24 November 2008

Week #26 (11-24-08)

I´m dreaming of a white Thanksgiving....just like the ones I never knew!! lol!! Ok, well they don´t celebrate Thanksgiving here, but that doesn´t mean that we can´t!! We moved our P-day to Thursday so that we could have a thanksgiving party as a district. We are not going to have a turkey, but we are going to try our best to make it normal!! I love Thanksgiving...It´s one of my favorite holidays. Plus, guess what?? It SNOWED!!! Yup that´s right...snow!! It´s pretty to look at, but kind of miserable to walk around in!! Lol. Funny story....so I bought boots to keep my legs warm for the winter and was so excited to have them. Then it snowed and it was really wet melty snow and I found out that my boots are NOT water proof!! That was a fun day. We went to the church to prepare for a music night thing that we were putting on and I took my boots and socks off. We were in the kitchen making cookies for the people at the music night and so I put my socks on the heater in the kitchen to help them dry faster!! I think I grossed out some of the Germans!! LOL!! It was so funny!!

The music night was a success. We had a few members bring friends to it so we got to talk to them. We didn´t get any referals or appointments from it, but one older lady I talked to said that she would come to church!!! That will be cool. It was so cute because I was in the bathroom washing my hands and this little old German lady came up to me and told me how she had invited her friend to come and that she came. It was so cool to see the excitement in her eyes and voice as she told me about it. I told her how cool that was and what a good job she was doing. She is such an old member, but so cool. She is excited to bring her friend to church on Sunday!! I got to sing a few songs which was so great!! I sang "Wishing You were Somehow Here Again" because that is one of my favorites and I also sang "If thou had been here" from the Woman at the Well CD!! My comp...the opera singer...can play the piano really well and made me sing it. Before I sang it at the Music night I explained to them what it was about because it was in English. It was funny because at the end of the night some people came up to me to tell me I did a nice job and some of them even complimented my German!! I was so excited!! I think my German is horrible, but if the German´s say nice job then I must be making progress. Especially since they NEVER compliment anyone!! I love Bielefeld and will be sad when I have to leave!!

This last week has been good!! It has been hard...it´s really hard to get anything done with 3 people. We talk 3 times as much, we are 3 times as slow and we are 3 times more PMSy!! lol!! It is so funny!! Normally it takes us 10 minutes to walk to the church because we normally walk fast...well now it takes about 20 minutes!! Geduld Sister Jones, Geduld!! (Geduld-Patience) I´m learning just to laugh at things and not take it so seriously!! Sometimes it is harder then others, but i´m getting better!! I love this time of my life and I´m so grateful that I chose to serve a mission. It is hard, but SO worth it!!

O is not doing too well. A friend of hers died and so she will be gone for a few days. Please pray for her and her friend's family. I´m just afraid that when people die that the families will become mad at God. It happens way more then I ever knew. I don´t think that she will get mad, but please pray for her anyway.

I don´t have much an update with Frau A because we are not meeting with her till Thursday morning. How is it that even when we move our P-day to another day we still teach her on P-day...naja, so ist das!!

I want you to know how much I love this Gospel. This really is Christ´s Church and we really do have His Authority to baptise and to seal families together forever. I love this mission thing and I´m so glad that I have plenty of time left to spread this happy news with others!!

Alles Gute,
Sister Jones

17 November 2008

Week #25 (11-17-08)

So this last week was interesting. You know how they say that 3 is a crowd?? Well I don´t know about it being a crowd, but it sure is crowded!! One more person is a lot more then I thought. When we go to appointments we always try to have a member with us. It helps the investigators have friends in the ward and also see that there are people in our Church that have normal lives....the life of a missionary is not normal. So normally there are 3 of us and the investigator...which is the perfect number. Well we went to an appointment the other day and there was the 3 of us, the member and the investigator around a tiny little table. It actually worked out fine, but it was just crowded. We teach pretty well together, so that is really good. It´s hard, but is also fun....for now!! :o)

Frau A is confused. We meet with her every Monday morning and it is always really good. We have the Spirit when we teach her and everything. When we commit her to do something or keep a commandment she always agrees and I can see that she feels the Spirit....I can see it in her eyes. Last week we committed her to coming to our church on Sundays and she agreed. Then I called her on Saturday and she said that she was confused about what to do and she wasn´t going to come. Well...she doesn´t just meet with us she also meets with the JW´s. We found out today that she meets with them on Saturday mornings...that is why she is confused!! They are confusing her. Our goal this week is to have more contact with her during the week so she won´t forget the Spirit that we bring when we meet with her!! The Elders also have contact with her during the week because they teach her kids English. Please pray for her to understand what is important and that she will recognize a difference from when we are there and when we are gone!!

O is doing good as well, but also confused. The ward is pressuring her to get baptized...they are not meaning it that way, but they keep asking when she is getting baptized and that they are excited for when she gets baptized. She is so wonderful and I think that one day she will get baptized, but she is not ready yet. She won´t pray about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith yet because she is nervous for an answer!! She is praying now for the courage to pray!! Please pray that she will get that courage!!

I love our investigators in Bielefeld and the new members...well and the other members as well!! It is so great here and the work is moving forward!! We found a new investigator last week who comes from Gana, Africa. She is cool and I hope it goes well with her!!

Thanks for your prayers and for the support!! I hope you have a great week!!
Sister Jones

10 November 2008

Week #24 (11-10-08)

So guess what?? I´m still in Bielefeld!! I was so sure I was going to be transferred because I have been here for 4 transfers now, but the Lord has other plans for me....it´s called 2 companions. Yep...Sister Buynak and I are still together and we have another companion coming this week. Sister Cha is her name and she is from Korea. She is 32-yrs old and is on her last transfer...so she will be dying here in Bielefeld. (That´s what we call it when someone goes home). I´m pretty sure I will be transferred the week before Christmas...which is pretty dumb. It is possible for me to stay for Christmas, but that would be 6 transfers in the same city....that´s half of my mission in my Golden City!! 5 transfers is already 7 MONTHS!! WOW!! I´m excited though!! It will be a good change and this transfer is only 5 weeks (starting Thursday) so it will go by really fast!! I love Bielefeld, but it is hard to know what to do with the same contacts, investigators and families after so many months!! I will just continue to work hard and see if I can find out why the Lord still wants me here!! :o)

This past week was good....they seem to go by so fast!! Nothing really new happened. It´s still hard to get O to meet with us. She came to church which was good...but she has still not read in the Book of Mormon. She has a total social conversion, but we are trying to work on her spiritual conversion!! She has to have the Spiritual to get baptized and the Social to stay active. Normally the Spiritual is first and we have to fight to get the Social.

We contacted a referral from a member this week...well actually 2!! The first one was super cool because we just said the name of her friend and she invited us in. We had a great talk, but she is too busy making Christmas cards to meet with us now, but she said maybe after Christmas...lol. The other didn´t have any interests, but she was really nice and we gave her our card and said she could call us if she changed her mind. I think that if I could give any advice to members of the church it would be to pray about their friends and then give the missionaries referrals. Not everyone that is referred will get baptised, but just saying the name of a member that the referral knows gives us a way better chance of getting in and teaching the lessons. The first referral kept telling us that her friend (the member) is super smart and if she thinks that this book is true then there must be something right about it. She is just too smart to be fooled into something like that. It was just cool to hear her rave about her friend and the difference that she sees in her compared to other people. I hope that it works out and even if it doesn´t this non-member has more knowledge about the church and knows she can always go to her friend with questions!! So...moral of the story....be a good example and give referrals to the missionaries. :o) We LOVE referrals!!

Frau A is good....I think. We were supposed to have an appointment with her this morning, but she changed it to tomorrow morning!! We have quite a bit to do before our new companion comes, so it will be an exciting week!!

Oh...I do have a funny story (Sorry, I´m sitting here racking my brain to know what to write. Some weeks it is a whole bunch and others not so much!!) So we were sitting on the Bahn and this drunk old man walks on....well stumbles on. He walks towards us to sit in the seat right in front of us and was about to sit down when the Bahn started to move. Well, when the Bahn moves and your still standing up most people almost fall till they grab onto a poll or something...but when someone is drunk there is no control. He fells right on top of me!! I mean full on...all weight on my body for a few seconds before my companion and I pushed him off into the seat across from us!! Then all he said was "Oh Entschuldigung"....Oh Excuse me!! It was so funny, but also really gross. Most people here in Germany smell especially the bums, but when a person is drunk and kind of bumish together....that is pretty disgusting. I wish I could bottle it up and send it to you for Christmas...just so you could smell it!! lol

Well that is all the exciting stories!!

Have a great week,
Sister Jones

04 November 2008

Letter #23 (11-3-08)

This last week has been so fun. We kind of went on a mini vacation/trip!! lol...not really, but really!! :o)

On Tuesday we went and visited a contact and we taught her a lesson. She is from Russia and her German is not very good...her daughter had to translate a lot of what we said. She was a JW, but she doesn´t go to their church anymore. We taught her about the plan of salvation and also showed her a short Joseph Smith film in Russian. We started out with Joseph Smith, but as with all JW´s they care more about the millennium and the after life...so we switched gears and laid out this super cute plan of salvation puzzle. I think that she really started to understand. The problem is really the language barrier. If she comes to church we have no members that can speak Russian...except for O our other Russian investigator. She might be able to translate for her...we will see. She didn´t know when she had time this week so we have to call her and set up and appointment. She is super cool!!

O didn´t show up for our appointment on Wednesday night, but she called us on Thursday morning and apologized...she was at the University and couldn´t get out of what she was doing. Normally she is really good about calling us...she is not flaky. I told her it wasn´t a problem and reminded her about Stake conference in Hanover on Sunday. She said she would be there!!

We didn´t get to meet with Frau A last week because she was sick!! But we met with her today and she is doing so good...she had a few word of Wisdom problems, but we can work through them. She was reading in Acts 3 in the Bible and she was thinking that the Scripture (vs. 21-24) was talking about Joseph Smith...we turned there together and OH MY GOSH!!! She is SO spiritual and understands WAY more then me. I had written a note in my English scriptures about this scripture...that it was about the restoration of the Gospel. (We teach her in English...did I tell you that??) And so it was totally about Joseph Smith....I know that the Spirit was speaking to her and helping her to understand that the prophets of old really have foretold of Joseph Smith!! We had a really good lesson and at the end I asked her if she would get baptised when she found out that this church was true and she said yes....but she will only do it if her Husband joins as well!! She has hope for him and she wants the elders to teach him (we actually set up an appointment for them). He is a little stuck in the Catholic church, but that doesn´t matter. I think her example will help him. She is so ready, but she will only come if her whole family comes....that is one of the only excuses that I except. I don´t think God wants us to break up families!!! I just hope that he will meet with the Elders and try to find out if it´s true or not!!

On Wednesday night we carved pumpkins with the JAE´s (YSA). It was so much fun....they don´t really have good pumpkins here, but we did the best we could with what we found. They sell them, but they are REALLY small...I will try to send pics next week!! We had fun though. The young people here are SO cool!! I love them.

Then on Thursday we had Zone Conference. It was so good and I learned so much....almost tooo much...it´s sometimes hard to know what to work on, but I have a small list of things that I want to do better with!! After Zone Conference Sister Buynak and I rode to Hamburg with the President and his wife. Sister Buynak had tooth problems a few transfers ago and so she had to have her last check up. She was serving in Hamburg when it all happened. It was just easier to go there and not to have to explain everything to a new dentist. So we got to spend the night in the Mission home!!! WAHOOO!!! That doesn´t ever happen...unless you pick up a new missionary of course!! It was cool!!

Then on Friday we took our p-day and went to the dentist and then went shopping with Sister Thompson. She even took us to lunch. Then she had to leave so we toured around Hamburg for a few hours. I was kind of grumpy because we had to pull our suitcase around everywhere and it was kind of big and heavy, but I sucked it up and had fun anyway!! Then we traveled down to Hanover that night and did an exchange with the sisters there. So we spent Saturday with the Hanover Sisters and then on Sunday went to conference at the church with the whole stake!! Then we took a bus back down with the ward. O came!! She is so wonderful!! I love that girl...I´m just sad that she is so busy!! She is practically a member, but she has to meet with us to get baptised!! Hopefully she has time this week!!

I love doing exchanges because I learn so much. I learned so much about myself and what I want to change to make my comps life easier and also to help us work more in unity!! That is so important. Sister Jones and I taught the same way so it was easier, but now we teach a little bit different and we just need to figure out how we can teach together a little better. It is not bad, but it could be better. I have learned so much this last week and I hope that I can take that and do something to change and be better.

So that was my exciting week!! We were kind of all over the place so our numbers weren´t very good, but we learned a lot to help our numbers and our missionary skills. I´m excited for this week!!

Love Sister Jones