Weasels, Summer, Good Books, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Ireland, Corbin 20, Merritt 15, EFY and the River!!!

It’s been over two months! I swear I wrote just a couple weeks ago.  Time is flying by for good and bad. I’ve decided life is a lot of hard work with so many lovely moments in between. 🙂

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Kids having to work hard on our land. April, May and June seem to make everything explode on our land.  No matter how hard we try to keep up with it, we can’t.  It’s so beautiful but not our favorite thing to do during the Spring.  I guess this could go in the “What works” part because our kids are learning to work hard as a result, but maybe too hard…..

Funeral for my cousin’s son Gabriel Willits.  I drove to Bend, Oregon to attend it.  It was tragically sad.  My heart breaks for Deb and Greg.  I’m so thankful I had the long, breathtakingly beautiful drive there and back to process things and send love to them. Life can be really hard!

My Dad’s back going bad! My parents are so active, so this is killing him to not be able to play golf and tennis all the time.  His attitude is amazing and hopefully he’ll keep improving.

Someone running into Bryson’s car!  Such a pain to deal with rental cars, etc. He now has a new car though. 🙂

Leaking water heater in the basement!  The big bad part of this was that it was leaking for days but the kids that noticed the wet carpet forgot to tell us!!! So on the morning of Fourth of July Royce noticed and told me.  Kevin fixed it and worked hard to dry things out. NOT FUN, but all is well now (until the next disaster).

Tennis Camp, Cub Scout Camp, Driver’s Ed and babysitting all in one week.  I literally lived in the car.  The kids had a blast though and I’m thankful I am able to get them everywhere they need to be.

Exhausted kid!

A weasel suddenly joining our land.  Kevin was working by the pond and the cute little guy kept popping his head up a checking him out.  I guess they are great for rodent control, but can also kill a large dog.  Which worries me a little bit…. considering our kids are right out there.

Kevin finding the Statue of Liberty is green!  So funny.  He had an extra day in NYC, so he visited the Stature of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Twin Towers Memorial.  He was reading this sign and realized how color blindness really affects reality.  🙂  We were also at a Nike store and he found out that Nike boxes are and always have been ORANGE! We laughed so hard and he was shocked.

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Corbin coming home from his two year mission on July 24th!!! We got so excited when we started counting in single digit days.  We are currently saying “This time next week Corbin will be here…. “

Reading some great books. “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Cline and “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah were both great reads.

Meeting up with wonderful friends for walks, river days, swimming pool afternoons, hikes and food.  It fills me up and the kids love to play. I’m so thankful for good people in my life that influence me for the better.  I love it when I can relax, laugh and trust the situation.  I walk away feeling better for having been with them.  What a blessing life is when there are great people in it.

Incredible dreams when I get to eat an entire chocolate pie or eat See’s chocolate cremes.  I wake up seriously feeling like it happened but none of the bad side effects.  I’m ordering up more of those dreams.  😉 Cause that’s a thing, you know….

Amazing Mother’s Day Tea with my Mom and girls and other fabulous women that I grew up with. My Mom just makes me smile so much!  I’m so thankful that I get to be her daughter and a mother to my kids.  🙂 Love you Mom! Kevin made me a ‘Jones’ log sign for the driveway.  I LOVE IT!  I couldn’t figure out what he was doing outside by the wood pile because he was in one place for so long (that never happens). Next thing I knew I had the sign I’ve wanted since we moved here.  Made with his own wonderful hands and it was free!  Kevin shocks me all the time with his abounding talents.

Getting to talk with Elder Jones on Mother’s Day!  Such a treat!  He is so grown up and makes my heart smile.  Just watching all our kids together, albeit on a screen, made me so happy. 

Awesome last minute FHE lesson on The Plan of Salvation  

The kids and I had such a great discussion and the Spirit strong.  Some Family Home Evening lessons don’t go so well, so I was really thankful for this one.  🙂

Yearly testing for the kids.  Erin Johansen and I switched our youngest kids for some of the days.  I WAS ALONE FOR MULTIPLE HOURS!  It was wonderful!  I wouldn’t want it to be like that everyday, but I sure loved the silence and how things stayed where I put them all day.  😉 I also got soooo much done and could concentrate easily.

Incredible family bike rides!  We have so much fun! On one of them we ended with riding through some Camas neighborhoods to get dinner.  Perfect weather and so much joy.

Addisen and David arriving in Ireland (with a Germany trip included).  They get to be there for 13 weeks for David’s schooling.  I love waking up in the morning to the pictures from the day they have already experienced.  

Tess’ CNA pinning and dinner with Nana to celebrate. We’re so proud of Tess conquering her CNA class.  She spoke at her graduation and did such a great job!  She’s been working in the field since April.  Way to go Tess!

Father’s Day!  Words will never describe how I feel about my Dad and Kevin, the father of my children.  So much of who I am is because of my parents.  My Dad’s influence is/was huge for me.  The love and security that comes from having a good father is invaluable.  I thank you Kevin and Dad for all the good, laughter and love you spread.  Kevin, your influence on our kids makes everything right our world.  Thank you for being who you are.  I surprised Kevin with a bread maker and homemade jam to wake up to.  We’ve been making yummy bread ever since.  So good!

Great Young Women Stake Camp meetings.  I leave each meeting with my mind spinning with thoughts and ideas and end up going to bed feeling a little crazy.  But the next morning everything clears right up as I go running.  It all falls into place and seems so clear.  So, in the future, I plan on just trusting that process…. 🙂  My assistants and I got to for a day trip up to the camp.  It was so beautiful and fun to see what we have to work with.

Kids playing all over our land with each other and friends.  I love that I can’t even see them but can hear them all over the place.

Dragon Fly time!

Hammock time!  It’s amazing how many hours the kids can spend hanging outside in the trees or reading books. 

Temple, temple temple.  I love going with our teenagers, Kevin, friends or alone.  Each opportunity provides so many deep thoughts and peace.  I truly feel like I can conquer the world after attending the temple.  Such an incredible blessing in our lives. 

Finishing our Columbia River Classical Co-op! We had such an incredible year with lots of laughter and learning.  Two of my favorite things! Royce presented his Faces of History paper on Abraham Lincoln.  He and Ben Johansen were so cute and did such a great job!

Royce passing his Memory Masters and conquering multiple backflips in a row.

Going the new Han Solo movie with the Johansen family.  The kids dressed up and had us laughing…. 

Merritt getting her drivers permit and taking Driver’s Education. The schedule for this tries to kill me though!

Fun McCullough Open House for Robby’s graduation and wedding.  It was such a fulfilling night to visit with so many people we love from our Farmington Ward at the fabulous McCullough home.  Our kids had a great time with people they knew from their little years.  They even got to slingshot potatoes!  Nights like this only solidify why we love them so much!

World Wide Youth Devotional and dinner.  It was such a great devotional given from our Prophet and his wife. He gave us five challenges:

“1. Hold a seven-day fast from social media.

2. Make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord for three weeks.

3. Keep on the covenant path. If you are off, repent and get back on the path.

4. Pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

5. Stand out. Be different. Be a light. Give to a friend one copy of the booklet For the Strength of Youth.

Please remember, my dear young brothers and sisters, you are among the best the Lord has ever sent to this world. You have the capacity to be smarter and wiser and have more impact on the world than any previous generation!”

I was so excited to do this challenge with the kids, but it was a lot harder than I thought.  My seven-day fast from social media showed me a lot.  I was so much happier and noticed what was right in front of me better (being present).  My plan is to just check my notifications but not scroll anymore.

Listening to “I Love to Laugh” from Mary Poppins.  I forgot how much I love that song.  It makes me laugh just hearing it. I’m thinking one of these days I might just float up to the ceiling myself…. 😉

Corbin turning 20 and Merritt turning 15!  Corbin makes me feel old and Merritt scares me when she drives.  I guess they both are making me age…. 🙂 Love them both so much!

Tess and Merritt finishing tennis.  They both improved so much and it was a joy to watch them.  Tess lettered this year.  🙂

Tess and Merritt getting to go to Les Mis!  They hit Powell’s Bookstore first and loved it! Thanks Nana and Boppa for the great tickets.

So funny!

Impromptu beach trip squeezed into the two days we all had available.  We visited Seaside and then Cannon Beach.  It felt so good to be together and be on the wonderful Oregon Coast. We had perfect weather and fell asleep multiple times on the sand.  As I sat on the beach, I was thinking to myself how much I’d love to ride horses with the kids, but it’s way to much to tackle with five kids.  As we were at the car cleaning up (on some random side street in Cannon Beach), a cowboy seriously rode up and offered the kids a ride on his horse!!! I think my mouth was hanging open…. I made sure he was real by shaking his hand! 😉 Then we went to dinner at Mo’s (of course) and whales happen to be out in the ocean.  We grabbed our binoculars and watched while we ate.  It was a perfectly wonderful trip.

Kevin passed out after sleeping in an airport the night before so he could make it home in time to go with us. 😦

Loving our park days,

Amazing willow trees!

multiple river float trips, swimming pool (temporary in the driveway) and hot summer days. I seriously can’t get over the beauty all around us. After I run, I jump in the river and cool off.  Truly beautiful and literally cool.  Standing alone in a river in the morning is an amazing thing.

Fourth of July parade, luncheon with my parents and Karen Gianatasio then off to an evening party.

Merritt and Tess going to EFY!  They had such an incredible time.  I was a little nervous to let Tess drive a carload of people up to Tacoma, but she did awesome!  So thankful for the joy they exude! 🙂

Farewell party for the wonderful Wiley family.  We had a great time with house full of fabulous people.  Tons of kids ended up in our newly filled, freezing pool.  We will dearly miss all of the them on so many levels (I totally forgot to take pictures!) 😦

Royce attending Cub Scout Camp!  He was in his element.  I’m so thankful for all the amazing parents that went with their group. 🙂

Tennis camp! Tess and Merritt helped run it while Hadley got to attend it.  Such a great activity.

Fun 7-11 free Slurpee day!

Taking Hadley, Royce and Ben to the Bike Lumberyard! Royce and Ben had worked so hard to achieve their goal in writing class.   This was their reward day.  It was pretty cool!

 

Random day at the river and low and behold a whole bunch of Joneses end up there.  It was such a fun, spontaneous afternoon.  Conrad and Henry even dove for Dixon’s lost swimming shoe and found it!!  Thank you Jones family for being so great! 

 

 

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Week 103 – Elder Jones – The End and the Beginning….

Final Email, Final Zone conference and Goodbyes

Tuesday: Had an awesome day. We finally are getting to the end of a
long list of things to do we have been working on for the past week
and a half. We actually were able to go knock on a door or two today!
Yay! We had a lesson with ****** and she had some friends there. One
of the guys is from here but is now visiting. He lives in Harmony
ward in the Camas area. He moved there right when I left. I invited him to
my Homecoming. He’s cool. His name is Cole Solari. He helped teach and
did a great job. He’ll get home a few days before I do. Great lesson.
We had all four youth teach Elder Robinson and I. It went well. Then
tonight we worked on our talks for Zone Conference.

Wednesday: Had a great lesson with *****. Taught the Restoration  and
it made things make sense for her. Such a good lesson.

Thursday: Zone Conference. Long day but good. A lot of things went in my brain then right back out because I can only use it for a little longer.  The worst part was saying goodbye to a lot of people. That was sad.  Man, leaving here is going to be hard. I love so many people. It was cool though,
on the way back, we had the whole district in the Party Bus (the
mission van) and I drove.  It was a blast because we
turned in “The Work” album by Nashville Tribute Band.  Everyone sang
the missionary songs loudly and it was like a super missionary moment of
all of us singing missionary work songs. Cool moment. I loved it!

Friday: Weekly Planning. We had a great lesson with ***** about the
Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. She basically ends up already
living the commandments right before we teach them and knowing what
she needs to know right before. She is so prepared. She sees how it
will all help her.

Sunday: We had a great lesson with ******, as usual. Their puppies are
still the best. After that, we were on our way to dinner and both
Elder Robinson and I got a weird feeling that was very prominent and
was really bugging us both. We knew the Spirit was telling us
something, but we didn’t know what. It was just a feeling that
something needed to happen, to change. Throughout dinner we were both
thinking about it and eventually I had a thought “Maybe we should not
go to our lesson with **** and *** tonight.” We had another
couple coming with us but it felt off. The second I had the idea to
not go and just have the couple go, the “off” feeling went away and I felt at
peace. As soon as I was able to tell Elder Robinson, he felt good too.
So we called the members but they didn’t answer. So we went to their
house and told them, called ***, and set it up. It all felt good. We
don’t know how it went yet, but we will find out soon.

Scripture of my mission: John 15:13 “Great love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

I have been thinking about my mission a lot, seeing as how this is my
final week. Some of you knew me before my mission. Some of you knew me
at the beginning of my mission and some of you are still around me.
Some of you I’ll even see later today. The point is, I have changed a
lot. From each of these times of my life, I have changed a massive
amount and am a very different person. I keep growing and changing.
But the most important think that I’ve learned on my mission is about
love. The scripture above talks about love, and how love is about
sacrifice. For the last two years, I gave up my life for Christ. But
not only for Christ, for every one of you that is receiving this
email. Y’all are my friends. I gave up my life for the people out here
that I have taught, and served and helped, and cried with, and cried
for. But that’s not all. I’ve done so for y’all as well. You’d be
surprised how many of you I have prayed for repeatedly. And that’s
because I love you. I have come out here and learned how to love. I’ve
learned what God wants me to be. I’ve learned my potential and am
still trying to fulfill it.  If there is anything I’ve learned out
here, it’s that love is the most important quality a person can
posses. It is the best motivator. The most important aspect of life is
love. So when you go to bed tonight, thank God for the love you have,
the people who love you and for the people that you love. I don’t know
how to put it into words and I’m not doing a very good job of it. But
know that I love you and that’s why I’ve laid down my life for the
past two years.  I’m not done sacrificing for love. When I return,
I’ll keep serving and sacrificing. I know God lives. I know the Book
of Mormon is true. I know that the Gospel will change you.  Most
importantly I know that God loves you and Jesus Christ loves you
personally. He knows you. You don’t understand how much he loves you.
Nobody can. He loves you!
I close my mission, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Luva!

Week 102 – Elder Jones

🦅🇺🇸, Fishing and Service

Ok, so it did it again. I actually had a lot written out for this
week, but it deleted if for some reason. I must be doing something wrong. I had the email, and I went to check something in a
different app, came back 15 seconds later and the email was blank. I’m
kinda mad. So, it’ll be another not so long email. Sorry again. I’ll
do my best to remember this week.

We have a massive list of things to do and every spare moment this
week we have been doing it. So we had no time to go and find people
this week.

On Tuesday we did service most of the day. It was great.

The 4th of July was awesome! On the 3rd we had dinner with the Kanooth’s
daughter’s family. The kids wanted to show us their lizard and when he
took us to their room to do that, I saw that the had a lot of nerf
guns. I have gathered a few from apartments, so I told them I would
give them all of mine.  We went over on the 4th and gave them like 7
nerf guns and a ton of ammo. Then we had a massive nerf war. It was a
blast and I’m glad I was able to make them happy. Then we had some
popsicles and a water balloon fight. That was fun. We went to dinner
and then stoped by an investigators place before going home, because
we have to be in early on the 4th of July. So we played
a few games and tried to see some fireworks from our complex but
couldn’t see much. So we went inside and played some more games was
a good Independence Day.
On Saturday we did service in the morning with Elder Hanks and Brazier.
I love helping people that can’t do things on their own. They had a bad
yard that is hard for them to take care of and he wanted to tear it
all out. So we helped them do it. We tore out bushes, cut down
trees, moved rocks, piled it in a truck and tore everything apart. It
took 4 hours. It felt amazing to just get out there and work forever.
They had doughnuts and chocolate milk from Raley’s. That a big plus.
We met with some new people on Saturday named **** and ******.
******  grew up with the church but was ever baptized. His girlfriend,
*****, is a Christian and has gone to several churches before. Our
ward mission leader helped ***** and his less active mom with a
washer and dryer and talked to ***** and he accepted the
invitation to have us over.  We clicked really well, they are
awesome really cool people. We taught ****** the Restoration because
she brought some stuff up before we came.   She had some questions
about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She said she would read the
Book of Mormon and pray about it.  ****** was cooking dinner and didn’t hear a lot of the lesson. He made some of the best street tacos I’ve ever
had in the mission. Btw, reminds me to make real tacos for dinner one
night when I get home. Because that’s something nobody makes up there
but is a normal food for down here. Real tacos.
I’m actually kinda scared about how cold it will be. Like tonight, we
were driving home at 9:00 pm and it was 85 out and we had the windows down but I thought it was kind of cold. Its going to take some getting used to. I don’t like the cold.

Yeah, i have mixed feelings about going home. Mostly good though. I’m
going home  a good situation so there isn’t that much to be worried
about. I have a lot of support. So I’m not scared. Of course I’m going
to miss all of this. I have a strong love for this place. I love my
mission. I love it a lot. Its bittersweet. But I know its my time just
like it was my time to leave home to come here, again, its time to
leave home to go back there. But it’s different. I wasn’t ready to
leave home. I didn’t want to leave there because it was moving on and
I didn’t want to leave.  I chose it because I knew that I needed to leave and I knew God wanted me to. So I wanted to for that reason. But besides that, I didn’t want to go. My life was good and everything was
about to get infinitely harder.  But I knew I had to and knew I needed to. So, despite how much I dreaded leaving, I chose to come here.  It was as hard as I thought it would be. But the good was even better than I thought it would be. So now, instead of dreading going home, I’m looking forward to it
because I know how much I will learn from the change.  I know my
time is up and the Lord wants me to be home to be with the people there
and has other jobs for me. He want me to move on and I know I need too.
That’s where the Lord wants me. So I am going to go home with a
positive attitude because I need to be there.

Scripture of the week: Ether 12:22 “Behold, this is a choice land, and
whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and
from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will
but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been
manifested by the things which we have written.”
One word: America. 
Luva!

Week 101! Elder Jones

Auburn, Investigators and Heat

So last night I went to go write the stuff for Sunday and the email was blank. Apparently it had deleted everything that I had written all week. So that’s too bad.  I’ll just write some highlights because I don’t have the energy to think of and rewrite everything that I had before. Not that I could remember it all.
Last pday we had a zone activity in Auburn. We all met at the stake center. When we got there, we had the Baldridges take us and a couple other missionaries I know to Chick-fil-A. We hung out with them for an hour or so and ate lunch. They are awesome and so is Chick-fil-A. Then we went back to the stake center and played a ton of sports and had a water balloon fight. Lots of fun. It was good to see some old friends and have a Zone pday with other missionaries.
We had interviews this week. I did my temple recommend interview and that was great. President asked me if I had a strong feeling that someone in our area would get baptized in the next 8 weeks. We talked about our investigators. Then we talked about putting one on date for baptism as soon as possible. He said; if she sees how the gospel will bless her and has the desire to learn and change, why would she not want the blessings of baptism as soon as possible. And that was true. So he said to write up a plan of what needed to be taught and when, who will help her, how this will all happen and when the soonest possible time was to be baptized. That’s out of my comfort zone but I trusted him enough. So afterwards, we wrote up a plan for her, finding the soonest possible time she could be baptized. It came out to the 21st. We wrote out which lessons that had to be taught and when, the fellowshippers, the baptismal date, etc.  Then planned to start that day with a lesson and present it to her. We met with the fellowshipper before hand, who was kinda shocked at the suggestion and was pretty unsure about it. I said that I was too, but trusted the revelation President Ward had. So we pushed forward and set up a lesson.  She didn’t have much time.  We didn’t have much time either because of another lesson.  That made it so we didn’t get to teach the lessons that we had planned on teaching. So we realized that the 21st wouldn’t work because she wouldn’t have everything taught by then.  We still carried forward with the plan but challenged her to be baptized on the 28th instead. After some explaining, she was totally onboard because she saw that it would help her a lot and that she needed it, especially to develop her faith. It was a cool experience and taught me about trusting in your leader’s revelation. She is on date for right after I go home! I’m proud of her.
It’s been about 105 degrees this weekend, getting kinda hot. HA!  Just kinda hot…. 🙂 Our apartments air conditioning doesn’t work very well, so even though we have had that ac running for hours, the apartment is still at 83 or so. We set it to 68 because it can’t get anywhere near there. By the time we wake up it’s made it down to the low 70s.
Scripture of the week: Alma 13:27 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance;
I though I would share this because of the story of our investigator. The reason President Ward wanted us to encourage her to get baptized earlier was so she wouldn’t be putting these blessings off and procrastinating receiving all that comes with it. Baptism helps so much.  Most people don’t even realized how important it is. It’s not like I want to go out and baptize people just to baptize them, I want to help others to receive all the blessings they can, and baptism gives you some of the most blessing possible. So procrastinating getting those blessings is not worth it. That’s why in that scripture he talks about not waiting to repent. Do everything we can now, and receive the blessings.
Luva!

Week 100!!!!! Elder Jones

Re-centering, More Garage Sales and Swords

Tuesday: Again, we had absolutely nothing planned. We knocked doors all day. But, we got to have dinner with the Baldridges! We went to happy Garden Chinese and afterwards my stomach hurt so bad because I ate so much. Man I love them.
Wednesday: Just got out of a bomb lesson with ******. Taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. It made so much sense to her and answered so many questions she has. I can’t even describe how awesome her lessons are. She is just so in tune and ready. It’s awesome to be able to give someone answers like this. Something I’ve known my whole life that means the world to someone else. How can I not love being out here? I have something that is free that some people realize how amazing it is.  I can give it to them. Some people hate me for having it, but I don’t care.  As long as I am able to get it to those who are dying for it, it’s worth it. Worth 2 years. Worth my life. If it’s worth Christ’s life, it’s worth mine.
Besides that, we had a good day. District meeting. We got ahold of ***** again. ****** looked up an object lesson on YouTube and wanted to teach us so we went to her house and she had this cute little object lesson all ready and she was dressed up and had a name tag. So awesome. She is the best missionary in the ward. She is feeding us on Friday and is inviting *****. She wants to serve a mission. How cool. What a missionary. What an amazing person.
Saturday: I haven’t written much this week. It’s been crazy over the last three days.  Today was great. We went and talked with those people we saw at the garage sale last week. The less active ones.  The wife really wants to be involved and really wants to make it to church but her husband keeps making excuses. But she is pushing hard. She kept asking us to get him to go and we were trying our best. So hopefully they will show up. We promised them a seat by us. They are cool though.
We went garage sale tracting. Talked to a lot of people. Lots of random ones. Had a lot of good conversations but nobody that was further interested. One of the other missionaries found some swords at a garage sale and I was going to buy one because it was insanely cheap but I let Elder Brazier have it.  I still had a little fun with it. I will send y’all a video. Then we went and visited people and had to do some reports and calling. It was a productive day.
Oh, last night we met with ***** and ***.  We were up front with them and restated our purpose and told them how amazing the gospel is. We said that we needed to teach about the gospel first and foremost.  We ended up having a really good conversation and a good lesson after that. Sometimes you just need to recenter and things can progress better. So this worked.
Scripture of the week: Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
This is one of Sister Weists’ favorite scripture. The reason I like it is because you can say that you love God and other, but that can only be true if you show it. Because faith without works is dead. If you don’t show that you mean something, do you mean it?  If we show God that we love him through our actions, then he knows it, and other do too. And it’s a good example.
Luva!

Week 99 – Elder Jones

Chick-fil-A and “Man vs. Wild: Suburban Edition”

Sorry this took so long. We had to go to Roseville for a car
appointment so we went shopping at good stores down there rather than
the tiny little grocery store here. Then we went Chick-fil-A because it was over there. Best decision ever. So yeah.

Yesterday we had district meeting since Elder Marsh got transferred
down here, I got to see him! He is my district leader. I love him. He
is the best and it was great to see an old friend.
Today was great. We had an awesome lesson with *****. We had it at
the ward mission leaders house and it all went well.
Hey, she said she could take a box of stuff up to Portland for me. That’s good.

Friday: Ok, it’s almost 10 and we just got home so this probably won’t
as detailed as I wish but I’m doing it anyways. We planned most of the
day, but we just had a lesson with ******, and it was amazing. It lasted over 2 hours. We taught the plan of salvation. We would ask her if she knew what something was and she would kinda give her opinion of what she thinks something might be.  She was always spot on with the right answers.
Some of them she explained better than I even could. She had an
explanation of the Holy Ghost that I never thought of that made
everything more simple. Like when we asked her if she thought she
lived before she came to earth, she came up with this answer about
knowing that we lived in some way before here, more of just our
personality and soul, but not with a physical aspect. What? That’s
like exactly the premortal life! All we had to do was add in that we
lived with God. All her answers were like this. So awesome. The
lesson went tell. She has a lot to think about and process but she has
been very, very prepared. It was awesome. We have a meeting scheduled
for Wednesday. I’m excited. It all made sense to her.
Another cool thing from today, we decided to play tennis for workout
this morning. We have some racquets that aren’t too bad (the best ones
I’ve seen from a missionary apartment) and so we went to the courts
and played. It was so good. Elder Robinson is better than he should
be for never having played. Hey, y’all better watch out because I might
not suck when I get home. We are going again tomorrow.

Saturday: We went garage sale tracting this morning. We went and found
as many garage sales as we could and talked to the people there.
People are much nicer when you think you will buy something from them.
We went to this one garage sale and as we were talking, I realized
they were a less active family that we had been trying to get ahold of
and we had a good conversation and they invited us back and said it
was about time to get their 9 year old son baptized. So what a
miracle.
Another small miracle is when we stopped by another one, we walked
into view of the yard sale and I saw a big Alabama A that Elder
Robinson pointed out. I asked them how much it was before I even was
close to them. They said 5 bucks. I bought it. It turned out to be a
sweatshirt. And a really nice one. Worth a lot more than 5 bucks. I
was so happy. We talked to them for a while too. It was kinda weird
because they had a lot of shirts with naked women on them. Kinda
awkward but I’m used to it now. (Not naked women, but awkward
situations.)
So that was a fun morning. We had a lesson in the afternoon and had a
lot of reports to do.
A lot of coming home stuff got piled on me today. First off, you sent
me the flight itinerary (thanks by the way, I never got the email for
some reason), and somehow that made everything a reality to me. Then I got what are called “trunky papers”. It’s the final plans for returning.
It has the schedule and plans for the departing temple trip, drop
your bags off at the mission office, departing dinner and testimony
meeting, departure, everything. That hit like a brick. All of it is a
lot to take in and my brain was kinda fried. It makes me want to go
work even harder. It’s crazy. Kinda freaking out in a good and bad
way.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! Love you! You are the best dad ever and you
don’t realize how many times out here that I need to make a decision
and remember a story or something you told me and I know what to do
and other have been blessed by it. So many things I never thought I
would actually need to know that have blessed so many people including
me. You have no idea. In fact, there are even a few experiences from
your mission or earlier life that I tell to people and it helps. Thank
you so much! Love you!

Week 98 – Elder Jones

Transfers, Cube and Buffalo

Tuesday: He’s a great day today! We had a great lesson with ****** We got serious with her and testified about the church. She is making the effort to figure it out. She has a few concerns but believes the Book of Mormon is true. She is still trying to get over the Nephi killing Laban thing. But she is willing to pray about it.

***** went in for her temple baptismal interview. She was so excited. Never seen someone this excited. Unfortunately her membership records haven’t gone through yet so bishop can’t sign it until that. She was crushed. We are too. We are so sad. But, hopefully they will go through in the next week or so. I hope so. She wants to go so bad. I want her to go.

Wednesday: Long day. The one appointment had cancelled so we mostly went and found people all day. Exhausting. 

Service
We did a lot of weekly planning and that was great. I’ve been having some cool studies lately. There was a cool article about using gifts that God gives us. I’m trying to do that a lot more. Because we all have such awesome gifts but don’t know how to use them a lot of the time. And I’m trying to figure out how to use them. I guess I need to apply it in a different way? Idk yet.
Saturday: Transfers are tomorrow. I know it’s my last one, but I am so nervous that I will get transferred for my last one (he didn’t get transferred) 😉
Sunday: We had a great day today! We have an investigator given to us by referral on like Friday or something. She wants to take the lessons and came to church with her kids. Even her 9 year old daughter loved it. This member guy has, in her own words, gotten her to a point spiritually where she is ready to hear the gospel. Kinda a perfect situation. We had some good conversations with her. Definitely prepared. We have a lesson scheduled for Thursday. I’m excited!
******’s records went through and she has her recommend! Btw, she thinks you’re cute mom, with what you sent her over fb.
We had an amazing lesson with the ******. He asked for a blessing because his back is killing him and he has a lot he needs to do but can’t because of his back. In the middle of the blessing, he kinda jerked back a little and then I heard a pop. When the the blessing was over he said he had never seen a blessing work that fast. The pop was his back, randomly popping into place,  He didn’t have pain anymore. Wow. Then we had a lot of great gospel conversations after that. So awesome.
We got to see Sis. Crans!
Scripture of the week: This one comes from sacrament meeting. Here is what the speaker said: “In Colorado, buffalo and cows live close together. When a storm comes, the cows run away from it and when it catches up to them they keep trying to outrun it. This makes them run with the storm, thus staying in the storm longer, maximizing the pain that comes from it.  On the other hand, buffalo charge the storm and run into it. When it hits, they keep running into it and come out the other side faster, minimizing the time spent in the storm and minimizing the pain that comes from it. It is the same way with humans. We naturally avoid and run from trials, which ends up making the trials cause us more pain and prolong the effects. When we turn towards a trial and face the problem head on, the pain and difficulties of the trials pass faster and cause us less harm.

So, are you a cow or a buffalo?”

So the scripture if the week is this, Moroni 7:33 ​“And Christ hath said: ​​​If​ ye will have ​​​faith​ in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is ​​​expedient​ in me.”
We need to trust Christ enough to charge right into the storm. Be a buffalo.
Also this awesome quote form Brother Schwartz last night. “Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.”
I finally did it. I’ve made my rubiks cube goals. I can solve it every time in under a minute and my fastest time is now under 30 seconds. 29 to be exact.
Luva!