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

Monday, May 15, 2017

i ate...what???

AVERT YOUR EYES IF YOU'VE GOT A WEAK STOMACHE!!!



We ate patas de pollo this week. Chicken feet. I'm not gonna lie, they tasted pretty good. It was SUPER weird. Eating the ankle part is like eating a chicken leg, but your just chewing skin and cartilage and ligaments and stuff. Then I ate the top of the pata which is a little difficult, then you have to SUCK THE FINGERS or TOES​. I tried to suck it off without breaking the fingers (which I failed at the first time so I had a lost chicken finger in my mouth). Then the middle talon broke off so I just swallowed that one. Then the last finger I got off pretty cleanly. The palm is the weirdest part, you've got to just bite the whole palm off. It's super squishy and pretty weird but it wasn't bad...I wont lie. It's all about mindset. I also bought 6 chicken necks (pescuesos) for my companion and I because he hasn't tried them. They also are pretty good. 

next picture:

​Adriana got baptized yesterday. She is GOLDEN. She takes notes during church and during lessons and she retains all the knowledge, and if she doesn't understand something then she asks and we can explain! I was so stoked to take part in her baptism. It was the best. We've seen so many miracles in this area and it's only been a week. I know we're going to see success. I have faith that the Lord will give us success and that he'll bless us and this ward as long as we can be working hard.

I had a good friend send me a scripture this week that I wanted to share with all of you. It's found in Moroni 7:33:
"And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me."
I remember something my dad told me when I was in the CCM. He said, "Faith comes before the miracles". This is really important to remember. If we have faith in Christ, we'll have the power to do whatever MIRACLE that is expedient in Him. I am working on having that kind of faith so the Lord can work miracles through me. I know that if we have the faith necessary ANYTHING can happen. If the Lord wants it to happen, he'll find a way to make it happen if we will be instruments in His hands.

Happy Mother's day again everyone!!! I loved talking with my fam yesterday! Thanks for the emails and cuidense mucho!! les amo!!

Elder Jones

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

at the end of the tianguis

Hello my amados friends, I am now in the middle of nowhere, just chilling. My new area is called Tianguistenco, which means "the end of the tianguis" in some dialect. A tianguis is an open air market or something. I don't really know how to explain it TBH. It's a bunch of stands in the street where they sell EVERYTHING. Like I mean EVERYTHING. In my area there's the biggest one in all of Mexico. It's CRAZY. Like the entire colony where we live is just covered in stands. It's pretty crazy, but I'm stoked to be here.

So now I'm in the "pueblos" not in the city anymore, which means everything is SUPER different. The other night we saw a guy herding a herd of sheep down the street, and another guy riding his horse through the middle of town. There are dirt roads in a lot of the places we work in and it's super cool. It's a beautiful area with all these mountains surrounding the place, so hopefully we can get some cool pday action in and send some cool fotos. 

Here's my new apartment:






and the view from our balcony.

We're going to have a lot of success in this area. I can feel it, so I'm super excited to learn the area. Elder Matchett and I are opening this area. It's three hours in every direction on a bus. So pray for us. hahaha! The ward really needs our help so we're here to put some chispa in the ward and get them going again. 

These emails will be shorter now because of my limited computer capability. Before I go I want to share something from our district meeting yesterday.
I was asked to speak on the lesson 1 and how to teach it. Lesson 1 is the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it came about. I really wanted to focus on Joseph Smith and the first vision, and how we can share that experience with everyone so that they can feel the spirit. I had the different companionship's do some practices about how to teach it. I had the two sisters in our district teach me and then the other two elders teach my companion. One of the sisters started explaining it. She had me close me eyes and visualize the place where Joseph knelt. She started explaining what took place and shared the experience with me, and literally even as a missionary pretending to be an investigator I just about started crying because I could really feel the spirit so strongly. I know that it's a CRAZY experience and super hard to believe that a little joven saw God the Father and the Son, but I know that it happened. I know that he saw them both and that through him Christ's true church was restored to the earth. I'm so stoked to share that with a bunch of people here.

I'm so excited to be out in the field again! We're going to do everything we can to help the people here come unto Christ. Please pray for our safety, our success, and for the ward so they can keep growing and doing better!! I love you and miss you!

Also, today is Mexican Mother's day and Sunday is American Mother's day!! Happy Mother's day to all the cool moms out there like mine. Have a great week!

Elder Jones

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

the water was REALLY cold

okay, not REALLY cold, but it was cold.

I had the wonderful opportunity of baptizing Hermana Maria yesterday, whose family was all less active members but are now returning to the church with her. She is just amazing. ​In the picture are Elder Ellsworth, me, President and Sister Grossen, Maria, Monica and Jonathan con Josue, Josefina, y Elder Sweat. It was a very happy day for everyone. I learned so much from this family about humility. They're just SO amazing. I feel so blessed to be able to know them.

To answer the question I know you ALL have (not really)....who is Elder Ellsworth? pues, ME VOY DE LAS OFICINAS. I'm finally leaving (sorry mom, I said I wasn't but it was a joke. I'm going to be a real missionary again). haha! Elder Ellsworth got here last week and I'll be training him all this week until I leave next Monday.  

I have received several nicknames since I have been here:

1.) Elder Mom - so I got really sick on Tuesday and had a not so pleasant time. Elder Sweat and I were talking about moms and I shared about how one time I got really sick at home and every time I would throw up mom would come and check on me....then one time I threw up and was waiting and she didn't come. So I screamed MOOOMMM and she came. Elder Sweat and I had a moment over that so then on Wednesday Elder Sweat got sick and I became "elder mom" and took care of him all day. It was very sweet. I learned a lot about caridad that day.

2.) Elder Contractor - so we have 16 burnt out light bulbs in our house. Welll, we DID. But not anymore, because I'm Elder Contractor. So basically I was climbed all over beds and bathroom counters and kitchen counters to change light bulbs and figure out how it was done (because they're weird) so now I'm Elder Contractor... because I can change light bulbs

3.) Elder Dad - I have no idea where this came from actually

4.) Elder Houdini - I bought some cards the other day and have been picking up my card magic again to show some families after we finish teaching them. I'm going to have to make a video of a trick this week because the people's reactions here are THE BEST. They're a way better audience than my parents and siblings were. 

5.) Elder Squad Leader - this may be my favorite. Today we went to the bosque de chapultepec to the botanical garden to do some touristy things, and we took a few pictures like this:



and because I am the one orchestrating the shots and was in the middle I became Elder Squad leader today. 

6.) Elder Guru - I got this one about 20 minutes away. Elder Ellsworth was saying something and I apparently gave him some profound advice so he called me Elder Guru.

7.) Sherlock Jones - this is a confidential nickname that I can only tell you about when I get home.

Anyway, I have 8 months in the mission now. Isn't that crazy??? 


30 But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

President Grossen shared this scripture with us in an office meeting a little while ago, and talked to us about how there's a need to take care of ourselves, our thoughts, our words, and our actions.  I think that's really interesting. One thing we always teach when we teach the law of chastity, is how there are three things that we must "cuidar" when we talk about this law, and they are: thoughts, words, and actions. The relationship between the three are actually super interesting. For example, with music: I've noticed in the past with music that I've listened to that I listen to it just because I like it and nothing else. But then it gets stuck in my head and I'm constantly THINKING it. It's always in my mind, and then that transfers into my WORDS, and you start saying things whether you realize it or not and then it becomes a mannner of speaking, and finally those things can change into ACTIONS. I've noticed they almost always become words but not always actions depending on how much we realize whats happening. My invitation this week, is to think about whats happening in our lives. What kind of things are we thinking, are we saying, and are we doing?? When someone starts to change their manner of thinking, a whole lot of other things will follow. I've noticed this in my life too

I love you guys a lot! It's crazy this is my last time to write in the offices, and after this it'll be from some danky cyber in real mexico, but I've loved my time here and learned a ton. Keep writing me friends, it's always great and really encouraging to hear from you.

Miss you guys a lot! Stay safe

-Elder Jones