ask for a bit, and finally I walk in and ask for her. This is all just so hard because I've never had someone really close to me pass away and I don't know how to deal with it or how to help people. I was struggling, but finally the hermana there says "we just want you guys to give a blessing and say some words and then sing a hymn". I have no idea what to do. So I call the Bishop and he doesn't answer. I look at my companion and I'm like "I don't think we can bless dead people", I was so confused. He said "well, we can say a prayer with them" and so we head on in and start planning things and we're about to start and I finally say to the hermana, "hermana, I don't know what to do. I've never assisted a funeral". She explains and I wing it the best I can. There is one thing I do know....as we were singing the hymns, God Be With you till We Meet Again, Oh My Father, and Families Can Be Together Forever,  I was about ready to start crying because I felt the spirit so much. I was sure that this young man was in the spirit world listening to the gospel. It was a huge help for my testimony of the plan of salvation. I know that whenever we die, that while our bodies stay in our graves, our spirits go to the spirit world. That in this spirit world, all people who haven't accepted or haven't had the opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, will have that opportunity. Then people here on earth can perform the necessary ordinances for them so they're saved! The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is infinite. Even if we don't accept in this life, there's still hope in the next. I know that he died for us so that in him, we can live again. through his sacrifice, we can have an eternal family, and live with them forever. I know that he loves us so much and that's why he did what he did and because of that, I have an eternal family, and will have my own eternal family some day.

Love you guys lots!! Feel free to send me letters and packages as an appreciation of your amor for me. Hahaha!! Have a great week and stay safe everyone!
Elder Jones







Sunday, July 9, 2017

USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

Tomorrow is the celebration of the Independence of the U S of A and I happen to be in the Republica de Mexico. But no worries you can all be assured that I will be living it up tomorrow the best that I can. Enjoy a Mountain Dew and some barbecue and fire works for me.(except we have more fire works in Mexico actually)
Due to the special transfers I received on Saturday morning I'm now in the area of Aquiles Serdan/ Culturas/ Hacienda. We're covering three areas. I'm pretty pumped to be here. Nervous, but pumped. These areas border my first two areas so I actually know some of the members. I got to see some of the members from my first area last night which was super cool. I'm excited to be here with Elder Noris from Sinaloa, Mexico.
Right now I'm in the process of applying to BYU so everyone pray a lot for me and if you'd like to write my essays I would greatly appreciate that.
Look what I found in my new area:

​That be HoneyCombs cereal and great value milk IMPORTED FROM THE U S OF A. Milk here is terrible. It ruined my life so when I can find real milk it's just the best.
I'd like to share a poem with you all (I didn't write this one)

​You all can study and ponder on that this week.
I want to testify of the power of the atonement and repentance. This past week at church someone gave a lesson on repentance, on how we need to talk to the Bishop when we have bigger problems, and how we can get the burdens we carry off of our chests. I want to testify to all of you that repentance is worth it. The process is probably one of the hardest things we have to go through in our lives, but it is WORTH IT. I used to think that it was so easy for missionaries to talk about repentance because they never have to do it, but I promise you we are no where near perfect. When I was in the offices I saw many people go and talk to President and work through problems, and even I have had to work with my own personal problems with President. Repentance is like using a really good weight loss program. Afterwards you're a new person. I know that we all, through repentance, can lose a LOT of weight and become new people, through the power of the atonement. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much. I know that we can be forgiven because of what Christ did for us. I know that they love us no matter what we've done and we can ALWAYS return.
Sorry I've been bad at writing group emails but we'll see if I can get back on track! I love you guys! Stay safe!! Pray for me and my area and my companion and for America and the Prophet and yourselves and everything! Prayer is important!
cuidense mucho y les amo
Elder Jones
Enjoy this Mexican sunrise:




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

oops i did it again

Oops I didn't have time to write a group email again, but I will leave you all a picture of a beautiful pig foot that I ate this week: 

Love you guys!!!! The work is good and I am safe. Pray for me so that we can baptize someone or help someone to change a tire this week. We need some more work! Have a great week everyone and hopefully you don't have to eat a pig foot (it wasn't the tastiest).

Love, Elder Jones

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

the water was cold?...my bad

I just want to start off by saying that I'm only slightly upset that no one notified me that USA and Mexico were going to play last night or even that they played. But it's okay. Now I know that they tied. 

We baptized again this week. Tianguistenco is a great area with a lot of potential and the people here are just so great. The point of my subject title is that I turned on the font and it's not like the states where you just turn on the hot one and hot water comes out. You've got to close the drain, turn on the boiler (this alone takes Albert Einstein and 4 US presidents and a prophet to find out how to do it), figure out which key is the hot one, then depending on the font you've got to do some trampa to get it to come out good. Fact of the matter is, I didn't know how to do the trampa to get it to come out good so at first it came out hot, and then later it turned freezing cold. How did we find it it turned freezing cold? My companion and Mari (the convert) got in and about died of hypothermia. Oops. 

Wow I look really tan. I'm becoming more Mexican. That's what the pueblos do to you. The ward is just AMAZING here tbh. We have so many good friends and the work is good. Don't get me wrong it's not like life is easy but I've seen so many blessings here. This week one of the greatest seminary teachers of all time (Sister Womack) sent me a quote that her son Ethan who's serving in El Salvador sent her. He said, 
"On a serious note, it really is a privilege to be a missionary.  Lately I've been enjoying all the little experiences and moments that I've been having.  The little things, like sitting on the ground drinking water and talking with my companion.  Like be around missionaries that I have served with and love and have come to be some of my closest friends.  Like feeling the gentle voice of the Spirit in a lesson.  I have come to realize that success on the mission can't be measured in numbers.  It is very important to work with goals and strive to achieve them, but success on the mission comes from inner conversion.  It comes from loving where you serve and giving every ounce of energy to the work.  It comes from being humble and patient and obedient.  2 years is a long time.  It goes by fast.  I'm glad that I am blessed enough to be a missionary.  I know that everything that I have learned and felt here will stay with me for the rest of my life and longer.  I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything in the world.  Its not easy.  It has never been easy and it never will be.  But it is worth it. "
This is an area that I've learned to love. I'll be honest, there are times when I still struggle to be 100% diligent or 100% obedient, but Elder Womack's words reflect my feelings. It's hard having to report numbers several times a week and not seeing a whole lot in the technical side of what you're doing especially when you feel so good about your week. But it's really not about how many new people we've found, or how many we baptized, or how many came to church, it's about the spirit that we feel as we teach and as we help others. The mission is tough, but like Elder Womack said, "it is worth it"

It's so crazy that this is already the last pday of this change! Next Monday I could be in a different area or have a different companion, but we're about to see! 

Last Monday was my companions birthday. There's a tradition in Mexico called "la mordida". Basically the whole point is to try and take a bite out of the cake without someone else slamming your face in it. My companion lost the game and ended up with cake all over his face. One of these days I'll send the video home.

The same family that slammed Elder Matchett's face in the cake also has a tradition of telling the new elders fake horror stories (that become more believable when you're a missionary and live in Mexico). They scared me and my companion so much. 

Elder Matchett and I have started a video series. This video series is of weird tacos you can eat. The first video in the series is tacos of tongue. Video soon to come. Other videos in the series will be: tacos of brain, tacos of eye, tacos of cheek, tacos of trompa (still haven't figured out how to translate that one). Also I tried mollejas this week. I never knew what they were and didn't know what I had eaten until after the fact. Basically it's all the stomach and liver and intestines of the chicken. Now I can say that there are two foods I've tried on the mission that I will never willingly eat again. Eggplant and mollejas. 

Jonathan left our ward this week. Jonathan was probably my best friend. He kind of speaks English but not really. I took a picture with him to celebrate our friendship. I'm sad that he's gone.

Other food news: I tried a chupacabra this week. This is different than the goat sucker. There's a local de tacos by the house. We go there so much (at least once a day) that the people who work there have become good friends with us. They have this torta (huge sandwich thing) that's HUGE. It's called teh chupacabra. It has every single ingredient in the store on one single sandwich:

milanesa, jamon, salchicha, queso amarillo, queso oaxaca, queso de puerco, chorizo, piña, cebolla, rajas, aguacate. I'm pretty sure some other stuff but that's what I remember. All I have to say is that I will probably not buy it again. There is such a thing as too much meat.

Yesterday I tried pancita for the first time. In Texas we call it menudo. I must say, it is not my favorite thing in the world. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's cow stomach. 
Something that tastes even worse than cow stomach would be mollejas....that's chicken stomach. hard pass

Yesterday we celebrated my birthday. I don't know why because my birthday is in April, but anyway they slammed my face in a cake. My mom will be uploading the video to facebook.

We walked into the chapel on Sunday to find 6 white people in the entrance. My companion said "they were some really white Mexicans". I then let him know that they were in fact some very white Wyomingans. Turns out one of them had served here 22 YEARS ago and he came back to say what's up. #dope
One thing that I loved from this past week is that Abi (Abinadi) who is the bishopric counselor in charge of the missionary work here asked us what our objective is as missionaries. Of course we said, "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to..." and so on and so forth. He said great great, but really why are you hear? We said to baptize, teach, to save souls, help others, the whole nine yards...we laid it out for him. He said that's all great and that's all true, but no. Missionary work is a work of creating eternal families. I love that phrase so much. Missionary work is not a work of baptizing, or teaching, or showing service, or helping, but is a work of creating eternal families. That is so true. More than anything, I'm here to help others to be able to have an eternal family. On a little plaque in our house back in Texas it says, "a missionary is someone who leaves there family for a little time, so that others can be with their families forever." I have such a strong testimony of the family. It's something that the world today is trying to destroy and diminish and say it doesn't matter. I know that it's SO important. I'm so grateful for the family I have. I'm so grateful for my dad. (because it's father's day this Sunday even in Mexico) Without them, and without the example of especially my Dad in this case, I would not be writing this email right now because I wouldn't be a missionary. I'm eternally grateful for what our Heavenly Father does, for what my earthly Father does, and I know that right now I'm learning how I can some day be a great father for my children. I know that through this gospel we can live with our families for ever. The only way to do it is through this gospel. And that no matter what happens, the family will be together forever, and that's what I'm here to teach.

I love you guys so much! Happy Father's day to all the dads out there!! You guys rock (even though you're too strict sometimes but it's for the better) Cuidense mucho, y les amo!!

Elder Jones

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

i'm a real missionary now


I've got 9 months out tomorrow, and I'm finally a "real missionary". To be a real missionary you have to throw up because you've gotten sick, get robbed, and get bit by a dog. I got bit by a dog this past week so there we go....I'm a real missionary. I'm okay so no worries.

I didn't write last week because it's more of a struggle in the "field". i just don't have a lot of time. So I'll start with the fact that I got to confirm someone a member of the church for the first time this past week! It was a great experience to be able to have that privilege to confer someone the gift of the Holy Ghost. She's a great lady and I know she'll keep progressing as we go.

I have a horror story this week: last pday we went to a lake out in some pueblo called the Laguna de Almaya. This lake has a story about "la chanclana". The chanclana is supposedly some siren in the lake that drowns people. It's really common that people drown in this lake. So there are a few stories: the best one is that a while back some people started to clean up the lake and there were all these machines all over the place cleaning. There were also ladies washing there clothes there and this man showed up and asked them what was happening, and they said the machines were cleaning up the lake. The man responded "I'll give them permission to do that IF I get one soul in return every year". All the ladies freaked out and said no and the guy just disappeared. Since then, 1 person has drowned every year in the lake. Other theories are that people have seen black magic being done there and that it's a portal to another dimension, and all that fun stuff.


I want to tell all of you about my homies in the ward.There are A LOT of super cool members here in this ward. On Saturday we went to go help one guy move houses so basically all the homies were there. It was really weird because I just kinda felt like I was helping some friends move. Anyway, we just had a pickup. So we piled everything up SUPER high on the truck (sorry I don't have pictures) and went down the highway. Two guys got on the back with all the stuff, we fit 7 of us in the front cab, and we were off. We got pulled over.....so the cops waved us down and started to list everything that was wrong. We just gave them 100 pesos and they let us go. Pretty interesting. On the way back we got to ride in the truck bed, just cruisin' down the highway which was pretty dope. Fun stuff happens in Mexico. Side note: one of the homies said that I'm the best white soccer player he's ever known.

Finally, I'll end with Araceli and Misa. Misa's actual name is Misael but we're homies so we just call him Misa. Yesterday after church we were talking to him about his mission papers because he's getting ready to go on his mission. Out of no where he asked, "Elders can we go to a room privately and talk?" He wanted us to give him a blessing, and began to explain how he had a friend who passed away last week and he was just feeling really overwhelmed and not good. So he asked me to give him a blessing. I hadn't felt the spirit that much in a really long time, and I just felt so good that I was able to help him in that moment of feeling down. 

Araceli is a less active lady in our ward that says she just can't see very well, but she's actually blind. When we go to shake hands she kind of waves the air searching for my hand. I always try to find it quickly so that she's not just left there searching. She hasn't been to church because she doesn't have anyone to take her. Because she's blind, she cant read the hymnbooks or the scriptures, but sometimes one of her neighbors reads the Book of Mormon to her. I have met very few people with more faith than Araceli. When we visit her we ask her what hymn she wants to sing. She's got a few memorized (three actually) which are Called to Serve, I Stand All Amazed, and Teach Me to Walk in the Light. Last week we went and we decided to sing I Stand All Amazed. She sings kind of slow so we sang slow with her. I really thought about the words, and I was overcome with feeling the spirit. I decided to share Mosiah 14:3-5, about the sacrifice of the Savior and everything he suffered for us. As I was sharing it I just broke down a little bit because I could feel so strongly the love the Savior has for us. He suffered SO much just for us. I know that he loves us immensely. There's no sacrifice in the world that even compares with what he did for us. I know that he lived and died for us, and then was resurrected so that someday we may also be resurrected. I love him. There aren't words that can describe how I feel. I know that he's our Savior and that everything is possible through him.

I love you guys a lot!! Thanks for the emails as always and keep being awesome at home. Happy Birthday to my Aunt Becky :) and Happy Memorial Day! Freedom and the United states are awesome!

Cuidense, les amo!

Elder Jones