Tuesday, February 28, 2017

it's febraury 27th

It's February 27th....and I'm a missionary in Mexico.

This past week was a bit discouraging for Elder Bennion and I. We got a few references and finally found a way to get out and work. We were super stoked to actually go and find some people! (it's really hard as an office elder.) One day we had like 8 or 9 visits planned. We walked all over and were so ready for these visits....and we had 0. No one let us in, or they weren't home, or didn't have time. I thought about that this week a lot. I mean, we had finally made a huge effort to get out of the office this week, and what happened? Absolutely nothing. It really frustrated me. I always talk with Hermana Grossen. She told me about an elder who had a bit of a pride problem. I told her that I've always had a bit of the same problem. Really anything that I have ever wanted to do (besides singing and dancing) I've been able to do, and I can do it fairly well. But here in the mission, your talents don't get you very far. They can take you places, but not to the places where you really want or need to be.  I've started to view this week as a humbling experience....to remind me that in those times when I get a little puffed up and feel on top of the world, that I just need to take it down a few notches and remember who I'm here for, what I'm doing, and what my job really is.

Because I've had some very reflective moments this week, I for some reason started writing a poem. And I have like three now. This is the only one in English that I wrote so I wanted to throw it in here as part of my thoughts this week. It's not very good, or very finished, but I think I'll call it:

It Doesn't Matter

I spent all day working in service of God
just to find someone who would give me a nod
in response to the question, "Will you be baptized?"
and finally they start to see through God's eyes.

Some tell me I'm stupid, I'm dumb, that I'm blind
that "Why?" would anyone waste so much time?
I tell them that I'm unashamed of Christ
and these'll be the best two years of my life.

But it doesn't matter, 'cause I'm here to serve;
giving these people the love they deserve.
The Lord will prepare me; he'll be by my side,
all the way until the end of this life.

Rejection has become a fact of my life
I hope that it isn't this way with my wife
I've been laughed at and yelled at and spit on and robbed
But Christ is the reason I keep pushing on.

Some days I don't rest; some days I don't sleep
thinking of those over whom I have keep.
I'm here for them; for these people I've cried
I love them so much that I'd give my own life.

But it doesn't matter, 'cause I'm here to serve
giving these people the love they deserve.
The Lord will prepare me; he'll be by my side,
all the way until the end of this life.

I'm not sure why or how I started writing but I did, and that's what came out. I've kind of come to the determination that it really just doesn't matter what people think. All that matters is the work we're doing here, serving the people, and helping them to come unto Christ. It's the work of God, and it's the most important work on this earth. We're here to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, as we know is God's purpose for all of us here. It's that we can all achieve that eternal life, get sealed in the temple, and live with our loved ones forever in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I'm so grateful that I have that with my family, and that one day I'll have a beautiful wife and children that I'll live with forever.

I want to share a scripture with you all, that's found in 1 Corinthians 13:11. It says: "11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." One of my buds showed this scripture to me this week and we thought it was hilarious, but then I really started to think about it. It's one of my favorites right now. I didn't think about it in a literal sense....not as if we're talking about children becoming adults. But simply as someone maturing. It is time for all of us to become men or women, and to put away our childish things. We must realize what's happening in the world and what our role is! We have to stand up for Christ and his teachings. That really hit me this week. I need to stop playing around and start being a man of Christ, like it mentions in Helaman 3:29.....we all do.

I know without a single doubt that now, if ever, is the time for us to be true discipulos of Jesus Christ. I know that in doing so, he will stand by us, and strengthen us, and help us. I know that He loves us with all of his being, so much that we'll never be able to understand. That's why he sacrificed himself for us, so that one day we can live with our heavenly father once more. I love this gospel so much, and I know that it's true.

I hope all of you have a great week!

Love, Elder Jones

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

a few more pics

I found a French Book of Mormon

 My role model Elder Munoz

These are from the Longhurst farm. The Longhurst's are a senior couple in the area offices and he's from the Mormon colonies in Juarez. His business is owning a pecan farm there...because the Call's had to leave this week they gave us their pecans from the Longhurst farm. And they're glorious.

another week

This week was another great week in the offices, minus a few experiences but it's all good. 

The Calls are our senior couple in the mission. They work in the office with us (well worked). A few weeks ago they had a major family problem come up so Sister Call went home a few days ago, and then yesterday Elder Call went home too. They decided to end their mission early because of this problem. It was pretty much the saddest point in my mission so far because we had come to know them pretty well. We were always with them here in the offices. So now I have a few new responsibilities because they are gone. I am responsible for cedulas, references, and materials. Also, I'm now in charge of pouch mail (SO SEND ME SOME). Before the Call's left they gave us all the food they had, so a bunch of different trail mixes, two whole bags of raisinets, two things of nutella, a box of mazapan, delicious snickers and milky way bars and dulce de leche chocolates and peanut butter m&m's. 


​berry and apple, they're so good

I cut my own hair again. I feel almost pretty good about it. I'll send a picture here in a minute.

Yesterday we went to the comida with this very rich man in our ward and he gave us some pretty fancy stuff. We ate pollo con morillas (fancy mushrooms which actually weren't terrible but look super gross) and then we ate huitlacoche (which is VERY interesting) and then for dessert we ate zapote (in the ciudad it's called something else but I can't remember). It was all actually pretty good. 

Typical selfie

Yesterday I got the wonderful opportunity to speak in the Lomas ward....Lomas is the English speaking ward. I decided to talk about adversity, and focused on sections 121, 122, and 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants, when Joseph Smith is in Liberty jail. All of you should read "Lessons from Liberty Jail" by Elder Holland. It's super good. In verses 4-9 of section 122 it talks about all these things that could happen to Joseph and his family and it just sounds terrible, but at the end it says something like "but know thou, my son, that all these things will give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? Therefore, hold on thy way." So my advice to all of us is to just hold on our way! It's really hard at times but I know if we can just hold on, if we can realize that everything is for our good and we're earning experience we'll begin to understand what adversity is and how it serves us. I shared my stories about getting robbed....just as an example.

On Saturday we got out to work a bit after a whole series of unfortunate events. We went out to visit a less active sister in the ward. We went to visit her and her sons. It was really good, we had fun and talked and shared something small. She then asked us to give her and her littlest son blessings, which is one of my favorite things to do in the mission. We gave them the blessings and it went great. As we were walking out to leave she accompanies us out. We stop by her neighbor and she leans in the door and yells "AQUI TENGO LOS ELDERES QUIERES UNA BENDICION ELLOS DAN BENDICIONES DE SALUD" (I have the Elders here and they give blessings of health do you want a blessing) and she says yes. After explaining a bit what a blessing  is we give this lady we've never met before a blessing.  It was super amazing. I just love to be able to do that. I have such a testimony of the priesthood...that it's been restored to the earth today. I know that miracles can be worked through that power and the faith that we have. I know that if we're worthy, if we have the faith, and if it's the Lords will that any miracle can happen. I've seen it happen plenty of times here.

I love you guys so much!  I hope you guys are all doing great at home and that you're enjoying the nice United States lifestyle. Even though here in Mexico City where I am right now it's almost the same. Stay in school and don't do drugs. Talk to you guys next week.

Elder Jones

[?] (kind of Mexican flag)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

bosque de chapultepec

why do missionaries have such big bladders?

Because they only get one pday a week.

This week was pretty dope. Lots of stuff happened. The new transfer started this week and I'm still here (I'll be here probably until May or June) but it's always fun to see all the changes. We got a new assistant. His name is Elder Edwards. He's pretty young in the mission but he's super cool.  

This past week we actually had a legitimate pday. It was super dope because we went to this place called the bosque de chapultepec. I had never heard of it but its kinda like central park, just FOUR TIMES the size! There's a few museums, a castle, a lake, an amusement park, and it's just super pretty! It's something you wouldn't ever think you would find in Mexico City. Do you all know the Aztec calendar that made everyone think we were gonna die in 2012? I got a selfie with it, so that's super dope. We explored a museum with all kinds of Mexican history and different kinds of artifacts and super cool stuff so hopefully my mom puts lots of pictures up on the blog.

What's a museum trip without a bathroom selfie where Elder Bennion is talking about housing contracts?

What I would like to call a failed attempt.

​This is some kind of shrine to a death god so I thought I'd add my sweet spirit to it. Ignore the fact that I look like an evil gnome. It's the weight I've put on.

​We climbed on top of la ciudad es bellisima...it's a castle.

​selfie with the Aztec calendar
Weight update: I had the opportunity to weigh myself in presidents house the other night, and his scale is accurate. I didn't believe it at first so we did a lot of tests. As a frame of reference, the most I had ever weighed before the mission was 160. When I left I weighed around 155, which is where I like to be. As of Sunday night, I weigh 189lbs. I'm so fat.

Here's a quick interesting story for you all: We ended up taking care of a missionary that ran away from a mission up north for about 3 days, which was really odd. He just bought a bus ticket and ran away for whatever reason. He was in kinda bad medical condition, to the point where my companion and I had to put on his socks for him. Through the process I talked a lot with his mission president. I feel like I learned a little bit more of brotherly love from that experience, because I was SO annoyed by the whole situation at first. But I learned to love him as we took care of him and I think Heavenly Father helped me with that. It was a good learning experience

When we were in the bosque there's a section with a bunch of famous poets. I thought it was cool because while in high school I took Spanish 5 and I had learned about a bunch of them.  There's one lady named sor juana ines de la cruz. She wrote this poem called hombres necios que acusais...and I found her statue! Elder Bennion (being a typical financial secretary obsessed with money) says: "Isn't she on the 200 peso bill?" So this happened:

​(that's the same person btw)

This week Elder Muñoz left the offices. He was the assistant. For his last change he's going to go do something else. I was really sad about that. He's one of my biggest role models here in the mission. He's just such a great teacher and person. I've really learned a lot from him. I was thinking about that and about how much I appreciate him and what I've learned.  I really want to be like that someday too. I want to be a missionary that people look up to and I want to be able to help and teach and just be that example. 

This week I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes. I think it comes from an apostle, even though I cant remember who, but it says something like this: "you become what you want to be, by consistently being what you want to become each day." I've decided to put that into practice. If I want to be the best missionary I can be then I need to be the best missionary I can be today, tomorrow, the next day, and every day. If we really want to be something, then lets start being it now. Start on the path and do everything you can to reach the goal you have in mind. I know that our Heavenly Father helps us reach our worthy goals. Christ says in 3 nefi 18:20 "And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you." I know he'll do that because I've seen it. Sometimes it's not what we want but it is His will. We have to learn to trust the plan he has in store for cada uno de nosotros. (each one of us)

Finally, I would like to share with you all an experience I had today. This has happened to me about 4 or 5 times in the mission so far, but I don't know why today it impacted me the most. We went to the comida with an hermana that I don't actually know. I didn't really know what to expect but we went over and she has this really nice house and she's just a nice lady. We sit down and eat and talk and the food is so amazing. I really just enjoyed it! After each comida we always share a scripture. Today it was my turn to share. I was thinking about sharing one particular scripture but then a thought came, "no, I think I want to share my mission scripture." (the scripture I chose for my plaque) So I open up to D&C 121 and start explaining whats happening, what a mission scripture is and then I went ahead and shared it. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." I started to explain my feelings about it and how it's helped me and my testimony.  As I finished the hermana said "now I want to share my testimony with you about that" and went on to talk about how there was just this huge problem that had happened that same morning with her son, and that in this moment she had just really needed to hear that. Her testimony was strengthened that the scriptures are true just because of that experience. 

This kind of thing has happened to me a few times in the mission, but each time it just amazes me. Not because I think "oh dude, I chose the right scripture...go me!!" But because I know that some how in some way the spirit spoke to me today. He told me to change the scripture I was going to share. I didn't think of it like that before. I know that the Lord's hand had a role in this. I know that the spirit will speak to us. I know that He knows each and every one of us and our needs, like he knew the needs of the hermana in the comida today. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us so very much that we can't even imagine. I hope you all can come to know that as surely as I do.

I hope everyone has a great week! Stay positive and find the good in life. It's hard sometimes but it's there. les amo mucho, cuidense!

the Elder Jones

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

¡Felíz Día de la Constitución!

Buenas tardes mis amigos, espero que estén listos para sufrir porque voy a escribir en Español! Pueden usar Google Translate o pueden pedir que alguien lo traduzca pero voy a escribir en Español.

Esta semana fue otra semana tipica en las oficinas. Hice reportes de retencion, hice unos bye bye packets, compré un boleto para casa, o pero sí unas cosas pasaron.

Primero, fui a mi primer consejo de liderazgo! En consejo de liderazgo todos los líderes de zona, hermanas capacitadoras, asistentes, y los secretarios se juntan en la casa de Presidente y tenemos un consejo sobre los numeros, las reglas, diferentes cosas que están pasando en la misión y cosas así. Pero para nosotros los secretarios realmente preparamos, damos anuncios, y ya es todo. No participamos (pues yo tomé fotos) para nada. Nos sentamos allí atrás y escuchamos, ayudamos a hacer la comida (comimos unas tortas que estaban bien buenas), preparamos antes y limpiamos después pero eso es todo. Pero está bien lo disfruté. 

Aprendí que el Elder Mayer es como mi mejor amigo aquí en la misión. Si quieren saber por qué, solamente hay que ver el video que subí del misionero predicando a los dos otros en las oficinas. 

No tuvimos casi ninguna lección esta semana y está medio triste pero vamos a trabajar mejor esta semana. Sin embargo, tuvimos una lección con una miembro muy interesante que nos contó de todas sus visiones y sueños y no les diría más ero era bien extraño. 

Este correo no va a ser tan largo porque ya me cansé de escribir en Español y pues realmente nada nos pasó esta semana. 

Pero esta semana he estado batallando un poco con algunas cosas. Extraño mi casa, mis amigos, me siento un poco solo, que no tengo propósito en la misión. Me he sentido estos días que las oficinas tal vez son la parte más difícil de una misión pero realmente quiero ayudar y sí estoy ayudando bastante (porque la misión está muerta sin Elder Bennion y yo) pero es muy difícil ayudar a la gente porque es muy difícil salir y enseñar y eso me desanima mucho a veces. Si estoy enseñando a veces, si estoy ayudando en esa manera, pero no tanto como antes de que entré las oficinas. He estado pensando en eso mucho esta semana, y se me ocurrió un pensamiento. Como he dicho con lo de los asaltos, el Señor tiene un perfecto plan para cada uno de nosotros. Él nos puso en ciertos lugares, y Él puso otras personas en ciertos lugares porque todos nosotros tenemos un plan. El plan no es lo que queremos en la vida. No es lo que pensamos que necesitamos. Pero Él Señor sabe lo que necesitamos en cada momento, y nos va a dar esas cosas en los momentos perfectos. Y ahora sé que por alguna razón estoy aquí en las oficinas. Estoy determinado a cambiar el costumbre de que las oficinas no bautizan. Yo testifico de que el Señor sabe las cosas. Nosotros (o por lo menos especialmente yo) pensamos  que sabemos las cosas, pero la verdad es que no, no sabemos. Yo sé que vamos a recibir lo que necesitamos cuando el Señor quiere que lo tengamos. Cada uno de nosotros tenemos un plan, y aunque no sepamos qué es ese plan, el Señor sabe. Solamente hay que averiguar qué es el plan, y cuando lo seguimos, vamos a ser felices. 

Yo sé que tengo un prepósito aquí! Todavía lo estoy buscando creo, pero está bien porque sé que está allí. 

Les amo! Cuidense esta semana y disfrútenla! Les extraño y extraño a Texas :/ pero ni modo porque estoy salvando almas! Mándenme fotos de sus vidas para que sepa lo que está pasando allí! Hasta luego amigos

Elder Jones

Saturday, February 4, 2017

feliz cumpleaños!!!

Buenos días mom FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS espero que tengas un super día y que lo disfrutes tantísimo!!! te extraño mucho pero no deja que mi ausencia impida tu diversión! te quiero mucho mom y te escribo el lunes o tal vez miercoles!!