Week 38 – Elder Corbin Jones

Sunsplash, Transfers and Nerf Wars

Hey y’all!

It doesn’t surprise that the Volvo is being stupid again. It’s scary that Tessa can drive.

P-day last week was awesome! Sunsplash was great. There were a ton of people there because of Spring Break, but it was still fun. We got to do the go carts this time. I’ve only ever been on a go cart once and I was like 8 and didn’t actually drive it. So, this was a blast. I ended up with the smoothest fastest one of all that drove the best so I passed Nielsen twice. It was so great. Laser tag was a blast. We actually watched the instruction video this time to it made sense. It was a great day.  Of course, we ended the day with zombies. So fun.  

Loved the Easter package. Thank you! Love the apron especially. Thanks for the pictures!  

We have been busy. We started doing the Book of Mormon game that your missionaries did.   We are blowing through Book of Mormons. We gave it to some non-member’s girlfriend who isn’t interested in the church and she gave hers away in 3 minutes. That was an adventure. We also had Sam and each of his boys give one away each, so that’s four. Just in one run. So we are doing this with everyone.

We were waiting for a ride this week and because we don’t have enough cars in the zone, we have to split one companionship up. So there were six of us in our apartment. Then someone picked up one of the nerf guns and started shooting. Then three other people picked up guns. Then someone picked up the blow gun. We went a little crazy. I’ll send you the videos. We came out with welts because everyone ended up aiming for the face because some people had sweaters on and you can’t feel it through that. It was brutal. That was Thursday morning. I’m still finding darts in the most random places.

I’m fat. I’ve never had to watch my weight or what I eat but I am getting a lot of stomach fat. That’s not good. I had to start eating less junk food for once in my life. Working out wasn’t doing enough so looks like I need to eat less dessert at members homes and less at home.  

Yeah, so I am leaving Citrus Heights tomorrow. Getting transferred. I do but at the same time don’t want to go.  I love being with Nielsen and we are doing to much in the ward and it’s awesome. But it’s time to go. I’m kinda burnt out from this place. But even though I have worked my butt off in this area and nothing has happened, in the transfer devotional I just got a good feeling of the Spirit saying to me: you did exactly what I wanted you to do and you will be and have been rewarded for it, you’ve accomplished what you were supposed to, good job. But I’m going up to Yuba City. I’ll have a car which is going to be so great. I haven’t heard much about my companion bedsides that he is very, very laid back. So it looks like another adventure for me. Oh well. It might now be that bad. He’s supposed to be really funny too. I have no idea how this is going to go. Funny thing though, Elder Nielsen is getting a new comp whose name is Elder Kirby. His last companion before me was Elder Kerby. So this is his second come whose name is Kerby. One letter difference but it’s still funny. Oh, my trainer is going to be in my zone. So that’s going to be awesome. Very, very weird but awesome.  

So we handed out ten book of Mormons this week. Through the thing you showed me and other means.

Easter was great. We went to the Rivera’s house for Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt and an awesome Easter lesson. I love them. Amazing ward mission leader. It was hard to say goodbye. But when **** gets baptized I’ll be able to come back for it. But it was cool. Then I packed. Fun.  

There’s a lot to do today and all my stuff is all over the place in boxes and it’s a mess because I’m packing. This’ll be fun. I’m excited!

Luva!

Week 37 – Elder Corbin Jones

Skate parks, Chased by Dogs and……..(Pause for dramatic effect)…………..Sunsplash!

Hey y’all!

We have been working our butts off and working with the Ward Mission Leader like crazy. I don’t think it’s possible for us to do anymore for this ward than we are already. This brings me hope. When missionaries are about to go home, most of them get really lazy and don’t care. Even though I am probably leaving, I am putting some of the hardest work into this area I ever have and putting in place plans like crazy. It’s almost as if I plan to be here forever. But I am working the hardest I possibly can and I can’t do anymore than I already am.

Yeah, so Kristen Mason’s brother is Elder Clarke. He is one of my zone leaders and I know him really well because we have served together my whole mission. He got to Chico when I did and came down to C Heights with me. Served together for the past 8 months.

Papa seriously gave y’all a drone for Dixon’s tooth? Wow. Hey, now you can get cool pics of the property. And send me some cool videos and stuff with it.

P-day last week was amazing! We had the whole zone go over to some members house in our zone and they have this huge back yard with a small basketball court and a ton of things. We lowered the hoops and played slam ball. It’s basically street basketball where everyone can dunk it. So we were dunking everywhere. It was a ton of fun. Then we played commando and tetherball and golf and a few other sports.  Then we ate pizza, all outside in the sun. It was the perfect temperature. Then we went to the stake center and played ping pong and zombies and a few other games. It was a blast. Today we are going to Sunsplash and I am really exited. It’s so much fun and I’m glad I get to go again for sure before I leave. 

We were driving by a car wash and someone started getting mad at his dog. We kept riding and eventually I heard Nielsen yell “Ahhhhhh! He’s chasing us!” And he said it in a joking way. Like to be funny. But when I looked back expecting the dog to be walking around casually and stuff this big black dog was in a full out sprint at us. He wasn’t joking. We were both riding as fast as we could and the dog didn’t give up. We had to turn off up a hill so we didn’t go through the middle of an intersection. He was nipping at Nielsen’s heels as we were booking it. Eventually, it gave up and we kept flying down the street. It was scary and really funny. I actually got chased by a dog like in all the missionary stories!

We went on exchanges this week. Because we have the Easter Initiative video and we are trying to share it 4 times a day which is almost impossible, Elder Steffensen (also from Chico) and I went to the actual Rusch Park and went through it three or four times. We saw a ton of people with dogs and we used that to talk to people. Unfortunately, even though we talked to a ton of people, nobody wanted to see the video. It was right on the edge of raining and in the park there is a skate park that is constantly fill of a ton of sketchy people. But since it was just barely sprinkling and it was in the morning, nobody was there. So Elder Steff and I started going crazy with our bikes in the skate park, almost crashed several times, but flew all over the walls and stuff. We took videos and it looks really lame, but it want because our bikes are not meant to go in skate parks so it’s hard to ride them there. It was a ton of fun there. It happened again on the way to our lesson with Pres so I was able to take Nielsen there for a few minutes as well. 

The work was a little slow a few days this week but for the most part it was pretty busy. So it was a much better week. I don’t like it when you knock on the door of grumpy people. They are not very nice. But we are trying to pick ourselves back up from losing all of our people to teach. Elder Nielsen is getting very discouraged from us working super hard and having no success.  If we do have some success, it is only temporary. So I’m trying to help him understand that that’s not what missionary work is about. It’s about doing what God asks. Not baptisms, more important is simply working. We will see miracles for that and it will build us as people. It’s hard for him to understand things like this and he beats himself up about it and is always very stressed.   It’s worth it because I have been able to help him.  It’s even rainy for the latter part of the week. Friday we actually had a storm with lightning and all. It wasn’t anything big especially compared to storms in the south, but it was nice.

Always having to work on my bike. My suspension locked up from dirt and crap Hemings into it so I had to work on that’s. I had lube all of my gears and all that. I need new brake pads which I will get this week so look for that on my card. I’ve actually gotten really good at fixing bikes while I’ve been out here.  I actually like it a lot. I’ve gotten to the point were I don’t need to go to the bike shop and get a $70 tune up because I can do almost all of it myself.  If something else has a problem, I have always been able to fix it. So I’m really good at fixing bikes now. When I get home I will fix all the kids bikes up for them.

We had district meeting in a park this week. We met up at the church, stole the other district’s cars and went to Wendy’s to get Frosties and went to the park. It was awesome. We to some cool and some crazy pictures after.

We had this awesome lesson with Sam last night. We are reading the Book of Mormon with him. He was making dinner for us so he said that he wouldn’t be able to sit down and do that.  That we should do a shorter lesson. We had just finished talking about how he needs to read the scriptures more and also the night before he had said he didn’t want a ride to church because he wanted to sleep in. He likes motivational speaking and Ted talks and stuff so I showed them Dad’s TEDx video and I had an idea. I remembered a Ted talk or a talk like that that Dad had showed me where it talked about priorities. The one where it had a big jar and had a ton of pebbles and some big rocks and you had to fit them all in the jar but the only way to do it was to put the big rocks or important things in first then fill in the time we rest if the small pebbles. So I asked Sam if he had some rice and a bowl and some balls of some type. I knew this wasn’t going to work because none of it was planned and there would be too much rice and not enough of this and that. But I found some oranges and got some rice and I tested it out and it fit absolutely perfectly. There’s no way that that should have worked. The chances are so tiny. But it was literally a miracle so we could teach the lesson. So I put the rice in and showed them how it only fit if you put the oranges in first and related it to how we need to make time for church and scripture study and stuff. Then he rest of it will fall into place.  Sam just sat there for a few minutes saying “Wow. You’re right. I do need to make time for church and stuff. I can do this” So it was such en effective lesson that was a miracle. Sam even said it was a miracle and I told him it was a sign that it was true. Thanks Dad for showing me that video and doing the same thing for me when I was younger.

Well that’s about it. We have to leave in like a half hour to help the Spanish Elders get a new car so I have to go. I’ll try to get picturesas soon as I can.

Luva!

Week 35 and 36 – Elder Corbin Jones

Stupid Videos, Tuck Tucks and Bunk Beds

Hey y’all!

I loved the blog this time! Hadley cracks me up. Of course she would do Ghost Girl. And Dixon’s innocence is so funny. I miss y’all. I am actually missing our house and property a lot. I am stuck here I’m the middle of the city and it’s been a lot different. There is almost not nature around here besides Citrus and palm trees. But those are everywhere. But I want the country. I’m going to ask Pres. Marston if I can be put into the country next transfer.

So last p-day I crushed my hand. Long story short, me and two other elders were looking over a piano and we all got scared and jumped back, pushing back on the piano. But my hand was on the corner of the piano and when we all very quickly pushed on the piano, the corner of the piano smashed against the pressure point in the middle of my palm. It hurt a ton. I didn’t have use if my left hand for the rest of the day and if I moved my fingers it hurt so bad.  I think I crushed a tendon….. It took a few days to heal but it’s better now.

This week it finally calmed down a little bit. As in we had some open pockets to go contacting and stuff.  We got some good results form contacting. It’s still definitely not my favorite thing but it’s worth it.

The beds in the mission have little holes in the end of every post so that if you put pegs in them, you can stack them to make bunk beds. That’s what we did. We made pegs out of duct tape and pass along cards and stacked them. It was really, really hard but we did it eventually. I’m on the bottom and for some reason my bed seems so much comfier. It is kinda like a cave in there. I never want to leave. Which kinda sucks because I have to leave it a lot. There are always pros and cons to making your bed comfy.

Our ward mission leader is awesome. We went over to their house to drop off a stack of Book of Mormons and it turned into a two hour meeting in which we got a ton of things done and have a lot of plans now. Then we went out with him on Friday morning and contacted the past two months of new move-in’s.  One of the people didn’t live there but our ward mission leader just launched into it did exactly what any good missionary would do. We talked about the Book of Mormon and love and service and by the end of it, we had a new investigator.  He’s so awesome.  

Interviews:  I introduced Nielsen to Frank the Magic Worm and Tuck Tucks. He loves them.  Hey Dad, weird request but could you record yourself telling Frank the Magic Worm and then tucking some of the kids in and post it on the photoshare? I want to show him and I also want to see you do that because I love it. Pleeeeaaaassseee? Thanks. Haha.

So Elder Nielsen and I really get a long well. We have way too much fun together. Throughout the week we made several videos and we think we are really funny even though we probably aren’t. But I’ll send you the videos anyways and explain.

Fun week, a little slower but productive.  Luva!

Sitting, Conference and Holding Hands

Hey Y’all!  Good week this week. Very different though.

So we only spent two days this week proselyting. Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday we had to weekly plan and have piano practice for Zone Conference. Then Zone Conference was on Friday. Then General Conference on Saturday and Sunday and then p-day. So we had lots of sitting down this week.

So really funny story from this week. This is something kinda like a Mom embarrassing holding hands in the temple story. But it was in the chapel. We were watching General Conference and I had my arm stretched across the pew. I had found this little CTR ring on the ground and was messing around with it and wearing it on different fingers. I had it sized for my ring finger but it hurt because of my stupid webs and so I had it on my pinkie finger…..which means it was very loose. My pinkie was hanging over the back of the pew and one of the sister missionaries, Sister De Leon, was sitting right behind where my hand was. She had an idea. She thought that she could take the ring off too fast for me to do anything about it. So she grabbed my hand very quickly, trying to take the ring off. But, as fast as my reflexes are, I automatically pulled my hand into a fist when I felt someone grabbing my ring. Then I suddenly realized that it was a female’s hand……and I was holding it. The second I realized that I was holding a girls hand, my mind froze and so did my body. I was frozen there in place and had no idea what to do because my mind was blank. Then suddenly a thought popped into my head. “You’re holding a girls hand! That’s bad!” And my mind suddenly started working again. Oh man, I’m going to be awkward when I get back home. Hopefully it’s just that I’m on a mission because my mind just stopped working. I didn’t know what to do. I just didn’t work. So that was fun. My hand felt defiled after that and it was just a bad situation and it was not of our faults. But it was very funny.

Y’all should go watch the new Easter initiative. Such a powerful video. It’s amazing. #princeofpeace  https://www.mormon.org/?cid=HP_SU_9-4-2017_dMIS_fMORG_xLIDyL1-A_

Nobody did anything for April fools day for us. Because it was General Conference.  We were all too exhausted to do anything anyways.  

General conference was awesome! Of course. I loved so many quotes. And especially Elder Bednar’s talk about missionaries. It’s so cool to be a missionary and hear mission talks. One of my favorite quotes, I don’t remember who said it, was “If I get tired of walking, I can always run”. I liked it because when I’m exhausted and tired of rejection, I should go work harder. I also love when Elder Eyring said “If you walk with Christ long enough, you start to see people for their Divine potential, not for the mistakes they’ve made.” So powerful. Another one “The Church is more important, isn’t it?” Yea, I mostly like just quotes.  Full talks yes, but a lot of quotes.  After the talk about James and John, Elder Nielsen and I took on the nickname for our companionship, “Sons of Thunder”. Haha.  https://www.lds.org/general-conference?cid=HP_SU_2-4-2017_dPFD_fGC_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng

On Sunday, President Marston watched with us and just as it started, a family came in as the first girl came and sat down I saw her face from the side and kinda got freaked out. She turned and I saw part of her face again as she smiled and I think waved to President Marston. It looked just enough like Sister Christiansen who finished her mission in December, but her hair was different. I spent three months with her in my district. But her hair was wayyyyy different. I spent the entire session wondering if my mind was making things up or not. At the end of the session, she stood up and yup, it was Sister Christiansen. It was really cool to see her again. We didn’t have time to take pictures with her because she had to leave and stuff but it was cool to see her.

Zone Conference on Friday was a blast. We had it at the Antelope Temple. It’s not actually a temple but that’s what everyone calls it. It’s called a megachurch. It’s twice the size of a normal stake center. It has two chapels and two levels and two of everything except the gym. But the gym is really big. I got some pictures of it. It looks more like a college university building. It’s crazy. But Zone Conference was a blast. I gave my first 5 minute talk. Every Zone Conference Pres. spontaneously calls people up to give 5 minute talks. I have made it 8 months without having to do it, but I finally did it. It was good though. I was ready for it. We learned a lot all together at the meeting and I got to play the piano for our musical number again. I played a cool arrangement of “I’m trying to be like Jesus” while the zone sang to it. I wasn’t sick this time so I was happy.  

So it was a good week with lots of sitting down. Lots of it. I’m very jealous that y’all went to Conference. I looked for y’all but they didn’t zoom in on y’all which was weird because they should have just for me.

Love y’all!

Week 34 – Elder Jones

Stupid Phone, Corned Beef and Cabbage

Love the name of this street!

Hey y’all!

It was an awesome, busy week. We had 25 hours of service this week. I think the max we are supposed to do is 10. So we had a ton of that.

But we were once again really busy. There was only one hour out if the whole week where we had some free time so go contacting. It was great. But it is supposed to rain this week. I’m sure Elder Nielsen will have fun because he has always had a car. He’s never been stuck in a bike in the rain before.

Absolute miracle. On Monday, just before we got picked up for shopping, we got a call from our ward mission leaders wife whom is also a ward missionary. She is the best example of a missionary that I’ve ever seen in my life. She talks to all her neighbors about the gospel and everyone she can about it.  She prays about which one of them will accept the gospel and when and what materials to bring them.  She is amazing. Along with her husband. They are so full of the Spirit and have the strongest testimonies. So she calls me and asked if we can come over that night for FHE. She explained that her cousin has hit rock bottom in his life and is staying at their house for now until he gets a place of his own and he is so desperate for correction in his life and is just so humble. He agreed to let us come over for FHE and let us teach the first lesson. We were like “cool” and rearranged some stuff. When we got there we watched a ton of videos that Sister ***** wanted to show to bring the spirit in. We did that for like 15 minutes. During this time the Spirit came over me super, super strong. It was weird. Because the spirit normal gives me little promptings in my mind by just putting a thought in my head and it’s basically like me thinking it to myself. But I can usually tell if it’s a prompting, but hardly. While we were watching the videos I had the thought to do the third lesson, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, instead of the restoration like we planned. I thought to myself that this was better suited for his situation. So I started swiping over mentally when suddenly the sprit just confirmed that this was the right lessons to teach, but it was a very very strong confirmation. My first thought was: “Wow this is crazy.” My second thought was: “I don’t need such a strong confirmation.”  I was going to do it anyways. Something is up. So I let Elder Nielsen know we would be switching topics. After I let him know, I suddenly had a super, super strong impression that we needed to invite him to be baptized. It was super strong. It wasn’t like words or anything but it’s was the strongest, clearest prompting I have ever gotten in my life. I just knew it was right and didn’t really have a question that I needed to do it. I wasn’t even sure if he would say yes, but I knew I was going to do it  Y’all, it was so strong. It was so clear. It was just a feel good Spirit, it was just like I had a thought to myself: “Behold, he needs to be challenged to baptism.”  But without words. I just knew that that’s what I needed to do. The coolest part is that we hadn’t even started the lesson and all this happened. So we started teaching the third lesson and after talking about the Holy Ghost and baptism, he started talking about how his mom and brothers kept saying he needed to get baptized and after reading a scripture showing the importance and necessity of baptism I invited him to baptism. He said that he would do it. But I knew I needed to challenge him to a date. But before I could say anything he said the dreaded words that he didn’t want to pick a date. I suggested that we should and he said he could do it in a year. The spirit was like:  “No, no, no. Make it sooner.” He finally committed to the 6th of May.   So we have him on date now. I think this is amazing but I got so much out of that experience. I just have a super strong testimony now.  But I knew the Holy Ghost.  Had I not, I wouldn’t have known what to do.

Tuesday was so beautiful outside. It was in the height 70’s and I think it may have hit 80 degrees. I should have checked. I took my coat off for the first time and it was amazing. Clear blue skies and a good little breeze.

Elder Nielsen is still awesome. He still has a lot to work on but he is improving. He struggles with a lot of temporal things like self confidence and worry about little things like that. It’s kinda like he is still in greenie mode and those things are still important. He hasn’t quite broken out of those things. But he is doing amazing and his teaching is getting better.

Our cell phones suck and the software likes to trip up a lot. Our shower quit working again, for the third time, and so I texted the Tempo Park Elders saying “Hey, our shower died. Can we come use yours?” We have used theirs before because of ours dying, so it was fine. But one thing our phone likes to do is when you click on who you want to send it to, sometimes it will switch, as it’s sending, to the last person you texted and send it to them instead. So I get a text from President Marston which said “You’re kidding, right?” I felt like an idiot. It wasn’t even my fault but when your mission president gets a text from missionaries two zones away asking to come shower at his place, I still feel like an idiot. Thank you, you stupid phone.

So I hit my 1/3 mark today. 8 months. It’s not far into my mission, I realize that, I still have a lot left. But I was walking to my bike and realized this and stopped and stood by my bike for a few seconds. I have a lot of time, left and I’m new to the mission still, but I have used one third of my mission time up already. I have grown a ton already and done a lot, but I only get to do this two more times. It was a moment that I looked back and realized that I want to be better and commit as much as I can for the rest of my mission because really, I can do better. A lot better. So I want to make sure I have no regrets in my mission. Not at all. I want to serve it with everything. Realizing my 1/3 made me want to recommit because I don’t get another chance at this. Only now. So I want to make it count.

Apparently on Saint Patrick’s Day you are supposed to eat corned beef and cabbage. I love corned beef but when you eat it 4 nights out of 7 in a week, it gets a little tiring. But I loved it any ways. It’s good. I’m glad we have food at night.

Did y’all see that video of those missionaries in Brazil who got a gun pulled on them and the missionaries beat the heck out of him? We had been hearing about it all week and someone’s parents or friend sent the video so I saw it. Luckily, I haven’t had a situation yet where it’s come to a fist fight. There has been one or two where I thought I might have to fight, but I have been able to avoid it pretty well. Don’t worry, is ain’t Brazil. Everyone was saying that that guy is the Elder Leathers of Brazil.

So that’s been my week. It’s been a good week, but I’m looking forward to sports today.

Luva!

Ghost Girl, Mating Cows, Cheery-O, Royce Turns 9, David Accepted to BYU and SUN, Bryson at Wedding!

Bryson at Gage Pallo’s wedding reception. So cute!

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Going to the dentist, I dislike it…..  But it actually went really well.  The point is to pretend I’m not there.  😉

Paying for braces for Tess.  Soon to arrive in April.  Uggghhh, the driving and money, but love the smiles afterwards.

Ghost Girl Hadley!  This is a horrible story.  For some reason we often end up on the phone in the car with Bryson.  Hadley seems to be with us during these calls.  We lose service for the last couple minutes before our house.  So I pull over to finish and say goodbye.  Hadley had enough one day and started walking home.  That was all fine during the day.  I picked her up when we were done.  One late night (10:30 pm) after I picked Kevin up at the airport, Hadley was in her white nightgown and the same thing happened.  She jumped out of the car while we were still talking to Bryson.  She had huge white tennis shoes on and was walking like a zombie.  It was so strange.  A car drove by and we were worried they would freak out about this strange “ghost girl” walking in the dark.  Thankfully, they pulled into their driveway.  Then we realized it was someone we knew from church.  So on Sunday we went to tell him what happened.  He was almost in tears (we were laughing, because it was funny, but he wasn’t).  He had worried all weekend about the poor lost girl, wandering the roads of Washougal.  He was very thankful we told him what really happened.  One of these days, it won’t turn out so well…….

Sneaking a little Daphne from a bush at the temple.  Kevin told me after we arrived home that while I was talking on the way home (to keep him awake) I kept sniffing the Daphne in between every few words, without even realizing it.  He imitated me and made me laugh.  That I didn’t even realize I was doing it, was crazy!  He said I sounded like Donald Trump!  Ha!

Scheduling balance!  Life is such an interesting thing.  The amount of things we say yes to and how stressed we can get.  Our kids force how busy we are, but we can still say yes or no to things.  I’m always trying to get that right balance between stress and boredom for our family.  Boredom is a rarity, maybe a better word is getting out to achieve things with other people.  I always think we are going to arrive at the perfect balance, then quickly realize that the perfect balance only lasts for a tiny bit.

Falling asleep on a park bench while the kids played in the sun.  In my hazy sleep, I hear “Those are the Jones boys, are you the Jones boys?”.  This hasn’t happened that much since we’ve moved here, so I perked up, not sure as to whether it was a good or bad thing.  😉  Thankfully, it was a great thing and the kids had fun playing with tons of other kids.

Watching my friends send their missionaries out, kids getting married and grand babies being born.  How did we get to this stage????  It was just yesterday that I was looking at all those cute missionaries in a different way. 😉

Dixon sniffing and coughing while huffing and puffing as he sat on my lap at church.  I was thinking to myself that he was over his cold and wondering why was he acting all weird?  After a bit, he started crying and said he was sad because in our family morning prayer, I prayed for two other kids and their sicknesses, but not his.  I quickly told him I’d make sure I included him in the evening prayer.  He suddenly was cured and happy again.  Oh how I love little kids.  It’s so easy to fix things for them.  🙂

Kevin and I having to squeeze a dinner date in at 8:00 pm after everyone else was where they needed to go.  We are determined to get time out (we usually get the temple in, but we want time alone with a meal).  It’ll get a lot better once Tess has her license next month.  It’s been super hard since Corbin left last July to go back to no teenage driver in the house.

Dixon informing us that he saw two cows “playing a weird game” on the way home.  He said it looked like they were having fun, that one cow was on the other cows back like playing piggy back.  Hadley and Royce immediately fell to the ground and hid their laughter.  I’m getting better and better at these situations and just explained that they were making a baby cow.  One cow was a girl and one was a boy.  That is how baby cows happen.  He looked at me and said “Hmmm, tricky!” Then went off to play.

Dixon having a hard time finishing his chores.  If he did them quickly he could be done in 10 to 15 minutes, but he gets VERY distracted.  The other day he wanted to get back to playing something so he said to me:  “If I keep focused, I’ll be able to finish my chores quickly.”  So glad he at least realizes what the problem is….

Merritt:  “Is there anyway to, well, not curse Hadley, but make her behave correctly while she is with me?”

Hairspray!!!  Three teens (or almost) with long hair!  I should take stock out in hairspray.  I can’t believe how quickly we are going through it.

I was trying to spell Cheerios quickly for a text and Merritt said it’s like “Cheering the O’s”.  Duuuuhhh!  Cheerios is made of oats, cheery O’s.  I had never thought about it!  Dumb Mom moment!

 

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Royce turning 9!  I can’t believe it, he’s still my little boy!  He had a fun Olympic themed party and we happen to get great weather for all the events. 

Getting to visit families in the ward to show a great Family History video https://www.lds.org/topics/family-history/fdd-cook/blessings-video?lang=eng&old=true. One of the cute families had four little kids.  We thought we were still in the thick of littles, but we left realizing that we aren’t.  We really miss all the cute things little kids do.  So fun, but we are getting old!  😉

Getting to hold little Lincoln Iverson.  We had a small “Welcome to the World” party.  It was so fun to get special time with great people while snuggling sweet babies. 

Hadley getting to babysit for someone else FOR REAL for the first time.  The other girls couldn’t babysit, so it fell to her.  SHE LOVED IT!  I can’t believe she is grown up enough to be babysitting.  I still look at her as she talks and see my little 4 year old.  🙂

Protocol!  Kevin and I got to help teach an Etiquette Night, then help set up for the actually evening.  This was done through Tess’ Classical Conversations Challenge class.  It was so fun!  They had a dinner, then danced the Foxtrot, Waltz and Swing.  The youth were all dressed up and treated each other like ladies and gentlemen. 

Merritt trying to earn permission to use an iPod.  She had to write a paper on why she needs it and what she would use it for.  Then she has to memorize the Family Proclamation https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng&old=true.  She’ll still working on that part….  🙂

Still loving our shower.  It really is one of the best parts of my day.

Beautiful Spring and sunny days.  It has been raining a lot (which I love because I can get things done inside and snuggle with the kids).  Now there are sunny days sprinkled in and it’s like a festival in the NW.  It seems like everyone is outside and happy.  I love the flowers that are blooming.  Daphne is my favorite because of it’s fragrance and it’s one of the first to bloom.  

Getting to have a Young Single Adult party at our house and go to the temple.  We love the YSA.  We laughed a lot and think they’re just fabulous!

Swinging in my special swing at the top of the yard in the sun.  I feel extremely elated when I sneak up there.  🙂

Getting to have my Mom and Dad over for Sunday dinner.  We even had time for playing games.

David getting accepted to BYU’s Doctorate Program (in Psychology)!  We are so happy for Addisen and David.  He’s still waiting on one more school to make a final decision.  Great job David!

Getting a cute text of Bryson speaking at someone’s wedding.  I couldn’t get over how handsome he looked all grown up.

Isn’t Bev just so cute?!

Meeting up with Bev McCullough for a walk at Round Lake.  It was sunny and beautiful.  I get all filled up after spending time with her.  The river was huge and raging.  After our walk, we got some fruit and sat in the back of my car hanging our legs over the edge letting the sun hit us.  If you live in the NW, you know how special this is.  🙂 

Tessa getting an Academic Excellence Award at the High School.  We were laughing that the home schooler wasn’t at the assembly to receive the award.  Her math teacher has been so great this year.  She does Early Morning Seminary then goes to 1st period at the High School.  It’s worked out great this year.

Dixon finishing “How to Read in 100 Lessons”.  I used this book for the last five kids.  I didn’t know about it before that.  It has seen it’s last days, but I don’t have the heart to throw it away.  I LOVE teaching my little kids to read and learn.  I am really sad to see these stages come to an end….. 😦  Now Dixon gets to read off of the beginner readers shelf.  He’s pretty proud of himself.  
Merritt teaching herself to draw for a school project.

The boys finally getting to ride their bikes outside.  They even put the playing cards back on their wheels so that it sounds loud.  So cute!

Kevin and Royce working on his Pinewood Derby car.  We’ll see how it turns out.  🙂  Royce has researched and designed all of it himself.  I love his enthusiasm. 

 

 

 

 

 

Weeks 32 and 33 – Elder Jones

WML, Transfers and Studies – Week 32

Good week. Really busy. We turned two more perfect investigators over to the other missionaries because both of them were within two streets of being in our area. So mad. Oh well, they needed investigators. But we were able to teach an awesome lesson to one if them. It took two hours because he had a lot of questions.

I’ve been focusing on using the scriptures a lot more and knowing them as much as I can. Because we ran into some JW problems (I’ll explain in a sec) I called my trainer because he knows the scriptures so well and he showed me some stuff.  I really wanted to improve my scriptural knowledge for lessons so I kept asking him questions and have a ton of notes that have made for good studies.  I have several documents on my iPad that have tons of scriptures that prove our doctrine and stuff like that. Originally, I wanted to study this stuff so if it came down to having to defend the church I could do it. But after a little bit of study, I found myself studying this stuff for a different reason. I realized that going through and finding scriptural support, especially from the Bible, was really increasing my testimony.  I found myself sitting in bed at night sometimes at bedtime studying all his and my testimony had been getting bigger and bigger. So I keep going. I have a ton of documents that I do this with. I have the J-dub shuffle, the King James reference (magic stuff right there. Look it up and study it. Some cool stuff).  I have a few papers that I got in the MTC from Elder West that through the Adobe Acrobat app we have I was able to turn into a PDF file with app magic and now I have that to study for too. So that’s been my studies this week along with studying from the district videos.

We ate at that Indian buffet again. Except this time we went with a Tongan, Hawaiin and a Fijian. They can really put that stuff down. 

We were once again really busy this week. Which was awesome. Especially for P week. We caught up on a few things we had to do last week and our week was full. Taught an awesome lesson to a catholic guy and he shows a lot of promise. Can’t wait to go over there with the new Elder. It’ll be great. We will see where this goes. If this follows the pattern of the rest of my mission, it’s a dead end. But with faith, maybe it won’t be.

We got a new ward mission leader yesterday. I am going to miss Bro H-Dog as the missionaries call him (Brother Harston) but it makes sense why the released him. Our new ward mission leader was a ward missionary that did so much and deserved to take it up a notch to fulfill his potential. He also has more time than Bro H-Dog. So we will go over very soon and have a good long training meeting with him. He walked into ward council and came out overwhelmed.

So transfers……. My new companion is Elder Nielsen. I don’t know much about him at all. All I do know is that he is at least two transfers younger than me so he came out after I was over with training at least. I may even be greenie breaking him. Who knows. But I don’t think so. I got in contact with someone that has heard some about him and he said that he’s heard a lot of good stuff. I can see his picture. But he looks like he will be awesome. I have a really good feeling about him. So I’m really exited. It also makes me senior companion. Not that I think that really matters. All that matters is experience.

Sorry I don’t have as much as usual this week. But at least I have some.  Luva!

Elder Nielsen, Auctions and Miss Hawaii – Week 33

Hey y’all!

So I didn’t start writing this email until Saturday so it might not be as long as usual.

We had a really good week. We went a saw a lot of people and it was a lot of fun. My studies this week have been amazing. I’m studying all the doctrine that supports our church in the Bible and be able to use it in lessons to help show investigators where in the Bible it says it.  I am picking two topics a day and during personal studies I’m going through all my study guides and everything I have and studying it. I write the best ones down on a sticky note and each sticky note is a different topic. Each of the sticky notes go in the front of my Bible on the black leatheryish part before the first pages. Once I fill the front and back of my Bible I should be pretty well off. Then I’ll do the same to my Book of Mormon except have the topics be a little different because the Book of Mormon is a little different. It’s been an awesome study week though.

One of the people on our ward council is a carpet cleaner. And very Mormon. Hence the CTR (Choose The Right). This is his truck.

So, Elder Nielsen………..  So he’s amazing. He is a ton of fun and really quirky. But very funny. He has Asperger’s (I have no idea how to spell that) but it’s not bad. He has a hard time reading the scriptures and uses simplified versions of he scriptures so he can understand it. He gets distracted easily. But I don’t really mind any of that. It’s not a problem to me. He’s awesome. He is a quieter teacher because teaching doesn’t come naturally to him, but it’s been kinda cool to see him growing already. Since I use a lot of videos in lessons and stuff, he has been taking those and using them because he doesn’t know many videos but he has been soaking in all he can. It’s kinda like having a greenie because I am able to teach him a lot and coach him.

So I do see how being senior companion can matter. Not that it has ever before for me. But he’s a ton of fun, has a strong desire to be out here and loves it and he’s the best. We have so much fun together. I still feel like I’m on exchanges. Because on exchanges you are constantly having fun but you get a lot done and you usually like the person you are with. So I’m loving it. It’s so much easier to wake up since he wakes up with me, he does personal studies, he is doing his best in lessons, even is he doesn’t say much, he is trying and I’m completely fine with that. We have awesome conversations, we have great comp studies, he is just as obedient as I am and he isn’t distracted by the world. So I am really happy right now.

We had just finished our lesson with President Marston and as we got up and all started to leave the room.  President grabbed my elbow and yanked it toward him. My heart jumped into my throat and I though that I had really messed up or something and I didn’t know why. All it was is that he saw my inch wide scab on my elbow and wanted to make sure I didn’t get it from crashing my bike. I told him it was a rug burn. He raised his eyebrows and said “P-day?” Of course it was from P-day! But then Pres. said “We’re going to have to get rid of P-day.” I love him! He’s so funny. He’s always willing to joke around.

We had a ward auction fundraiser/dinner thing and I bid like 25 cents on some things that nobody bid on. I got a few cool things. Like a clay rose and stuff. I guess I’ll send some of it home. I should send y’all a package so I guess this is a good excuse.

We also have a really awesome family that we really like that is in our ward and their daughter is home for the summer from BYU Hawaii. Yeah she is the runner up to Miss Hawaii. Or maybe second runner up. Oh well. no big deal. But we did want to take a picture with her. It was cool to see her because I’ve seen pictures of her in all her Miss Hawaii stuff with the crown (her grandparents brag about her a lot) so it was cool to see her in a normal setting without a dress and without any makeup on at all. So that was fun. The coolest part I think was that she wasn’t the stereotypical dumb blonde Miss Carolina girl that cries at everything. She was just a cool person. There is this local ice cream parlor that everyone loves.  I guess after each season she finishes, she goes there with her family in all her crown and makeup stuff and gorges down ice cream. There an awesome family.  

We had an inactive member at the house that Sam lives at suddenly say he wants to start coming back to church and needed slacks. I was so surprised and did not see it coming. But we helped him and he came to church and he’s going to “beat his brother” if he doesn’t start coming too. Wow. Something must have happened.

So it was a great week this week. Love he new comp and we do a lot of good together.

Luva!

Elder Jones – Week 31

Bounce Houses, Titanic and The Prosthetist

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Matching ties! 🙂

Hey y’all!  img_0267

This week has been a blast. We have just been really, really busy and it flew by. So grateful for that. I hope this coming week will be great too.  It’s not looking like it though. The week before transfers is nicknamed P-week in this mission because everyone kinda relaxes because everything is so crazy with people leaving and trying to say goodbye to people. People just kinda slack off. Last P-week we did just as much as usual because neither of us were leaving.  Hey, maybe it will be like the rest of the weeks. But maybe not. Either way I’m sure it will be great. If not, I’ll make it great.

P-day was a blast last week. So much fun. Some of the Elders, including me took some pvc pipe and a pool noodle wrapped in duct tape and used them as swords to fight with and it was awesome because it didn’t hurt at all. Then soccer was a blast. We were playing and I think all the stress had built up inside me for the past transfer and a half all came crashing down and I snapped and I got really aggressive and stole the ball from everyone I could and was throwing my self in the air to head the ball before anyone else could and moves really fast and it surprised people and I was doing really well. I got hit in the face with the ball, knocked over three times and hurt in many other ways. But I was fine because I had adrenaline. Then I was sprinting towards Elder Clarke, who is huge, to steal the ball. So at full speed I struck out to get the ball and he was running fast too and his knee hit my calf and it had to be carried off the court. But I had enough adrenaline in me that I was back in within a minute limping and attacking again. Then it just kinda wore off after a few minutes. We finished soccer and it was a blast. Then I lost the adrenaline and I was limping really bad. It looked so bad. But we did other sports and stuff and I was limping. Then after I got back home after dinner I had absolutely no adrenaline left and I was calm and exhausted so I was literally hopping around and my foot was dragging on the ground. I could not stand on it at all. I had to hold myself up in the shower with my arms and one foot. It was so bad. By the next day, it wasn’t as bad and had worn off after a while. But that night I had no use of my leg at all.

We had interviews this week. On Tuesday. I had been looking forward to it for at least a week because I would probably be able to find out if I was staying with Elder Sarki another transfer or not.  So I should get a good companion next transfer.  I am so grateful for such an awesome mission president.  img_0232

I was on the phone with some other missionaries working out dinner plans and I was in a rush to get out of the door so I wouldn’t be late and at he same time someone else was calling me.  So I had to deal with someone dropping something off and two phone calls and my iPad lit up and I saw a notification from photos from Addy.  I hung up on one call and picked the other one back up while trying to remember an address and chasing Elder Sarki out the door where I had just sent him to pick something up a member was dropping off.

We were about to go over to Mama Crans’ house for dinner who is the best family in the mission. They are who we had Christmas with. We call her the missionary momma. So Tuesday was amazing.  On top of that, the reason we had dinner at Mama Crans house (She isn’t even in our ward but all the missionaries know her) is because the missionaries in her ward that live in our complex had some members buy them food but couldn’t stay. And they bought them food from a Nepalese place and wanted to see if we wanted some. Now I don’t like any of the Indian food that I’ve had as you have heard. But I rearranged some stuff because I wanted Elder Sarki to have it. So the other missionaries took the food over to Mama Crans img_0235house to eat because she loves missionaries.  We met them there and it wasn’t far because we are in the most condensed stake in the mission.  I didn’t expect to like the food but this stuff was amazing. I couldn’t get enough. It was the same type of food that Indian food was but apparently it’s better Nepalese style. But it was great. So good. Best day I’ve had in a long time. I’m still smiling and floating on air as I’m righting this (it’s Tuesday night). I feel like life is all wonderful right now. Which it is. Everything is just right. Just how God wants it to be. I feel like I can finally breathe deeply and correctly after not having been able to in a long time. I feel a large burden of stress has been lifted off my shoulders (with the transfer news).

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A dog like Bentley! 🙂

I got a few videos of us at Sam’s place. We love him and his boys and his girlfriend. We were messing around with them and King (One of the boys) tipped me over in the chair and then got up against the chair and Elder Sarki pushed him over and he ended up on me. So I started recording. The worst part was when their Mom had tipped me over she tried tipping me back up but she doesn’t have much of her teeth left, only the roots of her teeth. She leaned over and tried picking me up and laughed and slobbered all over me because she can’t keep it in without teeth. It got all over my face and arms and tie and I am still so grossed out by it. Also, I brought them some cookies in a tin with plastic wrap around the edge to keep it new and King started to tear into it with his teeth. So i recorded that. But that’s when Bear(The other boy) attacked me. Haha. Love them. img_0249

I’ve been working really hard on being a good missionary lately. It’s really hard. Of course it’s always hard. But I haven’t had someone that will tell me where I can improve. So when I start slipping, forgetting to do something, becoming to casual or anything like that that would make it so I’m not as productive and effective as a missionary. So I’ve been having to constantly self check and it’s hard to realize what I need to work on most and motivate myself to work on it and the million other things that I have to improve. So that’s stressful to always be critiquing myself and it kinda brings my self confidence as a missionary down. When I have a companion that helps me to recognize it and work on it himself too, it’s a team effort. So that would be less stressful and more efficient but I’m making it.  I’ve been watching and rewatching the district trying to have really good lessons and be prepared. Although it’s only me preparing. I’m trying though.

Ok, so I will explain a little bit about the picture from the zone meeting email. I will also send you the picture so that you have a real version of it. But we all got a little goofy when taking this picture. My trainer and his companion, Elder Moon whom I know, where making the illuminati sign together. Elder Carter who was in the MTC and in Chico with me was standing behind me in the picture and we decided to try to pull a titanic so he put his hands on my hips and we looked off into the distance. I tried to stick my arms out as it to say “I’m flying Jack!” But I would have hit someone in the head. And I would have been asked to put my hands down cause President Marston loves his pictures. Elder Hendricks was trying to do a smolder and Elder made looks like he tried to be an opera singer. It got a little crazy. But that’s my explanation.  img_0252

We went over to a part member family and they were apparently finishing up a birthday party. And they had a bounce house with a a slide. And they told us to go play with the kids so they could clean stuff up. So we did. I got a video. That’s my explanation for it. 

We went over to a less active lady’s house and she is a prosthetist. She makes prosthetic limbs. Mostly legs. We went to go do hard work and help build something but before we left she let us see her first leg she made. It was an old model, so they would have used in the 50’s. But she let us mess around with it. She only used it to put plants in. Nobody had ever worn it. So we messed around with the fake leg. img_0262 img_0257

Our new incoming Mission President’s wife is Elder Oaks daughter. That’s cool.

Reading you last email, I can’t remember if I told you but the marriage thing isn’t going to work out. She isn’t really all for it. So that won’t happen. It’s been so crazy I lost track of weeks and I’m not sure if I told you.

So this week was awesome. We have a lot of people that have potential and I’m exited to see where they go. I’m excited for transfers too. I have a ton of pictures and videos from this week so you’ll like those.

Luva!