Week 63 – Elder Jones

Fires, Friends and Facebook

Tuesday: Sorry, I forgot.
Wednesday:  So, we got Facebook today. Yay! We don’t start really actually using it until the 18th for proselytizing. But we are all going through and cleaning it up and adjusting as necessary. As I got on there, it felt like all my friends are getting married. I only knew of like one person that got married. And now I see how many people are actually married. That is weird. I also have seen several things that y’all have posted. I never realized how much everything back home has changed and how everyone has grown up. It cracked me up, Mom’s comments in my profile pictures. Yeah, you can still comment and do whatever you want. But if you want to contact me directly, email me please. Besides that, act normal. I’m still taking it all in.  I’m really confused right now with whether I’m still on a mission because it’s so different having access to Facebook. Give it a few days and I should be fine. I’ll get tired of getting distracted with what I have access to and ignore most of it. But now we can contact people a lot better.
We went to go get a broom for an investigator that needed one and we remembered that it was also her granddaughter s birthday. So we went and got her some gifts at the dollar tree.  I saw a cylindrical Rubix Cube. I bought it. Man it was hard. My mind couldn’t wrap around it at first. It was hard.  But after a half hour, I was able to solve it. It got easier after that and I could do it in about 5.  It is fun.
Thursday:
Cleaning out Facebook was horrible today. I had to go unfollow all the pages I’d liked so I don’t see notifications from them of see their stuff on my feed, but that means I had to go to my page, which means I had to see the last thing they posted. All the pages I liked were country music. And I saw a ton of the stuff that’s been going on, artists I’ve forgotten about. It was a little hard to unfollow them, but I did it. Wow, this is weird. Also going through all the pictures I have.  I miss a lot of people. People from EFYs, Alabama, Washington, Family, everyone else. Man it was a weird trip back in time. 
I am also very, very proud of all the people that are on missions right now. there are a lot. Way more than have gotten married. I’m so proud of them and it gives me a lot of motivation to know that I have so many friends that are preaching the Gospel alongside with me.
Besides all that, we had a good lesson with **** today. The only thing holding him back from baptism is that he has to work on Sunday. So we asked him to pray about whether or not he should fast about it to get Sunday’s off. So next week we should be setting up a day to fast with him. It went great!
Btw, I can see the Pursuing Happiness videos on your page now if you post them the way you have been.
Friday: It’s so weird to have our first names back. Oh Facebook. I also think it’s cool how missionaries are flooding the internet now.
Wow. It was such an amazing day. We did service in the morning for a member.   She also calls all the missionaries by their first names. Haha. Anyways,we had lunch there. Then we planned. Some of the sisters gave us pomegranates and so we ate those and planned. After that we went and contacted a little. Some weird stuff happened. Contacting is always interesting.  We are still listening to a lot of Christmas music. We had dinner out. Some guy was asking questions in the restaurant and we talked. He was a little intense but had some amazing questions and was really sincere. I gave him my Facebook name so he could contact me because he said he wanted to talk to me personally as a person, not just missionaries. 
Then we went to stop by *******.  She’s the one that had the insanely crazy lesson with. We went over and it was super awkward at first. We knocked and they looked through the blinds and the door never opened. Then her Daughter and her friend came up and let us in and said she wasn’t home. So we walked across the street to see some people and the daughter came and hunted us down and said she actually was home, she had just been in her room. So we went back over and as we were going back over, her son came home with two friends. So there were five kids there and they were going to have a sleep over and we made a little suggestion that they could listen to a little lesson. Surprisingly they ran and grabbed everyone and sat down.  We showed a video and they asked what the name of the video was so they could watch it again. Then we shared some scriptures and talked and answered questions. They wanted a test so we started quizzing them on the stuff they learned. They wanted another video to watch before we se them next.  We gave them one and will be back tomorrow with quiz. It was amazing. It went so well and they all listened and participated. We had been talking about being bolder earlier that day, so we applied it. Took a shot in the dark and with the help of the spirit, it worked.
Saturday:
The appointment wasn’t home tonight. But we will hopefully see them at church.
We had a ton of service today. We also biked to Biggs. The wind was insane. It was blowing us off of our bikes.  We had to go and it was only three miles away. But took us over a half hour to get there.  We visited someone, then started riding back.  My companion got flats in both tires, his handlebars got messed up as we pulled up, and his tire went uneven. We ended up biking back on semi-flat tires. About halfway back, the tire went completely flat and we were riding on the rims. We took turns. It was horrible, but a great adventure too.
Sunday: Don’t worry, the fires haven’t reached me yet. I can stay a little more in tune with the fires with Facebook. But I love that you are keeping me in the loop. Facebook of filled with so much clutter, it makes it hard to see the important stuff, so please let me know any updates. When you let me know about the Oroville fires I had just heard about them a few hours earlier. The next mission over, the Santa Rosa fire, is all burning. Like, the actual city is on fire. Also, Loma Rica, which is just below us is really, really on fire.  Oroville which is right above us is on fire. And when it starts raining, let’s hope the Oroville dam doesn’t break. It’s in our zone. It would reach here in just a few minutes.
I woke up with a ringing in my ear and it hasn’t gone away yet. It’s been horrible.
Monday: Ringing is still there. That’s not good.
Luva!
Advertisements

Week 62 – Elder Jones

Gridley, Elder Jones and Elder Niederhauser

Good bye Elder Kerby. 😦
Tuesday: I have no idea where to start. This has been one of the craziest days on my mission. The transfer went well. A member took me all the way up to Gridley. He had a truck and so it was no problem. Said goodbye to eElder Kerby today. And bye to the Baldridges last night. They got me a Spider-Man sweatshirt. I love them. I got to Gridley and that’s when things got crazy. There are two Spanish elders that got evacuated from Puerto rico. One is named Elder Jones. I have no idea why they put two Elder Jones’ in one district. We ate some lunch all four of us because they have nothing. They had a few things in a small suitcase but lost most everything in the hurricanes. So we had them for a while. Then we handed them off and dropped my stuff off and went to a lesson. The lesson flaked and so we went contacting. Then we went to another lesson and it was great. I would give details but it’s late and I need sleep. Then dinner. Then we went to a lesson and it was one if the craziest lesson of my life. It was insane. I felt like I walked into a battlefield. Then, I had to get my name tag to the other Elder Jones because he lost his in the storm. Now I know why they put us in the same district. God definitely knows what he is doing.
Elder Niederhauser is cool. He reminds me of Ben Teams. He is from Logan, Utah. He just got done with a hard companion and so it looks like he wants to work hard. So that’s good.
We live in a house. It’s great. A big living room is what we use. We don’t really even use the three bedrooms in the house. A big kitchen. Individual bathrooms. Garage. It’s an old house but it’s good. So that’s great.
Anyways, I’m exhausted. Im going to sleep.
Wednesday: Well this was a super crazy day. Last night we stayed up till 1:00 I’m the morning talking. I replaced him when I went to auburn so we talked about the ward. This morning we went and updated the areabook. 2.0. It’s pretty cool…..except for the most important part: the calendar. You can’t tell what is going on and it’s super hard to do anything. So that sucks. Then we went contacting and such and met some people and had some lessons. We went to Oroville and got the car separated  because it has scratches from other missionaries. After dinner we had a lesson with an investigator. She has had previous baptismal dates but has gotten cold feet and cancelled. We put her on date for November 4th. She is super awesome. She has cool dreads. She has such an amazing personality. So I’m excited for her.
Oh also, I have WiFi again so things are better.
Thursday: MLC happened today.  It happens here in Gridley so we went to the lunch and saw everybody. It was awesome. Later we went and contacted and did studies. Saw some people. Had dinner with the APs and another set that served in this ward. We went on a cherry picker. It was fun. Then we met another family.
Friday: We had district meeting. I met the district. They are all amazing. There are twelve of us. It’s massive. It’s bigger than some zones. The people are amazing. There are some missionaries that I know from the past that are there. It’s such a cool district. Then we did weekly planning. It was really hard because of the new areabook, but we stuck through it. Then we rode our bikes around because we are trying to save miles. Contacted some people. Then we had some dinner and then met some less active kids. They were fun. Then met the Ward Mission Leader. Good day.
Saturday: Sorry but this will be a quick one. We spent most of the day doing service. Elder Niederhauser is awesome! I can tell that he was being held back by past companions and isn’t very good at standing up to companions. But with a companion that makes it easy to prepare and be good, he does great. We have had some good talks and he really has a good heart and a love for the gospel.
We listen to a lot of Christmas music.
Sunday: Very, very windy today (Thus all those wildfires in Northern California). Went to church. Half of the Ward wasn’t there because it’s harvest time (Cool!).  Two other wards were there because their building was having problems. So I was super confused. But the ward is awesome. In the last weeks it’s so cool to see how much I’ve learned about the ward and am confident in what I do know. We met lots of people and it’s great.
So I just remembered something. During district meeting, I looked around at everyone. There are 12 of us in the district. That’s an really big district. I looked around at everyone and an absolutely horrible truth dawned on me: I had been out longer than anyone in the room. I couldn’t handle it. It was a horrible, feeling to realize how much longer I’ve been out, because that means I’m closer to going home than almost anyone in the room (one of the sisters goes home before me and one if the elders goes home with me). I can’t be that far done with my mission. I’m trying not to think about it.

Zamples, Flip and Flop, SALT, Raining Bows, $400 Burgers, General Conference and Homecoming!!!!

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Hadley making a beautiful looking, not so good tasting chocolate pie for our Preach My Gospel dessert.  She accidentally added a TABLESPOON OF SALT.  It was so funny!

Falling apart laughing while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.  For some reason the random people and situations got to me.  I couldn’t stop laughing.  Tessa filmed me, but I think I’ll pass on sharing that with you.  It felt good to laugh that hard, but I don’t advise anyone to do it at that location….

Crazy Fall schedule.  I think I live in the car.  Maybe we should just get a motor home, then I could make dinner while they are at practice.  😉

Dixon’s sayings:  “Right over there, Mom, there is a raining bow.”  “Mom, let’s go to Costco and get some zamples.”  Royce keeps trying to correct him, but I quickly stop him.  I can’t let him grow up…. 🙂

Dixon from the back of the car:  “Johnny at soccer, says that Werewolves are real!”  Me:  “Well, what do you think?”  DJ:  “His Dad says they are too, especially during Halloween!”  Hmmmmm…..  Then we saw this huge, super moon come up behind the beautiful mountains.  Dixon quickly said:  “See the big moon, well it looks like the werewolves will be out tonight.”

Nana and Boppa visiting Tess at work.  Tess got all flustered and charged them $400 for their food!  So funny!

Sleep sacrifice for Hadley’s hair things.  She doesn’t like how they look, but loves the curls.  🙂

 

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Love for Kevin’s woodpile!  We look out each day and see the seasoning wood getting ready to heat our home for the winter.

 

Tess creating and framing her own list from Preach My Gospel.  Love our Tessa!

Orders coming in for our MintCreek store on Etsy.  We make and sell custom made pallet pictures.  It became a joke when each day a new order came in.  Previously, we were getting about one a week.  Kind of fun.

Fun game night with friends.   I’m so thankful for other fun people that can make me laugh.

Addisen’s 21st birthday!!!  Oh how we love our Addy!  I’m so thankful for who she is and that I get to live life with her in it.  I love watching her navigate her own path.  Love you my AJ!

Beautiful rain!  It poured for four days, but then the sun came back.  It feels like Autumn, which is my favorite.  Running in the crunchy leaves makes my heart smile!  One day last week, I finished my run along the river, then went down to the water.  It was so beautiful that I had to go get the kids at home and take them down to the river too.  It was a great recess for them. 😉

Royce:  “Mom, why are Flip Flops called Flip Flops?”  Me, having NEVER thought about this before said:  “Because they flip up, then flop down”.  Cool huh?  I bet you all have had deep thoughts about this topic before, right? 🙂

Dixon and Foxy sound asleep…..

Watching General Conference!  It was so wonderful to be together as a family and snuggle up to hear words from our Prophets.  I’m so thankful for the the time they take to teach us.  The sticky notes are quotes we all write out so we can play Conference Jeopardy later on.  🙂 We have fun texting our other kids during it too.  Next year Corbin will be part of the texting!!!  I’m so excited!

Sweet Family Home Evening.  We watched Elder Hale’s Life Videos.  It was so neat for the kids to see how young he used to be and what a great life he led.

Apples, apple juice, apple sauce!  Yummy!

Getting to attend Mica and Joe’s baby’s blessing.  It was precious and her sweet Avalie is perfect.  Warms my heart to see these once young women become amazing momma’s.  🙂

Royce receiving his Bear at Cub Scouts.  The kid LOVES Scouts and is constantly working on it.  It oozes out of him, so cute!  He kept saying to me “Get ready Mom, you’re about to go up there.”  🙂

Tessa as a cute CNA student.

Nana and Boppa coming to the kids soccer games and swim meets.  We’re so thankful for them.  We usually get a meal in with them too.  🙂 We met Nana at Kennedy School in Portland for dinner last week.  It’s such a cool place!

Vancouver Pumpkin patch with the Johansen’s!  We thought we’d seize the day while it was sunny.  The best part was hardly anyone was there, so we had the entire place practically to ourselves.  Great pumpkins, great prices, great friends.

Tess getting to sign the National Anthem with her ASL class (300 students) at the Homecoming football game.  So cool!  They even had fireworks right afterwards.  The boys LOVED having them go off right over our heads.

Tess going to the Homecoming dance with a great group of kids.  Her date was Nolan Purkenson.  They were all so cute!  The fabulous other Jones family made a five course meal and outdid themselves.  Tess loved the food and had a great time.  

 

 

 

 

 

Week 61 – Elder Jones

General Conference, Transfers and Stolen Bikes

Monday: So……..my bike got stolen. Story time!
We were going over to a members house to watch the Facebook training
videos and we were just going to sit outside of their house to use
their wifi. Then we remembered that they have security cameras that
set alarms off inside the house to let them know that people are in
their driveway or yard. We were going to go to the side of the house
behind their gate like we usually do but since it was super dark out
we didn’t want to scare them. So we were going to leave our bikes in
front of the gate and knock on their door and tell them they were
there and then grab our bikes and go to the side of the house behind
the gate. They said they we could just watch the videos inside but
first wanted to talk to us about some members. So we completely forgot
about our bikes. We went in and within 30 seconds we heard the
security alarm go off. We all froze and Sister Godfrey looked out the
door and saw someone. We went out and my bike was gone. It was really
dark but I saw his silhouette as he rode off. I almost started running
but then realized elder Kerby probably wouldn’t want to. Brother
Godfrey called the cops and then had me talk to the cops and he went
to chase the guy down. When I was done talking to the cops, I couldn’t
go anywhere because they said to stay there. For some reason I felt
super calm and not worried at all. So, we watched the videos on
Facebook and talked about how we can be better as a companionship. It
was a really good conversation and we resolved some things to make our
companionship better. Eventually brother Godfrey got back and he
couldn’t find the guy but said the cops were still looking. Elder
Kerby and i kept talking as brother Godfrey went though the security
cameras and found where it caught the guy in camera. He had a hat and
a backpack on but we couldn’t tell much else. It caught him taking the
bike though. Probably a homeless guy. There’s a lot here. So we ate
some ice cream and eventually a cop finally showed up and asked what
had happened. Then he told me he had my bike and looked at the camera
recordings and gave me my bike and asked for ID and got some info.
Nothing was stolen from my bike thankfully. It was a little dirty
because when the cop found him he ditched my bike and ran. They
haven’t found him as far as I know right now. Bunk got it back. So I’m
happy. Prayers work. The cop found the guys hat and backpack so they
are looking into it. I don’t care really, I got my bike back. No harm
done. So that was fun. Afterwards elder Kerby and I were saying we
should have yelled “Swiper no swiping!” That would have fixed
everything.

Tuesday: Not much happened today. We had a ton of lessons set up and
most cancelled. We did some service. We watched more training videos
and had great conversations. The coolest thing was after dinner we
went to a ward missionary’s house and just talked with him about how
we can affect people better. How we can improve our dealings with
investigators and members and show them that we care. He wasn’t
flowery about it. He was to the point and I loved it. He told us what
we do wrong and how to fix it a very smart man. I soaked it all in.
Coolest conversation in a long long time. There’s so much I need to
change.

Wednesday: We had to go to Rocklin this morning for something for
Elder Kerby. We crashed a district meeting. I got to see elder Goodman
from Yuba City and that was nice. And I got to see a Sister Andersen
as I passed her in the hallway. I haven’t seen her since my first
area. It was cool to see those two. It was a fun adventure altogether.
This afternoon we had a lesson with ****. *****’s friend. I’ve
mentioned him before in past emails. We sat outside Starbucks and we
focused on getting to know him and what he believes. We didn’t have
much time but we answered some questions he had. He had some hard
questions that were very direct. The way he asked them was very cool,
focusing on what we personally believe on touchy subjects like
evolution and homosexuality. He’s very smart. We will see him again in
next week.

Thursday: Great day, we had service, meetings and cancelled lessons. We had members come to those lessons and neither happened. But
one of the members was super awesome and took everything the extra
mile and did things we can’t do because we are missionaries and he is
a member and he fulfilled his part. I’m super tired and need sleep so
I’m going to bed.

Friday: Mostly daily planning today. But we had another great lesson
with the *****s. We had the Bishop and his son come, who is their
age. They should be coming to mutual. And maybe church, next week. I’m
writing this in Saturday because I totally forgot.

Saturday: General Conference was amazing. It’s the conference that I’ve gotten the most out of. We watched it at the Baldridge’s. So awesome and I learned so much from all the amazing talks. I will probably send my
notes in it just for fun. Right now I feel horrible because we just
got a call from President Ward saying Elder Kerby will train. Which
means I’m leaving. And I don’t want to leave. So I’m not happy right
now.

Sunday: Ok. Wow. I have quite a bit to catch up on. So, first, General
Conference. Now that I am done mourning, I can talk more about it. I
have never been much of a note taker but I made myself do it this
time. I’ll send the notes to you. Remember, I haven’t gone through the notes yet but I’ll do it anyways. But it was amazing. As
Sister Wall put it “All the talks were written just for me so they
couldn’t have been written for you”. So true. That’s how I feel. But
somehow they were that way for everyone that listened intently. I have
so much I want to say about it. This talks were amazing! I can’t
stress that enough. I have never gotten so much out of Conference and
that’s because I was listening intently and prepared. To sum up, the
themes of Conference were: Support your leaders, trust God, joy is a
choice and read the talk about the Book of Mormon from last conference
by President Monson’s. That talk was quoted by over 5 people. It’s
important. And even cooler, I have watched that talk and been showing
it to people lately. That was so cool to see how I was prepared. We
watched it all at the Baldridge’s and they are amazing. I love them so
much and will miss them a lot. But I could go on and on and on about
how amazing this conference was but I have to do some things. Next
subject.
Transfers.

I’m going to be going to Gridley. It’s just north of Yuba
City. There will be another Elder Jones in the district. We got a ton
of missionaries from different countries that have been demolished by
the hurricanes and he is one of them. So that’s cool. I’m going to be
with Elder Niederhouser (I think I butchered the spelling). I replaced
him here in Auburn.  I feel very good about it. There is supposed to be a lot of work in Gridley. It’s the first stake organized in California. Lost and lots
of members. A super small town. It’s going to be great. We have a
house, but I heard it’s been trashed by missionaries. I’ll get a car.
That’s fun. I think it’ll be like Yuba City but in a smaller town. It
pretty much is.  So I’m excited. I’m super sad that I am leaving though.
I said goodbye to the Walls and the Baldridges. We watched Conference
at the Baldridge’s and it took me over two hours to make myself tell
them that I was leaving. I love them so much. I was dreading telling
them. And dreading leaving them. Sister Baldridge and Abby are coming
to say goodbye to me tonight. That’s going to be really hard. Abby
reminds me of a quiet Hadley. I’m so sad. But I trust God that he
knows what he is doing.
Luva!

Week 60 – Elder Jones

Regina, Sweater and Brother Jolley

Monday: We went on a hike during pday after all our frisbee golf and
stuff. It was cool. We went down to a waterfall and everything. It was
nice. Took some cool pictures.
Reading the amazing blog. I realize now that because I read the blog I
type by emails the way the blogs are. Haha. Also, I think it’s weird
that I’m further behind in the world than you Mom. You’re talking
about some Ed Sheeran song that I’m sure is probably the most common
and popular song in the world right now and you’re talking about it in
the blog like it’s common knowledge and I didn’t even know it existed.
That’s weird to me. But good. I don’t really care right now. I’ve
found that anything I have always been really involved in back home
will be there just the same when I get back. The only thing that
changes are people. They grow up, things change in their life and they
are different when I get home, but that’s the only thing that changes.

Tuesday: We had one appointment scheduled and they had to reschedule
before we went out. So we had nothing planned. We did some service in
the morning and then we went and tried to some people. We are realizing
that we are really bad at finding people and so we are trying to see
how we can get referrals from members. But all missionaries ask for
referrals and we know at it only will work if it’s at the right time.
So we are trying to do it in a way that they keep it in their mind but
we don’t try to force them to give us people. So we just want to have
them know us better. So we are stopping by members and just getting it
know them. It’s working. We found out about a family that is moving in
and so we rode to their house and they had just gotten there a few
minutes ago. From Texas. So we offered help and they said they would
call later and they did and we went and moved a ton of their stuff in.
It was great to help them right away.
Also, I found out that *****, an investigator that we had in Yuba
City got baptized on Saturday. I’m so proud of her. That’s awesome.
It’s fall officially. I have started wearing a sweater outside at night.

Wednesday: I’m super tired tonight. I’ll keep it short. But we
contacted most of the day. We were able to drop **** finally. It took
three hours though. He talked a lot today and wouldn’t let us talk. We
ended up just having to talk over him and let him know that we didn’t
believe as he does. He couldn’t believe that we were going to
disregard all his “evidence”(he makes some really good points and I
can see why he wouldn’t be able to believe it) and still believe as we
do. He is not willing to change and at this point just wants to convince
us so he can be satisfied with believing how he does. But we were able
to drop him. We gave him the phone number if a member who volunteered
himself. I’m sure we will hear about it soon.

Thursday: We did some service contacting and lessons today. But the
big thing is Facebook. The Zone leaders and STLs already have it. But
we are all learning about how it will be. And I am not liking it.
Mostly it’s the way that’s it’s all going to happen. First of all, I
hardly used Facebook back home, and I don’t really know how to use it
that well. I can learn and I’m fine with that. But I don’t want to use
Facebook. I don’t want to be on it every day. I got on it maybe once a
week back home and only for like 5 minutes or ten minutes. But now I
am, going to get into this it of using it a lot. I don’t want that. I
wanted to go back home and not use social media much. But now I’m
going to get into bad habits.
But the part I don’t like the most is the way we use it. We have
wayyyyyy too much access to stuff back home, we use our home profiles,
and we have to use it all a lot. I was thinking I would be able to get
on Facebook for a couple of minutes to find a person, send a message
or maybe post a video or contact my ward. But it’s not like that at
all. It’s our home profiles and it’s going to be chaos, we are almost
being forced to use it a lot, they are making us pretty much wipe our
home profiles and use those for some reason, and it’ll be that way
when we get home. There’s always been a separation between missionary
me and back home me. That separation has been one of the major keys to
being happy out here, not living how I was before and not being
involved with stuff back home. But now I have to be? I know it’s what
the Lord wants and all, but I’m not happy with where it’s going. I’m
not mad because of what we can’t do, I’m mad about what we have to do.

Anyways, I also got Royces letter. I loved it! Thank you Royce! I
can’t even come close to drawing a picture like that. Thanks for
taking the time to write me!

Friday: Good day today we had a lesson with ***** again. He is
getting some questions answered. He is still hung up on the Sabbath
being on Sunday instead of Saturday. We will keep working with him.
Weekly planning. The Zone leaders were in the same building as us
today and they have Facebook already. I’m more okay with it now. I
think I can handle it. Of course, I’m not looking forward to having to
use it because I don’t want to use it because I don’t want to get
reliant on it. But I’ll be fine, I think. But it’ll be good. We
learned more about it and it’s going to be very useful and very
interesting. We have no restrictions. It’s all open. But we have to
unfollow some pages and stuff, but we keep our friends and stuff.
We had s great lesson with the *****. We taught them about where
we came from before we came to earth. They soaked it all in and had
great questions. I think they will make it all the way. Maybe not yet,
but soon. They seem like they will progress very well. I’m so excited
for them. I love them so much.

Saturday: We contacted all day again. We need more people to teach. Oh
well. But today we did start watching the training videos for the new
technology stuff like Facebook. It’s cool for several reasons: we will
be able to find so many more people to teach, we can affect people
back home more, we can help members and investigators get to know us
better and, in the training videos (mostly the district 3) Brother
Jolley is in it. He was one of my MTC teachers. It’s so weird to have
him be Elder Jolley instead if Brother Jolley. But it’s so cool to see
him on his mission. But yeah, Facebook is going to be such a great
tool.

Sunday: It’s cold out. I’m wearing my sweater most of the day now. It’s cold.
We got ahold of ***** and we’re able to get Brother Godfrey there. He
is also a police investigator. He came in and man was he able to help.
He just asked what his concerns were and and just explained in a way
that he needed it. And I found the power of member presents. Some of
the questions we had already answered the same way that Brother
Godfrey had, but coming from him, he understood it, because it came
from a normal person. It was amazing. It was such a huge step in the
right direction.
After that, we had a lesson but nobody answered the door.

I had to buy shoes today btw. I have two pairs of shoes and one of
them are the ones Bryson used in his mission. They are a mess. They
have the stuffing coming out of them, they are held together by duct
tape and the bottoms are coming sprat and the bottoms are cracking. I
went to Ross and used the money you gave me in the letter and it went
like 5 bucks over. I got something else there too that was a few
bucks.
Luva!

Week 59 – Elder Jones

Pday, Tracting and Zome conference

Monday:

P-day was amazing today. The whole Zone went to the Auburn 3rd
Ward mission leaders house. He has a massive house that’s really nice
with a lot of property. They had a ton of games set up. They had a
minute to win it thing and the Zone battled against each other with a
ton of things. Then we had a selfie scavenger hunt. That was a ton of
fun. There are some awesome pictures we got. Then we played games and
had brunch there. It was amazing. We played pirate dice and that got
intense. The ward mission leaders wife took pictures through the whole
thing, 500 pictures. I’ll send a couple.

Tuesday:

We went out with a different priest. He
graduated last year.  So with him it’s been hard
to get him to come out with us and been kinda touchy, but it seemed
like he had a good time. He was smiling more than I’ve ever have seen him smile. He seemed pretty comfortable and it was great. Then later at
night we had another little experienced.

Wednesday:

Really all we were able to do today was Zone Conference.
But it was the best Zone Conference we’ve every had. The Spirit was so
strong and I learned so much. President Ward is really funny. He
knows how to teach us so that we can understand, are really involved
and learn the best way. He’s amazing. I learned so much from the whole
meeting. I can’t even explain it. It was the best. It was also sad
because some of my friends are starting to go home. This was the last time I will see Elder Sarki and Elder Rawson. Elder Sarki was my companion for two transfers and Elder Rawson was for about a week. So it was really sad to see them go. I love them.
Also, I was companions with a sister for 45 minutes. Elder Kerby was
talking with President Ward and Sister Ward needed help. So we went on
exchanges and my companion was Sister Ward. We were out in the parking lot and in the halls and out doing stuff and Elder Kerby was in the
chapel the whole time. She was literally my companion for that time.
So I called myself Sister Jones for the time being. I had a female
companion. Haha. That was fun.

Thursday:

Exchanges today were great! We were very busy. Elder Woodcox
came here and we biked. It was my first day back on the bikes and it
felt amazing to be able to go out and be working. It was a little
rough after not biking for over a week. But it went well. We tracted a
lot because most of our lessons fell through. We need new
investigators and Elder Woodcox isn’t used to biking in Auburn so we
decided not to bike, but tract instead. It was good. Had a few
potentials. We had Pho for dinner at a restaurant. I haven’t had that
since Chico with the Hmong people. So it was so good to have some pho
again. It was a great day and I learned a lot. That’s the good thing
about exchanges. You learn a lot from being with someone new for a day
because they work differently. So it helped a lot.

Friday:

Daily planning today. Had a lesson with *****. It went
well. We helped explain how he can get answers and found out some
good information as to what might be holding him back. Then we weekly
planned. Then we went to the ********.  That went great. We only had
a little time but we explained about church and invited them. We
hunted their mom down and talked to her about it. They should be
getting more involved with actual church now and going to mutual. If a
Sunday opens up, they should be coming. Their mom was really
supportive because the kids are interested. So it went great.

Saturday:

Wow, what a long day. We tracted……all day. We got up,
and tracted an apartment complex and part of another one. We had lunch
then finished the second complex. Then we went to another complex and
tracted the entire thing. Then we had dinner and companionship study.
That’s all we did all day. And we didn’t even get any potential
investigators out of it. I guess today was about showing God that we
will work no matter what.

Sunday:

Today was great. Church was good and we finally had an
investigator come! They don’t live in our ward but it was good to have
them there. After church and studies, we went and did some contacting.
Then dinner. Then, we finally got ahold of *****. It was good. We made
some progress. He wasn’t as bashy and was even more understanding. We
helped him with some concerns and there’s a lot of complicated stuff
going on with him and it’s crazy. But the important thing is that
after this lesson, it looks like it’s headed in a good direction.
The temp has dropped a lot this week. It’s been pretty cold lately.
It’s in the 80s. I don’t like it. Too cold.
But yeah, this week was a ton of tracting and less teaching.
Also, I got your card. Thank you so much! I really, really appreciate it.
Luva!

 

Parenting, Gorge Fires, 3rd Person, Kissy Faces, Stuffed Mouths, Steel Paint, Ed Sheeran and Father’s Blessings!

First day of school! Merritt’s a freshmen, Hadley is 7th grade, Royce is 4th grade and Dixon is 1st grade. Tess was off to CNA school and I never got a picture of her….

 

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Archer fire just over the hill from us.

The Gorge Eagle Creek and Archer Mountain fires!  When it started raining ash on Monday, September 4th, we knew things were getting bad.  By that evening the air felt so weird.  It reminded us of the feeling in the air right before a tornado hits.  Later that night, I opened the door to let the dog out and a rush of smokey, hot air blew in our house.  It was 11:30 pm and it felt like it was 95 degrees out.  It was the eeriest thing ever.  That night an ember blew across the Gorge and started a fire on our side of the river.  We spent Tuesday watching whether the evacuations would hit our street.  Thankfully it didn’t, but it was quite the experience to think about where we would go, what we would bring and how to prepare the house (I couldn’t decide whether I should throw all my books in the trailer or not). 🙂  Another odd part was to carry on with our normal life all week as we watched and waited.  A number of things were cancelled due to air quality.  We’ve spent the last two weeks with so much smoke that it burned our eyes, then switching to clear blue skies.  It’s finally raining for the first time in ages today!  Hopefully, that will clean the air and help control the fire on the Oregon side (our Archer Mountain Fire is out).  Thanks to all for the concerned texts and messages and offers to house our family, it warmed our hearts.  🙂

Realizing that one of the reasons I miss my little kids so much is because I can love them fully and fiercely, while teaching them things.  It’s one of my favorite things to work with little kids.  When they go from frustration to a lightbulb moment, as I show them how to do something or help a baby learn to not hit, etc.  It’s my favorite stage. As they get older, it’s different, but great in so many other ways.  Then they move out and the teaching is completely over.   There is a delicate balance (that I am learning and not doing a very good job at) between loving with all my heart and letting go.

The girls having a joke about when I talk in 3rd person.  I guess when I’m about to lose it, I start saying things like “Mommy is thinking you should…..” Or “Mom is walking out of room now….”  It’s hilarious when they catch me doing it.  I start laughing and all is well.  Love my girls!

Tess driving others….  In Washington there is a law that the first six months of your license you can only drive sibling, not other people.  There have been numerous inconveniences due to this.  I begged and pleaded with Tessa to please just drive the person so I don’t have to.  She won’t do it.  Do you see something wrong with this picture?  I don’t, but my girls keep saying “Mom, shouldn’t YOU be the one telling us to follow the laws?” “Mom, most parents….” Boy, I still have a long way to go, I’m all about getting things done, not being exact.  Thankfully, my kids are better than I am, despite my example….

Royce getting Tessa back…. It was hilarious!  Tess was asked to Homecoming (actually it was by texting, but the official ask is still coming).  She was all excited and happy.  Royce stole her phone and sent kissy faces to the boy (whom she only likes as a friend!).  She was freaking out and we weren’t quite sure what to think.  Then Royce starts saying louder and louder that it was because she had popped his balloon and he was getting her back.  Ha!  We all just stared at him…. Really Royce????  It was a special sword balloon from Spaghetti Factory, but popping it was an accident.  These kids keep us on our toes.

24 Hour Critical Challenge!  Kevin and Hadley gave a talk at church on using kind words.  Kevin talked about our family trying to go 24 hours not saying anything critical or unkind.  It sounds easy, but try it!  It’s not easy!  It’s amazing to see how critical we all are.  A little more kindness can go a long way in this world, starting with us!

Being asked to read a quote in church right after I stuffed a chocolate chip cookie in my mouth.  There was so much cookie in my mouth that I couldn’t even say “I can’t read right now.”  It was so funny!  Kevin had to say “Kelly can’t read because she just stuffed a cookie in her mouth.”  Nice huh?  I almost choked because I was laughing and eating at the same time.  I have been known to have people sit by me just to get my treats from my bag….. 🙂

Kevin helping me pick out paint at Lowe’s.  I brought the pillow I bought to help us pick out the color (please remember Kevin is extremely color blind).  I told Kev I wanted an “almost steel blue color”.  So he started showing the Lowe’s guy that we wanted the metallic (I mean literally metal) paints.  Kevin is so awesome!  The guy couldn’t figure out how that matched what I had already said to him.  Then we realized he was going on the “Words” I had said, not the color.  The guy was laughing saying he had never heard that one before.

Family Council fail….  We do “Calendar” during family council and it’s not especially fun.  It was actually going well this week, but alas, Hadley had too many late night babysitting jobs, mixed with early church and she was out (she was supposed to be filling out the big family calendar).

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Father’s Blessings the night before school starts.  This is one of our favorite traditions.  Kevin gives each of the kids and me a blessing.  Our home feels so sweet and peaceful as we think and listen to the blessings for each individual in our house.

He was cold!

Heading out to dinner while the fires burned.  Everything was canceled so we had an open evening with each other.  It had been such a crazy day thinking we might have to evacuate, so we didn’t get dinner done.  It was so much fun hanging with each other laughing and being crazy (I’m sure the other people in the restaurant didn’t appreciate us very much).  I love my little family so much, we only wish all our other kids could have been there too.  🙂

School starting!  I wasn’t sure whether to put this under something that works or doesn’t!  I decided it did actually work, so it is in this category.  😉 It was so fun to work individually with the kids again.  We decided to take a break from the Classical Conversations group we have attended here.  We are still doing the curriculum, but not meeting with the group.  It has been wonderful to choose what we want to do and have a ton more time to be more thorough in the areas we pick, namely reading great books!  A friend and I are still meeting with our little boys for a home school group day.  It is the perfect mix for us this year.  I’m so thankful for Erin Johansen and her boys!  🙂

Hearing the song Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran.  The girls played it for me as I was driving and I cried.  I LOVE THE WORDS AND TUNE!  When he says that he knows he shouldn’t be crying “But Mum, there’s a tear every time that I blink….”  Oh, how I love the description of that feeling.  “The heart that’s been broken is a heart that’s been loved.”  I love this!  I think this is what life is all about.  We love and are loved and because of this we hurt sometimes for multiple reasons, but it’s worth it to feel that much.  It’s all about the love.  As I listened to this, I felt such a fierce love for my kids and Kevin.  The death part is sad, but as long as it’s been a life well lived (that looks different for everyone), then it’s not too sad, right?  😉 . Then we’re taken back up to Heaven and He welcomes us home.  I know it’s not that simple, but I REALLY loved the song.

Jumping in the river after running along side it.  On the hot 90 degree days, I would put my flip flops by the side of the river, take off running and then come back, take my running shoes off and jump in.  It was elating to say the least!  Took my breath away.  That river is one of my favorite places.

Merritt deciding to join the Washougal Swim Team.  Our H.S. team is combined with the Camas High School team.  The daily driving to Camas is killing me, but Merritt is loving it.  It’s a great group of girls.

Hadley’s evening soccer game under the lights.  She played her first game at Ridgefield High School.  It was such a beautiful evening with my parents and the little boys.  She is on a great team with wonderful girls.

Soccer games that were supposed to be 71 degrees but ended up around 80 degrees and felt super hot.  I got sunburned (didn’t even think of the sun being hot).  Love me some soccer!  The kids were so hot that they made me let them jump in the river.

Dixon:  “Dad look, whenever the sun is out, my shadow is right next to me.  Like zero inches from my toes.”  🙂

Bryson getting to play BYU Ultimate Frisbee.  They started up some off-season tournaments.  I love these pictures of him.  Addy and David even got to go see him play.  I’m jealous! 

Temple dates alone and with other people.  We love getting to go to the temple!

Beautiful flowers make me so happy!

Kevin replacing our deck boards and resealing/painting all of it.  It looks sooooo much better.  It took us all summer to do it, but we’re glad to get it done before the rain starts again.

Oaks Amusement Park!  The kids earned cheap passes from their summer library reading program.   It was sooooo crowded, but the kids had a blast.  I got to go on the roller coaster and I couldn’t stop laughing.  🙂