Monday, October 28, 2013

Fw: the air of autumn

Hello everyone!
I wanted to start out by saying how much I love Fall. It's always been one of my favorite seasons. You get all the pretty colors in the trees and whatnot. It's gorgeous, and this past week has been sunny so it didn't get quite as cold as before. Last Monday after we were done with emails and whatnot, I took Sister Peacock up hanging lake, so I've gotten to see it in both the summer time as well as in the fall. There was snow on the path in some places and mud in other places, so it was a bit more treacherous than before, but it was beautiful all the same, and I got to slow down and enjoy the hike a little more because I wasn't having to catch up with my companion this time. Then on the way back down, we got to talk to some people we met at the top, and we had a nice missionary discussion all the way down the mountain. :D
This week I've been feeling significantly better health-wise, though my knee started protesting against stairs again after going on that hike. Don't worry about that, Sister Peacock finally pestered me into calling the mission office and I have a doctors appointment to get that checked out this Tuesday. One thing that worries me is that I was talking to one of the sisters in the ward that just had surgery done on her knee, and it sounds like what happened to her is the same thing that happened to me. It popped funny and hurt from then on, though she could still walk on it, but when she got it checked out, they discovered that some ligament in her knee had snapped and she had to go in to surgery, and that prevented her from walking on it for a full month. If that happens to me, there is a chance I may be sent home. :/ I'm not ready to go home yet... But maybe I can beg to do online missionary work instead until I heal enough to go back to regular missionary work. But all of that really depends on what the doctor says this Tuesday. Basically everything depends on that. At the end of this week is transfers, and I was thinking I would be staying in Eagle since I'm training Sister Peacock, but depending on what happens with my knee, I might be sent somewhere else. That in and of itself would make me very sad because I have grown to love so many people here in the Eagle Valley. But we'll see. I'm crossing my fingers and praying that I'll be hopefully staying.
So I did finish my sketchbook that I've been using to take notes in during things like the MTC, district meetings, zone conferences, zone trainings, general conference, and Sunday school. There aren't any sketchbooks like that one to be found in the general vicinity of this area since we don't have a Michael's store here. So if you could send me a new one, that would make me happy. However, you should probably wait until after this week. Not only would that put you to a point after Darcy's wedding, but it also gives me time to know what's going to happen this transfer. In the meantime, I'm glad to hear that Darcy has been reading the finished sketchbook I sent home. I'm hoping that it will help inspire you as some of these things have helped inspire me.
Anyway, this has been a very nice week. Not only did we have zone conference in Grand Junction this Tuesday where we got to hear Elder Baxter from the first quorum of the seventy, but we also had exchanges with the Sister Trainer Leaders this Wednesday. It was a good week full of good stuff. :)
And that's all for this week I think. Have a good week and I'MSOEXCITEDFORDARCY'SWEDDING!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!
Have a good one! :D
~Sister Richelle Nicole Jones

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fw: Simple Blessings

Hello all!
So periodically this week, I was having some serious stomach issues, just like the day I had eaten those eggs. It wasn't an everyday thing, but it was frequent enough that it was disrupting missionary work. So Sister Peacock and I were very concerned for my health. On Saturday, when I was again feeling sick to my stomach, I think I finally figured out what it is. Every day I've gotten sick, I had eaten Sister Mayne's scrambled eggs for breakfast that morning. Sister Mayne makes breakfast for us almost every day, and her cooking is really good. I'm not normally a big fan of eggs, but I've been eating hers, but since the incident where I ate bad eggs, it's like my stomach goes, "Oh, no, not these again," and rebels. Plus, I believe that I remember Mom saying something about David previously being allergic to eggs. I think it might not be so far-fetched as to think that perhaps I have the same thing, but I haven't really eaten enough eggs in the past to really tell, or maybe it's a recent thing my body has developed. In any case, I'm going to avoid eggs for the next week and hopefully my mysterious stomach flu will disappear.
Despite me being sick (again) we had a pretty decent week. We're not hitting the high numbers I was hitting when I was with Sister Pfeifer, but I think that part of that has something to do with the change of seasons. We don't get as many people just randomly wandering around the streets that we can stop and talk to, and it gets ratherly frigid outside quite often. There hasn't been snow that's lasted on the ground for a full day yet, but the mountains all around us are covered in snow, so it's certainly on its way. The clouds look really interesting when they're snowing on the mountains around us because it looks kind of like they're eating the mountains. Nomnomnom. One of the pictures I sent you guys was actually a picture of that as taken from the Mayne's back porch.
Anyway, I got your package. It made me happy. Sister Peacock also got a package at the exact same time, so that was fun. I love the gloves. :) They're my type of gloves, all nice and warm and fuzzy inside. :D And I'm glad to hear that you guys got my package. I had meant to write you a note to include with it to explain what everything was, and I also meant to clean out that container and fill it with fudge, but the bottom line is that I ran out of time. You're lucky I stuffed all the stuff in a box and sent it. :/
So an explanation for the contents of the box. First, the pot holders. Bishop's mom lives across the street from us. She is 91 years old. Grandma Bair spends all her time crocheting hot-pads to hand to people. Pretty much everyone in the ward here has a collection of hot-pads. They're really quite good. She has a unique stitch that's really thick so your hands don't get burned. So most of those pot holders are made by Grandma Bair that she gave to me. Sister Pfeifer and Sister Peacock also have a collection of hot-pads. One of those hot-pads, though, the one that is made with a different stitch, that one is made by me. I was home sick throwing up and getting frustrated, so I asked for some yarn and a crochet hook. Thus resulted a hot-pad. Halfway through making the hot-pad, Grandma Bair walked in and saw me crocheting and she taught me her stitch which is really weird, but it's really cool, so maybe if I have time, I'll try my hand at making a Grandma Bair hot-pad. But I don't really have a use for pot holders while on my mission, and I figured that they make an excellent Wedding gift for Darcy. :D
The other contents... A T-shirt I got during the summer that Bishop Mayne gave Sister Pfeifer and I. Bishop Mayne is the head of the gun club here in Gypsum and got us T-Shirts. :) Also, the pumpkin I made with the Dodds. Also, one of Gus's tail feathers that he molted. Then my bag full of turquoises. I fully expect those turquoises to be shined up and pretty when I get back. I would do that myself, but I seem to have this distinct lack of time out here. (except when I'm sick and making hot-pads.) And, Mom, you're allowed to turn those turquoises into whatever jewelry you desire. :) And then there's the empty container you filled with Peanut Butter cookies before that have long since been devoured. So, yeah. :)
Anyway, I don't have much else as far as cool stories to tell you this week. Susanna and her son Ricardo, the Spanish people Sister Pfeifer found, are getting baptized next Saturday! :D So that's all kinds of awesome. Other than that, have a good week!
~Sister Richelle Nicole Jones
P.S. Oh, so Sister Peacock has this awesome CD that you all need to go out, purchase, and listen to. It's called the Lamb of God by Rob Garner. Go listen to it!!! It's SO good! :D
P.P.S. For David and Darcy. There's a song on one of Sister Peacock's CD's that you need to listen to and then laugh. Look up the Clarinet Polka. It's guaranteed to make you smile. :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fw: Step by step

Hola! Como estas?
And that pretty much covers the Spanish I know...
Sister Peacock and I got frustrated at spending the last hour of the day doing language study when we feel like we should be out working, so we've just decided to go out and do the work, despite the fact that nobody is awake at that hour. But I've been reading El Libro de Mormon during any spare time I have like in the mornings when Sister Peacock is taking a shower or when we're eating food or something. It's been helping me to recognize vaguely what's going on in the story which helps me to somewhat piece apart the meaning of different words, but most of the time it just feels like I'm reading gibberish. I'm praying and hoping that the gift of tongues falls on me and the words will miraculously make sense and I'll suddenly be able to speak Spanish, but so far that hasn't happened yet. :P
But we did see a different miracle this week! :D
So we've been seeing this one investigator, her name is Angela, and she's been a pretty strong investigator so far. We had a scheduled appointment with her, so we were trying really hard to get a member to come with us for the lesson. I had also made peanut butter fudge the previous day to hand out to people, so we were going to member's houses to give them fudge and then to see if they could come out with us to the lesson. Three consecutive people weren't home, and these were some of the members who we can normally get to come with us for lessons. Well, the time for the lesson was coming up, and we still didn't have a member to come with us. But then I remembered that one of the members in the area, Sister Grayson, had been sick with serious migraines the previous week, so we wanted to give her fudge to make her feel better. We stopped by and she was not only feeling better, but she already knew Angela! She agreed to come out with us, and it turned out to be perfect in every way! Angela was going through a hard time with her 4-year-old daughter and needed some parental advice, and Sister Grayson is the mother of seven children and understood what Angela was going through. There were a lot of concerns that were brought up that Sister Peacock and I couldn't have answered, but Sister Grayson not only knew the answers, but had actually --on a whim-- been studying those very things just the other day! The Lord had really prepared this specific member to come out with us for this specific lesson. It was truly a miracle! It was awesome. And we would have never thought to have brought this member with us, but the Lord had prepared a way that we would know to stop by the Grayson's home. The week before I had felt inspired to stop by the Grayson's house, but Brother Grayson had told us that she was down with a migraine and turned us away. At the time it was like, "Well, great, so the Lord sent us here only to be turned away..." But if we hadn't known she had been sick, we wouldn't have made peanut butter fudge for her, and she wouldn't have come with us to the lesson. So, food for thought, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
It's sort of ironic that not only did I get sick, but apparently Darcy did, too. This week, I was feeling better for Monday and Tuesday, but on Wednesday, I did something silly. Sister Mayne had made us eggs at 6:30 a.m. but we ran out of time to eat them. So those eggs sat on the counter. At lunch time, I looked at the eggs and went, "Awwww, the eggs got left out! Now they're all rubbery and bad..." But then I didn't want them to go to waste, and I figured, surely they can't be that bad, can they?
Ok. For those taking food handlers classes. Don't. Eat. Food. That's. Been. Left. Out. EVER.
I spent the rest of the day throwing up. Good job me.
For those of you who are asking about my knee, it's still messed up. I can still walk on it, and stairs don't hurt anymore, but I can't run, and morning exercises hurt if I bend my knee too much. I figure I can ignore it for now, but I promise I'll get it checked out one of these days. It's just sort of a mess to go through the mission president's wife, then the mission office, then the doctor's office, and so I'm procrastinating having to deal with that.
Moar stories! So this week we had exchanges on Thursday with the Sister Leader Trainers, so Sister Encarnacion was my companion for the day. She has a very strong personality to accompany her strong accent, and all it did was make me feel like I'm a bad missionary, which I've been told is untrue, but I feel like I don't have quite as much drive as some of the other missionaries do, so then it made me feel bad.
On Friday, though, while we were tracting, we came across this guy who was like, "I'm not part of your religion, but I know some members, and though I may not agree with your doctrine, I respect your church and your members and all that you do to live your religion." We gave him a card and sometime after we left, we get this phone call from him, and he was like, "I was just calling to say how proud I am of these two exemplary young women who came to my door today sharing their belief in Christ." It was definitely a feel-good moment.
One more thing I wanted to mention for this week, this Sunday was stake conference. And that was well and good, but the stake President said something a little interesting. The stake President, during his address, stated, "By the end of this winter, your faith will be tried." It's not horribly often that you get such a direct warning from the stake president, so it makes me wonder what's going to happen. It's going to be interesting because I know that I'm going to end up being in the middle of it.
Anyway, I think that's all for the week. I actually have a package I want to send home, so hopefully I'll get that out to you guys soon. I love you all! Have an excellent week!
Oh! I did want to say something. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOSH! It's a little late. I meant to send that last week, but I forgot. But I got it in this week, so I think I'm safe. :P
~Sister Richelle Nicole Jones

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fw: Pixie Dust

Dearest friends and family,
This week, it got cold. Really really cold. I mean, last week, it got a little bit chilly and it was cool seeing spots of yellow appear on the mountains around us, and some of the trees were changing colors, and it was the basic change into fall, but apparently fall lasts for about a week here and then it goes straight into winter. Just kidding. But all the same, we've got snow already. It's cold. Apparently the weather doesn't normally get this cold this early in the season, but it did this year. Most of the snow has already melted, but there's still a distinctive nip in the air. The snow looked kind of cool when it was on the ground because it just barely dusted everything, so it's nothing heavy just yet. Just a bit of pixie dust. But that doesn't stop me from switching to long-sleeves, jackets, gloves, and scarves.
By the way. I would love it if I could get some nice gloves that will actually keep my hands warm. Thanks.
So the story for this week is that I got sick. On Tuesday, I was working despite a heavy headache, but while driving, I realized that I couldn't focus on the road and it was to the point that it was unsafe for me to drive. So we actually had to call up the zone leaders and temporarily switch driving privileges to Sister Peacock for the day. The headache subsided mostly for the next few days so I could ignore it and get back to work, but it fired up in full force Friday night and all of Saturday and Sunday.
During Saturday, Jeffery R. Holland's entire talk seemed to speak of the problems I've been having since being on my mission, including the severe headache I was facing that day. His solution was to not run faster than you have strength. His words, "If we do not take time to be well, we will most definitely take time in the future to be ill," kind of struck a chord. But I just kept thinking, "But there's missionary work to be done! I can't wimp out! Not because of a headache!" So after Saturday conference was over, I pushed myself and we drove to go visit a less-active. They weren't home, but I felt deeply impressed to stop by one of the nearby member's home. They invited us in and offered to feed us since we didn't have a dinner appointment. But food wasn't ready just yet, so they had us do crafts with them and play games with their two little daughters until food was ready. We ended up spending far too much time there mostly because we didn't have much choice if we wanted food. At the end, as much as we enjoyed ourselves and I was able to ignore my headache while there, Sister Peacock and I felt really bad since we're told to not spend too much time at member's homes. But then, after assessing the situation, we realized a couple of things. First of all, I had such a headache that I was not in a state where I would have been beneficial to the missionary effort anyway, even if we had gone out tracting as we had planned. So the time spent at the members was kind of the Lord's way of saying, "Take it easy. It is not necessary for you to run faster than you have strength," because apparently hearing it from an apostle of the Lord was not enough. Second of all, we did that member a great service. Sister Dodds explained to us that she was running on about two hours of sleep and would probably have been unable to properly care for her two very energetic daughters while her husband was at the priesthood session of conference. Even though we were playing games and having a good time, we were doing a great service for them.
So the lesson to be learned is that God works in mysterious ways. We didn't go out thinking to ourselves, "Hey, let's go spend three hours with the Dodds so we can have fun!" but the Lord sent us there because that was what we needed at the time.
Sunday I still had a headache as fierce as before, so Sister Peacock forced me to go to sleep after conference was over. I awoke briefly at nine to help Sister Peacock send in our numbers for the week and then slept till morning. I'm hoping that the rest I got will help me function better for this week, but I still feel a little bad. I mean, yes, I was sick. But still.
I'm out of time, but I'll talk more next week. I'm hoping I'm better by then.
~Sister Richelle Nicole Jones