Sept 12, 2016

Hello Everybody!!

Greetings from good ole Cicero Illinois! You will have to excuse my bad habit of not filling you guys in on my life for the past few weeks. I claim rights to forgetful 19 year old, but hey I'm working on that!
So as you know and if you don't, I am now serving in the Westchester 2nd ward which is really just outside of my old downtown boundaries. I have been here for about a month and it is seriously so fun! We have a great area and my companion Elder Hall and I get along great. He is from South Jordan for any of you who know Utah very well.

As all missionaries say, this week was quite interesting! We had almost no luck with new investigators but our old ones are getting even more solid. I was blessed to walk into an area with like three people almost ready to be baptized. I really hope they stick to it!  Raul has got to be my favorite though. He is the boyfriend of one of our favorite members and he is as good as a dry Mormon. He has a great sense of humor too, like when my companion completely lit the stove of his house yesterday on fire while heating up tortillas, he didn't even get mad! But oh elder hall... We are working on his cooking skills.

Speaking of kitchens we had a pretty peaceful week in ours..... EXCEPT WE DECLARED WAR ON THE COCKROACHES!! Ok so I hope you all know that Chicago is the land of the bugs. It is something to be expected. So when I first saw them here in our apartment I didn't freak, but calmly
destroyed everyone I could see. But now! This week I had the third night that I come in and our counter and sink had about 6-8 running all over. The reason war has been declared is that we had just made muffins early and they were all over them! (I know what you are thinking, that we shouldn't have left them out and cleaned up better and blah blah but I know that!) we were in a huge hurry to get out the door early that day for a blessing and didn't have time to throw them in the fridge. I am happy to say that we are on the offensive now and we haven't seen any almost since that day. We will win this war if it kills us.

On a happier note, one of our other investigators dogs can sing! But only to the song who let the dogs out... He is very picky.

I will leave you all with that image and my testimony of this gospel. We have the gospel in this church and I am so grateful for it! Thanks, as always, for your love and support!

Elder Jones

Sept 5 2016

Hey mom! Did you get the video I sent of me on a stage beat boxing and stuff?? Also hello! Happy Labor Day! What fun places did you take Kalen this week? ;)

Elder Jones

Aug 29 2016

Just finished looking at the pictures you sent of Kalen's homecoming.  Wow. This is a lot to take in! Oh my goodness I am so happy for Kalen!! Send me more pics mom! :) so was it as epic as it should be? With him coming down the escalator and everything? I hope nobody is forgetting about me right....? ;) haha no I'm just kidding:) but so what is he like? Is he super weird or anything?? Is he back in his room?  Don't let him borrow my clothes.  For real I have changed he can have anything in my closet.

Aug 22 2016

My week was great mom! I am just getting used to the area and my members a little bit. We had to walk for a few days while my bike was in the shop (that was 60 bucks by the way and I hated that) and walking is the worst!! I would literally die if I served I a walking area. I am soooooo glad we actually don't have one of those in our mission. At least for Spanish... They are all bike or car. Walking is terrible! And I get this horrible tightness in my right foot if I walk for too long. I am so grateful that my last companion got some foot insole things in his last package before I got transferred and he gave them to me! Way cool guy.

So we had two awesome lessons this week. One was with the investigators that we found at the Catholic service charity thing. The ones who invited us over after we worked with them for a while. So apparently we had told them we would go back on Friday to see them again. Well I guess we weren't that serious about it and we didn't write it down so we forgot. So she calls us Saturday and goes, why didn't you come over yesterday?? And we were like uhh... So she said come over today! And we said ok:) so we went over and met the rest of the family which is the older sister and the dad. I told her what I wanted to study in college and she's like oh my boyfriend has a degree in physical science and stuff so how about I invite him over for the next time you come? Haha. Yes. So I am definitely looking forward to that. It also looks like we have some solid progressing investigators.

Our other cool lesson was last night with this investigator who is dating one of our members who is in another ward but goes to our ward and we visit. So we go planning to share a quick scripture because it was an active and the guy comes to church every week but while we were eating the nonmember friend of the daughter of our active (and the daughter is super less active by the way) walks in the door and sits down to eat. Before we get to the lesson we started talking about Joseph Smith and both the friend of the daughter, and the guy investigator start asking questions so we quickly changed lesson plan to restoration. It turned into a great experience where the guy learned a lot and accepted that God and Christ are different people (that was really hard) and the daughter's friend asked when she could come back when we were here to talk some more. Man can this area get any easier? I didn't think so until two way less actives called us this week out of the blue and asked when we were coming over. It's getting pretty annoying that all of this teaching is getting in the way of our finding time but... Hey we take what we can get ;)

Elder Jones

Aug 15 2016

"Well this is pretty swell". If my new companion had a catchphrase that would definitely be it!

Buena Sememana everyone! Again for all of those who did not know I got transferred this last week. Yes I am sad to say that I had to leave the wonderful and always eventful area of downtown Chicago for the much less eventful but probably just as wonderful area of... Berwyn? I think that is what this place is called. I can't just say Chicago now and have everybody know what I'm talking about. A little bit about me and my new area though is this is the first place that I am serving in that is considered "south side". Previously, I had this misconception that south side literally meant there were shootings on every other street, the potholes were as big as pizzas, the cops were afraid to go outside, and the sun actually shone with less vigor. I am happy to report that the sun is pretty much the same. As for the other things......

Westchester is great! Oh did I say that is what my new ward is called? For some reason all of the missionaries around here pronounce it Bestchester. I think I will like it here:) My area is one of the smallest in the mission which is super weird for me but I guess I have been steadily downsizing since Gurnee so bring it on. Also I am still on my bike. Thank the blessed Lord! The apartment that I am now living in has previously had missionaries in it for just a month. Either way it I am already loving it here.

So I have two real quick experiences that I would like to share with you guys. The first was a miracle blessing containing a member, an air conditioner, and three sleepless nights for Elder Jones. So when I arrived the apartment was great except for our landlord only allows us to put one swamp cooler up in our house and for a polar bear like me, I need to be sleeping in an igloo to be happy. Needless to say after three restless nights and a lot of childish complaining on my part, a member calls in the middle of the day and asks is we would like a new swamp cooler. What the heck?? We quickly agreed and pretty soon had it installed in place of the old one and I found myself in need to give thanks:) the Lord watches out for us!

Number two! While contacting just this last Sunday, we found a couple of teenage boys on their porch doing pretty much nothing. We said hello and I got into a conversation about music and soccer and pretty soon the gospel. I was amazed by the answer of one if these boys to the question, "do you believe that there is a God?" He said, "well, I have never really thought about it. So I would say no." I find it strange that the first inclination from this generation is to not believe. I taught him how to pray and challenged him to do so but it left me feeling grateful to my parents for teaching me how to have a relationship with my Heavenly Father.

My invitation for all of you is to just pray this week. Ask God once again if he is there and he will tell you. It'll be fun:) my new address is 2601 South 59th Ave. Apt 12 in Cicero Illinois. 60804. Just in case any of you would like to send me a package or letter or anything:) I promise anything is welcome!! As always thanks for your love and support of me in my endeavors.

Elder Jones

Aug 8 2016

Not much to say except I am getting transferred tomorrow to a place called Westchester! And it is south side:) haha where all of the shootings happen and stuff? Ya down there mom;)

Aug 1 2016

Hey mom! :) so today I have a special treat! Well as long as you like pictures of me;) we took a little adventure down to the lakefront at 4 in the morning for the sunrise! :) tell me what you think
So this was a pretty interesting week. Any missionary who tells you their life is boring is not trying hard enough!! To explain a little about the title of my email this week, we have this investigator, as
you know, named Luis Flores. He is a heavy smoker. You can be assured that inviting him to smoke ONLY 5 a day would be a huge improvement. He is already on the uphill he told us because he used to smoke about two packs a day and is down to only 15 buds! Hooray for effort! But yes our first invitation this week was please smoke only five cigs a day.

Sacrament was relatively peaceful this week. Right up until our recently reactivated member started moaning and falling on the floor! I honestly can't even describe this event. I was sitting on the same pew in the back when I saw everybody's heads start turning towards us. Somehow I didn't even notice until a brother came back to help the sister from falling. She ended up on the floor anyways passed out and there was an ambulance called. No worries everyone, we think she's ok now.
We had a baptism on Friday It was actually the niece of my recent convert Giovannie who we baptized a couple months ago and he actually baptized her too!! :) She was just here for the summer (two months) and she leaves tomorrow:) way cool huh??
We had a terribly fun week and I'd love to tell you tons more stories but I have to go! Thanks so much for all your support. Church is true!
Love you all

Elder Jones

July 25 2016

Happy anniversay mom and dad.
Thanks mom for the package.  I love the watch and light for my bike.  I love packages so send anything you want.

July 18 2016

We made serious progress with the Munoz family this week. On Wednesday we got out of a lesson and headed over to the church to meet a youth member of our congregation so he could bike with us to the lesson with the Muñoz. By the time we arrived at the church I was completely soaked. After about 37 seconds of riding through Pot Hole City, we were super soaked. Oskar (our youth buddy who is actually not even in our ward) soon arrived on bike, and we all rode over to our lesson. We arrived to their amazement, and had an amazing lesson with them. After toweling off with this fantastic family's best linens we were able to testify some more about the BoM and we invited them to church. Have you ever invited someone to do something and immediately they whip out their phone and text someone to take their shift at the time you asked them to do? Ya... That feeling rocks. They came to church yesterday, and will be coming from now on. It is so great, and I am so happy that they grasping the hope of life once again (for those who don't remember the dad is still in a coma) Munoz family is this family of 3 girls, mom, and the dad in a coma. Has been comatose for three years now. Missionaries found him right before he went into a coma and had to stop meeting with them. We tried them again a few weeks ago and were able to give the guy a blessing at home and the hospital and the mom calls us her little angels now and the oldest daughter supports the whole family and she is solid. She is the one that changed her whole schedule to be able to go to church and she is the only income in the family.
Along with Luis, who has been steadily coming to church now for about a month now.

Our awesome mission leader's family all went to Argentina for the summer. He is staying here in Chicago for a few weeks to work until he heads down there himself. It was his birthday, and so we bought him a cake, and he took us out to eat at a buffet. I love how one cake translates to a great dinner for four! The place resembles Golden Corral, and brought back those good old memories of the Golden Corral trips, and chocolate fountains. It felt super strange eating straight white people food, and American tacos again. I ate a dinner roll for the first time in a year, which felt like biting into a delicious buttery cloud.
Not a lot of crazy things happened this week, it was just a regular missionary week. We are already half way through this transfer and will probably get a new companion in three weeks. Probably a new area too but I am really excited for another big change! Also I hit my year mark in the mission this Friday... Holy cow time flies!!

I love this scripture and I hope you do too:

Alma 9: 26 And not many days hence the Son of God shall come in his glory; and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers.

I love you all and thanks so much for the prayers in my behalf. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Jones