Monday, March 31, 2014

Fw: Emergency Transfer!!!

Dun Dun Duuuuuuunnn!!!!
So last Monday, I get this call from President that informs me that I've been emergency transferred and headed to Denver. Tuesday, they sent in the new Sister that took my place serving in the Grand Junction 7th ward, and Wednesday morning, I left to go to Denver.
The Assistants to the President picked me up at about 6:00 a.m. which was weird being alone in a car with a couple of Elders. I asked them, "So where am I going and who will be my new companion?" Their answer? "We don't know. Nobody tells us anything." "You'll just show up at the mission office, President will open his transfer board that shows all the missionaries and where they're serving, say a prayer, blindfold himself, and throw a dart. If it hits an Elder, he'll re-throw." Goofballs.
Then we showed up in Glenwood Springs and the AP's left me with the Sisters serving there and took off with all my stuff. Apparently, the AP's had some meeting to go to, and with no stuff, I twiddled my thumbs until noon. Then I got handed to the Sister Training Leaders who were there. Then they took me to a meeting between them and the AP's and I got brought along for some reason. So it was odd sitting in a leadership meeting having no clue what was going on as they discussed what they're going to do for next zone conference.
Then the other set of AP's (we have two sets. One in Denver and one in Grand Junction) took me in to Denver. The only thing they knew about where I was going was that I would be staying with the Sister Training Leaders in Denver until this Tuesday, so basically for almost a week. It was really quite odd because the answer of where I'm going is, "We have no idea so we're just sticking you with people until we figure it out." Well. The Sister Training Leaders have to go to a special leadership meeting tomorrow morning that I'm not allowed to go to, so I'll be going with yet another set of missionaries tonight, and THEN hopefully they will figure out what to do with me.
It's been a very odd week.
I would not suggest writing me any letters or sending anything to me until I actually get settled. If you do send anything, send it to the mission home.
999 East Tufts Ave.
Cherry Hills Village, CO
It also occurred to me that tomorrow is April Fools day, which made me think that this would be an excellent April Fools joke. Except for the fact that it actually happened. So kicks and giggles, I'm in Denver now!
Oh, yeah, and the Sister Training Leaders here that I've been staying with since last Wednesday are Sister Pearson and Sister Pfeifer, so I was companions with Sister Pfeifer again, if only temporarily.
It's been a fun week.
Anyway, that's about all I have for you all. Hopefully I'll be more situated by next week. :P
~Sister Richelle Jones

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fw: Truly Grand

So this week has been quite successful missionary-wise. We've been working hard and have reaped the rewards.
There's one old lady who's like 80 that we've been teaching who has been ratherly stubborn in the past, but this week, not only did she say that she thinks the Book of Mormon is true, but she also came on a church tour with us! :D She's a funny old lady. There was one time that we were trying to encourage her to pray, and when she finally did, she first started by saying the Lord's prayer. Then, when she was actually serious about it, part of her prayer was, "I pray that these girls will stop being so stubborn..." She's funny.
Our Relief Society President has also been excellent and makes sure to set aside a few hours every week to go with us to see Less-active sisters in the ward. And that's in addition to her volunteering to come with us to lessons throughout the week. She's been awesome!
It's been good. I love this area a lot. It is certainly blooming right along with all the trees and flowers coming in for spring. :)
I've been struggling a bit emotionally-wise, though. But I think that's just a part of being a missionary. They never said it would be easy. They just said it would be worth it.
The people we live with got baby chickens. They are adorable.
Aaaaand I've been spending my free time (The time between planning every night and bedtime) painting a picture for my companion. You know me. Always busy with some sort of craft project. :D I finished it last night.
~Sister Richelle Jones

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fw: The color green

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone!
I'm wearin' my green! Are you?
It's been really cute seeing everyone's decorations they have put up. It inspires me to one day put up some amazingly awesome decorations! Yeah!
So this week was the first week of being with just Sister Hancock. It was different. It took so long getting used to a trio, and now it's taking a while to get used to there just being two of us.
We had a couple of more miracles this week where members and less-actives brought their friends for us to teach. It's been so nice, especially since we've been spending a great deal of time on fruitless finding. God blesses our efforts, even if it's not in the way we might think. And for you members at home, remember that if you bring friends to meet the missionaries, that is so much better than having the missionary spend hours going door to door in the hopes that someone will actually listen to them.
We had one really cool miracle this week. Near the beginning of last transfer, we talked to this guy walking down the street who was interested in learning more, but he went to the single's ward elders. Earlier this week, we got a call from the elders who had taught him, had a great lesson, but then lost contact with him. They were asking if we had any more information like a phone number to try to call. We didn't so we sadly hung up. Just then, this guy walked by. It was the same guy! Not five minutes after we had just hung up the phone! So we got out and talked to him, and he wanted to meet with the elders again but had no phone and his mom had posted a note on the door asking the elders to not come back. So we called up the elders and set up an appointment for him! I thought it was super neat!
Anyhoo, that's about it for the week.
Have a great green day!
~Sister Richelle Jones

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fw: Climbing Mountains

So last P-Day, we had a zone activity where we hiked Mt. Garfield. I need to clarify my previous description of Mt. Garfield. I mentioned it's a big pile of rocks before. In reality, it's a big pile of rocks covered in sand. The trail was INSANE. It was nearly vertical at times, and it's covered in sand and small rock that slides down the mountain when you step on it, and on either side of you is a giant rock-slide of doom. That combined with me having asthma problems every 15 steps or so made me finally give up and climb back down the mountain with three other girls who were also struggling. But I did get a few pretty pictures when I was up there.
This week wasn't much to talk about. I was struggling a bit this week, but that's not unusual in missionary work. Just climbing the mountains of life.
For transfer news, Sister Cope is leaving, but Sister Hancock and I will be staying in Grand Junction 7th ward for another transfer. So cool.
Aaaaaand that's about it for this week. :/ No real stories or miracles at all. Just sort of blah.
~Sister Richelle Jones

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fw: Little Miracles

Greetings, everyone!
So this week we came across a few miracles that pretty well made up for all of the dropped investigators from last week. There were three times this week where we showed up to teach some less-active members and they had friends over for us to teach! It was really a miracle, and it really shows how God really does make up for times of trials. You should all look up the Mormon Message titled "Good things to Come." That's really what's been pushing me forward is the knowledge that in the end, God WANTS us to succeed, so he will always prepare a way for that to happen. It's interesting the way the Lord works, too, because the happen-stances behind the situations proves that it was not our doing that brought this new success, but it was the Lord.
I think it's kinda sad any time we meet atheists. Coming out on my mission, I can see God's hand in a very real sense. If I had any doubts about the existence of God before, they're most certainly eradicated now. Sometimes God works in a very subtle way, and sometimes he smacks people upside the face. The only problem is that it's REALLY hard to explain that to a person who is set on denying the existence of any greater being.
Anyway, it's been a week of miracles. I don't really know what else to say. Transfers are coming up this upcoming week, so we've all been playing the guessing game of who's leaving and who's staying. And every member keeps asking us what we think is going to happen, closely followed by, "We hope that none of you are leaving!" Sister Cope thinks she's leaving. I honestly have no clue what's going to happen to me since sometimes it feels like I'll be leaving while other times it feels like I'm staying. It's not like last transfer where I knew that I would be the one leaving Fruita a full week before it happened. I think it's an either/or kind of situation right now. We're all fairly certain that Sister Hancock will remain here in 7th ward. But all in all, no one really knows until the transfer calls come this weekend.
It's kind of an adventure, not knowing what's going to happen. But that's really what missionary life is like all the time. You never know what's for dinner, you never know if someone's going to be golden or mean, you never know where you're going, who you're going to see next, what you're going to say, everything. We really have to rely on the spirit and let you know what's going to happen. It's really like walking blind-folded with someone whispering directions to you, and sometimes it's really hard to hear what the person is saying.
Funny story of the week, Sunday morning at 1:00 a.m. I woke up to what I initially thought was someone trying to start a lawnmower in our room. Come to quickly realize that it was one of my companions snoring. Having nothing to throw at her, I climbed down from the bunk bed and poked her foot. No response. I poked her several more times. At last, her breathing softened and I climbed back into bed. No sooner had I hit the pillow when she started snoring again. So I climbed back down and poked her arm. Still no result. After repeating the same thing as last time, she finally stopped snoring. I reached the top of the bunk bed and it started back up again. I just started laughing at the futility of it all, and my laughter woke her up so she stopped snoring. :P We laughed about it for a good couple of minutes before settling back to sleep. That morning, the alarm clock went off, and the same companion shot up straight in bed and exclaimed, "IS THIS REAL LIFE?!" "Yes, yes it is," and then she flopped back down in bed and instantly went back to sleep. It was highly entertaining and we made fun of her for the rest of the day.
Oh, yeah. I wanted to mention one last thing. Earlier this week, we had a meeting between all the missionaries and all the auxiliary leaders of all the wards in our stake. One of the seventy came to speak to us. What he was saying was basically that our job as missionaries is to work for the ward, and not the ward to work for us. What that means is that a lot of times, we as missionaries are having to call the leaders and members of the ward to try to set up appointments, beg for referrals, ask people to come out with us, and we're having to plead with the members to get them to help us. But it's supposed to be opposite. The members are supposed to be the ones calling us to try to get into our schedule. They're supposed to be the ones who call us and say, "I would love to come out with you one of these days. Are you available at..." or "I'm having troubles seeing one of the people on my visiting teaching/home teaching list. Do you think you could help me get in contact with them?" or even "I really want to teach my friend the gospel but I have no idea how to go about doing so. Could you help us?" Really, our job is to help the members, but when the members refuse to take the initiative, that's when we have to pester the members. But it's not our ward. It's the members' ward. We're trying to help the members. Not the other way around. Anyway, it was a great training, and I wanted to shoot you the information in this email. To all you members, the missionaries are at your disposal. Take advantage of that! It's really stressful when all the responsibility for taking care of the ward is on the missionaries, the two young kids who could be leaving in a month or so. It's your responsibility as members to take care of your ward, and if you need help, that's where we come in. That's our job. So, yeah. Always remember that.
I don't really have anything else to talk about for this week. I love you all! Have a great week!!
~Sister Richelle Jones