Monday, November 25, 2013

Fw: Cold, Wet, and Blind

Dear family and friends and all you wonderful people out there who are reading this.
This week was a very interesting week. I don't have much time, so I'm going to attempt to be fast.
First on the agenda: My glasses broke. :( I didn't notice until one morning I opened my glasses case and discovered that one of the screws had come out and the lense was gone. I scoured the farmhouse, the car, the surrounding areas, the people we visited the previous day, and there's no sign of the lense. So it's quite sad and I will need new glasses. I've gotten permission from the zone leaders to wear sunglasses until I get new ones. With the sunglasses and the long black coat I have, plus my black boots, I kinda look like I belong in the matrix.
Second on the agenda: It snowed. It's melted by now, but it's freezing cold outside, and I discovered that my boots are not water proof. They soaked through pretty fast. :( I will need to get new ones I think.
I am SO out of time. The library is crowded today and I have 3 minutes left.
We had one of the investigators on baptismal date move to a different ward which made us very sad. But the other investigator on baptismal date is super solid and moved up her date to December 14th, so it's like a birthday gift to me! :D That was really a miracle.
I'm sorry, I'm out of time. I love you all!
~Sister Richelle Jones

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fw: Prophets, Seers, and Revelators

Hello, everyone!
Sorry about last week's short email. We went to the library to do emails and it was closed due to labor day. But we had to get the car checked (because the headlights are being dumb and will only turn on the brights for some stupid reason) and while waiting, there was a computer in the waiting room, so that was what I used to email. Then we got permission to email on Tuesday instead of Monday since the library was closed, but I had already sent my email and stuff, and I discovered that I have this fun little time limit while on the computer here.
So first on the agenda, I sent you guys the wrong address. It's only wrong by one digit. I sent Darcy the correct address on Tuesday, but I want to make sure everyone gets it.
Sister Jones
2048 1/2 J Road
Fruita, CO
All of the addresses here are weird and there are lots of fractions included in said addresses. I think J 2/10 road is the weirdest one around here, but yeah...
I'm less lost than I was the first week of being here. I still haven't connected all the dots of where everything is yet, but I'm getting the hang of it, and I'm learning more about the people in this area and whatnot.
So I mentioned last week that we got to see M. Russel Ballard, which was pretty cool. It's like how Elder Oaks came to the Lacey stake a few years back. It's a pretty rare thing, and I got the priveledge of being transferred to this area just in time to see it. I thought that was pretty nifty. Elder Ballard is a pretty funny guy, and he actually met with all the missionaries after stake conference was over. So I was sitting only about five feet away from an apostle of the Lord. That's pretty significant.
A lot of what he talked about was how we need to hasten the work. Members are being asked to contribute more to missionary work, and as such, it's also up to the missionaries to step up the pace to make sure that none of the effort of the members is being wasted. It's still our job to find, to teach, and to baptize. He challenged us to talk to at least ten people a day on the streets in between tracting and teaching appointments. It was pretty intense. He basically looked each of us directly in the eye and told us to work harder. He also talked about how he, as an apostle of the Lord, could go out into the world and declare who he was and what mantle he had, and he could find 30 people on the street for us to teach, but that isn't really his role, it's our role, so go out and do it. Basically.
Anyway, there's a lot of things I could talk about. Sister Moa, my new companion, is awesome (She's Tongan, so that's pretty neat), and this new area is awesome. It's actually comprised of more farmland than Eagle was, which was a bit surprising to me, but alright. Eagle wasn't fully farms, it was just out in the middle of nowhere. Fruita is a bunch of farms, but it's right next to a big city. And it's close enough to Utah that there's still a great influx of members here. You ask people where they're from and the answer is usually "Vernal Utah." so they have a joke here that all of our less actives moved from Vernal over to here.
I actually live in this creaky little farm house. It's pretty legit. There's a red barn and a bunch of cows next door, all of the floors are made of wood and they squeak and creek wherever you walk, there's talk that the place is haunted (Tom says hi), it's nifty.
I don't think there's really anything else to talk about. It's going pretty good here. There's people to teach, things to do, we're doing significantly less tracting over here, we have two people on baptismal date who are going to make it, it's great. Yup.
I'll talk to you all next week! Byez!
~Sister Jones

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fw: One field to the next

Dear home peoples,
I don't have a lot of time. So this will be short. Sorry.
My new area is Fruita, a suburb of Grand Junction. I'm serving in the 4th ward. There are significantly more members here than there were in Eagle, and we're right next to a fairly large city. It also doesn't snow nearly as much here and the temperature went up significantly, so I'm not freezing to death here. All the members keep telling me that I left Eagle just in time before the snows set in. Fruita is right along the border of Utah and is mostly desert, rock, and cow farms. Yup. I live on a cow farm now. I went from sheep to cows. Yaay. Sheep smell better than cows do.
The streets are ratherly interesting here. We get things like J 2/10ths road. The streets are lined up on a grid, so one way is letters, the other way is numbers. So when I say that I live on 20 1/2 road, that means that I am 20 1/2 miles from the Utah border. Yyup. It's pretty interesting.
I also discovered that it is incredibly easy to get lessons here. I worked extremely hard just to find people in Eagle and barely scrambled one or two lessons a day, but I came out here and we pretty well get lessons without even thinking about it. Let's go over here and teach these people. Ok. Let's go over here and teach these people. Ok. It actually makes me appreciate just how hard I worked in the Eagle area.
Anyway, I'm just about out of time here. Before I leave, I need to tell you my new address.
Sister Jones
2040 1/2 J Road
Fruita, CO
I think that should be right. I'll double check it next week. Anyway, that's all for me. This Sunday we're having another stake conference here and M. Russell Ballard will be speaking at it, so that's pretty cool. I'll keep you more updated next week.
~Sister Richelle Jones

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fw: Eagle Wings

Dearest family and friends,
First of all, I want to say YAAAAAAAAA Congrats, Mrs. Darice Sowers!!
Anyway, I'm sure you all had a more enjoyable week than I did. This was a very depressing week for me, and felt like one of the longest weeks I've experienced here on my mission. We had time after time of appointments falling through, we had one investigator drop us altogether, and many hours of having nothing to do but knocking on doors, and multiple times, we went through an entire street and had only one person home and they weren't interested. I got so discouraged at times, I didn't even want to go out.
On Tuesday, I had my doctor's appointment. They said that the cartilage in my knee had a rough spot on it that was rubbing up against the bone, but other than that, I was healthy and fine. They sent me away with a slap on the knee and a piece of paper prescribing some physical therapy to take the weight off the rough spot. In my opinion, it hurts more than "just a rough spot" but I'm not the doctor I guess. At least I don't have to do anything extensive like surgery or anything like that.
For Halloween, we went over to the mission leader's house and baked cookies and Polish Apple Pie for the remainder of the night, so that was fun.
Friday afternoon, I was feeling really down. The schedule for the day was like, "Tracting in black bear, tracting in cotton ranch, tracting by the Luchycky's," stuff like that for the whole day. And all the while, I kept thinking to myself, "My sister is getting married and I'm not there for it and I'm not even accomplishing anything while doing it." This lasted all through Saturday. Sister Mayne and Sister Henderson were both like, "Don't think about the fact that you're missing it, think instead about how happy your sister is!" and "You'll see her eventually. You have the rest of your life to see her." But I was still very down.
Then, late Saturday night, they gave the transfers phone call. I've been transferred. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm going somewhere. I then had the hard task of saying goodbye to a great many people here, members and non-members, that I've grown to love.
That was a VERY depressing night.
Sunday was fast and testimony meeting during church. And during that, the Lord answered my prayers as one person after another got up and bore their testimonies and many of them included experiences of how they were grateful for the sister missionaries in the area, one member who came out with us to a lesson and had his testimony grow, one member who we had dinner with who's husband wasn't a member and said we touched her husband's heart, a previous less-active family who are returning to church and planning on going to the temple again who thanked me personally for all that I did for them. Then we had a fireside after church that a few of our investigators came to, one of which gave me a scarf to show how grateful she was that we were able to help her, and then we visited Susanne and Ricardo who (In Spanish) told me how very thankful they were that Sister Pfeifer and I had found them.
I was very weepy during the experience, and it was the Lord's way of saying, "You are doing great things out here." Just as the knee thing was like the Lord's way of saying, "If I wanted you to go home, I could very well send you home. But I chose not to because I need you out here."
And apparently, I'm not needed in the Eagle Valley anymore. I'm going to move forward to new areas, meet many more great people, and continue to have awesome experiences out here while on the Lord's errand. I'll tell you my new address next week when I'm in my new area.
Darcy and Josh (Hosh) I love both of you and I wish you the best! I will see you when I get home at the end of my mission!
~Sister Richelle Jones