Week 49 and 50 – Elder Jones

Week 49

New Misson President, Emus and Basketball

Hey y’all!

Good week this week. Felt kinda slow but it was still good.  So I have kinda been slacking this transfer when it comes to improving. Of course, I’m always making progress and the work has been getting better, but I’ve just been going along and doing what I was supposed to. My studies have not been as in depth as they should and I haven’t been critiquing myself and focusing on how I can improve each part of being a missionary. I realized that this week and I have flipped it around. The way I talk to people is different, my quote wall has doubled, my studies have so much more of a purpose and are more effective, I find myself studying articles throughout the day any spare minute I can and my desire to work has even increased. I have been going to missionary issues of the New Era because they have a lot of good advice for people preparing to serve and those already serving. Those articles lead to some really awesome talks. I started with the May 2013 New Era and took it really slowly. A cool article from that is called “Mission life”. It explains a lot of the aspects and the things we do Day to day. It’s been awesome. I kinda have lost some of my fire while being with Elder Gardner, but I don’t want to let that happen anymore. I won’t let it happen anymore.

I did something on my missionary bucket list. We were tracting and came around a street to start. There was this Dad and his two sons playing basketball. Before we even knocked on the first door I heard the Dad say to his kids “I bet they would want to play” so I turned around and said you know what, we will. Elder Gardner was covering his eyes and saying “oh no” at this point because we both suck at basketball even though he is tall. But we emptied our pockets and untucked our shirts and played.  We creamed them. It was like that video that went around a few years back. We wrecked them and had an awesome conversation and got all their info and they said we could come and play again and so we are going to bring some more missionaries and play, and if we win, they have to listen to one of the lessons.  It was awesome.

We were tracting this week, as we have to because that’s the best way to find right now, and we were in a neighborhood with a lot of Punjabis in it. Knocked on lots of doors and one of the doors, another Punjabi family answered.  They wanted to watch the video about Christ. We were so surprised because none of the Punjabis ever listen to missionaries. We showed it to them and they loved it and said we could come back. We came back on Saturday and taught them a lesson and a half.  They want us to come back. There are a lot of people in the house and only the younger two generations listen to us. But it is amazing that they want to listen to us. And they are progressing investigators. There are almost never Punjabi investigators that actually progress. So this is amazing. We will go back this week and teach them more. Its hard to teach complex subjects to them, but they are the most promising people yet.

The area is great. We found three new investigators this week with more to come.  It’s awesome.

Elder Gardner and I have gotten really good at silent communication.  In meetings, lessons, even just talking to members, we can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking its cool.

I was in ward council yesterday when it hit me, its fast Sunday! I had already eaten breakfast when got up and it was too late. I was kind of mad at myself. I couldn’t believe I had completely forgotten and not remembered until then. Well, I found out why later. When I got your email about Addy and Baby Salsa, I realized I had actually forgotten for a reason, so that I could fast for Addy and Charlotte. Makes perfect sense right? Cool tender mercies. I know I’m not in the midst of it, but I feel really close to y’all, all the way out here. Its weird. A good weird. I feel like I am there in a way. I have the same feelings as I have as if I were there even though I’m not and haven’t seen her or Addy or David or anyone.

It’s been really tough out here this last few weeks because there has been some things gong on in the zone ad I’ve been super stressed out and there is so much that I’m trying to work with and I’m caught in the aftermath and I’m super stressed about it.  When I woke up this morning, the second I opened my eyes the wave of stress slapped me again and I was back to worrying and stressing and having that occupy my thoughts constantly. When I found out about Charlotte, one of the first thoughts I had was “You can quit your worrying and stressing. There are worse things that other people have to go through. You are stressed yes, but your sister and family are stressed too and they now have more than emotional stress, they also have physical problems to deal with. That’s something to stress about. Yes, take your job seriously but don’t get blinded by it. God will make sure you’re taken care of. If you do all that you can, that’s enough.  That won’t be enough for your sister. She will probably be dealing with  this throughout the rest of her life. Suck it up.” So I felt comfort that my problems aren’t a big deal. I also felt like everything will be ok With Addy and that I don’t need to let it distract me either. So how is Addy? What condition is she in?  Is David handling it well? How about the kids?

We have a new mission president. President Ward. He was in Yuba city yesterday for Stake MCM.

The picture y’all got this week was from the Bests. They took us to dinner at a Mexico place and we were talking about how their son on a mission hardly writes them and they wanted our parents to have a picture of us. I’m glad y’all hopefully liked it.

Luva!

Week 50

4th, Frisbee and Transfers

Hey y’all!

I’ve been having these dreams again that I’ve finished my mission. Sometimes I tell people in my dream that I must be in a dream but they prove me otherwise. Then I wake up and restart my mission at the halfway point.  🙂

It’s so cool because somehow I have felt who Charlotte is.  Like her personality and stuff. I don’t know how because I haven’t even met her but I can tell who she is. I prayed for her and Addy and David.  It was even hard for me when I heard the news. It was actually really hard. I am so sad for all three of them. But I’ve received a lot of comfort. I’ve even had some people email me about it, trying to help. But in the end, it is actually bringing me closer to Christ.

I was thinking a last week last week about how I don’t really miss movies. Yea, if a tv is on it’s distracting but I don’t just sit there and think, man I really want to watch a movie right now. I just have not cared that much right now. Then I walked into the living room of a members house and her nonmember husband was starting to watch Star Wars. The music started playing and the words started going across the screen. Then I rethought about it. I have decided, I don’t really miss watching movies…..except Star Wars. I really miss that.

I randomly remembered this week how we used to have our “I love you more”  battles and I would always have to say: “I love you more no matter what you’re busted and not me no matter what haha.”

I Got the video of Charlotte you sent last week btw. It downloaded eventually.

We met president Ward this week. He is amazing. He is very energetic and he and his wife are so funny together. He is really straightforward and knows what needs to be done and makes sure it gets done. He is a really loving guy and he cares a lot about us personally.

I have learned a very good lesson this week. I learned that it better to choose the harder right than the easier wrong. I learned that it’s better to stand up against the wrong, even if it’s against your companion. The results are almost immediate. I was able to avoid so much trouble that I could have been in for not standing up for what is right. The spirit directed me and told me that I needed to say something and it was hard but I did. And I am in a much better place because of it. I’ve been working hard on listening to the spirit because it’s hard for me to know the promptings he gives me. But I have been able to feel subtle thoughts and whether or not it’s me I follow them because I can tell the slight difference. Usually a tiny little thought pops into my head to ask if it’s the spirit. As soon as I do, I get another feeling that just barely tells me it is and I go with it. It’s so worth listening to it.

Our car had some trouble this week and so we were on bikes for a few days that was fun. We will be getting a new car in the next two weeks.  Brand new.

Karen, the person that we had the baptism for in Citrus Heights when I just got there passed away. It was a few months ago but nobody every told me. That made me really sad.

Ok, I’m mad now. Transfer boards came in on Saturday night and we all knew Elder Gardner was leaving but when the transfer boards came out, it showed us that I’m leaving as well. And I don’t want to leave. This ward has been the best. I wanted to stay here for six months. Now I’m leaving at three months.  We are having sisters put in our ward and so I’m scrambling to write down everything that they need to know when they get here. The area book probably won’t be updated for a day or two so the will probably be going in blind. But at least I got the area I wanted. I’m going to the Auburn Zone.  Auburn, CA that is. Not Alabama thankfully. Regardless, it’s still Auburn and I will have to go in with my battle armor which consisted of my Alabama hat and shirts and keychain and everything else I have. But it’s the zone I want to go to because it’s a lot of country. Right now there are no sisters in the zone. All elders. I will live in the same complex as Elder Nettleton, the Elder that was in the MTC with me and got held back for six months. He’s out now and I’m so excited to be with him. My companion will be Elder Porter. Elder Gardner was his companion before I got to Yuba.  So another mutual companion thing going on. I’ve heard he is an awesome person. But I feel better about this one because from what I’ve heard, ElderPorter and I have the same interests and stuff. He’s a total redneck and loves Country stuff. So that makes me feel like we will get along.  I’m really excited to go there and even our apartment is supposed to be super nice.  If I’m leaving my dream ward, I’m going to an even better ward. I’m super sad and saying goodbye to people was hard, but I’m really excited to get a cool new place.

Luva!

 

Week 43 – Elder Jones

Hey y’all!

Great blog as usual.  What was that escape room thing? It seems super cool. Is it just a maze or a VR thing?  I really liked that picture of the YSA because I actually know some of the people.   Is Mica pregnant? Her stomach looks disproportionate from the rest of her body.

Riding around the Buttes was awesome. A 40 miles bike ride. Not too many hills. Mostly flat. But we always had the buttes in sight. There was one persons bike that was horrible so we all took turns riding it five miles. It was horrible when I was on it the two times. Whenever I got back on my bike, I felt like I was riding on air. Surprisingly I wasn’t very tired the whole time. I wasn’t tired afterwards either. I wanted to play sports at the church after. I felt normal and I wasn’t sore at all from then on. Even he next day I was fine. Blessings. But it was a blast. 

So I just found out about fidget spinners this week. Apparently it’s been a thing for a little bit now but I just found out about them. Then, I actually got one for my birthday. They are way too entertaining. I couldn’t go to bed the night I got it cause I was so distracted by it. I couldn’t stop spinning it. Now half the zone has one. And everyone is always spinning them.

Zone conference was awesome. President Marston doesn’t have time to spare so he did half mission zone conferences. Which means I got to see half of the people I know. All my past comps were there, including my MTC comp, but Nielsen wasn’t there. So many people I haven’t seen in forever were there. It was also in Chico. It was weird. It was like I kinda got off my mission and returned home. I recognized every place I crashed, knocked, got shut down. All the peoples houses. It was like I got to visit home for a day. The. We went to the Salsi’s for dinner (a member in my Chico ward) with Elder Duseigneur. Then we stopped by Kayla for a few minutes then we went to see Grandma in Paradise. It was an awesome day with being able to see so many people I love.

Thank you for the gifts! The cereal worked out perfectly because I had finished a box of cereal the day before and hadn’t opened another one yet. So that worked out well. It was great to have “Daddy cereal” on my birthday. Normally I would ask for honey bunches of oats for my birthday but I have that every day now. So I’m glad I got another kind. Thank you! And thank you for the watch. I’ve missed it because that watch is awesome. And it even has the same band as before. Now I can wear it and love it. Thank you for taking the time to get that for me. And of course the fruit snacks. I love fruit snacks. Hehehe. I ate them too quickly.

On Saturday we went to the town of Robbins. The sign said it has a population of 100 but I think it’s grown a little and has about 200 people. Anyways, we tracked half of the town in one afternoon. It was crazy. We almost got killed by a dog. We knocked on a door and a lady opened it and after she said hi, this massive German shepherd bolted through the door and she caught it by the collar with one finger. She was almost falling over and I have no idea how she held on. But this thing was snapping at us and was being held back by the owner but it was inches away from us and we couldn’t do anything. It was all in he lady’s hands. If the let go, we would have been eaten. But somehow she held on with one finger and we lived. The thing tried to kill us. The craziest part is that both Elder Gardner and I were completely calm. We should not have been. We both knew how much danger we were in, but we were calm for some reason.  But somehow we didn’t get attacked and she got the door closed and we left.

So someone broke into our car. It was car fast in my birthday so we didn’t use the car at all. We walked everywhere. But the car was sitting there all day and when we got in it the next day I noticed a ton of things were missing. Gardner smelled cigarettes. So someone broke in and stole stuff. I have no idea how because it was locked. The weird part is that none of Elder Gardner’s stuff got stolen. For some reason the only things that were missing were mine. It put me in a little bit of a bad mood. But oh well. Nothing that expensive was stolen.

So that’s most of my week. I have so many pictures I won’t be able to send the. All. I also have a lot of videos. I’ll get them, to you when I have better connection though.

Luva!

Week 41 and 42- Elder Jones

Sick, Workout and Road Tripping – Week 41

Hey y’all!  Yeah the Elder from the MTC came out. He’s in the auburn zone.  So once again(Third Ward and still the same) I have 9:00 church. So we get done around twelve. We don’t have ward council afterwards, it’s before, so we will probably eat lunch then go to a McBeers house with wifi because ours is terrible.  Anywhere probably between 12:30 and 1:30? That’s my best guess for a good time we can talk. But I’ll just text Dad and let him know where I’m at time-wise.  

Such an amazing blog. It’s kinda sad for me to see everyone grow up without me. I knew my life was fun back home. But now I realize how fun it was. I can’t wait to get back and have that again with y’all. But I’m having a blast out here and love it. I’m enjoying it a lot and two years will be the perfect amount before I’m ready to be done.

I liked the Studio C reference in that letter to Royce. Oh Mormons.  Loved Gerald the duck. We have the same thing here except it’s a cat. We call it Ninja because it’s black. I don’t like cats and it tried to run in the house to I try to be kinda mean to it so it won’t like me and won’t come in the house. But no matter how many times I push it around it still likes me. It’s horrible.

I know how ya feel about running mom. I had only worked out once since I got here so this week I started working out.  Our ward feeds us so well, and we get so much free food and so many things, I am starting to find little fat rolls. It’s actually kinda scaring me. I’m not anorexic or anything, in fact, I can’t control my appetite and what I eat. But I started a new work out and started getting healthier food because I’ve always been super skinny and now I’m starting not to be.  I need to not have stomach fat. So I am doing all I can. My new work out is 100 pull ups (two different kinds, 50 of each) and 100 push ups (50 of each kind) it’s killer. I want to die by the end of it.  But my arms will finally get big and I’ll lose some stomach fat along with eating better. Sometimes I do it twice a day if I have time.

I like how Tessa got to drive to Chick-fil-a. Is that now a tradition?  I also see she has taken over my perch. Well, it looks like I’m finally going to have to let my perch go😢. At least until I get home😈.  What job did she get again?

I loved that picture of Dad and Royce on that tree at conference.  Did y’all officially really get Pursuing Happiness running? Could y’all send me some of the stuff that y’all have on there?

Elder Goodman last p-day made me do this cross fit workout because he’s into that stuff. I did it because p-days here are lame so most of the day we do nothing. But I did the 100 reps and I hurt for days. I could hardly walk across the street. This lasted three days. The worst part is that I went in exchanges the next day. Into a biking area. That was horrible because I could hardly use my legs and we biked a lot. But that exchange was fun. We rode all over the place and it was fun to be on a bike again. I had to use Elder Young’s bike and it was the weirdest feeling bike ever. I could hardly tun on it because the balance was so off. But the exchanges were fun. It was nice outside. High 90’s. It felt good though. Too much sitting in a freezing apartment and it’s always so cold outside on a bike lately. So it was great. It was in the 90’s all week. Still is around that. It’s so great to drive with the windows down again. Haven’t done that in 9 months. 

This one is called the “Lewis and Clarke” because it looks like the
highway signs in Washougal (on purpose of course) 🙂

Ya know, that’s really all I have to say about this week. Because on Wednesday Elder Gardner got super sick. So we stayed at home for four days straight and I went insane. I spent one day listening to Christmas music and drawing random things. On Thursday I literally spent the entire day trying to find out if there was a way to improve the wifi(We use Xfinity from a member and the connection here sucks)  This included turning the wifi on and off a hundred times, watching some random videos to see how well they would play (I got kinda distracted in that one, you’ll see the pictures), while walking around the house and sitting in corners and random places like that to see what spot has the best connection. Things like that. That’s literally what I did all day. I got so bored. I don’t even remember Friday. I think I did a workout at some point and looked at some names on area book and stuff. I don’t really remember. I think my mind just kinda shut down by that point. On Saturday Gardner was better.   We got out and did some service and then we tried contacting this part member family atthe bottom of our area. Almost out of the mission. They weren’t home (we had tried calling and stuff so this was a last resort) so our hour or so drive was in vain. So we took the long way home along the Sac river and got up real close with the Sutter Buttes. It was a really fun road trip.

So that was my whole week. I’ll send the  pictures in a different email when I get connection later when I get to the mansion.

Luva!

Success, tracting and getting chased by a dog- Week 42

Hey y’all!

So I had to wipe my iPad and put it all back on itself again and when I restored it, it got rid of my drafts. I actually had a lot down. At least twice as much this week as I normally do. Looks like I’ll have to sum up.

Yeah, I realized I hadn’t sent you a picture of my comp. I’ll try to get ahold of one. In the panda picture that’s Elder Young next to me. Elder Gardner is across from me.  

I won’t have much time to do touch ups on this email either because we are biking around the Sutter Buttes today. It’s about 40 miles. This will be a lot of fun but I’m going to be dead after it. So I hope I am able to get you pictures.

Our work finally took off again. We taught two lessons (first two in this area) on Wednesday on exchanges and picked up a new investigator.  It’s a family that loves family in another mission. There’s a lot of potential there. Exchanges were great. So fun. I was with the trainer of my last comp so we swapped stories of Elder Nielsen and had a blast. I got to drive all day so that was great.

On Thursday I found something interesting. I like tracting. This is weird because when I was trained I hated it because my trainer made it so every door I had to do something different and there’s not much more to do after the fifth door. But now that I know how to talk really well, it’s not a problem. But I like it and we got another new investigators and taught a lesson from the tracting. He should be at the church for p-day.

My grammar should be really bad in this email because I wiped my iPad a few days ago so auto correct isn’t used to me or mission slang. Could I get the Darby’s email please? They sent me a birthday card and I’d like to write them back. So you said to open the Amazon package on Thursday or the other package that came from you?

Of course, I got chased by another dog while tracting. There’s this cool little miniseries on LDS.org that is called two brothers two and in several of the episodes it goes through some of their missions and gives a really good perspective on what missions are actually like. It shows how you come to love the people and stuff like that. It’s cool.

K, I have to get ready. We are leaving as soon as we can for the bike ride.

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!

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!